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Daniel 1:5-8

Context
1:5 So the king assigned them a daily ration 1  from his royal delicacies 2  and from the wine he himself drank. They were to be trained 3  for the next three years. At the end of that time they were to enter the king’s service. 4  1:6 As it turned out, 5  among these young men 6  were some from Judah: 7  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 8  1:7 But the overseer of the court officials renamed them. He gave 9  Daniel the name Belteshazzar, Hananiah he named Shadrach, Mishael he named Meshach, and Azariah he named Abednego. 10 

1:8 But Daniel made up his mind 11  that he would not defile 12  himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. 13  He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself.

1 tn Heb “a thing of a day in its day.”

2 tn Heb “from the delicacies of the king.”

3 tn Or “educated.” See HALOT 179 s.v. I גדל.

4 tn Heb “stand before the king.”

5 tn Heb “and it happened that.”

6 tn Heb “among them”; the referent (the young men taken captive from Judah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “the sons of Judah.”

8 sn The names reflect a Jewish heritage. In Hebrew Daniel means “God is my judge”; Hananiah means “the Lord is gracious”; Mishael means “who is what God is?”; Azariah means “the Lord has helped.”

9 tc The LXX and Vulgate lack the verb here.

10 sn The meanings of the Babylonian names are more conjectural than is the case with the Hebrew names. The probable etymologies are as follows: Belteshazzar means “protect his life,” although the MT vocalization may suggest “Belti, protect the king” (cf. Dan 4:8); Shadrach perhaps means “command of Aku”; Meshach is of uncertain meaning; Abednego means “servant of Nego.” Assigning Babylonian names to the Hebrew youths may have been an attempt to erase from their memory their Israelite heritage.

11 tn Heb “placed on his heart.”

12 tn Or “would not make himself ceremonially unclean”; TEV “become ritually unclean.”

sn Various reasons have been suggested as to why such food would defile Daniel. Perhaps it had to do with violations of Mosaic law with regard to unclean foods, or perhaps it had to do with such food having been offered to idols. Daniel’s practice in this regard is strikingly different from that of Esther, who was able successfully to conceal her Jewish identity.

13 tn Heb “with the delicacies of the king and with the wine of his drinking.”



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