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Daniel 1 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)


1 The captivity of Jehoiakim king of Judah. 4 The king chooseth certain young men of the Jews to learn his law. 5 They have the king’s ordinary appointed, 8 but they abstain from it.

In the [a]third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar King of Babel unto Jerusalem and besieged it.

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of [b]Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into his god’s treasury.

And the King spake unto [c]Ashpenaz the master of his [d]Eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, of the [e]King’s seed, and of the princes:

Children in whom was no blemish, but well [f]favored, and instruct in all wisdom, and well seen in knowledge, and able to utter knowledge, and such as were able to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might [g]teach the learning, and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

And the king appointed them provision every day of a [h]portion of the king’s meat, and of the wine, which he drank, so nourishing them [i]three years, that at the end thereof, they might stand [j]before the king.

Now among these were certain of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

Unto whom the chief of the Eunuchs [k]gave other names: for he called Daniel, Belteshazzar, and Hananiah, Shadrach, and Mishael, Meshach, and Azariah, Abednego.

¶ But Daniel had determined in his heart, that he would not [l]defile himself with the portion of the King’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he required the chief of the Eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

(Now God had brought Daniel into favor, and tender love with the chief of the Eunuchs.)

10 And the chief of the Eunuchs said unto Daniel, [m]I fear my lord the King, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: therefore if he see your faces worse liking than the other children which are of your sort, then shall you make me lose mine head unto the King.

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the chief of the Eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, [n]ten days, and let them give us [o]pulse to eat, and water to drink.

13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the King’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

14 So he consented to them in this matter, an proved them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days, their [p]countenances appeared fairer, and in [q]better liking than all the children’s, which did eat the portion of the King’s meat.

16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse.

17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge, and understanding in all learning [r]and wisdom: also he gave Daniel understanding of all [s]visions and dreams.

18 Now when the time [t]was expired, that the King had appointed to bring them in, the chief of the Eunuchs brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.

19 And the King communed with them: and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

20 And in all matters of wisdom, and understanding that the King enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the enchanters and astrologians that were in all his realm.

21 And Daniel was unto [u]the first year of king Cyrus.


  1. Daniel 1:1 Read 2 Kings 24:1 and Jer. 25:1.
  2. Daniel 1:2 Which was a plain by Babylon, where was the Temple of their great god, and is here taken for Babylon.
  3. Daniel 1:3 Who was as master of the wards.
  4. Daniel 1:3 He calleth them Eunuchs whom the King nourished and brought up to be rulers of other countries afterward.
  5. Daniel 1:3 His purpose was to keep them as hostages, and that he might show himself victorious, and also by their good entreaty and learning of his religion, they might favor rather him than the Jews, and so to be able to serve him as governors in their land: moreover by this means the Jews might be better kept in subjection, fearing otherwise to procure hurt to these noble men.
  6. Daniel 1:4 The King required three things, that they should be of noble birth, that they should be witty and learned, and that they should be of a strong and comely nature, that they might do him better service: this he did for his own commodity, therefore it is not to praise his liberality: yet in this he is worthy praise, that he esteemed learning, and knew that it was a necessary means to govern by.
  7. Daniel 1:4 That they might forget their own religion, and country fashions to serve him the better to his purpose: yet it is not to be thought that Daniel did learn any knowledge that was not godly: in all points he refused the abuse of things and superstition, insomuch that he would not eat the meat which the King appointed him, but was content to learn the knowledge of natural things.
  8. Daniel 1:5 That by their good entertainment they might learn to forget the mediocrity of their own people.
  9. Daniel 1:5 To the intent that in this time they might both learn the manners of the Chaldeans, and also their tongue.
  10. Daniel 1:5 As well to serve at the table, as in other offices.
  11. Daniel 1:7 That they might altogether forget their religion: for the Jews gave their children names, which might ever put them in remembrance of some point of religion: therefore this was a great tentation and a sign of servitude, which they were not able to resist.
  12. Daniel 1:8 Not that he thought any religion to be in the meat or drink, (for afterward he did eat) but because the king should not entice him by this sweet poison to forget his religion and accustomed sobriety, and that in his meat and drink he might daily remember of what people he was: and Daniel bringeth this in to show how God from the beginning assisted him with his Spirit, and at length called him to be a Prophet.
  13. Daniel 1:10 He supposed they did this for their religion, which was contrary to the Babylonians, and therefore herein he representeth them, which are of no religion: for neither he would condemn theirs, nor maintain his own.
  14. Daniel 1:12 Meaning, that within this space he might have the trial, and that no man should be able to discern it: and thus he spake, being moved by the Spirit of God.
  15. Daniel 1:12 Not that it was a thing abominable to eat dainty meats, and to drink wine, as both before and after they did, but if they should have hereby been won to the King, and have refused their own religion, that meat and drink had been accursed.
  16. Daniel 1:15 This bare feeding and that also of Moses, when he fled from the court of Egypt, declareth that we must live in such sobriety as God doth call us unto, seeing he will make it more profitable unto us than all dainties: for his blessing only sufficeth.
  17. Daniel 1:15 Hebrew, fatter in flesh.
  18. Daniel 1:17 Meaning, in the liberal sciences, and natural knowledge, and not in the magical arts which are forbidden, Deut. 18:11.
  19. Daniel 1:17 So that he only was a Prophet and none of the others: for by dreams and visions God appeared to his Prophets, Num. 12:6
  20. Daniel 1:18 Of the three years above mentioned, verse 5.
  21. Daniel 1:21 That is, he was esteemed in Babylon as a Prophet so long as that commonwealth stood.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Daniel 1 New International Version (NIV)

Daniel’s Training in Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 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.

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

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. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.


  1. Daniel 1:2 Hebrew Shinar
  2. Daniel 1:4 Or Chaldeans
  3. Daniel 1:10 The Hebrew for your and you in this verse is plural.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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