When King Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city of Jerusalem, thousands of Jews were taken away captive to Babylon. The king instructed his servant, Ashpenaz, to select gifted young men from among the Jewish captives who would come to the palace for three years to learn the language and wisdom of Babylon so they could serve the king.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah caught the attention of Ashpenaz and were taken to the king's
palace. But there was a problem. The menu of rich meat and wine appointed for the young men contained many items forbidden by God's Word.
Without wanting to appear ungrateful, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be given a vegetarian diet to eat and water to drink. At first the king's servant resisted their request. "You can't stay healthy by eating like that!" he exclaimed. "You'd get sick, and then the king would have my head." But Daniel gently persisted, suggesting a trial period of 10 days, after which their visible health could be compared with the young men who ate from the royal cafeteria.
This plan was agreed upon, and for 10 days the four young Hebrews drank water and ate a simple vegetarian diet. At the end of the trial period, Daniel and his three friends "appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat." Daniel 1:15.
Three years later, these four young men were tested by King Nebuchadnezzar, and it was declared they were 10 times brighter then all the wise men in Babylon. The Bible tells us that Daniel lived to be approximately 100 years old. What helped give Daniel and his friends such profound wisdom, health, and long life?