Now there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim:
And he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God.
For her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses.
Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honourable of them all.
And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year, of whom the Lord said: Iniquity came out from Babylon from the ancient judges, that seemed to govern the people.
These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all that had any matters of judgment came to them.
So they were both wounded with the love of her, yet they did not make known their grief one to the other:
And they watched carefully every day to see her. And one said to the other:
And it fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went in on a time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash herself in the orchard: for it was hot weather.
And there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves and were beholding her.
So she said to the maids: Bring me oil, and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me.
And they did as she bade them: and they shut the doors of the orchard, and went out by a back door to fetch what she had commanded them, and they knew not that the elders were hid within.
Now when the maids were gone forth, the two elders arose, and ran to her, and said:
Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody seeth us, and we are in love with thee: wherefore consent to us, and lie with us.
But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee, and therefore thou didst send away thy maids from thee.
Susanna sighed, and said: I am straitened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands.
But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord.
With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her.
And one of them ran to the door of the orchard, and opened it.
When the people were come to Joakim her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death.
And they said before the people: Send to Susanna daughter of Helcias the wife of Joakim. And presently they sent.
And she came with her parents, and children, and all her kindred.
Now Susanna was exceeding delicate, and beautiful to behold.
But those wicked men commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered,) that so at least they might be satisfied with her beauty.
Therefore her friends and all her acquaintance wept.
But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people, laid their hands upon her head.
And she weeping looked up to heaven, for her heart had confidence in the Lord.
Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her.
But we that were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together.
And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors be leaped out:
But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses.
The multitude believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.
Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said: O eternal God, who knowest hidden things, who knowest all things before they come to pass,
Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously forged against me.
And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel.
And he cried out with a loud voice I am clear from the blood of this woman.
Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her.
And Daniel said to the people: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them.
So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him: O thou that art grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come out, which thou hast committed before:
And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him: O thou seed of Chanaan, and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart:
Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness.
With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saveth them that trust in him.
But Helcias and his wife praised God, for their daughter Susanna, with Joakim her husband, and all her kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her.
And Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thenceforward.
And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom.