Infomotions, Inc.The Three Additions to Daniel, a Study / Daubney, William Heaford

Author: Daubney, William Heaford
Title: The Three Additions to Daniel, a Study
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Title: The Three Additions to Daniel, A Study

Author: William Heaford Daubney

Release Date: May 24, 2004 [EBook #12420]

Language: English

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A Study





Εὐλόγησαν τῷ θεῷ τῷ σώζοντι τοὺς ἐλπίζοντας ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν.
--_Hist. Sus. v. 60._





To my Wife
Alice Daubney


The three apocryphal portions of Daniel considered in this book have
often been hardly judged. One of them had almost become a byword of
contempt for fabulous inventiveness. Yet the writer hopes that he has
succeeded in shewing that they are worthy of more serious attention than
they have frequently received. The prejudice long existing in this
country against the Apocrypha as a whole has told heavily against two at
any rate of these booklets; and he who attempts to investigate the
nature and origin of the Additions to Daniel finds himself following a
track which is anything but well beaten. The number of commentaries or
treatises in English dealing directly with these works is very small.
Indeed, considering the position accorded to them by the Church, it is
surprisingly so. And of those which exist, some are not very valuable
for accurate study. Hence, in preparing a treatise of this kind,
materials have to be quarried and brought together from varied and
distant sources; and the work, small as its result may be in size, has
proved a laborious one. The conclusions arrived at on many points are
but provisional; for the writer thinks that the day has not yet come
when the source and place of these Additions to Daniel can be surely and
incontrovertibly fixed. It is to be hoped that further evidence and
longer study will eventually make these matters clearer than they are at
present. Meanwhile, careful and unprejudiced work upon the subject, by
whomsoever undertaken, cannot but tend towards that goal; and the author
trusts that he may have contributed something which will help, at least
a little, towards the solution of the difficult problem presented.

The Song of the Three and the Histories of Susanna and of Bel and the
Dragon are most interesting memorials of the spirit of their time,
though that time may be difficult to fix precisely. And when looked at
from the religious point of view they are replete with valuable moral
lessons for "example of life and instruction of manners," to borrow the
terms which the Sixth Article of Religion employs with regard to the
Apocryphal books. An attempt has been made, in a concluding chapter on
each book, to draw some of these lessons out, so that they may be easily
available for such homiletic and other purposes as are contemplated in
that Article.

The study of these three pieces supplementary to Daniel has convinced
the writer that they are of more value than has been generally supposed,
and are worthy of the attention of biblical scholars in a much higher
degree than that which has usually been accorded to them. If he has in
any way helped in providing materials, or in suggesting ideas, which may
fructify in abler hands, he will be rewarded for the researches he has

It appears to him that there is much connected with these books which we
are unable now fully to discover; much about which it is unwise to
dogmatize; many questions which must be treated as open ones; many
problems which can at most only receive provisional solutions, till
further facts are elicited and further insight given. The time is
apparently still distant when the origin and true standing of these
Additions can be certainly assigned to them: for, at the present,
agreement amongst Christians on these points shews but little sign of
being arrived at. Yet we trust that the time will come when deeper
knowledge will make it possible for disputed points to be settled. "The
patience of the godly shall not be frustrate" (Ecclus. xvi. 13).

In conclusion I must record my hearty thanks to Dr. Sinker, Librarian of
Trinity College, Cambridge, for the great assistance he has given me in
correcting the proof-sheets, as well as for his constant kindness in
many other ways, of which these words are but an insufficient



_St. Matthias' Day_, 1906.








      1. Title and Position

      2. Authorship

      3. Date and Place of Writing

      4. For Whom and with what Object Written

      5. Integrity and State of the Text

      6. Language and Style

      7. Religious and Social State

      8. Theology

      9. Chronology

      10. Canonicity

      11. Early Christian Literature and Art

      12. Liturgical Use

      13. "Example of Life and Instruction of Manners"




      1. Title and Position

      2. Date and Place of Writing

      3. Authorship

      4. For Whom and with what Object Written

      5. Integrity and State of the Text

      6. Language and Style

      7. Religious and Social State

      8. Theology

      9. Chronology

      10. Canonicity

      11. Early Christian Literature and Art

      12. "Example of Life and Instruction of Manners"




      1. Title and Position

      2. Authorship

      3. Date and Place of Writing

      4. For Whom and with what Object Written

      5. Integrity and State of the Text

      6. Language and Style

      7. Religious and Social State

      8. Theology

      9. Chronology

      10. Canonicity

      11. Early Christian Literature and Art

      12. "Example of Life and Instruction of Manners"



[The text of the 'Additions' used throughout is that of Dr. Swete's
_Old Testament in Greek_, Vol. III. ed. 2, Cambridge, 1899.]




These Additions differ from the other Apocryphal books, except the "rest
of" Esther, in not claiming to be separate works, but appearing as
supplements to a canonical book. The Song of the Three Children takes
its assumed place between vv. 23 and 24 of Dan. iii.; the History of
Susanna in the language of the A.V. is "set apart from the beginning of
Daniel"; and Bel and the Dragon is "cut off from the end of" the same
book. The first of these additions alone has an organic connection with
the main narrative; the other two are independent scenes from the life,
or what purports to be the life, of Daniel--episodes, one in his
earlier, one in his later, career. In the Song, Daniel personally does
not appear at all; in Susanna and in Bel he plays a conspicuous part; in
Susanna appearing as a sort of 'deus ex machina' to set things right at
the end; and in Bel he is an essential actor in the whole story.

It is hoped to shew, amongst other things, that the dissimilarity
supposed to exist between these additions and the rest of Daniel is by
no means so great as has sometimes been imagined. The opinion of one of
the latest commentators on Daniel (Marti, Tübingen, 1901, p. xx) may be
taken as a fair sample of this view. He thinks these pieces by no means
congruous with the canonical Daniel: "Den Abstand dieser apokryphischen
Erzählungen von dem in hebraram. Dan. aufgenommen Volkstradition kann
niemand verkennen." So far as these additions to the contents of Daniel
are concerned, he would agree with the exaggerated statement of Trommius
as to all the Apocrypha: "ad libros canonicos S. Scripturæ proprie non
pertinent nec cum Græca eorum versione quicquam commune habent," etc.
(_Concord. Præf._ § xi.). The sharp distinction drawn by J.M. Fuller
also between the style and thought of these additions, and of the
canonical Daniel, is far too strong: "as clearly marked as between the
canonical and apocryphal gospels." Few will think the separation between
them so wide as this (_Speaker's Comm. Introd. to Dan._ p. 221a).
Moreover, they are much less obviously incongruous, less plainly meant
for edifying "improvements" by a later hand, than the Additions to

But beyond the connection, more or less strong, which these pieces have
with the canonical book, they have also a connection, by means of
certain similar features, with one another. All have this in common,
viz. the celebration or record of some deliverance. God's persecuted
people are rescued from mortal danger. In the first and third cases they
suffer at the hands of idolaters; in the second, of Jewish
co-religionists. In each case they provide us with a scene from
Israelitish life "in a strange land." They are tales of the Babylonian

In each story the ministry of angels, giving aid against visible foes,
takes a prominent place; though in Susanna these appearances are
suppressed in Theodotion's version, an angel, however, being just
mentioned in Daniel's sentences of condemnation. In each case too there
is distinct progress under God's guiding hand; things are left much
better at the end than at the beginning. There is a tone of confidence,
bred of sure conviction, in one abundantly expressed, in the others
latent, as to the ultimate triumph of right. They agree in the certainty
of God's defence, and shew complete reliance on Him. The Captivity had
done a purifying work.

These stories of rescue from oppressors would be specially acceptable
to the Jews of the Babylonian Captivity; more so probably than to the
Jews of the Dispersion elsewhere. Howbeit they are records of zeal and
trust which have moved many hearts in all ages and places.

In the last two Daniel appears as a person of great knowledge and power,
successfully acting under the Divine guidance. In all three there is
little which can properly be called strained or far-fetched. Almost
everything is drawn naturally from what we may presume would be the
condition of Daniel's time. Both behind and through the details of the
stories we can see the heart of one who praised God, loved justice, and
hated idolatry; who took delight in what was noble, pure, and truthful,
and waged a successful warfare with whatever he encountered of an
opposite character.

Each piece, moreover, has what may be thought to be its own allusion or
reminiscence in the New Testament. And each of these parallels,
curiously enough, seems eminently characteristic of the addition whence
it may have been taken.

Thus we find in the parallel of St. Matt, xxvii. 24 with Susanna 46 the
assertion of innocency in respect of miscarriage of justice; in that of
Heb. xii. 23 with the Song 64 (86), the utterance of the spirits and
souls of the righteous; and in that of Acts xvii. 23 with Bel and
Dragon 27, the mocker of idols.

One is from the beginning, one from the midst, one from the end of the
Greek Daniel; the first by St. Matthew reporting Pilate; the second by a
writer not certainly identified; the third by St. Luke reporting St.
Paul. These may be merely accidental resemblances, but their occurrence
in this way is curious, and worthy of consideration.

As to the position of these pieces, whether in or out of the canon, it
is probable, speaking generally, that those who used the Hebrew Bible,
or versions uninfluenced by the LXX, disregarded them as not being part
of Holy Scripture; and that those who used the LXX, or its versions,
accepted them, either with or without hesitation. Under the chapters
entitled "Early Christian Literature" it will be seen that those were by
no means wanting who appear to attribute in practical use canonical
authority to each fragment; and at least what Otto Stähelin says of
Clement of Alexandria, that he "nicht geringer schätzte," may be held
true of nearly all the Fathers who name them (_Clem. Alex, und LXX_,
Nürnberg, 1901, p. 74). It is, however, surprising that this divergence
of use, in so important a matter as the extent of the canon, did not
give rise to a more general controversy. What discussion there was on
this question lay chiefly between a few scholarly individuals, who
treated the matter as of private and personal, almost as much as of
public, interest.

Even if it were admitted that these works were not in the Hebrew canon,
the question is still not absolutely settled. For it might be contended,
without at all asserting that the Hebrew canon was erroneous or
deficient in its time, that these and other apocryphal works were
reserved in the providence of God for the Christian Church to deal with
as she thought fit. Nor is it clear that her powers as to them, when
deciding for canonicity or no, were of necessity more restricted than
her powers as to the N.T. books on the same question. What Tertullian
says with regard to 'Enoch' might be extended to other books, "Scio
scripturam Enoch... non recipi a quibusdam quia nec in armarium
Judaicum admittitur... a vobis quidem nihil omnino rejiciendum est quod
pertinent ad nos" (_De cult. fæm._ I. 13).

The title 'Daniel,' it should be observed, in lists of Scripture books,
often covers these additions; as for example in Origen's list, as
preserved by Eusebius, _H.E._ vi. 25. For we know that Origen (_Ep. ad
Afric._) defended these additions, and so almost certainly intended
this title to include them. So also with Athanasius and Cyril of
Jerusalem'(_see_ Sus. 'Canonicity,' p. 160). Probably it is on this
account that Loisy (_O.T. Canon_, Paris, 1890, p. 97) says that
Athanasius received "certainement les fragments de Daniel, sur la foi
des Septante, comme le font Origène et tous les Pères grecs."

Ecclesiastical practice, as well as their distribution amongst the
canonical books of both Greek and Latin Bibles, told, as time went on,
more and more in favour of their inclusion.

But they were not officially recognized as on a level in all respects
with Holy Scripture, even by the Roman Church, till the fourth session
of the Council of Trent (1546), when they were all placed on an equality
with, in fact treated as portions of, the book of Daniel. Probably the
phrase "libros integros _cum omnibus suis partibus_" was introduced into
the decree with special reference to these additions and those to
Esther. This decree, making them "sacred and canonical," was carried,
according to Loisy (p. 201), by 44 placets to 3 non-placets and 5
doubtful.[1] Dr. Streane, however, says (_Age of the Maccabees,_ 1898,
p. 102) it was passed by "a small majority." Even writers so late as
Nicholas de Lyra (†1340) and Denys the Carthusian (†1471) speak of
these additions as true, but not parts of Holy Scripture (Loisy, p. 223,
quoting Corn. à Lap. on Dan. xiii. 3). And they were of the Roman

Bleek (_Introd. to O.T._ II. 336, Eng. tr.) says that the seventh decree
of the Council of Florence (1439), making mention of apocryphal books as
canonical, which no one was acquainted with before the Tridentine
Council, is very probably not genuine. Denys the Carthusian, it will be
observed, was subsequent to the supposed Florentine decree, and
seemingly ignorant of its existence.

The same writer states (pp. 336, 339) that while Karlstadt classed some
of the Apocrypha as "hagiographa extra canonem," he called these
supplements to Daniel, with the Prayer of Manasses, and others as "plane
apocryphos." He also represents Luther as prettily styling these pieces
corn-flowers plucked up, because not in the Hebrew, yet placed in a
separate garden or bed, because much that is good is found in them. They
are thus detached in his version, as in ours, from Daniel, and placed
among the apocryphal books. Calvin, however, in his Lectures on Daniel
entirely ignores these additions. His English translator barely mentions
them in his preface (Edinb. 1852, p. xlix.).

Far more contemptuous than Luther's estimate of these productions is
that of Professor (now Bishop) Ryle in the _Cambridge Companion to the
Bible_ (1894), where he writes: "The character of these stories is
trifling and childish."

But in reply to this and similar depreciatory opinions, it may be
pointed out that one does not look in these extra-Danielic stories for
such a knowledge of the human heart as is displayed in the Psalms, nor
for such knowledge of the Godhead as is revealed in St. John's Gospel.
If we look for fully developed doctrine of this kind, we shall no doubt
be disappointed. But we do find religious teaching after the tenor of
the old covenant, such as might be expected in compositions which are
mainly narrative; we meet with teaching which looks quite as clear as
that, say, of the books of Ruth, Chronicles, or Esther. Indeed, those
who have a mind to draw moral and spiritual instruction from these brief
works will not find it difficult to do so, or discover that the
religious teaching is out of harmony with that which is acknowledged to
exist in Daniel (_see_ chaps, on "Example of Life and Instruction of
Manners"). In point of fact, an overgrowth of unreasonable objections
has been too much encouraged; and if these pieces may not in all
respects secure a favourable vote, it is desirable that they may
receive at least an unprejudiced and equitable judgment.

The examples of patristic use given under the head of "Early Christian
Literature" will, it is hoped, sufficiently refute such statements as
that of Albert Barnes (_Daniel,_ Lond. 1853, pp. 79, 80): "It is seldom
that these additions to Daniel are quoted or alluded to at all by the
early Christian writers, but when they are, it is only that they may be
condemned." This may be taken as a specimen of a certain class of
adverse opinion, evidently formed without sufficient investigation of
the subject. In reality, these pieces are referred to, considering their
brevity, with surprising frequency; that the references are not
exclusively, or even generally, for purposes of condemnation, hardly
needs to be stated.

What effect these writings took on Jewish readers there is little or
nothing to shew. With the rest of the LXX, they seem to have lost ground
with Jews as they gained it with Christians. The closing scene of Bel
and the Dragon, however, is made use of in _Breshith Rabba_ to
illustrate Joseph's abandonment in the pit (Gen. xxxvii.)[2]. To
Christians indeed they have, from a very early date, constantly
presented themselves as highly valuable for purposes of edification.
Nor, with the possible exception of Susanna, is it easy to see in what
way they could have furthered, in that aspect, any undesirable end.

What will be the future of these pieces by which, in the Greek Bible,
the contents of Daniel were increased? It is not easy to say. Much will
surely depend on the eventual consensus of opinion as to the date of
that book itself. Neither the Roman nor Greek Churches shew any sign of
modifying their entire,[3] or very slightly qualified, acceptance of
these additions as integral parts of Holy Scripture. On the other hand,
English-speaking Protestant Dissenters shew almost as little sign of
rising to any religious appreciation of them.

Between these extremes the Church of England, and perhaps the German and
Scandinavian Lutherans, hold, as to these books, an intermediate
position, which in this, as in some other questions, may not improbably
prove to be the right one. In any case the English Church has always
treated them with great respect, a large part of one of them entering
into her Morning Prayer, and the other two having been appointed as
first lessons in her calendar from 1549 to 1872, except that Bel and
the Dragon was removed from 1604 to 1662. Previous to this last date
they were read, not as independent books, but as Dan. xiii. and xiv.

A patient waiting for the production of further evidence as to the
origin and position of these additions can hardly be unrewarded.
Meanwhile we may fitly agree with St. Gregory of Nazianzus' lines, which
apply as well to these as to the other books of the Apocrypha:

  Οὐκ ἅπασα βίβλος ἀσφαλὴς,
ἡ σεμνὸν ὄνομα τῆς Τραφῆς κεκτημένη.
εἰσὶν γὰρ, εἰσὶν ἔσθ᾽ ὅτε ψευδώνυμοι
βίβλοι· τινὲς μὲν ἔμμεσοι, καὶ γείτονες,
ὡς ἄν τις εἴποι, τῶν ἀληθείας λόγων.

(_Poems,_ lib. II., _ad Seleucum_, 252--256; Migne, _Patr. Gr._ xxxvii.



בָאֻרִים כַּבְּדוּ יְהוָׂה
(יש׳ כד׳ טו׳)




1, 2. Narrative in continuation of the canonical text, describing
the procedure of the three children in the furnace.

3-22. Azarias' confession (3-10), and prayer (11-22), on behalf
of them all.

23-28. Narrative describing the fire, the descent of the Angel, and
the happy result.

29-68. The Song of praise itself, which may be subdivided thus: God
directly addressed in blessing (29-34); after all God's works,
celestial objects are addressed, including Angels[4] (35-41); objects
of the lower heaven or atmosphere are called upon, including those
immediately concerned, wind and dew being placed next to fire and heat
(42-51); then the earth[5] and its natural features, and the animals
inhabiting it, are called upon (52-59); then the human race, as a whole
and in various classes, down to the three children themselves (60-66).
In conclusion God is extolled for His ever-enduring mercy in phrases
culled from the Psalter (67, 68).

The tendency of the arrangement of the Song proper is to descend from
generals to particulars. It has a refrain at the end of each verse,
slightly differing in those preliminary verses which are addressed to
the Lord Himself, and wanting in the last three. The rendering of the
refrain in the preliminary verses does not seem very happy in its
English (A.V. and K.V.).



Forming, as it does, an integral portion of the third chapter of the
Greek Daniel, the principal MSS. give the Song, in that place, no
independent title. It falls of course under the general title of the
whole Book, Daniel.

Van Ess in his LXX (Lips. 1835) entitles it Προσευχὴ Ἀζαρίου καὶ ὕμνος
τῶν τριῶν, but as he puts this heading in curved brackets it is possibly
merely his own insertion. 'B' is the codex which he is professing to
follow in his text; but that MS. is credited with no such title in Dr.
Swete's Greek Old Testament; nor do Holmes and Parsons shew any
knowledge of it as existing in any of their MSS.

In the Veronese Graeco-Latin Psalter it is headed Ὕμνος τῶν πατέρων
ἡμῶν, and in the Turin Psalter Ὕμνος τῶν τριῶν παιδῶν, which title it
inserts again at v. 57, strangely regarding that verse as the
commencement of a fresh canticle with a new number, ιβ. Churton (_Uncan.
and Apocr. Script._, p. 391) suggests that the former title "may have
been wrongly transferred from Ecclus. xliv." at the head of which it
stands. He also calls it the title in the Alexandrian Psalter--the Odes,
presumably that is, at the end. But the title to Ecclus. xliv. is simply
πατέρων ὕμνος, so that the likelihood of the transfer, deemed possible
by Churton, having taken place is very small.

In the Odes, at the end of Cod. A, two canticles are extracted from this
piece; the first (Ode IX.) entitled Προσευχὴ Ἀζαρίου, the second (Ode
X.) Ὕμνος τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, each corresponding with the name given to
it. In the office of Eastern Lauds the two parts have separate titles,
being assigned to different days of the week (_D.C.A._ art. _Canticle_).

In the Syriac and Arabic versions of Daniel a separate title is given
after v. 23 of chap. iii., and in the latter after v. 52, according
to Churton in his marginal notes. He also says that "the prayer of the
companions of _Ananias_" is the Syriac title. The titles on the whole
are fairly suited to their purpose; but the use of the word "children"
(παιδῶν) in the common heading of the Song contemplates the three as of
the age indicated in Daniel i. rather than that in Daniel iii.


Obviously this is not meant for an independent work, since it has no
proper commencement of its own. "And they walked" is clearly intended
as a continuation of some foregoing history. Accordingly, its position
in the LXX, Theodotion, Vulgate, and other versions, is immediately
after the 23rd verse of Daniel iii., thus forming a portion of that
chapter. This is clearly its natural and appropriate place. It unites
well both at the beginning and the end with the canonical text, "Qui se
trouve entrelassée (_sic_) dans le texte," as D. Martin says in the
heading of the book in his French version. T.H. Home, however (_Introd._
1856, II. 936), mentions its "abrupt nature" as a reason for thinking
that the translator did not invent it, but made use of already existing
materials. But the abruptness is not so apparent to other eyes and ears.
Indeed G. Jahn, in his note on Dan. iii. 24 (Leipzig, 1904), considers
the gap between vv. 23 and 24 in the Massoretic text is filled up
satisfactorily in the LXX and Theodotion only.

By means of this insertion, and the inclusion of what in A.V. are the
first four verses of chap. iv., this chapter is lengthened out in the
Greek and Latin versions to exactly 100 verses.

Bishop Gray's note (_Key to O.T._ 1797, p. 608), in which he says "the
Song of the three holy children is not in the Vat. copy of the LXX," is
certainly a mistake. It is just possible, however, that he may have
meant that the true LXX version was absent from it. So Ball somewhat
obscurely (p. 310 "the Alex. MS. omits"[6]), and Bissell (p. 442),
though not very distinctly, suggest a like idea as to its omission from
Dan. iii. in A, and Zöckler in his commentary falls into the same
mistake (Munich, 1891, p. 231). It is not unlikely that these writers
successively influenced each other.

E. Philippe's idea (Vigouroux, _Dict._ II. 1267a), that this piece was
separated from the original book because "elle retarde le récit et est
en dehors du but final" seems unconvincing--as much so as Dereser's
(quoted in Bissell, p. 444), from whom perhaps it was borrowed--that
"the Sanhedrim at Jerusalem shortened it for convenient use," An equally
unsatisfying "reason" is that of H. Deane in _Daniel, his Life and
Times_, p. 70 (pref. 1888). "There is no doubt as to the antiquity of
this addition, but probably on account of the feelings of hatred the
three children express with regard to their enemies, it was not
universally received by the Church." In the face of many stronger
expressions in the O.T. received without hesitation, this explanation
seems untenable, or at least insufficient. And the same may be said of
G. Jahn's theory that some mention of the singing of the three,
contained in the original, was expunged by the Massoretes as too
wonderful and apocryphal.

Much has been made of the omission of this and the other additions from
the original Syriac (_e.g._ Westcott, quoting Polychronius, Smith's
_D.B._, ed. 2. 7136, Bissell, 448), but they are contained in the Syriac
text of Origen's _Hexapla_, in the MS. in the Ambrosian Library at Milan
(Kautzsch, I. 172), published in facsimile by Ceriani. Bugati in his
edition of Daniel gives this Syriac and the LXX text in parallel
columns. In Jephet Ibn All's (the Karaite's) Arabic commentary on
Daniel, translated by D.S. Margoliouth (Oxf. 1889), no notice is taken
of the additions. The commentary was probably written about A.D. 1000.

Professor Rothstein (Kautzsch, I. 173) compares the situation of the
prayer in ix. 4 _sqq._, which he deems, like this one, to have been
perhaps a later insertion into the book.

It is beyond question that if this psalm of prayer and praise is to find
a place anywhere in the Book of Daniel, no more suitable position can be
found for it than that which it occupies so well in the Greek. If it is
a digression from the course of the original narrative it is very
happily placed, since it accounts satisfactorily for the statement "the
king was astonied" in v. 24 (91). He was surprised at the voice of
praise, instead of the shrieks of pain which he had expected to produce
by the execution of his decree.


In the Greek of neither Ο´ nor Θ is there variation sufficient to prove
that the writer differed from the one who translated the rest of the
book. Rather do the indications point to the same hand having been at
work throughout. Comely says of this and its companion pieces, "Neque in
trium pericoparum argumentis quidquam invenitur quo illas Danielis
auctori attribuere prohibeamur" (_Compendium,_ Paris, 1889, p. 421).
This, like other R.C. writings, holds of course a brief for their

The Prayer, on the surface, claims to be by Azarias; the Song by all the
three. The introductory and intermediate narrative verses are given as
if from the same pen as the rest of Daniel's history; v. 4 (27)
reminds us in its terms of Daniel iv. 37 (34) very strongly, and, in
part, of ix. 14. In v. 24 (47) the mention of 49 (7 x 7) is paralleled
by the symbolic use of the number 7 in iv. 25, etc. But even if, as is
likely, they did not originate with the ostensible utterers, still it
is quite possible that the hand for the prayer, the narrative, and the
Song may not, in the first instance, have been identical.

Probably, however, we are intended, by the producer of the piece in its
present shape, to understand that the prayer and the Song are recorded,
even if not originated, by the author of the whole book. If not genuine
parts of Daniel, their parentage has not been assigned to any named
author; and the work must be treated as anonymous, for no clue has been
traced which points to a definite writer.

The putting forward in v. 2 (25) of the second person of the trio, not
otherwise distinguished from his fellows, is remarkable, and not
suggestive of a forgery. There is nothing to shew why he led the prayer,
as no special characteristics are attached to Abed-nego in our
knowledge. Most likely a forger would have put the prayer into the mouth
of Shadrach (Ananias), who always stands first, though the order of the
last two is reversed in the one place in which the three are named in
the uncanonical portion of the chapter. Ewald (_Hist. of Israel_, E. Tr.
Lond. 1874, V. 486) thinks that Azarias is introduced as the eldest, or
perhaps the teacher, of the other two; but this conjecture does not
account for the varying orders of the names of the three in v. 65.

However thick a veil may rest over the author's name, it may safely be
regarded as certain that he was a Jew, and a Jew who was well acquainted
with the Psalter. But the opinion as to whether he was of Babylonian,
Palestinian, or Alexandrian extraction will depend in a great measure on
the view taken as to the original language, whether Chaldee, Hebrew, or
Greek. Professor Rothstein (p. 174) admits the possibility of this
addition having been made to Daniel before its translation into Greek.
But Dean W.R.W. Stephens (_Helps to Study of P.B._, Oxf. n. d., prob.
1901, p. 45) may be taken as representing what has been the commonest
view. He thinks it "probably composed by an Alexandrine Jew." On the
other hand, Dr. Streane's remark tells against this increase of contents
having begun at Alexandria. "The tendency to diffuseness, characteristic
of later Judaism... operated much more slightly among Egyptian Jews
than with their brethren elsewhere" (quoted in Dr. Swete's _Introd. to
Greek O.T._, p. 259).

The assertion has gone the round of the commentators that the Song
proper is a mere expansion of Psalm cxlviii., leaving us to infer that
it is hardly a work of independent authorship. Perowne[7] writes, "the
earliest imitation of this psalm is the Song of the Three Children." And
J.H. Blunt, _in loc._, tells us that "the hymn in its original shape was
obviously an expanded form of the 148th Psalm." So even Gaster,
"modelled evidently on Ps. cxlviii."[8]; while Wheatley[9] goes so far
as to say that it is "an exact paraphrase" of that psalm, "and so like
it in words and sense that whoever despiseth this reproacheth that part
of the canonical writings."[10] But though the general idea for calling
upon nature to glorify God is the same, the author of _Benedicite_ is
much more than a mere expander or imitator. Naturally many of the same
objects are mentioned; but while comparison with the LXX version of the
psalm shews some resemblance in word and thought, it shews much more
variation in style, phraseology, and treatment. That the writer, as a
Jew, was acquainted with this psalm can scarcely be doubted; that he
consciously imitated it there is little to shew. Moreover, the use of
this psalm at Lauds in the Ambrosian, the Eastern, and Quignon's
service-books, together with the _Benedicite_, would hardly have
occurred if the Church had regarded the latter as a mere expansion of
the former, and not as a distinct production.

Whoever the author may have been, he was evidently strictly orthodox,
and quite in sympathy with his three heroes, in whose mouths he placed
this lively, agreeable, and most religious Song. He has added a much
appreciated treasure, at least among Christians, to the ecclesiastical
hooks; a most serviceable form of utterance for the Church's praiseful
voice. But the nature of the piece does not afford much scope for
display of the character or personality of the writer. He effaces
himself while extolling devotion to Jehovah, and, if he be Daniel, while
recording the faithfulness of the blessed friends of his youth. What
subject more likely to excite his enthusiastic sympathy? Honour to the
martyrs who endured, praise to the Lord who delivered, it was plainly a
pleasure to him to give.



Almost everything, excepting its absence from the original, points to
the Song having been from the beginning a part of the LXX text of
Daniel. Its date therefore in this case would be the date of that text.
The way in which it is worked into the canonical Daniel narrative
suggests that, if there be any variation as to date in the three
additions, this is seemingly the earliest.

That the LXX translator invented this enlargement out of his own genius
seems highly improbable; nor, were it not for its absence from the
original Daniel, few would have doubted that he obtained the whole of
his material from the same quarter. In such case our 'apocryphon' would
obviously ante-date the LXX text.

It is not unlikely that the Alexandrian translator worked up certain
traditions (J.M. Fuller, S.P.C.K. _Comm._; see also Bevan, _Dan._ Camb.
1892, p. 45), or, if Gaster's discovery be what he thinks, written
narratives. What sources, however, were used in preparing its LXX Greek
form can only be conjectured, and that on very slender data.

Rothstein in Kautzsch (I. 176) deems it to have been imported into the
text of Daniel before the LXX translation, which he dates at latest in
the first quarter of the last century B.C.

How an interpolation of this kind came to be admitted into the original
of Daniel is a difficult matter to explain. Even on the supposition that
the כתובים were less rigidly fixed than the Law or even the Prophets,
the insertion or omission of such a section as this seems a very bold
step. Ewald (_Hist. Israel,_ v. 86, 87, Eng. Tr.) thinks these additions
to be fragments of an enlarged Daniel based on the older book, which was
composed one or two centuries earlier.[11] Some later writer must have
compared this new book, which was originally written in Greek, with the
translation of the older book of Daniel, and transferred whatever he
thought proper from the former into the latter. The work, thus compiled
afresh, has been preserved in Greek shape, while the intervening book,
whose former existence is proved by clearest traces, is now lost. It is
only in this way, Ewald thinks, that we can explain the origin and
preservation of the portions which are not contained in the Hebrew.

Prof. Kautzsch (I. 121) deems III. Maccabees, in vi. 6 of which book
there is a reference to v. 27 (50) of the Song, to date from some time
between the end of the second century B.C. and 70 A.D. at the latest.
Within these limits he fixes upon the commencement of the Christian era
as the most likely time. Dr. Streane, moreover (_Age of Macc._ p. 157),
thinks that while century I. B.C. is very possible, it cannot be of
earlier date, on account of the proof given by this verse of
acquaintance with the Song. This reference, therefore, undoubted as it
is, does not greatly help us in solving the problem of date, except as
to its _ad quem_ limit.

Tob. xii. 6 and xiii. 10 (the latter especially in the Vulgate) are very
similar in phraseology to the refrain of the _Benedicite_; vv. 29, 30
(52) too, in both Greek versions, strongly suggest an acquaintance with
Tob. viii. 5, since κύριε appears more likely to have been added to,
than omitted from, the later document of the two. This is on the
assumption that Tobit is, as Streane thinks (p. 148), pre-Maccabean, or
at any rate earlier than this Song. But as the words used are not very
distinctive, it is quite possible that they might have been
independently prepared. The mention of Ananias, Azarias, and Misael in
I. Macc. ii. 59 is not conclusive as to its writer's knowledge of the
Song, but the order of the names, which does not occur elsewhere, makes
a remembrance of v. 88 not improbable. I. Macc. is dated by Kautzsch
(I. 31) from 100 to 90 B.C.; Streane (p. 149) allows slightly wider
limits; and Westcott (Smith's _D.B._ II. 173) suggests 120 to 100. As to
another possible indication given by v. 66 (88), see 'Chronology,' p.

Of that scepticism which followed the refinements of rabbinism there is
no trace, either here, or in Susanna, or in Bel and the Dragon. The
tone of them all is that of an earlier time, free from any symptoms of
this later decline. But still the signs of date are not sufficiently
decided to justify us in fixing upon a narrow period with any degree of
certainty. Taking the piece as independent of the original Daniel, the
second century B.C. might perhaps be named as far from improbable. But a
closer date than this it is hardly safe to fix.


