8 The two gouernours are taken with the loue of Susanna. 19 They take her alone in the garden. 20 They solicite her to wickednes. 23 Shee chuseth rather to obey God, though it be to the danger of her life. 34 She is accused. 45 Daniel doth deliuer her. 62 The gouernours are put to death.
1 There dwelt a man in Babylon called Ioacim,
2 And hee tooke a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very faire woman, & one that feared God.
3 Her father and her mother also were godly people, and taught their daughter according to the Law of Moyses.
4 Now Ioacim was a great rich man, and had a faire garden ioyning vnto his house, and to him resorted the Iewes, because he was more honourable then all others.
5 The same yeere were appoynted two of the ancientes of the people to be Iudges, such as the Lord speaketh of, that the iniquitie came from Babylon, and from the ancient Iudges, which seemed to rule the people.
6 These haunted Ioacims house, and all such as had any thing to doe in the Lawe, came thither vnto them.
7 Nowe when the people departed away at noone, Susanna went into her husbandes garden to walke.
8 And the two Elders sawe her that shee went in dayly and walked, so that their lust was inflamed towarde her.
9 Therefore they turned away their minde, & cast downe their eyes, that they should not see heauen, nor remember iust iudgements.
10 And albeit they both were wounded with her loue, yet durst not one shew another his griefe.
11 For they were ashamed to declare their lust, that they desired to haue to do with her.
12 Yet they watched diligently from day to day to see her.
13 And the one sayde to the other, Let vs goe now home, for it is dinner time.
14 So they went their way, & departed, one fro another: yet they returned againe, and came into the same place, and after that they had asked one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust: then appoynted they a time both together when they might finde her alone.
15 Now when they had spyed out a conuenient time, that shee went in, as her maner was, with two maydes onely, and thought to wash her selfe in the garden (for it was an hote season)
16 And there was no body there, saue the two Elders that had hid themselues, & watched for her:
17 She sayde to her maydes, Bring me oyle and sope, & shut the garde doores, that I may wash me.
18 And they did as she bade them, and shut the garden doores, and went out themselues at a backe doore, to set the thing that she had comanded the: but they saw not the Elders, because they were hid.
19 Now when the maydes were gone forth, the two Elders rose vp and ranne vnto her, saying.
20 Beholde, the garden doores are shut, that no man can see vs, and wee burne in loue with thee: therefore consent vnto vs, and lye with vs.
21 If thou wilt not, we wil beare witnes against thee, that a yong man was with thee, and therefore thou diddest send away thy maydes from thee.
22 Then Susanna sighed, & said, I am in trouble on euery side: for if I do this thing, it is death vnto me: & if I do it not, I cannot escape your handes.
23 It is better for me to fal into your handes, & not do it, then to sinne in the sight of the Lord.
24 With that Susanna cried with a loude voice, and the two Elders cryed out against her.
25 Then ranne the one, and opened the garden doore.
26 ¶ So when the seruantes of the house heard the cry in the garden, they rushed in at the backe doore, to see what was done vnto her.
27 But whe the Elders had declared their matter, the seruants were greatly ashamed: for there was neuer such a report made of Susanna.
28 On the morowe after, came the people to Ioacim her husband, and the two Elders came also, full of mischieuous imagination against Susanna, to put her to death,
29 And sayd before the people, Send for Susanna the daughter of Helcias Ioacims wife. And immediately they sent.
30 So she came with her father and mother, her children and all her kinred.
31 Nowe Susanna was very tender, and fayre of face.
32 And these wicked men commanded to vncouer her face (for she was couered) that they might so be satisfied with her beautie.
33 Therefore they that were about her, and all they that knew her, wept.
34 Then the two Elders stood vp in the middes of the people, & layde their handes vpon her head,
35 Which wept and looked vp toward heauen: for her heart trusted in the Lord.
36 And the Elders said, As we walked in the garden alone, she came in with two maydes, whom she sent away from her, and shut the garden doores.
37 Then a yong man, which there was hid, come vnto her, and lay with her.
38 Then we which stood in a corner of the garden, seeing this wickednes, ranne vnto them, & we saw them as they were together,
39 But wee coulde not holde him: for he was
stronger then we, & opened ye doore, & leaped out.
40 Nowe when we had taken this woman, wee asked her what yong man this was, but she woulde not tell vs: of these things are we witnesses.
41 Then the assemblie beleeued them, as those that were the Elders and iudges of the people: so they condemned her to death.
42 Then Susanna cried out with a loude voyce, and said, O euerlasting God, yt knowest the secretes, and knowest all things afore they come to passe,
43 Thou knowest, that they haue borne false witnesse against me, and behold, I must die, whereas I neuer did such things as these men haue maliciously inuented against me.
44 And the Lord heard her voyce.
45 ¶ Therefore when she was led to be put to death, the Lorde raised vp the holy spirit of a yong childe, whose name was Daniel.
46 Who cried with a loude voyce, I am cleane from the blood of this woman.
47 Then all the people turned them towarde him, and sayde, What meane these wordes, that thou hast spoken?
48 Then Daniel stoode in the middes of them, and sayd, Are ye such fooles, O Israelites, that without examination, or knowledge of the trueth, yee haue condemned a daughter of Israel?
49 Returne againe to iudgement: for they haue borne false witnesse against her.
50 Wherefore the people turned againe in all haste, and the Elders said vnto him, Come, sit down among vs, and shewe it vs, seeing God hath giuen thee the office of an Elder.
51 Then saide Daniel vnto them, Put these two aside, one farre from another, and I will examine them.
52 So when they were put asunder, one from another, he called one of them and sayde vnto him, O thou that art olde in a wicked life, nowe thy sinnes which thou hast committed aforetime, are come to light.
53 For thou hast pronounced false iudgements, and hast condemned the innocent, and hast let the guiltie goe free, albeit the Lord faith, [Note: Exod.23.7,6. ] The innocent and righteous shalt thou not slay.
54 Now then, if thou hast seene her, tell me, vnder what tree sawest thou them companying together? Who answered, Vnder a lentiske tree.
55 Then sayde Daniel, Verely thou hast lyed against thine owne [Note: Or, life. ] head: for loe, the Angel of God hath receiued ye sentence of God, to cut thee in two.
56 So put he him aside, and comanded to bring the other, and said vnto him, O thou seede of Chanaan, and not of Iuda, beautie hath deceiued thee, and lust hath subuerted thine heart.
57 Thus haue yee dealt with the daughters of Israel, and they for feare companied with you: but the daughter of Iuda woulde not abide your wickednesse.
58 Nowe therefore tell mee, vnder what tree diddest thou take the companying together? Who answered, Vnder a [Note: Or, mirtle tree. ] prime tree.
59 Then said Daniel vnto him, Verely thou hast also lied against thine head: for the Angel of God waiteth with the sworde to cut thee in two, and so to destroy you both.
60 ¶ With that all the whole assembly cryed with a loude voyce, and praysed God, which saueth them that trust in him.
61 And they arose against the two Elders, (for Daniel had conuict them of false witnesse by their owne mouth)
62 [Note: Deut.19.19. prou.19.5. ] And according to the Law of Moyses they dealt with them, as they dealt wickedly against their neighbour, and put them to death. Thus the innocent blood was saued the same day.
63 Therefore Helcias, and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, with Ioacim her husband, and all the kinred, that there was no dishonestie found in her.
64 From that day forth was Daniel had in great reputation in the sight of the people.
65 And king Astyages was laid with his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia reigned in his steade.