Daniel 1:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

New Living Translation
But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.

English Standard Version
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

New American Standard Bible
But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king's food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself.

International Standard Version
Daniel determined within himself not to become defiled by the king's menu of rich foods or by the king's wine, so he requested permission from the chief officer not to defile himself.

NET Bible
But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Daniel made up his mind not to harm himself by eating the king's rich food and drinking the king's wine. So he asked the chief-of-staff for permission not to harm himself in this way.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

King James 2000 Bible
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not be defiled with the king's table, nor with the wine which he drank: and he requested the master of the eunuchs that he might not be defiled.

Darby Bible Translation
And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not pollute himself with the king's delicate food, nor with the wine which he drank; and he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not have to pollute himself.

English Revised Version
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

World English Bible
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Young's Literal Translation
And Daniel purposeth in his heart that he will not pollute himself with the king's portion of food, and with the wine of his drinking, and he seeketh of the chief of the eunuchs that he may not pollute himself.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:8-16 The interest we think we make for ourselves, we must acknowledge to be God's gift. Daniel was still firm to his religion. Whatever they called him, he still held fast the spirit of an Israelite. These youths scrupled concerning the meat, lest it should be sinful. When God's people are in Babylon they need take special care that they partake not of her sins. It is much to the praise of young people, not to covet or seek the delights of sense. Those who would excel in wisdom and piety, must learn betimes to keep the body under. Daniel avoided defiling himself with sin; and we should more fear that than any outward trouble. It is easier to keep temptation at a distance, than to resist it when near. And we cannot better improve our interest in any with whom we have found favour, than to use it to keep us from sin. People will not believe the benefit of avoiding excess, and of a spare diet, nor how much they contribute to the health of the body, unless they try. Conscientious temperance will always do more, even for the comfort of this life, than sinful indulgence.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wins which he drank, therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. The Septuagint renders the first clause somewhat paraphrastically, "Daniel desired in his heart," led possibly to this by the more limited meaning assigned to "heart" in the psychology of ordinary Greek speech. Theodotion is, as usual, in close harmony with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta, instead of "heart," has r'ina, "mind." As before noticed, the G reek versions here render פּת־בג by δεῖπνον. Jerome renders it mensa In the Syriac the word is present, as we before said. We have above indicated that it is possible that the original word was not path-bag, but pathura. In regard to the Massoretic text as compared with the Greek and Latin versions, it seems certain that path-bag, if belonging to the text, was only understood in the East - a phenomenon that would be intelligible if this chapter be a condensation and translation of an original Aramaic text, especially if the Aramaic were Eastern, not Western. An ancient feast had always the nature of a sacrifice. It was the case with the Jews: thus in Deuteronomy 12:11, 12, directions are given for sacrificing in the place which the Lord should choose, and they and all their household rejoicing. But if the place chosen were too far, then permission was given them to eat flesh, only they were to be careful not to eat with the blood. It was the characteristic of the classic nations all through their whole history, that the feast should be consecrated by the offering of something of it to the Deity. The immense probability was that this was the case also among the Babylonians. It may be that this consecration of the feast arose from the same justifiable religious feeling which leads us to ask a blessing on our meals. The habit of the African Church to celebrate the Lord's Supper at every supper, was probably connected with this offering to God of what the guests were about to partake. This fact, that every feast had the character of a sacrifice, might easily make these Hebrew youths refuse the royal dainties. So far as animal food was concerned, the careful directions as to not eating with blood made partaking of the feasts of the Babylonian monarch peculiarly liable to bring on them defilement. The fact that Evil-Merodach provided Jeconiah with a portion from his table, and that Jeconiah did not refuse it, does not necessarily militate against the early date of Daniel. Jeconiah probably was not as conscientious as those youths, and, on the other hand, Daniel's influence by this time may have arranged some consideration for Jewish scruples. It is certain that in 2 Maccabees 5:27 Judas and his brethren are represented as living in the mountains on herbs, after the manner of beasts, that they might not be defiled; but as there is nothing parallel to this in 1 Maccabees, we may dismiss the statement as probably untrue. So the whole idea of this action on the part of Judas and his nine companions may have arisen from the case recorded before us. It has all the look of a rhetorical addition to the narrative, and the differences of the circumstances were not such as would strike a rhetorical scribe; but as this abstinence appeared to add to the sanctity of these four Hebrew youths, would it not add to the sanctity of Judas also? 'In the Assyrian feasts the guests do not seem to have sat at one long table or several long tables, as is usual with us. The guests were divided into sets of four, and had provisions served to them, and it is to be observed that the youths before us would have exactly occupied one of those tables. The word used for "defile" (ga'al) occurs in Isaiah, Lamentations, Zephaniah, Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah. It is an Exilic and post-Exilic word mainly; the old priestly word lama had not disappeared - it is used in Haggai. It is to be observed that there is nothing about defilement in the Peshitta; it is not impossible that the word is a later addition, only its presence both in Theodotion and the Septuagint renders the omission improbable. There is nothing in the passage here which makes it necessary for us to maintain that the principle of action followed by those youths was one which was generally acknowledged to be incumbent on all Jews. It may simply have been that, feeling the critical condition in which they were placed, it was well for them to erect a hedge about the Law. There may even have been an excess of scrupulosity which is in perfect dramatic suitability to the age of the youths. Such abstinence may well have occasioned the regular abstinence of the Essenes, but this state-merit concerning Daniel and his friends can scarcely have originated from the Essene dietary. It has been noted, as a proof of Daniel's courtesy and docility, that he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. But to have refused the food provided by the king might have been construed as an insult to the king, and anything of that sort had swift and severe punishment meted out to it. Daniel's request was simply due to the necessities of the situation.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But Daniel purposed in his heart,.... It being proposed to him to be brought up in the manner before described, he revolved it in his mind; he well weighed it, and considered it with himself, and came to a resolution about it. This is to be understood of him, not to the exclusion of his three companions, who were of the same mind with him, as appears by what follows; but perhaps it was first thought of by him; at least he first moved it to them, to which they consented; and because he was the principal in this affair, it is ascribed to him as his purpose and resolution:

