1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it: 2 and the LORD delivered Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hand, with certain ornaments of the house of God, which he carried away into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and there brought them into his god's treasury.
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the chief chamberlain, that he should bring him certain of the children of Israel, that were come of the king's seed and of princes, 4 young springaldes without any blemish, but fair and well favored, instructed in all wisdom, cunning and understanding: which were able to stand in the king's palace, to read and to learn for to speak Chaldeish. 5 Unto these, the king appointed a certain portion of his own meat, and of the wine which he drank himself, so to nourish them three years: that afterward they might stand before the king. 6 Among these now were certain of the children of Judah: namely Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 Unto these the chief chamberlain gave other names, and called Daniel, Balteshazzar; Hananiah, Shadrach; Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel was at a point with himself, that he would not be defiled through the king's meat, nor the wine which he drunk. And this he desired of the chief chamberlain, lest he should defile himself. 9 So God gave Daniel favour and grace before the chief chamberlain, 10 that he said unto him, "I am afraid of my lord the king, which hath appointed you your meat and drink: lest he spy your faces to be worse liking than the other springaldes of your age, and so ye shall make me lose my head unto the king."
11 Then Daniel answered Melzar, whom the chief chamberlain had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and said, 12 "O prove but ten days with thy servants, and let us have pottage to eat, and water to drink: 13 Then look upon our faces, and theirs that eat of the king's meat. And as thou seest, so deal with thy servants." 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And after the ten days, their faces were better liking and fatter, than all the young springaldes, which ate of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away their meat and wine, and gave them pottage therefore.
17 God gave now these four springaldes cunning and learning in all scripture and wisdom: but unto Daniel specially, he gave understanding of all visions and dreams. 18 Now when the time was expired, that the king had appointed to bring in these young springaldes unto him: the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar, 19 and the king communed with them. But among them all were found none such as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 20 Therefore stood they before the king, which in all wisdom and matters of understanding that he enquired of them, found them ten times better than all the soothsayers and charmers that were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel abode still, unto the first year of king Cyrus.