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Daniel 13-14New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Susanna’s Beauty Attracts Two Elders

13 There was a man living in Babylon whose name was Joakim. He married the daughter of Hilkiah, named Susanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord. Her parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses. Joakim was very rich, and had a fine garden adjoining his house; the Jews used to come to him because he was the most honored of them all.

That year two elders from the people were appointed as judges. Concerning them the Lord had said: “Wickedness came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people.” These men were frequently at Joakim’s house, and all who had a case to be tried came to them there.

When the people left at noon, Susanna would go into her husband’s garden to walk. Every day the two elders used to see her, going in and walking about, and they began to lust for her. They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering their duty to administer justice. 10 Both were overwhelmed with passion for her, but they did not tell each other of their distress, 11 for they were ashamed to disclose their lustful desire to seduce her. 12 Day after day they watched eagerly to see her.

13 One day they said to each other, “Let us go home, for it is time for lunch.” So they both left and parted from each other. 14 But turning back, they met again; and when each pressed the other for the reason, they confessed their lust. Then together they arranged for a time when they could find her alone.

The Elders Attempt to Seduce Susanna

15 Once, while they were watching for an opportune day, she went in as before with only two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was a hot day. 16 No one was there except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. 17 She said to her maids, “Bring me olive oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I can bathe.” 18 They did as she told them: they shut the doors of the garden and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; they did not see the elders, because they were hiding.

19 When the maids had gone out, the two elders got up and ran to her. 20 They said, “Look, the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent, and lie with us. 21 If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away.”

22 Susanna groaned and said, “I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. 23 I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.”

24 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders shouted against her. 25 And one of them ran and opened the garden doors. 26 When the people in the house heard the shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to her. 27 And when the elders told their story, the servants felt very much ashamed, for nothing like this had ever been said about Susanna.

The Elders Testify against Susanna

28 The next day, when the people gathered at the house of her husband Joakim, the two elders came, full of their wicked plot to have Susanna put to death. In the presence of the people they said, 29 “Send for Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.” 30 So they sent for her. And she came with her parents, her children, and all her relatives.

31 Now Susanna was a woman of great refinement and beautiful in appearance. 32 As she was veiled, the scoundrels ordered her to be unveiled, so that they might feast their eyes on her beauty. 33 Those who were with her and all who saw her were weeping.

34 Then the two elders stood up before the people and laid their hands on her head. 35 Through her tears she looked up toward Heaven, for her heart trusted in the Lord. 36 The elders said, “While we were walking in the garden alone, this woman came in with two maids, shut the garden doors, and dismissed the maids. 37 Then a young man, who was hiding there, came to her and lay with her. 38 We were in a corner of the garden, and when we saw this wickedness we ran to them. 39 Although we saw them embracing, we could not hold the man, because he was stronger than we, and he opened the doors and got away. 40 We did, however, seize this woman and asked who the young man was, 41 but she would not tell us. These things we testify.”

Because they were elders of the people and judges, the assembly believed them and condemned her to death.

42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, “O eternal God, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they come to be; 43 you know that these men have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have charged against me!”

44 The Lord heard her cry. 45 Just as she was being led off to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel, 46 and he shouted with a loud voice, “I want no part in shedding this woman’s blood!”

Daniel Rescues Susanna

47 All the people turned to him and asked, “What is this you are saying?” 48 Taking his stand among them he said, “Are you such fools, O Israelites, as to condemn a daughter of Israel without examination and without learning the facts? 49 Return to court, for these men have given false evidence against her.”

50 So all the people hurried back. And the rest of the[a] elders said to him, “Come, sit among us and inform us, for God has given you the standing of an elder.” 51 Daniel said to them, “Separate them far from each other, and I will examine them.”

52 When they were separated from each other, he summoned one of them and said to him, “You old relic of wicked days, your sins have now come home, which you have committed in the past, 53 pronouncing unjust judgments, condemning the innocent and acquitting the guilty, though the Lord said, ‘You shall not put an innocent and righteous person to death.’ 54 Now then, if you really saw this woman, tell me this: Under what tree did you see them being intimate with each other?” He answered, “Under a mastic tree.”[b] 55 And Daniel said, “Very well! This lie has cost you your head, for the angel of God has received the sentence from God and will immediately cut[c] you in two.”

56 Then, putting him to one side, he ordered them to bring the other. And he said to him, “You offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has beguiled you and lust has perverted your heart. 57 This is how you have been treating the daughters of Israel, and they were intimate with you through fear; but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate your wickedness. 58 Now then, tell me: Under what tree did you catch them being intimate with each other?” He answered, “Under an evergreen oak.”[d] 59 Daniel said to him, “Very well! This lie has cost you also your head, for the angel of God is waiting with his sword to split[e] you in two, so as to destroy you both.”

