New International Reader's Version

Daniel 1

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. The 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.

The 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. He 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. The 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.

Some of the men chosen were from Judah. Their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The 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.

Daniel 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. God had caused the official to be kind and friendly to Daniel. 10 But 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.”

11 So Daniel spoke to one of the guards. The chief official had appointed him over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 12 Daniel said to him, “Please test us for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat. And give us only water to drink. 13 Then compare us with the young men who eat the king’s food. See how we look. After that, do what you want to.” 14 So the guard agreed. He tested them for ten days.

15 After 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. 16 So 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.

17 God 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.

18 The three years the king had set for their training ended. So the chief official brought them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them. He didn’t find anyone equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they began to serve the king. 20 He 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.

21 Daniel served in Babylon until the first year Cyrus ruled over the land of Babylon. Cyrus was king of Persia.

Japanese Living Bible

ダニエル書 1

ダニエル、バビロンで訓練を受ける

11-2 エホヤキム王がユダを治めるようになって三年後、バビロンの王ネブカデネザルが大軍を率いてエルサレムに攻めて来ました。主は、ネブカデネザル王に勝利を与えました。バビロンへ帰る時、王は、神殿から聖なる器具を持ち出し、シヌアルにある自分の神の宝物倉に納めました。 3-4 その後、ネブカデネザル王は、宮殿の人事担当者アシュペナズにこう命じました。「捕囚として連れて来たユダヤ人の中から、ユダの王族か貴族出身の若者を数人選び、われわれカルデヤ人のことばと文学を教えよ。いろいろの分野の知識に通じ、知恵にすぐれ、鋭敏なうえに良識を備え、宮廷に仕えるにふさわしく、身体剛健で容姿端麗な若者を選ぶのだ。」 王はこの若者たちに、三年間の訓練期間中、王が食べるのと同じ最上の食物とぶどう酒を与えました。訓練ののちにこの若者たちを、王の参議官に取り立てる計画だったのです。 こうして選ばれた若者の中に、ダニエル、ハナヌヤ、ミシャエル、アザルヤの四人がいました。四人ともユダ部族の出身でした。 ところで、彼らの監督官は、それぞれにバビロニヤ名をつけました。それで、ダニエルはベルテシャツァル、ハナヌヤはシャデラク、ミシャエルはメシャク、アザルヤはアベデ・ネゴと呼ばれました。

しかしダニエルは、王の支給する食物(ユダヤの法律で食べることが禁止されていた豚肉などが含まれていたと思われる)もぶどう酒も断じて口にしないと決心し、ほかの食事をとることができるよう、監督官に許可を願い出ました。 実は神は、この監督官に、ダニエルを特別に思いやる心を与えていました。 10 それでも監督官は、ダニエルの申し出に不安を覚え、こう言いました。「ほかの同じ年頃の若者と比べて、あなたがたの顔が青白く、やせ細ってしまったら、職務怠慢のかどで、私は王に首をはねられるだろう。」 11 そこでダニエルは、監督官が彼ら四人につけてくれた世話役と、このことについて話し合い、 12 ともかく十日間、野菜と水だけの食事で試してほしいと頼みました。 13 その期間が終わった段階で、王のごちそうを食べた者たちと比較し、野菜と水だけの食事を続けるかどうかを決めてはどうかと提案したのです。 14 世話役は、ついにこれを試してみることに同意しました。 15 そして、十日が過ぎました。ダニエルとその三人の友人は、王のごちそうを食べた若者たちよりも健康そうで、栄養がいきわたっているように見えます。 16 そこで世話役はそれからも、ごちそうやぶどう酒抜きの、野菜と水だけの食事をダニエルたちに与えました。

17 神はこの四人の若者に、すぐれた学習能力を与えました。それで四人はすぐに、当時の文学や科学を修得したのです。また、神はダニエルに、夢や幻の意味を知る特別の能力を与えました。 18-19 三年にわたる訓練期間が終わると監督官は、前もって命じられていたように、口頭試問を受けさせるため、若者たちを王の前に連れて来ました。王は一人一人と時間をかけて話しました。その時、ダニエル、ハナヌヤ、ミシャエル、アザルヤの四人は群を抜いて、王に感銘を与えたのです。そこで、この四人が王に仕える常任補佐官に取り立てられました。 20 知識やバランスのとれた判断を必要とする全分野で、この若者たちの意見は、国中のどの熟練した呪法師や知恵のある占星学者の意見よりも、十倍もまさっていることに王は気づきました。 21 ダニエルは、クロス王の治世の第一年まで、王の参議官の地位にありました。