New American Standard Bible
The Choice Young Men
1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.
3Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the kings court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5The king appointed for them a daily ration from the kings choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the kings personal service. 6Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.
14So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the kings choice food. 16So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
17As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
18Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the kings personal service. 20As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.