Two corrupt judges try to sexually assault a woman of God named Suzanna. Daniel intervenes. The corrupt judges are put to death.
NOTE: This chapter exists in the Greek portion of the Book of Daniel. It is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. A man lived in Babylon, and his name was Joakim.
VERSE 2. He took a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helkias, a very fair woman, and one who feared the Lord.
taught their daughter according to the law of Moses. The parents of Susanna raised her according to the biblical precepts. That probably included being trained in the Scriptures. In those days, a solid biblical foundation was not withheld from girls.
VERSE 4. Now Joakim was a great rich man, and had a fair garden joining to his house. The Jews used to come to him, because he was more honorable than all others.
VERSE 5. The same year two of the elders of the people were appointed to be judges, such as the Lord spoke of, that wickedness came from Babylon from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people.
two of the elders. These two men were the worst of people. By becoming friends, they reinforced their own awfulness.
We become like the people we associate with.
1 Corinthians 15:33. Don’t be deceived! “Evil companionships corrupt good morals.”
VERSE 6. These were often at Joakim’s house. All that had any suits in law came to them.
VERSE 7. When the people departed away at noon, Susanna went into her husband’s garden to walk.
VERSE 8. The two elders saw her going in every day, and walking; and they were inflamed with lust for her.
they were inflamed with lust for her. The sexual appetite of these two old men was deeply selfish, as we see in verse 11 below.
VERSE 9. They perverted their own mind and turned away their eyes, that they might not look to heaven, nor remember just judgments.
They perverted their own mind. These men suppressed their consciences.
that they might not look to heaven. These two men did not seek first the kingdom of God. Had they done so, they would NOT have viewed a woman as a plaything for their own fulfillment.
VERSE 10. And although they both were wounded with lust for her, yet dared not show the other his grief.
they were ashamed to declare their lust. That is, “They suppressed their consciences” (NAB translation).
The old men were ashamed to speak of their desire to have the young woman. Shame restrained their behavior. That is, until they learned that they both wanted her.
VERSE 12. Yet they watched jealously from day to day to see her.
VERSE 13. The one said to the other, “Let’s go home, now; for it is dinner time.”
VERSE 14. So when they had gone out, they parted company, and turning back again, they came to the same place. After they had asked one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust. Then they appointed a time both together, when they might find her alone.
they appointed a time both together. They were overcome with lust. They contrived a plan, just like the chief priests contriving a plan in Matthew 28.
VERSE 15. It happened, as they watched on an opportune day, she went in as before with only two maids, and she desired to wash herself in the garden; for it was hot.
VERSE 16. There was nobody there except the two elders who had hid themselves and watched her.
VERSE 17. Then she said to her maids, “Bring me oil and washing balls, and shut the garden doors, that I may wash myself.”
VERSE 18. They did as she asked them, and shut the garden doors, and went out themselves at the side doors to fetch the things that she had commanded them. They didn’t see the elders, because they were hidden.
VERSE 19. Now when the maids had gone out, the two elders rose up, and ran to her, saying,
VERSE 20. “Behold, the garden doors are shut, that no man can see us, and we are in love with you. Therefore consent to us, and lie with us.
VERSE 21. If you will not, we will testify against you, that a young man was with you; therefore you sent your maids away from you.”
VERSE 22. Then Susanna sighed, and said, “I am trapped; for if I do this thing, it is death to me. If I don’t do it, I can’t escape your hands.
VERSE 23. It is better for me to fall into your hands, and not do it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord.”
VERSE 24. With that Susanna cried with a loud voice; and the two elders cried out against her.
VERSE 25. Then one of them ran and opened the garden doors.
VERSE 26. So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the garden, they rushed in at the side door, to see what had happened to her.
VERSE 27. But when the elders had told their tale, the servants were greatly ashamed; for there was never such a report made of Susanna.
VERSE 28. It came to pass on the next day, when the people assembled to her husband Joakim, the two elders came full of their wicked intent against Susanna to put her to death,
VERSE 29. and said before the people, “Send for Susanna, the daughter of Helkias, Joakim’s wife.” So they sent;
VERSE 30. and she came with her father and mother, her children, and all her kindred.
