1 In the third year of the reign of aJehoiakim king of Judah, bNebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The aLord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the bvessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of cShinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his dgod. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal afamily and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was ano defect, who were good-looking, showing bintelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and clanguage of the dChaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the aking's choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to benter the king's personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were aDaniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name aBelteshazzar, to Hananiah bShadrach, to Mishael bMeshach and to Azariah bAbed-nego. 8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not adefile himself with the bking's choice food or with the cwine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel afavor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king." 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be agiven some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 "Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king's choice food; 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 their appearance seemed abetter and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king's choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept agiving them vegetables. 17 As for these four youths, aGod gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of bvisions and dreams. 18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like aDaniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they bentered the king's personal service. 20 As for every matter of awisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them bten times cbetter than all the dmagicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the afirst year of Cyrus the king.