1Now there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: 2And he took a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God. 3For her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honourable of them all. 5And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year, of whom the Lord said: That iniquity came out from Babylon, from the ancient judges, that seemed to govern the people. 6These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all that hand any matters of judgment came to them. 7And when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went in, and walked in her husband's orchard. 8And the old men saw her going in every day, and walking: and they were inflamed with lust towards her: 9And they perverted their own mind, and turned away their eyes, that they might not look unto heaven, nor remember just judgments. 10So they were both wounded with the love of her, yet they did not make known their grief one to the other. 11For they were ashamed to declare to one another their lust, being desirous to have to do with her: 12And they watched carefully every day to see her. And one said to the other: 13Let us now go home, for it is dinner time. So going out, they departed one from another. 14And turning back again, they came both to the same place: and asking one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust: and then they agreed together upon a time, when they might find her alone. 15And it fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went in on a time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash herself in the orchard: for it was hot weather. 16And there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves, and were beholding her. 17So she said to the maids: Bring me oil, and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me. 18And they did as she bade them: and they shut the doors of the orchard, and went out by a back door to fetch what she had commanded them, and they knew not that the elders were hid within. 19Now when the maids were gone forth, the two elders arose, and ran to her, and said: 20Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody seeth us, and we are in love with thee: wherefore consent to us, and lie with us. 21But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee, and therefore thou didst send away thy maids from thee. 22Susanna sighed, and said: I am straitened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands. 23But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord. 24With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. 25And one of them ran to the door of the orchard, and opened it. 26So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door, to see what was the matter. 27But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed: for never had there been any such word said of Susanna. And on the next day, 28When the people were come to Joakim, her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death. 29And they said before the people: Send to Susanna, daughter of Helcias, the wife of Joakim. And presently they sent. 30And she came with her parents, and children and all her kindred. 31Now Susanna was exceeding delicate, and beautiful to behold. 32But those wicked men commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered) that so at least they might be satisfied with her beauty. 33Therefore her friends, and all her acquaintance wept. 34But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people, laid their hands upon her head. 35And she weeping, looked up to heaven, for her heart had confidence in the Lord. 36And the elders said: As we walked in the orchard alone, this woman came in with two maids, and shut the doors of the orchard, and sent away the maids from her. 37Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. 38But we that were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together. 39And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors, he leaped out: 40But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses. 41The multitude believed them, as being the elders, and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. 42Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said: O eternal God, who knowest hidden things, who knowest all things before they come to pass, 43Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously forged against me. 44And the Lord heard her voice. 45And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel: 46And he cried out with a loud voice: I am clear from the blood of this woman. 47Then all the people turning themselves towards him, said: What meaneth this word that thou hast spoken? 48But he standing in the midst of them, said: Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? 49Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her. 50So all the people turned again in haste, and the old men said to him: Come, and sit thou down among us, and shew it us: seeing God hath given thee the honour of old age. 51And Daniel said to the people: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them. 52So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him: O thou that art grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come out, which thou hast committed before: 53In judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and letting the guilty to go free, whereas the Lord saith: The innocent and the just thou shalt not kill. 54Now then if thou sawest her, tell me under what tree thou sawest them conversing together: He said: Under a mastic tree. 55And Daniel said: Well hast thou lied against thy own head: for behold the angel of God having received the sentence of him, shall cut thee in two. 56And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him: O thou seed of Chanaan, and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart: 57Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness. 58Now, therefore, tell me, under what tree didst thou take them conversing together. And he answered: Under a holm tree. 59And Daniel said to him: Well hast thou also lied against thy own head: for the angel of the Lord waiteth with a sword to cut thee in two, and to destroy you. 60With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saveth them that trust in him. 61And they rose up against the two elders, (for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbour, 62To fulfil the law of Moses: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved in that day. 63But Helcias, and his wife, praised God, for their daughter, Susanna, with Joakim, her husband, and all her kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her. 64And Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thence forward. 65And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers; and Cyrus, the Persian, received his kingdom.
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