If we assume an _Aramaic original_, Babylonia most probably will be the
place for its production; Palestine somewhat less probably. But
indications of place in the piece itself are very faint. It is true,
however, that the order "nights and days" is "in conformity with the
Shemitic custom of fixing the beginning of the day at the preceding
evening" (McSwiney, _Psalms and Canticles_, 1901, p. 644).

Everyone must have noticed the frequency with which things watery and
things cold are mentioned in the Song. The number of times they occur
seems quite out of proportion with the scale on which it is conceived.
Water, showers, dew, cold, frost, snow,[12] sea, rivers, fountains, all
that move in the waters, are apostrophised in succession. The
preponderance of these objects is very noticeable, even to a cursory
reader. Now both Babylon and Alexandria are alike situated in hot
countries; but of the two, a resident in the former would be more likely
to have had these things brought before his eyes than a resident in the
latter. Lower Egypt with its almost rainless climate, and its one river,
does not seem the most likely locality to suggest a constant reference
to such topics. Chaldæa, on the other hand, is better watered and is
within the region of rain, and at any rate in its northern parts, of
frost and snow. Dura, according to Keith Johnston's map, is close to the
hills. But the position of "the plain of Dura," where the martyrdom took
place, has not been certainly identified. J.M. Fuller's note on v. 42
(64), "Rain and dew have that prominence which naturally belongs to them
in the parched East," is far from sufficing to explain the oft recurring
mention of these matters.

Still less does Bishop Forbes' remark[13] that "the element of water
seems specially to have received the benediction of the Lord," serve to
elucidate the cause of its preponderance here.

The slight anthropomorphism in v. 54, where 'sitting' is implied in Θ,
expressed in Ο´, is more conformable to Babylonian than Alexandrian
ideas; but this may be a mere reminiscence of Psalms lxxx. 1, xcix. 1.
The mention of pitch or bitumen is inconclusive, inasmuch as it is found
in both Babylonia and Egypt; but the mention of "heavens" and "stars of
heaven" (vv. 59, 63), agrees very well with Chaldean origin. So far,
therefore, as these considerations go, they turn the scale, to a small
extent, in favour of Babylonia.

The only natural object which may be regarded as telling in the opposite
direction is κήτη (v. 79), which might be thought to point to
knowledge of the Mediterranean Sea (_see_ Child Chaplin, _Benedicite,_
1879, p. 324).

The birthplace of the LXX text is surely Alexandria. The character of
this, as of the other additions, indicates, according to Westcott
(_D.B._ ed. 2, I. 1714a) and Wordsworth (on Dan. iii. 23), the hand of
an Alexandrian writer.

It is well, however, to notice that this, with its companion pieces, has
as few indications of Greek philosophy and habits of thought as any part
of the Apocrypha; and in common with most Alexandrian writers it has
little or nothing of purely Egyptian character. Still, Dereser's idea
that "Daniel may have written his book in Greek at Babylon with all the
additions" (quoted by Bissell, p. 444) seems most unlikely, and could
hardly have been advanced except under the necessity of supporting the
Roman view of the book.

Theodotion's version, so far as concerns the locality where it
originated, shares the obscurity which hangs over much of Theodotion's
personal life. Ephesus may be suggested, for Irenæus (III. xxiii.)
styles him ὁ Ἑφέσιος; though Epiphanius calls him Ποντικός (_D.C.B._
art. _Hexapla_, p. 22a). The latter author is, for the most part, the
less accurate of the two. In _De Mensuris, etc._, XVII. he states that
Θ's version was issued in the second Commodus' reign, 180--192,
"obviously too late."[14] The pre-Theodotionic version which Θ is thought
to have used may of course have been an Alexandrian production; but at
present little is known of it.

That Theodotion had some earlier rendering, besides the LXX as his
basis, the quotations in Rev. ix. 20, etc., and St. Matt. xii. 18,
coinciding with his version,[15] render highly probable, inasmuch as he
wrote subsequently to any likely date for those books. Possibly he may
have used Aquila's version, or that of some unknown translator.
Professor Gwynn's idea (_D.C.B._ art. _Theodotion_, 977a) of "two rival
Septuagintal Daniels"[16] seems to have more "inherent improbability"
than he is inclined to admit. But where this ground text, circulated
apparently in Palestine and Asia Minor, was made, who can say? But if we
take St. John as the author of Revelation, his connection with Ephesus,
and the probable publication of his work there, give some little support
to the theory of an Ephesian origin of Theodotion's translation.

It is strange that a version supposed to be made by one who was not an
orthodox Christian, if Christian at all, should have been preferred, as
far as concerns Daniel, by the Christian Church for ordinary use.[17]
Jerome (_Præf. in Dan._) says, as if he felt that some explanation was
needed, "et hoc cur acciderit nescio," though he proceeds to suggest
some possible reasons why the version of one "qui utique post adventum
Christi incredulus fuit" should have been so much honoured. The
religious work of a Jew, who lived before Christ, and that of one who
refused to acknowledge his advent after it had taken place, stand
obviously, for Christians, on a different footing.



Undoubtedly for Jewish readers, who were already interested in the story
of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; designed for those who had Daniel's
book in their hands, who felt the Three to be heroes rightly honoured.

Of course, if the words were really spoken by Azarias, they were for the
honour of God and the benefit of himself and his companions in the fire;
and the Song itself becomes a real thanksgiving, on the spur of the
moment, for the literal fulfilment of such promises as Isai. xliii. 2--a
form, for their own personal use, to express their immediate feelings.

Verse 24 (Ο´) might suggest the idea that the prayer (and perhaps the
Song also) were uttered in the interval between the issue and the
execution of the king's order for burning alive; but the words ἐν μέσῳ
τῷ πυρί in v. 25 forbid this view. (As to a possible subsequent
insertion of the prayer, see 'Integr. and State of Text,' p. 42.)
Theodotion also precludes this idea by his insertion of ἐν μέσῳ τῆς
φλογὸς in v. 24 itself, as well as ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ πυρὸς in v. 25. The
slight change in the case of the last two words lessens the likelihood
of their having been transferred from v. 25 of one version to v. 25
of the other. But it is quite possible that Θ may have purposely omitted
the clause in v. 24 of Ο´, beginning ὅτε αὐτοὺς, in order to shut out
the idea of these devotions having taken place in the interval suggested

Dean Farrar even says that the Song is "not very apposite" (_Expositor's
Bible_, Daniel, Lond. 1895, p. 180), though other minds find it
remarkably so. In writing on v. 27 (50) he erroneously substitutes
νότιον for δρόσον. This is probably copied from Ball's note _in loc._ If
the latter part of v. 66 (88) was in the original Song, the reference
to their own position is of course apposite enough.

Even a writer of such a stamp as Albert Barnes (_Comm. on Dan._ iii. 23)
is obliged to confess that "with some things that are improbable and
absurd, the Song contains many things that are beautiful and that would
be highly appropriate if a song had been uttered at all in the furnace."
But to a contrary effect J. Kennedy goes even further than Dean Farrar,
calling it "an elaborate composition by some one whose imagination
failed to realise what was fitting and natural to men in the position of
the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace" (_Dan. from a Christian
Standpoint,_ 1898, p. 55).

The passage vv. 26 to 34 is provided in Littledale's _Priest's P.B._
(1876, p. 95) as a suitable Scripture reading for those "in fever."
Although there is a kind of appropriateness in the narrative of the fire
being driven off, many would regard this application of the extract as
highly fanciful, and not quite agreeable to the object with which the
piece was written.


Unless we assume the writer to be purely an imaginative novelist, the
preservation of serviceable traditions as profitable records of
religion, is clearly his principal aim. This addition cannot reasonably
be said in any way to distort or disagree with, though it adds to, the
sacred narrative. It is very well fitted into the main story; and the
non-appearance of Daniel is quite in accord with his absence from the
scene in chap. iii.

An edifying purpose is most conspicuous, and, if we assume that it is
really an interpolation of the original book, we may well suppose with
Bishop Gray, that "some writer desirous of imitating and embellishing
the sacred text" has left us this specimen of his work; that the
veneration of some Hellenistic Jew probably induced him to fabricate
this ornamental addition to the history (_op. cit._ pp. 610, 611).

One aim would be to satisfy the interest awakened by the wonderful
experiences of the three, which afforded a narrative ground-work for
this extension; falling in this respect, as Prof. Ryssel points out
(Kautzsch I. 167), into the same category as the Prayer of Manasses and
the additions to Esther. It may be said that resistance to idolatry,
securing divine deliverance, is, as in Bel and the Dragon, the "motif"
of the piece. But this is not accomplished without great peril and
anxiety to these martyrs in will, who kept before them an uncompromising
standard, worthy of their noble lineage (Dan. i. 3), as well as of their
true religion.

In some respects we are reminded of Jonah's prayer, which had a similar
object, viz., to secure a deliverance from hopeless danger, a
deliverance as marvellous as that of the Three. The words by which it is
introduced are similar (καὶ προςηύξατο Ἰωνᾶς... ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας τοῦ
κήτους καὶ εἰπεν, Jon. ii. 2; καὶ συστὰς Ἀζαρίας προςηύξατο καὶ... ἐν
μέςῳ τοῦ πυρὸς εἰπεν, Dan. iii. 25, Θ); and the spirit of turning to God
in dire straits is the same. But Jonah's prayer differs from Azarias' in
containing much mention of his immediate danger. Yet the absence of this
from Azarias' prayer hardly amounts to a probable indication of
forgery; indeed the possibility of so long an utterance implies some
restraint of the consuming power of the furnace, such as is described in
v. 27 of the Chaldee.

A subsidiary purpose answered in the Song proper is that of joining
nature with ourselves, by addressing it in a series of invitations to
magnify Him who is its God and ours alike, thus interpreting the
feelings which nature maybe supposed to entertain. It is recognised that
the irrational as well as the rational have their rightful spheres of
action; and a wholesome sympathy is manifested with those portions of
nature--which we think are lower than ourselves. With this may be
compared Adam and Eve's morning hymn (in Milton's _Paradise Lost_, Book
V., 1. 153 _sq._), which is very similar in tone and in sequence of
objects apostrophized.

The Song so readily leads itself to use as a Canticle that the idea
inevitably arises of its having been composed with that purpose in view;
but proof that it was ever so used by the Jews seems entirely wanting.
The statements made in some P.B. manuals that it was so used appear to
have arisen from a misunderstanding of an ambiguous sentence of
Wheatley's (_see_ 'Liturgical Use,' p. 83). Still, there may have been
an _arrière pensée_ in the composer's mind of providing models of
prayer and of praise for others, in crisis of trial or deliverance, to
offer unto God. It is pleasing to note in this respect, that the
thanksgiving is not stinted, but is even longer than the prayer. Nowhere
is the manifold wealth of God's revelation in nature more fully and
comprehensively set forth in the most exalted spirit of praise; so that,
if this were one of the composer's objects, it is most abundantly


It has been suggested by Prof. Rothstein (in Kautzsch I. 174, 175) that
the prayer of Azarias, the intermediate narrative, and the Song itself,
were not all written at the same time. But this view is based purely on
internal probability, and derives little or no support from any of the
MSS. or versions, unless the introduction of titles in the Arabic after
v. 28 (51), and in some Greek copies to the prayer of Azarias, be
thought to give it countenance; yet these may have crept in from their
convenience for liturgical use, and so be accounted for merely on
practical grounds.

To base this separation, however, on a supposed disagreement between v.
15 (38) and vv. 31 (53), 62 (84), is certainly insufficient cause, as
Ball points out (307b), for assigning Prayer and Song to different
writers (_see_ 'Chronology,' p. 67). But the observation that the
narrative passage between the Prayer and the Song fits in well after the
canonical v. 23[18] seems a stronger basis for supposing that the prayer
is a later introduction than the Song. Rothstein points out (p. 181,
note d) that v. 1 (24) in Θ has relation to the Song, but not to the
Prayer, and originally, as he imagines, took the place of the present v.
28 (91) of similar import. Corn. a Lap. notes of v. 1 (24) "est
hysterologia." This view is also mentioned with favour in Charles'
article on Apocrypha in the 1902 vols. of _Encycl. Brit._ (_cf._ 'For
whom written,' p. 36).

It is observable also that the statement of v. 26 (48) is not a mere
repetition of that in v. 22, but refers to the scorching of the
onlookers, while v. 22 speaks of those who executed the king's

The repetition of the same invocation at the commencement of the Prayer
and the Song is noteworthy; if the two are not contemporary, it has
probably been borrowed by the composer of the Prayer. But the difficulty
(often magnified) of reconciling the statements of v. 15 (38) with the
Jews' civil and ecclesiastical condition at the time of Daniel iii.
wears quite a different aspect if the Prayer is regarded as an
interpolation of later date by another hand. Altogether this theory of
the interpolation of the Prayer is surrounded with a considerable air of

Five extra verses are interspersed in the Syriac of the Song, calling
upon the hosts of the Lord, ye that fear the Lord, cold and heat (the
winter and summer of our _Benedicite_), the herbs of the field, and the
creeping things of the earth (Churton's translation). Of these "frigus
and aestus" is in the Vulgate, taken from Θ. The source of the others is
unapparent, though creeping things would very naturally follow beasts
and cattle, as in Gen. vii. 14.

The present ending of the Song, after the usual refrain in the middle of
v. 66 (88) is of a laboured nature with a decidedly "dragging" style. It
certainly has the appearance of being an afterthought, added by some not
very skilful composer, who fancied the original termination to be too
abrupt, and thought he could attach an appropriate supplement. But of
this theory no external evidence is at present forthcoming.

Θ agrees with the Ο´ text much more closely in this than in the other
additions. Most verses are the same, word for word; and many others have
but the slightest variations. He makes a few small omissions, as in
(Greek) vv. 24, 40, 67, 68; but in general he follows Ο´ exactly. Even
vv. 67, 68, are contained in A, in both places, in Daniel and in the
Odes at the end; also they are in the Turin Psalter, though omitted in
the Veronese (Swete's LXX). As they are found, with a little difference
in the Ο´ text, they may have fallen out of B and Q accidentally. The
identical refrain at the end of each verse would naturally facilitate an
error of this kind.

The principal MSS. available for Θ's text are the same as those for the
canonical part of Daniel, A, B, and Q. Γ fails us here, as in other
passages, except from vv. 37--52, in which its variations are

Taking B as the ground-work, A's changes are not generally of serious
moment, excepting in the case of the two inserted verses, 67 and 68, and
the transposition of vv. 73 and 74. Otherwise they chiefly consist of
small insertions or omissions which do not materially affect the sense
(_vv_ 36, 81); varying forms from the same root such as ὑπεραινετός for
αἰνετός (v. 54), εὐλογημένος for εὐλογητός (v. 56). The correctors of B
in v. 38, though unsupported by the chief codices, certainly seem right
in substituting οὐδε for οὐ. Q's variations not unfrequently agree with
A's; where they do not, they are scarcely more important, and often
partake of a similar character. In v. 88 a synonym is substituted, viz.,
ἔσωσεν for ἐρύσατο (2nd). In the few verses covered by Γ, B is generally
agreed with; a change of case, αὐτούς instead of αὐτοῖς, appearing in v.



The probability of a Semitic original lying in the background of this
piece, has always been considerable. Those who have maintained Greek as
the original language, have generally spoken a little less confidently
with regard to this than with regard to its two companion pieces. So
Bissell writes (p. 443), though a supporter of the Greek (p. 43),
"undoubtedly more can be said in favour of such a theory" [of a Semitic
original] "than for a similar one in respect of the two remaining
additions." And since M. Gaster discovered in 1894 an Aramaic text, the
grounds for deeming the Greek to be the original, though not set aside,
have been partially undermined. Schürer, however, in Hauck's _Encycl._
(I. 639), appears to think that this is translated from Θ, and not _vice
versâ,_ as Gaster claims. In his third German ed. of _H.J.P._ (III. 333)
he agrees with Gaster in deeming תודוס to be Θ, but considers the
Aramaic to be a rendering of Θ's Greek, taken into the tenth-century
Chronicle of Jerahmeel.

It must be confessed that the existence of two Greek versions increases
the probability, though it does not prove the existence, of an original
in another language. It does not seem likely that Θ would have revised
the Ο´ of the additions in the same way as the canonical part, unless he
had a similar basis to go upon in both cases. If not, why, and on what
authority, did he alter the additions at all? And this consideration
applies to the other two, even more than to the one we are dealing with,
inasmuch as the version of Susanna and of Bel and the Dragon involved
more numerous changes. Irenæus' statement that Theodotion "ἡρμήνευσεν,"
taken strictly, would of course always imply an original to translate;
but Irenæus may only have been thinking of the particular passage from
Isaiah which he refers to (III. xxiii.).

Many phrases may be instanced which point to a Semitic original, or at
least fit in well with the theory of its existence. Towards
counterbalancing this there is a much smaller number which may be
thought to tell in the opposite direction. But in the main, as Comely
truly writes (_op. cit._ p. 420), "accedit hebraismorum frequentia quum
in Alexandrini tum in Theodotionis versione."[20]

It is to be observed, however, that the names of the Three are Grecized
from their original Hebrew nomenclature,[21] although their Babylonian
names are employed in Dan. iii., and adopted by Ο´ and Θ in the
canonical portions, both before and after the apocryphal episode. An
apparent exception occurs in v. 23 of Ο´, where clauses of that verse
and of v. 22 have been transposed and slightly altered. Here Azarias
occurs in the same form as in the apocryphal portion. But this isolated
use of the Hebrew form of his name has probably been brought about by
the insertion of our piece into the chapter, the same form and phrase,
τοῖς περὶ τὸν Ἀζαρίαν, being found in v. 49 of both Greek texts. A like
phrase occurs in Ezek. xxxviii. 6, and in Acts xiii. 13. The order of
names, too, differs in this Addition from their order elsewhere, the two
last changing places, thus bringing Azarias (Abed-nego) into the middle.
It is remarkable that he is twice, vv. 2 (25) and 8 (49), placed as if
he were the leading member of the trio, in the former verse as uttering
the prayer, in the latter as heading the party in the furnace; and so
also, as pointed out above, in v. 23 of Ο´. This last fact, however, is
counterbalanced in the same version by all three being named in v. 24 as
praying, Azarias not there figuring as the sole speaker. These small
indications certainly point to some ancient distinction between the
uncanonical insertion, as we have it, and the body of the book.

E. Philippe (in Vigouroux' _D.B._ II. p. 1266) argues for Hebrew and
not Greek originals, because of the existence of two Greek versions,
neither of which, he says, appears to be a revision of the other,
containing hebraisms suggestive of a Hebrew original. But as regards the
Song of the Three, this statement, that neither version is a revision of
the other, must be regarded as more than doubtful. He also says that
the Chisian and Syro-Hexaplar MSS. contain critical signs of Origen,
revealing a Hebrew text, and in 87 (Chisianus) at xiii. 1-5, Α´, Σ´, Θ´
indicate Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, all translators from the
Hebrew. This last point, however, may not stand as to the Song of the
Three (_see_ note in Kautzsch, p. 176) so far as Aquila is concerned.
For Origen, in his letter to Africanus, seems to imply that Aquila's
rendering did not contain the Song: Οὕτω γὰρ Ἀκύλας δουλεύων τῇ Ἑβραικῇ
λεξει ἐκδέδωκεν--§ 2.

Jerome's words in the Vulgate, after v. 23, "quæ sequuntur in Hebraeis
voluminibus non reperi," are very guarded, not absolutely denying the
existence of a Hebrew text, but merely asserting that he has not met
with it. Cod. Amiatinus, however, has 'non repperiuntur,' an expression
which asserts more comprehensively the absence of this passage in his

The following are some specific indications of language which appear to
be of sufficient interest to be noted separately:

v. 27 Ο´, Θ. Δίκαιος εἶ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν = צַרִּיק צַל rendered by ἐπὶ in Dan.
ix. 14 (in both versions) and in Neh. ix. 33. Δίκαιος ἐπὶ also occurs in
Bar. ii. 9, in that part of Baruch which is almost certainly a
translation from the Hebrew. Ball (_Speaker's Comm._) gives a similar
phrase from the _Iliad_, and Bissell a still more apposite one from
_Il._ IV. 28, to shew that it is not unknown in pure Greek. Gaster's
Aramaic has simply ל not צל.

v. 30 Ο´, Θ. Ὑπακούω governs the genitive correctly, but συντηρέω,
coupled with it, is made to govern the same noun. Exigencies of
translation might easily cause this awkwardness, but hardly original
Greek composition.

v. 31 Ο´. Καὶ νῦν = וְצַתָּה So translated in II. Chron. vi. 16, 17 at
the beginning of the verse, as here; it occurs again in vv. 33 and 41 in
both versions, as also in ix. 15, 17. It is not a very natural beginning
of a Greek sentence.

v. 32 Ο´, Θ. Why ἁποστατῶν, a title which does not seem very applicable
to the Babylonians? It may be merely a rendering of טרך as in Ezra iv.
12, 15. The Vulgate here has 'prævaricator.' In Gaster's Aramaic the
verse is different. But _cf._ use of ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι in Eph. ii. 12 of
those who had never belonged to Israel.

v. 33 Ο´, Θ. Οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἀνοῖξαι looks very like a translation of
אֵין לָנוּ, an idiom used in II. Chron. xxxv. 3, 15 in the sense of
'cannot,' followed by a verb in the infinitive. _Cf._ Heb. ix. 5.

v. 34 Ο´, Θ. Εἰς τέλνς = לְכָלָה or לָנֶצַח as in II. Chron. xii. 12,
Ps. xv. 11. Διασκεδάσῃς σου τὴν διαθήκην. This curious expression may be
the rendering of such a phrase as that in I. Kings xv. 19,
הָפֵרָה אֶת בְּרִיתְךָ, there translated by the same words; also in Jer. xi. 10.

v. 36 Ο´, Θ. Ἄστρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, as in viii. 10, xii. 3, both Ο´.

v. 37 Ο´, Θ. Ταπεινοὶ ἐν. Did the translators read בכל for מכל?

v. 38 Ο´, Θ. Καρπῶσαι. _Cf._ Lev. ii. 9, 11, קטר אשה being similarly
translated. Καρπόω is also used in the same sense in I. Esd. iv. 52.
Deissmann has an interesting 'study' of this word in his _Bible Studies_
(Eng. transl., Edinb. 1901, p. 135).

v. 40 Ο´, Θ. Ἐνώπιον... ὄπισθεν = אחרי... לפני. Ἐκτελέσαι is thought
by Ball to have arisen from some confusion between כליל and כלל, but
this is dubious. Marshall (Hastings' _D.B._ IV. 755b) suggests שׁלם in
Kal or Piel.

v. 44 Ο´, Θ. Ἐνδικνύμενοι, Grotius (in _Critici Sacri_) says "Expressit
Hebræum הראה quod est in Ps. lx. 3 (5) et alibi." The verb is so
translated in Exod. ix. 16.

v. 49 Ο´, Θ. The apparent Grecism of οἱ περὶ τόν Ἀζαρίαν occurs in the
LXX of Ezek. xxxviii. 6 and elsewhere. Συγκατέβη ἄμα, Ball suggests
ירד אחרי from Ps. xlix. 18. Gaster gives נחית צם. Ἐξετίναξε Gaster
characterises as a "senseless" rendering of ואיצטנין "and it cooled
down," which word certainly gives an excellent sense.

v. 50 Ο´, Θ. The well known "crux" of πνεῦμα δρόσου διασυρίζον appears
in the Aramaic as די מינשבא טלא כרוחא which Gaster translates "as a wind that blows
(and causes) the dew (to descend)."

v. 51 Ο´. καὶ ἐγέντο = וַיְהִי.

v. 54 Ο´. Δὀξης τῆς βασιλείας, _cf._ Dan. iv. 36 (33) Θ´, τιμὴν τῆς
βασιλείας. יקר מלכות is the Aramaic in both places. θρόνου δόξης, as in
Jer. xiv. 21. θρόνος is used of God's throne in Dan. vii. 9, end.

v. 59 Ο´, Θ. Οὐρανοί = שָׁמַיִם (not in Gaster's Aramaic).

vv. 64, 68 Ο´. Repetition of δρόσος, and vv. 67, 69 Ο´, of ψῦχος,
suggests possible difficulty of a translator, causing him to fall back
on same word.

vv. 65, 86 Ο´, Θ. The different senses of πνεύματα point to רוּחוׂת as
the underlying original of both.

v. 87 Ο´, Θ. Ταπεινοὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ; Luther renders "elend und betrübt
sind," since these words, if of literal and immediate application, would
indicate the depression of the Babylonian exiles; and so would tell in
favour of a Semitic original, Greek being unfamiliar to them.

v. 88 Ο´, Θ. Ἐκ μέσου καιομένης φλογός, _cf._ Dan. iii. 21, 29; vii. 11
(יקד, Chald. in first and third of these cases, and also in Gaster's
Aramaic of this piece).

v. 89 Ο´, Θ. Ἐξείλετο does not seem a very suitable word, as they had
not yet been into ᾅδης. It may be a translation of ישצ as in Jer. xlii.
11, if from a Hebrew original. שיזבנא is given by Gaster as the original
of both ἐξείλατο (Θ) and ἐρρύσατο.

v. 90 Ο´, Θ. Οἱ  σεβόμενοι, used of proselytes of the gate in Acts xvii.
17, may have this meaning here also, as coming last, and in connection
with τὸν θεὸν τῶν θεῶν, a possible reference to the "gods of the
nations." Gaster's Aramaic has nothing answering to σβόμενοι. Grotius
suggests "יראי אלהים ut Job i. I, 8, ii. 3," where θεοσεβής is the word.

The writer deems the evidence of language to point on the whole to a
Semitic rather than to a Greek base. The difficulty of balancing the
indications however of the original language is shewn by the names of
important authorities which may be ranged on either side, Ball,
Rothstein, and Swete regarding the Semitic as probable; Westcott,
Schürer, and Fritzsche holding a similar opinion as to the Greek.

When a Semitic original is pronounced for, the further question arises,
was it Hebrew or Aramaic? The grounds unfortunately appear too
indecisive to warrant a distinct choice between these alternatives.


This is the only one of the three Additions which takes a devotional and
poetical form. The Song has perhaps exceeded the others in the great
estimation accorded to it. The frequent liturgical use made of it is
both a sign and a cause of this.

The style of the Greek is Hellenistic, and is not out of character with
the versions of which it is a part; nor in particular with the Book of
Daniel with which it is incorporated. It is spirited, interesting, and
agreeable, mainly Hebraic in the character of its thought and cast of
its language.

The Prayer may possibly be accused of the needless repetition of similar
sentiments; especially in vv. 4, 5, and 8 as to God's truth and justice;
and in vv. 6 and 7 as to Israel's disobedience, which are somewhat
over-insisted upon. But perhaps this may be attributed to earnest
pleading. It is instructive to compare and contrast Daniel's Prayer,
chap. ix., remembering that a different person would naturally have a
different style; a consideration which may also help to account for the
change we are conscious of when we pass from the prayer of Azarias to
the Song which purports to he the composition of the Three.

The principle on which πᾶς is inserted in some verses and omitted in
others does not seem clear. Rhythmical considerations do not
sufficiently account for it. Something other than style seems to have
influenced its use; but what that something may have been it is
difficult to discern. Nor does the principle seem clearer in the Aramaic
than in the Greek.

The poem has a simple yet majestic structure, with a refrain apt to
linger in the ear, either in Greek or English, Εὐλογεῖτε, ὑμνεῖτε, καὶ
ὑπρυψοῦτε αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, "Bless ye the Lord, praise Him, and
magnify Him for ever." In Gaster's Aramaic the refrain is slightly
varied, לצלמא being used where God is addressed, בצלמא where His
creatures are exhorted. Dr. Gaster understands the former to mean "for
ever," but the latter "in the world."[22] This distinction, if a just
one, is entirely obliterated in the versions. In the Vulgate however the
refrain sounds less agreeably, for "superexaltate " is a cumbrous word
for frequent repetition. It is one of those exaggerated compounds of
which the translator of Daniel seems to have been too fond, such as
"superlaudabilis," "supergloriosus" (v. 52), "deambulo" and
"discoöperio" (Sus. vv. 8, 32). This inconvenience was evidently felt in
liturgical use, as in the Roman Breviary and Missal the repetition of
"superexaltate" is avoided. Psalm cxxxvi. affords a biblical instance of
a refrain similarly repeated at the end of each verse; and Deut. xxvii.
15-26 may be regarded as containing a liturgical repetition of another

The use of a symbolic multiple of 7 in v. 24 (47) accords well with a
similar practice in Daniel iii. 19, ix. 24, and x. 2,13. The number 3
itself (v. 28) may also be symbolic; but this is merely continued from
the canonical part of the story, being quite of a piece with it. No
other numbers occur.

There is a remarkable resemblance between the natural objects mentioned
in Ecclus. xliii. and in the Song. Especially v. 22[23] of the former is
like v. 27 (50) of the latter in its leading idea. The furnace, κάμινος,
is also named in v. 4 of the Ecclus. passage; and the aim of glorifying
God is most prominent in both. But the resemblance in style to Psalm
cxlviii. is not so great as has sometimes been imagined. (See what is
said on this point under 'Authorship,' p. 26.) On the whole, the style
of the work, whether supplicatory, narrative, or poetic, is well suited
to the purpose for which it is designed; and although the influence of
previous writers is evident, the manner of the author is not that of a
mere imitator of their compositions. He has a form of his own in which
to present his subject.



So far as the Jewish actors in the scene are concerned, they exhibit a
true religious spirit from the O.T. standpoint, with an unshakeable
firmness of conviction that Jehovah alone should be worshipped.

The episode shews (in common with the canonical part) that the Captivity
had already produced a stubborn opposition to idolatrous temptations
among the Jews. The tendency to follow after other gods, and to depart
from Jehovah in this way, had been outrooted from the habits of these
exiles; and their example now would be for all time an incentive to
others to resist, at any cost, the pressing inducements to become

It is difficult to find anything really inconsistent with the religious
position, so far as we know it, of Israel in Babylon. Bissell, however,
writes strongly to the contrary, in company as he avers, with almost all
non-Romish scholars. This opinion is based on little more than the
supposed inappropriateness of the Prayer and Song to the occasion, and
on the discrepancy of v. 15 (38) with the circumstances of the time, and
with other parts of the composition (p. 445 and on v. 15). This
"discrepancy" is dealt with under 'Chronology.' Bissell also quotes with
approval the exaggerated comparison of Eichhorn, who deems the three
"like dervishes gifted in penitential exclamations, which they interrupt
by abuse of Nebuchadnezzar." A consistent religious ground is maintained
throughout by the three; there is for them no "doing at Rome as Rome
does" in vital matters of religion. And their condition is evidently
compassionated by God, their faithfulness approved, amid the
persecutions of a foreign land.

Considerable talent and art in devotional composition are manifested in
confession, petition, and praise--talent and art of which the Christian
Church has widely availed herself from a very early period. The tone of
Azarias' prayer is not discordant with Daniel's description of his own
prayer in ix. 20, nor with the prayer itself immediately preceding that
verse, either in sentiment or phraseology. They may well have come from
the same editor, whether the prime author of the whole book or not.
Verse 16 (39) apparently contains phrases culled from Pss. xxxiv. 18,
li. 17. M. Parker on Deut. xxviii. 56 (_Bibliotheca Biblica_, Oxf. 1735)
thinks that the declaration of the three in v. 9 (32) corresponds with
Deut. xxviii. 49, 50, being in fact a public acknowledgment that
national impiety had brought upon them the distress in which they were
at present involved. If so, it shews knowledge of the law on their part.
But the connection is one solely of idea, and not of phraseology. There
is a strong connection in phraseology, however, between v. 27 and Deut.
xxxii. 4 in LXX. In any case the religious tone of the whole production
is not inconsistent with what we might have expected.


The nature of this piece does not afford much scope for the display of
the social condition of Babylon and its inhabitants. It is to be
expected therefore that it will shew us far less of these matters than
either Susanna or Bel and the Dragon. But so far as it gives any
indications, it is in accord with the canonical Daniel, and with what we
know from other sources of the customs of the country. Evidently Israel
was in a state of subjection to the Babylonian king, who ordered
idolatry to be practised by captives and natives alike. It is shewn by
v. 9 (32) _sqq._ that the former smarted under his tyranny, and appealed
to God for redress, like their forefathers in Egyptian bondage.

The punishment of burning, on which the whole story turns, is quite
Babylonian. Jer. xxix. 22 is another instance, so that there is no lack
of _vraisemblance_ in its introduction here. (_See_ Hastings' _D.B._
art. _Crimes and Punishments_, I. 523, for other instances). It has been
thought (Smith's _D.B._ ed. 2 art. _Furnace_, I. 1092b) that this
furnace in Daniel is alluded to by our Lord in St. Matt. xiii. 42, 50;
but how opposite on this occasion are the consequences of being cast
into it! Here prayer and praise from the righteous, there weeping and
gnashing from the wicked. The allusion must be considered a very
doubtful one.

The subservience of the king's servants[24] in performing their cruel
work, and the absence of a protesting voice or of a helping hand from
any quarter, is very characteristic of the results of Eastern despotism.
All, except the three martyrs, were afraid of Nebuchadnezzar, whose
murderous rage under contradiction is of a piece in both the Chaldee and
the Greek portions of the chapter. No one else on this occasion dared to
disobey his decree, and there is no sign of anyone venturing so much as
to intercede for the Jewish victims.

In such small glimpses as are given, in this extension of chap. iii., of
the social state of Babylonia there is nothing clearly indicating that
the interpolation (if such it be) is of an unhistoric or untrustworthy
character, nothing wholly irreconcilable with the rest of the book.
Indeed the author (W.T. Bullock) of the note on Daniel iii. 23 in the
S.P.C.K. _Commentary_ goes so far as to write of "that noble canticle
_Benedicite_," as an "historical document." This expression may require
qualification, but it is not beyond the bounds of possible fact.


The theology appears to be of a perfectly orthodox character, quite what
might have been expected from the three children; nor is it inconsistent
with that contained in the rest of the book of Daniel. The exile had not
now contaminated the Jewish religion, but had rather purged it of its
corruptions, and eradicated in particular the fatal tendency to "serve
other gods." Such sins are thoroughly confessed by Azarias in a style
not without resemblance to Daniel's confession. (_Cf._ v. 6 (29) with
ix. 5 in both versions; also Esther xiv. 6, 7.)

The God of their fathers is He alone to whom prayers and praises are to
be addressed. He is regarded as the Lord of all creation, both as a
whole and in its specific parts. He is looked up to to make good the old
promises (13), being full of mercy (19), as well as of power and glory
(20, 22, 68). He is a king (33), just (4), and gracious (67), with an
ear open to the addresses of his people. The righteousness of even His
heavy judgements is acknowledged in the prayer; and the hymn throughout
shews that the gratitude of man is plainly deemed acceptable to Him.

As to the question of praise being called for from inanimate things or
irrational beings, we must remember that though unfitted, so far as we
understand them, for conscious praise, their creation, maintenance, and
usefulness give evidence of God's greatness and goodness. As Cornelius à
Lapide notes on v. 35 (57) "Inanimes creaturæ benedicunt Deum creatorem
suum, non ore sed opere, ait S. Hieronymus," giving, however, no
reference to the passage in Jerome. Ps. civ. 4 and Heb. i. 7 afford
some helpful clues to the operations of Nature in this connection. Man
is treated by our author as the interpreter of Nature, with a right, as
made in the image of God, to call upon it to glorify its Maker. He
offers vocal praise on its hehalf as well as on his own; though things
without life praise God silently, by fulfilling the parts for which He
made them. A somewhat similar idea of the elevating influence exerted by
natural beings may be discerned in the second of the _New sayings of
Jesus_ as restored by Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt (Lond. 1904, p. 15). And
Addison fitly writes (_Spect._ No. 393), "The cheerfulness of heart
which springs up in us from the survey of Nature's works, is an
admirable preparation for gratitude "(_cf._ 'Early Christian Literature
and Art,' _s.v._ 'Hippolytus').

Azarias desires that the rescue of the party may redound to the
knowledge among all men of the sole deity of Jehovah (22)--a petition
for the conversion of the Gentiles. The phrase in the last verse of the
Song, θεὸς τῶν θεῶν, might be taken as an admission of the existence of
other gods over whom Jehovah was supreme. But clearly this is not so
intended, as may be proved from the use of the phrase in Deut. x. 17,
Pss. xlix. I (LXX), cxxxvi. 2. Yet it is not unlikely that
Nebuchadnezzar used the phrase in this acceptation in ii. 47. The other
occasion, however, on which it is used in Daniel (xi. 36), allows it to
be taken only in an orthodox sense; nor is any other likely in the mouth
of Azarias, who resisted to the utmost the command to sin by idolatry.
It is observable that Azarias omits the clause "in thy seed shall all
nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. xxii. 18, xxvi. 4) from his
quotation of the patriarchal promise. This might arise from dislike to
the nations, who had conquered Israel; but on the other hand, the gist
of it is contained in his concluding petition in v. 22.

The objection that Ananias, Azarias, and Misael are invoked as saints
(which probably caused the omission in 1789 of v. 66 (88) from the
American P.B.) is sufficiently answered by pointing out that the Song is
praise, not prayer; and that these three do not stand on a different
footing in this respect from the other objects apostrophized. Moreover,
a highly poetical composition of this kind is not to be too literally
interpreted. As Liddon remarks in his _Elements of Religion_ (Lond.
1892, p. 182), "The apostrophes of the Psalms and Benedicite are really
acts of praise to God, of which his creatures furnish the occasion;" and
Addison again (_Spect._ No. 327), "Invocations of this nature fill the
mind with glorious ideas of God's works." v. 43 (65) is oddly applied
by Archdeacon Frank, _Serm._ XLII. to Pentecost (Oxf. 1849, II. 254).

Belief is plainly shewn in an angelic ministry, sent down to help God's
suffering servants, and endued with miraculous powers. The angel comes,
too, after their humble confession and prayer for rescue (vv. 43--45),
and before their song of praise. The very propriety however of this
arrangement, from a theological point of view, induces Rothstein to deem
the prayer a subsequent introduction, in order to supply the want of
request for deliverance before praise for its accomplishment; and he
thinks that the opening in the narrative for the insertion of the prayer
(between vv. 23 and 46) was not, in the Ο´, very deftly effected
(Kautzsch, I. 175, 181).

The natural and the supernatural, without any incongruity, are blended
as being all under one control, all subserving the same great ends, as
in the Hebrew Bible. But there is no increase of the miraculous element
beyond that in chapter iii., in which this piece is inserted; and at a
later age increase would have been highly probable. What essential
difference is there to be found between the miracles of the Chaldee and
of the Greek Daniel? Surely none.

A typical resemblance was discerned by St. Antony of Padua (_Moral
Concordances_, ed. Neale, p. 123), between v. 26 (44) and the
Annunciation, but this will be regarded by many minds as a very fanciful
theological discovery, and one surely not in the purview of the composer
of the passage.


There is but little in the way of chronological indication in this
addition; considerably less than in the other two, and what there is, is
indirectly brought in.

A time after the Captivity is evidently pointed to in vv. 26, 32, 37,
38. Jerusalem was lying under a heavy visitation, the people delivered
over to the enemy, almost denationalized, and deprived of the
sacrificial worship to which they had been accustomed. Yet this position
of affairs is spoken of as if it were not one of very long standing.
(_Cf._ the use of νῦν in vv. 31, 33, 42, though in the last of these
instances its use may not perhaps be temporal.)

It has been objected, quite unnecessarily, that v. 38 is inconsistent
with v. 53, the one implying the destruction of the temple, the other
recognizing its existence; v. 84, too, may be taken as supposing priests
to be still capable of performing their offices. It is even possible
that the corrections of Cod. A in v. 38 may have had behind them some
idea of softening a discrepancy. This supposed lack of consistency has
been taken as an indication of double authorship of the Prayer and the
Song; and of course, if the Prayer were a later interpolation than the
Song, even the appearance of contemporary inconsistency is avoided. But
if we were to decline this hypothesis, and take Prayer and Song as from
the same pen, there is still no real difficulty; for v. 38 is thinking
of the earthly temple, v. 53 of the heavenly. Grotius (_Critici Sacri_),
apparently accepting the statements of v. 38 as correct, writes: "Harum
rerum penuria animos venture Evangelio præparabit."

Another chronological difficulty, that of "no prophet,"[25] in the same
verse (38) has even been offered as a 'proof' of non-canonicity
(Cloquet, _Articles_, p. 113). So T.H. Horne in Vol. IV. of his
_Introduction_, quoted by A. Barnes on Daniel (I. 81), says that "v. 15
(38) contains a direct falsehood"; and in Vol. II. 937 of his
_Introduction_ (ed. 1852), he asserts that the author "slipped in the
part he assumed." More just is his observation that "Theodotion does not
appear to have marked the discrepancy." Ball, too, joins in the
condemnation, by expressing an opinion that the writer had "lost his
cue" (_Introd. to Song_, p. 308); and Reuss, "Hier verrät sich der
Verfasser" (_O.T._, Brunswick, 1894, VII. 166). It has been suggested
(J.H. Blunt _in loc._) that Ezekiel, who was both priest and prophet,
had just finished his utterances, while Daniel, if he had commenced his,
would, out of modesty, not reckon himself. The same commentator also
attempts, still less successfully, to overcome the difficulty of "no
prince." Probably, however, this merely means that no monarch was
actually reigning, and that Jewish rulers were themselves ruled and
their authority superseded, not that no member of the royal house or of
the ruling classes was in existence. And this seems to fit in better
with an early period of the Captivity than with a later age, when Simon
Maccabeus is said to have had the title נָשִֹיא on his coins: and
Mattathias is called ἄρχων in I Macc. ii. 17. Gesenius says in his
_Thesaurus_ under נשיא on the authority of F.P. Bayer (_de numis
hebraeosamaritanis_, p. 171, append, p. xv.), that Simon's coins had the
inscription שמצון נשיא ישראל[26]; but it is now doubted whether the
coins formerly attributed to Simon are really of his time. (_Cf._ Bp.
Wordsworth of Lincoln on I Macc. xv. 6.) Zöckler's idea (_Comm. in
loc._) that ἡγούμενος must be understood here as equivalent to "priest"
is unsupported and needless. כּׄהֵן is never so translated by LXX.

Cornelius à Lap. (Paris, 1874), deals with the difficulty of "no
prophet" in a different way. He writes, "Quia Dan. potius somniorum
regiorum erat interpres, quam propheta populi; Ezech. autem propheta
aberat agebatque in Chobar aliisque Chaldaeae locis, eratque is unus et
captivus. Itaque 'non est,' _i.e._ vix nullus erat." Of "princeps et
dux" he says nothing; but Peronne adds a note to say that Daniel was
thinking of Judaea only. It is not unlikely that Hos. iii. 4 was in the
mind of the writer of the Song, as being fulfilled in his days.

If, however, we assume a date for the whole piece considerably later
than that of the canonical book, it is quite conceivable that the author
may have made a backward transference of the circumstances of his own
time to that of the earlier exile. For this is a species of error all
traces of which even expert forgers find it difficult to remove.

It is generally assumed, and probably rightly, that v. 88 is intended as
a contemporary utterance of the Three calling upon themselves;
nevertheless it is quite intelligible as the expression of a later
writer summoning them, with the rest of creation, to praise their
Maker. And, assuming this verse to be contemporary with the rest, this
latter idea would of course mark the hymn as not really issuing from the
mouths of the Three.

Everything said and done in this piece takes place within one day, the
day on which Nebuchadnezzar's subjects were ordered to worship the
golden image. There is therefore much less scope than in Bel and the
Dragon, or even Susanna, for those who seek to discover chronological
difficulties, because devotional compositions afford fewer openings than
narrative matter for the raising of such questions.


Like Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon, the Song of the Three Children
formed, so far as we know, part of the original LXX text of Daniel,
having a connection with it closer even than theirs. For while they take
their places at the beginning or the end, this one is incorporated into
the narrative of chapter iii. as one connected whole. Prof. Robertson
Smith does indeed write (_O.T. in Jewish Church_, 1895, p. 154), "these
are perhaps later additions to the Greek version"; but this is only
conjecture, and as such he puts it forward.

Until the correspondence of Origen with Africanus, the canonicity of
these pieces does not seem to have been called in question by Christians
who used Greek or Latin Bibles; nor do Greek-speaking Jews appear to
have disputed the matter seriously. "Commonly quoted by Greek and Latin
Fathers as parts of Daniel," says Westcott (Smith's _D.B._, ed. 2, I.
713b). So Schürer (II. III. 185), "Julius Africanus alone among the
older Fathers disputes the canonicity of these fragments." See also
Bissell's admission on p. 448 of his _Apocrypha._ But Jerome seriously
called their canonicity in question (_Præf. in Dan._), although he
included them in his translation, with a notice that they were not found
in the Hebrew. Polychronius, Theodore of Mopsuestia's brother, refused
to comment on this piece because it was not part of the original Daniel,
nor in the Syriac, οὐ κεῖται ἐν τοῖς Ἑβραϊκοῖς ἢ ἐν τοῖς Συριακοῖς
βιβλίοις. In this latter respect it keeps company with the Catholic
Epistles in the earliest stage of the Syriac N.T. (Carr, _St. James_, p.
XLVII). But it gained a place in the Peshitto (_D.C.B._ arts.
_Polychronius & Polycarpus Chorepisc._). Buhl (_Kanon und Text des
A.T._, 1891, p. 52) says that the Nestorians recognise "die
apokryphischen Zusätze zum Daniel als kanonisch;" and the Malabar
Christians regard this, with its two companions, "as part and parcel of
the book of Daniel." (Letter to the writer from F. Givargese, Principal
of Mar Dionysius' Seminary, Kottayam, 1902.) They formed part of the
Sahidic, and probably other Egyptian versions of Daniel, which may be as
early as century II.; as also of the Ethiopic and, seemingly, of the Old
Latin (Swete, _Introd._ 96, 107, 110).

It seems very difficult to prove that the Alexandrian Jews who used the
LXX did not regard this piece as canonically valid; though how they
reconciled their canon with the Palestinian one is not clear. Their
frequent communication with Palestinian Jews must have brought any
considerable discrepancy to the notice of both sides. F.C. Movers (_Loci
quidam Hist. can. V.T._, Breslau, 1842, pp. 20, 22) solves the
difficulty by imagining that this and the other Apocrypha were similarly
regarded both in Palestine and Alexandria, "vix credibile est alios
libros a Palestinensibus inter profanos repositos ab Alexandrinis codici
sacro adscitos esse." Acts ii. 10 proves the presence of Egyptian Jews
at Jerusalem for Pentecost, and vi. 9 that they had a synagogue there.
This close connection must have brought their religious practices to one
another's knowledge, and any differences, considered seriously
important, could hardly have failed to raise disputes. Now Bleek
(_Introd. to O.T._, II. 303, Engl. transl, Lond. 1869), says "the
additions to Esther and Daniel were certainly looked upon by the
Hellenistic Jews in just the same light as the portions of the books
which are in the Hebrew." And this seems to have been done almost
without question, difficulty, or protest, although Alexandrian ideas
must have been, brought under the notice of the religious authorities in
Jerusalem. (_Cf._ Meyer's note on Acts vi. 9, and Jos. _cond. Ap._ I. 7,
as to regular intercourse between Palestinian and Alexandrian Jews.)

Professor, now Bishop, Ryle (_Can. of Script_, p. 157) thinks that the
amplification of Daniel, as of Esther, may have been tolerated because
Daniel was not then deemed canonical. But we must remember that
additional sections, though smaller in extent, appear in other books of
the LXX, of whose canonicity there appears to have been no question,
_e.g._ Job xlii. 17, Prov. xxiv. 22, I. Kings xvi. 28, this last being
taken from chap, xxii., though still left there. It has also been
suggested by Prof. Swete (_Introd._ p. 217) that the כתובים were
probably attached to the canon by a looser bond at Alexandria than in
Palestine. However this may be, certain it is that this addition was
frequently quoted or referred to by early Christian writers as if part
of Dan. iii., without qualification or sign of misgiving, as may be
seen in the quotations given in the chapter on 'Early Christian
Literature,' p. 76 _sqq._ Loisy's contention is a noticeable one (_A.T._
p. 236), "Presque tous les auteurs catholiques, anciens et modernes, qui
ont emis des reserves touchant l'autorité des deutero-canoniques, ont
regardés ces livres comme inspirés. Ils ne les croyaient pas bons pour
établir le dogme; mais cela est parfaitement compatible avec
l'inspiration, attendu qu'un livre peut-être inspiré sans être
dogmatique, et que s'il n'est pas dogmatique par son contenu il ne
saurait regler le dogme." But this contention savours somewhat of clever
special pleading in order to evade the force of opposing evidence.
Loisy, however, for a Roman Catholic, is a wonderfully frank and fair
writer on these matters.

The explanation of the early mixture of non-canonical books with
canonical, by reason of their having been kept as separate papyrus rolls
in the same chest (Swete's _Introd._ p. 225), seems not an unlikely one
in the case of independent works such as Judith or Wisdom. But it
appears to lose its force in the case of additions such as these, or
those to the book of Esther. For the Song of the Three, Susanna, and Bel
and the Dragon are hardly likely to have had separate rolls assigned to
them; least of all this first piece, which fits into the middle of the
accepted narrative, and is scarcely intelligible without it. Something
more therefore is wanting to explain the inclusion of those portions in
the Greek Bible.

Bengel's explanation (_Gnomon on Matt._ xxiv. 15), that the apocryphal
books in Latin Bibles were mixed with the canonical "pro argumenti
affinitate," though distinguished at first by marks (afterwards omitted)
in the index, however likely so far as it goes, fails to account for
their admission on so slender a plea into Biblical MSS. at all.

If the additions are to be regarded with Streane (_Age of the Macc._ p.
161) as "specimens of fiction," this one, more strongly than the other
two, shews the pre-existence of the canonical Daniel; but it is very
hard to understand how 'fiction' of this kind could be introduced into
the Bible with no general protest, and ultimately come to be treated as
of Divine authority; and this position is defended, even in these
critical days, by the greater number of Christians in the world.

When the Council of Trent made the canon of Scripture co-extensive with
the Vulgate, this, with the other additions, was of course included in
the decree. But in the Roman Church up to the present day attempts have
not been wanting to minimize the force of this decision, which, if it
removes some difficulties, certainly introduces others. Outside the
Roman Church the position of these books, in common with the rest of the
Apocrypha, remains, as always, more or less insecure.

A. Scholz, in condemning the principle that Christians are tied to the
O.T. canon, rather amusingly supposes: "Wenn Jemand sich bei den Juden
jetzt als Prophet geltend machen und ein Buch schreiben würdem so müsste
es nach diesem Grundsatz von den Protestanten als kanonisch wohl
anerkannt werden" (_Esther und Susanna_, Würzburg, 1892, p. 140). But
such argument is mere polemic, which cannot be seriously taken into
account in establishing the position of this or the other additions.
Something is needed much deeper and more convincing in character.



In the N.T. _possible_ references may be found in St. Matt. xi. 29
(ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ) from v. 65 (87); II. Tim. i. 18 (εὑρεῖν ἔλεος) from
v. 15 (38); [in Numb. xi. 15 only does the phrase elsewhere occur, but
in another tense]; Heb. xii. 23 (πνεύματα δικαίων) from v. 64 (86).

Our 'apocryphon' is often referred to or quoted by early Fathers to a
remarkable extent, considering the brevity of the piece and its merely
episodic character in the main narrative. The following are specimens:

JUSTIN MARTYR (†167?), _Apol._ I. 46, Ἐν βαρβάριος δε Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἀνανίας
καὶ Ἀζαρίας καὶ Μισαὴλ καὶ Ἠλίας καὶ ἄλλοιπολλοὶ. The names of the Three
occur in this form and order in v. 88 of the Song only.

CLEM. ALEX. (†220) in his _Eclogæ propheticæ_, § I, quotes several
verses with ἐν τῷ Δανιὴλ γέγραπται.

HIPPOLYTUS (†230) recognizes the Song of the Three in his comment on
Daniel, _in loc._, as well as in the Fragment preserved in the "Catena
Patrum in Psalmos et Cantica" (_Ante-Nic. Christian Lib._ p. 484). In
the former place he comments on the words καὶ διεχεῖτο ἡ φλόξ, and says
that the Three ἐδροσίζοντο in reference to v. 50; in the latter, on the
verse "O Ananias, Azarias," etc., he notes that everything is called to
praise, ἵνα μὴ ὡς ἐλεύθερον αὐτεξούσιον νομισθῇ.

TERTULLIAN (†240) _de Orat._ § 15, says that they prayed, "in fornace
Babylonii regis orantes." In § 29 he quotes vv. 26, 27.

ORIGEN (†254) _Comm. in Ep. ad Rom._ I. c. 10, II. c. 9, VII. c. 1;
_Comm. in Matt._ XIII. c. 2 (naming the LXX); and in _de Oratione_ XIII.

CYPRIAN (†258) _De lapsis_ 31 and _De dom. orat. 8_, quotes this piece,
in the latter case agreeing with Θ rather than Ο´. Pseudo-Cypr. (some of
whose writings Professor Swete, _Patristic Study_, 1902, p. 67, deems to
be contemporary with Cyprian or nearly so) in _Oratio_ II. 2 says
"misisti angelum tuum cum roribus tuis," agreeing with Ο´.

EUSEBIUS (†342), in his first _Fragm. on Daniel_, comments on iii. 49,
ὡσει πνεῦμα δρόυ διασυρίζον (Θ), and quotes Psalm xxviii. 7 as
illustrative. (In Constantine's "To the Convention of Saints," given in
the translation of Eusebius (Camb. 1683), much mention is made of Daniel
in Babylon, but there is no clear indication of knowledge of the

ATHANASIUS (†373) quoted the Song in _Ep. Pasch._ x. 3; and in _Agst.
Avians_ II. 71 he employs the Song to "arraign the Arian irreligion"
(Newman's translation).

EPHREM SYRUS (†378). His commentary on Daniel does not embrace the
additions, but in his _Morning Hymn_, rendered by H. Burgess (Lond.
1853), we have "Sprinkle me with Thy dew, like the young men in the

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (†386) quotes both the Prayer of Azarias (v. 29) and
the Song (v. 54) in _Catech._ II. 18 and IX. 3 respectively, without
hesitation (ed. Reischl, Munich, 1848).

AMBROSE (†397) _in Luc._ VII "Cantaverunt Hebræi cum vestigia eorum
tactu flammæ rorantis humescerent."

HIERONYMUS GRÆCUS THEOLOGUS (cent. IV?) _de Trin._ treats the hymn,
flames and dew in the furnace, μία κάμινος οὐσα, as an emblem of the
Three in One.

SULPICIUS SEVERUS (†400?) _Hist. sacr._ II. § 5 shews knowledge of this
Song by writing of the Three as "deambulantes in camino psalmum Deo
dicere cernerentur."

CHRYSOSTOM (†407) _De incomprehensibili Dei natura_ V. 7, οί τρεῖς
παῖδες ἐν καμίνῳ διῆγον... λέγουσιν, οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν κ.τ.λ. _In Isaiam_
VI. ἐπεὶ καὶ οἱ παἱδες οἱ τρεῖς τοῦτο αὐτὸ ἔλεγον σχεδὸν ἐν τῇ καμίνῳ
ὄντες· οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἀνοῖξαι τὸ τόμα. _Hom._ IV. _ad pop. Antioch._ (de
statuis) τὰς ίερὰς ἐκείνας ἀνπεμπον εὐχας. Also _De incarnatione_ VI.

RUFINUS (†410) _adv. Hieron._ lib. II. upbraids Jerome for not reckoning
the piece canonical.

JEROME (†420). In the _Comes_ or Lectionary, the Song is made use of,
but probably the Comes is not really Jerome's. (_See_ art. _Lectionary,
D.C.A._ 962a.)

THEODOERT (†457) in _Letter_ CXLVI. quotes v. 63 amongst a string of
canonical texts; and also deals with the whole in his _Commentary on
Daniel_, as consolidated with chap. iii.

SEDULIUS (†460?). In his poem _De tribus pueris_ there is nothing which
goes beyond the canonical record; but, strangely enough, in his
_Miraculorum recapitulatio proedictorum_ there are the lines

    ".... flagrante camino
Servavit sub rore pios."

And equally in the prose version "rore sydereo puerorum membra proluit
in camino." This shews a recognition of v. 50 (de la Bigne, _Bibliotheca
Patrum_, ed. 4, 1624, pp. 660, 661, 914).

VERECUNDUS (†552) wrote a comment on some of the ecclesiastical
canticles including the prayers of Azarias and Manasses (printed in
_Spicilegium, Solesmense,_ Vol. IV.).

It is manifest, therefore, that Early Christian writers regarded the
Song as of much value and importance; were well acquainted with it, and
often quoted it in much the same manner as the canonical books.
Occasionally, however, a knowledge of it is not shewn where we should
have expected it; and in some cases we know that those who quoted it
denied, or doubted, its canonicity.


This Greek insertion in the book of Daniel has, on the whole, offered
less scope for the exercise of artistic talent than the history of
Susanna or even than that of Bel and the Dragon. The nature of its
contents, which consists in the main of a prayer and a song, reasonably
accounts for this paucity of illustration. It does not lend itself so
readily as its two companions to pictorial treatment. Nevertheless a
certain number of examples are not wanting.

Loisy in his _Canon of the O.T._ (1890, p. 95) remarks, "Dès avant le
IV<sup>e</sup> siècle, on ornait les catacombes de peintures dont les sujets
avaient été fournis par Tobie et les fragments de Daniel."

In a fresco from the cemetery of St. Hermes, the Three Children are
represented, each over a separate stoke-hole (or what looks like one),
with hands elevated as if in prayer or praise, most likely in reference
to v. 1 (24), (_see D.C.A._ art. _Fresco_, p. 700a). Another picture
of figures somewhat different, yet with outstretched hands, is given
from Bottari in the same Dictionary under art. _Furnace._ There are
sculptured representations of the Three on the high crosses at Moone
Abbey, and at Kells (M. Stokes, _Early Christian Art in Ireland_, Lond.
1887, II. 22).

In the Utrecht Psalter, over the Song are depicted, as well as in other
places, the sun and the moon, very appropriately (_D.C.A._ art. _Sun_),
and in other illuminated Psalters, pictures of the Three in the furnace
are not uncommon. Thus Brit. Mus. MS. Additional 11836 has an
illumination of the furnace scene.

The under side of the wooden roof of Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge,
was painted about 1870 with the series of natural objects mentioned in
the Song proper, and with the words appertaining to each. A few extracts
from _Benedicite_ are on scrolls in a modern window on the south side of
the chancel of St. James' Church, Bury St. Edmunds.

It is a little surprising that the series of objects named in this Song
has not been more frequently chosen for decorative purposes on roofs,
walls, or windows of ecclesiastical buildings, where a long series would
be appropriate. Perhaps the length of the series, and the difficulty of
making any but an arbitrary selection, has something to do with the
rarity of its appearance.

A set of not very satisfactory wood-engravings by MacWhirter and others,
one illustration to each verse, was published in a small book under the
title of the _Song of the Three Children illustrated_ (London, 1887)

The verse "O ye wells," etc., is said to be a frequent motto for the
floral well-dressings at Tissington, in Derbyshire, and elsewhere, on
Ascension Day; and a more appropriate one could hardly be found. But in
general the Song of the Three Children has not, for the reason given
above, and doubtless others besides, proved a popular subject in art.



There is, strange to say, no record of the Song's employment in this way
amongst the Jews. Statements sometimes made to the contrary in works on
the P.B., _e.g._ by W.G. Humphry, F. Procter, E. Daniel, and J.M. Fuller
(S.P.C.K. _Comm._ "Introd. to the Song"), "in the _later_ Jewish
Church," all appear to have originated in a misunderstanding of an
ambiguous sentence in Wheatley's _Rational Illustration_ (1875, p. 143).
He says that it "was an ancient hymn in the Jewish Church." But this
does not necessarily imply that it formed any part of Jewish services.
Nor did Wheatley probably intend to assert that it did. In point of fact
no evidence of such use is forthcoming, though it certainly would not
have been surprising if the Song had been so used, at least among the
Hellenistic Jews. For as Rothstein says in Kautzsch's Apocrypha, like
Ps. cxxxvi. it is "offenbar antiphonisch aufzufassen" and

Notwithstanding the previous neglect, as it would seem, of this Song in
Jewish worship, its use by Christians dates from an early period. So Bp.
Gray (_O.T.,_ p. 611) says, "It was sung in the service of the primitive
Church;" and Ball, "the instinct of the Church, which early adopted the
_Benedicite_ for liturgical use, was right" (p. 307). Yet after it had
come into high esteem with Christians its chances of Jewish acceptance
would of course be largely diminished.


The liturgical use however was generally confined to the Song proper,
commencing with v. 29, and not always extending to the whole even of
that. In the Greek Church it is divided into two odes, said at Lauds on
two different days, vv. 3--34 (A.V. verses) forming one, and the
remainder of the Song the other (art. _Canticle D.G.A._). In the
Ambrosian rite the first part only of the Song is used as an invitatory
before the Matin Psalms, under the title, somewhat confusing to us, of
"Benedictus" (_D.G.A._ art. _Benedictus_).[27]

For some reason not easy to assign, the Song, whether divided or entire,
has always been treated as a morning canticle, although there is nothing
in its words to suggest any time of day as specially appropriate.

Rufinus, according to Dr. Salmon (_Speaker's Comm._ Introduction to
Apocr. XXVIIb), speaks of the Song as "sung on Festivals in the Church
of God." No reference is given to the passage quoted. But in Rufinus'
_Apol. in Hieron._ II. 35 we find the words, "Omnis Ecclesia per orbem
terrarum... quicunque Hymnum trium puerorum in Ecclesia Domini
cecinerunt," etc. Whether this be the passage Dr. Salmon intends or not,
it is at any rate sufficient to prove that the canticle was in use in
and before Rufinus' time, who is believed to have died in the year 410.

Bishop Barry (_Teacher's P.B._) notes that it was used at Lauds (τὸ
ὄρθρον) in the East as well as in the West: and so Mr. Hotham in his
art. _Canticle_ in _D.C.A._ In his art. _Psalmody_, however, no mention
is made of its Eastern use; but in the Western Church in the Gregorian
and its derived rites, including the Roman and cognate Breviaries, he
says, "Benedictiones sive canticum trium puerorum" comes in Sunday
Lauds, and likewise in the Benedictine Psalter.

In the Ambrosian Psalter, while the first part "Benedictus es" is said
daily at Matins as stated above, the usual _Benedicite_ is said at Lauds
on Sundays. In the Mozarabic Psalter an abridgment of both parts is said
at Lauds, but not "in feriis." "Benedictus es" also comes on weekdays at
Prime. In the Mozarabic Missal _Benedicite_ occurs in the service for
the first Sunday in Lent. In the use arranged by Cæsarius of Aries
(†542) for the Gallican Church _Benedicite_ was sung at Sunday Lauds.

Duchesne says (_Christian Worship_, Eng. tr. S.P.C.K. 1903, p. 195), "In
the Gallican Mass between the Apostolic and the Evangelic lections the
Hymn of the Three Children was sung. It was known also by the name of
the Benediction (_Benedicite_) because in it the word 'Benedicite' is
continually repeated." In a note he adds, "The Luxeuil Lectionary,
however, prescribes for the Nativity, _Daniel cum Benedictione, i.e._,
the Hymn of the Three Children before the Apostolic Lection. It is true
that in the Mass of _Clausum Paschale_ it places it after this lection."

The fourth council of Toledo in 633, condemns the omission of the Song
at Mass, threatens with excommunication those who in Spain or Gaul (or
Gallicia, margin) persist in leaving it out, and styles it "Hymnum
quoque trium puerorum in quo universa coeli terræque creatura dominum
collaudat et quem ecclesia catholica per totum orbem diffusa celebrat"
(Mansi, _Concil._, Florence, 1764, X. 623).

In the Roman Missal at the end of the Canon, the last Rubric is
"Discedens ab Altari, pro gratiarum actione dicit Antiphonam Trium
Puerorum cum reliquis, ut habetur in principio Missalis;" where is given
as an antiphon before it these words, "Trium puerorum cantemus hymnum
quem cantabant sancti in camino ignis, benedicentes Dominum."

Possibly there is a reference to this Eucharistic use in Bishop
Wordsworth's Michaelmas Hymn, No. CII. in his _Holy Year_, 1864.

Angelic voices we shall hear
  Joined in our jubilee,
In this thy Church and echoing
  Our Benedicite.

Angelic faces we shall see
  Angelic songs o'erspread
Above thy holy Altar, Lord,
  And Thou, the Living Bread.

In the Saram Breviary (and in Cardinal Quignon's) _Benedicite_ is a
canticle at Lauds on Sundays only. It is to be said without "Glory";
"dicatur sine Gloria Patri per totum annum quandocunque dicitur"
(Procter, p. 188); but a doxology is provided in the Roman Breviary,
"Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu," etc., and 'Amen' is
directed not to be said at the end. This doxology is said to have been
added by Pope Damasus I., who also transposed v. 56 to stand as the
finale of the Song (_see_ James M'Swiney, _Psalms and Canticles_, Lond.
1901, p. 643). This R.C. writer calls the use of the canticle on Sundays
"a thanksgiving for the resurrection of the Crucified, the earnest of
the glories wherewith nature is to be invested at His second coming."
But this sounds like an _ex post facto_ reason for its appropriateness.

