: Old Testament Stories

Brave boys and girls! We all wish to be brave, do we not? Then we must

learn to say "No," when tempted to do wrong.

These Hebrew boys were young nobles who had been carried captive from

Jerusalem to Babylon; but though in a strange land, subject to the

mighty king Nebuchadnezzar, they feared not to refuse his food and

wine when they knew that the taking of it would cause them to sin

against God. They were
well educated Hebrew youths, and the Babylonish

king had commanded that they should be taught the learning of the

Chaldeans; also, to keep them in health and with beautiful

countenances, he had ordered that the meat and wine from his table

should be given them. Their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and

Azariah. Daniel seems to have been their leader. We find "he purposed

in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the

king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank." So he begged the

king's servant the feed him and his three companions on plain food and

pure water; but the servant feared to do so, lest the king should find

them worse looking than those who ate his meat and drank his wine, and

the servant should lose his head in consequence. A trial was made,

however, for ten days, at the end of which time they were found to be

better looking than the boys fed on rich food and wine. Therefore, the

servant let them live plainly according to their request; and at the

end of three years, when they stood before the king, we are told that

for wisdom and understanding none were found like Daniel, Hananiah,

Mishael, and Azariah.