Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King

In Story Six of this Part, we read of Jehoiakim, the wicked son of the good King Josiah. While Jehoiakim was ruling over the land of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, the great conqueror of the nations, came from Babylon with his army of Chaldean soldiers. He took the city of Jerusalem, and made Jehoiakim promise to submit to him as his master, a promise that Jehoiakim soon broke. And when Nebuchadnezzar went back to his own he took with him all the gold and silver that he could find in the Temple; and he carried away as captives very many of the princes and nobles, the best people in the land of Judah.

When these Jews were brought to the land of Chaldea or Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to the prince who had charge of his palace to choose among these Jewish captives some young men that were of noble rank, and beautiful in their looks, and also quick and bright in their minds, young men who would be able to learn readily. These young men were to be placed under the care of wise men, who should teach them all that they knew, and fit them to stand before the king of Babylon, so that they might be his helpers, to carry out his orders; and the king wished them to be wise, so that they might give him advice in ruling the people.

Among the young men thus chosen were four Jews, men who had been brought from Judah. By order of the king the names of these men were changed. One of them, named Daniel, was to be called Belteshazzar, the other three young men were called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These four young men were taught in all the knowledge of the Chaldeans; and after three years of training they were taken into the king's palace to stand before the king.

After they came to the palace the chief of the princes in the palace sent to these men as a special honor some of the dishes of food from the king's table, and some of the wine that was set apart for the king and his princes to drink. But both the meat and the wine of the king's table had been a part of the offerings to the idols of wood and stone that were worshipped by the Chaldeans. These young Jews felt that if they should take such food they, too, would be worshipping idols. Then, too, the laws of the Jews were very strict with regard to what kind of food might be eaten, and how it should be cooked. Food of certain kinds was called "unclean," and the Jews were forbidden to touch it.

These young Jews, far away from their own land and from their temple, felt that they must be very careful to do nothing forbidden by the laws which God had given to their people. They said to the chief of the nobles in the palace:

"We cannot eat this meat and drink this wine, for it is forbidden by our laws."

The chief of the nobles said to Daniel:

"If you do not eat the food that is given you, the king will see that you are not looking well. He will be angry with me for not giving you better care. What shall I do? I am afraid that the king may command me to be put to death."

Daniel said:

"Give us vegetable food, and bread. Let us eat no meat, and drink no wine for ten days; and see if we do not look well-fed."

The chief of the nobles, to whose care these young men had been given, loved Daniel; as every one loved him who knew him. So he did as Daniel asked. He took away the meat and the wine, and gave to these young Jews only vegetables and bread. At the end of ten days the four young men were brought into the room where the great King Nebuchadnezzar sat; and they bowed low before him. King Nebuchadnezzar was please with these four young men, more than with any others who stood before him. He found them wise, and faithful in the work given to them, and able to rule over men under them. And these four men came to the highest places in the kingdom of the Chaldeans.

The four young men before the king


And Daniel, one of these men, was more than a wise man. He was a prophet, like Elijah, and Elisha, and Jeremiah. God gave him to know many things that were coming to pass; and when God sent to any man a dream that had a deep meaning, like Joseph in Story Sixteen of Part First, Daniel could tell what was the meaning of the dream.

At one time King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream which troubled him greatly. When he awakened he knew that the dream had some deep meaning, but in the morning he had forgotten what the dream was. He sent for the wise men who had in times past given him the meaning of his dreams, and said to them:

"O ye wise men, I have dreamed a wonderful dream; but I have forgotten it. Now tell me what my dream was, and then tell me what it means; for I am sure that it has a meaning."

The wise men said:

"O king, may you live forever! If you will tell us your dream, we will tell you its meaning. But we have no power to tell both the dream and its meaning. That only the gods can know."

The king became very angry, for these men had claimed that their gods gave them all knowledge. He said:

"Tell me the dream, and its meaning; and I will give you rich reward and high honot. But if you cannot tell, I shall know that you are liars, and you shall be put to death."

The wise men could not do what the king asked; and in great fury he gave command that all of them should be slain. Among these men were Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and these four Jews were to be slain with the rest of the wise men. Daniel said to the chief captain, who had been sent to kill the wise men:

"Give me a little time; and I will call upon my God. I know that he will help me to tell to the king his dream and its meaning."

So time was given; and Daniel and his three friends prayed to the Lord God. That night the Lord gave to Daniel the secret of the king's dream and its meaning. Then Daniel gave praise and thanks to the Lord; and in the morning he said to the king's captain:

"Do not kill the wise men. Take me before the king, and I will show him his dream and its meaning."

Then in haste Daniel was brought before King Nebuchadnezzar. The king said to him:

"Are you able to tell me the dream that I dreamed and the meaning of it?"

Daniel answered:

"The wise men of Babylon, who look to their idol-gods, cannot tell the king his dream. But there is a God in heaven who knows all things; and he had given me his servant to know your dream and the meaning of it. This is the dream, O king. You saw a great image, tall and noble-looking. The head of this image was of gold, his breast and his arms were of silver, his waist and his hips of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet and toes were of iron and clay mixed together. And while this great image was standing, you saw a stone cut out without hands; and the whole image fell down; and was broken in pieces; and was crushed and ground into a powder so fine that the wind blew it away like chaff. And you saw the stone that struck the image grow until it became a mountain, and it filled the whole world. This was your dream, O king."

And Daniel went on, and said:

"And this, O king, is the meaning of the dream. God has shown to you what shall come to pass in the years that are to be. You are that head of gold, O king; for that head means your kingdom that now is. After your kingdom has passed away, another kingdom shall take its place; the shoulders and arms of silver. That kingdom shall be followed by another, -- the waist and hips of brass; and after that shall come one more kingdom, that of iron. But as you saw a stone cut out without hands; so while the last of these kingdoms shall be standing, the Lord God of heaven shall set up his kingdom. And God's kingdom like that stone, shall be small at first, but it shall break down and destroy all those kingdoms. They shall pass away and perish before it. And as you saw the stone grow into a mountain, so God's kingdom shall become great, and shall rule all the lands. And that kingdom of God shall never pass away, but shall last forever."

When King Nebuchadnezzar heard this he was filled with wonder. He bowed down before Daniel, and worshipped him, as though Daniel were a god. Then he gave to him great presents, and made him ruler over the part of his kingdom where the city of Babylon was standing. He gave to Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego, Daniel's friends, high offices; but Daniel himself he kept in his palace, to be near him all the time.