_Benedicite_ appears, at any rate sometimes, to have been said
subsequently to _Te Deum_ after the election of an Abbot (_see_ Jocelin
of Brakelond's _Chronicle_, Sir E. Clarke's ed., 1903, p. 38). It also
appears in the _Cantica_ after the Psalter, between _Te Deum_ and
_Benedictus_, in the Scottish _Breviarium Bothanum_, which is thought to
be of about 15th century (Lond. 1900).

Thus it is evident that the use of this hymn became general at an early
period, and so continued, having never receded in Christian esteem as a
valued factor in public worship.

Besides the use of the Song, or part of it, as a canticle, verses or
small portions often occur in liturgies; _e.g._, vv. 28--30 are borrowed
in an Ἐκφώνησις before the offertory prayers in the Liturgy of St.
James; at the censing of the Gospel in that of St. Mark; in a Byzantine
Liturgy of the ninth century in the second prayer of the faithful; in
that of St. Chrysostom immediately before the lections in the Mass of
the Catechumens; and v. 19 in the Ἐπίκλησις in that of the Coptic
Jacobites (Brightman's _Liturgies_, I. Oxf. 1896). In the Leonine
_Sacramentary_, in a Preface, Mense Junio, IIII. 1. 13, ad Fontem, the
last words of the Song appear to be cited "plena sunt omnia saccula
misericordia tua" (Dr. Feltoe's ed., Camb. 1896, p. 31). The verse
"Benedicite omnes angeli" occurs in a "Communio" for Michaelmas in the
Rosslyn Missal; "Benedictus es Domine patrum nostrorum" occurs in the
Mass of the Holy Trinity in the Westminster Missal as a "gradale," also
in a Mass "pro sponsis", and other places (Hen. Bradshaw Soc., Lond.
1899, p. 70, 1897, p. 1239). v. 34 (56) occurs in the Sarum Compline
after the Creed, as also in the Roman.

In the Greek Euchologion a great part of the Song is embodied, with
other Scripture odes, in what is styled "the Canon at Great Matins in
the All Night Vigil" (_Euchology_, translated by G.V. Shann,
Kidderminster, 1891, p. 34).


Burbidge (_Liturgies and Offices of the Church_, 1885, p. 268), gives a
number of instances of the use of _Benedicite_ in foreign service books,
and says, "In other churches _Benedicite_ has been held in higher esteem
than amongst ourselves." Esteem for it has never been entirely lacking,
however, as its prominence in the P.B. shews.

In a Prymer of circ. 1400, as given by Maskell (_Mon. rit._ 1882, Vol.
III. p. 21), _Benedicite_ occurs in Matins, beginning "Alle werkis of
the Lord, bless ye to the Lord: herie ye and overhize ye him in all
time." On the same page, note 49, he gives a quotation from _Gemma
animae_, II. 53, "canticum trium puerorum est festivius et ideo in
omnibus festis dicitur." Also in his _Append, to Prymer_, p. 243,
another version is given, from Bodl. Douce MS. 275, fol. 9b: "Alle
werkes of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and overheie ye him in to
the worldes." There was an authorized translation into Welsh early in
the 14th century, according to H. Zimmer (_Urtext und Uebersetz_,
Leipzig, 1897, p. 172), together with _Magnificat, Benedictus_, and
several Psalms, evidently for liturgical purposes.

In the P.B. of 1549 the use of the _Benedicite_ as a substitute for the
_Te Deum_ was confined to Lent "all the which time" its recital was
obligatory. It has been suggested by W.G. Wyon (_Letter to "Guardian,"_
May 14, 1902) that mediæval devotion read into it an allegoric meaning
of deliverance from temptations and dangers of this naughty world, and
this made the Song suitable for Lent. He also suggests that the 'Oratio'
of the Roman Missal in the 'Gratiarum actio' after Mass, which contains
it, shews us its suitability for penitential seasons indirectly, "Deus
qui tribus," etc. No doubt hope of deliverance from fierce spiritual
perils may be in Lent a proper frame of mind; but this attempt to prove
the _Benedicites_ special appropriateness to that season is more
ingenious than satisfying. It is strained and far-fetched. Compare what
is said above (p. 88), where M'Swiney is cited as shewing in similar
style its special appropriateness to Sunday. The tone of the canticle is
unmistakeably joyful, and the 1549 rubric disappeared in 1552, leaving
_Benedicite_ as a simple alternative to the _Te Deum_, at any time
according to the taste of the officiant. And so it still remains, though
often preferred to the _Te Dewm_ during Lent. Septuagesima and Trinity
XXI. are, on account of their first lessons, fitting Sundays for its
use; nor is it by any means unsuitable for a harvest festival. An
entirely different kind of reason for its Lenten suitability is provided
by H.P. Cornish (_Notes on P.B._, Evans, Redditch, n.d., p. 17). Lent,
he says, is the time "when all nature begins to wake from its Lenten
sleep": hence its appropriateness in spring. It is questionable,
however, whether mediæval liturgical authorities paid much attention to
the natural seasons of the year; and the variety of 'reasons' proves the
difficulty of discovering a really conclusive one. The idea that the
_Benedicite_ is consonant with Lenten feelings is singularly out of
accord with the opinion expressed as to its character as being
'festivius' in the _Gemma animae_, given above, p. 90. Indeed it can
hardly be disputed that its tone is joyful. But though its special
aptness for a fasting-time is not easy to make out clearly, few
unprejudiced people will dissent from the opinion of Freeman as to its
scope when he writes, that "though wanting in the grand structure of
the _Te Deum_, in point of range it is in no way inferior" (_Divine
Service_, Lond. 1855, I. 356).

In the scheme for the revision of the Prayer-Book in William III.'s
reign it was actually arranged to expunge _Benedicite_, and to
substitute Ps. cxlviii. It would have been extruded in good company
however, as _Magnificat_ and _Nunc Dimittis_ were to be replaced by
psalms in a similar way. Happily the deplorable proposals of 1689 came
to nothing. But strange to say, previously to this, in the Laudian
Scottish Prayer-Book, Psalm xxiii. had been substituted for
_Benedicite_. In England, however, in 1662, the Church, taught by the
persecution of the Commonwealth, declined "to appoint some psalm or
scripture hymn instead of the apocryphal _Benedicite"_, as demanded by
the Puritans at the Savoy Conference (Procter, _P.B._, 1872, p. 119).

At a rather earlier period, Dean Boys of Canterbury, in his quaint
_Prayer-Book Notes_ (1615?) says: "I finde this hymne less martyred than
the rest, and therefore dismisse it, as Christ did the woman (John
viii.), 'Where be thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? No more
doe I; goe thy way.'"

At least three English metrical renderings of _Benedicite_ exist, one
of the 18th and two of the 19th century, by J. Merrick, J.S. Blackie,
and Richard Wilton respectively. The first of these writers, who expands
freely, concludes with a stanza designed to put the Song unmistakeably
into the mouths of the Three:

Let us, who now impassive stand,
Plac'd by the Tyrant's stern Command
     Amid the fiery Blaze,
(While thus we triumph in the Flame)
Rise, and our Maker's Love proclaim
     In hymns of endless praise.

The objection that in using this hymn we pray to angels and heavens, to
ice and snow, etc., shews how hard it is to find reasonable cause of
complaint against its use. (_See_ p. 62).

The whole canticle was however actually omitted in the P.B. printed at
Oxford in 1796, an edition notorious for the liberties taken with the
book in many ways (A.J. Stephens' _P.B._, Lond. 1849).[28] The last
verse, "O Ananias," etc., which was omitted in the United States' P.B.
is, as well as the above, dealt with under 'Theology,' p. 64.

In an _Altar Service Manual_, ed. 1837, which was very popular in the
middle of the 19th century, by S. Isaacson, certain extracts from the
_Benedicite_, with presumably original additions, are formed into what
is called "the canticle" in an "Evening Liturgy for use after Holy
Communion." The five added verses, in rather unrhythmical English, are
modelled in imitation of the Song, _e.g._ "O ye who have partaken of the
Holy Communion, bless ye the Lord: praise Him and magnify Him for ever."

The Song of the Three Children is, with other canticles, frequently
found in appendices to both Greek and Latin Psalters. And on this
account it is included sometimes in commentaries on the Psalter, as in
that of de Muis (†644), Louvain, 1770, beginning with v. 51, "tunc hi
tres quasi ex uno ore laudabant," etc. It stands in this book between
Hezekiah's and Jonah's prayers. In the mediæval Psalters, _Benedicite_
may constantly be found, though its place in the series of canticles
varies considerably.

Many of the LXX MSS. too contain these canticles, or some of them,
repeated from their regular places in the text, such as Alexandrinus and
the Veronese and Turin Psalters; of these the first has vv. 26 to 45 and
52 to 58, as two separate canticles between the Prayer of Manasses and
Magnificat; the second, vv. 52 to 90 after Magnificat as its last
canticle; and the third has vv. 26 to 45, 52 to 56, and 57 to 90 as
three separate canticles between the P. of M. and Benedictus. In each
case, it will be observed, the narrative portion is naturally excluded.

In the first and third of these MSS., A. and T., it may here be noted
that there is a non-biblical Morning Hymn, Ὕμνος ἑωθινός, a kind of
Eastern "Gloria in excelsis," which contains an apparent extract from
vv. 29, 30 (52), or v. 3 (26) of our Apocryphon, in line 34 of the hymn.
Very nearly the same words occur in Tobias' song (Tob. viii. 5), which
curiously enough (in common with the song of Deborah), is not included
in these canticles. Doubtless it was not in ecclesiastical use; but the
reason why the Christian Church abstained from availing herself of it
for choral purposes is not evident; any more than why the Jewish Church
abstained from the use of _Benedicite_.

Although the employment of _Benedicite_ in the services of the Church
is interesting, as shewing the value set upon, and the use made of, this
canticle, it reflects little or no light on its origin, or indeed on any
of the heads under which it has been previously discussed.


The conduct of Azarias and its results shew us the _value of Prayer_
made by those under persecution. He led the way, and his comrades joined

Azarias is not so taken up with the wrongs of himself and his fellows as
to forget the wrongs which his own nation had done; therefore his prayer
commences with a _humble Confession_. Then he relies on the great
promises of the past (vv. 12, 13). It may be thought that _Humility_ is
also shewn in the Song by the Three putting their own names in the last
place of the series. But another cause may have contributed to the
choice of this order; for, so far as animal life is concerned, the Song
follows the order of Gen. i., bringing in human beings last, not as
being least important, but as forming the crown of creation.

Although Nebuchadnezzar is severely spoken of in v. 9, A.V. (and in iv.
27 of the canonical book 'sins and iniquities' are attributed to
Nebuchadnezzar), there is great _Self-restraint_ shewn in wishing for
retribution (vv. 20, 21); and indeed it is asked that he and his
servitors may be brought to the knowledge of God (v. 22).

The pleasure of _Thanksgiving and Praise_ on delivery are exemplified by
the Three in the production of the Song itself. As soon as ever their
prayer was answered, before they emerged from the furnace, they united
their voices in thanking God with a glow of fervid faith, recognizing in
Him the universal Lord and Benefactor.

They sang in harmonious accord their song of praise at once (v. 28).
Though staunchly refusing to worship in a wrong way, they were very
ready to do so in a right, and lost no time in proving it, publicly and
before all creation. As de Muis (†1644) says in his _Comm. in Psalmos_
(Louvain, 1770, II. 705), "Ut calamitatibus tanquam igne probatur;
fidelis animus non modo non deficiat sed etiam animata inanimaque omnia
ad Dei laudes provocet." Eager to honour God, they join in unreserved

Their _Reliance upon God_ is obviously great. To Him they turn in their
martyrdom with prayer and praise; to Him they address themselves with
the heart and voice of sure conviction. He is their unfailing resource.

A _Love of Nature_, as created by the same hand as ourselves, is very
apparent in this canticle; there is a thorough fellow-feeling with
natural objects, as derived from, and responding to, the same Almighty
source. This love of nature appears in Holy Scripture most strongly, as
here, in the poetical books, and hardly anywhere does it take a deeper
tone than in this canticle.



כְּשׁוׄשַׁנָּה בֵּין הַחוׄחִים
(שיר ב׳ ב׳)




1--4. Susanna--her husband, family, and house.

5,6. Two newly-appointed Elders resort thither for official purposes.

7--14. How they yielded to the 'lust of the eye,' and laid their plot.

15--21. How they attempted to carry it out.

22--26. Susanna's soliloquy and cry.

27--41. The Elders' false accusation in private and in public, resulting
in her condemnation to death.

42--44. Her prayer.

45--49. The inspiration of Daniel to clear her.

50--59. He re-opens the case, and proves the Elders to be false.

60--62. The death-penalty is transferred to them, and Susanna is

63, 64. Whose family thank God; while Daniel's reputation is

N.B.--It is not clear why the 'heading' or 'contents' in the A.V.
_begins_ with v. 16. _Cf._ the heading of Bel and the Dragon for a
similar ignoring of the early verses, as also that of I. Macc. i.



This is in general simply Σουσάννα, as in the true LXX.

In Cod. A (Θ) it is designated at the end ὅρασις α', our chap. i. being
ὅρασις β', and so on. It is therefore included in the number of the
visions.[29] Ὅρασις also occurs in the title of Holmes and Parsons'
cursive 235.

In the Syriac of Heraclius (=W₂ of Ball, pp. 323a, 330a) it is entitled
"The Book of the child Daniel," or "The Book of little Daniel" (Churton,
3896). This last title also seems applied to Bel and the Dragon in a
Nestorian list mentioned by Churton (on the same page), and in Ebed
Jesu's list of Hippolytus' works (_D.G.B._ art. _Hippolytus_, p. 104a),
When applied to Bel and the Dragon, however, 'little' must refer to the
size of the book, and not, as is usually understood when it heads
Susanna, to Daniel's youthful age. To this Bar Hebræus (†1286), in his
Scholia on Susanna, expressly attributes it (ed. A. Heppner, Berlin,
1888, p. 18). He also remarks that neither Syriac version is equal to
the Greek.

"The Judgments of Daniel," Διακρίσεις Δανιήλ, is a good title given by
Arnald, by Churton (p. 390), and by Westcott (Smith's _D.B._ art.
_Additions to Daniel_, ed. 1, 3966, ed. 2, 713b), none of whom specify
any source or authority for it, Arnald alone giving the Greek. It may be
traced back, however, through Sabatier to Flaminius Nobilius, who
writes, "In multis [vetustis libris] inscribitur Daniel, in quibusdam
Susanna, in aliquo διάκρισις Δανιήλ, Judicium Daniel" (Append, to Bp.
Walton's _Polyglott_, Lond. 1657, p. 191). He gives no information as to
what this 'certain' copy at the end of his descending climax might be in
which he had found this title; nor does it quite agree with the plural
form in which Arnald gives it, presumably with regard to the double
sentence passed by Daniel. Holmes and Parsons give no such reading, and
no one now seems able to identify the 'liber' intended by Flaminius.
Delitzsch (_di Hab. Vita_, etc., Lips. 1842, p. _25n_) says that "Unus
Cod. qui ex coenobiis montis Athos advectus est" gives the title περὶ
τῆς Σωσάννης.

As this piece describes one episode only in Susanna's life, "the History
of Susanna" in both A.V. and R.V. is not a good title. 'History' and
'story,' however, were not so clearly differentiated in English formerly
as they are now. Possibly this title was taken from Jerome, who speaks
of "Susannæ historiam" twice in his Preface to Daniel. It is given also
in Syr. W₁. In Article VI., and in the "Names and Order of the Books" in
A.V., it takes the form, "Story of Susanna."

The name שׁוׄשַׁנָּה is so eminently fitted to the subject of the story
as to suggest its intentional choice; and, so far, would tell in favour
of the allegoric, and against the historic, nature of the piece[30]. Or
even supposing the piece to be historic, the name may have been assumed
in order to avoid identification of the heroine. The word occurs in its
masculine form, שֵׁשָׁן, in I. Chron. ii. 31, 34, 35; and in its
feminine form in II. Chron. iv. 5, Cant. ii. 1, 2 (here in a phrase most
readily lending itself as a motto for the tale), and Hos. xiv. 5. The
place Shushan, too, is thought to have been named from the abundance of
lilies which grew there. This name, derived from the plant world, is
paralleled by that of Habakkuk in the companion story of Bel and the
Dragon, according to Marti on Hab. i. 1 (_Hand-Commentar,_ Tübingen,


In Cod. Chisianus, and in the Vulgate, Susanna forms chap. xiii. of
Daniel. So also in the Syro-Hexaplar version (Ball, p. 330b). Cajetanus
Bugati (_Syriac Daniel_, Milan, 1788, p. 163), endeavours to explain
this (against Michaelis) by supposing Susanna to have been removed from
its original place at the beginning of the book.

In Codd. A, B, Q, Susanna stands at the beginning, before our chap. i.
of Daniel. This is its position also in the Old Latin, and in the Arabic
versions (Ball, p. 330b). Rothstein in Kautzsch (p. 172) thinks that
this was not its original place, but the one in which Theodotion fixed
it, or perhaps that which found favour when Theodotion's translation was
substituted for LXX. And this position appears to be contemplated by the
A.V. and R.V. titles, "set apart from the beginning of," etc. Driver,
however, thinks (_Comm. on Dan._, p. xviii.) that the chap. xiii.
position (before Bel and the Dragon) was perhaps its original place.
"The fact that it contains an anecdote of Daniel's youth might readily
have led to its subsequent transference to the beginning of the book."

St. Hippolytus, a writer subsequent to Theodotion, evidently regards it
as the commencement of the book (Schürer, _H.J.P._ ii. iii., 185).
Flaminius Nobilius in his "Notae," as given in the Appendix to Bryan
Walton's _Polyglott_, writes, "Hæc Susannas historia in omnibus
vetustis libris est principium Danielis, quemadmodum etiam apud S.
Athan. in Synopsi." This Synopsis is now considered to be of
post-Athanasian date; and the position which its writer gives to
Susanna in § 41 does not look quite consistent with that he gives
afterwards in § 74 (_see_ 'Canonicity,' p. 157).

Although in the Vulgate this moveable fragment forms Daniel xiii.,
Jerome, notwithstanding, in his Preface names these additions in the
order, Susanna, The Three, Bel and the Dragon; yet in the immediately
following "capitula Danihelis," it stands as in the text after chap.
xii. This clearly points to some uncertainty as to its proper place.

The statements made by E.L. Curtis at the end of art. _Daniel_ in
Hastings' _B.D._, that this and Bel and the Dragon are separate books in
the LXX, have question marks justly affixed to them. In the Jacobite
Syriac, Susanna is joined with Judith, Ruth, and Esther, as a "Female
Book" (_Urtext und Uebersetz._ p. 230). Gwynn says (D.C.B. art.
_Thecla_, IV. 895b), that in "Syriac O.T.'s these are usually placed
together and classed as the four books of the 'Book of Women.'"

Yet another position is suggested by J. Fürst (quoted in Bissell, p.
444), who thinks its proper place is after Dan. i. 20. This is a very
plausible conjecture, but evidence to support it is at present wanting.
A slight confirmation of it however is afforded by the _Byzantine Guide
to Painting_ (_see_ 'Art,' p. 171); and by the position given by Sulpicius
Severus to his epitome of the story (_see_ 'Christian Literature,' p.
167). E. Philippe (Vigouroux, _Dict._ II. 1267a) attempts to account for
its removal from, or want of position in, the Massoretic Daniel, "parce
qu'elle est infamante pour les juges d'Israel," obviously adopting
Origen's reason (_see_ 'Canonicity,' p. 157) which is not a very
satisfactory one.

All things considered, the position of Susanna in the A.V. as a detached
piece, along with Bel and the Dragon, is as suitable as any which have
been suggested. For its original place cannot now, from the information
in our hands, be determined with absolute certainty.



Susanna is deemed by J.M. Fuller (_Speaker's Comm., Introd. to Dan._,
221a) to be probably the oldest of the three additions. This opinion is
however by no means universally accepted.

If a Semitic original really existed, it no doubt preceded the Greek
texts. R.C. opinion (_e.g._ Dereser, quoted by Bissell, p. 444), as that
of all who regard the booklet as canonical, treats it as part of Daniel,
and therefore whatever date is assigned to that book is made to apply to
this also. Professor A.A. Bevan (_Comm. on Dan._, Camb. 1892, p. 45)
thinks that this piece and Bel and the Dragon "appear to have been
circulated independently before they were incorporated with the book of
Daniel." C.J. Ball ascribes the origin of the piece to the struggles
between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, B.C. 94-89 (p. 330a). But to
attribute it thus to the outcome of these quarrels, brings the original
down to a later date than is at all probable, in view of its
incorporation with the LXX.[31] Nor does the bitterness of those
disputes seem stamped with sufficient strength upon the document itself
to compel us to see in them its period of origin.

J.T. Marshall (Hastings' _D.B._ IV., 631-2) conjectures that the latter
part of the story arose out of Simon ben Shetach's efforts, about 100
B.C., to get the law as to witnesses in criminal cases altered. This
view is perhaps a trifle more probable than Ball's.

As to the true LXX text, Bissell (p. 444) rather inclines to deem it to
have been from the first a part of the LXX. So Pusey, quoted by Churton
(p. 389), says that it is "admitted to have been contemporary with the
LXX version;" and W. Selwyn (_D.B._ III., p. 1210a) thinks that this,
with the other additions, was "early incorporated with the LXX."
Rothstein in Kautzsch, very hesitatingly and with much caution, suggests
(I., p. 178) the second century before Christ.

On the other hand, A. Kamphausen (_Encyclop. Bibl._ I. 1013) writes,"
When [Daniel] first began to be translated by the Egyptian Jews into
Greek, the legends of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon, which may very
well have had an independent circulation, had certainly not as yet been
taken up into it.... We cannot tell at what date it was that these
apocryphal additions (which are contained in all MSS. that have reached
us), were taken up into the Greek and Syriac Daniel." How he knows so
"certainly" that they were not in it at the period named, he does not
explain; and before this positive statement can be unreservedly accepted
strong proof is wanted.

As to Theodotion's version, there is no reason to suppose that the
portion consisting of Susanna differs in date from the rest of the book.
It may probably be assigned to the latter half of the second century
A.D. Behrmann, in Nowack's _Hand Kommentar_, p. xxx. says, "um 150."

Most writers on this subject, such as Westcott, Streane, and Marshall,
as well as some of those previously mentioned, markedly avoid any
approach to definite dates as to the original, or as to the LXX Greek.
And justly so; for the evidence in our hands does not, unfortunately,
admit of anything closer than a "period" being safely fixed. The
materials we have are not sufficiently precise for closer approximation
with any decree of security. Rothstein (Kautzsch, I., p. 178) very
wisely says, "Natürlich lasst sich mit irgend welcher Sicherheit über
diese Frage nichts ausmachen." With this, until further evidence be
forthcoming, it is well to agree.


_Of Original._ As to the place of origin nearly every writer on Susanna
is silent except Scholz, who (p. 147) favours a non-Alexandrian
birthplace, giving a preference to the land of the Captivity. And if we
assume, as he does, a Semitic original, Babylonia is no doubt its
probable birthplace, or, failing that, Palestine.

It might appear, if the trees named could be botanically identified with
a reasonable degree of certainty, that a valuable sign would thus be
given of the place of origin. But inasmuch as Joacim's park or garden
would be a likely place for the cultivation of exotics, perhaps no safe
theory could be built upon the identification of the trees, unless they
were shewn to be such as would not live in the climate of the country

There is no trace of Alexandrian philosophy or speculation, nor of
commercial interests, some of which generally betray themselves in
writings of Alexandrian origin. And the same may be said of the Song of
the Three, and Bel and the Dragon. But in such short pieces it is not
wise to build much on the absence of these traces.

_Of LXX Greek._ That this was made at Alexandria admits of little doubt.
From the similarity of style, too, it would appear that the translator
(or editor) was identical with the translator of the canonical Daniel.
This is the opinion of Rothstein (in Kautzsch, I. 178). Schürer
(_H.J.P._ II. III.), who denies the existence of a Semitic original,
classes this (with the other additions) not in his
'Palestinian-Jewish,' but in his 'Graeco-Jewish' section.

The mention of Sidon in v. 56 (where Θ has Canaan) may perhaps suggest a
writer in the original, whatever language he may have used, who was
connected with the north of Palestine. But it is quite as probable that
the writer (or translator) had some idea of Gen. x. 15 in his mind,
"Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn." After him, according to Josephus
(_Ant._ I. VI. 2), the city was named: Σιδώνιος ὃς καὶ πόλιν ἐπώννμον
ἔκτισεν ἐν τῇ Φοινίκῃ, Σιδὼν δ᾽ ὑφ᾽ Ἑλλήνων καλεῖται. It is worth
noticing that in St. Matt. xi. 21 our Lord speaks of the city more

_Of Theodotion's Greek._ Of the 'provenance' of the Greek version
bearing Theodotion's name very little is known. But Ephesus may be
suggested as not altogether improbable with regard to what little we
know of Theodotion's life. If we take the Revelation of St. John, too,
as having been written at Ephesus, this will accord well with the use
made of Theodotion's version of Daniel in that book. Or if Theodotion
made use, in whole or in part, of some previous version, as seems
certain, this fact would not at all militate against St. John at Ephesus
having also made use of the same earlier version. And it is quite
possible that this version may have been of Alexandrian origin, although
worked up by Theodotion elsewhere.

Whatever the place of origin may have been, it is very remarkable that a
version by one who was either a Jew or a heretic Christian should have
been preferred to the LXX of Daniel and the Additions so as practically
to supersede it. Prof. J.J. Blunt describes Theodotion as one who
"attempts to wrest the Hebrew from the cause of the Gospel" (_Christian
Church_, p. 129). This was indicated by Irenæus, III. xxiii. 1. If,
however, the previous version used by him was due to a pre-Christian
Jew, this may have smoothed the way for its acceptance among Christians.
For Jews B.C. and Jews A.D. were regarded by the Church, as was natural,
in very different lights, and their writings likewise.


Like some other of the apocryphal books, this is a traditional story of
great popularity. It is not necessary to suppose that its author's name
has been lost from the title, as it may always have been anonymous. The
nature of its contents would not be unlikely to give offence to the
Sanhedrin, and therefore a motive for anonymity is not far to seek.

Bishop Gray (_Introd. to O.T._ p. 613) seems, as he often does, to hit
the mark, as nearly as we can tell, when he deems it to be "by some Jew
who invented the history, or collected its particulars from traditionary
relations in praise of Daniel." This observation is little more than
paraphrased by J.H. Blunt, when he writes (_in loc._) "probably inserted
into LXX from some ancient Jewish authority." The variations of text
certainly suggest an oral tradition, perhaps even more strongly than in
Bel and the Dragon.

Bissell says that Susanna "contains nothing which might not have come
from the pen of a Hellenist" (p. 445); and Westcott sees in this and
other additions "the hand of an Alexandrian writer" (Smith's _D.B._ ed.
2 I. 714a), but thinks it not unlikely that he worked up earlier
traditions. Certainly v. 22 seems to shew that the author of the Greek
of Θ was evidently acquainted with the LXX of II. Sam. xxiv. 14. "Wer
die Susanna (in Walton's _Polygl._ 4) nach Theodot. frei übersetzt hat,"
says Nestle, "wissen wir nicht" (_Urtext und übersetz._ 236).

It is noteworthy that Josephus shews no acquaintance with this or the
other additions, though he makes some use of other uncanonical legends
of Daniel (_Jud. Ant._ X., 10, 1; 11, 6 and 7). Schürer in Hauck's
_Encylop._ (I. 639), thinks Susanna and Bel and the Dragon may well
originally have had independent existences. If so, this might help to
explain Josephus' disregard of them.

It is a reasonable inference from v. 57, that the author was a Jew in
the strictest sense, and not from one of the ten tribes. Yet it should
not escape notice that in v. 48 "Israel" is apparently used for the
entire people, including all the tribes.[32] The invidious contrast
between the Israelitish and Jewish women is omitted in what Dr. Salmon
calls, "the second Syriac recension" of Susanna, termed erroneously at
one time "the Harklensian" (_Speaker's Comm._, p. xlvi.). The contrast
in v. 56 between Israel and Canaan is made into a stinging reproach, but
is hardly to be understood literally as to the Elder's family descent.

J. Kennedy in _Daniel from a Christian standpoint_ (p. 55), says of this
and the other Additions that there is "no means of determining when,
where, or by whom written." He adds (p. 56), "those who conceived and
wrote the additions were both intellectually and spiritually incapable
of appreciating the book [of Daniel] and its contents," and he concludes
that they "belong to different ages and to entirely different conditions
of thought." This estimate is a much too severe one, and very different
from the opinion formed by some other equally qualified judges. The fear
lest a favourable opinion of the quality of these pieces should lend any
countenance to the Tridentine decree as to the Apocrypha, or seem to
weaken the Protestant position with regard to them, appears to have
operated, consciously or unconsciously, in shaping the views on this
subject expressed by such writers. Probably acting under similar
sentiments Ludovicus Cappellus, †1658 (quoted by Ball, 325a), calls
the author "a trifler" (nugator), and styles his production "fabula

Jerome, in the Prologue to his _Commentary on Daniel_, says that
Eusebius and Apollinarius replied to Porphyry's objection to these
additions that "Susannæ Belisque ac Draconis fabulas non contineri in
Hebraico, sed partem esse prophetæ Abacuc filii Jesu de tribu Levi;"
and apparently acquiesces in this statement. As there appears to be no
other authority for attributing Susanna to Habakkuk, it is a question
whether the LXX title to Bel and the Dragon was not applied to Susanna
also "per incuriam." A. Scholz escapes the difficulty of Habakkuk both
here and in Bel and the Dragon by regarding it as a merely symbolic
title, which he renders by "Kämpfe" on very slender grounds (_Esther und
Susanna_, Würzburg, 1892, p. 138; and _Judith und Bel und der Drache_,
1896, p. 204).

It must not be forgotten, however, that the authorship of Daniel is of
course suggested by most of those who defend the canonicity of the book.
Origen in his Epistle to Africanus maintains the solidarity of the piece
with the book of Daniel. And it should be remembered, as a point of some
strength, that Julius Africanus' correspondence with Origen at the
beginning of century III., is the first record we have of any dispute as
to its genuineness.

Professor Rothstein, in Kautzsch (i. 172) gives very decidedly a
contrary opinion, stating that Susanna and Bel and the Dragon, "haben
mit dem Danielbuche nur insofern zu thun, als in ihnen Daniel eine Rolle
spielt." But it is hard to offer conclusive proof that Susanna and Bel
and the Dragon differ greatly in character from the independent
historical "scenes" of which the first six chapters of Daniel consist;
each, in nearly all respects, being intelligible when standing alone. It
is hard also to shew that their incorporation, and constant acceptance,
with the LXX was a deplorable mistake. And this difficulty is enhanced
when we see that, so far as is known, all the Greek and Latin speaking
Christians before Julius Africanus, and most of them after, fell
unquestionably into what, if Rothstein and those who think with him are
right, must be deemed a grave error. But even if it could be proved that
these pieces were by the author of Daniel, the recent questions as to
who that writer may have been, still further complicate the at present
insoluble problem of the authorship of Susanna.



That this story was originally prepared for the use of Jews there can be
no doubt. Probably it was designed for readers and admirers of Daniel,
who would be glad of this example of the prophet's insight. Certainly
it was for those who loved to dwell on the interventions of God for His
people, and especially on a recent manifestation of His particular care
for oppressed individuals. Possibly also the case of those may have been
regarded who were dissatisfied with the current methods of administering
justice and conducting trials. J.W. Etheridge (_Jerusalem and Tiberias_,
1856, p. 109) deems it to be an example of Haggadah in common with its
two companion pieces, "histories coloured with fable," as he styles
them--a sort of legendary appendix to carry on the interest of readers
of the canonical text.

But since the Christian era this writing has been employed by Christians
far more than by Jews. Perhaps its ready acceptance by the former may
have diminished the chance of popularity amongst the Israelites of later
times. They would look upon it with more suspicion, though it was
clearly connected with the literature of their race. And obviously this
enlarged acceptance among Christians was beyond the aim of the tale's


The holding up an example of purity, maintained under circumstances of
great distress, is the leading object which Christians have seen in
this piece. It is probable, however, that other aims as well as this
entered into the mind of the writer.

A dissatisfaction with the method of conducting trials such as Susanna's
is clearly manifested. A Pharisaic, or at least an anti-Sadducean,
tendency has been observed, particularly in the latter part of the
story. Then the utility of investigating small particulars is
demonstrated, and the necessity of a rigorous punishment of false
witnesses, points on which the Pharisees insisted, according to Ball
(329b, 330a), who quotes Simon ben Shetach as saying from the
Mishnah (_Pirke Avoth_, I. 9) את הצדים הוי מרבה לחקור. Bissell (p. 447)
also thinks that "to reform the method of conducting legal processes"
was an object of the author. And certainly the story does teach the need
for a close investigation of testimony.