VERSE 31. Now Susanna was a very delicate woman, and beautiful to behold.
VERSE 32. These wicked men commanded her to be unveiled, for she was veiled, that they might be filled with her beauty.
VERSE 33. Therefore her friends and all who saw her wept.
VERSE 34. Then the two elders stood up in the midst of the people, and laid their hands upon her head.
VERSE 35. She, weeping, looked up toward heaven; for her heart trusted in the Lord.
VERSE 36. The elders said, “As we walked in the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids, shut the garden doors, and sent the maids away.
VERSE 37. Then a young man, who was hidden there, came to her and lay with her.
VERSE 38. And we, being in a corner of the garden, saw this wickedness, and ran to them.
VERSE 39. And when we saw them together, we couldn’t hold the man; for he was stronger than we, and opened the doors, and leaped out.
VERSE 40. But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us. We testify these things.
VERSE 41. Then the assembly believed them, as those whe were elders of the people and judges; so they condemned her to death.
VERSE 42. Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, “O everlasting God, you know the secrets, and know all things before they happen,
VERSE 43. you know that they have testified falsly against me. Behold, I must die, even though I never did such things as these men have maliciously invented against me.”
VERSE 44. The Lord heard her voice.
VERSE 45. Therefore when she was led away to be put to death, God raised up the holy spirit of a young youth, whose name was Daniel.
VERSE 46. He cried with a loud voice, “I am clear from the blood of this woman!”
VERSE 47. Then all the people turned them toward him, and said, “What do these words that you have spoken mean?”
VERSE 48. So he, standing in the midst of them, said, “Are you all such fools, you sons of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth you have condemned a daughter of Israel?
he, standing in the midst of them, said. Daniel is the only person to speak up for Susanna.
Her husband Joakim was present, as we see in verse 63 below. But he does not stand up for her. Why did he not stand up for his wife?
VERSE 49. Return again to the place of judgement; for these have testified falsly against her.”
VERSE 50. Therefore all the people turned again in haste, and the elders said to him, “Come, sit down among us, and show it to us, seeing God has given you the honor of an elder.”
VERSE 51. Then Daniel said to them, “Put them far apart from each another, and I will examine them.”
VERSE 52. So when they were put apart one from another, he called one of them, and said to him, “O you who have become old in wickedness, now your sins have returned which you have committed before,
VERSE 53. in pronouncing unjust judgement, condemning the innocent, and letting the guilty go free; although the Lord says, ‘You shall not kill the innocent and righteous.’
condemning the innocent. A benchmark test of a society is whether the vulnerable are protected from the powerful.
VERSE 54. Now then, if you saw her, tell me, under which tree did you see them companying together?” He answered, “Under a mastick tree.”
VERSE 55. And Daniel said, “You have certainly lied against your own head; for even now the angel of God has received the sentence of God and will cut you in two.”
VERSE 56. So he put him aside, and commanded to bring the other, and said to him, “O you seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you, and lust has perverted your heart.
VERSE 57. Thus you have dealt with the daughters of Israel, and they for fear were intimate with you; but the daughter of Judah would not tolerate your wickedness.
VERSE 58. Now therefore tell me, under which tree did you take them being intimate together?” Heanswered, “Under an evergreen oak tree.”
VERSE 59. Then Daniel said to him, You have also certainly lied against your own head; for the angel of God waits with the sword to cut you in two, that he may destroy you.”
VERSE 60. With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and blessed God, who saves those who hope in him.
VERSE 61. Then they arose against the two elders, for Daniel had convicted them of false testimony out of their own mouth.
VERSE 62. According to the law of Moses they did to them in such sort as they maliciously intended to do to their neighbor. They put them to death, and the innocent blood was saved the same day.
VERSE 63. Therefore Helkias and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, with Joakim her husband, and all the kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her.
with Joakim her husband. Joakim had been present the trial of his wife. But he had not stood by her.
VERSE 64. And from that day forth was Daniel had in great reputation in the sight of the people.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.