Daniel was a young man from a noble family who was deported from Judah to Babylon by King Nebu­chadnezzar (605 b.c.). The Babylonians trained Daniel for three years in their language and culture. The Lord blessed Daniel with exceptional wisdom in these areas. He also gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams. When Daniel interpreted a dream for Nebuchadnezzar, the grateful king gave him an important position in the royal court. After the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Daniel served in a similar role in the Medo-Persian Empire that succeeded it (6:28). Daniel was a faithful servant of the Lord who consistently refused to disobey God. At the same time, he remained respectful to those in authority over him. Daniel, along with his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did precisely what God had commanded the exiles to do in Jeremiah 29:7: they were a blessing to their captors while at the same time remaining true to their Lord amid extraordinary pressures. (Daniel 1:17–21)