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FRAMEWORKS: Daniel 1: Daniel taken to Babylon


v.1,2 Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiakim to Babylon

v.3-7 Daniel & his three friends also taken

v.8-14 Daniel asks to be tested

v.15-18 Daniel appears healthy & becomes a dream interpreter

v.19-21 Daniel established in the Court



v.1,2 Nebuchadnezzar takes Jehoiakim to Babylon


v.1  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 

v.2  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 and put in the treasure house of his god. 


[Notes: Nebuchadnezzar, as crown prince, led the army of what was to become the Babylonian empire when he heard of his father's death (Nabopolassar) in 605. In the following year he invaded Syria and Palestine, taking Jehoiakim prisoner back to Babylon.]



v.3-7 Daniel & his three friends also taken


v.3  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— 

v.4  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. 

v.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. 

v.6  Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 

v.7  The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 


[Notes: It is clear [v.3] that not only was Jehoiakim taken but so were some of the royal family and others of nobility which included [v.6] Daniel and his three friends. The description of v.4 lifts Daniel out of the ordinary. These ‘top men' were to be taken and trained and put into Nebuchadnezzar's service.]



v.8-14 Daniel asks to be tested


v.8  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. 

v.9  Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 

v.10  but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your 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.” 

v.11  Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 

v.12  “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 

v.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.” 

v.14  So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 


[Notes: Part of the ‘training package' involved them living as top Babylonians, including getting best food and wine [v.5] from the king's table. Daniel felt this would compromise them as children of God and so managed to persuade the official in charge to carry out a test for ten days whereby they had only a vegetarian diet and water.]



v.15-18 Daniel appears healthy & becomes a dream interpreter


v.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. 

v.16  So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. 

v.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. 

v.18  At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 


[Notes: By the end of the ten days Daniel and his three friends looked fitter and healthier than the others who had, no doubt, been gorging off the king's table. Thus they were allowed to continue on that diet. All four young men developed mentally and spiritually.]



v.19-21 Daniel established in the Court


v.19  The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. 

v.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. 

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


[Notes: When the three year training period was completed Daniel and friends came out on top, not only of the trainees but also of all the other top ‘wise men' of the court of Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, the record notes, Daniel remained in this favourable position for what must have been the next seventy years, remaining there right through Nebuchadnezzar's reign and those that followed, to the time when Babylon fell to the Persians. Chapter 6 shows him still there in the reign of Darius, 83 years after he was first taken to Babylon. Supposing he was a young teen when he was taken, it means he lived at least until he was in his nineties.]



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