The author shews up the unscrupulousness and injustice practised even in
the leading circles of the Jewish community; and in so doing he
manifests throughout a good knowledge of the workings of the human
heart. Marshall (in Hastings' _D.B._) assumes "that we have here an
ethical mythus" (631b).[33] But to imagine that the story had no
other origin than this is, to say the least, unproved, and, as many
think, unproveable.

Another object may have been to extol Daniel and his judicial acumen.
There is a resemblance in this respect to the tone of several chapters
of the Book of Daniel, _e.g._, ii. and iv. His penetration and his
prophetic gifts as a young man are set forth. Indeed the last two verses
of the Ο´ version almost make the praise of youthful piety the moral of
the book. But this, edifying as it may be, is scarcely to be taken as
the chief object of the composition; and Θ substitutes another
conclusion as to the gratitude of Susanna's family and the growth of
Daniel's reputation.

Still, apart from the question of historic value, many worthy objects
may have lain within the purview of the composer; and to shew that
righteous youths are better than unrighteous elders may very well have
been one of these. To prove that even men of riper years are not
unerring in judgment may well also, as G. Jahn (quoted by Ball in
_Speaker's Comm._ 325a) points out, have been a subsidiary aim.

The kind of judicial acumen displayed strikes one, too, as being very
similar to that of the young Solomon in his judgment on the two women
(I. Kings iii.); but the story here is not an imitation of that. It is a
wholly distinct instance of the same class, a most popular one for
narration in Eastern countries.

Another object in writing this history (and certainly the most useful
object from a Christian point of view) is to give an example of the
maintenance of purity and right, even at the risk of losing both life
and reputation.

It may be questioned, however, whether the idea of depressing the
estimation of elders, or of raising that of Susanna and of Daniel, was
uppermost in the writer's mind. Almost equal prominence is given to each
of these ideas. The latter, perhaps, would throw over the piece a
somewhat less attractive character than the former. But there is that in
the cast of the composition which suggests that its object may have been
quite as much to raise disgust at the elders' crime as to raise
admiration at Susanna's purity; in fact that the whiteness of her
character was designed as a foil to make more prominent the blackness of
her oppressors. On this account Jer. xxix. 23 might perhaps be taken as
a verse which gave his cue to the writer. But these are points on which
opinions will inevitably vary according to the impression made on
different minds by a matter so nearly balanced.

This, the only one of our three booklets in which women appear, presents
them in a very favourable light. Beyond the imputation suggested against
those of Israel at the beginning of v. 57, it contains nothing but what
is creditable to the female sex. The present Archbishop of Armagh's
poem, "The Voyage to Babylon," thus prettily depicts Susanna's purity:

      ".... garden bed of balm,
In one whereof old Chelcias' daughter
Went to walk down beside the water,
The lily both in heart and name,
Whose white leaf hath no blot of shame."

Abp. ALEXANDER'S _Poems_ (Lond. 1900).


In Θ we appear to have the story presented to us without material
interpolation; but there are omissions of some not very important
matters contained in the LXX text. A. Scholz accounts for variations by
supposing changes in the Hebrew original between the times of the two
translations. Of Θ he says, "Θ ist nichts als Uebersetzer; er setzt de
suo kein wort bei" (p. 142)--an exaggerated statement.

The true LXX version was long supposed to be lost; but a cursive MS. of
it (9th or 10th century) was found in Cardinal Chigi's library at Some,
and was first printed in 1772. From its owner's name it has received the
title of Cod. Chisianus, and is now numbered 87.

It is almost certain that Θ must have had the Ο´ text before him, since
the coincidences of diction, though not so continuous as in the Song of
the Three, are still far too numerous to be accidental. Bissell (p. 443)
says of all the three pieces, "Θ simply recast the version of LXX." This
dictum, however true of the Three, must not be quite literally taken of
Susanna, as he does introduce some fresh matter, particularly at the
opening and the close. Prof. Rothstein in Kautzsch (pp. 176-7) thinks
that the two Greek versions are two independent forms of the same story,
based on some common narrative material; but when the obvious idea
presents itself that this last was an Hebraic original, he speaks with
much guardedness (p. 178), lest he should commit himself to this view.

Θ's recension is rather more polished in language, less elaborate in
some of its details.[34] Fritzsche, quoted in Kautzsch (pp. 176-7), says
that "he worked over the LXX text, expanded the narrative, rounded it
off, and gave it a greater air of probability." Westcott's opinion to a
similar effect, however (Smith's _D.B._ ed. 2 I. 714a), is called in
question by Professor Salmon (_Speaker's Comm._ XLVI.a), who thinks
that there is quite as much to be said for the opposite views, and this
opinion is reasonable.

In the LXX text there is surely something wanting at the true beginning
at v. 5, which, as it stands, is awkwardly abrupt. Both Bissell (and
Brüll, quoted by him, p. 457) approve of the idea that the beginning was
suppressed because of its containing damaging reflections on the elders.
Then the present opening (vv. 1--5) was borrowed from Θ, and is marked
in both Cod. Chis. and Syro-Hex. as not part of the original work, but a
foreign exordium. Rothstein (p. 184, note) thinks that in place of the
present borrowed commencement there stood a short introductory remark on
the two judging elders. Though lacking proof, this conjecture is well
within the bounds of possibility. Yet in the Syro-Hexaplar text the
first five verses are obelised, indicating, according to Bugati (p.
163), that they are omitted in Θ, but present in Ο´.

There are in the LXX extra clauses, which are not in Θ, scattered
throughout the book; three verses between 14 and 15, one at the end, and
considerable enlargements of vv. 45, 52; also curious substitutions,
such as that in v. 39, where in the LXX the imaginary young man escaped
because he was disguised; in Theodotion, because he was stronger than
the Elders. These alternative reasons are of course not of necessity

The Syriac W₂ (=Harklensian) contains many further particulars inserted
here and there, such as the Elders' names (Amid and Abid)[35], v. 5,
Daniel's age of twelve years, and some words in praise of him, v. 64.
But most of these added clauses may not unfairly be regarded as
'paddings,' put in by way of embellishment. Those in v. 41 (ninth hour),
v. 45 (twelve years of age), v. 64 (increase in favour) have a Christian
look, the last two being suggestive of a knowledge of St. Luke's Gospel
(_cf._ 'Style,' p. 140). Also the continuation of v. 43 in Lagarde's
second Syriac version has rather a Christian air, "appear for me and
send a Redeemer from before thee," etc. (Hastings' _D.B._ art. _Sus._ p.

An attempt has been made to account for the numerous, but not generally
very important, variations in different texts and versions by supposing
the story to have been a favourite oral narrative, long continuing in a
fluid state. This is far from improbable.

The Vulgate, which follows Θ closely, appends the first verse of Bel and
the Dragon as the conclusion of this story. If this was done in order to
avoid chronological difficulty there, it was at the expense of
introducing it here, and that, to all appearance, very meaninglessly.

The chief uncial MS. authorities for Θ's text are A,B,Q, and from v. 51
onward, Γ. A often agrees with Q, as in vv. 19, 24, and elsewhere, in
substituting πρεσβύτεροι (Ο´'s word) for πρεσβῦται; in vv. 10, 11, etc.,
in substituting ἀπαγγέλλω for ἀναγγέλλω; and in v. 46, καθαρός for
ἀθῷος. In the canonical part of Daniel the substitution of ἀπαγγέλλω for
ἀναγγέλλω mostly holds good also so far as A is concerned (ii. 9,
16).[36] In v. 36, A has a transposition of a clause, and in v. 39
another of its changes of prepositions in composition, not easily
accounted for. Q (alone) has such changes in vv. 4, 32, 38. The above
are all changes from B. Γ often agrees with A and Q, or both, but has
nothing of importance independently.

The genitive Σουσαννάς (instead of ης) occurs occasionally in all the
above MSS. (vv. 27, 28, 62; also in LXX, v. 30). _cf._ Μάρθας in St.
John xi. I.

Two cursive MSS. (234 Moscow, S. Synod; 235 Rome, Vat.) consist of
Susanna only; but whether they are perfect, or only fragments, is not
clear. Holmes and Parsons give no particulars. On the whole, the text of
either version is fairly trustworthy, the average of variations being
not at all above that in the canonical Daniel.



As with the Three, so here, the question at once arises, Is the Greek of
the LXX more probably the original language or a translation? The
acceptance of a Semitic original seems on the whole to be more in the
ascendant than formerly; but still, the greater part of those who have
expressed an opinion on the subject incline to Greek as the language
chosen by the author.

The Hebraic style is somewhat less strongly marked than in the other two
fragments, nor has an Aramaic text of this one yet been discovered.
Still, the Greek can be rendered into Hebrew rather more easily than
most Hellenistic Greek. The Greek of the "rest of" Esther differs much
more in style and tone from that of the canonical book to which it is
attached than does the Greek of Susanna from that of the canonical
Daniel; and, so far as this fact goes, it points to a closer linguistic
connection in this case than in the other (_see_ Streane, _Age of Macc._
p. 160; Bissell, p. 203). Delitzsch (_op. cit._ pp. 31, 101) says that
"particulæ quædam citantur a Nachmanide" (entitled מגלת ששן) as well as
of Wisdom. The citations of the latter book are discredited by Farrar
(_Speaker's Comm._ p. 411) however, and probably those of the former are
in a similar position.

The early place of verbs in the sentences is here also, as in the other
pieces, to some extent noticeable as conforming to the theory of a
Semitic original. If the etymology of the name דניאל is supposed to be
drawn from his 'judgments' in this story, such an original is probably
involved in the supposition (_cf._ 'Title,' p. 104). The Hexaplaric
marks mentioned by Bugati (_op. cit._ 156), as occurring at the
beginning of Cod. Chisianus (Α, Σ, Θ), are strongly suggestive of
translation (_cf._ Song, 'Language,' p. 49).

The controversy which was started by Africanus with Origen (and resumed
by Porphyry[37] with Eusebius of Cæsarea, and by Rufinus with Jerome) as
to the famous play upon the names of the trees (vv. 54--60) is still
unsettled. Some see in the paronomasiæ conclusive proof of the
originality of the Greek; others still contend with Origen that they are
no certain evidence as to determination of language. But few will think
the analogous case which he (Origen) gives from Gen. ii. 23 a very
convincing one (_D.C.B._ art. _Heb. Learning_, p. 858b). Still we must
remember that the Hebrew language was fond of paronomasiæ, and that
Daniel employs the figure in the canonical book (v. 25--28). In other
O.T. instances of its use it is, however, difficult to to see that the
LXX made any attempt to reproduce the word-play, _e.g._ Isai. v. 7, Mic.
i. 10; nor does either Greek version in Dan. v. 25--28.[38] But ἄνεσις
and ἄφεσις in I. Esd. iv. 62 looks like a word-play in what may not be
original Greek; though a Semitic original of that section of I. Esd.
(iii. 1 to v. 6) is by no means proved.

It has been shewn, however, in the case before us, how an adequate play
might be produced in Aramaic, as also in English (Hastings' _D.B._ art.
_Sus._). A. Scholz, too, in his Commentary attempts this, with only
moderate success, in Hebrew[39]; and Delitzsch (_op. cit._ 102) gives
some Aramaic possibilities of it from Plessner. As the precise
punishments named were not carried out, this passage in the original,
whatever it may have been, was clearly constructed with a view to
introduce their names.

It is interesting to compare and contrast the account of the Woman taken
in Adultery (St. John viii.) with that of Susanna, the one truly, the
other falsely, accused. There are, as might be expected, some verbal
parallels, but not sufficient to prove that the N.T. writer was
influenced by the History of Susanna, nor to give us material assistance
in deciding its original language (_cf._ III. 'Language,' p. 49).
Notwithstanding the general inclination towards Greek, this must at
present be left in doubt, and a verdict of 'non liquet' given.

In the following observations on specific points in the language,
instances telling in both directions have been included:

v. 3 Ο´, Θ. The use of κατά after διδάσκω, instead of a double
accusative, suggests a translation of למד followed by a ב or מן, with
either of which it is sometimes constructed.

v. 5 Ο´, Θ. If Aramaic be the original language, ἐδόκουν may well
represent צְבָא, as in IV. 14, V. 23 and elsewhere.

v. 6 Ο´, Θ. Scholz deems κρίσεις and κρινόμενοι to be based on a
confusion between משפטים and נשפטים.

vv. 7, 15, 19, 28 Θ. καὶ ἐγένετο is suggestive of ויהי.

vv. 8, 14, 56 Ο´, Θ. The use of ἐπιθυμία in a bad sense, and of ἐπιθυμέω
in a perfectly innocent one in v. 15 Θ, seems careless, and may point to
translation from an original, where different roots were used, _e.g._
אהב,חמד,אוה. _Cf._ LXX of Deut. v. 21 (18) for a rendering of two
different Hebrew roots by the same word, ἐπιθυμέω, though in that case
they are both employed in a bad sense.

v. 15 Θ. καθὼς ἐχθὲς καὶ τρίτης ἡμέρς looks like כִּתְמוׄל שִׁלְשֹׁם, as
in Gen. xxxi. 5 and II. Kings xiii. 5. "Wörtlich hebräisch," as Reuss
notes _in loc._ If Aramaic were the original, it might be
וּמִדֳקדְמוׄהִי כְּמֵאֶתְמָלֵי.

v. 17 Θ. σμήγμασα, "exprimere voluit Heb. בורית," but תמרוק (Esth. ii.
3, 9, 12) seems quite as likely as this suggestion of Grotius. Both
roots are Aramaic as well as Hebrew.

vv. 11, 30, 39, 63 Θ. An instance similar to that given above (vv. 8,
14, 56) is the use of συγγενέσθδι in a bad sense in vv. 11, 39, and
συγενεῖς innocently in vv. 30, 63.

v. 19 Ο´. συνθέμενοι = זמן either in Aramaic or Hebrew, as in ii. 9,
while ἐξεβιάζοντο = כבש, as in Esth. vii. 8.

v. 22 Θ. Συενά μοι πάντοθεν occurs also in David's choice, II. Sam.
xxiv. 14 (closer than I. Chron. xxi. 13). The certainty of its being a
translation in the one place increases the probability of its being so
in the other, suggesting a common original, unless we suppose a Greek
author borrowing a Septuagintal phrase.

v. 23 Ο´, Θ. On the other hand, the participial clause in this verse in
both versions seems un-Hebraic in form; as also the phrase ὁ τῶν κρυπτῶν
γνώστης in v. 42 Θ, which is not very like a translation from the
Hebrew. There is a certain resemblance to Dan. ii. 28, 29 (Ο´, Θ), ὁ
ἀποκαλύπτων μυστήρια, however; but the latter contemplates God as
revealing mysteries to others, the former as knowing secrets Himself.

v. 26 Θ. Scholz' idea that πλαγίας = קרי (as in Lev. xxvi. 21, etc.)
would suit either Aramaic or Hebrew.

v. 27 Θ. Adduced as Hebraism in Winer's _G.T. Grammar_ (_E.T._ 1870, p.
214); apparently, but not very clearly, on the strength of the phrase
πώποτε οὐκ ἐρρέθη.

v. 36 Θ. The genitive absolute is Greek in character, but does not occur
in Ο´.

v. 44 Θ. Εἰσήκουσεν... τῆς φωνῆς. A Hebraism, as in Gen. xxi. 17, and

v. 53 Ο´, Θ. The quotation is exact in both versions from the LXX of
Lev. xxiii. 7. This fact may be thought to tell slightly in favour of a
Greek original. In the canonical Dan. ix. 13 there is a reference,
without precise quotation, to Moses' law, so that this mention is not
out of character. The phraseology of the verse in Θ has a distinctly
Hebraistic look, much more so than in Ο´.

v. 55 Ο´, Θ. ψυχήν, κεφαλήν = נֶפֶשׁ Isai. xliii. 4.

v. 56 Ο´. The epithet μικρά, as applied to the ἐπιθυμήα of the Elder, is
inappropriate, and suggests an error of translation. Now טםאה is
rendered by μικρά in Josh. xxii. 19[40], and this word would yield a
very good sense in a Semitic original here, supposed to lie in the

v. 57 Ο´, Θ. If an animus against Israel, as Judah's inferior, is really
shewn here it would point to a Babylonian, and therefore Semitic,
original, inasmuch as the enmity between Israel and Judah does not
appear to have been so strong at Alexandria. The use of 'Israel,'
however, in v. 48 seems to include all in the first instance, and to be
employed of Susanna specially in the second, who was presumably of
Judah. The Syro-Hexaplar omits what was most likely deemed an invidious
reflection. The reference to Hos. iv. 15 in the _Speaker's Comm._ (note)
does not seem apposite as to its mention of Israel and Judah in the LXX;
only in the Hebrew.

The phrase τὴν νόσον ὑμῶν comes in strangely, as Θ, by omitting it,
apparently thought. It is suggestive of a translation, perhaps of חֳלִי,
which seems to be used of moral disease in Hos. v. 13, and is there
rendered by νόσος.

v. 59 Ο´, Θ. Why ὑμᾶς? In LXX it comes in very awkwardly, where σε would
naturally be expected.

Scholz, not improbably, suggests that μένει (Θ) and ἕστηκεν (Ο´) have
been caused by reading קוה and קום respectively, renderings which are
actually found of those words elsewhere in the LXX, _e.g._ Isai. v. 2
and Dan. ii. 31. That confusion sometimes occurred between ה and the
final ם is known.

v. 61 Θ. Τῷπλησίον, though referring to Susanna, may be a translation of
רֵצַ, a word apparently regarded by Gesenius as epicene; so in Gen.
xxiii. 3, 4, 8 τὸν νεκρόν is the rendering of מֵת, meaning Sarah's
corpse, "sine sexus discrimine" (Ges.). But πλησίον may be used here of
'neighbour' collectively without exclusive reference to Susanna.

v. 62 Ο´. Φάραγξ, a frequent translation of גַּיְא or נַחַל. As it does
not appear that there are any natural ravines in Babylon, this might
refer to a deep moat outside the wall.

v. 64 (62) Ο´. Scholz says, "Εἰς ist sclavische Uebersetzung von ל das
der Hervorhebung des Objektes dienen soll." This is probable, though
'sclavische' seems an unnecessary epithet.


The style is that of a clearly-told narrative, with little of a strained
or rhetorical character about it; indeed there is less of this than in
much of the canonical Daniel. Ideas are well expressed and the story
well proportioned. There is nothing superfluous; everything bears on the
main theme. Nor is it unnatural that Daniel is made to use a play on
words out of the Elders' own mouths in order to render his sentence of
condemnation more strikingly emphatic.

There is high literary skill in the simple yet effective way of
narration. The story is a practical example of the saying, "Ars est
celare artem," a fact which will be best appreciated by any who will try
to tell the tale as well in their own words.[41] Holtzmann calls it,
"besonders von der Kunst vielfach gefeierte Novelle" (Schenkel's _Bibel
Lex._ 1875).

The lack of spontaneity and original freshness sometimes charged[A]
against the apocryphal books is by no means conspicuous here, nor,
though perhaps less decisively, in the next addition, Bel and the
Dragon. The exciting interview between Daniel and the Elders is so drawn
as to arouse much interest. By the first incident the whole current of
Susanna's life is abruptly changed, and her destiny is made to hang in
the balance for some time in a natural, but very effective, manner. The
writer has a deep knowledge of the principles and actions of human
feeling, and a thorough grasp of the art, by no means so easy as it
looks, of telling a short story in a very engaging style. Plot,
surprise, struggle, unfolding of character, and much else which is
regarded as contributing to excellence in such a composition, we find

In the so-called Harklensian (W₂ of Salmon = Churton's Syr.[42]) various
details are added, such as the judgment chair brought out, which Daniel
refuses, standing up to judge; Susanna's chains (27, 50); her tears (33,
42); and her condemnation to death at the ninth hour (41). These are
obviously designed to heighten, by the introduction of more detailed
particulars, the effect of the narrative. The tale is so interesting and
so true to nature that its popularity is easily explained. That it
became a favourite story, in an age not given to prudery, for reading
and for oral repetition, is not surprising. Like all such, it was
subject to changes of form and gradual accretions. Oral repetition, as
well as non-canonicity amongst the Jews will, to a considerable extent,
account for the divergences between the LXX and Theodotion's recensions.
The latter, in Reuss' opinion (VI. 412), "ist reicher an Einzelnheiten
und auch besser stilisiert." With this view, in the main, most will feel
themselves in accord.



An unexceptionable O.T. moral standard on the part of the writer is
maintained throughout, so that no 'difficulties' arise on this score.
There is not a suggestion of any worship beside that of the Lord; no
idolatry is even hinted at. The Captivity had done its work in that
respect. Nor is there any symptom of the later developments of
rabbinism; not even in their inception.[43] It requires a very sharp
eye to find here so much as the germs of error in faith.

The Law of Moses is acted upon; taught by parents to children (v. 3);
regarded as the great authority (v. 62). The institution of Elders is in
full force, as contemplated in Jer. xix. 1 and xxvi. 17. I. Kings xx. 7
and xxi. 8, 11 shew that this body had been continued among the
separated tribes, and so naturally carried with them to their new home.
The appearance of corruption among officials in high places, who ought
to have been most free from it, is quite in accord with the religious
history of mankind in general, and of Israel in particular. Such
references as the above to Jeremiah, and that in v. 5 to Jer. xxix. 23,
are paralleled by a reference in the canonical Dan. ix. 2 to Jer. xxxv.

When Daniel's plan was efficacious for revealing the Elders' guilt, the
just decision was approved; the right is thoroughly commended and the
wrong condemned. The heart of the people rings sound; their instincts at
the trials are in favour of justice. Morality is supported by popular
sympathy, which has been purified and elevated by the discipline of

In v. 57 some prejudice is suggested as existing in the writer's mind
against the women of Israel as being less chaste than those of Judah.
Possibly he was of the latter tribe himself (_see_ 'Language' on v. 57,
p. 137). The reproach to the second Elder of Canaanitish descent is in
keeping with Ezek. xvi. 3, where it is hurled against Jerusalem and her

It is objected in Hastings' _D.B._ (IV. 631b) that "Daniel loudly
condemns both culprits before he adduces any proof of their guilt." But
surely this was justified by the prophetic office and the spirit within
him, which endowed him with an abnormal insight into the true state of
affairs. Personally he was assured, from the outset, of their guilt, but
secured public proof to satisfy the people. This objection is rather
poor ground on which to assail the historic character of the piece. In
fine, a religious tone, befitting the time intended, is consistently
maintained throughout.


Incidentally a pleasing picture of home life is outlined, before the
Elders tried to corrupt it.

Some of the Jews were apparently living in wealth and comfort during
the Captivity; but the end of v. 4 shews that Joacim's estate was
pre-eminent, not a sample of the general condition of the exiles. If not
royal (as Jul. Afric. in his letter to Origen hints, and Origen doubts
in his reply, § 14), it was evidently of an upper class; and a kind of
tribunal was held at his house. The state of life here depicted agrees
with Jeremiah's advice in xxix. 5; and with II. Esd. iii. 2, if that
too could be applied to the captives.

The King of Babylon was content with the subjugation and deportation of
the Jews, allowing them considerable liberty when he got them into
Babylonia. In this connection Ps. cv. 46 naturally occurs to the mind.
The captives evidently had alleviations granted them in Babylon by their
conquerors, witness Evil-Merodach's kindness to Jehoiachin, II. Kings
xxv. 28. There is, however, no indication even of the beginnings of that
trade and commerce which was so characteristic of much of the dispersion
in later years.

Great freedom to regulate their own affairs is shewn, including, to all
appearance, the power of inflicting the death-penalty, v. 62. This last
power has been objected to as unhistoric. But J.J. Blunt[44]
illustrates the possibility of this, by citing Origen's letter to
Africanus to shew that the Jews under the Romans enjoyed a similar power
in his day. Origen defends the correctness of v. 62 by adducing this as
a similar instance in his own knowledge. Blunt treats the matter as a
kind of "undesigned coincidence," rendering credible the death penalties
spoken of in Acts ix. 1, xxii. 4, xxiv. 6.[45] So Edersheim (_D.C.B._
art. _Philo_, p. 365b), "The rule of the Jewish community in
Alexandria had been committed by Augustus to a council of Elders." This
is also stated in the Jewish Encyclopædia (New York and Lond.,
_Alexandria_ I., 362a): "Philo distinctly states that at the time of
Augustus the 'gerusia' assumed the position of the 'genarch.' This is
the word he uses for 'ethnarch,' _Contra Flaccum_, § 10. Origen to
Africanus, § 14, writes of this privilege as having been granted by
'Cæsar' without specifying which Cæsar, and though he does not name
Alexandria, his words ἴσμεν οἱ πεπειραμένοι probably imply that place."
These references do not of course prove that the Jews in Babylonia had
the like privileges, but they shew, as Origen saw, a parallel case.
Perhaps those who are in favour of the Alexandrian origin of Susanna
might use this to shew that the writer had transferred to Babylonia the
circumstances of his own day; but his own day would almost certainly be
before the time of Augustus.

There is no mention of any government except the Jews' internal
administration; but then the native population of Babylon (unless
perchance it be in the shape of the servants) does not enter into the
story. The legal working at Babylon of this little "imperium in imperio"
had plainly an unsatisfactory side, although Susanna's rights were
vindicated by another power against injustice and oppression. Still, it
may not be fair to condemn the whole system on the strength of this
single instance.

The main drift of the tale indicates the existence of much
corruption[46] in the presbytery; yet the heart of the exiled people in
general had a healthy tone; witness the sorrowful sympathy with Susanna
(v. 33), and the delight at justice being ultimately done (vv. 60, 63).

The Elders grossly abused Joacim's hospitality. Seemingly they had
plenty of time to waste, and worse. It is noteworthy that two 'judges'
were chosen, annually, it would seem, from the 'elders of the people.'
This last phrase occurs in Numb. xi. 16, and is frequent in the N.T.,
but not with ἐκ as here.

The modest veiling of Susanna in _v. 32_, more distinctly expressed (ἠν
γὰρ κατακαλυμμένη) in Θ than in Ο´, reminds one of Rebekah's veiling in
Gen. xxiv. 65, and is quite in accordance with the custom of the
country. So are the "oil and washing balls" of _v. 17_ (A.V. and R.V.);
this last term is peculiar, and is used apparently for soap.[47] It is
so employed in Gerard's _Herbal_, ed. 1633, p. 1526, where he says, "of
this gum [storax] there are made sundry excellent perfumes... and sweet
washing balls." The 'sawing' or 'cutting asunder' of _v. 35_ was a
Babylonian punishment, as is shewn in ii. 5 and iii. 29 of the canonical

The death penalty for adultery (_vv. 43, 45_) is in agreement with Lev.
xx. 10, Deut. xxii. 22, and Ezek. xvi. 38, though not with the laxity of
later times (_see_ art. _Adultery_, Smith's _D.B._; _Marriage_,
Hastings' _D.B._). The Syriac W₂ interpolation after _v. 41_ seems to
regard precipitation as equivalent to stoning. In the Ο´ of v. 62 both
this punishment and that of fire are meted out to the Elders as
retributive justice. Reuss' note on the trial is amusing, "die Richter
sich als Dummköpfe erwissen und Susanna vollständig den ihrigen verloren

But we are disposed on the whole to agree with J.M. Fuller (S.P.C.K.
_Comm., Introd. to Sus._) when he writes, "The facts underlying the
story are in themselves probable," rather more than with Churton (p.
392), who deems the narrative to be "probably apocryphal, without strict
regard to historical facts."


This 'History' does not appear to have been written with a view of
supporting any erroneous or debateable points in theology.

God is represented as being in heaven, as One on whom the heart relies
(v. 35); as eternal, a knower of secrets, of entire foreknowledge (v.
42); One to be appealed to by His servants in danger (v. 43),
efficaciously answering humble requests. The value of ejaculatory prayer
to Him in sudden peril is shewn (v. 44).

God had not so entirely cast off His people as to cease from caring for
separate souls. He hears the prayers of individuals (v. 35, end, Ο´),
for the individual, as well as the nation, is under His eye. He is
spoken of as raising up "the holy spirit" of a man (v. 45); as
conferring the eldership, regarded as a divine institution (v. 50); as
forbidding injustice (v. 53); as giving sentence to an angel to
execute upon an individual (v. 55); as worthy to be praised for saving
those who hope in Him (v. 61). A special Providence is recognised as
watching over the destinies of separate souls; inspiring Daniel for a
special effort; rescuing Susanna from a special danger. Heaven is
regarded as the seat of the Divine Judge, towards which the innocent
Susanna turned her eyes (v. 35), but from which the guilty Elders
averted theirs (v. 9).

In v. 5 God is termed ὁ δεσπότης (_cf._ St. Luke ii. 29, Acts iv. 24);
in vv. 24, 44, κύριος in vv. 55, 59 (Θ) θεός, for which Ο´ has
κύριος, a word which it seems to prefer, as in i. 17, ii. 45, ix. 18.
The fear of the Lord is evidently approved (v. 2), and instruction in
the Law of Moses regarded as proper (v. 3), which is also referred to
in vv. 33 and 62 (Θ only), and in act in v. 34. It would appear
likely too that II. Sam. xxiv. 14 is quoted in v. 22 (Θ), Susanna in
her strait borrowing the exclamation of David in his, and the words of
both may well be contrasted with the idea of Hos. iv. 16b. Adultery is
condemned as "sin before the Lord" (v. 23).

An angel is spoken of in vv. 44, 45 (Ο´ only) as giving a spirit of
understanding to Daniel. The former verse might be taken to mean that he
was visible.[48] He enabled Daniel to clear Susanna from her false
accusation. An angel is also named in v. 55, in both versions, as likely
to execute God's vengeance on the lying Elders. He is also mentioned in
v. 62 of Ο´ as bringing a judgment of fire. This frequent mention of
angels is quite in keeping with the canonical Daniel and other late
books. And as E. Bunsen remarks, "the apocryphal doctrine about angels
and evil spirits is sanctioned by the recorded doctrine of Christ"
(_Hidden Wisd. of Christ_, 1865, I. 186). But it is singular that what
has generally been considered the later recension should have less of it
in this case than the earlier.

The description (v. 9) of the workings of conscience, while overt sin
was under consideration, but before it was actually committed, shews a
deep knowledge of the human heart, such as is found in the biblical
writers. A process the reverse of 'turning unto God,' 'having the eyes
unto Him' (II. Chron. xx. 12, Ps. xxv. 14), is very accurately depicted,
as the dwelling upon some attractive lust is allowed to engage the mind.
A better way of narrating such a matter it would be hard to devise.

Hippolytus, in his _Comm. on Dan._, treats the whole story as having an
allegoric meaning. Joacim represents Christ, Susanna the Christian
Church; the bath represents Holy Baptism; and the two Elders the Jews
and Gentiles persecuting the faithful (_D.C.B._ art. _Hippolytus_, p.
104a. For Christian sarcophagi with like symbolism, _see_ 'Art'). M.
de Castillo (Madrid, 1658) reflects in symbolism the increments of a
later age when he sees in Susanna a type of the Virgin Mary--"Maria
Virgo in illa figurata."

There does not appear to be anything 'Messianic' in this writing, unless
Daniel himself be regarded as a type of Christ, executing just judgment,
separating the righteous publicly from the wicked. There is also
Origen's statement bearing upon this matter (_ad Afric._, see _Speaker's
Comm._ 327b), as to the prospect of becoming Messiah's mother, which
the Elders held out to Susanna. St. Jerome, at the end of his
_Commentary on Jeremiah_, has a slightly different version of their
outrageous pretences.

Standing on surer ground than such speculations the theology of the
piece itself is sound and proper.


The period in which this trial befel Susanna is plainly that of the
Babylonian Captivity, after the Jews were well settled in their
conqueror's land, but not very long after.

The time covered by the narrative itself is obviously a very short one,
probably only a few days at the outside.

If the suggestion in Julius Africanus' letter to Origen is correct,
Joacim, Susanna's husband, was none other than Jehoiachin, the captive
king of Judah. But Africanus is not by any means confident of this; nor
does Hippolytus so identify them,[49] but contents himself with
commenting on the statement of the text (v. 4) that Joacim was a very
rich man. Nor is there anything in the Greek of either version to
indicate his royalty, though the assertion that "he was more honourable
than all others" fits in well with the notion. But if the story was
coëval in its first form with the events narrated in it, the fact might
be taken as universally known; or it might be thought politic to
suppress it, as likely to be unpalatable to the reigning Babylonian
monarch, in the written record. Thus it is possible to answer to a great
extent Bissell's objection on v. 7, "that there seems to be no good
reason why it should not have been definitely stated."

