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Why did the Babylonians choose handsome, smart men for the king’s service?


Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. Daniel 1:3-4
            Babylon used a more “civilized” trick to taking over another country.  Instead of killing them all or imprisoning them (both have serious repercussions), they blended them into the culture.
            By taking the best and brightest of Israel, they hoped that those leaders would see the value of Babylon and influence others to embrace this new country.  They chose Israel’s royal family and nobility, young men—handsome, smart, adaptable—believing others would want to do the “cool” thing and be more like them.
            It all had to do with looks, popularity and following the latest trends.  Not much has changed in our world today.