The authorship of the Book of Daniel is conjectural. Some believe the book was written late in the centuries before the appearance of Christianity, and may have been written by the men of the Great Synagogue. Others assume the book was written by a single author contemporary with the described events.
בִּשְׁנַת שָׁלֹושׁ לְמַלְכוּת יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה בָּא נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיָּצַר עָלֶיהָ׃ 1:1
Dani. 1:1 In the third year for the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and placed a siege on it.
There is said to be a problem by some commentators with the time specified in this verse. But If this were indeed the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign, the year would be about 604-603 BCE. And this is also the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. I must be missing something, because I fail to see any problem. However, some believe the first year of Jehoiakim’s reign was 609 BCE. For them the timing would be a problem.
וַיִּתֵּן אֲדֹנָי בְּיָדֹו אֶת־יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וּמִקְצָת כְּלֵי בֵית־הָאֱלֹהִים וַיְבִיאֵם אֶרֶץ־שִׁנְעָר בֵּית 1:2
אֱלֹהָיו וְאֶת־הַכֵּלִים הֵבִיא בֵּית אֹוצַר אֱלֹהָיו׃
Dani. 1:2 And the Master gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand with some of the vessels of the house of God, and he brought them in to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels to the treasure-house of his god.
Shinar was the ancient name for what later became known as Babylonia or Chaldea.
וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאַשְׁפְּנַז רַב סָרִיסָיו לְהָבִיא מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִזֶּרַע הַמְּלוּכָה וּמִן־הַפַּרְתְּמִים׃ 1:3
Dani. 1:3 And the king said to Ashpenaz, the captain of his officials, to bring in from among the children of Israel and from royal seed and from the nobility,
יְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר אֵין־בָּהֶם כָּל־ (מְאוּם) [מוּם] וְטֹובֵי מַרְאֶה וּמַשְׂכִּילִים בְּכָל־חָכְמָה וְיֹדְעֵי דַעַת וּמְבִינֵי 1:4
מַדָּע וַאֲשֶׁר כֹּחַ בָּהֶם לַעֲמֹד בְּהֵיכַל הַמֶּלֶךְ וּלֲלַמְּדָם סֵפֶר וּלְשֹׁון כַּשְׂדִּים׃
Dani. 1:4 young men who were without any blemish on them, and of fair appearance, and who had comprehension in every skill, and discerned knowledge, and who were thinkers, having the strength to stand in the palace of the king, and to teach them the writing and language of the Chaldeans.
The word in the parentheses is correctly spelled, although the word in the brackets is probably a better alternative. However, the correction is not necessary.
וַיְמַן לָהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ דְּבַר־יֹום בְּיֹומֹו מִפַּת־בַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמִיֵּין מִשְׁתָּיו וּלְגַדְּלָם שָׁנִים שָׁלֹושׁ וּמִקְצָתָם 1:5
יַעַמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
Dani. 1:5 And the king appointed for them day after day something from the food portion of the king and from the wine of his drinking that they be nurtured three years, and at their completion they should stand before the king.
וַיְהִי בָהֶם מִבְּנֵי יְהוּדָה דָּנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה׃ 1:6
Dani. 1:6 Now there was among them Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah from the children of Judah.
The meanings of the four names are: Daniel - God is my judge; Hananiah - God favors or God has favored; Mishael - most likely Who is what God is; and Azariah - The Lord helps or The Lord has helped.
וַיָּשֶׂם לָהֶם שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים שֵׁמֹות וַיָּשֶׂם לְדָנִיֵּאל בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר וְלַחֲנַנְיָה שַׁדְרַךְ וּלְמִישָׁאֵל מֵישַׁךְ וְלַעֲזַרְיָה 1:7
Dani. 1:7 And the chief of officials appointed names for them, and he appointed for Daniel Belteshazzar, and for Hananiah Shadrach, and for Mishael Meshach, and for Azariah Abed-nego.
וַיָּשֶׂם דָּנִיֵּאל עַל־לִבֹּו אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִתְגָּאַל בְּפַתְבַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ וּבְיֵין מִשְׁתָּיו וַיְבַקֵּשׁ מִשַּׂר הַסָּרִיסִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא 1:8
Dani. 1:8 Now Daniel set on his heart that he would not defile himself with the food portion of the king or with the wine of his drink, so he requested from the chief of officials that he would not defile himself.
וַיִּתֵּן הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת־דָּנִיֵּאל לְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים לִפְנֵי שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים׃ 1:9
Dani. 1:9 And God had set Daniel for mercy and for compassion before the chief of officials.
