1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon arrived at Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 And God delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, and part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar, into the house of his god; and he placed the vessels in the treasure-house of his god.
3 Then the king commanded Aspenaz, the chief of the eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel, and of the royal seed, and of the nobles,
4 Youths in whom there was no blemish, but of beautiful aspect, skilled in all prudence, and understanding knowledge, and capable of expressing their thoughts, and in whom was rigor, that they might stand in the king's palace and be taught the literature and language of the Chaldees.
5 And the king appointed them a daily allotment of the royal food, and of the wine of his own drinking; thus nourishing them for three years, that at the end they should stand before the king.
6 Now, among these youths there were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Misael, and Azariah.
7 The chief of the eunuchs gave them each names: he called Daniel, Belteshazzar; Hananiah, Shadrach; and Misael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.
8 And Daniel determined in his heart not to pollute himself with the portion of the king's food and drink: and he requested the chief of the eunuchs that he might not thus defile himself.
9 Now, God had placed Daniel in favor and pity before the chief of the eunuchs.
10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, -- I am afraid of my lord the king, he has appointed your food and drink, for he will observe your faces emaciated when compared with the youths your equals, thus ye will endanger my head with the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Meltzar, whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Misael, and Azariah, --
12 Try thy servants for ten days: let nothing but pulse be given us to eat and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be inspected before thy face, and the countenances of the youths who eat a portion of the royal diet, and deal with thy servants, according to what thou shalt behold.
14 So he listened to their advice, and proved them for ten days.
15 And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared plump, and they were fatter than all the other youths who had partaken of the royal diet.
16 Then Meltzar removed both their portion of food and of wine, and gave them pulse.
17 Thus God gave to these four youths knowledge, and science in all literature, and wisdom; and Daniel received the power of understanding all visions and dreams.
18 At the end of the period at which the king commanded them to be brought before him, the chief of the eunuchs introduced them to Nebuchadnezzar.
19 Then the king addressed them: and among them all none was like Daniel, Hananiah, Misael, and Azariah, as they stood before the king.
20 And in every expression of wisdom and intelligence, in which they were examined by the king, he found them ten times superior to all the soothsayers and astrologers throughout his whole realm.
21 And Daniel continued until the first year of king Cyrus.