60 Then the whole assembly raised a great shout and blessed God, who saves those who hope in him. 61 And they took action against the two elders, because out of their own mouths Daniel had convicted them of bearing false witness; they did to them as they had wickedly planned to do to their neighbor. 62 Acting in accordance with the law of Moses, they put them to death. Thus innocent blood was spared that day.

63 Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, and so did her husband Joakim and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of a shameful deed. 64 And from that day onward Daniel had a great reputation among the people.

Daniel and the Priests of Bel

14 When King Astyages was laid to rest with his ancestors, Cyrus the Persian succeeded to his kingdom. Daniel was a companion of the king, and was the most honored of all his Friends.

Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel, and every day they provided for it twelve bushels of choice flour and forty sheep and six measures[f] of wine. The king revered it and went every day to worship it. But Daniel worshiped his own God.

So the king said to him, “Why do you not worship Bel?” He answered, “Because I do not revere idols made with hands, but the living God, who created heaven and earth and has dominion over all living creatures.”

The king said to him, “Do you not think that Bel is a living god? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?” And Daniel laughed, and said, “Do not be deceived, O king, for this thing is only clay inside and bronze outside, and it never ate or drank anything.”

Then the king was angry and called the priests of Bel[g] and said to them, “If you do not tell me who is eating these provisions, you shall die. But if you prove that Bel is eating them, Daniel shall die, because he has spoken blasphemy against Bel.” Daniel said to the king, “Let it be done as you have said.”

10 Now there were seventy priests of Bel, besides their wives and children. So the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. 11 The priests of Bel said, “See, we are now going outside; you yourself, O king, set out the food and prepare the wine, and shut the door and seal it with your signet. 12 When you return in the morning, if you do not find that Bel has eaten it all, we will die; otherwise Daniel will, who is telling lies about us.” 13 They were unconcerned, for beneath the table they had made a hidden entrance, through which they used to go in regularly and consume the provisions. 14 After they had gone out, the king set out the food for Bel. Then Daniel ordered his servants to bring ashes, and they scattered them throughout the whole temple in the presence of the king alone. Then they went out, shut the door and sealed it with the king’s signet, and departed. 15 During the night the priests came as usual, with their wives and children, and they ate and drank everything.

16 Early in the morning the king rose and came, and Daniel with him. 17 The king said, “Are the seals unbroken, Daniel?” He answered, “They are unbroken, O king.” 18 As soon as the doors were opened, the king looked at the table, and shouted in a loud voice, “You are great, O Bel, and in you there is no deceit at all!”

19 But Daniel laughed and restrained the king from going in. “Look at the floor,” he said, “and notice whose footprints these are.” 20 The king said, “I see the footprints of men and women and children.”

21 Then the king was enraged, and he arrested the priests and their wives and children. They showed him the secret doors through which they used to enter to consume what was on the table. 22 Therefore the king put them to death, and gave Bel over to Daniel, who destroyed it and its temple.

Daniel Kills the Dragon

23 Now in that place[h] there was a great dragon, which the Babylonians revered. 24 The king said to Daniel, “You cannot deny that this is a living god; so worship him.” 25 Daniel said, “I worship the Lord my God, for he is the living God. 26 But give me permission, O king, and I will kill the dragon without sword or club.” The king said, “I give you permission.”

27 Then Daniel took pitch, fat, and hair, and boiled them together and made cakes, which he fed to the dragon. The dragon ate them, and burst open. Then Daniel said, “See what you have been worshiping!”

28 When the Babylonians heard about it, they were very indignant and conspired against the king, saying, “The king has become a Jew; he has destroyed Bel, and killed the dragon, and slaughtered the priests.” 29 Going to the king, they said, “Hand Daniel over to us, or else we will kill you and your household.” 30 The king saw that they were pressing him hard, and under compulsion he handed Daniel over to them.

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

31 They threw Daniel into the lions’ den, and he was there for six days. 32 There were seven lions in the den, and every day they had been given two human bodies and two sheep; but now they were given nothing, so that they would devour Daniel.

33 Now the prophet Habakkuk was in Judea; he had made a stew and had broken bread into a bowl, and was going into the field to take it to the reapers. 34 But the angel of the Lord said to Habakkuk, “Take the food that you have to Babylon, to Daniel, in the lions’ den.” 35 Habakkuk said, “Sir, I have never seen Babylon, and I know nothing about the den.” 36 Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown of his head and carried him by his hair; with the speed of the wind[i] he set him down in Babylon, right over the den.

