1:8 But Daniel made up his mind 1 that he would not defile 2 himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. 3 He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself. 1:9 Then God made the overseer of the court officials sympathetic to Daniel. 4 1:10 But he 5 responded to Daniel, “I fear my master the king. He is the one who has decided 6 your food and drink. What would happen if he saw that you looked malnourished in comparison to the other young men your age? 7 If that happened, 8 you would endanger my life 9 with the king!” 1:11 Daniel then spoke to the warden 10 whom the overseer of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 1:13 Then compare our appearance 11 with that of 12 the young men who are eating the royal delicacies; 13 deal with us 14 in light of what you see.” 1:14 So the warden 15 agreed to their proposal 16 and tested them for ten 17 days.
[1:8] sn Various reasons have been suggested as to why such food would defile Daniel. Perhaps it had to do with violations of Mosaic law with regard to unclean foods, or perhaps it had to do with such food having been offered to idols. Daniel’s practice in this regard is strikingly different from that of Esther, who was able successfully to conceal her Jewish identity.
[1:9] 4 tn Heb “Then God granted Daniel loyal love and compassion before the overseer of the court officials.” The expression “loyal love and compassion” is a hendiadys; the two words combine to express one idea.
[1:10] 7 tn Heb “Why should he see your faces thin from the young men who are according to your age?” The term translated “thin” occurs only here and in Gen 40:6, where it appears to refer to a dejected facial expression. The word is related to an Arabic root meaning “be weak.” See HALOT 277 s.v. II זעף.