1 In the third year of the reign of Joakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave into his hand Joakim king of Judah, and part of the vessels of the house of God: and he brought them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. 3 And the king told Ashpenaz his chief eunuch, to bring in some of the captive children of Israel, and of the seed of the kingdom, and of the princes; 4 young men in whom was no blemish, and beautiful in appearance, and skilled in all wisdom, and possessing knowledge, and acquainted with prudence, and who had ability to stand in the house before the king, and the king gave commandment to teach them the learning and language of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily portion from the king’s table, and from the wine which he drank; and gave orders to nourish them three years, and that afterward they should stand before the king.
6 Now these were among them of the children of Judah, Daniel, and Hananiah, and Azariah, and Mishael. 7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: to Daniel, Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, Shadrach; and to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 And Daniel purposed in his heart, that he would not defile himself with the king’s table, nor with the wine of his drink: and he entreated the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favor and compassion with the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your meat and your drink, lest he see your countenances gloomy in comparison of the young men your equals; so shall ye endanger my head to the king. 11 And Daniel said to Amelsad, whom the chief of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove now thy servants ten days; and let them give us pulse, and let us eat, and let us drink water: 13 and let our countenances be seen by thee, and the countenances of the children that eat at the king’s table; and deal with thy servants according as thou shalt see.
14 And he hearkened to them, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer and stouter in flesh than the children that fed at the king’s table. 16 So Amelsad took away their supper and the wine of their drink, and gave them pulse.
17 And as for these four children, God gave them understanding and prudence in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 And at the end of the days, after which the king had given orders to bring them in, then the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them; and there were not found out of them all any like Daniel, and Hananiah, and Mishael, and Azariah: and they stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and knowledge wherein the king questioned them, he found them ten times wiser than all the enchanters and sorcerers that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel continued till the first year of King Cyrus.