Daniel1 And there was a man living in Babylon, and his name was Joakim. 2 And he received a wife named Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, who was very beautiful and God-fearing. 3 For her parents, because they were righteous, had educated their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4 But Joakim was very wealthy, and he had an orchard near his house, and the Jews flocked to him, because he was the most honorable of them all. 5 And two elder judges had been appointed among the people that year, about whom the Lord has said, “Iniquity has come out of Babylon, from the elder judges, who seemed to govern the people.” 6 These frequented the house of Joakim, and all came to them, who had need of judgment. 7 But when the people departed at noontime, Susanna went in and walked around in her husband’s orchard. 8 And the elders saw her entering and walking around every day, and they were inflamed with desire towards her. 9 And they perverted their reason and turned away their eyes, so that they would not look to heaven, nor call to mind just judgments. 10 And so they were both wounded by the love of her, yet they did not reveal their grief to one another. 11 For they were ashamed to reveal to each other their desire, wanting to lie with her. 12 And so they watched carefully every day to see her. And one said to the other, 13 “Let us go home, for it is lunch time.” And going out, they departed one from another. 14 And returning again, they came to the same place, and, each asking the other the reason, they admitted their desire. And then they agreed to set a time when they would be able to find her alone. 15 But it happened, while they watched for an opportune day, that she entered at a particular time, just as yesterday and the day before, with only two maids, and she wanted to wash in the orchard, because it was so hot. 16 And there was no one there, except the two elders in hiding, and they were studying her. 17 And so she said to the maids, “Bring me oil and ointments, and shut the doors of the orchard, so that I may wash.” 18 And they did as she ordered them. And they shut the doors of the orchard and left through a back door to fetch what she required, and they did not know that the elders were hiding within. 19 But when the maids had departed, the two elders arose and hurried to her, and they said, 20 “Behold, the doors of the orchard are closed, and no one can see us, and we are in desire for you. Because of these things, consent to us and lie with us. 21 But if you will not, we will bear witness against you that a young man was with you and, for this reason, you sent your maids away from you.” 22 Susanna sighed and said, “I am closed in on every side. For if I do this thing, it is death to me; yet if I do not do it, I will not escape your hands. 23 But it is better for me to fall unavoidably into your hands, than to sin in the sight of the Lord.” 24 And Susanna cried out with a loud voice, but the elders also cried out against her. 25 And one of them hurried to the door of the orchard and opened it. 26 And so, when the servants of the house heard the outcry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was happening. 27 But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed, for there had never been anything of this kind said about Susanna. And it happened on the next day, 28 when the people came to Joakim her husband, that the two appointed elders also came, full of wicked plans against Susanna, in order to put her to death. 29 And they said before the people, “Send for Susanna, daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.” And immediately they sent for her. 30 And she arrived with her parents, and sons, and all her relatives. 31 Moreover, Susanna was exceedingly delicate and beautiful in appearance. 32 But those wicked ones commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered,) so that at least they might be satisfied with her beauty. 33 Therefore, her own and all who knew her wept. 34 Yet the two appointed elders, rising up in the midst of the people, set their hands upon her head. 35 And weeping, she gazed up to heaven, for her heart had faith in the Lord. 36 And the appointed elders said, “While we were talking a walk in the orchard alone, this one came in with two maids, and she shut the doors of the orchard, and she sent the maids away from her. 37 And a young man came to her, who was in hiding, and he lay down with her. 38 Furthermore, since we were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, we ran up to them, and we saw them consorting together. 39 And, indeed, we were unable to catch him, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors, he leaped out. 40 But, since we had apprehended this one, we demanded to know who the young man was, but she was unwilling to tell us. On this matter, we are witnesses.” 41 The multitude believed them, just as if they were elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. 42 But Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, “Eternal God, who knows what is hidden, who knows all things before they happen, 43 you know that they have borne false witness against me, and behold, I must die, though I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously invented against me.” 44 But the Lord heeded her voice. 45 And when she was led away to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel. 46 And he cried out with a loud voice, “I am clean of the blood of this one.” 47 And all the people, turning back towards him, said, “What is this word that you are saying?” 48 But he, while standing in the midst of them, said, “Are you so foolish, sons of Israel, that without judging and without knowing what the truth is, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? 49 Return to judgment, because they have spoken false witness against her.” 50 Therefore, the people returned with haste, and the old men said to him, “Come and sit down in our midst and show us, since God has given you the honor of old age.” 51 And Daniel said to them, “Separate these at a distance from one another, and I will judge between them.” 52 And so, when they were divided, one from the other, he called one of them, and he said to him, “You deep-rooted ancient evil, now your sins have come out, which you have committed before, 53 judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and setting free the guilty, though the Lord declares, ‘The innocent and the just you must not put to death.’ 54 Now then, if you saw her, declare under which tree you saw them conversing together.” He said, “Under an evergreen mastic tree.” 55 But Daniel said, “Truly, you have lied against your own head. For behold, the angel of God, having received the sentence from him, will split you down the middle. 56 And, having put him aside, he commanded the other to approach, and he said to him, “You offspring of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you, and desire has perverted your heart. 57 Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they, out of fear, consorted with you, but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate your iniquity. 58 Now then, declare to me, under which tree you caught them conversing together.” He said, “Under an evergreen oak tree.” 59 And Daniel said to him, “Truly, you also have lied against your own head. For the angel of the Lord waits, holding a sword, to cut you down the middle and put you to death.” 60 And then the entire assembly cried out in a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saves those who hope in him. 61 And they rose up against the two appointed elders, (for Daniel had convicted them, by their own mouth, of bearing false witness,) and they did to them just as they had wickedly done against their neighbor, 62 so as to act according to the law of Moses. And they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved on that day. 63 But Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter, Susanna, with Joakim, her husband, and all her relatives, because there had been found in her no disgrace. 64 And so Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thereafter. 65 And king Astyages was laid to rest with his fathers. And Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom.
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