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In Daniel chapter one, King Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian King, came to Jerusalem and surrounded it by his armed forces, captured it, which forced Jehoiakim king of Judah to surrender to him. The Lord delivered Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, who carried off some of the articles from the temple of God, to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god, meaning that he robbed God's temple of some of its sacred vessels and carried them away to Babylonia (called Shinar), which was the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, to fill the treasury of his own gods, Marduk and Nebo. More below!

Reference: Daniel 1:20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

"In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters (Magi) in his whole realm."

Before I commence with the in-depth or meticulous exposition of this wonderful topic, I would like to share a glimpse into the fascinating story that led to Daniel's virtue of preference in the Babylonian palace.

Here is the analytic summary of King Nebuchadnezzar's character:

From each land He conquered, he seized the strongest, the most intelligent, the wisest, and men of tactical shrewdness with expert skills in all fields of knowledge and then brought them to Babylonia. And here is the purpose they served in Babylon:

They gave the Babylonian government an unending supply of astute and capable people, which further deprived and paralysed the defeated leader or nation - of such proficiency, intelligent analysts, competence and strong point, thereby rendering them helpless and debilitated, without any fortified defensive response in any form of forte. That way, the conquered nation would not want to retaliate because their own loved ones have been captured and placed to function within the planning and ruling systems of the conquering land. So those captured exiled personalities were expected to assimilate and adapt to the Babylonian way of life, which entailed indoctrinating them in the Babylonian language and changing their names from a Babylonian perspective.

To instantiate this verity, among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. So this was how king Nebuchadnezzar renamed those expatriates to complete their conversion to the Babylonian society, and to demonstrate his status as their master, and if you want to give it a correct title, it would mean - under his Babylonian colonial rule. Got it?

Then afterwards, king Nebuchadnezzar ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king's service some of the Israeli descent from the royal family and the nobility. They were young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. Among the chosen were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach; and Abednego.

Although the King ate the finest Babylonian cuisine and a high-praised fare of fresh food products, with an assortment of toppings that nourished the body, Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and for this reason, he asked the chief official of the royal eunuchs for permission not to participate in eating the food. And here was Daniel's concern: The food had been offered to a Babylonian idol known as Marduk and it did not meet the Israeli "dietary" requirements based on the law, regardless of the fact that they were of unique recipe ideas and great selection of authentically Babylonian dishes that tantalised the taste bud and gave some excitement in return. In other words, "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

Although God had caused the king's chief eunuch official to show favour and compassion to Daniel, the official still told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse and in poorer health conditions than the other young men your age, instead of feeding well and glowing with the vigour of good heath? The king would then have my head because of you." This meant that Daniel's request to exempt himself from the aromatic royal diet and exquisite cuisine gave the eunuch an earnest miserable concern. However, to find out how Daniel's decision took precedence over the king's momentous offer, stay tuned for Daniel's response in part 3. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Genesis 1:29; Proverbs 15:17; Proverbs 25:27; 1 Corinthians 10:25-27.

Guided Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the privilege of having options that pertain to nutritional and dietary choices with contentment and with a loving heart that promotes health and well-being in Jesus' Name, Amen!

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May 31

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