The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility-
young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the king's palace-and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature.
The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end of that time they were to serve in the king's court.
Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.