His name is given as Ἰωακείμ both here, in II. Kings xxiv. 8, 12, and in
I. Esd. i. 43, exactly the same as that of his father and predecessor
Jehoiakim in I. Esd. i. 37 (39). Elsewhere the name is transliterated
Ἰεχονίας and Ἰωαχίμ (Bar. i. 3, Jer. xxii. 24, _var. lect._, II. Chron.
xxxvi. 8, 9). In Judith iv. 6, xx. 8 we have Ἰωακείμ without variation,
as the name of the high priest.

If this identification be correct the date must be subsequent to 597
B.C., the year of Jehoiachin's captivity; and probably not long after,
since Daniel, who was taken to Babylon in or soon after the third year
of Jehoiakim's reign in 603-4,[50] is represented as being still
παιδάριον νεωτέρον in v. 45. This phrase is somewhat tautologically
rendered by A.V. as a 'young youth,' an instance which might be cited in
support of the view that the English of the apocryphal was less
excellent than that of the canonical books[51]; but, strange to say, the
awkward expression is continued in R.V.

Without necessarily implying it, v. 2 might easily be taken to convey
the impression that Jehoiachin married in Babylon. Thus Hippolytus
asserts, Ἰωακεὶμ πάροικος γενόμενος ἐν Βαβυλῶνι λαμβάνει τὴν Σωσάνναν
εἰς γυναῖκα (Migne, _Patr. gr._ X. 689). And, on 'the same year' of v.
5, Reuss gives the interrogative note, "Im Jahre der Verheiratung des

If Susanna's husband really be Jehoiachin, he is the Jechonias who finds
a place in the genealogy of Christ, St. Matt. i. 11, 12, Jehoiakim
(Eliakim) being omitted. Bugati (_Dan._ p. 166) argues that Joakim is
not Jehoiachin because of the name: "quo circa erroris arguendus est
Jacobus Edessenus, sive auctor scholii ad calcem historiae Susannas
adjecti in codice Parisiensi, qui Joacem virum Susannæ eum Joachin rege
confundat." Bugati was probably unaware of the above-mentioned
variations in the spelling of the name, which neutralize the force of
his argument.

Two other doubtful indications of time are given by Hippolytus, viz.
that Chelchias was Jeremiah's brother, making Susanna therefore his
niece (Westcott's art. _Chelcias_, Smith's _D.B._), and that 'a fit
time' in v. 15 intimated the Feast of the Passover. Unsupported
tradition and conjecture look like the grounds of these two indications
respectively. Bardenhewer (_op. cit._ p. 75) not unreasonably deems that
Hippolytus is thinking of Christian Baptism in connection with Easter,
and so throws back the idea into the 'bath' and 'the fit time' of the

The Harklensian Syriac (W₂, Walton's second Syriac[52]) asserts both in
vv. 1 and 45 that Daniel was twelve years old at the date of the story;
also that Susanna was a widow after a married life of a few days only
(v. 5), a statement to which neither Greek version lends any
countenance. In fact, v. 63 (Θ) supposes Joakim to be alive at the end
of the tale. Now we know from II. Kings xxv. 27 and Jer. xxviii. (xxxv.)
1-4 that Jehoiachin lived some years at least after his deportation.
These Syriac insertions therefore as to Daniel's age and Susanna's
widowhood are hardly compatible with one another on the supposition
that she was the wife of Jehoiachin, king of Judah.

It has been pointed out in the _Speaker's Commentary_, xlvib, that the
insertion of 'twelve years old' into the text of the Syriac of Susanna
may be due to "Christian re-handling," as also the extension of the
final verse about Daniel's fame, "and he increased in favour with the
family of Susanna," etc., so as to produce a correspondence with St.
Luke ii. 42, 52. This is a possible theory, but one lacking, so far, the
support of evidence. The condemnation of Susanna "at the ninth hour" (v.
41) might likewise be attributed to the same Christian influence. This
was no doubt operative here, as it was with Hippolytus.

In this connection it is worthy of note that in the longer recension of
the "Ignatian" _Epist. ad Magnes.,_ § III., Daniel is spoken of as
δωδεκαετής when he γέγονε κάτοχος τῷ θείῳ πνεύματι, a phrase evidently
reminiscent of the history of Susanna. Bishop Lightfoot notes on this:
"His age is not given in the narrative, and it is difficult to see
whence it could have been derived." He dates the longer Ignatian
epistles in the second half of the 4th century (I. 246), while Thomas
of Harkel lived in the 6th and 7th centres. But, though so much later,
this Syriac translation may perhaps afford some clue to the ultimate
discovery of Ignatius', or rather his expander's, source of information.
The words παιδάριον νεώτερον do not of course necessarily imply such
extreme youth as twelve years; nor are we in any way tied to the
accuracy of this or other Harklensian variations.

Though this Addition therefore has its chronological difficulties, they
need not be regarded as absolutely insurmountable.


Before the correspondence of Origen with Julius Africanus, whose letter
is "a model of sober criticism" (Swete, _Patristic Study_, p. 56)--a
correspondence renewed between Eusebius of Cæsarea and Porphyry[53],
and between Rufinus and Jerome, with less sobriety--we have no record of
the point having been mooted. For, as Bissell writes (p. 448), "We have
no evidence that these pieces were not regarded as fully on a level with
the remainder of the book." Africanus heard Origen use Susanna in
controversy with one Bassus, and subsequently wrote to remonstrate, he
himself being resident in Palestine. Some of his objections in this
famous letter have considerable force, while others are very weak
(_D.C.B._ I. p. 54b).

Origen deems Susanna part of the genuine Daniel, cut out by the Jews, as
he suggests in his _Epistle_ to Africanus. Bishop Gray (_O.T._ p. 612)
describes this Epistle as 'suspected'; but it appears now to be
generally accepted. Origen thinks that the motive of Susanna's exclusion
was its relation of particulars discreditable to the Jewish nation. But
the Bishop truly says, "there is no foundation for this improbable
fancy." It is, however, maintained by Philippe in Vigouroux' _Dict._
(_cf._ 'Title and Position,' p. 109).

Origen also asserts the canonicity of Susanna in _Hom. in Levit._ § 1
(middle): "Sed tempus est nos adversus improbos presbyteros uti sanctæ
Susannæ vocibus, quas illi quidem repudiantes, historiam Susannæ de
catalogo divinorum voluminum desecrarunt. Nos autem et suscipimus, et
opportune contra ipsos proferimus, dicentes 'Angustiæ mihi undique,'"
etc. (v. 22).

Again, Origen refers to the matter in his _In Matthæum Commentariorum
Series_. He quotes Daniel's words in v. 55, "angelus Domini habens
gladium scindet te medium," and also "ausi sumus uti in hoc loco, Dan.
exemplo, non ignorantes quoniam in Hebræo positum non est, sed quoniam
in ecclesiis tenetur. Alterius autem temporis est requirere de
huiusmodi" (Migne, _Patr. gr._ XIII. 1696). Delitzsch (_op. cit._ p.
103) says, on second thoughts, that he "adductum esse, ut ipsos libros
apocryphos ab Origine pro γνησίοις et divinis habitos esse censeam."

About the same time, or probably a little earlier, St. Hippolytus (†230)
gives a similar reason for the extrusion of this episode. He notes on v.
8, ταῦτα μὲν οὐν οἱ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἄρχοντες βούλονται νῦν περικόπτειν τῆς
βίβλου, φάσκοντες μὴ γενέσθαι ταῦτα ἐν Βαβυλῶνι· αἰσχυνόμενοι τὸ ὑπὸ τῶν
πρεσβυτέρων κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν γεγενημένον. On which Bardenhewer
(_op. cit._ p. 76) remarks, "Susanna soll also früher auch in dem
jüdischen Kanon gestanden haben und erst später (unliebsamen Vorwürfen
gegenüber) aus demselben entfernt worden sein."

A. Scholz, however, who treats the book allegorically as a 'vision,'
attributes early opinions adverse to its canonicity to the
"Missverstehen der Erzählung und die unlösbaren Schwierigkeiten, die
dieselbe bei der historischen Auffassung macht" (p. 139). The 'vision'
theory, however, is a difficult one to maintain, serviceable though it
may be in evading historic difficulties.

Lists of books of the canon do not help us much, as it is often
uncertain whether 'Daniel' covers the Additions or not. We may safely
conclude, however, that it does in Origen's own list, as preserved for
us by Eusebius (_H.E._ VI. 25).

In the pseudo-Athanasius' _Synopsis sacr. script._ § 74, Susanna is
named, after the books he deems canonical, as ἐκτὸς δὲ τούτων, along
with four books of Maccabees and the Psalms of Solomon. In this case we
might conclude that Δανιήλ does not cover Susanna; but in the beginning
of the _Synopsis of Daniel_ (§ 41) the story is mentioned as part of
that book, and Bel and the Dragon, at the end, in the same way. This
author's view, then, for and against the canonicity looks somewhat
undecided. So in Cyril of Jerusalem's list in _Catech._ IV. § 35,
'Daniel' pretty certainly includes Susanna and probably the other two
Additions, because in _Cat._ XVI. § 31, "de Spiritu sancto," he quotes
Susanna 45 in company with Dan. iv. 6 as if on an equal footing.

It is quoted as Scripture before Origen's time by Irenæus IV. xxxv. 2,
xli. 1; Tert. _de Cor. IV._; Clem. Alex. _Proph. Ecl._ 1. Methodius,
Bishop of Tyre, introduces Susanna into his Virgins' Songs as an example
of brave sanctity, calling upon Christ[54] (see exact words under'Early
Christian Literature,' p. 166).

In the _Apost. Const._ II. 49, 'concerning accusers and witnesses,' this
trial is instanced ὡς τοὺς δύο πρεσβυτέρους κατὰ Σωσάννης ἐν Βαβυλῶνι,
and again in cap. 51 (Mansi, _Concil._ Florence, 1759, I. 352, 353).

Though Jerome (_Pref. to Dan._) calls this and the other Additions
'fabulæ' (twice), it is pointed out by Peronne in his note to Corn. à
Lap. on Dan. xiii. 1 (Paris, 1874) that Jerome uses the same word of the
story of Samson (no ref. given), which he certainly regarded as
canonical. He claims therefore that here it has "verum et nativum sensum
vocis fabulæ, quæ quidem significat 'historiam, sermonem.'" But even if
any disparaging sense could be eliminated from this particular word,
Jerome's opinion is otherwise expressed.

The only possible reference to Susanna observable, I think, in the N.T.
is in Matt, xxvii. 24, unless the name of Susanna in St. Luke viii. 3 be
taken from our heroine's. It is of course emblematic of lily-like
purity, and therefore very suitable for a woman. The story, with some
omissions, forms the Epistle for Saturday after the third Sunday in Lent
in the Sarum and Roman Missals.

Luther says that this and Bel are "beautiful and spiritual compositions,
just as Judith and Tobias " (Bleek, _O.T._, Venables' transl., 1869, II.

In the Greek Church the Synods of Constantinople and Jerusalem in 1672
expressly decided, in opposition to Cyril Lucar and the Calvinists, that
Susanna and Bel (with some other apocryphal books) were genuine elements
of Divine Scripture, and denounced Cyril Lucar's conduct in styling them
Apocrypha as ignorance or wickedness (Bleek, II. 343; Loisy, _O.T._ p.
243). The present Eastern Church reckons them, with the Song of the
Three, canonical, as Bishop Nectarius expressly states (_Greek Manuals
of Church Doctrine_, publ. by Eng. Ch. Assoc., Lond., 1901, p. 19). Also
Bar-Hebræus (†1286), the Monophysite, comments on these fragments as if
Holy Scripture (Loisy, p. 245). We see then that the testimonies to
canonicity are of considerable strength, more so than is perhaps
generally realised, even though the arguments to the contrary may be
still stronger. The statement of Fritzsche (_Libri apocryphi_, 1871, p.
xiii) is moderate and reasonable, fitting in well as it does with the
views of our own Church, "Liber Danielis canonicus iam eo ipso tempore,
quo primum in linguam græcam transferebatur, additamentis græcis auctus
est, quorum tria maiora fere inde a seeulo quarto in eccl. christiana
vulgo a viris doctis apocrypha iudicata sunt."



NEW TESTAMENT. In St. Matt. xxvii. 24 Pilate possibly adopts Daniel's
words in v. 46, or at least accidentally falls in with them. In Heb. xi.
23 and Sus. 7 (Ο´) there is a strong similarity in the use of the word
ἀστεῖος, as well as in Exod. ii. 2.

"Among names taken from the O.T., that of Susanna is not uncommon"
(_D.C.A._ art. _Names_, 1374a). Not improbably therefore Susanna, in
St. Luke viii. 3, may have been named after the Susanna of this history,
as already mentioned under 'Canonicity,' p. 161. St. Susanna of the
Roman Calendar, who is dated _circ._ 293, is most likely an example of
this. She is not given an article in _D.C.B._, but there is a short
notice of her in _D.C.A._, as commemorated in various Martyrologies on
August 11th.

IRENÆUS (†200). In _Adv. Hær._III. xlii. 1 there is an apparent
reference to v. 55; in IV, xxxv. 2 to v. 42; and in IV. xli. 1, 'de
presbyteris injustis,' vv. 20, 26 are quoted as "a Daniele propheta
voces" in reproof of Christian presbyters. It is probable, too, that
"Deum qui absconsa manifestat" (IV. xxxi. 2) may be a reminiscence of
the phrase ὁ τῶν κρυπτῶν γνώστης in v. 42; and still more probably
perhaps "qui est absconsorum cognitor" in IV. xxxv. 2 has its origin in
this same verse.

CLEMENT or ALEXANDRIA (†220). In _Strom._ IV. (Heinsius' ed., Paris,
1629, p. 522) he speaks of Susanna and Miriam together, as if their
biblical positions were on a par. In Hort and Mayor's edit. (1902) of
_Strom._ VII. the words πρὸ τῆς γενέσεως in § 37 are referred to Susanna
43 (Θ); but it is hardly safe to assume that we have here more than an
accidental approximation of wording.

HIPPOLYTUS (†230) distinctly recognizes Susanna at the end of his
_Preface to Daniel_, as well as in his _Commentary_ itself. This last,
Bardenhewer (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1877, p. 69) deems, on account of its
homiletic phrases, to be "Bruchstücke einer Homilie" (_cf._ art.
_Hippolytus, D.C.B._ iii. 102a).

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS (third century?). Susanna's trial is instanced
in II. 49, "Concerning accusers and witnesses" (_see_ quotation under
'Canonicity,' p. 161), and again in cap. 51.

TERTULLIAN (†240). In _de Corona militis_, 4, after instancing Rebecca,
he goes on to say of Susanna: "si et Susanna in iudicio revelata
argumentum velandi præstat, possum dicere: et his velamen arbitrii
fuit," etc. Also _de Pudic._ 17, etc.

ORIGEN (†254) frequently refers to Susanna in his commentaries, many
references to which are collected by Schürer, _H.J.P._, II. III. 186. In
the middle of § 1 of his _Hom._ I. _in Levitic._ he quotes Susanna's
words in v. 22 as if appropriate to the mouth of the book itself,
surrounded, by those who doubted its canonicity (words quoted under
'Canonicity,' p. 158). In Eusebius' Præp. Ev. VI. 11, Origen is given as
quoting v. 42 as a proof of God's foreknowledge, ὰπὸ τῶν γραφῶν τοῦτο
παραστῆσαι. In his _Commentary_ on St. John (bk. XX. § 5) he quotes v.
56 with ὡς ὁ Δανιήλ φησι.

CYPRIAN (†258), in _Ep._ XLIII. 4, illustrates his remarks by a
reference to "Susannam pudicam."

Bleek (_O.T._ II. 316) says that Bel and the Dragon and Susanna were
used by both Irenæus and Cyprian in a similar way to the Scriptures of
the Hebrew canon.

METHODIUS (†330), in his "Song of the Virgins" (II. 2). Ἄνωθεν, παρθένοι
βοῆς, includes Judith and Susanna:

ὁρῶντες εἶδος εὐπρεπὲς, ὑφ᾽ ἧς
δύο κριταὶ Σουσάννας ἐμμανεῖς,
ἔρωτι λέξαν, Ὠ γύναι, κ.τ.λ.

(Migne, _Patr. gr._ XVIII. 212).

HILARY OF POITIERS (†367), _de Trin._ IV. 8 (Migne, _Patr. lat._ 10,
101), quotes Susanna 42, "Sicut beata Sus. dicit, Deus æternus
absconditorum cognitor, sciens omnia," etc.

ATHANASIUS (†373) also, in his _Disc, against Arians_, I. 13, quotes
this popular verse (42) as "in Daniel." In the _Life of Anthony_, § 43,
he refers to Susanna, as well as in the 'doubtful' _Synopsis S.S._

EPHREM SYRUS (†378) refers both in his _Ep. ad Johann. monachum_, and in
his 15th _Parænesis_, to the blessed Susanna.

GRATIAN (†383) notes on Can. XI. of Neocæsarea (315 A.D.) in _Decreta_
I. 78, c. iv., "Daniel, we read, received the spirit of prophecy before
he had arrived even at youth." The Canon itself, as given by Hefele,
makes no mention of Daniel.

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (†386) refers (_Catech._ I. 31) to Daniel's
inspiration to rescue Susanna, and quotes v. 45 with γέγραπται γάρ.

GREGORY OF NYSSA (†396) quotes, in his _Hexaëmeron_ (Migne, _Patr. gr._
XLIV. p. 71) and in his _Making of Man_, v. 42, twice as a prophetic
writing (XXIX. 1).

AMBROSE (†397) has, Sermons XLIX. and L., "de accusato Domino apud
Pilatum et de Susanna," in which he draws a parallel between them, as to
silence under false charges, at considerable length (Basel, ed. 1527,
III. 549).

SULPICIUS SEVERUS (†400?), in his _Hist. Sacr._ lib. II. § 1, gives an
outline of the story of Susanna, after the events of Dan. i. and before
those of chap, ii., evidently regarding it as historical.

CHRYSOSTOM (†407) has a sermon "de Susanna," in which he compares her to
the "garden enclosed" of Solomon's Song iv. 12 (quoted in Arnald's

JEROME (†420), in his _de Nominibus Hebraicis_, includes, under the Book
of Daniel, Susanna and Joacim without any distinction from the names in
the rest of the book (ed. Vallarsi, vol. III.).

AUGUSTINE (†430) draws, in _de Civ. Dei_, I. 19, a parallel between
Susanna and Lucretia, greatly to the advantage of the former. Arnald,
on v. 23, gives some extracts from this.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (†444) quotes v. 56 at least twice, viz. on Hos.
xii. 8 and on Zeph. i. 11. In the latter case he speaks of it as παρά γε
τοῖς ἱεροῖς γράμμασιν, giving it thus explicitly a high position.

THEODORET (†457) quotes in Letter CX., Susanna 22; but in his comment on
Daniel, Susanna is not contained.

MAMERTUS CLAUDIANUS (†474). The following occurs in a hymn attributed to
this writer, "_In Jacobum magistrum equitum_," but which Migne says is
'dubiæ auctoritatis': "Sic tibi det vires sancta Susanna suas."

NICEPHORUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE (†828) classes Susanna among his
"antilegomena." As he makes no separate mention in his lists of the
Song, or of Bel and the Dragon, he presumably reckons them under
'Daniel'[55] (Migne, _Patr. gr._ c. 1056). At the end of
pseudo-Athanasius' _Synopsis S.S._ comes a list of κανονιζόμενα, so
similar to Nicephorus' list in order and contents as to suggest that
they had some close connection; and it is possible that this appendage
may be of even later date than the Synopsis itself, which may be
attributed to the 6th century (Loisy, _A.T._, p. 147).

The above are specimens of the numerous references made to Susanna by
early Christian writers, both Greek and Latin, who evidently found in
her a favourite instance to adduce in support of their teaching. Nor
ought we, in such a matter, to treat lightly the tenor of Christian
antiquity so remarkably manifested.


From early times scenes from Susanna were often chosen for artistic
treatment. In "a list of the symbols most frequently represented in
painting or sculpture by the Church of the first seven centuries"
Susanna is included (_D.C.A._ art. _Symbolism_).

Frescoes of Susanna and the Elders occur, though not with great
frequency, in the Catacombs (_D.C.A._ I. art. _Fresco_, 700a). W.
Lowrie, in his _Christian Art_ (N.Y. and Lond. 1901, p. 210), mentions a
second-century fresco of Susanna and the Elders judged by Daniel, in the
cemetery of Callistus; also he says, "in the Capella græca in St.
Priscilla the story is depicted with unusual dramatic interest in
several scenes." Three old Italian sarcophagi have bas-reliefs of
Susanna and the Elders as emblematic of the Church enduring
persecution; others are known in southern Gaul (_D.C.A._ art. _Church,
Symbols of_). A woodcut is given in this article of a sheep (ewe?)
between two wild beasts (wolves?), 'Susanna' and 'Senioris' being
written over them respectively, the artist evidently fearing that the
symbolism might otherwise not be perceived.

Scenes from the history of Susanna carved on sarcophagi are more
frequent in France than in Italy. It has been thought that the two
Elders may be taken to represent the two older forms of religion, the
Pagan and the Jewish (_D.C.A., O.T. in Art_, II. 1459b). In the same
Dict. (_Sculpture_, II. 1867a) it is noted that the cycle of subjects
has a remarkable correspondence with those named in the Roman Breviary
"Ordo commendationis animæ," where "Libera, Dom. animam servi tui sicut
liberasti Sus. de falso crimine," is one of the petitions.

It is fair to presume that Delitzsch refers to some of the above when he
writes, "Susannæ historia in sarcophagis veterum Christianorum cum
sacris historiis insculpta conspicitur" (_op. cit._ 26).

In the Brit. Mus., 2nd North Gallery, Room V., there is a glass fragment
of the 4th century, found at Cologne, representing (probably) Susanna
amongst other subjects. She also appears on a carved ivory reliquary of
Brescia, which is most likely not later in date than 800 (_D.C.A._ art.
_Reliquary_, II. 1780b).

In the Byzantine Guide to Painting (Ἑρμηνεία τῆς ζωγραφικῆς), given in
Didron's _Christian Iconography_ (Bohn's ed., Lond. 1886, I. 45_n_, II.
284), 'Daniel defends Susanna' is put immediately after the scene in
Dan. i. 15, and before the other scenes given out of Daniel (_cf._
'Position,' p. 109). Didron's MS. of this work is probably of the 15th
century, though the monks of Athos, whence it appears to have come,
regarded it as some five centuries older.

There is a window of stained glass, said to be _cinque-cento_, in the
westernmost bay of the south aisle of St. James' Church, Bury St.
Edmunds, of which the three lower lights represent the trial of Susanna.
In the centre Susanna's bath takes the form of a deep font, in which she
is standing. The Elders are clothed in purple.[56]

In Sumner's _Antiquities of Canterbury_, 1703, the second figure in the
third window of the cathedral is described as "Daniel in medio
seniorum," and this inscription is given:

"Mirantur pueri seniores voce doceri
Sic responsa dei sensum stupent Pharasaei."

(Reprinted in _Ancient Glass Painting_, by an Amateur, Oxf. 1848, p.

In the scheme of stained glass for Truro cathedral there are several
apocryphal subjects, including a window in the south-east transept
having "Susanna and the Mother of the Seven Martyrs" for its subjects
(Donaldson, _Bishopric of Truro_, 1902, App. V.).

A carved chimney-piece exists in Chillingham Castle, Northumberland,
representing Susanna and the Elders (Murray, _Handbook to
Northumberland_, 1873, p. 326).

This scene has been a wonderfully popular one with painters. Altdorfer,
Carracci, Correggio, A. Coypel, van Dyck, Guercino, Rembrandt, Rubens,
Santerre, Tintoretto, Valentin, and P. Veronese may be named amongst
those who have treated it. A picture entitled 'Susanna' was exhibited in
the Royal Academy, London, in 1886, by Fred. Goodall, R.A.

Thus we see that the many picturesque incidents in this Addition have
not been overlooked by Christian artists in search of subjects for the
brush or the chisel. Of these three supplementary sections of Daniel the
History of Susanna has, in this respect, been found much the most
suggestive; probably as the one which is thought to contain the highest
passion and feeling.


In the character of _Susanna_ we see unconquerable _Purity_ in thought
and deed; prayerful _Trust_ in God under a false and cruel
accusation,[57] and, in the face of death, securing deliverance from an
unexpected quarter (_cf. v. 60 with II. Cor. i. 10). With v. 55
Hippolytus compares Tob. iii. 2 (Vulgate). The parallels drawn by St.
Chrysostom and St. Augustine will be found under 'Early Christian
Literature,' p. 167. Susanna's trouble may be taken as a conspicuous
illustration of Ps. xxxiv. 19.

Susanna was conscientious as well as pure; would not lie, being tenderly
nurtured morally as well as physically.[58] She had the virtue of
bodily cleanliness as well as social purity, and affords an early
instance of the use of the prepared bath.

It is noticeable, too, that no unfavourable traits develop themselves on
the re-establishment of her happiness and the condemnation of her
slanderers; there is no excessive reaction to unbecoming laxity, no
ἄσχημον πρᾶγμα.

In the character of the _Elders_ we see judicial position and feigned
piety used as a cloak for lust and slander; great hardness of heart in
condemning Susanna to death, with the full knowledge that she was
innocent; unblushing effrontery (v. 50); sins of the tongue in 'lying
and slandering.'

Hooker (_Ecc. Pol._ V. 2) refers, according to the marginal note (though
they are not named in the text), to these Elders as examples of
"affected atheism," "where the windows of the soul are of very set
purpose closed"; "they turned away their mind and cast down their eyes,
that they might not see heaven nor remember just judgments." St.
Hippolytus on v. 61 quotes Prov. xxvi. 27 very appositely. The fall of
the Elders shews the need for our Lord's order in St. Matt. v. 28, and
the terrible results of acting otherwise.

The individual character of each Elder has a little light thrown upon it
by the form of condemnation framed by Daniel. That of the first is
chiefly based on his unjust judgment, that of the second on his lewd
conduct, each judgment being varied in this way according to the form of
his previous iniquities. The knowledge which Daniel possessed of these
appropriately determined the cast of his sentence. That he had some
acquaintance with their former habits is shewn by vv.. 52, 53, 56.

The change to the plural in v. 57 is difficult to explain, and does not
receive attention at the hands of the commentators; in fact Ball applies
this verse, without mentioning the change of number, to the one Elder
only. Although these godless judges failed in accomplishing their
purpose, they were not on this account less scandalous betrayers of

In Susanna's _Servants_ we see fidelity, sympathy, and no eagerness to
believe an ill report. As regards Susanna, this fact speaks volumes for
the excellence of her conduct.

In _Daniel_ we see the courage and penetrating acumen which are so
characteristic of his whole career, impressing all with whom he was
brought into contact. He weighs a matter carefully before coming to a
decision. By unmasking hypocrisy and securing justice he is delighted to
set right a grievous wrong.[59] He appears as the best judge (_cf._ the
estimation shewn of the justice of God by Azarias, Song of the Three,
4--8). Daniel further exhibits a decision and an absence of
self-distrust, in undertaking tasks of great risk, quite in accordance
with his character as portrayed in the canonical book, and in Bel and
the Dragon. In each case he is alert, acute, and fearless; his conduct
in different circumstances is quite in keeping with itself. Using his
talents thoroughly, he makes "full proof of his ministry."

There is a strong resemblance in ideas, though not much in words,
between Daniel's sentence in v. 55 and St. Matt. xxiv. 51. The judgment
of Daniel in this case may be taken as a type of the Last Judgment,
correcting the unjust judgments of this world.

A high value is set on Scripture, as v. 53 shews, where it is quoted as
an authoritative rule of conduct; v. 5, too, if it is to be regarded as
a reference to Jer. xxix. 23, points to a similar high esteem for it as
the word of the Lord. Susanna herself in v. 22 evidently remembers
David's words in II. Sam. xxiv. 14, when he too had to make his choice
between falling into the hand of the Lord or the hand of man, thus
shewing her ready knowledge of the O.T.

Much admirable moral teaching therefore may be drawn from the characters
of this little work of world-wide interest, teaching which is needed in
all nations and in all periods.



תִּרְמׄס כְּפִיר וְתַנִּין
(תהל׳ צא׳ יג׳)




1, 2. Introduces Cyrus and Daniel.

3. How Bel was worshipped by the Babylonians.

4--7. Discussion as to Bel's worship[60] between the King and Daniel.

8, 9. The King enquires of Bel's priests, and says that they or Daniel
must die.

10--14. The test agreed upon to prove whether Bel partook of the
offerings or no.

15--22. Decided in the negative by discovery of the Priests' trick, who
are slain and their idol destroyed.

23. Introduces the other object of worship[60], the Dragon.

24--27. Conversation as to its divinity between the King and Daniel,
who, with the former's permission, ingeniously slays it.

28, 29. Anger of the Babylonians with them both.

30--32. They cause Daniel to be cast into the lions' den.

33--40. He is miraculously saved by Habakkuk.

40, 42. The King acknowledges the Lord, sets Daniel free, and delivers
his persecutors to the fate intended for the prophet.

[Endnote: N.B.--It is unaccountable why the 'heading' in A.V. _begins_
with v. 19. _Cf._ Sus. for a similar peculiarity.]



Βήλ καὶ Δράκων is the usual title of this booklet. It is obviously
derived from the names of the two idols destroyed in the two portions of
the story. But Cod. Chis. has the curious heading, Ἐκ προφητείας
Ἀμβακοὺμ υἱοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευί (_cf._ v. 33). The Syriac also has
the equivalent of this. In some Syriac MSS. 'Dragon' is given as a
separate title before v. 23; and Luther's version, at the same point,
expands this into 'von Drachen zu Babel.'

In Codd. A, Q, the entire piece is headed ὅρασις ιβ´, and is thus
treated as an integral part of Daniel, finishing the book, the 12th
chapter of which ends in Cod. A with ὅρασις ια´.[61] In B it follows, if
possible, still more closely, there being no intermediate heading[62],
In Cod. A, at the end, there is τέλος Δαν. προφήτου, which, except in
the case of Ruth, is not A's usual way of terminating works. The Arabic
Version in Walton also superscribes it as a 'vision' (Scholz, p. 139).

The title 'the book of the little Daniel' seems applied to Bel and the
Dragon in a Nestorian list mentioned by Churton (p. 389), and seemingly
in Ebed Jesu's list of Hippolytus' works (_D.C..B_ art. _Hippolytus_,
III. p. 104a). This title, which usually belongs to Susanna, when
applied to Bel and the Dragon, must refer, not to Daniel's age, but to
the size of the book. Delitzsch (_op. cit._ 25_n_) mentions, without
further description, one MS. from Mount Athos which entitles it περὶ τοῦ

The source of the marginal reading of A.V. "Bel's Dragon" (also given in
the title to Susanna) does not appear to be identified.


As to the place of this piece in some of the Greek MSS. _see_ above.

Professor A. Scholz (_Judith und Bel und der Drache,_ Würzburg, 1896, p.
200) finds fault with Holmes and Parsons for having disturbed the
position of this book without offering sufficient indication of having
done so: "die Stücke willkürlich versetzt sind."

In the Vulgate it is reckoned as chap. xiv. of Daniel, coming after
Susanna, which forms chap. xiii., as also in the Hexaplar Syriac. Caj.
Bugati, in his edition of this text, regards its ascription to Habakkuk
as a reason for its detached position at the end (_see_ 'Authorship,' p.

J. Fürst's idea (quoted by Bissell, p. 444), that the work was
originally incorporated in chap. vi., seems far less likely than his
conjecture with regard to the position of Susanna (_q.v._). Indeed,
except for a certain similarity in the lions' den miracle, it is not
easy to see why it should be joined to any part of chap. vi. Nor do the
similar points of the den incidents seem any real ground for making one
story follow directly upon the other.

E. Philippe (Vigouroux _Dict._ II. 1266) attempts, rather feebly, to
account for its omission from the Hebrew Bibles. He says, "elle parut à
tort aux Juifs faire double emploi avec un récit pareil, VI." This seems
to be a gratuitous supposition of no great probability.

As the story deals with the latter part of Daniel's life, its place at
the conclusion of the book is very fitting. In Cod. A the subscription
mentioned above, marking it as the "end of Daniel the prophet,"
distinctly attaches it to the Book of Daniel, and precludes further
additions. On the whole, if its connection with the Book of Daniel is
to be recognized, this position at the close may be regarded as the most


In Θ, Bel and the Dragon is apparently assumed to be by the same writer
as the rest of the Book of Daniel. So in _Breshith Rabbah_[63] on Gen.
xxxvii. 24 we have nearly the words of v. 28 _sq._, introduced by "This
is as it is written in Daniel" (Ball, 344a). In Raymund Martini's
_Pugio fidei_ (Paris, 1651, p. 740) the Aramaic is given as בדניאל
(_see_ under 'Chronology,' p. 229).

