40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Daniel 1:8-21

Daniel 1:8-21

New King James Version (NKJV)


8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

My Thoughts:

Daniel knew that the foods offered to them were not good for them. The food that was offered would have been unclean (Lev. 11) and Daniel and his friends would not have eaten these foods, even if it meant their lives. We see in (v. 9) that God insured that the chief of the eunuchs would have an open mind and allow this testing for 10 days.

This Hebrew word “zeroim” that is translated as “vegetables or Pulse” is from the same root word as “seed” which is recorded in the records of creation (Gen. 1:29).  So know that Daniel’s diet would have consisted of grain, legumes, fruit, nuts and vegetables.  Research has shown a “lacto-ovo-vegetarian” diet (a vegetarian that eats small amounts of egg and milk) is actually superior in many ways to diets that have lots of meat.

I would also think that if they had been eating a vegetarian diet before coming to Babylon, the introduction of a diet that contained a large level of fat and heavy meats and would have made them sick. So if the other captives that came with them would have gone form one diet to the other, it is not surprising that they were in better health. And because of their devotion to God, He rewarded them with wisdom and knowledge.

We see that Daniel was the only one of the four boys that was given the gift of prophecy, but as we see the others were accepted just as strongly as Daniel. The fact that God protected them in the fiery furnace was good evidence of their divine favor.

Ellen White Statements:

The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character. It presents a lesson for all, and especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind.

Daniel’s parents had trained him in his childhood to habits of strict temperance. They had taught him that he must conform to nature’s laws in all his habits; that his eating and drinking had a direct influence upon his physical, mental, and moral nature, and that he was accountable to God for his capabilities; for he held them all as a gift from God and must not, by any course of action, dwarf or cripple them. As the result of this teaching, the law of God was exalted in his mind and reverenced in his heart. During the early years of his captivity Daniel was passing through an ordeal which was to familiarize him with courtly grandeur, with hypocrisy, and with paganism. A strange school indeed to fit him for a life of sobriety, industry, and faithfulness! And yet he lived uncorrupted by the atmosphere of evil with which he was surrounded.

Daniel and his companions enjoyed the benefits of correct training and education in early life, but these advantages alone would not have made them what they were. The time came when they must act for themselves—when their future depended upon their own course. Then they decided to be true to the lessons given them in childhood. The fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, was the foundation of their greatness. His Spirit strengthened every true purpose, every noble resolution.

If the youth today would stand as Daniel stood, they must put to the stretch every spiritual nerve and muscle. The Lord does not desire that they shall remain novices. He wishes them to reach the highest round of the ladder, that they may step from it into the kingdom of God {GC 166, 167}

Last thoughts:      

How often are we tested as Daniel and his friends were? Daily we are given choices to make many having to deal with our faith and our willingness to trust in God. We must hold tight to our beliefs, when faced with these choices; how do you react? Do you hold fast to faith or say that it is ok if I do it just this time. The way we address these test, say a lot about us and our faith. Satan will be there at every turn tempting and testing. Hold fast in your faith and God will reward it.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

3 comments on “Daniel 1:8-21

  1. Rosi
    November 1, 2011

    It is true. How we handle things that come our way says a lot about the kind of people we are. I was always different(no laughing). In school, I went my own way. I didn’t try to be popular or in with the in crowd. Course I knew growing up that I was not cheerleader material(nothing against cheerleaders). I was not pretty, skinny and certainly not out going. But through it all I learned to think for myself. I was not a follower. Nowadays I see that is a good thing. I tried to raise my kids to be thinkers and not follow the crowd. The jury is still out on that one. I don’t know to many people who could have been as strong a s Daniel and the three. God was most definately with them. The eunich was one of the first to see the working of God in their lives. What a great work was done through these boys. As God worked with Daniel and the three, He will work with all who try to do His will. Daniel and his three companions success was no accident.

    • bobh6
      November 2, 2011

      Ok I did laugh before you said not too, sorry about that. But good thought, when I read this passage all I can think of is, there will be a time when we will need to make the choice to stand for Christ or follow the beast. I pray that I will stand strong.

  2. Amalia Mullen
    November 1, 2011

    Life in Babylon must of been in stark contrast with their upbringing. I wonder if they appricated or understood it like they did after they were gone. I know I didn’t quite appricate or understand my Mom, or my upbringing. But being an adult with kids and responsiblities, I then saw things different and was very grateful. Sometimes we don’t know the good we got, till it’s gone.

    I’m hoping my kids will see the world contraditions, chaos and confusion and pupose in their hearts, like Daniel and his friends, to stand firm on God’s guidelines.

    When I became a SDA I was teenager, and saw that the kids who grew up in the church take it for granted. I pray my kids will never say “I was always a chrisitian” when asked their testimonial. I want them to see and feel the need for God in their lives, so they may be like Daniel standing confidently for the Lord. I want them to sing songs of praise and deliverance to God and may their hearts yearn for something better than this life has to offer.

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November 2011
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