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.

Haman at the banquet of Queen Esther (Esth 7:1-7:6)

“So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther.

‘What is your petition, Queen Esther?

It shall be granted you.

What is your request?

Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’

Then Queen Esther answered.

‘If I have won your favor, O king,

If it pleases the king,

Let my life be given me.

That is my petition,

The lives of my people

That is my request.

We have been sold,

I and my people,

To be destroyed,

To be killed,

To be annihilated.

If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women,

I would have held my peace.

But no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.’

Then King Artaxerxes said to Queen Esther.

‘Who is he?

Where is he?

Who has presumed to do this?’

Queen Esther said.

‘He is a foe and enemy!

He is the wicked Haman!’

Then Haman was in terror before the king and the queen.”

This dinner seemed to be going well as they were drinking wine. The king then asked the queen what her request was just as he had done on the previous night. This time, Queen Esther was more straightforward. She wanted to save her life and the life of her people because they were going to be killed and annihilated. Then the king wanted to know who was trying to kill her and her people. Then she responded that it was the foe and enemy, the wicked Haman. This really scared Haman. He might have said to the king that the king had approved this action, but he did not.

Judith is led to the tent of General Holofernes (Jdt 10:14-10:17)

“The men heard her words. They observed her face. She was in their eyes marvelously beautiful. They said to her.

‘You have saved your life by hurrying down to see our lord.

Go at once to his tent.

Some of us will escort you.

We will hand you over to him.  

When you stand before him,

Have no fear in your heart.

Tell him what you have just said.

He will treat you well.’

They chose from their number a hundred men to accompany her and her maid. They brought them to the tent of General Holofernes.”

The Assyrian troops heard her words and say her face. They realized that she was beautiful.   There was never a question of language or interpretation for they seem to be able to communicate with each other very easily. They told her that she had saved her life. They wanted to escort her to go to the general’s tent as 100 of the soldiers were to escort her and her maid. They told her not to fear the general because he would treat them correctly. She should just say what she had told them. So the 2 ladies set out with a 100 man escort to see General Holofernes.