1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came unto 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 unto Ashpenaz the prince of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the sons of Israel of the royal lineage of the princes, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish whatsoever but who were good looking and taught in all wisdom and wise in knowledge and of good understanding, and that had strength in them to stand in the king's palace, that they might be taught the letters and speech of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's food and of the wine which he drank, so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 6 Now among these of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8 And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 (And God brought Daniel into grace and mercy with the prince of the eunuchs.) 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for when he shall see your faces more downcast than the other young men who are like unto you, then ye shall condemn my head before the king.
11 Then Daniel said to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove, now, with thy slaves ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the young men that eat of the portion of the king's food; and as thou seest, deal with thy slaves. 14 So he consented to them in this matter and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than the young men who ate the portion of the king's food. 16 Thus Melzar took the portion of their food and the wine that they should drink and gave them vegetables.
17 And unto these four young men, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in all letters and science; furthermore Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days after which the king had said he should bring them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king communed with them, and none among them all was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and therefore they stood before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and intelligence, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus.