SEV Biblia, Chapter 1:4 muchachos en quienes no hubiese tacha alguna, y de buen parecer, y enseñados en toda sabiduría, y sabios en ciencia, y de buen entendimiento, y que tuviesen fuerzas para estar en el palacio del rey; y que les enseñase las letras y la lengua de los caldeos.
Clarke's Bible Commentary - Daniel 1:4 Verse 4. Children] µydly yeladim, youths, young men; and so the word should be rendered throughout this book.
Skilled in all wisdom] Rather, persons capable of every kind of literary accomplishment, that they might be put under proper instruction. And as children of the blood and of the nobles mere most likely, from the care usually taken of their initiatory education, to profit most by the elabourate instruction here designed, the master of the eunuchs, the king's chamberlain, was commanded to choose the youths in question out of such.
John Gill's Bible Commentary Ver. 4. Children in whom was no blemish , etc.] Not mere children, but young men of fifteen or twenty years of age; about which age Daniel is by Aben Ezra supposed to be when he was carried captive; and less than this be cannot well be thought to be, since, in a few years after, he was put into posts of the greatest eminence and importance: such were ordered to be selected that had no deformity or defect in any parts of their body, or wanted any, as an eye, or a hand, etc.; or, “in whom was not anything” f32 ; vicious or immoral, or scandalous in their character: but well favoured ; of a good complexion, a ruddy countenance, and a healthful look. So Curtius says, that, in all barbarous or uncivilized countries, the stateliness and size of the body is had in great veneration; nor do they think any capable of great services or actions, to whom nature has not vouchsafed to give a beautiful form and aspect. And Aristotle f34 says it was reported, that, in Ethiopia, civil offices of government or magistracy were distributed according to the bulk or beauty of men, the largeness and tallness of their bodies, or the comeliness of them; and not only among them, but this has always been the custom of the eastern nations, to choose such for their principal officers, or to wait on princes and great personages, and continues to this day. Sir Paul Ricaut f35 observes, “that the youths that are designed for the great offices of the Turkish empire must be of admirable features and pleasing looks, well shaped in their bodies, and without any defects of nature; for it is conceived that a corrupt and sordid soul can scarce inhabit in a serene and ingenious aspect; and (says he) I have observed not only in the seraglio, but also in the courts of great men, their personal attendants have been of comely lusty youths well habited, deporting themselves with singular modesty and respect in the presence of their masters: so that when a pascha, aga, spahee, travels, he is always attended with a comely equipage, followed by flourishing youths, well clothed, and mounted in great numbers; that one may guess at the greatness of this empire by the retinue, pomp, and number of servants, which accompany persons of quality in their journeys.”
And no doubt Nebuchadnezzar had some of these ends in view, in ordering such persons to be selected and brought up at his expense; that they might be both for service and usefulness, and for his grandeur and glory. And skillful in all wisdom : in the wisdom of the Jews, or had a liberal education according to the custom of their country; or were young men of good capacities, capable of being instructed, and of improving themselves in all kind of wisdom: and cunning in knowledge ; or “knowing knowledge” f36 ; having a large share of the knowledge of their own country, customs, and laws, civil and religious: and understanding science; the liberal arts and sciences; or however were persons of a good genius, and of retentive memories; young men of capacity, diligence, industry, and application, and of great docility, and so very promising to make great and useful men: and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace ; not only strength of body, which was requisite to a long waiting there, as sometimes they were obliged to do; but strength of mind, courage, and undauntedness, to stand before the king and his nobles, without showing a rustic fear, and timidity of mind: and whom they might teach the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans ; or, “the book and language of the Chaldeans” f37 ; book for books; such as contained their literature, history, and philosophy, mathematics, the knowledge of the stars, in which they excelled, as well as architecture and military skill; and it was necessary they should learn the Chaldean language, which differed from the Hebrew chiefly in dialect and pronunciation, that they might be able to read those books of science, and to speak with a good accent, and readily, before the king and his nobles; or rather the sense is, that they might understand the Chaldean language, the manner of reading, writing, and pronouncing it rps , translated “learning”, may signify the letters of the language, the Scripture or manner of writing, as Saadiah and Aben Ezra interpret it; which must be first learned in any language, in order to attain the knowledge of it; so it seems to be used in ( Isaiah 19:12). “I am not learned, or know not a book or letters” (see John 7:15) and ˆwçl , translated “tongue”, may signify the rules, idioms, and properties of the language; the nature, genius, and dialect of it, and signification of the words and phrases used in it to be learned, so as to be thorough masters of it, understand it, speak it, and pronounce it well. But here a difficulty arises, since the form and character of the letters of the Chaldee and Hebrew languages now in use are the same; it may seem unnecessary that Hebrew youths should be put to school to learn the Chaldean letters and language, though the dialect and idioms of the two languages might in some things differ; but let it be observed, that it might be, and it is not improbable, that the letters of the Chaldean language were not the same then as they are now; and Hottinger expressly says, that the ancient Chaldee character is not known; not to say anything of the difference of the Hebrew letters then from what they are now, which some have surmised: besides, it is a clear case that the Chaldee and Syriac languages are the same, as appears from ( Daniel 2:4), where the Chaldeans are said to speak to the king in Syriac; and yet, what follows is no other than Chaldee, their mother tongue, in which it was most proper and agreeable to speak to the king: and as it is the opinion of many learned men now that these languages are the same, so it was the sense of the ancient Jews. Says R. Samuel Bar Nachman f39 , let not the Syriac language be mean in thine eyes, or lightly esteemed by thee; for in the law, in the prophets, and in the Hagiographa, the holy blessed God has imparted honour to it; in the law, ( Genesis 31:47), in the prophets, ( Jeremiah 10:11), in the Hagiographa, ( Daniel 2:4-8:1) in all which places it is the Chaldee language that is used; and that which was spoken in Babylon, the head of the Chaldean empire, is called the Syriac; for Cyrus, when he took that city, ordered a proclamation to be made, by men skilled, suristi , in the Syriac language, that the inhabitants should keep within doors, and that those that were found without should be slain f40 ; which orders were published in that language, that they might be universally understood, being the language of the common people. So Herodotus, speaking of the Assyrians, says f41 , these by the Greeks are called Syrians, and by the barbarians Assyrians, among whom were the Chaldeans: and, as Strabo observes f42 , the same language or dialect was used by those without Euphrates, and by those within; that is, by the Syrians, strictly so called, and by the Babylonians or Chaldeans: and elsewhere f43 , the name of Syrians reached from Babylon to Sinus Issicus; and, formerly, from thence to the Euxine sea. Now it is certain that the form and character of the letters in the Syriac language are very different from the Hebrew, and difficult to be learned, and might be those which these Hebrew youths were to be taught at school, as well as the rudiments of it; and it is as evident that the language of the Jews, and that of the Syrians, Chaldeans, and Babylonians, were so different, that the common people of the former did not understand the language of the latter when spoke, as appears from ( Kings 18:26 Isaiah 36:11) so that there was an apparent necessity for the one to be taught the language of the other, in order to understand it.
Matthew Henry Commentary
The captivity of Daniel and his companions. (Dan. 1:1-7) Their refusa to eat the king's meat. (Dan. 1:8-16) Their improvement in wisdom (Dan. 1:17-21)
Dan. 1:1-7 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, took Jerusalem, and carried whom and what he pleased away. From this first captivity, most think the seventy years are to be dated. It is the interest of princes to employ wise men; and it is their wisdo to find out and train up such. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that these chose youths should be taught. All their Hebrew names had something of God in them; but to make them forget the God of their fathers, the Guide of their youth, the heathen gave them names that savoured of idolatry. It is painful to reflect how often public education tends to corrupt the principles and morals.
Dan. 1:8-16 The interest we think we make for ourselves, we mus acknowledge to be God's gift. Daniel was still firm to his religion Whatever they called him, he still held fast the spirit of a Israelite. These youths scrupled concerning the meat, lest it should be sinful. When God's people are in Babylon they need take special car that they partake not of her sins. It is much to the praise of youn people, not to covet or seek the delights of sense. Those who woul excel in wisdom and piety, must learn betimes to keep the body under Daniel avoided defiling himself with sin; and we should more fear tha than any outward trouble. It is easier to keep temptation at distance, than to resist it when near. And we cannot better improve ou interest in any with whom we have found favour, than to use it to kee us from sin. People will not believe the benefit of avoiding excess and of a spare diet, nor how much they contribute to the health of the body, unless they try. Conscientious temperance will always do more even for the comfort of this life, than sinful indulgence.
Dan. 1:17-21 Daniel and his fellows kept to their religion; and God rewarded them with eminence in learning. Pious young persons shoul endeavour to do better than their fellows in useful things; not for the praise of man, but for the honour of the gospel, and that they may be qualified for usefulness. And it is well for a country, and for the honour of a prince, when he is able to judge who are best fitted to serve him, and prefers them on that account. Let young men steadil attend to this chapter; and let all remember that God will honour thos who honour him, but those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed __________________________________________________________________
Original Hebrew ילדים 3206 אשׁר 834 אין 369 בהם כל 3605 מאום 3971 וטובי 2896 מראה 4758 ומשׂכילים 7919 בכל 3605 חכמה 2451 וידעי 3045 דעת 1847 ומביני 995 מדע 4093 ואשׁר 834 כח 3581 בהם לעמד 5975 בהיכל 1964 המלך 4428 וללמדם 3925 ספר 5612 ולשׁון 3956 כשׂדים׃ 3778