that he would not defile himself with the portion the king's meat; by eating of it; partly because it might consist of what was forbidden by the law of Moses, as the flesh of unclean creatures, particularly swine, and fat and blood, and so defile himself in a ceremonial sense; and partly because, though it might be food in itself lawful to be eaten, yet part of it being first offered to their idol "Bel", as was usual, and the whole blessed in his name, it would have been against his conscience, and a defiling of that, to eat of things offered to, or blessed in the name of, an idol:

nor with the wine which he drank; which was as unlawful as his food; being a libation to his gods, as Aben Ezra observes; otherwise wine was not forbidden; nor was it disused by Daniel, when he could partake of it in his own way, Daniel 10:3,

therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself; he did not, in a surly, still, and obstinate manner, refuse the meat and drink brought; but prudently made it a request, and modestly proposed it to the prince of the eunuchs, that had the care and charge of him and his companions; and who also joined with him in this humble suit, as appears by what follows.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. Daniel … would not defile himself with … king's meat—Daniel is specified as being the leader in the "purpose" (the word implies a decided resolution) to abstain from defilement, thus manifesting a character already formed for prophetical functions. The other three youths, no doubt, shared in his purpose. It was the custom to throw a small part of the viands and wine upon the earth, as an initiatory offering to the gods, so as to consecrate to them the whole entertainment (compare De 32:38). To have partaken of such a feast would have been to sanction idolatry, and was forbidden even after the legal distinction of clean and unclean meats was done away (1Co 8:7, 10; 10:27, 28). Thus the faith of these youths was made instrumental in overruling the evil foretold against the Jews (Eze 4:13; Ho 9:3), to the glory of God. Daniel and his three friends, says Auberlen, stand out like an oasis in the desert. Like Moses, Daniel "chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb 11:25; see Da 9:3-19). He who is to interpret divine revelations must not feed on the dainties, nor drink from the intoxicating cup, of this world. This made him as dear a name to his countrymen as Noah and Job, who also stood alone in their piety among a perverse generation (Eze 14:14; 28:3).

requested—While decided in principle, we ought to seek our object by gentleness, rather than by an ostentatious testimony, which, under the plea of faithfulness, courts opposition.

Daniel 1:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Daniel's Faithfulness
8But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,…
Cross References
Acts 10:14
"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

Acts 15:20
Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

Leviticus 11:47
You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.'"

Deuteronomy 32:38
the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!

Psalm 141:4
Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.

Proverbs 23:3
Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.

Ezekiel 4:13
The LORD said, "In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them."

Ezekiel 4:14
Then I said, "Not so, Sovereign LORD! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth."

Daniel 1:5
The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service.

Daniel 5:4
As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Hosea 9:3
They will not remain in the LORD's land; Ephraim will return to Egypt and eat unclean food in Assyria.

Hosea 9:4
They will not pour out wine offerings to the LORD, nor will their sacrifices please him. Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat them will be unclean. This food will be for themselves; it will not come into the temple of the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

purposed.

Ruth 1:17,18 Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do …

1 Kings 5:5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house to the name of the LORD …

Psalm 119:106,115 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep your righteous …

Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted …

1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, …

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; …

defile. Heathen nations not only ate unclean beasts, which were forbidden by Jewish law, but even the clean animals that were eaten were first offered as victims to their gods, and part of the wine was poured out as a libation on their altars. Hence Athenaeus calls the beasts served up at the tables of the Persian kings, victims. Daniel was therefore resolved not to defile himself with their viands; yet he did not rudely refuse what was intended as a kindness, but mildly and modestly requested the proper officers to indulge him in this respect.

Leviticus 11:45-47 For I am the LORD that brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to …

Deuteronomy 32:38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of …

Psalm 106:28 They joined themselves also to Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.

Psalm 141:4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works …

Ezekiel 4:13,14 And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their …

Hosea 9:3,4 They shall not dwell in the LORD's land; but Ephraim shall return …

Acts 10:14-16 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that …

Romans 14:15-17 But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now walk you not charitably. …

1 Corinthians 8:7-10 However, there is not in every man that knowledge…

1 Corinthians 10:18-21,28-31 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices …

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