Daniel 1:1-21, NLT
Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s Court
1During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah,*1:1 This event occurred in 605 b.c., during the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign (according to the calendar system in which the new year begins in the spring). King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
3Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives.
6Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah.
Daniel was called Belteshazzar.
Hananiah was called Shadrach.
Mishael was called Meshach.
Azariah was called Abednego.
8But 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.
11Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
15At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.
17God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.
18When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar.
21Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus.*1:21 Cyrus began his reign (over Babylon) in 539 b.c.