Daniel (NAB) 6
6 1 And Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom at the age of sixty-two.
2 Darius decided to appoint over his entire kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to safeguard his interests;3 these were accountable to three supervisors, one of whom was Daniel.4 Daniel outshone all the supervisors and satraps because an extraordinary spirit was in him, and the king thought of giving him authority over the entire kingdom.5 Therefore the supervisors and satraps tried to find grounds for accusation against Daniel as regards the administration. But they could accuse him of no wrongdoing; because he was trustworthy, no fault of neglect or misconduct was to be found in him.6 Then these men said to themselves, "We shall find no grounds for accusation against this Daniel unless by way of the law of his God."7 So these supervisors and satraps went thronging to the king and said to him, "King Darius, live forever!8 All the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, nobles, and governors are agreed that the following prohibition ought to be put in force by royal decree: no one is to address any petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions.9 Now, O king, issue the prohibition over your signature, immutable and irrevocable under Mede and Persian law."
10 So King Darius signed the prohibition and made it law.
11 Even after Daniel heard that this law had been signed, he continued his custom of going home to kneel in prayer and give thanks to his God in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem.12 So these men rushed in and found Daniel praying and pleading before his God.13 Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition: "Did you not decree, O king, that no one is to address a petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?" The king answered them, "The decree is absolute, irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law."14 To this they replied, "Daniel, the Jewish exile, has paid no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you issued; three times a day he offers his prayer."15 The king was deeply grieved at this news and he made up his mind to save Daniel; he worked till sunset to rescue him.16 But these men insisted. "Keep in mind, O king," they said, "that under the Mede and Persian law every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable."
17 So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions' den. To Daniel he said, "May your God, whom you serve so constantly, save you." 18 To forestall any tampering, the king sealed with his own ring and the rings of the lords the stone that had been brought to block the opening of the den.
19 Then the king returned to his palace for the night; he refused to eat and he dismissed the entertainers. Since sleep was impossible for him,20 the king rose very early the next morning and hastened to the lions' den.21 As he drew near, he cried out to Daniel sorrowfully, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has the God whom you serve so constantly been able to save you from the lions?"22 Daniel answered the king: "O king, live forever!23 My God has sent his angel and closed the lions' mouths so that they have not hurt me. For I have been found innocent before him; neither to you have I done any harm, O king!"24 This gave the king great joy. At his order Daniel was removed from the den, unhurt because he trusted in his God.25 The king then ordered the men who had accused Daniel, along with their children and their wives, to be cast into the lions' den. Before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
26 Then King Darius wrote to the nations and peoples of every language, wherever they dwell on the earth: "All peace to you!27 I decree that throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared: "For he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be without end.28 He is a deliverer and savior, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, and he delivered Daniel from the lions' power."29 So Daniel fared well during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
7 1 In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream as he lay in bed, and was terrified by the visions of his mind. Then he wrote down the dream; the account began: 2 In the vision I saw during the night, suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea, 3 from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others.4 The first was like a lion, but with eagle's wings. While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a man, and given a human mind. 5 The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side, and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks. It was given the order, "Up, devour much flesh." 6 After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard; on its back were four wings like those of a bird, and it had four heads. To this beast dominion was given. 7 After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast, different from all the others, terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength; it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed, and what was left it trampled with its feet. 8 I was considering the ten horns it had, when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst, and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it. This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
9 As I watched, Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. 10 A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened, and the books were opened.11 I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.12 The other beasts, which also lost their dominion, were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.13 As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, 14 He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
15 I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its sheath of flesh, and I was terrified by the visions of my mind.16 I approached one of those present and asked him what all this meant in truth; in answer, he made known to me the meaning of the things:17 "These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms which shall arise on the earth.18 But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever."19 But I wished to make certain about the fourth beast, so very terrible and different from the others, devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws, and trampling with its feet what was left;20 about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up, before which three horns fell; about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly, which appeared greater than its fellows.21 For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones and was victorious22 until the Ancient One arrived; judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, and the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom.23 He answered me thus: "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all the others; It shall devour the whole earth, beat it down, and crush it.24 The ten horns shall be ten kings rising out of that kingdom; another shall rise up after them, Different from those before him, who shall lay low three kings.25 He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High, thinking to change the feast days and the law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year. 26 But when the court is convened, and his power is taken away by final and absolute destruction,27 Then the kingship and dominion and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the holy people of the Most High, Whose kingdom shall be everlasting: all dominions shall serve and obey him."28 The report concluded: I, Daniel, was greatly terrified by my thoughts, and my face blanched, but I kept the matter to myself.
