The Book of Daniel, Intro and Chapter 1

The Book of Daniel is a biblical book consisting of an "account of the activities and visions of Daniel, a noble Jew exiled at Babylon." In the Hebrew Bible it is found in the Ketuvim (writings), while in Christian Bibles it is grouped with the Major Prophets.

The book divides into two parts, a set of six court tales in chapters 1–6 followed by four apocalyptic visions in chapters 7–12. The Apocrypha contains three additional stories, the Song of the Three Holy Children,Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon

Traditionally ascribed to Daniel himself, modern scholarly consensus considers the book pseudonymous, the stories of the first half legendary in origin, and the visions of the second the product of anonymous authors in the Maccabean period (2nd century BC). Its message is that just as the G-d of Israel saved Daniel and his friends from their enemies, so he would save all of Israel in their present oppression.

Its influence has resonated through later ages, from the Dead Sea Scrolls community and the authors of the gospels and Revelation, to various movements from the 2nd century to the Protestant Reformation and modern millennialist movements - on whom it continues to have a profound influence.

Chapter 1 Induction in Babylon 

In the third year of King Jehoiakim, G-d allows Jerusalem to fall into the power of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Young Israelites of noble and royal family, "without physical defect, and handsome," versed in wisdom and competent to serve in the palace of the king, are taken to Babylon to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. Among them are Daniel and his three companions, who refuse to touch the royal food and wine for fear of defilement. Their overseer fears for his life in case the health of his charges deteriorates, but Daniel suggests a trial and the four emerge healthier than their counterparts from ten days of nothing but vegetables and water. They are allowed to continue to refrain from eating the king's food, and to Daniel G-d gives insight into visions and dreams. When their training is done Nebuchadnezzar finds them 'ten times better' than all the wise men in his service and therefore keeps them at his court, where Daniel continues until the first year of King Cyrus.

(Wiki)