With part of the vessels - In this expedition Nebuchadnezzar carried away some captives, among whom were Daniel and his friends. His god - Baal, or Bell, and Nebo, which words they put into the names of their kings and favourites.
Of the eunuchs - These were chief among the king's servants; and they are called eunuchs, because many of them were such. And of the princes - Here was fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah had foretold, Isaiah 39:7.
The learning and the tongue - The Chaldeans were skilled above any other nation, in natural philosophy. Their tongue differed from the Hebrew in dialect and in pronunciation, which they learned that they might be the more acceptable to the king, and court.
The king's meat - Such as he had at his own table.
And Azariah - Probably all of the royal lineage of Judah.
Gave names - That is, other names, relating to the idol-gods. Belteshazzar - So Daniel had the name of Belteshazzar, from the great Babylonian idol Baal or Bell. This was by the king's command, and herein he put forth an act: of his sovereignty.
But Daniel purposed - There may be several weighty reasons assigned why Daniel did this. 1. Because many of those meats provided for the king's table, were forbidden by the Jewish law. 2. Daniel knew these delicates would too much gratify the flesh. 3. He did not dare to eat and drink things consecrated to idols. 4. He was sensible, how unsuitable delicate fare would be to the afflicted state of God's people. Therefore he was herein a rare pattern of avoiding all the occasions of evil.
Fairer and fatter - The blessing of God upon homely fare, affords often more health and strength, than more costly fare to them that eat the fat, and drink the sweet.
Before - Both in the presence chamber, and in the council chamber, to try their proficiency; this shews the king's ability and judgment, how else could he discern their fitness, and their excellency above others.
The king enquired - This is a farther confirmation of the king's noble endowments, and of his great care whom he chose to be in offices of trust, namely persons excellently qualified to serve him in the great affairs of the kingdom. And thus did God pour contempt upon the pride of the Chaldeans, and put honour on the low estate of his people.
Continued - in the court of Babylon until Cyrus, and then he was in the Persian court, and he lived in honour and high employment all that time, yea, after Cyrus began to reign. For chap. 10:1, he had visions and revelations in the third year of Cyrus.