8 1 After this first vision, I, Daniel, had another, in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the fortress of Susa in the province of Elam; I was beside the river Ulai. 3 I looked up and saw standing by the river a ram with two great horns, the one larger and newer than the other.4 I saw the ram butting toward the west, north, and south. No beast could withstand it or be rescued from its power; it did what it pleased and became very powerful.5 As I was reflecting, a he-goat with a prominent horn on its forehead suddenly came from the west across the whole earth without touching the ground.6 It approached the two-horned ram I had seen standing by the river, and rushed toward it with savage force.7 I saw it attack the ram with furious blows when they met, and break both its horns. It threw the ram, which had not the force to withstand it, to the ground, and trampled upon it; and no one could rescue it from its power.8 The he-goat became very powerful, but at the height of its power the great horn was shattered, and in its place came up four others, facing the four winds of heaven.9 Out of one of them came a little horn which kept growing toward the south, the east, and the glorious country. 10 Its power extended to the host of heaven, so that it cast down to earth some of the host and some of the stars and trampled on them. 11 It boasted even against the prince of the host, from whom it removed the daily sacrifice, and whose sanctuary it cast down,12 as well as the host, while sin replaced the daily sacrifice. It cast truth to the ground, and was succeeding in its undertaking.13 I heard a holy one speaking, and another said to whichever one it was that spoke, "How long shall the events of this vision last concerning the daily sacrifice, the desolating sin which is placed there, the sanctuary, and the trampled host?" 14 He answered him, "For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be purified."
15 While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, a manlike figure stood before me,16 and on the Ulai I heard a human voice that cried out, "Gabriel, explain the vision to this man." 17 When he came near where I was standing, I fell prostrate in terror. But he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the end time." 18 As he spoke to me, I fell forward in a faint; he touched me and made me stand up.19 "I will show you," he said, "what is to happen later in the period of wrath; for at the appointed time, there will be an end.20 "The two-horned ram you saw represents the kings of the Medes and Persians.21 The he-goat is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn on its forehead is the first king.22 The four that rose in its place when it was broken are four kingdoms that will issue from his nation, but without his strength.23 "After their reign, when sinners have reached their measure, There shall arise a king, impudent and skilled in intrigue.24 He shall be strong and powerful, bring about fearful ruin, and succeed in his undertaking. He shall destroy powerful peoples;25 his cunning shall be against the holy ones, his treacherous conduct shall succeed. He shall be proud of heart and destroy many by stealth. But when he rises against the prince of princes, he shall be broken without a hand being raised.26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings is true, as spoken; Do you, however, keep this vision undisclosed, because the days are to be many."27 I, Daniel, was weak and ill for some days; then I arose and took care of the king's affairs. But I was appalled at the vision, which I could not understand.
9 1 It was the first year that Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of the race of the Medes, reigned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, tried to understand in the Scriptures the counting of the years of which the LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: that for the ruins of Jerusalem seventy years must be fulfilled. 3 I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.4 I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed, "Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments!5 We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.6 We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land.7 Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you.8 O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you.9 But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you10 and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.11 Because all Israel transgressed your law and went astray, not heeding your voice, the sworn malediction, recorded in the law of Moses, the servant of God, was poured out over us for our sins.12 You carried out the threats you spoke against us and against those who governed us, by bringing upon us in Jerusalem the greatest calamity that has ever occurred under heaven.13 As it is written in the law of Moses, this calamity came full upon us. As we did not appease the LORD, our God, by turning back from our wickedness and recognizing his constancy, 14 so the LORD kept watch over the calamity and brought it upon us. You, O LORD, our God, are just in all that you have done, for we did not listen to your voice.15 "Now, O Lord, our God, who led your people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and made a name for yourself even to this day, we have sinned, we are guilty.16 O Lord, in keeping with all your just deeds, let your anger and your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. On account of our sins and the crimes of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become the reproach of all our neighbors.17 Hear, therefore, O God, the prayer and petition of your servant; and for your own sake, O Lord, let your face shine upon your desolate sanctuary.18 Give ear, O my God, and listen; open your eyes and see our ruins and the city which bears your name. When we present our petition before you, we rely not on our just deeds, but on your great mercy.19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, pardon! O Lord, be attentive and act without delay, for your own sake, O my God, because this city and your people bear your name!"
