By Duane Cartujano
Many stories about Daniel, similar to those in the Old Testament book, circulated in ancient Judaism during the 2nd temple period. Portions of these were seen at Qumran. Susanna and Bell and the Dragon are two entertaining short stories that probably spread separately and were later inserted into the book of Daniel. The Septuagint and Vulgate versions place Susanna at the end with Bel and the Dragon.
This book contains many enlightening messages. It shows what kind of woman Susana was in verse 2.
“ a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord.”(Susanna 1:2)
The parents gave a good example since they raised her to obey the teachings of God which we can read in verse 3.
“Her parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses.”(Susanna 1:3)
Susanna proved her righteousness in verses 22-23. She chose God despite what the two judges did. She did not want to offend God. I remember Hebrews 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus” with what Susana showed in verse 35. It teaches women to focus on God and not other problems.
Verse 41 shows us that authority must not be abused but used in the right manner to help others and follow God’s will. The two judges did not use the authority given to them but abused that authority.
Susana’s prayer in verse 42 showed we cannot hide anything from God. All secrets will come out. This is what we can read in the Bible:
“For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.”(Luke 8:17)
In verse 53, Daniel said, “‘You shall not put an innocent and righteous person to death.’”
We can also read this in Exodus 23:7. “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty.”