In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim1 king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar2 king of Babylon3 came to Jerusalem and besieged it.42
And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried5 off to the temple of his god in Babyloniaa and put in the treasure house of his god.63
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility7--
young men without any physical defect, handsome,8 showing aptitude for every kind of learning,9 well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language10 and literature of the Babylonians.b5
The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine11 from the king's table.12 They were to be trained for three years,13 and after that they were to enter the king's service.146
Among these were some from Judah: Daniel,15 Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.167
The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar;17 to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.188
But Daniel resolved not to defile19 himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Now God had caused the official to show favor20 and sympathy21 to Daniel,
but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned yourc food and drink.22 Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you."