20 I was still occupied with my prayer, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, presenting my petition to the LORD, my God, on behalf of his holy mountain-- 21 I was still occupied with this prayer, when Gabriel, the one whom I had seen before in vision, came to me in rapid flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me in these words: "Daniel, I have now come to give you understanding.23 When you began your petition, an answer was given which I have come to announce, because you are beloved. Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision.24 "Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a most holy will be anointed. 25 Know and understand this: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt Until one who is anointed and a leader, there shall be seven weeks. During sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, With streets and trenches, in time of affliction. 26 After the sixty-two weeks an anointed shall be cut down when he does not possess the city; And the people of a leader who will come shall destroy the sanctuary. Then the end shall come like a torrent; until the end there shall be war, the desolation that is decreed. 27 For one week he shall make a firm compact with the many; Half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and oblation; On the temple wing shall be the horrible abomination until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the horror."
10 1 In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar. The revelation was certain: a great war; he understood it from the vision. 2 In those days, I, Daniel, mourned three full weeks. 3 I ate no savory food, I took no meat or wine, and I did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month I was on the bank of the great river, the Tigris. 5 As I looked up, I saw a man dressed in linen with a belt of fine gold around his waist. 6 His body was like chrysolite, his face shown like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and feet looked like burnished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a multitude.7 I alone, Daniel, saw the vision; but great fear seized the men who were with me; they fled and hid themselves, although they did not see the vision.8 So I was left alone, seeing this great vision. No strength remained in me; I turned the color of death and was powerless.
9 When I heard the sound of his voice, I fell face forward in a faint.10 But then a hand touched me, raising me to my hands and knees.11 "Daniel, beloved," he said to me, "understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you." When he said this to me, I stood up trembling.12 "Fear not, Daniel," he continued; "from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out,13 but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the days to come; for there is yet a vision concerning those days."15 While he was speaking thus to me, I fell forward and kept silent.16 Then something like a man's hand touched my lips; I opened my mouth and said to the one facing me, "My lord, I was seized with pangs at the vision and I was powerless.17 How can my lord's servant speak with you, my lord? For now no strength or even breath is left in me."18 The one who looked like a man touched me again and strengthened me, saying,19 "Fear not, beloved, you are safe; take courage and be strong."
20 When he spoke to me, I grew strong and said, "Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me." "Do you know," he asked, "why I have come to you? Soon I must fight the prince of Persia again. When I leave, the prince of Greece will come;21 but I shall tell you what is written in the truthful book. No one supports me against all these except Michael, your prince,
11 1 standing as a reinforcement and a bulwark for me. 2 Now I shall tell you the truth. "Three kings of Persia are yet to come; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. Strengthened by his riches, he shall rouse all the kingdom of Greece. 3 But a powerful king shall appear and rule with great might, doing as he pleases.4 No sooner shall he appear than his kingdom shall be broken and divided in four directions under heaven; but not among his descendants or in keeping with his mighty rule, for his kingdom shall be torn to pieces and belong to others than they.5 "The king of the south shall grow strong, but one of his princes shall grow stronger still and govern a domain greater than his. 6 After some years they shall become allies: the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north in the interest of peace. But her bid for power shall fail: and her line shall not be recognized, and she shall be given up, together with those who brought her, her son and her husband. But later7 a descendant of her line shall succeed to his rank, and shall come against the rampart and enter the stronghold of the king of the north, and conquer them.8 Even their gods, with their molten images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, he shall carry away as booty into Egypt. For years he shall have nothing to do with the king of the north.9 Then the latter shall invade the land of the king of the south, and return to his own country.10 "But his sons shall prepare and assemble a great armed host, which shall advance like a flood, then withdraw. When it returns and surges around the stronghold,11 the king of the south, provoked, shall go out to fight against the king of the north, whose great host shall make a stand but shall be given into his hand12 and be carried off. In the pride of his heart, he shall lay low tens of thousands, but he shall not triumph.13 For the king of the north shall raise another army, greater than before; after some years he shall attack with this large army and great resources.14 In those times many shall resist the king of the south, and outlaws of your people shall rise up in fulfillment of vision, but they shall fail.15 When the king of the north comes, he shall set up siegeworks and take the fortified city by storm. The power of the south shall not withstand him, and not even his picked troops shall have the strength to resist.16 He shall attack him and do as he pleases, with no one to withstand him. He shall stop in the glorious land, dealing destruction.17 He shall set himself to penetrate the entire strength of his kingdom. He shall conclude an agreement with him and give him a daughter in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but this shall not succeed in his favor.18 He shall turn to the coastland and take many, but a leader shall put an end to his shameful conduct, so that he cannot renew it against him.19 He shall turn to the strongholds of his own land, but shall stumble and fall, to be found no more.20 In his stead one shall arise who will send a tax collector through the glorious kingdom, but he shall soon be destroyed, though not in conflict or in battle.
