1 Came Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia, in the third year of Joakim in the reign of Judah, into Jerusalem and beset the city. 2 And the Lord retired into the hand of Joakim, king of Juda, and he [Neb.] absconded with some of the vessels of the house of God, which he took unto the houses of Shinar, and he brought with himself even the implements of the treasury. 3 Then the king dictated unto Aspenaz, master of servants, that he bring hence the children of Israel, and the issue of the Crown and the nobles, 4 children in whom there was no blemish nor disformity, all of whom were scholarly and wise, steeped in science and learned of the disciplines, and whom might be stood in the king's palace and be taught the works and tongue of the Chalideans. 5 And the king granted each daily some of his own victuals, and the wine he himself drank, such that in three years thusly fed they might then appear in the court of the king. 6 It happened that among them were the sons of Judah, Daniel, Anianas, Misael and Azaria, 7 whose names the master of servants gave to them: to Daniel, Baltassar; to Ananias, Sidrach; to Misael, Misach; and to Azaria, Abdenago.
8 Now Daniel was determined that he would not pollute himself with the king's delicacies, nor with his wine which he drank. So he made a request to the chief officer that he might not pollute himself. 9 God gave to Daniel favor and compassion from the chief officer. 10 The chief official said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who has assigned your food and your drink, for why should he see your face looking worse than the young men your age? Then I might be executed.
11 And Daniel said to the meltsar, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days. Let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then look and see how we look, and how the young men look who eat the delicacies of the king. Then do with your servants as you will." 14 So he consented to do this, and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of ten days, their appearances looked better and fleshier than all the young men who ate the king's delicacies. 16 So the meltsar took away the delicacies and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetable food. 17 And as for the four young men, God gave them knowledge, and skill in all literature, and wisdom, and Daniel could interpret all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days when the king said he was to bring them in, the chief officer brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king spoke with them, and among all of them no one could be found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they served and waited on the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magi and enchanters in all the kingdom. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.
- That is, in 605 BCE
- asported; that is, took wrongly and embezzled, which is to wrong make a thing held righly one's own.
- "domum thesauri" is assuredly a treasury (a "house of treasure") but not as modernly conceived (a trove) so much as what the USA would call the Department of the Treasury.
- Literally "leader of the eunuchs" but best translated idiomatically as a chief of staff or grand vizier
- So Jerome's Vulgate: "starent in conspectu regis"; but though the literal meaning might be more akin to "...to stand in the gaze of the king" the use of "conspectus, -us" to refer in the context of dominion to mean reign or purview is well established in pre-ecclesiastical Latin.
- Them: the nobles referenced in 1:3.
- (1:10). Then I might be executed. Literally, And you would endanger my head to the king.
- (1:11) meltsar. Apparently the title of some kind of officer in the Babylonian court. According to Gesenius the word is probably of Persian origin.
- That is, till 539 BCE, sixty-six years after he was taken as a youth from Judah in 605 BCE.
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