37 Then Habakkuk shouted, “Daniel, Daniel! Take the food that God has sent you.” 38 Daniel said, “You have remembered me, O God, and have not forsaken those who love you.” 39 So Daniel got up and ate. And the angel of God immediately returned Habakkuk to his own place.

40 On the seventh day the king came to mourn for Daniel. When he came to the den he looked in, and there sat Daniel! 41 The king shouted with a loud voice, “You are great, O Lord, the God of Daniel, and there is no other besides you!” 42 Then he pulled Daniel[j] out, and threw into the den those who had attempted his destruction, and they were instantly eaten before his eyes.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 13:50 Gk lacks rest of the
  2. Daniel 13:54 The Greek words for mastic tree and cut are similar, thus forming an ironic wordplay
  3. Daniel 13:55 The Greek words for mastic tree and cut are similar, thus forming an ironic wordplay
  4. Daniel 13:58 The Greek words for evergreen oak and split are similar, thus forming an ironic wordplay
  5. Daniel 13:59 The Greek words for evergreen oak and split are similar, thus forming an ironic wordplay
  6. Daniel 14:3 A little more than fifty gallons
  7. Daniel 14:8 Gk his priests
  8. Daniel 14:23 Other ancient authorities lack in that place
  9. Daniel 14:36 Or by the power of his spirit
  10. Daniel 14:42 Gk him
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sirach 41New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Concerning Death

41 O death, how bitter is the thought of you
    to the one at peace among possessions,
who has nothing to worry about and is prosperous in everything,
    and still is vigorous enough to enjoy food!
O death, how welcome is your sentence
    to one who is needy and failing in strength,
worn down by age and anxious about everything;
    to one who is contrary, and has lost all patience!
Do not fear death’s decree for you;
    remember those who went before you and those who will come after.
This is the Lord’s decree for all flesh;
    why then should you reject the will of the Most High?
Whether life lasts for ten years or a hundred or a thousand,
    there are no questions asked in Hades.

The Fate of the Wicked

The children of sinners are abominable children,
    and they frequent the haunts of the ungodly.
The inheritance of the children of sinners will perish,
    and on their offspring will be a perpetual disgrace.
Children will blame an ungodly father,
    for they suffer disgrace because of him.
Woe to you, the ungodly,
    who have forsaken the law of the Most High God!
If you have children, calamity will be theirs;
    you will beget them only for groaning.
When you stumble, there is lasting joy;[a]
    and when you die, a curse is your lot.
10 Whatever comes from earth returns to earth;
    so the ungodly go from curse to destruction.

11 The human body is a fleeting thing,
    but a virtuous name will never be blotted out.[b]
12 Have regard for your name, since it will outlive you
    longer than a thousand hoards of gold.
13 The days of a good life are numbered,
    but a good name lasts forever.

14 My children, be true to your training and be at peace;
hidden wisdom and unseen treasure—
    of what value is either?

A Series of Contrasts

15 Better are those who hide their folly
    than those who hide their wisdom.
16 Therefore show respect for my words;
for it is not good to feel shame in every circumstance,
    nor is every kind of abashment to be approved.[c]

17 Be ashamed of sexual immorality, before your father or mother;
    and of a lie, before a prince or a ruler;
18 of a crime, before a judge or magistrate;
    and of a breach of the law, before the congregation and the people;
of unjust dealing, before your partner or your friend;
19     and of theft, in the place where you live.
Be ashamed of breaking an oath or agreement,[d]
    and of leaning on your elbow at meals;
of surliness in receiving or giving,
20     and of silence, before those who greet you;
of looking at a prostitute,
21     and of rejecting the appeal of a relative;
of taking away someone’s portion or gift,
    and of gazing at another man’s wife;
22 of meddling with his servant-girl—
    and do not approach her bed;
of abusive words, before friends—
    and do not be insulting after making a gift.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 41:9 Heb: Meaning of Gk uncertain
  2. Sirach 41:11 Heb: Gk People grieve over the death of the body, but the bad name of sinners will be blotted out
  3. Sirach 41:16 Heb: Gk and not everything is confidently esteemed by everyone
  4. Sirach 41:19 Heb: Gk before the truth of God and the covenant
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revelation 15New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Angels with the Seven Last Plagues

15 Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant[a] of God, and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    King of the nations![b]
Lord, who will not fear
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship before you,
for your judgments have been revealed.”

After this I looked, and the temple of the tent[c] of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen,[d] with golden sashes across their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever; and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 15:3 Gk slave
  2. Revelation 15:3 Other ancient authorities read the ages
  3. Revelation 15:5 Or tabernacle
  4. Revelation 15:6 Other ancient authorities read stone
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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