Daniel 1 (Lexham English Bible)

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Daniel’s Development in the King’s Court

1 In [the] third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hand and {some of}a of the utensils of the temple of God,b and he brought them [to] the land of Shinar [to] the temple of his gods, and he brought the utensils to {the treasury}c of his gods. 3 And the king {ordered}d Ashpenaz, the commander of his court officials, to bring {some of the Israelites}e from {the royal family}f and from the lords,g 4 youths who {have no physical defect},h and [who are] {handsome},i and [who are] prudentj in all wisdom and {endowed with knowledge},k and [who] understand insight, and who [have] the {ability}l in them to serve in the palace of the king. [And the king ordered him] to teach them the literature and the language of [the] Chaldeans. 5 And the king assigned to them {his daily portion}m from the fine food of the king, and from {the wine that he drank},n and [instructed that] {they were to be educated for three years}.o And at the end [of] their [training], {they were to be stationed}p {before}q the king. 6 Now there was among them {from the Judeans},r Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 And the commander of the court officials gave them names, and he called Daniel, Belteshazzar; and Hananiah, Shadrach; and Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.

Daniel’s Resolve

8 Now {Daniel resolved}s that he would not defile himself with the fine food of the king, and with {the wine that he drank},t and [so] he requested from the commander of the court officials [permission so] that he would not defile himself. 9 And Godu gave Daniel favor and compassion {before}v the commander of the court officials, 10 and the commander of the court officials said to Daniel, "I [am] afraid [of] my lord, the king, who has determined your food and your drink, for {why should}w he see your face having a worse appearance than the young men who {are your age}?x Then you will endanger my head with the king." 11 Theny Daniel asked the guardz whom the commander of the court officials [had] appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants [for] ten days, and let them give us {some of the vegetables},aa and let us eat and let us drink water. 13 Thenbb let our appearances and the appearance of the young men who are eating the fine food of the king be compared {before you},cc and [then] deal with your servants {according to what you see}."dd 14 So he agreed to this proposal with them, and he tested them [for] ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their appearances appeared better and [they were] healthier of body than all the young men who were eating the fine food of the king. 16 {So}ee the guard {continued to withhold}ff their fine food and the wine of their drink, and he gave themgg vegetables. 17 {And as for these four young men},hh Godii gave to them knowledge and insight into all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had insight into all visionsjj and dreams. 18 And at the end of the time the king had set to bring them, the commander of the court officials brought them in {before}kk Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, {and among all of them no one was found like}ll Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; then they stood {before}mm the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom [and] understanding [about] which the king inquired from them, he found them ten times better [than] all [of] the magiciansnn [and] conjurersoo that {were in his entire kingdom}.pp 21 And Daniel was [there] until the first year of Cyrus the king.
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