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1 In the third year of athe 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 some of bthe vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to cthe land of Shinar, to the house of his god, dand placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, ehis chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family1 and of fthe nobility, 4 youths without gblemish, of good appearance and hskillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to iteach them the literature and language of the jChaldeans. 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of kthe food that the king ate, and of lthe wine that he drank. They were to be educated for mthree years, and at the end of that time they were to nstand before the king. 6 Among these were oDaniel, pHananiah, pMishael, and pAzariah of the tribe of Judah. 7 And ethe chief of the eunuchs qgave them names: rDaniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
8 But Daniel sresolved that he would not tdefile himself with kthe king’s food, or with lthe wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to tdefile himself. 9 uAnd God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for vten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat kthe king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate kthe king’s food. 16 wSo the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them xvegetables.
17 As for these four youths, yGod gave them learning and zskill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had aunderstanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of bthe time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore cthey stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all dthe magicians and eenchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel fwas there until the first year of gKing Cyrus.
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