And he took a wife named Susanna, the
daughter of Hilkiah, a very beautiful woman and one who
feared the Lord.
 Her parents were righteous, and had taught
their daughter according to the law of Moses.
 Joakim was very rich, and had a spacious
garden adjoining his house; and the Jews used to come to
him because he was the most honored of them all.
 In that year two elders from the people were
appointed as judges. Concerning them the Lord had said:
"Iniquity came forth from Babylon, from elders who
were judges, who were supposed to govern the
 These men were frequently at Joakim's house,
and all who had suits at law came to them.
 When the people departed at noon, Susanna
would go into her husband's garden to walk.
 The two elders used to see her every day,
going in and walking about, and they began to desire
 And they perverted their minds and turned
away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering
 Both were overwhelmed with passion for her,
but they did not tell each other of their distress,
 for they were ashamed to disclose their
lustful desire to possess her.
 And they watched eagerly, day after day, to
 They said to each other, "Let us go
home, for it is mealtime."
 And when they went out, they parted from
each other. But turning back, they met again; and when
each pressed the other for the reason, they confessed
their lust. And then together they arranged for a time
when they could find her alone.
 Once, while they were watching for an
opportune day, she went in as before with only two
maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was
 And no one was there except the two elders,
who had hid themselves and were watching her.
 She said to her maids, "Bring me oil
and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I may
 They did as she said, shut the garden doors,
and went out by the side doors to bring what they had
been commanded; and they did not see the elders, because
they were hidden.
 When the maids had gone out, the two elders
rose and ran to her, and said:
 "Look, the garden doors are shut, no
one sees us, and we are in love with you; so give your
consent, and lie with us.
 If you refuse, we will testify against you
that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent
your maids away."
 Susanna sighed deeply, and said, "I am
hemmed in on every side. For if I do this thing, it is
death for me; and if I do not, I shall not escape your
 I choose not to do it and to fall into your
hands, rather than to sin in the sight of the
 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice,
and the two elders shouted against her.
 And one of them ran and opened the garden
 When the household servants heard the
shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door
to see what had happened to her.
 And when the elders told their tale, the
servants were greatly ashamed, for nothing like this had
ever been said about Susanna.
 The next day, when the people gathered at
the house of her husband Joakim, the two elders came,
full of their wicked plot to have Susanna put to death.
 They said before the people, "Send for
Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, who is the wife of
 So they sent for her. And she came, with her
parents, her children, and all her kindred.
 Now Susanna was a woman of great refinement,
and beautiful in appearance.
 As she was veiled, the wicked men ordered
her to be unveiled, that they might feed upon her
 But her family and friends and all who saw
 Then the two elders stood up in the midst of
the people, and laid their hands upon her head.
 And she, weeping, looked up toward heaven,
for her heart trusted in the Lord.
 The elders said, "As we were walking in
the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids,
shut the garden doors, and dismissed the maids.
 Then a young man, who had been hidden, came
to her and lay with her.
 We were in a corner of the garden, and when
we saw this wickedness we ran to them.
 We saw them embracing, but we could not hold
the man, for he was too strong for us, and he opened the
doors and dashed out.
 So we seized this woman and asked her who
the young man was, but she would not tell us. These
things we testify."
 The assembly believed them, because they
were elders of the people and judges; and they condemned
her to death.
 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice,
and said, "O eternal God, who dost discern what is
secret, who art aware of all things before they come to
 thou knowest that these men have borne false
witness against me. And now I am to die! Yet I have done
none of the things that they have wickedly invented
 The Lord heard her cry.
 And as she was being led away to be put to
death, God aroused the holy spirit of a young lad named
 and he cried with a loud voice, "I am
innocent of the blood of this woman."
 All the people turned to him, and said,
"What is this that you have said?"
 Taking his stand in the midst of them, he
said, "Are you such fools, you sons of Israel? Have
you condemned a daughter of Israel without examination
and without learning the facts?
 Return to the place of judgment. For these
men have borne false witness against her."
 Then all the people returned in haste. And
the elders said to him, "Come, sit among us and
inform us, for God has given you that right."
 And Daniel said to them, "Separate them
far from each other, and I will examine them."
 When they were separated from each other, he
summoned one of them and said to him, "You old
relic of wicked days, your sins have now come home,
which you have committed in the past,
 pronouncing unjust judgments, condemning the
innocent and letting the guilty go free, though the Lord
said, `Do not put to death an innocent and righteous
 Now then, if you really saw her, tell me
this: Under what tree did you see them being intimate
with each other?" He answered, "Under a mastic
 And Daniel said, "Very well! You have
lied against your own head, for the angel of God has
received the sentence from God and will immediately cut
you in two."
 Then he put him aside, and commanded them to
bring the other. And he said to him, "You offspring
of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and
lust has perverted your heart.
 This is how you both have been dealing with
the daughters of Israel, and they were intimate with you
through fear; but a daughter of Judah would not endure
 Now then, tell me: Under what tree did you
catch them being intimate with each other?" He
answered, "Under an evergreen oak."
 And Daniel said to him, "Very well! You
also have lied against your own head, for the angel of
God is waiting with his sword to saw you in two, that he
may destroy you both."
 Then all the assembly shouted loudly and
blessed God, who saves those who hope in him.
 And they rose against the two elders, for
out of their own mouths Daniel had convicted them of
bearing false witness;
 and they did to them as they had wickedly
planned to do to their neighbor; acting in accordance
with the law of Moses, they put them to death. Thus
innocent blood was saved that day.
 And Hilkiah and his wife praised God for
their daughter Susanna, and so did Joakim her husband
and all her kindred, because nothing shameful was found
 And from that day onward Daniel had a great
reputation among the people.