HEB:  בִּשְׁנַ֣ת שָׁל֔וֹשׁ לְמַלְכ֖וּת יְהוֹיָקִ֣ים מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֑ה בָּ֣א נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּ֧ר מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וַיָּ֥צַר עָלֶֽיהָ׃

WFW: In the year of three to the reign of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, Nebuchadezzar, the king of Bablyon came to Jerusalem and he besieged her

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

 

HEB: וַיִּתֵּן֩ אֲדֹנָ֨י בְּיָד֜וֹ אֶת־יְהוֹיָקִ֣ים מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֗ה וּמִקְצָת֙ כְּלֵ֣י בֵית־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים וַיְבִיאֵ֥ם אֶֽרֶץ־שִׁנְעָ֖ר בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהָ֑יו וְאֶת־הַכֵּלִ֣ים הֵבִ֔יא בֵּ֖ית אוֹצַ֥ר אֱלֹהָֽיו׃

WFWAnd Adonai gave Jehoiakim, the king of Judah into his hand, and the end of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, the house of his god, and the vessels he brought to the house of the treasure of his God.

DYN: And Adonai Gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, as well as all the vessels from the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar brought them to the land of Shinar, then to the land the house of his god, indeed he brought the vessels to his god’s house of treasure.

Verse 2 Notes

Jehoiakim was enthroned by Pharoah Neco in 609 (2 Kings 23ff; 2 Chron 36ff). Reigned from 609-598 The Biblical witness is somewhat complex on the issue of his death.

 

 

HEB:  וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לְאַשְׁפְּנַ֖ז רַ֣ב סָרִיסָ֑יו לְהָבִ֞יא מִבְּנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וּמִזֶּ֥רַע הַמְּלוּכָ֖ה וּמִן־הַֽפַּרְתְּמִֽים׃

WFW: And the King said to Ashpanaz, chief of the eunichs, to bring from the sons of Israel, and from the seed of  the Kingdom, and from the nobles

DYN: Now Nebuchadnezzar told Ashpanaz, the cheif of the eunichs, to bring some from the sons of Israel, from the seed of the Kingdom, and from the Nobles.

 

HEB: יְלָדִ֣ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֵֽין־בָּהֶ֣ם כָּל־מְאוּם [מוּם֩] וְטוֹבֵ֨י מַרְאֶ֜ה וּמַשְׂכִּילִ֣ים בְּכָל־חָכְמָ֗ה וְיֹ֤דְעֵי דַ֙עַת֙ וּמְבִינֵ֣י מַדָּ֔ע וַאֲשֶׁר֙ כֹּ֣חַ בָּהֶ֔ם לַעֲמֹ֖ד בְּהֵיכַ֣ל הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וּֽלֲלַמְּדָ֥ם סֵ֖פֶר וּלְשׁ֥וֹן כַּשְׂדִּֽים׃

WFW: Youth, which there is not in them blemish, and good of vision, and successful in all skills, knowers of knowledge, and understanding knowledge, and which strength in them to stand in the temple of the king, and to teach them the writing and language of the Chaldeans.

DYN: (Instructed to bring) Youth, of whom there is no imperfection in them, who are pleasant to the eyes and successful in a variety of skills, who have and understand knowledge, who are able to stand in the temple of the king, and to learn the writing and the language of the Chaldeans.

Verse 4 Notes

Nebuchadnezzar here is taking the upper echelon of citizens from Israel. Although many qualities are listed, in Hebrew it is clear that these people are characterized by physical and mental success in Israel. These characteristics qualify them to serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

 

HEB: וַיְמַן֩ לָהֶ֨ם הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ דְּבַר־י֣וֹם בְּיוֹמ֗וֹ מִפַּת־בַּ֤ג הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וּמִיֵּ֣ין מִשְׁתָּ֔יו וּֽלְגַדְּלָ֖ם שָׁנִ֣ים שָׁל֑וֹשׁ וּמִ֨קְצָתָ֔ם יַֽעַמְד֖וּ לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃

WFW: And the king appointed to them a matter of a day to its day, from the delicacies of the king and from the wine of his feasts, and to bring them up three years. At the end of them, they will serve before the king

DYN: Then the king appointed them their daily duties, whether it be the delicacies of the King or the wine of his feasts. (He appointed) that they be trained for three years and, at the end, they will serve before the King.

Verse 5 Notes

Most translations take the first part to describe the King’s giving them their daily rations. However the Hebrew construction דְּבַר־י֣וֹם בְּיוֹמ֗וֹ (devar yom beyomo; lit. the matter of a day in its day) always means a daily task (see Exodus 5:13, 19, 16:4; Leviticus 23:37; 1 Kings 8:59, etc). 

