International Standard Version
1In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it. 2Within a week, the Lord handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with valuable objects from the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar brought them to the temple of his god in the land of Shinar and stored them in its treasure house.
3Later, the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief officer, to bring in some Israelis of royal and noble descent. 4They were to be young men without physical defect, handsome in appearance, skilled in all wisdom, quick to learn, prudent in how they used knowledge, and capable of serving in the king's palace. They were to learn the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5The king assigned them fine food and choice wine on a daily basis, ordering them to be trained for three years, at the end of which time they would enter the king's service. 6Included among the people of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7The chief officer assigned the name "Belteshazzar" to Daniel, the name "Shadrach" to Hananiah, the name "Meshach" to Mishael, and the name "Abednego" to Azariah.
8Daniel 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. 9God granted to Daniel grace and compassion on the part of the chief officer. 10The chief officer told Daniel, "I fear his majesty the king, who has determined what you eat and drink. If he notices that your faces are more pale than the other young men in your group, I will forfeit my head to the king." 11But Daniel told the guard whom the chief officer had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12"Please test your servants for ten days and let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then compare how we look with the young men who ate the king's rich food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you observe."
14So he listened to what Daniel said and tested them for ten days. 15At the end of ten days their appearance was better and their faces were well-nourished compared to the young men who ate the king's rich food. 16So the guard took away their rich food and wine, giving them vegetables.
17As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge, aptitude for learning, and wisdom. Daniel also could understand all kinds of visions and dreams.
18Then at the end of the training period that the king had established, the chief officer brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19When the king spoke to them, none of them compared to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, or Azariah as they stood before the king. 20In every matter of wisdom or understanding that the king discussed with them, he found them ten times superior to all the astrologers and enchanters in his entire palace. 21So Daniel remained there in service until the first year of King Cyrus.