¶ The time will come also, that the great prince Michael, which stondeth on thy people side, shall arise up, for there shall come a time of trouble, such as never was, since there began to be any people, unto that same time. Then shall thy people be delivered, yea all those that be found written in the book. Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to perpetual shame and reproof. The wise (such as have taught other) shall glister, as the shining of heaven: and those that have instruct the multitude unto Godliness, shall be as the stars, world without end. And thou O Daniel, shut up these words, and seal the book, till the last time. Many shall go about here and there, and then shall knowledge increase.
¶ So I Daniel looked, and behold, there stood other two: one upon this shore of the water, the other upon yonder side. And one of them said unto him, which was clothed in linen, and stood above upon the waters of the flood; How long shall it be to the end of these wonderous works? Then heard I the man with the linen clothes, which stood above upon the waters of the flood: when he held up his right and left hand unto heaven, and sware by him which liveth for ever: that it shall tarry for a time, two times and half a time: when the power of the holy people is clean scattered abroad, then shall all these things be fulfilled. I heard it well, but I understood it not. Then said I: O my Lord, what shall happen after that? He answered: Go thy way Daniel, for the words shall be closed up and sealed, till the last time: and many shall be purified, cleansed and tried. But the ungodly shall live wickedly, and those wicked (as many as they be) shall have no understanding. As for such as have understanding, they shall regard it. And from the time forth that the daily offering shall be put down and the abominable desolation set up, there shall be a thousand two hundredth and ninety days. O well is him, that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundredth and thirty five days. Go thou thy way now, till it be ended: take thy rest, and bide in thy lot, till the days have an end.
¶ There dwelt a man in Babylon, called Ioachim, that toke a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helchiak, a very fair woman, and such one as feared God. Her father and mother also were godly people, and taught their daughter according to the law of Moyses. Now Ioachim (her husband) was a great rich man, and had a fair orchard joyning unto his house: and to him resorted the Iewes commonly, because he was a man of reputation among them. The same year were there made two judges, such as the LORD speaketh of: All the wickedness of Babylon commeth from the elders (that is) from the judges which seem to rule the people. These came oft to Ioachim's house: and all such as had any thing to do in the law, came thither unto them.
¶ Now when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went into her husband's orchard, to walk. The two elders seeing this, that she went in daily, and walked, they burned for lust to her, yea, they were almost out of their wits, and cast down their eyes, that they should not see heaven, nor remember, that God is a righteous judge. For they were both wounded with the love of her, neither durst one shew another his grief: And for shame, they durst not tell her their inordinate lust, that they woulde fain have had to do with her: Yet they layed wait for her earnestly from day to day, that they might (at the least) have a sight of her. And the one said to the other: Up, let us go home, for it is dinner time. So they went their way from her.
¶ When they returned again, they came together, enquiring out the matter betwixt them selves: yea, the one told the other of his wicked lust: Then appointed they a time, when they might take Susanna alone.
¶ It happened also that they spied out a convenient time, when she went forth to walk (as her manner was) and no body with her, but two maidens, and thought to wash her self in the garden, for it was an hot season. And there was not one person there, except the two elders, that had hid them selves, to behold her. So she said to her maidens: Go fet me oil and sope, and shut the orchard door, that I may wash me. And they did as she bade them, and shut the orchard door, and went out them selves at a back door, to fet the thing that she had commanded: but Susanna knew not, that the elders lay there hid within. Now when the maidens were gone forth, the two elders gat them up: and ran upon her, saying: Now the orchard doors are shut, that no man can see us: we have a lust unto thee, therefore consent unto us, and lie with us:
¶ If thou wilt not, we shall bring a testimonial against thee: that there was a young fellow with thee, and that thou hast sent away thy maidens from thee for the same cause. Susanna sighed, and said: Alas. I am in trouble on every side. Though I follow your mind, it will be my death: and if I consent not unto you, I can not escape your hands. Well, it is better for me, to fall into your hand without the deed doing, then to sin in the sight of the LORD: and with that, she cried out with a loud voice: the elders also cried out against her.
¶ Then ran there one to the orchard door, and smote it open. Now when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard they rushed in at the back door, to see what the matter was. So when the elders told them, the servants were greatly ashamed for why, there was never such a report made of Susanna. On the morrow after came the people to Ioachim her husband, and the two elders came also full of mischevious imaginations against Susanna, to bring her unto death, and spake thus before the people: Send for Susanna the daughter of Helchias, Ioachim's wife. And immediately they sent for her. So she came with her father and mother, her children and all her kindred. Now Susanna was a tender person, and marvelous fair of face. Therefore the wicked men commanded to take off her clothes from her face (for she was covered) that at the least they might so be satisfied in her beauty. Then her friends, yea, and all they that knew her, began to weep.
¶ These two elders stood up in the middest of the people, and layed their hands upon the head of Susanna, Which wept, and looked up toward heaven: for her heart had a sure trust in the LORD. And the elders said: As we were walking in the orchard alone, this woman came in with her two maidens: whom she sent away from her, and sparred the orchard doors: With that a young fellow (which there was hid) came unto her, and lay with her. As for us, we stood in a corner of the orchard: and when we saw this wickedness, we ran to her, and perceived, that they had meddled together. But we could not hold him, for he was stronger than we. Thus he opened the door and gat him away. Now when we had taken this woman, we asked her, what young fellow this was, but she would not tell us. This is the matter, and we be witnesses of the same. The common sort believed them, as those that were the elders and judges of the people, and so they condemned her to death. Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said: O everlasting God, thou searcher of secrets, thou that knowest all things before they come to pass: Thou wottest, that they have born false witness against me: and behold, I must die, wheras I never did any such things, as these men have maliciously invented against me. And the LORD heard her voice. For when she was led forth to death, the LORD raised up the spirit of a young child, whose name was Daniel which cried with a loud voice, I am clean from this blood. Then all the people turned toward him, and said: What mean these words that thou hast spoken? Daniel stood in the middest of them, and said: are ye such fools, O ye children of Israel, that ye can not discern? Ye have here condemned a daughter of Israel unto death, and know not the trueth, wherefore: Go sit in judgement again: for they have spoken false witness against her.
¶ Wherefore the people turned again in all the haste. And the elders (that is, the principal heads) said unto him: Come sit down here among us, and shew us this matter, seeing God hath given thee as great honour as an elder. And Daniel said unto them: Put these two aside one from another, and then shall I hear them. When they were put asunder one from another, he called one of them and said unto him: O thou old cankered earl that hast used thy wickedness so long: thine ungratious deeds which thou hast done afore, are now come to light. For thou hast given false judgements, thou hast oppressed the innocent, and letten the guilty go free: where as yet the LORD saith: The innocent and righteous see thou slay not. Well then, if thou hast seen her, tell me under what tree sawest thou them talking together? He answered: under a Mulberry tree. And Daniel said: Very well, now thou liest even upon thine head. Lo the messenger of the LORD hath received the sentence of him, to cut thee in two. Then put he him aside, and called for the other, and said unto him: O thou seed of Canaan, but not of Iuda: Faireness hath deceived thee, and lust hath subverted thine heart. Thus dealt ye afore with the daughters of Israel, and they (for fear) consented unto you: but the daughter of Iuda would not abide your wickedness. Now tell me then under what tree diddest thou take them, speaking together? He answered: under a Pomegranate tree. Then said Daniel unto him: Very well, now thou liest also even upon thine head: the messenger of the LORD standeth waiting with the sword to cut thee in two, and slay you both.
¶ With that, all the whole multitude gave a great shout, and praised God, which alway delivered them that put their trust in him. And they came upon the two elders (whom Daniel had convict with their own mouth) that they had given false witness) and dealt with them even likewise as they would have done with their neighbours, yea they did according to the law of Moyses, and put them to death: Thus the innocent blood was saved the same day.
¶ Then Helchiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, with Ioachim her husband, and all the kinred: that there was no dishonesty found in her. From that day forth was Daniel had in great reputation in the sight of the people. [And king Astiages was laid with his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia raigned in his stead.] [Daniel did eat at the king's table, and was had in reverence above all his friends.]
¶ There was at Babylon an image, called Bel: and there were spent upon him every day twelve cakes, fourty sheep, and six great pots of wine. Him did the king worship him self, and went daily to honour him, but Daniel worshipped his own God: And the king said unto him, why doest not thou worship Bel? He answered and said: Because I may not worship things that be made with hands, but the living God which made heaven and earth, and hath power upon all flesh. The king said unto him: thinkest thou not that Bel is a living God? Or seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day? Daniel smiled and said: O king deceive not thy self: this is but made of clay within, and of metal without, neither eateth he ever any thing.
