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Daniel 1:3

    Daniel 1:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the king gave orders to Ashpenaz, the captain of his unsexed servants, to take in some of the children of Israel, certain of the king's family, and those of high birth;

    Webster's Revision

    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;

    World English Bible

    The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in [certain] of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;

    Clarke's Commentary on Daniel 1:3

    Master of his eunuchs - This word eunuchs signifies officers about or in the palace whether literally eunuchs or not.

    Barnes' Notes on Daniel 1:3

    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs - On the general reasons which may have influenced the king to make the selection of the youths here mentioned, see the analysis of the chapter. Of Ashpenaz, nothing more is known than is stated here. Eunuchs were then, as they are now, in constant employ in the harems of the East, and they often rose to great influence and power. A large portion of the slaves employed at the courts in the East, and in the houses of the wealthy, are eunuchs. Compare Burckhardt's "Travels in Nubia," pp. 294, 295. They are regarded as the guardians of the female virtue of the harem, but their situation gives them great influence, and they often rise high in the favor of their employers, and often become the principal officers of the court. "The chief of the black eunuchs is yet, at the court of the Sultan, which is arranged much in accordance with the ancient court of Persia, an officer of the highest dignity. He is called Kislar-Aga, the overseer of the women, and is the chief of the black eunuchs, who guard the harem, or the apartments of the females. The Kislar-Aga enjoys, through his situation, a vast influence, especially in regard to the offices of the court, the principal Agas deriving their situations through him." See Jos. von Hammers "des Osmanischen Reichs Staatsverwalt," Thes i. s. 71, as quoted in Rosenmuller's "Alte und neue Morgenland," ii. 357, 358.

    That it is common in the East to desire that those employed in public service should have vigorous bodies, and beauty of form, and to train them for this, will be apparent from the following extract: "Curtius says, that in all barbarous or uncivilized countries, the stateliness of the body is held in great veneration; nor do they think him capable of great services or action to whom nature has not vouchsafed to give a beautiful form and aspect. It has always been the custom of eastern nations to choose such for their principal officers, or to wait on princes and great personages. Sir Paul Ricaut observes, 'That the youths that are designed for the great offices of the Turkish empire must be of admirable features and looks, well shaped in their bodies, and without any defect of nature; for it is conceived that a corrupt and sordid soul can scarcely inhabit in a serene and ingenuous aspect; and 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 Spahi travels, he is always attended with a comely equipage, followed by flourishing youths, well clothed, and mounted, in great numbers. '" - Burder. This may serve to explain the reason of the arrangement made in respect to these Hebrew youths.

    That he should bring certain of the children of Israel - Hebrew, "of the sons of Israel." Nothing can with certainty be determined respecting their "age" by the use of this expression, for the phrase means merely the descendants of Jacob, or Israel, that is, "Jews," and it would be applied to them at any time of life. It would seem, however, from subsequent statements, that those who were selected were young men. It is evident that young men would be better qualified for the object contemplated - to be "trained" in the language and the sciences of the Chaldeans Daniel 1:4 - than those who were at a more advanced period of life.

    And of the king's seed, and of the princes - That the most illustrious, and the most promising of them were to be selected; those who would be most adapted to accomplish the object which he had in view. Compare the analysis of the chapter. It is probable that the king presumed that among the royal youths who had been made captive there would be found those of most talent, and of course those best qualified to impart dignity and honor to his government, as well as those who would be most likely to be qualified to make known future events by the interpretation of dreams, and by the prophetic intimations of the Divine will.