If, however, it be presumed that Daniel is not the author, we are left
without any clue to the writer's name, except what is afforded us by the
LXX title, which treats the piece as an extract from a prophecy of
Habakkuk, son of Jesus. Most probably the minor prophet of that name is
intended, though this has been doubted on chronological and on
genealogical grounds; and the position of Bel and the Dragon in the MSS.
lends no countenance to a connection with Habakkuk's prophecy.
Rothstein nevertheless, in Kautzsch, _Apocr._ (p. 178), regards it as
certain that the minor prophet is meant; and so likewise do Schürer and
Driver in their articles in Hauck's _Encyclopædia_ (I. 639), and in
Hastings' _D.B._ respectively; and Keil, who is referred to below (p.

Still, it is curious that a Levite of the name of Jesus, who had sons,
is mentioned in I. Esd. v. 58, and elsewhere in the same book. Further
evidence, however, which might connect him with the LXX title, is not
forthcoming. But it is noticeable that in Hab. ii. 18 _sq._ idolatry,
probably Chaldean, is scoffed at in a tone not dissimilar to that of
this work.

Eusebius and Apollinarius, in controversy with Porphyry, accept this
title as correct (Churton, 390b). So Bugati (Milan, 1788, p. 163)
treats the authorship of Habakkuk as the reason of the detached position
of the fragment at the end of the book. Hesychius of Jerusalem, quoted
under 'Early Christian Literature,' declines to express an opinion as to
the identity of Habakkuk. The _Synopsis sacr. Script._--referred to by
Ball (350b) and Bissell (447) as if a genuine work of
Athanasius--perhaps affords ground for a third theory. For it makes
mention (after N.T. books, § 75) of a certain pseudo-epigraphic writing
of Ἀμβακούμ which might perhaps be the προφητεία named in the LXX title.
All things considered, the theory that the well-known prophet Habakkuk
was meant by LXX seems the most probable.

But if Bel and the Dragon be merely the crystallization of what is
called a 'fluid myth,' or traditional floating story, its original
authorship is not merely unknown, but is undiscoverable, and was
probably a doubtful matter even to those who first rendered it into
Greek. This view accounts too, as nothing else seems satisfactorily to
do, for the many changes, insertions, and omissions in different
versions. Such stories, at any rate in their earlier days, are subject
to variation in many points as the result of oral repetition. Still, the
'fluidity' of this piece is by no means so great as that of Tobit, where
the variations are on a much wider scale.

If the 'fluid myth' theory be accepted, the original becomes an
anonymous story, built up on the renown of Daniel, a piece of Haggadah
in fact, as some, not unreasonably, have ventured to think; such as J.W.
Etheridge, who classes these pieces under that head, or, as he styles
them, "histories coloured with fable" (_Jerusalem and Tiberias_, Lond.
1856, p. 109). Reuss regards it as still more imaginative, deeming all
except the temple to be "reine Erfindung, und zwar eine ziemlich
geistlose" (_O.T._ VII. 269). But Prof. Sayce thinks that "the author
was better acquainted with Babylon and Babylonian history than the other
apocryphal writers" (_Temple Bible_, 'Tobit,' etc., Lond. 1903, pp. xiv,

Furthermore it must be remembered that even if Bel and the Dragon was
added to Daniel as an appendix by a later hand, there may still be truth
in the story; its erroneousness is not necessarily proved, nor is it
needful to assume, as is sometimes done, that all its events are
fictitious. This seems to be done by G.H. Curteis (S.P.C.K. _Comm._,
'Introd. to Hab.'), who writes: "The absurd legends with which the
Rabbis and the author of Bel and the Dragon amused themselves are not
worthy of serious attention." And Keil also, in his _Commentary on the
Minor Prophets_, while accepting the superscription of Cod. Chis. as
supporting Habakkuk's Levitic origin, regards the rest of the legend as
"quite worthless" (Clark's translation, pp. 49, 50). So, too, W.J. Deane
(_Pulpit Bible_, 1898, 'Hab.' p. 111) says, "The whole account is
plainly unhistorical, and its connection with the canonical writer
cannot be maintained for a moment."

Supposing the story to be true, however, it may form an instance, both
at its outset and its close, of what is recorded in Dan. vi. 28, of
Daniel prospering in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. But, in the present
state of our knowledge, speculations lead to no positive result, for the
real author cannot be determined.



The idea, which may be a true one, that this is the latest of these
three appendices, seems chiefly founded on its position at the end of
Daniel, and on its subject-matter, which contains indications of
belonging to the prophet's latter years. Having passed safely through
many trials, he now boldly laughs at the idols of Babylon (vv. 7, 19).
His contempt is unconcealed, and he again confidently risks his life for
the true God. In v. 19 we also find him venturing to hold the king
back--ἐκράτησεν τὸν βασιλέα (Θ). Long experience in surmounting great
difficulties by divine help had strengthened his nerve and confirmed his

_Original._ If the LXX be taken as a translation, the original is of
course older than the Greek text, but not necessarily much older. If the
statement at the head, however, be accepted as referring to Habakkuk the
prophet, the original is of course thrown back to a much earlier date,
say _circ._ 600 B.C., and Hebrew, not Aramaic, would be the language.
But this theory will scarcely commend itself to many (_cf._
'Chronology,' p. 223).

_LXX._ There seems no reason to doubt that Bel and the Dragon always
formed a part of this Greek version of Daniel. Pusey (quoted in Churton,
_Uncan. and Apocr. Script_, p. 389) speaks of it as 'contemporary with
the LXX,' while Rothstein (Kautzsch, 178, 9) attributes it to the second
century B.C., being probably of the same date as Susanna.

_Theodotion._ This version may reasonably be assigned to the second
century A.D. But it has been pretty clearly shewn that Theodotion worked
up some Greek version other than the LXX. Many of the quotations from
Daniel in the N.T., and especially those tn Revelation (specified in
_D.C.B._ art. _Theodotion_, IV. 975b), shew that a version largely
corresponding with his existed at the time when these quotations were
made. The Book of Baruch also (same art. 976a) bears evidence of the
employment of this Theodotionic ground-version, the origin of which is
at present unknown. In this connection compare Prof. Swete's _Introd. to
Greek O.T._ ed. 2, p. 48, and Schürer's pointed saying, quoted there in
note (3), "Entweder Th. selbst ist älter als die Apostel, oder es hat
einen 'Th.' vor Th. gegeben." There seems little reason to doubt that
the unnamed previous version extended to this and the other Additions to


_Original_ (Semitic?). Babylonia, or possibly Palestine. " The writer,"
says Bissell on v. 2, "shews a familiar acquaintance with what was the
probable state of things in Babylon when the event narrated is supposed
to have occurred."

Of the things mentioned, clay is common in Babylonia, and brass or
bronze was used as a material for images; and the lion was an inhabitant
of the country.

There is no sign (in this piece) of Hellenic thought influencing Jewish
belief, such as would have been likely to shew itself in a purely
Alexandrian production. The strong hatred of idolatry is quite in
accordance with a Babylonish origin; more so perhaps than with an
Alexandrian. _Cf._ Jer. xliv. 8, which seems to shew that, at any rate
in the early days of the dispersion in Egypt, the severance from
idolatry was not so sharp as in Babylonia.

The mention of pitch (v. 27) as a readily obtainable commodity is
inconclusive, as stated under the corresponding section of Part II. The
possible confusion between זצפא (storm-wind) and זיפא (pitch), pointed
out by Marshall in his article on Bel and the Dragon in Hastings'
_Dict._, does not look probable as occurring in a list of substances of
this kind.

_LXX._ Alexandria may be pretty certainly named. What Bishop Westcott
calls "an Alexandrine hand" (_D.B._ I. p. 448 ed. 1, 714 ed. 2) has been
generally deemed apparent. So Bissell says: "The contents furnish
tolerably safe evidence of its Egyptian origin." But this does not seem
to agree very well with his note on v. 2, quoted at the beginning of
this chapter.

It might have been thought that the weights and measures which enter
into this story in v. 3 of both versions, and in v. 27 of LXX, would
have afforded some valuable local indications. But unfortunately for
this requirement, the weights and measures of the ancient world were so
much assimilated as to yield, in the question before us, no certain
clue. Alexandria too, being a great commercial centre, had become
somewhat syncretistic. As P. Smith remarks, in his article _Mensura_, in
_D. Gk. & Rom. A._ (1872, p. 754b), "The Roman system, which was
probably derived from the Greek, agreed with the Babylonian both in
weights and measures." It is stated, however, in Hastings' _D.B._ (IV.
911b, 913b) that ἀρτάβαι and μετρηταί were identified at Alexandria,
in which case they may have been used here as rough equivalents for the
translation of some Semitic words, such as חׄמֶר and סְאָה in Isai. v.
10 and I. Kings xviii. 32 respectively. The μνᾶ of v. 27 is also both
Babylonian and Alexandrian (_see_ Hastings' _D.B._ iv. 904a). The
signs, from this source, of local origin must not therefore be pressed.

_Theodotion._ From what little we know of this translator's life, it is
not improbable that he made his version at Ephesus.

The genitive form μαχαίρης in v. 26, thought to be Ionic, may lend a
little support to this. _Cf._ Heb. xi. 34, Rev. xiii. 14, in A; B here
failing; yet it is found in B, by the first corrector, in St. Luke xxi.
24. But _cf._ Swete's _Introd._ p. 304. On the other hand, the use of
σώματα in v. 32 (Θ only) for 'slaves' is given by Deissmann (p. 160) as
an example of Egyptian usage. It is found in Gen. xxxiv. 29, Tob. x. 10,
and elsewhere. Its use by Polybius (mentioned without reference by
Deissmann) does not give us much 'local' assistance, for his travels
were so extensive that he may have picked it up in various places. But
its occurrence in Rev. xviii. 13 may suggest that it was in use at
Ephesus also. Deissmann (p. 117) also thinks ἐδαπανῶντο εἰς (v. 3) to be
an Alexandrian idiom; but in the same verse we find the spelling
ράκουτα, which is considered by Liddell and Scott to be an Ionic form.
The indications therefore of this linguistic kind nearly counterbalance
one another.


This story was evidently composed for Jewish use, not improbably for
Jews who had returned from the Captivity, as a popular memorial of
Babylonish days. And perhaps the general tenor of the piece implies that
it was written to serve, not so much to convert idolaters, as for the
encouragement of those who were striving, or had striven, to maintain
the faith among the heathen. Its tone and subject make its composition
in the first instance for Babylonian Jews, or Palestinian Jews returned
from captivity, more likely than for their Alexandrian brethren. To
these latter, however, it soon found its way. But it is amongst
Christian people that this narrative has had its longest and deepest
influence. The more it was valued by Christians the less it seemed
regarded by Jews. In this respect its fate was similar to that of the
entire LXX.

A distinct moral purpose is not obscurely indicated by the trend of the
whole story. It is not merely a record of two interesting episodes in
the prophet's later days, but it also aims at a definite religious
object. That object is to throw contempt on idolatry, whether directed
to inanimate or animate things; to honour Daniel as vindicator of the
true worship; and to shew that the adoration of heathen deities is lying
and deceptive, and ought to be supplanted by that of the Lord.

It is evidently desired to put both idols and idolaters into ridiculous
positions, not for mere amusement, but in order to destroy the
confidence which was groundlessly placed in them. The weapons of sarcasm
and contemptuous treatment are used with success, even as Elijah
employed them on Baal and his worshippers at an earlier time (I. Kings
xviii. 27). A desire to convert the heathen, by proving the absurdity of
their idol-worship, may be inferred from the last clause of v. 27,
compared with vv. 5, 25. As the history of Susanna deals with errors of
Jewish practice, so does this writing with the errors of heathenism.

The providence of God in protecting those who suffer for His sake is
clearly inculcated in the latter portion of the work. A sense of this
would, with other results, give confidence in the fight against
idolatry; the more needed because Bel was evidently a very popular deity
with high and low, and difficult to dislodge. The frequent compounding
of 'Bel' with proper names (Belshazzar and Belteshazzar)[64] shews the
regard in which he was held. Compare the similar compounding of
'Jehovah' amongst the Jews. But, although Bel was deemed a beneficent
deity, being, as Gesenius calls him (s.v. בֵּל, sub בַּצַל),
'agathodemon, omnis felicitatis auctor,' Daniel does not spare him on
that account. Thomas "Wintle[65] suggests that the image in chap. iii.
"was Bel, or some of the Assyrian deities, as we may collect from iii.
14"; and Bar-Hebræus' notion that the gift of Bel to Daniel, in v. 22 of
our story, was in order that he might be rewarded by the gold with which
the image was plated, agrees well enough with iii. I (Berlin, 1888, p.

The aim is to depict Daniel, distinguished for his wisdom and piety, as
the successful, though sorely tried, opponent of heathenism, and as the
representative of the Living God. His character to a great extent
resembles that pourtrayed in the rest of the work bearing his name. It
is shewn how he continued to face and to solve the difficult problems of
court life in Babylon. And albeit he secured no small measure of fame,
and perhaps of popularity, at the time, these earthly results, in their
abiding form, it has lain with posterity to give him.

On the supposition that Alexandria was the birthplace of the piece, it
has been suggested that the aim of the writer was "to warn against the
sin of idolatry some of his brethren who had embraced Egyptian
superstition."[66] But no special reference to Egyptian forms of
idolatry is apparent in support of this view, which seems based on
little more than a wish to fit in the idolatry with the theory of the
story having an Alexandrian origin.

A. Scholz's notion that the whole piece is a 'vision' with allegoric or
apocalyptic meanings only, and never intended to be taken as history,
looks like a wonderfully forced hypothesis, laying a great strain on the
imaginations both of the writer and the reader. The book having been
received as canonical in the Roman communion, its contents must at all
hazards be reconciled with the maintenance of that position. Yet it is
fair to note that Luther, on other grounds, regarded Susanna and Bel and
the Dragon as pretty spiritual fictions, in which history must take its
chance (Zöckler, p. 216).


This double story seems to have been treated as one in the Greek. In the
Syriac and Arabic versions the Dragon has a separate title (noticed in
A.V. margin, "Some add this title _of the Dragon_'). The former,
strangely enough, has 'end of Daniel' before this title. And in the
Syro-Chaldee version, given in Midrash _Rabbah de Rabbah_, Bel has a
subscription, and the Dragon a fresh title (_see_ Ball, 345a).

In v. 23 ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τόπῳ (Ο´) are wanting as connecting words in B, but
the reference to Bel in v. 28 serves to consolidate the two portions of
the story. A and Q also, as well as correctors of B, have an additional
clause in v. 24, which pre-supposes the former portion of the piece, a
clause given in A.V. and R.V. The καί of μὴ καὶ τοῦτον in Ο´ answers the
same purpose. Daniel's mocking tone at the end of v. 27 agrees well with
his sense of humour in v. 7. Cyrus' ready compliance, too, in v. 26 is
only accounted for fully by the shock given to his idolatrous beliefs in
the Bel part of the story. And so far the internal evidence argues for
the unity of the piece. But it is noticeable that the Epistle for
Tuesday after the Fifth Sunday in Lent in the Sarum and Roman Missals
consists of the Dragon story only, beginning at v. 29, with some slight
introductory changes.

And Gaster's recovered Aramaic text (which he believes to have been the
basis of Theodotion's Greek) consists of the Dragon story only. The
notion that it had a separate currency is therefore, to a certain
extent, supported; and this would still be the case, even if Gaster's
text is not an original, but a translation.

If Gaster's Aramaic were really the basis of Θ's version, it would
follow that he did not confine himself to making a mere recension of the
Ο´ text, though he evidently availed himself of it as far as he thought
proper. It is highly probable that this would apply to the Bel as well
as to the Dragon story, although the corresponding Aramaic of the former
is not at present forthcoming.

Neither the Ο´ nor Θ's original text seem to have been materially
tampered with, either in the way of addition or omission. Each has some
clauses not contained in the other: Ο´ in vv. 9, 15, 31, 39; Θ in vv. 1,
12, 13, 36, 40. Yet Westcott (Smith's _D.B._ I. 397a, ed. 2, 714a)
thinks that some of Θ's changes arose from a desire to give consistency
to the facts. The change at the end of v. 27, however, is hardly a happy
one, καὶ εἶπεν being put immediately after ὁ δράκων, thus suggesting the
idea that the latter drew attention to the fact that he was destroyed.
The LXX. avoided this.

It is remarkable that Theodoret, in his _Commentary on Daniel_, comments
on vv. 1 and 2 of Bel and the Dragon (Θ) only, treating them as the
closing verse (14) of chap. xii., and introducing them with the words,
οὕτω πληρώσας τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν ἐπήγαγεν ὁ προφήτης· καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς
Ἀστυάγης, κ.τ.λ. This curious fact, combined with that of their omission
from the Ο´, points to some arrangement of the text with which we are
not acquainted. Theodoret also refers to these same verses previously,
in commenting on chaps. v. 3 and x. 1. Though he says nothing of the
rest of Bel and the Dragon, he shews, by his referring in Ep. cxlv.
(latter part) to Habakkuk's miraculous flight through the air, that he
was well acquainted with the story, and approved of it.

The principal MSS. available are A, B, Q, Γ (vv. 2--4 only), and Δ from
v. 21 to 41, which has recently reinforced our somewhat scanty uncial

The text of A appears to have slightly better Greek (vv. 9, 10, 19, 21,
27); but the form μαχαίρης (occurs in Heb. xi. 34 in A), if not a
slip,[67] seems Ionic (Wordsworth's _Greek Gram._ § 16, Obs.), as has
been already mentioned ('Authorship,' p. 193), and might perhaps be
accounted for by Θ's connection with Ephesus. The substitution of πρός
for τῷ, however, in v. 34 seems no improvement, A in this, as in several
other instances (vv. 10, 28, 35), agreeing with the Ο´ reading. Taking,
for convenience, B as the norm, we find that A's departures from it are
somewhat larger than in the Song of the Three. In v. 7 οὐδὲ πέπωκεν
πώποτε is added, as also in Q, to the description of Bel's inability to
consume food. In v. 11 δακτύλῳ is curiously substituted by A for
δακτυλίῳ; in v. 13 κατεφθόνουν for κατεφρόνουν. Both these are
suggestive of carelessness or of error _ex ore dictantis_ (Scrivener,
_N.T. Criticism_, ed. 2, p. 10). In v. 36 the substitution of χειρός for
κορυφῆς is peculiar. The alteration of gender in v. 17, σῶαι for σῶοι in
its first occurrence, but not in its second, may come under the head of
those "somewhat officious corrections" with which the editors of I.
Macc. in the _Camb. Bible for Schools_ (p. 48) charge this MS., as
likewise perhaps the reading παιδίων for τέκνων in v. 10.

Q not unfrequently agrees with it in differing from B. It stands alone,
however, in reading ναὸν for ἱερόν in v. 22, and in omitting the last
six words of v. 41, perhaps as improbable when coming from Cyrus.
Together with A, it contains an additional clause in v. 24, putting
words into Cyrus' mouth which connect the two stories together. Γ,
having vv. 2--4 only, contains no important variation. Δ (only from v.
21 to v. 41) contains in v. 22 the curious word ἔγδομα instead of

All things considered, the text of both versions may be said to be in as
fair condition as in the canonical part of Daniel.



[_See_ corresponding title in Susanna.]

The indications of a Semitic original give this fragment, in that
respect, a middle place between the other two. Less numerous than in the
Song of the Three, they are more so than in the History of Susanna,
though this is a shorter piece than that.

The non-discovery by Origen and others of Hebrew originals in their own
day by no means goes so far as to prove that such never existed, as
Rothstein in Kautzsch (I. 179) truly says.

Since Gaster's discovery of an Aramaic text of the Dragon (not of Bel),
the probability of a Semitic rather than a Greek original seems
strengthened. But see what Schürer thinks, under the corresponding
title in the Song of the Three, as also of the Syriac version at the end
of Neubauer's _Tobit._ C.H. Toy, too, in his article in the _Jewish
Encyclopædia_, Vol. II, says: "In the present state of knowledge it
seems better to reserve opinion as to its antiquity."

Delitzsch, at the end of his _Commentatio de Hab. proph. vita atque
oetate_ (Lips. 1842), prints in Rabbinic characters a Persian rendering,
"ex codice Paris-Reg. judaico-persico," which he says "ex textu hebraico
vel aramaico factam esse, ex crebris hebraismis patet" (p. 105). And on
pp. 26, 27 he prints the LXX from v. 28 to the end, and adds: "Hæc omnia
ad verbum Hebraico vel Aramaico translata esse dictionis simplicitas,
structura ac tota indoles clamat atque testatur." But on p. 41 he quotes
the opinion of Prof. Solomon Munk, of Paris (_Notice sur Rab. Saadia
Gaon_, p. 84), that this Hebrew text, translated into Persian, was
itself made by some European Rabbi from the Greek or Latin Bible. And a
similar origin for Gaster's text is now thought far from unlikely.

It may be well here to give a few brief notes on the separate phrases as
they occur:

v. 3 Θ. With ἐδαπανῶντο, _cf._ אֲכַלֶּה ב׳ of Deut. xxxii. 23 ("I will
spend my arrows upon," etc.). Δαπανάω occurs with ἐν and ἐπί in N.T.
Greek, but apparently not with εἰς, nor yet in the canonical O.T.
Deissmann, however, attempts to shew that this use of εἰς, instead of
'dativus commodi,' is an Alexandrian idiom (_Bible Studies_, Eng. tr.,
Edinb. 1900, p. 127). כלא is also used in Aramaic in the same sense in

v. 6 Ο´. The same phrase as the last recurs, inverted: εἰς αὐτὸν

v. 7 Ο´. Here the accusative after ὀμνύω might be taken as favouring a
Greek original, since ἐν for ב would seem natural in a translation of
Hebrew or Aramaic.

v. 7 Θ; v. 11 Ο´, Θ; v. 27 Ο´. The occurrence of βασιεῦ in these verses
suggests a rendering of מַלְבָּא which is used several times in the
Aramaic portion of Daniel, while it never occurs in the vocative in the
Hebrew portion. This indication, small though it be, inclines of course
towards an Aramaic rather than a Hebrew original.

v. 10 Ο´, Θ. Scholz's suggestion that χωρίς and ἐκτός are translations
of לבר is more probable than some of his ideas, for it is rendered by
both these words more than once in the Greek O.T.

v. 12 Θ. ὁ ψευδόμενος καθ᾽ ἡμῶν might be a translation of שְׁקַר צַל or
צַל.כְּדַב צַל is occasionally rendered by κατά, as in Job xxxiii. 10,
in a hostile sense. Liddell and Scott, however, give one example of
ψεύδω with κατά, and Arnold an anonymous one in his _Greek Grammar_
(1848, p. 265).

v. 13 Θ. Διόλου looks like a translation of תָּמִיד (or תְּדִירָא), as
in I. Kings x. 8, where it is so rendered.

v. 14 Ο´. σφραγισάμενος presents a difficulty here, which may be solved
by supposing that חֲתַם had been read by mistake for סְתַם, a kind of
error characteristic of the LXX translators. To 'shut' seems more in
place here than to 'seal,' which naturally follows later in the verse;
shutting first, sealing second, seems the only intelligible order.

vv. 14, 28 Θ; vv. 15, 33 Ο´. The καὶ ἐγένετο of these verses is
suggestive of וַיְהִי in the original.

v. 18 Θ. (Δόλος) οὐδὲ εἷς has an 'ungreek' look, and may have been a
rendering of צַד אֶחָד, as in Exod. xiv. 28. חדא (חדה) for חזא (חזה)
might account for the king's 'rejoicing' in Ο´ becoming his 'seeing' in

v. 19 Ο´, Θ. The reading of ἔδαφος by Θ instead of δόλος by Ο´ may be
accounted for by supposing שקפא to have been substituted for שקרא, as
suggested in Hastings' _Dict._

v. 26 Ο´, Θ. The use of καί instead of ἵνα, to begin a clause signifying
purpose, is very Hebraic.

v. 27 Ο´, Θ. The ingenious idea of A. Scholz that τὰ σεβάσματα ὑμῶν and
οὐ ταῦτα σέβεσηε are renderings of הפחדיכם and הפחדתם respectively, ה in
the first case being the article, and in the second merely the
interrogative particle, like other conjectures on p. 202 of his
_Commentary_, can hardly stand. He appears to have forgotten that the
article must not be placed before a noun with a pronominal suffix.[68]

v. 28 Ο´, Θ. ἐπί looks like a translation of צל (_cf._ Sus. 29). In Ο´
it is used against Daniel, and in Θ against the king.

v. 33 Ο´. Delitzsch suggests (p. 27) הששי ויהי ויהי ביום for the
beginning of this verse, with much likelihood.

v. 36 Θ. The reading χειρὸς in A for κορυφῆς may have arisen from קדקדו
being corrupted by homoeoteleuton into קדו, for which A has read ידו. A.
Scholz's notion of explaining this by Isai. xlv. 1 (where δεξιά is used,
not χείρ) is unsatisfactory.

v. 40 Ο´, Θ. The attempt to explain (Marshall in Hastings' _D.B._ art.
_Bel and the Dragon_) the 'in medio' of Vulg. v. 39 by a reading בגו for
בגב is not very likely, since they do not occur in corresponding

v. 42 Ο´. Ἐξήγαγεν is used of the king here in a good sense, in v. 22 in
a bad one. This is possibly a rendering of הרציא in the latter case, of
הצלה in the former.

The Greek of the writer is hardly such as we should expect, unless he
was narrating a story which had reached him from a Hebrew source. The
frequency with which verbs occur very early in the construction of
sentences is a point in favour of a Semitic original, which does appear
to have been dwelt upon, _e.g._ vv. 11, 20 (Ο´), and 14, 16, 22 (Θ).

It is a matter of considerable nicety to estimate the value of these and
similar indications. They are not decisive. They tell with varying force
upon varying minds; but they distinctly tend, in the writer's opinion,
to increase the probability of the Greek having been grounded upon a
Hebrew or an Aramaic form of the story, the likelihood of the latter
being slightly the stronger.

In view of the introduction of Habakkuk into the story of the Dragon,
Delitzsch's opinion as to the similarity of Daniel's Hebrew to the
Hebrew of that prophet (_see_ Streane, _Age of Macc._ p. 262) becomes of
importance. A. Scholz, too, is of opinion (p. 146) that the Habakkuk
title makes for a Hebrew original, because the real prophecy of Habakkuk
was undoubtedly Hebrew, and this piece, whether genuine or fictitious,
would hardly have been appended in another language.

The LXX version was certainly known to Theodotion, since he copies much
of it, yet not quite so largely as in the Song of the Three. But it is
evident that he had other documents or traditions to use, of which he
freely availed himself; possibly some previous translation other than
LXX, as has been suggested under Susanna ('Date and Place,' p. 114).
There seems nothing in either Greek recension to imply that the two
parts of Bel and the Dragon (separated in Luther's version) are not by
the same hand.

It is noteworthy that the word ἔκδοτον, applied to Bel when handed over
to Daniel (v. 22, Θ), is used of our Lord in Acts ii. 23, these two
being its only Biblical occurrences.


The style is that of simple, clear, and well-told narrative, with very
little rhetorical embellishment about it, yet bearing somewhat of a
dramatic cast, like much of the canonical book to which it is appended.
It is not tedious (though there is much to tell which might have been
easily spun out), but is brief and spirited. There is nothing
superfluous to the aim of the story.[69]

Moreover, the narrative is told in such a way as ever to be a story of
captivating interest to the young, being full of movement and
interesting incident. The style of the composition is much more in
accordance with Syrian than with Alexandrian models. There is nothing of
Hellenistic speculation or philosophy, though the subject of idolatry
would have lent itself to such treatment (as that of injustice would in
Susanna). No figurative or hyperbolic phraseology is employed.

An idea has been revived and maintained that the lions' den episode at
the end is a mere adaptation and embellishment of that in Dan. vi.[70]
(Churton, 392; Streane, 109, "distortions of O.T. narratives"; J.M.
Fuller, S.P.C.K. _Comm. in loc._). This idea is successfully opposed by
Arnald, who (on v. 31) gives three reasons against it, and by Bishop
Gray (_Introd. to O.T. in loc._). Delitzsch (p. 30) calls this section
of Θ's version "partem dignissimam." Attempts to prove the falsity of
this martyrdom, if such it may be called, by first assuming the identity
of these two events, treating the latter as an ornamental exaggeration
of the former, and then pointing out what are taken for irreconcileable
discrepancies, are beside the mark. Nor does the supposition that the
one night in the den (of Dan. vi.) was increased to six, nor that the
detail of withholding the lions' usual food to sharpen their appetites
(in Θ only), were added for the purpose of heightening the effect, carry
much weight. The omission of Daniel's speech, with the detail[71] of the
angel closing the lions' mouths (vv. 21, 22), tells in the opposite
direction. It is no more necessary to reckon these two den episodes as
one event than our Lord's feeding of the four and five thousand, or his
healing of the centurion's servant and the nobleman's son.



A religious feeling, strong though misdirected, evidently existed both
in king and people, involving considerable expenditure on objects and
places of worship. It was not as to the propriety of worship in itself,
but of the object towards which it ought to be directed, that the
controversy arose.

Two sorts of worship were in vogue:--

(a) _Bel-worship._ As to the practice of this in Babylon no question
appears to be raised; he was the supreme god and guardian of Babylon.
The representation of Cyrus as a worshipper of Bel agrees with the
account of himself in the Annals of Nabu-nahid, cited by Ball on v. 4;
and Sayce (_Temple Bible_, Tobit, p. 95) notes that the cuneiform
monuments have shewn that Cyrus was politic enough to conform to the
religion of his Babylonian subjects.

The unabashed effrontery of the idol-priests (vv. 11, 12) is very
characteristic. See, however, Blakesley's note on Herodot. VIII. 41.

(b) _Dragon-worship._ This is not otherwise known to have existed in
Babylonia, but snake-worship, which may be the same, is asserted by J.T.
Marshall (end of art. _Bel and the Dragon_, Hastings' _D.B._.). In
support of this it is noteworthy that ὁ δράκων is identified with ὁ ὄφις
in Rev. xii. 9, and that נָחָשׁ and תַּנִּין seem identified in Ex. iv.
3 and vii. 9. A. Kamphausen, in the _Encycl. Bibl._, thinks that
"Günkel has conclusively shewn that the primeval Babylonian myth of the
conquest of the chaos-monster or the great dragon Tiamat by the god
Marduk lies at the root." So J.M. Fuller, in the S.P.C.K. _Comm._, says
that "in Babylonian inscriptions dealing with the fall, a dragon,
generally female, appears." Daniel plans his scheme in accordance with
the dragon's known voracity (Jer. li. 34). The προσεκύνησαν τὸν δράκοντα
of Rev. xiii. 4 may have been suggested by the dragon-worship here;
ἐσέβοντο is used in v. 23, προσκύνησον (with dat.) in v. 24 (both

Daniel set himself, in reply to the king, who suggested to him the
propriety of Bel-worship, to detach the Babylonians from these
superstitious follies, to interpret God's will in the matter, and to
free them from the service of idols. Yet his own name, 'Belteshazzar,'
may have implied[72] Bel's existence; still, even if it was so, we must
remember that it was not self-assumed, but given by the chief eunuch.
The king's question shews that he misunderstood Daniel's character. It
is noticeable, as a link of connection between the two parts of the
story, that Daniel attacks the former superstition, Bel, by disproving
the belief in the god's powers of eating; and the latter, the Dragon,
by destroying the supposed divinity by means of what he ate.

As described in the Greek, Daniel's method of destroying the Dragon
appears quite inadequate to effect his purpose. The ingredients named as
composing the ball do not seem capable of achieving the result which
followed. But in Gaster's Aramaic a different light is thrown upon the
matter; for the ball is merely used as a vehicle to conceal sharp teeth
embedded in it, so that the Dragon might swallow them unawares, and
sustain internally a fatal laceration. If this be accepted as correct,
Sir Thomas Browne's discussion, as to how such unlikely ingredients
might bring about a death of the kind described, is naturally set aside.
S. Wilkin, however, in his edition of Browne's _Works_, 1835 (Vol. II.
p. 337), does not treat Sir T. Browne's discussion as a serious one; but
in this view all will not concur. Schürer, in Hauck's _Dict._ (I. 639),
writes of the Dragon as having been slain "mit unverdaulichen Kitchen";
and Toy, in the _Jewish Encyclopædia_, regards "the iron comb insertion
as a natural embellishment." It is, however, not at all out of keeping
with Daniel's clever devices for the detection of error, and looks like
a practicable plan. And Josippon, quoted by Heppner, _op. cit._ p. 33,
gives a similar account of the Dragon's destruction,
והחרוצים קרני הברזל.

