Bible: Daniel 1:1-2:4
Daniel Finds Favor in Babylon
1:1 In the third 1 year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar 2 of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem 3 and laid it under siege. 4 1:2 Now the Lord 5 delivered 6 King Jehoiakim of Judah into his power, 7 along with some of the vessels 8 of the temple of God. 9 He brought them to the land of Babylonia 10 to the temple of his god 11 and put 12 the vessels in the treasury of his god.
1:3 The king commanded 13 Ashpenaz, 14 who was in charge of his court officials, 15 to choose 16 some of the Israelites who were of royal and noble descent 17 – 1:4 young men in whom there was no physical defect and who were handsome, 18 well versed in all kinds of wisdom, well educated 19 and having keen insight, 20 and who were capable 21 of entering the king’s royal service 22 – and to teach them the literature and language 23 of the Babylonians. 24 1:5 So the king assigned them a daily ration 25 from his royal delicacies 26 and from the wine he himself drank. They were to be trained 27 for the next three years. At the end of that time they were to enter the king’s service. 28 1:6 As it turned out, 29 among these young men 30 were some from Judah: 31 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 32 1:7 But the overseer of the court officials renamed them. He gave 33 Daniel the name Belteshazzar, Hananiah he named Shadrach, Mishael he named Meshach, and Azariah he named Abednego. 34
1:8 But Daniel made up his mind 35 that he would not defile 36 himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. 37 He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself. 1:9 Then God made the overseer of the court officials sympathetic to Daniel. 38 1:10 But he 39 responded to Daniel, “I fear my master the king. He is the one who has decided 40 your food and drink. What would happen if he saw that you looked malnourished in comparison to the other young men your age? 41 If that happened, 42 you would endanger my life 43 with the king!” 1:11 Daniel then spoke to the warden 44 whom the overseer of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 1:13 Then compare our appearance 45 with that of 46 the young men who are eating the royal delicacies; 47 deal with us 48 in light of what you see.” 1:14 So the warden 49 agreed to their proposal 50 and tested them for ten 51 days.
1:15 At the end of the ten days their appearance was better and their bodies were healthier 52 than all the young men who had been eating the royal delicacies. 1:16 So the warden removed the delicacies and the wine 53 from their diet 54 and gave them a diet of vegetables instead. 1:17 Now as for these four young men, God endowed them with knowledge and skill in all sorts of literature and wisdom – and Daniel had insight into all kinds of visions and dreams.
1:18 When the time appointed by the king arrived, 55 the overseer of the court officials brought them into Nebuchadnezzar’s presence. 1:19 When the king spoke with them, he did not find among the entire group 56 anyone like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, or Azariah. So they entered the king’s service. 57 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and 58 insight the king asked them about, he found them to be ten times 59 better than any of the magicians and astrologers that were in his entire empire. 1:21 Now Daniel lived on until the first 60 year of Cyrus the king.
Nebuchadnezzar Has a Disturbing Dream
2:1 In the second year of his 61 reign Nebuchadnezzar had many dreams. 62 His mind 63 was disturbed and he suffered from insomnia. 64 2:2 The king issued an order 65 to summon the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and wise men 66 in order to explain his dreams to him. 67 So they came and awaited the king’s instructions. 68
2:3 The king told them, “I have had a dream, 69 and I 70 am anxious to understand the dream.” 2:4 The wise men replied to the king: [What follows is in Aramaic 71 ] “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will disclose its 72 interpretation.”