John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 12 (Daniel 1:12)

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days , Here Daniel manifestly includes his companions, and makes his request for himself and them; desiring that they might be tried ten days with different sort of food and drink, and see whether any alteration would be made in them for the worse; which was a proper time for such a trial; for in that time it might be reasonably supposed that their food, if it had any bad effect on them, would appear. Saadiah makes these ten days to be the days between the first day of the year and the day of atonement; but without any foundation:

and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink ; instead of the king's meat, pulse, beans, pease, vetches, lentiles, rice, millet, and the like. The word F4 מן הזרעים απο των σπερματων , Sept.; "de seminibus", Montanus; "de sativis", Cocceius. used signifies anything sown, all kinds of roots, herbs, and fruits; and, instead of wine, water; meat and drink, it may be thought, that persons of such birth and education had not been used to; and yet they preferred these to the king's dainties, by eating and drinking of which their consciences would be in danger of being defiled.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary