The Book of Susanna: A Hidden Gem of Biblical Literature
The Book of Susanna is a short story that is part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, also known as the Septuagint. It is not included in the Hebrew Bible or the Protestant canon, but it is accepted by the Catholic and Orthodox churches as part of the Book of Daniel.
The story tells how Susanna, a beautiful and virtuous woman, is falsely accused of adultery by two corrupt elders who lust after her. She is condemned to death by the people, but a young prophet named Daniel intervenes and exposes the elders’ lies. Susanna is vindicated and the elders are executed.
The Book of Susanna is a fascinating and inspiring tale that explores themes such as justice, innocence, courage, faith, and divine intervention. It also showcases the wisdom and heroism of Daniel, who would later face his own trial in the lions’ den.
Why You Should Read the Book of Susanna
There are many reasons why you should read the Book of Susanna, whether you are a believer or not. Here are some of them:
- It is a captivating and suspenseful story that will keep you hooked until the end.
- It is a powerful example of how God can use anyone, even a young boy, to reveal the truth and defend the innocent.
- It is a testimony of how God can deliver his faithful servants from any danger or difficulty.
- It is a source of inspiration and encouragement for anyone who faces false accusations or injustice.
- It is a reminder of how God values purity and integrity more than human appearance or reputation.
How to Find and Read the Book of Susanna
If you are interested in reading the Book of Susanna, you have several options. You can:
- Find it online on websites that offer the Septuagint or the Catholic or Orthodox versions of the Bible. For example, you can read it here.
- Buy or borrow a printed copy of the Septuagint or the Catholic or Orthodox Bibles. You can also look for editions that include the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books, which are collections of writings that are not part of the Hebrew Bible but are accepted by some Christian traditions.
- Listen to an audio version of the Book of Susanna on platforms that offer biblical podcasts or audiobooks. For example, you can listen to it here.
No matter how you choose to read it, the Book of Susanna will enrich your mind and soul with its timeless message and beauty.
The Historical and Literary Context of the Book of Susanna
The Book of Susanna was probably written in the second century BC, during the time of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. The Jews were facing persecution and oppression from the foreign rulers who tried to impose their culture and religion on them. The Book of Susanna reflects this historical situation by portraying the corruption and violence of the elders who represent the pagan authorities.
The Book of Susanna is also a literary masterpiece that draws from various genres and sources. It is a court drama that resembles the stories of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife or Esther and Haman. It is a wisdom tale that echoes the proverbs and psalms. It is a prophetic narrative that anticipates the visions and miracles of Daniel. It is a novella that blends realism and fantasy, humor and tragedy, romance and horror.
The Spiritual and Moral Lessons of the Book of Susanna
The Book of Susanna teaches us many spiritual and moral lessons that are relevant for today. Here are some of them:
- It teaches us to trust in God’s providence and protection, even when we face seemingly hopeless situations.
- It teaches us to pray sincerely and fervently, especially when we are in distress or danger.
- It teaches us to resist temptation and sin, even when we are pressured or threatened by others.
- It teaches us to speak the truth and stand for justice, even when we are outnumbered or outmatched by our adversaries.
- It teaches us to respect and honor women, especially those who are vulnerable or victimized by others.
The Book of Susanna is a hidden gem of biblical literature that deserves to be read and appreciated by all. It is a story of faith, courage, and hope that can inspire us to live according to God’s will and glory.