19 May 2013

Oh! Susanna

Chapter 13 in the book of Daniel tells the story of Susanna. Don’t look for it in the Protestant Bible, though. They left it out for some reason. They just don’t know what they’re missing.

The story begins with a man named Joakim and his beautiful wife, Susanna.
Now there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: And he took a wife whose name was Susanna ... a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God. Daniel 13:1-2
Joachim was a rich man with an orchard near his house.
Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house. 13:4
A couple of old judges liked to hang out there, just to get a glimpse of Susanna.
There were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year … These men frequented the house of Joakim.
Susanna ... walked in her husband' s orchard … And the old men saw her ... walking: and they were inflamed with lust towards her … And they watched carefully every day to see her. 13:5-10
On one hot day, Susanna went into the orchard to take a bath. And, as usual, the old men were hiding there to watch.
It fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went ... to wash herself in the orchard: for it was hot weather. And there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves and were beholding her. 13:15-16
When the dirty old men saw Susanna, they ran to her and said, “We’re in love with you. Let’s have sex.”
The two elders arose, and ran to her, and said: Behold 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. 13:19-20

If she refused, they would claim to have witnessed her having sex with a young man.
But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee. 13:21
After hearing that, Susanna started screaming and both elders did likewise.
With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. 13:24
When the everyone heard the screaming, they came to see what was up. And the old men accused Susanna of having sex with a young man.
The two elders rising up in the midst of the people … 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. Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. 13:34-37
They all believed them and condemned Susanna to death.
The multitude believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. 13:41
But then, just at the last minute, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel.
And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel. 13:45
Daniel, with the help of the holy spirit, knew just what to do. Interrogate each of the old men separately.
Daniel said to the people: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them. 13:51
So that’s what he did. 

Daniel asked the first old guy, under pain of being cut in two, “Under what tree did you see the Susanna and the young man conversing?”
So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him ... if thou sawest her, tell me under what tree thou sawest them conversing together. 13:52-54a
He answered, under a mastic tree.
He said. Under a mastic tree. And Daniell 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. 13:54b-55
Then he asked the second old lecher the same question.
And ... he commanded that the other should come, and he said ... tell me, under what tree didst thou take them conversing together. 13:56-58a
He answered, “Under a holm tree.”
And he answered: Under a holm tree. And 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. 13:58b-59
When the people heard that, they all screamed, blessed God, and killed the two dirty old men, presumably by cutting each of them into two pieces -- just as Daniel said under the inspiration of the holy spirit.
With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God And they rose up against the two elders ... and they put them to death. 13:60-62
And Daniel, who was already great, became even greater in the sight of all the people from that day forward.
And Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thenceforward. 13:64


Stephen said...

I think I recognize one of the two lechers... the guy on the left is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! I can see why Daniel 13 was left out... it's pretty racy, and the picture suggests Susanna may have been a little excited, or maybe her bath water was just a little too cold. ^_^

Daniel 13 has another "in the Lions' den (ITLD)" episode. Those lions were used a lot. I also enjoyed Daniel's use of actual evidence (!!) to expose the priests of Bel for eating and drinking the offerings of meat and wine. Who said there was nothing rational in the bible?

Steve, I don't remember if you included the accusers of Daniel, along with their wives and children, in DWB. It seems that since god wasn't protecting them, as he did Daniel ITLD, he was at least indirectly responsible for their deaths.
Steve Weeks

Stephen said...

That was Daniel 6:24... maybe others.

Steve Wells said...


Yeah, the Book of Daniel gets a lot of mileage out of the lion story. Here's the note for verse 14:30 in Douay-Reims version:

Ver.30. The den of lions: Daniel was twice cast into the den of lions; one under Darius the Mede, because he had transgressed the king's edict, by praying three times a day: and another time under Evilmerodach by a sedition of the people. This time he remained six days in the lions' den; the other time only one night.

And you're right about Daniel's accusers in Daniel 6. I didn't include that story in DWB because it seemed to be the king's idea - not God's, though it's pretty clear that God approved of the killing.

Maybe I'll do a post on that and see what people think. The 2nd edition (which will include "Oh! Susanna", along with 20 other killings from the Apocrypha) will be available in a month or so. It's probably too late to include in that. But,hey, maybe in the 3rd edition...

Stephen said...

I have no doubt that after the Council of Magrathea, DWB will be included in the holy scriptures!
Steve Weeks

Robert said...

You must admit, the story exposes the fragility of our world's judicial system to those who are capable and willing to produce false witnesses?

They can take you down, or me, any time they want.