Other women helped (Lk 8:3-8:3)

“Joanna,

The wife of Chuza,

Herod’s steward,

And Susanna,

As well as many others,

Provided for them

Out of their resources.”

 

καὶ Ἰωάνα γυνὴ Χουζᾶ ἐπιτρόπου Ἡρῴδου καὶ Σουσάννα καὶ ἕτεραι πολλαί, αἵτινες διηκόνουν αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐταῖς.

 

Luke also uniquely mentioned Joanna (καὶ Ἰωάνα), the wife of Chuza (γυνὴ Χουζᾶ), Herod’s steward (ἐπιτρόπου Ἡρῴδου), and Susanna (καὶ Σουσάννα).  He also said that many other women (καὶ ἕτεραι πολλαί) provided or ministered for them at table (αἵτινες διηκόνουν αὐτοῖς) out of their means, possessions, or resources (ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐταῖς).  Joanna shows up again with Mary Magdalene in the resurrection story of Luke, chapter 24:10.  She must have been a woman of means because her husband had an important role at the court of King Herod Antipas of Galilee as his head steward.  The name Susanna only appears here among all the canonical gospels, but a Susanna played a role in the Book of Daniel.  However, there were other women, not explicitly named, who provided for Jesus and his followers with their money or resources.  In other words, there was a small entourage of women who traveled with Jesus, probably providing the food for him and his disciples, since they were not called disciples themselves.  What should be the role of women as followers of Jesus?

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Under what tree did all this take place (Dan 13:58-13:59)

“‘Now then,

Tell me!

Under what tree

Did you catch them

Being intimate

With each other?’

The second elder answered.

‘Under an evergreen oak.’

Daniel said to him.

‘Very well!

This lie will cost you

Your head.

The angel of God

Is waiting

With his sword

To split you in two.

Thus,

He will destroy you both.’”

Daniel asked the second elder the same question that he had asked the first elder. Under what tree did you find Susanna and her friend being sexually intimate with each other? The second elder said that they were under an evergreen oak tree, a large holly oak tree, quite different from the small mastic tree. Once again, Daniel told this elder, like the first elder, that his lying response would cost him his life. The angel of God was waiting with his sword to split him in two. Thus, both these lying old judges would be destroyed. Once again there is a Greek play on words with evergreen oak tree (πρϊνος) and split (καταπριση).

The questioning of the second elder (Dan 13:56-13:57)

“Then,

Putting the first elder

To one side,

He ordered them

To bring in the other elder.

Daniel said to him.

‘You!

Offspring of Canaan!

Not offspring of Judah!

Beauty has beguiled you!

Lust has perverted

Your heart!

This is how

You both

Have been treating

The daughters of Israel.

They were intimate

With you

Through fear.

But a daughter of Judah

Would not tolerate

Your wickedness.’”

When he was finished with the first elder, he asked that the second elder be brought in to him. Daniel once again berated this second old judge. This time, he claimed that this elder was not from Judah, but from the pagan Canaanite area. Daniel maintained that this judge, along with his other elder judge had a perverted lust in their hearts, since beauty beguiled them. They had been both mistreating the daughters of Israel, forcing them to be sexually intimate with them out of fear. However, this daughter of Judah, Susanna, would not tolerate their wickedness.

Under what tree did all this take place (Dan 13:54-13:55)

“Now then,

If you really saw

This woman,

Tell me this.

Under what tree

Did you see them

Being intimate

With each other?’

He answered.

‘Under a mastic tree.’

Daniel said.

‘Very well!

This lie

Has cost you

Your head.

The angel of God

Has received

The sentence

From God.

He will immediately cut you

In two.’”

Then Daniel asked this old judge under what tree did Susanna and the young man have this famous intimate embrace. This elder answered that it was under the mastic tree, a small sweet evergreen tree. Daniel immediately responded that this was a lie, without any indication of why he felt this way. Daniel was very forceful in his response to this elder. Daniel told him that he would lose his head. An angel of God was going to deliver a sentence on him, by cutting him into two pieces. This was a Greek play on words, since the Greek word for mastic tree (σχϊνος) was close to the Greek word to cut (σχισει).

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.

Daniel questions the elder’s condemnation (Dan 13:47-13:49)

“All the people

Turned to Daniel.

They asked.

‘What is this

That you are saying?’

Taking his stand

Among them,

He said.

‘Are you such fools?

O Israelites!

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without examination?

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without learning the facts?

Return to court!

These men

Have given false evidence

Against her.’”

They all turned to Daniel after he had spoken out. They wanted to know what he said. Then Daniel stood up in the middle of them. He then asked them if they were fools. Why had these Israelites condemned one of their own daughters? He said that there had been no examination or attempt to learn the facts of the case. He wanted them all to return to court, because he believed that these two elders had put forth false evidence against Susanna. There was no indication on how he knew this.

The Lord’s response through Daniel (Dan 13:44-13:46)

“The Lord heard

Susanna’s cry.

Just as she was being led off

To execution,

God stirred up

The Holy Spirit

Of a young lad

Named Daniel.

He shouted

With a loud voice.

‘I want no part

In shedding

That woman’s blood.’”

The Lord heard the prayer cry of Susanna. Just as she was being led to her execution, God stirred up the Holy Spirit in a young man, Daniel. This phrase indicates that this probably belongs as the beginning of this book and not at the end since Daniel is called young, not old. The Holy Spirit appears in prophets quite often. Daniel then shouted out in a loud voice that he wanted no part in the shedding of this woman’s blood.