Three regnal years 

into the reign of 

King Jehoiakim, 

because of all 

their sins, God 




of Babylon to 

conquered Judah. 

He brought back 

with him, 

to Babylon, the 

family of 

King Jehoiakim. 

He brought back 

all the riches of 

the royal treasury 

and young men 

of high aptitude 

from the nobility. 

These youth could 

have no physical 

defects, and they 

must show 


comprehension and 

desire to learn—

to see—to know. 

And Ashphenaz, 

the chief official 

of the royal court 

would teach them 


literature, and 

knowledge of 

all sorts. 

For three whole 

years the youth 

were trained until 

they all were able 

to serve. They 

were to eat their 

portions from the 

royal table. 

Among those who 

were being trained 

were four young 

men. Their 

Hebrew names 

were Daniel and 



and Azariah. 

But Daniel made 

up his mind though 

he was in exile, 

he would not eat 

the royal meat. 

The wine too 

was defiled. 

And so he pleaded 

with the chief 

official of the king

(whom God had 

caused to show him 

favor), and he 

answered him: 

“I am afraid, my 

Lord, the king, 

who has assigned 

your food 

and drink, 

if he should see 


health reversed 

would sorely 

punish me—

or worse.”

But Daniel said to 


“Just see 

how we appear

if we eat only 

vegetables for ten 


Then compare 

the way we look 

against the others 

who eat 

royal food.” 

And after ten days 

he and his three 

friends look 

twice as good. 

The guard then let 

them eat their 

“pulse” and 

not the royal food. 

And Daniel and his 

friends were, by


richly blest, 

and God rewarded 

these four youth 

for all 

their faithfulness. 

He gave them 




thinking minds, 

and Daniel could 

interpret dreams 

and visions of 

all kinds. 

And, after three 

years, Ashphenaz

was told to 

“bring them in,”

and Daniel and his 

three friends were 

to stand 

before the king. 

He talked with them 

and found none 

others equal to 

these four 

young Hebrew lads 

from Judah. No, 

not one, 

and furthermore, 

in matters that

required thought, 

he found them ten 

times wiser 

than all of his 

magicians and 


and advisors. 

By Lloyd McCalla