Susanna TO INDEX

The history of

         Foreword
         Here is a lesson that not only they who trust in God, do not rely upon Him in vain, but an example of the great wickedness of the people as a whole to sit in with a kangaroo court.  Agreed that they turned back for justice, but at the calling of Daniel, to first call them by their right name, namely, fools.  And how to find respect for Joachim, the husband of Susanna, who being her husband ought to have known her better, and should have called out against that kangaroo justice 

 

Chapter 1

1.  In Babylon there dwelt a man called Joacim, and he took a wife whose name was Susanna, daughter of Chelcias, a very fair woman and one that feared the Lord, her parents also were righteous and taught their daughter according to the law of Moses.

2.  Joacim then was a great and rich man, and he had a beautiful garden adjoining his house, and the Jews resorted to him because he was more honorable than many others.

3.  In that year then two judges were appointed of the ancient of the people, of which the Lord had said; that wickedness came to Babylon by way of the old judges who thought to govern the people.

4.  And these two kept much at the house of Joacim and all that had a lawsuit came to them.

5.  Susanna then after everyone had left, used to walk into her husband's garden, and the two elders saw her going every day and their lust was inflamed towards her.

6.  And they perverted their minds turning their eyes so they might not look at heaven, nor remember just judgment, and wounded as they were in their desire they did not dare show it to each other, ashamed to declare their lust.

7.  And they watched diligently from day to day to see her, and one day one said to the other; let us go home for it is dinnertime.

8.  So they parted, and turning back they happen to come to the same place, and asked each other the cause they acknowledged their lust, then together they appointed a time so they might find her alone.

9.  And it came to pass as they watched at a time that she went as before with only two maids desiring to wash herself in the garden, for it was hot, and there was no-one there excepting these two elders which had hid themselves.

10.  And she said to her maids' "Bring me oil and washing material and shut the garden doors that I may wash myself".  And they did as was commanded them, and themselves went out through a private door.

11.  Then the maids having gone, the elders rose up and ran to her saying; "Behold, the garden doors are shut so that no man can see us, and we are in love with you, consent therefore to us and lay with us.

12.  And if you will not, we will bear witness against you saying that a young man was with you, for which reason you sent the maids from you."

13.  Then Susanna said; "On every side I am in trouble, for if I do this thing it is death to me, and if I do not, I cannot escape their hands, it then is better for me to fall into your hands and not do it, than to sin in the sight of God."

14.  And with that Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders cried out against her, and one ran to open the garden door, while the servants hearing the cry came into the garden by the private door to see what was done to her.

15.  And the elders having declared the matter, the servants were greatly ashamed for there was never such a report of Susanna.

16.  And the next day, when the people were assembled to her husband Joachim, the elders came also full of foul imagination against Susanna to put her to death.

17.  And they said before the people sent for Susanna, Joachim's wife.  And she came with her father and mother, her children and all her kindred.

18.  Susanna now was a very delicate woman and beautiful to behold, and these wicked men commanded to uncover her face so they might be filled with her beauty, therefore her friends, and all that saw her, wept.

19.  Then the two elders stood up in the midst of the people and laid their hands upon her head, while Susanna looked up to heaven, her heart trusting in the Lord.

20.  And the elders said, "As we walked in the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids, and shut the garden doors, and sent the maids away.  Then a young man, who was hid there, came to her and lay with her, while we stood in the corner of the garden seeing this wickedness, and we ran to them.

21.  The man however we could not hold, for he was stronger, and opening the gate he ran out, but taking this woman we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us, these things we testify." 

22.  And the assembly believed them since they were elders and judges of the people, and so they commanded her to death.

23.  Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said.  "O everlasting God who knows the secrets of all things before they be, Thou know O Lord that they have bore false witness against me, and behold, now I must die while I never did such a thing as these men have maliciously invented against me."

24.  And the Lord heard her voice, and when she was being led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the spirit of a young man whose name was Daniel, and he cried out with a loud voice; "I am clear of the blood of this woman."

25.  Then all the people turned to him and said; "What do you mean by these words?"  So he stood in the midst of them and said; "You are fools you sons of Israel that without examining of any knowledge of the truth you have condemned a daughter of Israel, return again to the place of judgment for they have bore false witness against her."

26.  Then all the people turned again in haste and the elders said to him; "Come sit among us and show us, seeing God has given you the honor of an elder."

27.  Then Daniel said to them, "Put these two apart one from the other and I will examine them".  So when they were set apart, he called one and said;

28.  "O you that have waxed old in wickedness now the sins which you have committed previously are come to light, for you have pronounced false judgment, condemning the innocent, and let the guilty go free, while the Lord has said that you shall not slay the innocent nor the righteous.

29.  Now then if you have seen her, tell me under what tree did you see them?"  And he answered, "Under a mastic tree".  And Daniel said; "Very well, you have lied against your own head, for even now the angel of God has received the sentence of God to cut you in halves."

30.  So he put him aside and commanded the other one to be brought, and said to him.  "O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you, and lust perverted your heart, thus have you dealt with the daughters of Israel, and for fear they consented with you, but the daughter of Judah would not abide with your wickedness.

31. Now tell me under what tree did you see them accompany each other?  And he answered, "Under a Holm tree".  Then Daniel said to him; "You also have lied against your own head, for the angel of God awaits you with the sword to be cut in halves that he may destroy you."

32. And with that the assembly cried out with a loud voice and praised God who saves them that trust in Him, and they arose against the two elders, for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth.

33. And according to the law of Moses they did to them in such sort as they maliciously intended to do to their neighbor, and they put them to death.

34. Thus the innocent blood was saved that same day; therefore Chelcias and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna with Joachim her husband and all the kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her.

35.  From that day forward Daniel was held in great reputation in the sight of the people.