 

HEB: וַיְהִ֥י בָהֶ֖ם מִבְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה דָּנִיֵּ֣אל חֲנַנְיָ֔ה מִֽישָׁאֵ֖ל וַעֲזַרְיָֽה׃

WFW: And it was in them from the sons of Judah Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Aazariah

DYN: And these men were from among the sons of Judah: Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah

 

HEB: וַיָּ֧שֶׂם לָהֶ֛ם שַׂ֥ר הַסָּרִיסִ֖ים שֵׁמ֑וֹת וַיָּ֨שֶׂם לְדָֽנִיֵּ֜אל בֵּ֣לְטְשַׁאצַּ֗ר וְלַֽחֲנַנְיָה֙ שַׁדְרַ֔ךְ וּלְמִֽישָׁאֵ֣ל מֵישַׁ֔ךְ וְלַעֲזַרְיָ֖ה עֲבֵ֥ד נְגֽוֹ׃

WFW: And he set to them the prince of the Eunichs names, and he set to Daniel–Belteshazzar, and to Hananniah–Shadrack, to Mishael–Mishack, and to Azariah–Abed-Nego.

DYN: The prince of the Eunichs then gave names to them. To Daniel, he gave Belteshazzar. To Hananniah, he gave Shadrack. To Mishael, he gave Misahck, and to Azariah, he gave Abed-Nego.

 

HEB: וַיָּ֤שֶׂם דָּנִיֵּאל֙ עַל־לִבּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יִתְגָּאַ֛ל בְּפַתְבַּ֥ג הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ וּבְיֵ֣ין מִשְׁתָּ֑יו וַיְבַקֵּשׁ֙ מִשַּׂ֣ר הַסָּרִיסִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר לֹ֥א יִתְגָּאָֽל׃

WFW: Now Daniel set upon his heart that he would not defile himself with the delicacies of the King, and with the wine of his feasts. And he demanded from the prince of Eunichs that he not defile Himself.

8 DYN: Now Daniel resolved in his heart that he would not defile himself with the delicacies of the king and with the wine of his feasts, and he demanded this from the prince of Eunichs.

Verse 8 Notes

The same Hebrew verb starts this verse as did the last one: שׂים (Siym). It seems like a contrast is being drawn here. Nebuchadnezzar “Siym”-ed one thing, but Daniel “Siym”-ed another. 

 

HEB וַיִּתֵּ֤ן הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־דָּ֣נִיֵּ֔אל לְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽלְרַחֲמִ֑ים לִפְנֵ֖י שַׂ֥ר הַסָּרִיסִֽים׃

9 WFWAnd  to Daniel God gave Hesed and Mercies before the Prince of the Eunuchs

DYN: And God was faithful according to His covenant to Daniel, and granted him mercy before the Prince of the Eunuchs.

 

Verse 9 Notes

Hesed is a difficult word to translate with a single English word. I will post a word study on it sometime in the future. English translations usually render it something like “loving-kindness.” The idea behind it is God acting faithfully according to His covenant. 

 

10 HEB:  וַיֹּאמֶר שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים לְדָנִיֵּאל יָרֵא אֲנִי אֶת־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר מִנָּה אֶת־מַאֲכַלְכֶם וְאֶת־מִשְׁתֵּיכֶם אֲשֶׁר לָמָּה יִרְאֶה אֶת־פְּנֵיכֶם זֹעֲפִים מִן־הַיְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר כְּגִילְכֶם וְחִיַּבְתֶּם אֶת־רֹאשִׁי לַמֶּלֶךְ׃

10 WFW: And the prince of the Eunuchs said to Daniel, “I am a fearer of my Lord the King who appointed your food and your drinks that why should he see your faces are skinnier than the young who are the same age as you and you will endanger my head before the king.”

10 DYN: Then the Chief Eunuch said to Daniel, “I fear my Lord, the king who appointed your food and drinks; Why should he see that your faces are skinnier than the young men who are your age? He may have my head!”

Verse 10 Notes

The last phrase literally means something like, “you will cause my head to be guilty before the king.” The point is obvious though, the guy doesn’t want to get beheaded!

 

11 HEB: וַיֹּאמֶר דָּנִיֵּאל אֶל־הַמֶּלְצַר אֲשֶׁר מִנָּה שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים עַל־דָּנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה׃

11 WFW:  And Daniel said to the guardian who appointed the chief of the eunichs over Daniel, Henaniah, Mishael, and Azariah

 

12 HEB: נַס־נָא אֶת־עֲבָדֶיךָ יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה וְיִתְּנוּ־לָנוּ מִן־הַזֵּרֹעִים וְנֹאכְלָה וּמַיִם וְנִשְׁתֶּה׃

12 WFW: Test your servants for ten days, and they will give to us from the vegetables, and we will eat, and water, and we will drink.

