Daniel 1:9 refers to Ashpenaz, the chief of the court officials of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon.
Various English translations differ greatly:
"Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel" (NIV)
"Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs" (KJV)
"Now God made Daniel to find favor, compassion and loving-kindness with the chief of the eunuchs" (Amplified Bible)
"Now, as it happens, God had given the superintendent a special appreciation for Daniel and sympathy for his predicament" (Living Bible)
"Then God granted Daniel favor and sympathy from the chief of the eunuchs" (Modern Language)
"Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain..." (New American Bible)
"God made Ashpenaz want to be kind and merciful to Daniel" (New Century Version)
"And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs" (Revised Standard Version)
"God caused the master to look on Daniel with kindness and goodwill" (Revised English Version) Interpretation: Religious conservatives generally view the friendship of Daniel and Ashpenaz as totally non-sexual. It is inconceivable that God would allow a famous prophet of Israel to engage in a same-gender sexual relationship.
Some religious liberals detect the possibility of a homosexual relationship here. The Hebrew words which describe the relationship between Daniel and Ashpenaz are chesed v'rachamim The most common translation of chesed is "mercy". V'rachamim is in a plural form which is used to emphasize its relative importance. It has multiple meanings: "mercy" and "physical love". It is unreasonable that the original Hebrew would read that Ashpenaz " showed mercy and mercy. " A more reasonable translation would thus be that Ashpenaz " showed mercy and engaged in physical love " with Daniel.
Of course, this would be unacceptable to later translators, so they substitute more innocuous terms. The KJV reference to "tender love" would appear to be the closest to the truth. One might question whether Daniel and Ashpenaz could sexually consummate their relationship. They were both eunuchs. Apparently, when males are castrated after puberty, they still retain sexual drive. It is interesting to note that no other romantic interest or sexual partner of Daniel was mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.