The response of Susanna (Dan 13:22-13:23)

“Susanna groaned.

She said.

‘I am completely trapped.

If I do this,

It will mean death for me.

If I do not do this,

I cannot escape

Your hands.

I choose not to do it.

I will fall

Into your hands,

Rather than to sin

In the sight of the Lord.’”

Susanna groaned, as she felt trapped. If she committed adultery with these two elder judges, she would be killed. If she did not, she would fall into their hands. They would control her life and judge her. The choice was hers. She decided not to have sex with these two old judges. Instead, she was not going to sin in the sight of God. She would rather be judged by humans than God. Of course, this is the great moral tale. Stand up for your beliefs.

The proposition (Dan 13:19-13:21)

“When the maids

Had gone out,

The two elders

Got up.

They ran to her.

They said.

Look!

The garden doors

Are shut!

No one can see us!

We are burning

With desire

For you!

Give your consent!

Lie with us!

If you refuse,

We will testify

Against you

That a young man

Was with you.

This was why

You sent your maids away.’”

The two elder judges seized the moment, once the maids were gone. They jumped up from their hiding place and ran over to the bathing Susanna. They made their proposition. They told Susanna that they were burning with desire for her, as if that was a good pitch. They wanted her to consent to have sex with them. They wanted consensual sex rather than rape her. However, they told her that if see did not agree, then they would testify against her. They were going to say that she sent her maids away, so that she could have sex with a non-existent young man. That was the deal, sex with them or be judged by them as committing adultery with someone else. What a strange choice.

Bathing in the garden (Dan 13:15-13:16)

“Once,

While they were watching

For an opportune day,

Susanna went in,

As before,

With only two maids.

She wished to bathe

In the garden.

It was a hot day.

No one was there,

Except the two elders,

Who had hidden themselves.

They were watching her.”

The two elder judges kept looking for the right moment. Apparently, that day had come. As it was a hot day, Susanna, with her two female maids, wanted to take a bath in the garden. She did not know that the two elder judges had hid themselves in the garden to watch her.

The plot to seduce Susanna (Dan 13:13-13:14)

“One day,

They said to each other.

‘Let us go home.

It is time for lunch.’

So,

They both left.

They parted

From each other.

But turning back,

They met again.

When each pressed

The other

For the reason,

They confessed

Their lust.

Then together,

They arranged

For a time

When they could find

Her alone.”

One day, as these two elder judges said good bye to each other, they parted for lunch. However, both of them came back. Then they asked each other why they had come back. Finally, they each confessed their lust for Susanna. Then, they decided to work together to get Susanna alone sometime. The plot was falling into place.