A vegetarian diet for ten days
Having purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the
food and drink of the king, Daniel requested of Ashpenaz permission to
eat vegetables and drink water. Through the favor of God, this request
was granted, notwithstanding the fear of Ashpenaz that his head would be
endangered to the king on account of the probably resulting poor
appearance of the youths living upon this blood-diluting diet, in
comparison with the expected healthy appearance of the others of their
class. However, ten days' trial having been first granted, and at the
end of that time their countenances having been found fairer and their
flesh fatter than the other youths', the permission was made permanent;
and God gave to Daniel and his companions knowledge and skill in all
learning and wisdom, and to Daniel understanding in all visions and
dreams; so that at the end of the three years when the king communed
with them, he found them much superior to all the magicians and
enchanters in every matter of wisdom and understanding.
|Daniel's Training in Babylon |
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2
And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along
with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off
to the temple of his god in Babylonia F1 and put in the treasure house of his god.
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring
in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility- 4
young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for
every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and
qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the
language and literature of the Babylonians. F2 5
The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's
table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were
to enter the king's service.
6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7
The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name
Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine,
and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself
this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your F3
food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other
young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you."
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13
Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the
royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all
kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions
and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19
The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. 20
In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king
questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians
and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
F1: Hebrew Shinar
F2: Or Chaldeans
F3: The Hebrew for your and you in this verse is plural.