21 "There shall rise in his place a despicable person, to whom the royal insignia shall not be given. By stealth and fraud he shall seize the kingdom.22 Armed might shall be completely overwhelmed by him and crushed, and even the prince of the covenant.23 After allying with him, he shall treacherously rise to power with a small party.24 By stealth he shall enter prosperous provinces and do that which his fathers or grandfathers never did; he shall distribute spoil, booty, and riches among them and devise plots against their strongholds; but only for a time.25 He shall call on his strength and cleverness to meet the king of the south with a great army; the king of the south shall prepare for battle with a very large and strong army, but he shall not succeed because of the plots devised against him.26 Even his table companions shall seek to destroy him, his army shall be overwhelmed, and many shall fall slain.27 The two kings, resolved on evil, shall sit at table together and exchange lies, but they shall have no success, because the appointed end is not yet.28 "He shall turn back toward his land with great riches, his mind set against the holy covenant; he shall arrange matters and return to his land.29 At the time appointed he shall come again to the south, but this time it shall not be as before.30 When ships of the Kittim confront him, he shall lose heart and retreat. Then he shall direct his rage and energy against the holy covenant; those who forsake it he shall once more single out. 31 Armed forces shall move at his command and defile the sanctuary stronghold, abolishing the daily sacrifice and setting up the horrible abomination.32 By his deceit he shall make some who were disloyal to the covenant apostatize; but those who remain loyal to their God shall take strong action.33 The nation's wise men shall instruct the many; though for a time they will become victims of the sword, of flames, exile, and plunder.34 When they fall, few people shall help them, but many shall join them out of treachery.35 Of the wise men, some shall fall, so that the rest may be tested, refined, and purified, until the end time which is still appointed to come.36 "The king shall do as he pleases, exalting himself and making himself greater than any god; he shall utter dreadful blasphemies against the God of gods. He shall prosper only till divine wrath is ready, for what is determined must take place. 37 He shall have no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one in whom women delight; for no god shall he have regard, because he shall make himself greater than all.38 Instead, he shall give glory to the god of strongholds; a god unknown to his fathers he shall glorify with gold, silver, precious stones, and other treasures.39 To defend the strongholds he shall station a people of a foreign god. Whoever acknowledges him he shall provide with abundant honor; he shall make them rule over the many and distribute the land as a reward.
40 "At the appointed time the king of the south shall come to grips with him, but the king of the north shall overwhelm him with chariots and horsemen and a great fleet, passing through the countries like a flood.41 He shall enter the glorious land and many shall fall, except Edom, Moab, and the chief part of Ammon, which shall escape from his power.42 He shall extend his power over the countries, and not even the land of Egypt shall escape.43 He shall control the riches of gold and silver and all the treasures of Egypt; Libya and Ethiopia shall be in his train.44 When news from the east and the north terrifies him, he shall set out with great fury to slay and to doom many.45 He shall pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the sea and the glorious holy mountain, but he shall come to his end with none to help him.
