1猶大王約雅敬執政第三年，巴比倫王尼布甲尼撒前來圍攻耶路撒冷。 2 主將猶大王約雅敬及上帝殿中的部分器具交在他手中。他把器具擄到巴比倫[a]的神廟，放在他神明的庫房裡。
3 王吩咐太監長亞施毗拿從以色列的王室貴族中選一些人， 4 即毫無殘疾、相貌英俊、學問淵博、知識豐富、聰慧善學、能在王宮服侍的青年，教他們迦勒底的語言和文字。 5 王安排他們每日享用一份御用的膳食和酒。他們要受教養三年，期滿後好在王身邊供職。 6 被選的人中有猶大族的但以理、哈拿尼雅、米沙利、亞撒利雅。 7 太監長給他們起了名字：稱但以理為伯提沙撒，哈拿尼雅為沙得拉，米沙利為米煞，亞撒利雅為亞伯尼歌。
8 然而，但以理決心不用王的膳食和酒，以免玷污自己。他請求太監長准許他不玷污自己。 9 上帝使但以理得到太監長的恩待和同情。 10 不過，太監長對但以理說：「我懼怕我主我王，因為這是他安排給你們的飲食。如果他看見你們比同齡的青年瘦弱，如何是好？你們會使我在王面前人頭難保。」 11 但以理便對太監長派來監管他、哈拿尼雅、米沙利和亞撒利雅的人說： 12 「求你試試看，十天內只讓僕人們吃素菜、喝清水， 13 然後比較一下我們的面貌和那些用御膳的青年的面貌，看了之後再作決定。」 14 監管同意試他們十天。 15 十天後，但以理和他三個朋友看上去比那些用御膳的青年更俊美健康。 16 於是，監管撤去了安排給他們的膳食和酒，只給他們素菜。
17 上帝使這四個青年精通各樣學問和知識。但以理能明白各種異象和夢兆。 18 到了尼布甲尼撒王規定青年們進宮的日子，太監長便帶他們去見王。 19 王與他們談話，發現無人比得上但以理、哈拿尼雅、米沙利和亞撒利雅，便把他們留在身邊供職。 20 王詢問他們各樣的事，發現他們的智慧和聰明比全國的術士和巫師高十倍。 21 直到塞魯士王元年，但以理仍在那裡供職。
Notas al pie
- 1·2 「巴比倫」希伯來文是「示拿」，巴比倫的別稱。
1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.