There dwelt a man in Babylon, called Joakim.
And he took a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, a very fair woman and one who feared the Lord.
Her parents also were righteous and taught their daughter according to the law of Moses.
Now Joakim was a great rich man and had a beautiful garden next to his house; and the Jews turned to him for help, because he was more honorable than all others.
The same year, two of the elders of the people were appointed to be judges, such ones as the Lord spoke of, "Wickedness came from Babylon, from ancient judges, who seemed to govern the people."
These spent much time at Joakim's house, and all those who had any lawsuits came to them.
Now when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went into her husband's garden to walk.
And the two elders saw her going in every day and walking, so that their lust was inflamed toward her.
And they perverted their own mind and turned away their eyes, so that they would not look to heaven, nor remember just judgments.
And although they both were wounded with her love, yet each dared not show the other his grief.
For they were ashamed to declare their lust, that they desired to have to do with her.
Yet they watched diligently from day to day to see her.
And the one said to the other, "Let us go home now, for it is dinner time."
So when they had gone out, they each parted from the other, and turning back again they came to the same place; and after they had asked each another the reason, they acknowledged their lust, then they both appointed themselves a time when they might find her alone.
And it happened, as they watched for a fitting time, that she went in as before with two maids only, and she intended to wash herself in the garden, for it was hot.
And there was no one there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and watched her.
Then she said to her maids, "Bring me oil and washing balls and shut the garden doors, so that I may wash myself."
And they did as she asked them, and shut the garden doors, and went out themselves through private doors to fetch the things that she had commanded them; but they did not see the elders, because they were hidden.
Now when the maids were gone, the two elders rose up and ran to her, saying,
"Behold, the garden doors are shut, so that no man can see us, and we are in love with you; therefore consent to us and lie with us.
If you will not, we will bear witness against you that a young man was with you, and therefore you sent your maids away from you."
Then Susanna sighed and said, "I am hemmed in on every side; for if I do this thing, it is death to me; and if I do not do it, I cannot escape your hands.
It is better for me to fall into your hands and not do it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord."
With that, Susanna cried with a loud voice, and the two elders cried out against her.
Then the one ran and opened the garden door.
So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the garden, they rushed in through the private door to see what had happened to her.
But, when the elders had declared their story, the servants were greatly ashamed, for there was never such a report made of Susanna.
And it came to pass the next day, when the people were assembled before her husband Joakim, that the two elders also came, full of mischievous imagination against Susanna to put her to death;
And they said before the people, "Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah, Joakim's wife." And so they sent for her.
So she came with her father and mother, her children, and all her kindred.
Now, Susanna was a very delicate woman and beautiful to behold.
And these wicked men commanded her to uncover her face, (for she was covered,) that they might be filled with her beauty.
Therefore, her friends and all that saw her wept.
Then the two elders stood up in the midst of the people and laid their hands upon her head.
And she looked up toward heaven weeping, for her heart trusted in the Lord.
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.
Then a young man, who was hidden there, came to her and lay with her.
Then, standing in a corner of the garden, we saw this wickedness and ran towards them.
And when we saw them together, the man we could not hold, for he was stronger than us, and he opened the door and leaped out.
But having taken this woman, we asked her who the young man was, but she would not tell us; to these things we testify."
Then the assembly believed them because they were the elders and judges of the people; so they condemned her to death.
Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, "O everlasting God, who knows the secrets and knows all things before they be:
You know that they have borne false witness against me, and behold I must die; though I never did such things as these men have maliciously invented against me."
And the Lord heard her voice.
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,
who cried with a loud voice, "I am free of the blood of this woman."
Then all the people turned toward him and said, "What do these words you have spoken mean?"
So, standing in the midst of them, he said, "Are you such fools, you sons of Israel, that you have condemned a daughter of Israel without examination or knowledge of the truth?
Return again to the place of judgment, for they have borne false witness against her."
Therefore all the people returned again in haste, and the elders said to him, "Come, sit down among us and teach us, since that God has given you the honor of an elder."
Then Daniel said to them, "Put these two aside, one far from another, and I will examine them."
So, when they were put apart one from another, he called one of them and said to him, "O you who has grown old in wickedness, now your sins, which you have committed before this time, have come to light.
For you have pronounced false judgment and have condemned the innocent and have let the guilty go free; even though the Lord says, 'The innocent and righteous you shall not slay.'
Now then, if you saw her, tell me, under what tree did you see them consorting together?" He answered, "Under a mastick tree."
And Daniel said, "Very well; you have lied against your own head; for even now the angel of God has received the sentence of God to cut you in two."
So he put him aside and commanded them to bring the other, and he said to him, "O you, offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust has perverted your heart.
Thus have you dealt with the daughters of Israel, and they out of fear consorted with you; but the daughter of Judah would not tolerate your wickedness.
Now therefore, tell me, under what tree did you find them consorting together?" He answered, "Under an holm tree."
Then Daniel said to him, "Well, you also have lied against your own head; for the angel of God waits with the sword to cut you in two, that he may destroy you."
With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice and praised God, who saves those who trust in him.
And they arose against the two elders, for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth.
And, according to the law of Moses, they did to them in the same way as they maliciously intended to do to their neighbor; and they put them to death. Thus, innocent blood was saved that same day.
Therefore Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, with Joakim her husband and all their kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her.
From that day forth, Daniel had a great reputation in the sight of the people.