12 DYN: Test your servants for Ten days. Let vegetables be given to us that we may eat, and water that we may drink!

 

13 HEB: וְיֵרָאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ מַרְאֵינוּ וּמַרְאֵה הַיְלָדִים הָאֹכְלִים אֵת פַּתְבַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֵה עֲשֵׂה עִם־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃

13 WFW:  And they will appear before you our appearances and the appearances of the young men who ate from the delicacies of the king, and just as you will see, do with your servants.

13 DYN: When you see our appearances before you and the appearances of the young men who ate from the delicacy of the king, do with your servants according to what you see!

 

14 HEB: וַיִּשְׁמַע לָהֶם לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְנַסֵּם יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה׃

14 WFW: And he listened to them, to this word, and he tested them for ten days.

 

15 HEB: וּמִקְצָת יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה נִרְאָה מַרְאֵיהֶם טוֹב וּבְרִיאֵי בָּשָׂר מִן־כָּל־הַיְלָדִים הָאֹכְלִים אֵת פַּתְבַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

15 WFW:  And From the end of the ten days, their appearances appeared better and fatter of flesh than all of the young men who ate the delicacies of the king.

15 DYN: After the ten days, they appeared healthier than the young men who at of the kings delicacies.

Verse 15 Notes

The text literally says that they appeared fatter of flesh (בְרִיאֵי בָּשָׂר).  This phrase is typically used of cows! You can find it in Gen 41:2,18; Ezk 34:3, 20, etc. I would need to study it further, but I doubt Daniel was fat from eating vegetables and the others were not as fat from eating delicacies. Boy would that be nice! My guess here is that this is the texts way of saying that Daniel was leaner (i.e. more muscular, hence the fat of flesh”). Eat your veggies and get swole! 

 

16 HEB: וַיְהִי הַמֶּלְצַר נֹשֵׂא אֶת־פַּתְבָּגָם וְיֵין מִשְׁתֵּיהֶם וְנֹתֵן לָהֶם זֵרְעֹנִים׃

16 WFW:  So it happened that the Guardian lifted their delicacies and wine of their feasts, and gave to them vegetables.

16 DYN: As a result, the guardians took away the delicacies and wine of their feasts, and gave them vegetables instead.

 

17 HEB:וְהַיְלָדִים הָאֵלֶּה אַרְבַּעְתָּם נָתַן לָהֶם הָאֱלֹהִים מַדָּע וְהַשְׂכֵּל בְּכָל־סֵפֶר וְחָכְמָה וְדָנִיֵּאל הֵבִין בְּכָל־חָזוֹן וַחֲלֹמוֹת׃

17 WFW: And as for these young men, the four of them, God gave to the knowledge and success in all the writing and the skill, and Daniel as skilled in visions and dreams.

17 DYN: It also happened that, for these four young men, God gave to them knowledge and success in all kinds of literature and skill. And as for Daniel, he was skilled in all kinds of visions and dreams.

Verse 17 Notes

Keep in mind that the word for skill (חָכְמָה, chokma) is also the word the Bible uses for wisdom. Wisdom is the skill of living in God’s world God’s way. Also, the word for Daniel being skilled (הֵבִין; heviyn) comes from the verb “to understand.” Thus, He was skilled in understanding visions and dreams.

 

18 HEB: וּלְמִקְצָת הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לַהֲבִיאָם וַיְבִיאֵם שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים לִפְנֵי נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר׃

18 WFW: And to the end of the days which the King said to bring the, and the chief of the Eunuchs brought them before Nebuchadnezzar

18 DYN: Now at the end of the days after which the King had commanded to bring the young men before him, the chief Eunuch brought them before Nebuchadnezzar

 

19 HEB: וַיְדַבֵּר אִתָּם הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא נִמְצָא מִכֻּלָּם כְּדָנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה וַיַּעַמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

19 WFW:  And the king Spoke with them, but he did not find among any of them like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and they stood before the king.

Verse 19 Notes

The last phrase (וַיַּעַמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃, wayaamdu lifney hamelek) literally means, “And they stood before the king.” This is simply an expression meaning they began to work for him.

 

20 HEB: וְכֹל דְּבַר חָכְמַת בִּינָה אֲשֶׁר־בִּקֵּשׁ מֵהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּמְצָאֵם עֶשֶׂר יָדוֹת עַל כָּל־הַחַרְטֻמִּים הָאַשָּׁפִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל־מַלְכוּתוֹ׃

20 WFW: And all matters of wisdom in understanding which the king sought from them, he found them ten times wiser than all the conjuring soothsayers in all his kingdom.

20 DYN: Now every matter of skillful understanding the king sought from them, he found them ten times wiser than all the conjuring soothsayers in all his kingdom.

 

21 HEB: וַיְהִי דָּנִיֵּאל עַד־שְׁנַת אַחַת לְכוֹרֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

21 DYN: And Daniel was until the first year of Cyrus the King.

21 DYN: And Daniel remained in his position until the first year of Cyrus the King

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