וַיֹּאמֶר שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים לְדָנִיֵּאל יָרֵא אֲנִי אֶת־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר מִנָּה אֶת־מַאֲכַלְכֶם וְאֶת־מִשְׁתֵּיכֶם 1:10
אֲשֶׁר לָמָּה יִרְאֶה אֶת־פְּנֵיכֶם זֹעֲפִים מִן־הַיְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר כְּגִילְכֶם וְחִיַּבְתֶּם אֶת־רֹאשִׁי לַמֶּלֶךְ׃
Dani. 1:10 So the chief of officials said to Daniel, “I am fearing my lord, the king, who appointed your food and your drink. What if he should see your faces more troubled than the young men who are about your age? Then you would endanger my head to the king.”
וַיֹּאמֶר דָּנִיֵּאל אֶל־הַמֶּלְצַר אֲשֶׁר מִנָּה שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים עַל־דָּנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה׃ 1:11
Dani. 1:11 And Daniel said to the court officer who had appointed the chief of officials over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
נַס־נָא אֶת־עֲבָדֶיךָ יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה וְיִתְּנוּ־לָנוּ מִן־הַזֵּרֹעִים וְנֹאכְלָה וּמַיִם וְנִשְׁתֶּה׃ 1:12
Dani. 1:12 “I pray, test your servants ten days that they should give us from the vegetables that we can eat, and water that we can drink.”
וְיֵרָאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ מַרְאֵינוּ וּמַרְאֵה הַיְלָדִים הָאֹכְלִים אֵת פַּתְבַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּרְאֵה עֲשֵׂה עִם־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃ 1:13
Dani. 1:13 “Then let our appearances be inspected before you and the appearance of the young men who were eating the food portions of the king. And as you may perceive, do with your servants.”
וַיִּשְׁמַע לָהֶם לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְנַסֵּם יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה׃ 1:14
Dani. 1:14 And he listened to them regarding this matter, and he tested them ten days.
וּמִקְצָת יָמִים עֲשָׂרָה נִרְאָה מַרְאֵיהֶם טֹוב וּבְרִיאֵי בָּשָׂר מִן־כָּל־הַיְלָדִים הָאֹכְלִים אֵת פַּתְבַּג הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 1:15
Dani. 1:15 Then at the end of ten days, it was perceived their appearances were better, and fatness of flesh, than all the young men who had been eating the food portion of the king.
וַיְהִי הַמֶּלְצַר נֹשֵׂא אֶת־פַּתְבָּגָם וְיֵין מִשְׁתֵּיהֶם וְנֹתֵן לָהֶם זֵרְעֹנִים׃ 1:16
Dani. 1:16 So the court officer was taking away their food portion and the wine of their drink and giving them vegetables.
וְהַיְלָדִים הָאֵלֶּה אַרְבַּעְתָּם נָתַן לָהֶם הָאֱלֹהִים מַדָּע וְהַשְׂכֵּל בְּכָל־סֵפֶר וְחָכְמָה וְדָנִיֵּאל הֵבִין 1:17
Dani. 1:17 And these young men -- the four of them, God gave them knowledge and the understanding in all learning, and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding with every prophecy and of dreams.
וּלְמִקְצָת הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לַהֲבִיאָם וַיְבִיאֵם שַׂר הַסָּרִיסִים לִפְנֵי נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר׃ 1:18
Dani. 1:18 When it was the end of the days that the king had promised to bring them in, then the chief of the officials brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
וַיְדַבֵּר אִתָּם הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא נִמְצָא מִכֻּלָּם כְּדָנִיֵּאל חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה וַיַּעַמְדוּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 1:19
Dani. 1:19 And the king spoke with them, and was not found any among all of them like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, so they stood before the king.
וְכֹל דְּבַר חָכְמַת בִּינָה אֲשֶׁר־בִּקֵּשׁ מֵהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּמְצָאֵם עֶשֶׂר יָדֹות עַל כָּל־הַחַרְטֻמִּים הָאַשָּׁפִים 1:20
Dani. 1:20 And it was with every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king sought from them, that he found them ten hands over all the conjuring magicians who were in his whole kingdom.
וַיְהִי דָּנִיֵּאל עַד־שְׁנַת אַחַת לְכֹורֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 1:21
Dani. 1:21 And Daniel remained until the first year for Cyrus, the king.
Cyrus became king of Persia in 599 BCE. So Daniel remained before Nebuchadnezzar for about four to five years.
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