But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
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George Leo Haydock
Daniel, as head and nearer the throne, gave good example to the rest. (Worthington)
Defiled, either by eating meat forbidden by the law, or which had before been offered to idols. (Challoner)
It was customary among the pagans to make an offering of some parts to their gods, or throw it into the fire. (Theod.; Calmet)
These reasons determined the pious youths, (Haydock) who desired also to keep free from gluttony and other vices. (Theod.; Worthington)
And Daniel purposed in his heart. Oh, blessed are they who thus kept the covenant of the fathers, and transgressed not the law given by Moses, but feared the God proclaimed by him. These, though captives in a strange land, were not seduced by delicate meats, nor were they slaves to the pleasures of wine, nor were they caught by the bait of princely glory. But they kept their mouth holy and pure, that pure speech might proceed from pure mouths, and praise with such (mouths) the heavenly Father.
He who would not eat or drink of the king's food or wine lest he be denied (especially if he should be aware that the wisdom and teaching of the Babylonians is mistaken), would never consent to utter what was wrong. On the contrary they [i.e., the Hebrew youths] speak it forth, not that they may follow it themselves, but in order to pass judgment upon it and refute it. Just as anyone would expose himself to ridicule if he being untrained in mathematics should desire to write in confutation of mathematicians, or, being ignorant of the teachings of philosophers should desire to write in opposition to |22 philosophers. Hence they [i.e., the Hebrew youths] study the teaching of the Chaldeans with the same intention as Moses studied the wisdom (B) of the Egyptians.