1 There dwelt a man in Babylon, called Joakim.
2 And he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, a very fair woman and one who feared the Lord.
3 Her parents also were righteous, and taught their daughter according to the Law of Moses.
4 Now Joakim was a great rich man and had a fair garden joining unto his house; and to him resorted the Jews, because he was more honorable than all others.
5 The same year were appointed two of the elders of the people to be judges. Of such had the Lord spoken: "Wickedness came from Babylon from eldersÀ2Àjudges who seemed to govern the people."
6 These came much to Joakim's house, and all who had any suits at law came unto them.
7 Now when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went into her husband's garden to walk.
8 And the two elders saw her going in every day and walking, so that their lust was inflamed toward her.
9 And they perverted their own mind and turned away their eyes, that they might not look unto heaven nor remember just judgments.
10 And albeit they both were wounded with her love, yet dared not one show another his grief.
11 For they were ashamed to declare their lust, that they desired to have to do with her.
12 Yet they watched diligently from day to day to see her.
13 And the one said to the other, "Let us now go home, for it is dinner time."
14 So when they had gone out, they parted the one from the other; and, turning back again, they came to the same place. And after they had asked one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust. Then appointed they a time both together when they might find her alone.
15 And it happened, as they watched for a fit time, that she went in as before with two maids only; and she was desirous to wash herself in the garden, for it was hot.
16 And there was nobody there save the two elders who had hidden themselves and watched her.
17 Then she said to her maids, "Bring me oil and washing balls, and shut the garden doors, that I may wash."
18 And they did as she bade them, and shut the garden doors and went out themselves at the private doors to fetch the things that she had commanded them; but they saw not the elders, because they were hid.
19 Now when the maids had gone forth, the two elders rose up and ran unto her, saying,
20 "Behold, the garden doors are shut, that no man can see us, and we are in love with thee; therefore consent unto us, and lie with us.
21 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."
22 Then Susanna sighed and said, "I am straitened on every side. For if I do this thing, it is death unto me; and if I do it not, I cannot escape your hands.
23 It is better for me to fall into your hands and not do it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord."
24 With that Susanna cried with a loud voice, and the two elders cried out against her.
25 Then ran the one and opened the garden door.
26 So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the garden, they rushed in at the private door to see what was done unto her.
27 But when the elders had declared their matter, the servants were greatly ashamed, for there was never such a report made of Susanna.
28 And it came to pass the next day, when the people were assembled to her husband Joakim, the two elders came also full of wicked imagination against Susanna to put her to death,
29 and said before the people, "Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, Joakim's wife." And so they sent.
30 So she came with her father and mother, her children, and all her kindred.
31 Now Susanna was a very delicate woman, and beauteous to behold.
32 And these wicked men commanded to uncover her face (for she was covered), that they might be filled with her beauty.
33 Therefore her friends and all who saw her wept.
34 Then the two elders stood up in the midst of the people and laid their hands upon her head.
35 And she, weeping, looked up toward heaven; for her heart trusted in the Lord.
36 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.
37 Then a young man, who there was hid, came unto her and lay with her.
38 Then we that stood in a corner of the garden, seeing this wickedness, ran unto them.
39 And when we saw them together, the man we could not hold, for he was stronger than we, and opened the door and leaped out.
40 But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us. These things do we testify."
41 Then the assembly believed them as those who were the elders and judges of the people; so they condemned her to death.
42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, "O everlasting God, who knowest the secrets and knowest all things before they be,
43 Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me. And behold, I must die, whereas I never did such things as these men have maliciously invented against me."
44 And the Lord heard her voice.
45 Therefore when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young youth whose name was Daniel,
46 who cried with a loud voice, "I am clear of the blood of this woman!"
47 Then all the people turned toward him and said, "What mean these words that thou hast spoken?"
48 So he, standing in the midst of them, said, "Are ye such fools, ye sons of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, ye have condemned a daughter of Israel?
49 Return again to the place of judgment, for they have borne false witness against her."
50 Therefore all the people turned back in haste; and the elders said unto him, "Come, sit down among us and show it to us, seeing God hath given thee the honor of an elder."
51 Then said Daniel unto them, "Put these two aside one far from another, and I will examine them."
52 So when they were put asunder one from another, he called one of them, and said unto him, "O thou that art waxed old in wickedness, now thy sins which thou hast committed beforehand have come to light.
53 For thou hast pronounced false judgment and hast condemned the innocent, and hast let the guilty go free; albeit the Lord saith, `The innocent and righteous shalt thou not slay.'
54 Now then, if thou hast seen her, tell me: Under what tree sawest thou them in company together?" He answered, "Under a mastic tree."
55 And Daniel said, "Very well! Thou hast lied against thine own head; for even now the angel of God hath received the sentence from God to cut thee in two."
56 So he put him aside and commanded to bring the other, and said unto him, "O thou seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thine heart.
57 Thus have ye dealt with the daughters of Israel, and they for fear yielded to you; but the daughter of Judah would not abide your wickedness.
58 Now therefore tell me: Under what tree didst thou see them in company together?" He answered, "Under an oak tree."
59 Then said Daniel unto him, "Well! Thou hast also lied against thine own head; for the angel of God waiteth with the sword to cut thee in two, that He may destroy you."
60 With that, all the assembly cried out with a loud voice and praised God, who saveth those who trust in Him.
61 And they arose against the two elders, for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth.
62 And according to the Law of Moses they did unto them in such manner as they maliciously intended to do to their neighbor; and they put them to death. Thus the innocent blood was saved the same day.
63 Therefore Hilkiah 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.
64 From that day forth was Daniel held in great reputation in the sight of the people.