¶ Then the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them: If ye tell me not who is this, that eateth up these expences, ye shall die: But if ye can certify me, that Bel eateth them, then Daniel shall die: for he hath spoken blasphemy against Bel. And Daniel said unto the king: let it so be, according as thou hast said. The priests of Bel were threescore and ten, besides their wives and children: And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. So Bel's priestes said: Lo, we will go out: and set thou the meat there (O king) and pour in the wine, then shut the door fast, and seal it with thine own signet: And to morow when thou commest in, if thou findest not, that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death: or else Daniel, that hath lied upon us. The priests thought them selves sure enough: for under the alter they had made a privy entrance, and there went they in ever, and did eat up what there was.
¶ So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servantes to bring ashes, and these he sifted throughout all the temple, that the king might see: then went they out and sparred the door, sealing it with the kings signet, and so departed. In the night came the priests, with their wives and children, as they were wont to do, and did eat and drink up all. In the morning betimes at the break of the day the king arose, and Daniel with him. And the king said: Daniel, are the seals whole yet? He answered: yea O king, they be whole. Now as soon as he had opened the doore, the king looked unto the alter, and cried with a loud voice: Great art thou O Bel, and with thee is no deceit. Then laughed Daniel, and held the king that he should not go in, and said: Beholde the pavement, mark well whose footesteps are these? The king said: I see the footesteps of men, women, and children.
¶ Therefore the king was angry, and took the priests, with their wives and children: and they shewed him the privy doors where they came in, and did eat up such things as were upon the alter: For the which cause the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, which destroyed him and his temple.
¶ And in that same place there was a great Dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped. And the king said unto Daniel, Sayest thou that this is but a god of brasse also? Lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh, so that thou canst not say that he is no living God: therefor worship him. Daniel said unto the king: I will worship the LORD my God, he is the true living God: as for this, he is not the God of life. But give me leave (O king) and I shall destroy this Dragon without sword or staff. The king said: I give thee leave. Then Daniel took pitch, fat and heary wool, and did set them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the Dragon's mouth, and so the Dragon burst in sunder. And Daniel said: Lo, there is he whom ye worshipped, When they of Babylon heard that, they took great indignation, and gathered them together against the king, saying: The king is become a Iewe, and he hath destroyed Bel, he hath slain the Dragon, and put the priests to death. So they came to the king, and said: Let us have Daniel, or else we will destroy thee and thine house.
¶ Now when the king saw, that they rushed in so sore upon him, and that necessity constrained him, he delivered Daniel unto them: Which cast him into the lion's den, where he was six days. In the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two bodies and two sheepe: which then were not given them, to the intent that they might devour Daniel.
¶ There was in Iewry a prophet called Habacuc, which had made potage, and broken bread in a boul, and was going into the field for to bring it to the reapers. But the angel of the LORD said unto Habacuc: Go cary the meat that thou hast, into Babylon unto Daniel, which is in the lion's den. And Habacuc said: LORD, I never saw Babylon, and as for the den I know it not. Then the angel of the LORD took him by the top, and bare him by the hair of the head, and through a mighty wind set him in Babylon upon the den. And Habacuc cried, saying: O Daniel thou servant of God, have, take the breakfast that God hath sent thee. And Daniel said: O God, hast thou thought upon me? well, thou never failest them that love thee. So Daniel arose and did eat. And the angel of the LORD set Habacuc in his own place again immediately.
¶ Upon the seventh day, the king went to beweep Daniel: and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniel sat, in the middest of the lions. The cried the king with a loud voice, saying: Great art thou O LORD God of Daniel, and there is none other besides thee. And he drew him out of the lion's den, and cast those that were the cause of his destruction into the den, and they were devoured in a moment before his face.
¶ After this, wrote the king unto all people, kinreds and tongues, that dwelt in all countries, saying: peace be multiplied with you: My commandment is in all the dominion of my realm, that men fear and stand in awe of Daniel's God, for he is the living God, which endureth ever: His kingdom abideth uncorrupt, and his power is everlasting: It is he that can deliver and save, he doth wonders and marvelous works in heaven and in earth: for he hath saved Daniel from the power of the lions.