The golden vessels that gleamed for Godwere taken away from His towering templeby Nebuchadnezzar, who knew no need,to shine at Shinar, to shimmer as treasurein the house of the god of the heathen king.
The Lord of heaven, the Highest King,allowed this larceny—laud and worship Him!
Now the king charged the chief of his eunuchsto bring from his captives the best of young men,unblemished in body and brilliant of brain,to decipher the script and study the scrollsof the deep Chaldeans; to daily dineon delicate dishes and drink the winefrom the king’s table, training to servein that strange place, the palace of the king.
From Judah was Daniel, judged by the Lord,and knowing Hananiah, nourished by grace,and faithful Mishael, who feared his God,the only Holy One, with heartfelt awe,and righteous Azariah, rescued by God:all nobly named by kneeling Judeans,despite those names given newly in Babylon.Of faithful exiles these four were foremost.
The royal fare was defiling foodfor faithful folk who feared the Lord,so Daniel, devout, devised a way to avoid the viands devoured by the king:for himself and his friends he beseeched their stewardfor a ten-day trial of less tempting fare:water and vegetables. What did he findwhen the test was finished? Fresher facesand flesh so fattened the fair-minded stewarddecided to serve this sounder foodto all the scholars at every table.
The God of heaven, the Highest King,preserved their piety—praise and exalt Him!
On these four friends who feared the Lordthe Highest King heaped helpful gifts:the will and the skill to study tomes,to penetrate piles of prose and poems,to render from texts their true intentions,to wrestle from writings the right understanding;and godly wisdom, His worthiest gift,their trusty guide in times of trouble.His wisdom He gave to the God-fearing four,and He issued to Daniel insight into dreamsand the skill to unveil divine visions.
Filled with wisdom, the four grew strong,and the favor of God brought them favor with men:to court they came when the king commandedto answer his questions with awesome insight.By Nebuchadnezzar no one was foundso suited to stand and serve the king.Surpassing soothsayers and pagan magicians,Daniel was called by king after kingto give wise counsel at critical times.