Biblical Women Susanna

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Susanna : 

Susanna Daniel 13 Copyrighted material that appears in this article is included under the provisions of the Fair Use Clause of the National Copyright Act, which allows limited reproduction of copyrighted materials for educational and religious use when no financial charge is made for viewing.

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The story of Susanna isn’t told, in the book of Daniel chapter 13, by all Bibles but many of those Bibles tell the story in a section called the Apocrypha. In Babylon there was a wealthy man named Joakim who fell in love with a beautiful young woman, Susanna, who would become his wife. Beauty is a wonderful example of God’s creation but at the same time can become the focus of sin. There were two elders and Judges who used part of Joakim’s house as a courtroom. Both of the judges were corrupt and were willing to render decisions based upon bribes and personal feelings. For some time the individual judges had been secretly lusting for Susanna. Lustful thoughts can be overcome by not allowing them to control your life.

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But that was not the case for the judges, they usually achieved there goals without regard for anyone else so Susanna, for them, became another in a long list of desired trophies. The problem for them was how to take her without anyone knowing. They knew their act was a shameful, law breaking sin, and thus wanted to keep it a secret. One day the judges left Joakim’s house each telling the other that they were going home for lunch. When they were out of sight of each other they circled back to Joakim’s seeking to catch Susanna in the garden for her usual noontime walk. The judges then met each other and began questioning each other about their early return to Joakim’s. They both eventually admitted their lustful desires.

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Susanna entered the garden with two of her maid servants and because it was a hot day she decided to bathe but she didn’t know the two judges had hidden themselves in the garden hoping they could get her alone. She sent her maids back to the house to bring her oil and ointments for a bath and asked them to close the gates to the garden so no one with be able to see in.

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The judges seized the opportunity and emerged from their hiding places to make their proposition. 20? “Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us; give in to our desire, and lie with us. ?21? If you refuse, we will testify against you that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.” ?22? “I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned. “If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.

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Susanna then did what was prescribed by Deuteronomy 22:23 “If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, ?24? you shall bring them both out to the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. When the people came from the house because of her screams the judges falsely accused her. The next day she was brought to trial and was condemned to death. Because her accusers were judges the people believed them. Susanna was trapped and on her way to the gallows when she prayed that God would help her and prove her righteous.

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Daniel 13 ?45? As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel, ?46? and he cried aloud: “I will have no part in the death of this woman.” ?47? All the people turned and asked him, “What is this you are saying?” ?48? He stood in their midst and continued, “Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence? ?49? Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.” Daniel then separates the two judges and cross examines them. They continue to lie and are caught in their own lies. Because they had falsely accused her they would receive the penalty that she would have received if found guilty, they were both put to death.

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Susanna was certainly a woman of courage. She was a woman not concerned with things of the earth but things eternal. She was willing to keep her marriage vows even if she had to die in the process. She was willing to stand up against powerful government officials. Why do you suppose God allowed her to endure this trial? It strengthened her faith and ours as well. With all the courage she showed how can we attempt to justify breaking God’s laws? With all the courage she showed how can we attempt to justify not standing up for the rights of others as Daniel did?

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