Monday, March 14, 2016

The story of Susanna in Daniel 13

The Old Testament reading this morning was one of the longest, and most riveting I've ever heard, and the woman lector did a wonderful job. It was about Susanna (Shoshana), a chaste and devout Jewess, wife of Joakim in Babylon. Two old men, both judges, plot to rape her and she resisted. They lied and she was about to be executed and cried out to God for help. Then Daniel came to her defense and interrogated the men separately, destroying their story. "According to the law of Moses, they inflected on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor; they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day." (Daniel 13)

I thought I'd heard all the interesting Bible stories, but this one is not in the Protestant Bibles, only the Catholic and Orthodox. It was part of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures used in the time of Jesus). I can't find that Luther or Calvin ever made a list for the canon, but apparently the Anglicans did, so we didn't get that one. So I checked for movies, because it would be a great one, and didn't find it, but it does appear in paintings and some poems and music.

 Image result for Susanna and the two elders

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