The death of the two elders (Dan 13:60-13:62)

“Then the whole assembly

Raised a great shout.

They blessed God,

Who saves those

Who hope in him.

They took action

Against the two elders.

Out of their own mouths,

Daniel had convicted them

Of bearing false witness.

They did to them

As they had wickedly planned

To do to their neighbor.

Acting in accordance

With the law of Moses,

They put them to death.

Thus,

Innocent blood

Was spared

That day.”

The whole assembly of the Israelites at Joakim and Susanna’s house raised a great shout to bless God who always saved those who hoped in him. Then, they took action against these two elders. Their own words, about the two different trees for the intimate embrace, had convicted them of lying and bearing false witness against their neighbor. Thus, according to the Law of Moses, they were to be put to death. In the meantime, the innocent blood of Susanna had been saved on that day.

The trial of the elders (Dan 13:50-13:51)

“So,

All the people

Hurried back.

The rest of the elders

Said to Daniel.

‘Come!

Sit among us!

Inform us!

God has given you

The standing

Of an elder.

Daniel said to them.

‘Separate them far

From each other.

I will examine them.’”

All the people hurried back to the house of Joakim and Susanna. The rest of the elders came up to Daniel. They asked him to sit among them as an elder, since they thought that God had given him standing as an elder. There had been no indication about other elders until this point. Suddenly, Daniel became important, as he told them to separate the two elder judges who had testified against Susanna. He was going to examine each one of them separately.

Susanna (Dan 13:2-13:3)

“Joakim married

The daughter of Hilkiah,

Named Susanna,

A very beautiful woman,

Who feared the Lord.

Her parents were righteous.

They had trained

Their daughter

According to the law of Moses.”

This Joakim married a woman named Susanna. Thus, this story is more about the wife of Joakim, Susanna, than about him. Susanna, the lily, was very beautiful. But more important, she was one who feared the Lord. She was also the daughter of Hilkiah, whose name meant that the Lord was my portion. Both of Susanna’s parents were righteous people. They had trained her and brought her up according to the Law of Moses. In other words, she was a faithful Israelite from strong Israelite parents.

Joakim (Dan 13:1-13:1)

“There was a man

Living in Babylon

Whose name was Joakim.”

This chapter 13 story only appears in the Greek Septuagint version of the Book of Daniel. Thus, this story of Susanna and Daniel is sometimes called apocryphal literature. It probably should be at the beginning of this work, since it presents Daniel as a young man, but it is usually placed here at the end. This story is about the wife of Joakim, a Jewish man living in exile in Babylon. The name Joakim means that the Lord will establish him.

The Lord hears their prayers (Jdt 4:13-4:15)

“The Lord heard their prayers. He had regard for their distress. The people fasted many days throughout Judea and in Jerusalem before the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty. The high priest Joakim and all the priests, who stood before the Lord, with sackcloth around their loins, offered the daily burnt offerings, the votive offerings, and the freewill offerings of the people. With ashes on their turbans, they cried out to the Lord with all their might to look with favor on the whole house of Israel.”

The Lord seemed to hear their prayers. They fasted in front of the sanctuary. The high priest and all the other priests were dressed in sackcloth. They offered the daily and votive burnt offerings, as well as the free will offerings. They had ashes on their turbans as they cried out to God to help the house of Israel.