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 gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried 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 spoke to Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials that he should bring some of the sons of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the nobles,
4 young men in whom was no blemish, but who were of good appearance and having understanding in all wisdom, having knowledge and understanding science, even those with ability in them to stand in the king's palace; to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed for them a daily portion every day, from the king's food, and of the wine which he drank, even to raise them three years, so that at the end of that time they might stand before the king.
6 And there were among those of the sons of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
7 to whom the chief of the officials gave names. For he called Daniel, Belteshazzar; and Hananiah, Shadrach; and Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.
8 And Daniel determined in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine which he drank. So he asked of the chief of the officials that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into kindness and compassion with the chief of the officials.
10 And the chief of the officials said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the other boys who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.
11 And Daniel said to Melzar, whom the chief of the officials had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Please, test your servants ten days, and let us be given vegetables to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the boys who eat of the king's food; and as you see fit, do so with your servants.
14 And he consented to them in this matter and tested them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their appearance looked better and fatter of flesh than all the boys who were eating the king's food.
16 So Melzar took away their food and the wine that they were to drink, and he gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four boys, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom. And Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 And at the end of the days that the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the officials brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king talked with them. And among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they served before the king.
20 And in any matter of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them to be ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his kingdom.
21 And Daniel continued to the first year of King Cyrus.