The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Daniel
When Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, marched against Jerusalem and laid siege to it, in Joakim’s third year as king of Juda,✻
the Lord gave him the mastery. Not only Joakim fell into his hands, but … some of the temple treasures,✻ which he carried off to Sennaar as offerings to his own god, and there, in the treasure-house of his own god’s temple, bestowed them.
Meanwhile, he had a command for Asphenez, his head chamberlain. He was to take under his charge certain young Israelites, of royal or princely stock,
in body well formed, handsome of mien, so well versed and grounded, so keen of wit, as they might be taught lore and language of the Chaldaeans, and have places at his court.
For three years they should have daily allowance of the king’s meat and wine; then he would send for them.
Among these were four tribesmen of Juda, called Daniel, Ananias, Misael and Azarias;
the chamberlain had given them fresh names, to Daniel Baltassar, to Ananias Sidrach, to Misael Misach, and to Azarias Abdenago.
Daniel had resolved, neither meat nor wine from the royal table should sully his lips; and for this abstinence he hoped to get leave from the head chamberlain;
with such kindness and pity God had touched his heart.
But this would not serve; Nay, said he, what of the charge my lord king gave me, that you should have food and drink? It were as much as my life is worth, if he saw you haggard-cheeked beside others of your own age.
Hereupon Daniel went to Malasar, one of the other chamberlains, to whose care Asphenez had entrusted all four of them.✻
Sir, said he, be pleased to put us on our trial. For ten days, give us nothing but pulse to eat, water to drink,
then compare our looks with the looks of those others who have fed on the king’s bounty; judge by what thou seest, and do with us what thou wilt.
The challenge was accepted, and the ten days’ trial began;
when it was over, never a one of the king’s pensioners shewed healthy and well nourished as they.
After that, Malasar had their allowance of meat and wine, and they pulse.
Meanwhile, in all lore and learning, God made apt pupils of these four; and of visions and dreams especially Daniel was master.
And now, the time of their probation over, Asphenez presented his pupils before Nabuchodonosor,
who had speech with all of them; and no match was found for Daniel, Ananias, Misael and Azarias; all must have places at court.
Never a question the king could propound, to make trial of their learning and their quick wits, but they could answer it ten times better than any diviner or sage in his kingdom.
And still, up to the beginning of Cyrus’ reign, Daniel was …✻
The Holy Bible