But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king's food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet.
The head of the palace staff, by God's grace, liked Daniel,
but he warned him, "I'm afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he'll have my head!"
But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
"Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water.
Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see."
The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days.
At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu.
So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)