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.
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1·2 「巴比倫」希伯來文是「示拿」，巴比倫的別稱。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。