1犹大王约雅敬执政第三年，巴比伦王尼布甲尼撒前来围攻耶路撒冷。 2主将犹大王约雅敬及上帝殿中的部分器具交在他手中。他把器具掳到巴比伦1:2 “巴比伦”希伯来文是“示拿”，巴比伦的别称。的神庙，放在他神明的库房里。
3王吩咐太监长亚施毗拿从以色列的王室贵族中选一些人， 4即毫无残疾、相貌英俊、学问渊博、知识丰富、聪慧善学、能在王宫服侍的青年，教他们迦勒底的语言和文字。 5王安排他们每日享用一份御用的膳食和酒。他们要受教养三年，期满后好在王身边供职。 6被选的人中有犹大族的但以理、哈拿尼雅、米沙利、亚撒利雅。 7太监长给他们起了名字：称但以理为伯提沙撒，哈拿尼雅为沙得拉，米沙利为米煞，亚撒利雅为亚伯尼歌。
8然而，但以理决心不用王的膳食和酒，以免玷污自己。他请求太监长准许他不玷污自己。 9上帝使但以理得到太监长的恩待和同情。 10不过，太监长对但以理说：“我惧怕我主我王，因为这是他安排给你们的饮食。如果他看见你们比同龄的青年瘦弱，如何是好？你们会使我在王面前人头难保。” 11但以理便对太监长派来监管他、哈拿尼雅、米沙利和亚撒利雅的人说： 12“求你试试看，十天内只让仆人们吃素菜、喝清水， 13然后比较一下我们的面貌和那些用御膳的青年的面貌，看了之后再作决定。” 14监管同意试他们十天。 15十天后，但以理和他三个朋友看上去比那些用御膳的青年更俊美健康。 16于是，监管撤去了安排给他们的膳食和酒，只给他们素菜。
17上帝使这四个青年精通各样学问和知识。但以理能明白各种异象和梦兆。 18到了尼布甲尼撒王规定青年们进宫的日子，太监长便带他们去见王。 19王与他们谈话，发现无人比得上但以理、哈拿尼雅、米沙利和亚撒利雅，便把他们留在身边供职。 20王询问他们各样的事，发现他们的智慧和聪明比全国的术士和巫师高十倍。 21直到塞鲁士王元年，但以理仍在那里供职。
Daniel Is Trained in Babylon
1It was the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. His armies surrounded the city and attacked it. 2The Lord handed Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, over to him. Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the objects from God’s temple. He carried them off to the temple of his god in Babylon. He put them among the treasures of his god.
3The king gave Ashpenaz an order. Ashpenaz was the chief of Nebuchadnezzar’s court officials. The king told him to bring him some of the Israelites. The king wanted them to serve him in his court. He wanted nobles and men from the royal family. 4He was looking for young men who were healthy and handsome. They had to be able to learn anything. They had to be well educated. They had to have the ability to understand new things quickly and easily. The king wanted men who could serve in his palace. Ashpenaz was supposed to teach them the Babylonian language and writings. 5The king had his servants give them food and wine from his own table. They received a certain amount every day. The young men had to be trained for three years. After that, they could begin to serve the king.
6Some of the men chosen were from Judah. Their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7The chief official gave them new names. He gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar. He gave Hananiah the name Shadrach. He gave Mishael the name Meshach. And he gave Azariah the name Abednego.
8Daniel decided not to make himself “unclean” by eating the king’s food and drinking his wine. So he asked the chief official for a favor. He wanted permission not to make himself “unclean” with the king’s food and wine. 9God had caused the official to be kind and friendly to Daniel. 10But the official refused to do what Daniel asked for. He said, “I’m afraid of the king. He is my master. He has decided what you and your three friends must eat and drink. Other young men are the same age as you. Why should he see you looking worse than them? When he sees how you look, he might kill me.”
11So Daniel spoke to one of the guards. The chief official had appointed him over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 12Daniel said to him, “Please test us for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat. And give us only water to drink. 13Then compare us with the young men who eat the king’s food. See how we look. After that, do what you want to.” 14So the guard agreed. He tested them for ten days.
15After the ten days Daniel and his friends looked healthy and well fed. In fact, they looked better than any of the young men who ate the king’s food. 16So the guard didn’t require them to eat the king’s special food. He didn’t require them to drink the king’s wine either. He gave them vegetables instead.
17God gave knowledge and understanding to these four young men. So they understood all kinds of writings and subjects. And Daniel could understand all kinds of visions and dreams.
18The three years the king had set for their training ended. So the chief official brought them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19The king talked with them. He didn’t find anyone equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they began to serve the king. 20He asked them for advice in matters that required wisdom and understanding. The king always found their answers to be the best. Other men in his kingdom claimed to get knowledge by using magic. But the answers of Daniel and his friends were ten times better than theirs.
21Daniel served in Babylon until the first year Cyrus ruled over the land of Babylon. Cyrus was king of Persia.