12 1 "At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.
2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. 3 But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.4 "As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase."
5 I, Daniel, looked and saw two others, one standing on either bank of the river.6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was upstream, "How long shall it be to the end of these appalling things?"7 The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, lifted his right and left hands to heaven; and I heard him swear by him who lives forever that it should be for a year, two years, a half-year; and that, when the power of the destroyer of the holy people was brought to an end, all these things should end. 8 I heard, but I did not understand; so I asked, "My lord, what follows this?"9 "Go, Daniel," he said, "because the words are to be kept secret and sealed until the end time.10 Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; none of them shall have understanding, but the wise shall have it.11 From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.12 Blessed is the man who has patience and perseveres until the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.13 Go, take your rest, you shall rise for your reward at the end of days."
13 1 In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim, 2 who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah;3 her pious parents had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses.4 Joakim was very rich; he had a garden near his house, and the Jews had recourse to him often because he was the most respected of them all.5 That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges, of whom the Lord said, "Wickedness has come out of Babylon: from the elders who were to govern the people as judges."6 These men, to whom all brought their cases, frequented the house of Joakim.7 When the people left at noon, Susanna used to enter her husband's garden for a walk.8 When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk, they began to lust for her.9 They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.10 Though both were enamored of her, they did not tell each other their trouble,11 for they were ashamed to reveal their lustful desire to have her.12 Day by day they watched eagerly for her.13 One day they said to each other, "Let us be off for home, it is time for lunch." So they went out and parted;14 but both turned back, and when they met again, they asked each other the reason. They admitted their lust, and then they agreed to look for an occasion when they could meet her alone.15 One day, while they were waiting for the right moment, she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only. She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm.16 Nobody else was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her.17 "Bring me oil and soap," she said to the maids, "and shut the garden doors while I bathe."18 They did as she said; they shut the garden doors and left by the side gate to fetch what she had ordered, unaware that the elders were hidden inside.19 As soon as the maids had left, the two old men got up and hurried to her.20 "Look," they said, "the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us; give in to our desire, and lie with us.21 If you refuse, we will testify against you that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you."22 "I am completely trapped," Susanna groaned. "If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.23 Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt than to sin before the Lord."24 Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,25 as one of them ran to open the garden doors.26 When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden, they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.27 At the accusations by the old men, the servants felt very much ashamed, for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.28 When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day, the two wicked elders also came, fully determined to put Susanna to death. Before all the people they ordered:29 "Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim." When she was sent for,30 she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.31 Susanna, very delicate and beautiful,32 was veiled; but those wicked men ordered her to uncover her face so as to sate themselves with her beauty.33 All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.34 In the midst of the people the two elders rose up and laid their hands on her head.35 Through her tears she looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.36 The elders made this accusation: "As we were walking in the garden alone, this woman entered with two girls and shut the doors of the garden, dismissing the girls.37 A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.38 When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime, we ran toward them.39 We saw them lying together, but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we; he opened the doors and ran off.40 Then we seized this one and asked who the young man was,41 but she refused to tell us. We testify to this." The assembly believed them, since they were elders and judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.42 But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be:43 you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me."44 The Lord heard her prayer.45 As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,46 and he cried aloud: "I will have no part in the death of this woman."47 All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?"48 He stood in their midst and continued, "Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence?49 Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her."50 Then all the people returned in haste. To Daniel the elders said, "Come, sit with us and inform us, since God has given you the prestige of old age."51 But he replied, "Separate these two far from one another that I may examine them."52 After they were separated one from the other, he called one of them and said: "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term:53 passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says, "The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.'54 Now, then, if you were a witness, tell me under what tree you saw them together."55 "Under a mastic tree," he answered. "Your fine lie has cost you your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him and split you in two." 56 Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought. "Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah," Daniel said to him, "beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.57 This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel, and in their fear they yielded to you; but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness. 58 Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together."59 "Under an oak," he said. "Your fine lie has cost you also your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to make an end of you both."60 The whole assembly cried aloud, blessing God who saves those that hope in him.61 They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:62 they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day.63 Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, as did Joakim her husband and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of any shameful deed.64 And from that day onward Daniel was greatly esteemed by the people.
Daniel (NAB) 6