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Daniel 1:8-13

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 1:8
  • Daniel 1:9
  • Daniel 1:10
  • Daniel 1:11
  • Daniel 1:12
  • Daniel 1:13

In chapter 1 of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, a world power at the time, besieged Jerusalem and conquered it. He took some of the brightest men from Jerusalem to be trained in Babylonian language and culture so that they could serve him. Among those taken were Daniel and three of his friends. They were to learn all about Babylonian ways and eat and drink of the kings choice food. Daniel requested that he and his friends be allowed to eat only vegetables and water in order to honor God. Daniel and his friends were blessed for their obedience, they remained healthier than the others and they became wise in all matters of culture and literature in Babylon. Daniel and his friends entered the king’s personal service.


Instead of eating the food of the Babylonians, which would be in violation of God’s law, Daniel trusts God and eats what He commanded. Because of this faith, Daniel and his friends are blessed by God.

Daniel chose to follow God, so he made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank. The mosaic law forbade Daniel from eating certain food and drinking certain drinks, especially if they were not properly prepared in the way God commanded (Nebuchadnezzar’s food and drink, which Daniel was order to consume, was most certainly was not). Many scholars believe that the wine—and possibly much of the food—was prepared as a sacrifice to the Babylonian gods. So Daniel sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not disobey God by eating the food of the king. And because God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials they listened to him and wanted to give Daniel what he asked for.

Daniel could have been obstinate, but he seeks the welfare of his masters, and asks permission. But they were afraid that if Daniel and his friends did not eat what the king appointed they would look weak, thin, and sickly before the king. Daniel sought their welfare as well as his own, and suggested that they run a trial period, “Test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food.”

Biblical Text

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

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