The condemnation (Dan 13:41-13:41)

“Because they were

Elders of the people,

The assembly

Believed them.

They condemned her

To death.”

These two old judges were convincing, since they were the chosen elders of the people. Thus, they issued a condemnation of death for Susanna, since a stoning death was the common punishment for adultery. Noticeably absent from this story was her husband, the good Joakim.

The testimony of the elders (Dan 13:36-13:41)

“The elders said.

‘While we were walking

In the garden alone,

This woman came in

With two maids.

She shut

The garden doors.

She dismissed

The maids.

Then a young man,

Who was hiding there,

Came to her.

He lay with her.

We were in a corner

Of the garden.

When we saw

This wickedness,

We ran to them.

Although we saw them

Embracing,

We could not hold the man.

He was stronger than we.

He opened the doors.

He got away.

We did,

However,

Seize this woman.

We asked her

Who the young man was.

But she would not tell us.

These things we testify.’”

The two old judges testified about their story. They were simply walking in the garden together alone. Then, this young woman with two maids came into the garden. Next, she locked the garden doors and sent the two maids away. Suddenly, a young man who had been hiding in the garden appeared. The two of them, Susanna and this young man, got together and had sex with each other. The two old judges were in a corner of the garden. They then ran over to them as they were still embracing. However, they were not strong enough to hold the young man. Instead, they were able to grab the woman, Susanna. They asked her who the young man was, but she would not tell them. Thus, the two judges finished their testimony.

The servants arrive on the scene (Dan 13:26-13:27)

“When the people

In the house

Heard the shouting

In the garden,

They rushed in

Through the side door

To see

What had happened

To Susanna.

When the elders

Told their story,

The servants

Felt very much ashamed.

Nothing like this

Had ever been said

Around Susanna.”

The people in the house heard all this shouting and screaming in the garden. They then arrived via the side door to the garden. Then the old judges told their story about Susanna and the young man. The servants were then ashamed, since nothing like this had ever happened to Susanna before.

The two maids (Dan 13:17-13:18)

“Susanna said

To her maids.

‘Bring me olive oil!

Bring me ointments!

Shut the garden doors

So that I can bathe!’

They did

As she told them.

They shut the doors

Of the garden.

They went out

By the side doors

To bring

What they had been commanded.

They did not see

The elders,

Because they were hidden.”

Susanna told her two maids to get her some olive oil and other ointments. She wanted them to shut the garden doors. Thus, they went out by the side door into the house. They were doing what she had asked them to do. However, these maids did not see the elder judges, because they were hidden in the garden.

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.

The secret passionate elders (Dan 13:8-13:12)

“Everyday,

The two elders

Used to see Susanna,

Going in,

Walking about.

They began

To lust for her.

They suppressed

Their consciences.

They turned away

Their eyes

From looking

To heaven,

Or remembering

Their duty

To administer justice.

Both were overwhelmed

With passion for her.

But they did not tell

Each other

Of their distress.

They were ashamed

To disclose

Their lustful desire

To seduce her.

Day after day,

They watched eagerly,

To see her.”

Now the plot thickens. The scene has been set. These two elderly judges have a passion for Susanna, the wife of Joakim, in whose house they conduct their trials. She normally went for a walk in the garden, after everyone had left. These two elders saw Susanna go in and out for her walk. They began to lust after her, as they suppressed their consciences. They forgot about their duty to administer justice, as they turned their eyes away from heaven. Even though they were overwhelmed with passion for Susanna, neither elder told the other, because they were ashamed to let the other one know about their lustful desires to seduce Susanna. They were secret sexual lovers of Susanna, as they watched her every day.