1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 And the Lord delivered into his hand Jehoiakim the king of Judah and a portion of the vessels of the house of God. And he carried them away into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasure chamber of his god.
3 And the king told Ashpenaz, the chief of the eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the sons of Israel, and some of the offspring of the king and of the sovereigns:
4 young men, in whom there was no blemish, noble in appearance, and accomplished in all wisdom, cautious in knowledge, and well-educated, and who could stand in the palace of the king, so that he might teach them the letters and the language of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed for them provisions for each day, from his own food and from the wine which he himself drank, so that, after being nourished for three years, they would stand in the sight of the king.
6 Now, among those of the sons of Judah, there were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
7 And the chief of the eunuchs assigned names to them: to Daniel, Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved in his heart that he would not be polluted with the king’s meal, nor with the wine he drank, and he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not be contaminated.
9 And so God gave Daniel grace and mercy in the sight of the leader of the eunuchs.
10 And the leader of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed food and drink for you, who, if he should see that your faces are leaner than those of the other youths your age, you would condemn my head to the king.”
11 And Daniel said to Malasar, whom the leader of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 I beg you to test us, your servants, for ten days, and let roots be given to us to eat and water to drink,
13 and then observe our faces, and the faces of the children who eat the king’s food, and then deal with your servants according to what you see.”
14 When he had heard these words, he tested them for ten days.
15 But, after ten days, their faces appeared better and fatter than all the children who had eaten from the king’s food.
16 Thereafter, Malasar took away their portions and their wine for drinking, and he gave them roots.
17 Yet, to these children, God gave knowledge and instruction in every book, and wisdom, but to Daniel, also the understanding of all visions and dreams.
18 And when the time was completed, after which the king had said that they would be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before the sight of Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And, when the king conversed with them, there had not been found any so great in all the world as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they stood in the sight of the king.
20 And in every concept of wisdom and understanding, about which the king consulted with them, he found them to be ten times better than all the seers and astrologers put together, who were in his entire kingdom.
21 And so Daniel remained, even until the first year of king Cyrus.