1 In the third year of athe reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of bthe vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to cthe land of Shinar, to the house of his god, dand placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, ehis chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family1 and of fthe nobility, 4 youths without gblemish, of good appearance and hskillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to iteach them the literature and language of the jChaldeans. 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of kthe food that the king ate, and of lthe wine that he drank. They were to be educated for mthree years, and at the end of that time they were to nstand before the king.