Daniel was taken to Babylon
1 After King Jehoiakim had been ruling in Judah for almost three years, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem with his army and surrounded the city. 2 Two years later, Yahweh allowed Nebuchadnezzar's soldiers to capture Jehoiakim, who was the king of Judah. They also took some of the things that were in the temple of God, and took them to Babylonia. There Nebuchadnezzar put them in the temple of his god.
3 Then Nebuchadnezzar commanded Ashpenaz, the chief official in his palace, to bring to him some of the Israeli men whom they had brought to Babylon. He wanted men who belonged to important families, including the family of the king of Judah. 4 King Nebuchadnezzar wanted only men who were very healthy, handsome/good-looking, wise, well educated, capable of learning many things, and suitable for working in the palace. He also wanted to teach them the Babylonian language and have them read things that had been written in the Babylonian language. 5 The king commanded his servants to, “Give them the same kind of food and wine that they give to me. Train them for three years. Then they will become my servants.”
6 Among the young Israeli men who were chosen were I, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who all came from Judah. 7 But Ashpenaz gave us Babylonian names. The name he gave to me was Belteshazzar, the name he gave to Hananiah was Shadrach, the name he gave to Mishael was Meshach, and the name he gave to Azariah was Abednego.
8 But I decided that I would not eat the kind of food that the king ate, or drink the wine that he drank, because that would make me ◄ritually defiled/unacceptable to God►. So I asked Ashpenaz to allow him to eat and drink other things. 9 God had caused Ashpenaz to greatly respect me, 10 but he was worried about what I suggested. He said, “My master, the king, has commanded that you eat the kinds of food and drink that he does. If you eat other things and as a result you become more thin and pale than the other young men who are your age, he will order his soldiers to cut off my head because of what you have done!”
11 Ashpenaz had ordered a guard to watch me, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 So I said to this guard: “Please test us for ten days. During that time give us only vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 After ten days, see how we look, and see how the other young men look, the ones who are eating the kind of food that the king eats. Then you can decide about what food you will let us eat.” 14 The guard agreed to do what I suggested, and he tested them/us like that for ten days.
15 After ten days, he saw that I and my three friends looked to be more healthy [DOU] than the young men who had been eating the food that the king wanted them to eat. 16 So after that, the guard gave us only vegetables to eat; he did not give us the king's special food and wine.
17 And God gave to us four young men more wisdom, and the ability to study many things that Babylonians had written and studied. And he also gave to me the ability to understand the meaning of visions and dreams.
18 When those three years that the king had set for training them were ended, Ashpenaz brought all the young men from Judah to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with each of them, and realized that none of the other young men were as capable as I, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were. So we four became the king's special advisors/servants. 20 In all important matters, the king found that what we four men advised was ten times as good as what all the magicians and sorcerers/fortune-tellers in his kingdom advised.
21 I remained there serving the king more than sixty years, until the first year that Cyrus came king.