What does Daniel 1:9 mean?
ESV: And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,
NIV: Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel,
NASB: Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials.
CSB: God had granted Daniel kindness and compassion from the chief eunuch,
NLT: Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.
KJV: Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
NKJV: Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.
Verse Commentary:
God honored Daniel's decision regarding the king's food and wine (Daniel 1:8). Much as Joseph (Genesis 39:1–6) earned deep respect from his captors (Genesis 39:20–22), so did Daniel. This is another example of the Lord working behind the scenes to accomplish His will. Even the conquest of Judah by Babylon was part of that plan (Daniel 1:1–2). Without God's work in Ashpenaz's heart (Daniel 1:3), Daniel might have been executed for resisting the king's order. Clearly, God was rewarding Daniel's faith through Ashpenaz's favor and compassion (Daniel 1:14).

At the same time, Daniel's tactful approach would have been influential. Had Daniel acted rudely, rather than politely, Ashpenaz might have responded with anger. Instead of showing compassion, he might have enacted punishment. Daniel's conversation (Daniel 1:9–12) shows he understood the chief eunuch's concerns and wanted to alleviate them. Daniel's concern was to maintain faithful integrity—not merely to be obstinate. In every potentially risky situation, a believer should be tactful and reasonable (Matthew 10:16; 1 Peter 3:14–17).
Verse Context:
Daniel 1:8–16 explains one of the ways Daniel and three other captured Hebrew boys (Daniel 1:1–7) resisted being corrupted by the pagan culture of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar assigned the Hebrew youths the same kind of food and wine that he ate and drank. These would have been unclean, for various reasons, under the Law of Moses. Daniel received permission from his supervising steward to eat only vegetables and water for a ten-day test. When the Hebrew youths were healthier than those who ate the king's food, they were allowed to continue their special diet.
Chapter Summary:
When Daniel was young, Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took many of its treasures and people back to their land. Daniel was chosen to become an advisor due to his good looks and bright mind. Along with other boys, he was educated and given a Babylonian name. Daniel and several friends demonstrate faithfulness to God by avoiding foods that might be unclean. They also excel in their roles. This leads Daniel to become an important advisor regarding dreams and visions, as described starting in chapter 2.
Chapter Context:
Daniel was taken captive when Babylon conquered the nation of Israel. The first chapter of the book establishes his history, his level of natural talent, and the depth of his faith. This is followed by a series of prophetic interpretations tied to Gentile nations in chapters 2—7. Chapters 8—12 focus on prophecies more closely related to the nation of Israel. Many of these details are restated or expanded in the book of Revelation.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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