The consequence of the prophet's triumph in each case appears to have
been that the king was convinced of the vanity of idols much more than
his people. And as Daniel's demonstrations were not, so far as we see,
made before the general public, this is what might have been expected. A
similar conviction on Nebuchadnezzar's part, without any spontaneous
assent of his people, may be noticed in Dan. iii. 28--30, vi. 25--28. A
lack of popular adhesion to the king's change of mind would sufficiently
account for the early restoration of Bel's temple (_see_ 'Chronology,'
p. 225).

In v. 21 the LXX states that it was Daniel who shewed the king the privy
doors. This, on the whole, has more _vraisemblance_ than the idea of
Theodotion, who states that it was the priests who undertook the task.
Ball suggests that they did so because they were "in fear of their
lives"; but if so, this plan of saving them, by making a clean breast of
the matter, was unsuccessful.

Another religious feature shews itself in v. 28, viz. the scorn in which
the Babylonian zealots held the Jewish religion. It would evidently have
been regarded as a degradation for the king to become a Jew, and social
would probably here combine with religious grounds in giving force to
this feeling. Compare Pilate's contempt of such an idea with regard to
himself, as expressed in St. John xviii. 35. Grotius proposed a
translation which inverted the phrase in such a way as to make it apply
to Daniel: "A Jew has become king." This, however, is not natural in the
Greek, has no countenance lent to it by the Aramaic text, and is clearly
opposed by the Syriac marginal title as given in Swete's manual LXX,
"tit. adpinx. ut vid. περι του βασιλεως λεγουσι ως γεγονεν Ιουδαιος,
Syr'mg*." Cajetanus Bugati also (_Daniel_, Milan, 1788, p. 162) thinks
Grotius wrong.[73] For a similarly imagined instance of a king embracing
Judaism, _cf._ II. Macc. ix. 17, headed by A.V., "Antiochus promiseth to
become a Jew," on which Rawlinson notes, "it is extremely improbable
that Epiphanes ever expressed any such intention," an opinion in which
most will agree.

The withholding of food, in order to sharpen the lions' appetites (v.
32), shews a spirit similar to that which directed the sevenfold heating
of the furnace in chap. iii. The numbers in vv. 2, 10, etc., are quite
in keeping with Daniel's use of symbolic numeration for purposes of
religious teaching; and the zeal displayed against idolatry is
characteristic of the Jewish captivity, as depicted in the canonical
book which bears his name. These three points, therefore, so far as they
go, tell in favour of the religious unity of the whole.


Daniel appears on the same terms of intimacy with royalty as in the
canonical book, and speaks his mind a little more freely and intimately
perhaps, as becomes his added years and experience. He still acts as a
divine messenger to a heathen king, and he successfully unmasks his
fallacy of judging by appearances in the matter of Bel's food. His
laughter in vv. 7,19, may have been amusement at the king's simplicity
or at the priests' cunning, the king's wrath in vv. 8, 21, being
compatible with either. But this laughter of v. 7 only appears in Θ's
version. As in Susanna, he stands as the willing exposer of fraud,
intellectually acute as well as morally upright.

v. 29 Θ has been objected to by Ball and by Zöckler as an unlikely mode
of address by the conquered Babylonians to Cyrus their conqueror.
Probably some tumultous rising took place, which the king, a true
oriental monarch, pacified at the expense of Daniel. On such outbreaks
courtly politeness often vanishes, and the tyrant is subject to tyranny.
Such an occurrence agrees with Habakkuk's description of the Chaldees as
"bitter and hasty" (i. 6), and 'senseless' and 'absurd' are scarcely the
terms to apply to it.

The slaughter of the priests (vv. 22, 28) is quite in accordance with
the practice as shewn in the canonical chapters ii. and vi.[74]; also
the destruction of false accusers (v. 42) with vi. 25; so also the
keeping of lions by the king; and so, too, the method of double sealing
(v. 11 Ο´, 14 Θ; vi. 17). That παιδάρια should be under the command of
Daniel (v. 14 Θ and Syr.) is what would be likely for one in his
position. The term is used of himself in Sus. 45 Θ as a page of superior
rank. The idea of an image being made of more materials than one (v. 7)
is paralleled in ii. 32, 33.

Cyrus' cowardice in giving up Daniel to the threatening mob is very like
Pilate's in delivering up Christ (St. Matt, xxvii. 26, St. John xix.
16). Παραδίδωμι is used in each case (v. 29 Θ, 30 Θ and Ο´). Similar,
too, is Nebuchadnezzar's conduct with Daniel, and that of Herod Antipas
with St. John Baptist. Despotic rulers are often frightened by popular
clamour. But Cyrus, however weak in yielding, appears at the close of
the story in a less odious light than Pilate.

As in Susanna, there is no indication of rabbinism in the legal,
religious, or social standpoints of the story.


The whole piece makes a mock at idolatry[75] with a view of turning men
from false worships to that of the living God. Indeed the end of v. 5
seems an echo of Gen. i. 1. Jehovah's power to vindicate Himself and His
servants is of course also exhibited, and this in contrast to the idols,
who make no resistance to their overthrow.

He is represented as Sole Sovereign, the only God worthy of worship,
with full power to deliver by wonderful providence His faithful people,
who make their acknowledgments to Him. However far they may be
scattered, His eye is still upon them; He forsakes not those who seek
and love Him (v. 38).

vv. 3, 4, 14 are quoted by Irenæus (IV. ix. 1) to prove that the one
living God was the God worshipped by the prophets, as "the God of the
living." Even the heathen king is forced to confess that He is great and
unique, and (in Vulg. only, v. 42) calls Him Saviour, and desires the
whole world to worship Him.

It is noteworthy that the king is represented as the party complaining
in the first instance; it is his question (v. 4) which draws forth from
Daniel his practical proof of the vanity of idols, inanimate or animate,
culminating in the triumphant exclamation at the end of v. 27. And thus
the imposture of idol-worship is revealed, as well as the value of
devotion to the true Lord of all, by a process commenced in the opposite

Daniel resists the king's invitation to worship Bel, which might have
led him under the ban of Deut. xviii. 20 (end) as "speaking in the name
of other gods." False theological opinions are corrected by Daniel, who
not only dissuades from idol-worship, but persuades to that of the true
deity. Hence the beautiful appropriateness of τοὺς ἀγαπῶντάς σε (v. 38)
instead of τοὺς ἐλπίζοντας ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν in the corresponding point of
delivery in Sus. 60 Θ. For Daniel was fighting for God, while Susanna
was defending herself. The one was an active plaintiff for God, the
other a passive defendant of herself. Thus Love in Daniel's case, Hope
in Susanna's, has its own special appropriateness.

In v. 5 Daniel claims God to be τὸν ζῶντα θεόν, but Cyrus claims for Bel
to be only ζῶν θεός; in v. 24 Cyrus makes the same claim for the Dragon,
and then in v. 25 Daniel makes only a like claim for God (anarthrous),
for Daniel takes here the words out of Cyrus' mouth; in the former
instance it was _vice versâ_. The same phrases are used by Darius in vi.
20, 26 Θ. Thus the prophet makes a more exclusive claim for the divinity
of his God. In v. 6 a contrast is afforded with what is said of God in
Ps. xvi. 2 (P.B. aft. Vulg. and LXX), as the Creator who still retains
power over living beings.

As in the canonical Dan. vi. 22 (and in the other additions thereto), so
here an angel intervenes on behalf of the right, rescuing God's
persecuted prophet. A man is employed in each case also to carry out the
miraculous purposes of God. Further, compare the angel helping Daniel,
after conflict with the Dragon, with Rev. xii. 7, 8.

The sudden transportation of Habakkuk (v. 36) is parallelled by that of
St. Philip in Acts viii. 39 by the "Spirit of the Lord." Ezek. viii. 3,
which is printed as a parallel in the margin of A.V. at iii. 12, 14 of
that book, may also be compared,[76] as well as I. Kings xviii. 12 and
St. Matt. iv. I. For the latter part of this verse (36), barely
intelligible in the Greek, Gaster's Aramaic gives an excellent sense.

There does not seem to be any undue love of the marvellous or straining
to bring it into prominence. Both the statue and the Dragon are
destroyed by ordinary means; and their false position in the imagination
of the people is unmasked without any resort to the miraculous.[77] This
element does not enter into the story till the rescue of the persecuted
Daniel, who has been so zealous for the honour of his God.

Though, with its two companion pieces, it has been cavilled at (not to
reckon Africanus' enquiries) from the time of the Jewish teacher whom
Jerome tells us of in his preface to Daniel, yet even the most
contemptuous deprecators of the 'Additions' can find little seriously to
condemn in the theology of this story.[78] Considering the strong
desire which has existed in some quarters to charge these apocryphal
books with grievous doctrinal error, this fact says much. The knowledge
of God and of divine things is what would be probable at the time it
represents, and is not incongruous with the book to which it is
appended, nor with its fellow-appendices. This speaks well for its
excellence and its consistency.


The principal chronological points, concerning which difficulties have
been felt, arise: (A) in vv. 1, 2, concerning Astyages, Cyrus, and
Daniel; (B) in v. 22, as to the destruction of Bel's temple; and (C) in
v. 33, as to Habakkuk being a contemporary of Daniel.

In connection with A, it is remarkable that v. 1 forms in the Vulgate
the last verse of the preceding chapter, _i.e._ the last verse of
Susanna. This arrangement may have been made from chronological reasons,
possibly to escape an apparent difficulty; and in the LXX the verse is
wanting altogether. Either plan, the attachment of the verse to
Susanna, or its entire omission, has the effect of leaving the king in
this piece nameless, and so solves the imagined difficulty of Cyrus and
Daniel acting together as represented.

The text commented on by Theodoret offers the same solution in another
form, viz. by transferring v. 1 to the end of chap, xii., and so
concluding the book. He thus introduces it: Οὕτω πληρώσας τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν
ἐπήγαγεν ὁ προφήτης καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀστυάγης, κ.τ.λ. Theodoret comments
no further on Bel and the Dragon, though his remarks in other parts of
the commentary shew that he favourably regarded it. See his observations
on v. 31, x. 1.

The disappearance in one case, and the displacements in the others of
this verse, evidently point to some uncertainty in early times as to its
right connection. But the difficulties raised as to this verse even
where it stands are not so serious as was once thought. As Ball says _in
loc._, "The cuneiform records have thrown unexpected light on
difficulties which were the despair of bygone generations of scholars,"
and quotes one which makes Astyages the captive of Cyrus. J.H. Blunt
attempts to shew, not very satisfactorily, that the king of v. 2 was
Darius. A note in Husenbeth's Douay version, still less so, quietly says
"Astyages, or Darius"!

It has also been suggested, with regard to this and difficulty C, that
another Daniel is here intended, to be identified with the Daniel of
Ezra viii. 2 (Bissell).

The second difficulty, B, is raised by the asserted destruction of Bel's
temple in v. 22. Now this is said not to have been destroyed till
Xerxes' return from Greece in 479. Even then Herodotus (I. 183) merely
says that he 'took' (ἔλαβε) a golden statue, and slew the protesting
priest; Strabo, on hearsay, (XVI. 1) and Arrian (_Exp. Alex._ VII. 17),
however, assert its destruction. But this forms a small obstacle, unduly
magnified. Supposing Bel's temple to have been destroyed, as v. 22
narrates, it is far from improbable that another temple may have been
raised before Xerxes' arrival. The people were evidently attached to
Bel's worship, as v. 28 shews, notwithstanding the conviction of their
king as to the truth of Daniel's God. It is noticeable that the LXX has
no mention of the temple's, but only of the idol's, destruction; and
that Θ, according to the manuscript Q, has not ἱερόν but ναόν in v. 22.

A. Scholz entertains the strange opinion that this and other historic
difficulties were purposely introduced by the writer: "Der Verfasser
unserer Erzählung kennt sichtlich die Verhältnisse in Babylon, und hat
seine Darstellung so eingerichtet, dass es einfach unmöglich ist, sie
geschichtlich zu verstehen" (p. 219). But this is a desperate expedient
to support his view of the whole story being intended for a 'vision,'
and it would be hard to find any parallel to such a proceeding on the
part of the sacred writers.[79]

So far as Babylon is concerned, there is no indication of anything but a
time of peace, which is quite in accordance with the supposed period of
the narrative.

There is perhaps more difficulty, C, in making Habakkuk than in making
Cyrus, a contemporary of the grown-up Daniel. Indeed, with the earlier
date formerly assigned to Habakkuk, the difficulty seemed all but
insuperable, except by postulating two Habakkuks or two Daniels. And,
much as it may lack _vraisemblance_, either of those suppositions is of
course within the bounds of possibility. So Trapp notes, rather
sneeringly, on Hab. i. 1: "Those apocryphal Additions to Daniel, which
either are false, or there were two Habakkuks"; and J.H. Blunt, more
seriously, to a similar effect on Hab. i. 1 and Bel 33. Josippon ben
Gorion (I. 7) joins the whole story with the canonical history, but, as
given by Delitzsch (_op. cit._ p. 40), transposes, presumably from
chronological motives, the den incident to the beginning of the story,
"in ordine chronologico iudaicæ traditioni de Habacuci ætate se
accommodantem." Josippon, around whom considerable obscurity hangs, is
dated as of the eighth or ninth century in the _Biog. Univ._ art.
_Gorionides_, Paris, 1857; but in Hastings' _D.B._ art _Bel and the
Dragon_, p. 267b, c. A.D. 940 is given as his time.

Habakkuk's prophecy is now dated as late as 600 (Driver in Hastings'
_D.B._ art. _Habakkuk_; Kirkpatrick in Smith's _D.B²._ art. _Habakkuk_,
1256b, says "not later than the sixth year of Jehoiakim"); and if
Habakkuk prophesied in his youth, our story is not an impossible one. So
Cornelius Jansen (_Analecta_, p. 154), "Quapropter nihil obstabit quo
minus idem Habacuc iam senex prandium in Babylonem detulerit," and he
quotes a tradition of Isidore Hispalensis (_de vit. Proph._) that
Habakkuk lived to see the return from the Captivity, and two years
after. Rosenmüller, quoted in a note on Hab. i. 1 by Maurer (neither of
whom were too partial to traditional views), thinks that the time of
Habakkuk is consistent with the "vetus fama in apocryphis Danielis
additamentis." He even places chap. iii. of Habakkuk under Zedekiah,
though with this Maurer does not agree (_cf._ Henderson, _Min. Proph.,
Introd. to Hab._).

Jamieson, Brown, and Faussett in their Commentary, _Introd. to Hab._
(1869), by no means inclined to favour the Apocrypha, say that Bel and
the Dragon agrees with the notion of Habakkuk prophesying in Jehoiakim's

G.A. Smith, however, in his _Book of the Twelve Prophets_, 1900, II.
130, contents himself with calling it "an extraordinary story of
Habakkuk's miraculous carriage of food to Daniel in the lions' den, soon
after Cyrus had taken Babylon." But A.C. Jennings, in Bishop Ellicott's
_Comm. for English Readers, Introd. to Hab._, pp. 523--5, says: "The
story, worthless in itself, nevertheless, indirectly confirms the theory
of date which we have accepted below" in these words, "Habakkuk's
prophecy dates from the reign of Jehoiakim, not more than five years at
most before the battle of Carchemish--how much nearer that great event
it is impossible to say." Dean Farrar also curiously observes,
"Habakkuk's appearance in apocryphal legend (vv. 33--39) shews the
impression he had made on the mind of his people, and perhaps indicates
his date as a contemporary of Daniel." (_Minor Prophets_ in 'Men of the
Bible' series, n.d., p. 160).

Another instance of belief in the contemporaneity of Daniel and Habakkuk
is afforded by Raymund Martini (_c._ 1250) in his _Pugio fidei_ (Paris,
1651, p. 740): "Habacuc vero Prophetam fuisse contemporaneum Danieli
inde colligitur ubi in Bereschit Rabba hoc modo scribitur de Joseph," he
says before quoting a long passage from the B.R. on Gen. xxxvii. 24.
This passage is none other than a portion of Bel and the Dragon in
Chaldee, and is headed without reserve as בדניאל. It proceeds with v. 28
to the end:
לכא לביל תבד ולתנינא קטל ואתהפכו צליו ואמרין חד לחד יהודאה הוא ליה ואיתכנשו בבלאי צל מלכא. Then follows a Latin translation,
after which Martini adds "Hucusque traditio," and, after quoting Hab. i.
6, finishes his work.

Martini's good faith in quotation is defended by Neubauer in his Chaldee
Tobit (Oxf, 1888, xviii. to xxiv.). He also identifies the Breshith
Rabbah quoted with the Midrash Rabbah de Rabbah. The real Breshith is
probably as early as the 4th century; but neither in the Venice edition
of 1566, nor the Leipzig one of 1864, is the passage to be found under
Gen. xxxvii. _Cf._ Payne-Smith's note, as to Martini's quotations, in
_Pearson on the Creed_, Oxf. 1870, p. 306, where it is shewn that by
Breshith Rabbah the book by Moses Haddarshan (of the 11th century) is
sometimes meant. Etheridge states that only fragments of this book are
extant (p. 406). Delitzsch (_de Habacuci Proph. vita atque ætate_, Lips.
1842, p. 34) also defends Martini's sincerity, and says "Non dubito
fore, ut fragmentum a Raymundo nobiscum communicatum aliquando in
antiquis Genesis Rabba Codd., qui sane rarissimi sunt, inveniatur."

The fact incidentally brought out in the story that Habakkuk was not
engaged in reaping, but was occupied in taking out food for the reapers,
fits in well with the idea of his advanced age. Such a task might well
be undertaken by one who was no longer strong enough for field

All these difficulties would, on other grounds, be deprived of much of
their importance by the theory of A. Scholz, if that could be accepted
as true. He regards the entire book of Daniel, including of course the
Additions, as a series of apocalyptic visions (p. 201). This he
considers as the earliest explanation, supported by the heading ὅραις
to each chapter of Daniel in A and some other MSS. But while removing
one set of difficulties, this theory introduces others of a character at
least as serious; and it is by no means easy to convince oneself that
there is an "apocalyptic" tone about this or the other Additions. This
remarkable theory cuts, rather than unties, such knots as are above
noted, and carries with it to most minds a strange and improbable air.


What is said as to Susanna on this point holds almost entirely good
here. Both pieces have been called in question on nearly the same
ground, and have stood or fallen together. Possibly this one presents
rather more difficulty in some of its details.

It is often included in Scripture lists under the title Daniel;[81] and
is often quoted in the same manner, _e.g._ by St. Cyprian, _ad
Fortunatum_, § 11, "Daniel, Deo devotus & sancto spiritu plenus exclamat
et dicit," v. 4. The quotations given under 'Early Christian Literature
and Art' will shew how strong a hold this story had in many quarters,
and what use was made of it.

Pseudo-Athanasius, in his _Synops. S.S._, mentions the story at the end
of Section 41 as included in Daniel, but he does _not_ name it at the
close of the _Synopsis_ as being outside the canonical books, as he does
in the case of Susanna. The writer of _De Mirabilibus Script. Sacr._,
often attached to St. Augustine's works (Migne, _Patr. lat._ XXXV.;
Benedict, ed. appx. to Vol. III.), expressly declares against its
canonicity. This treatise is thought to have been composed in England or
Ireland in the 7th or 8th century (Loisy, _O.T._ p. 154).

The hesitation of the earlier Church, however, found no counterpart in
the canonizing decree of the Council of Trent; while, on the other hand,
Protestant opinion has run almost entirely against canonicity.
Diametrically opposite views are steadily maintained by authorities on
both sides; although among English-speaking Protestants there is perhaps
a decrease in the contempt with which this story was once treated.

Among the Syriac-using Christians of the Malabar coast, Bel and the
Dragon, with the other additions, is reckoned as "part and parcel of the
book of Daniel" (Letter to present writer of Aug. 8, 1902, from Rev.
F.V.J. Givargese, Principal of Mar Dionysius Seminary, Kottayam).
Bar-Hebræus, too, comments on it, but says at the head of his remarks
that "some do not receive this story" (_op. cit._ p. 27).

The many, resemblances and coincidences between this and the canonical
book pointed out under other heads ('Language and Style,' 'Religious and
Social State,' etc.) of course tell, so far as they go, in its favour.

Schrader (Schenkel's _Bibel Lex._ 1869, art. _Habak._ p. 556) classes
Bel and the Dragon with pseudo-Epiphanius' and Rabbinic legends of the
same tale, as "reine Fabeln und Legenden zu erkennen." This seems too
positive an opinion of their untrustworthiness. It is agreed with,
however, by Orelli ( Hab._, Clarke's Transl.), who styles Bel
and the Dragon, or at least the Habakkuk incident in it, "an idle
story." A.B. Davidson also (_Encyclop. Brit._ ed. 9, II. 181) writes of
it as being "completely fabulous;" and Ewald speaks of the episode of
Habakkuk as an example of an unhistoric spirit, growing rapidly and
dangerously (v. 487).

Cloquet's plea that non-canonicity is 'proved' (_XXXIX Arts._ 1885, pp.
112, 113) by six days being named here, and one day in the canonical
book, as the length of Daniel's incarceration in the den, is beside the
mark. It assumes for controversial purposes that the two passages must
refer to the same event. This writer also speaks generally (p. 115) of
Bel and the Dragon's "direct contradictions of Scripture." Such
strictures are only worth noticing as specimens of many instances in
which _possible_ discrepancies between canonical and uncanonical books
are treated by a particular class of writers as _certain_, in the hope
of depreciating the latter. These are sometimes attacked with extreme
violence as full of fables, superstitions, and impieties--apocryphal in
the worst sense. But they deserve to be saved from this unmerited
contempt, indulged in usually for polemical purposes, and only rendered
possible by an insufficient study of the works themselves and the many
admirable points which they contain.

Our own Church indulges in no rash or sweeping assertions, but follows
the golden mean. She states in Art. VI. her present practical view of
this and the other Additions in common with the rest of the Apocrypha.
While not making any special doctrine to turn upon an apocryphal text,
she directs the perusal of this, with the other books of its class, for
purposes of practical edification. In singularly guarded and cautious
terms she is careful not to commit herself to anything more than a
statement of her authorized practice. Thus she has not closed the door,
as the Council of Trent is supposed to have done,[82] against the entry
of fresh knowledge, with its corresponding changes of view or
modifications of usage.



The following examples from primitive Christian writings bear more or
less directly upon this book.

NEW TESTAMENT. Compare B.V.M.'s words in St. Luke i. 38 with Daniel's at
the end of v. 9, Θ. With John xviii. 35 compare Bel 38, Ο´ and Θ, as to
a Gentile being taken for a Jew. Moreover the phrase τὰ σεβάσματα ὑμῶν
in Acts xvii. 23 is very like a reminiscence of Bel 27, Θ, end. But A.
Scholz's idea that our Lord's words in John x. 9 are based on vv. 3, 6,
13 has little likelihood: "gegensätzlich so nahe verwandt, dass in den
Evangelium darauf Bezug genommen sein könnte" (note on v. 13).

IRENÆUS (†200) in IV. ix. 1 quotes vv. 4, 5, 24, as coming from Daniel,
apparently without the smallest misgiving. His quotations accord with Θ
as against Ο´, v. 4 being the same in both. As Schürer says in Hauck's
_Encyclopædia_ (I. 640): "Irenäus benuzt die Uebersetzung des Theodotion
und so alle Folgenden." But see under _Cyprian_.

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (†220) refers, _Strom._ I. 21 (middle, ed. Potter,
Oxf. 1715), among a chain of historic events, to the closing scene in
this piece: τότε διὰ δράκντα Δανιὴλ εἰς λάκκον λεόντων βληθεὶς, ὑπὸ
Ἀμβακοὺβ[83] προνοίᾳ θεῦ τραφεὶς, ἑβδομαῖος ἀνασώζεται.

TERTULLIAN (†240). In _de Jejun._ VII. (end) reference is made to vv.
35--39; and in IX. the story is again mentioned. In _de Oratione_, 29,
he quotes vv. 33, 34, seemingly with full acceptance. In _de Idol._ XIX.
he says that "Daniel nec Belum nec draconem colere."

ORIGEN (†254). Besides the question dealt with in his controversy with
Julius Africanus, Origen in the Fragment of his _Strom_, bk. X. expounds
Bel. He also quotes it in his _Exhort, ad martyrium_, § 33.

CYPRIAN (†258) in _ad Fortunatum_, 11, quotes v. 5, apparently
following a translation of the Ο´, and not of Θ's, text. The same verse
is again quoted by him in _Ep._ lviii. 5 in exactly the same words. It
is curious that both passages are preceded, in the same sections, by a
quotation of Dan. iii. 16--18, apparently based on Θ's version. In the
case of v. 5 in _Ep._ lviii. there is a slight variation in the readings
of some MSS. as given by Hartel. _Cf._ Prof. Swete's _Introd._ 1902, p.

PSEUDO-CYPRIAN (3rd century?) gives parts of vv. 37, 38, in _Oratio_ II.
2, following Ο´ a little more closely than Θ.

PASSING OF MARY (3rd or 4th century, _see D.C.B., Mary_, 1142b). In
the First Latin form vv. 33--39 are clearly referred to.

ATHANASIUS (†373) in his _Discourse against Arians_, II. 8, quotes v. 5
as words of Daniel, which he also refers to in III. 30.

EPHREM SYRUS (†378). In the hymn _de Jejunio_ there is, according to
T.J. Lamy (Mechlin, 1886), a reference to Bel and the Dragon, "cum
Daniel jejunavit."

GREGORY NAZIANZEN (†390) in his poetical _Præcepta ad Virgines_ has the
line, speaking of Daniel, ἀερίην δ᾽ ἐνὶ χρσὶν ἐδέξατο δαῖτα προφήτου.

AMBROSE (†397), in his Commentary in _Ep. ad Rom. I. 23_, writes,
"Coluerunt et serpentem draconem quem occidit Daniel, homo dei" (Basel,
1527, IV. p. 768).

CHRYSOSTOM (†407), _In Danielem_, cap. XIII. (XIV.) comments on Bel and
the Dragon as part of the book, seemingly without reserve or alteration
of tone.

PRUDENTIUS (†410), in his _Cathemerinon_, IV., has several verses on the
den episode, of which this is one:

"Cernit forte procul dapes ineuntas
Quas messoribus Habakkuk propheta
Agresti bonus exhibebat arte."

JEROME (†420), though excluding this and the other Additions from the
canon, according to what he writes in his preface to Daniel, "veru
anteposito easque jugulante subjecimus," retains it in his Bible. In his
_Onomasticon de Nominibus Hebraicis_ he includes under Daniel, Astyages,
Bel, Ambacum, without distinction from the rest of the names in Daniel.
But for this last work he was chiefly indebted to Eusebius, Πετὶ τῶν
οπικῶν ὀνομάτων. (_D.C.B._ II. 336a).

HESYCHIUS OF JERUSALEM (†438), in his Στιχηρόν on the XII prophets, says
of Habakkuk that, whether he was the same Habakkuk as an angel carried
to Babylon, εἰπεῖν τὸ σαφὲς οὐκ ἔχω.

THEODORET(†457), towards the close of _Ep._ CXLV., quotes v. 36 with
clear belief in the miracle. He also comments on vv. 1, 2 as if forming
v. 14 of Dan. xii.; and then ceases.

We see, then, that the more than respectful references to this piece in
the writers of ancient Christendom, if not quite so frequent as the
citations of the Song and of Susanna, are still numerous and clear.


This apocryphal tract has afforded two fairly popular subjects for
artistic illustration, viz., Daniel destroying the dragon, and Daniel
and Habakkuk in the lions' den.

Daniel destroying the Dragon is a subject represented on glass from the
catacombs (_D.C.A._ art. _Glass_, p. 733a). Garrucci (_Vetri_, XIII.
13) has a glass vessel in which Christ is represented with Daniel, who
is giving cakes to the dragon (_D.C.A. Jesus Christ, Representations
of_, p. 877b). In _Paganism in Christian Art_ in the same Dictionary
(p. 1535a), it is said, "Hercules feeding the fabled dragon with cakes
of poppy-seed appears to have furnished the motive for the
representation of the apocryphal story of Daniel killing the dragon at
Babylon." Presumably this means the dragon Ladon in the garden of the
Hesperides. But the connection between the two dragon episodes of
Hercules and Daniel seems a little difficult to establish by
indisputable evidence.

In Walter Lowrie's _Christian Art and Archæology_ (Lond. and New York,
1901, p. 363) is a woodcut of a fragment of gold glass, with Daniel
slaying the Dragon. This is correctly described on p. 209, but is
wrongly entitled under the figure itself, as 'Daniel slaying Bel.' The
picture is said to be taken from Garrucci, _Storia dell' Arte_, but no
further reference is given. On p. 365 of Lowrie's book is a smaller
scene of the same in glass, again with an erroneous description on p.
xxi. as "Daniel and Bel." No dates are suggested for the above pieces of
glass, but they appear to be very ancient.

In the Vatican cemetery a representation of Daniel's destruction of the
dragon has been found on a sarcophagus; nor is this a solitary instance.
(_See O.T. in Art, D.C.A._ p. 1459a.) And on the south side of the
Angel Choir in Lincoln Minster, among a series of sculptures in the
spandrils of the triforium arches, occurs a figure, described by
Cockerell, the architect, as that of the "Angel of Daniel," with a
monster under his feet, deemed to be "the old Dragon " (Archæol.
Institute's _Memoirs of Lincoln_, Lond. 1850, p. 222).

Habakkuk with the loaves often appears in representations of the lions'
den (_O.T. in Art_, 1459a). In fact there is reason to think that this
apocryphal scene was at least as frequently represented as the
corresponding canonical one; _e.g._ on a sarcophagus at Rome figured in
the frontispiece to Burgon's _Letters from Rome_, thought by him to be
of about the 5th century (p. 244). There is also a woodcut of this in
_D.C.A._ art. _Sculpture_, p. 1868. A sarcophagus of the 4th century
also, like Burgon's, in the Lateran Museum (though not, it would seem,
identical) is mentioned in W. Lowrie's _Art and Archæology_, p. 260, as
carved with the same subject of Daniel and Habakkuk.

In Bohn's edition of Didron's _Christian Iconography_ (Lond. 1886, II.
210) there is a woodcut of a miniature in the _Speculum hum. salv._
(_circ._ 1350), in the library of Lord Coleridge, portraying Daniel
among the lions. The appearance of Habakkuk guided by the angel in the
background, carrying food, identifies the scene with Bel and the Dragon,
and not with the history of Dan. vi. Even in representations of this,
the canonical den-scene, it is noteworthy how often Daniel is shown in
a sitting posture, although all mention of this is confined to v. 40 of
the apocryphal story.

It is a little remarkable that Daniel's dramatic disclosure of the
priests' trick (v. 21) has not, so far as the writer is aware, commended
itself to artists. The ash-strewn floor of Bel's temple, the tell-tale
footmarks, and the emotions of exultation and surprise on the face of
Daniel and the King respectively, with a possible introduction of the
detected impostors at the side, might make, in capable hands, a very
effective picture.


The whole story, in addition to proving the vanity of idols, shews how
God watches over the fate of those who bravely discharge his work; while
idolaters and persecutors meet with punishment. Religious fraud, deceit
under mask of piety, is dealt with very severely. Retribution is not to
be escaped. Even J.M. Fuller (S.P.C.K. _Comm. Introd._), who regards the
story as "essentially apocryphal," admits "an edifying element."[84].
This element might perhaps be used with advantage more than it is by
missionaries to idolatrous peoples.

The sordidness and trickery of heathen priests[85] is contrasted with
the uprightness and single-minded devotion of Daniel. His God moreover
delivers him, but their gods do not deliver them. The Bel of this
history is as dumb as the Baal of I. Kings xviii.; their names and
characters quite agree.

The once flourishing temples of iniquity are conspicuously brought to
nought, affording a lesson of confidence and patience to those who fear
the Lord. Thus the angry opponents, who made certain of slaying Daniel,
were disappointed, and judgment quickly overtook them.

With v. 6 Arnald, _in loc._, finely contrasts the P.B.V. of Ps. xvi.
2--the God who was estimated by the amount of provisions he consumed,
and the God to whom earthly goods were nothing. But the Hebrew will
hardly bear the P.B.V. rendering.

The character of Daniel, without fear or reproach, is not out of keeping
with that displayed in the canonical book, and in the companion story of
Susanna. He affords an example of:

(a) _Courage_ in his fearless attacks upon idolatry, attacks which,
as the event proved, could not be indulged in with safety. He faces
terrible crises at much personal risk, with decision and absence of
self-distrust, as in the canonical chapters and in Susanna. He boldly
defends his religion when it is called in question, and ousts rival

(b) _Resistance to temptation_ in refusing to worship as the king
wished. No half compliance is suggested, such as worshipping Bel and God
together. Observe how he claims for God to be τὸν ζῶντα Θεόν, while
Cyrus only claims for Bel to be ζῶν Θεός (vv. 5, 6, Θ), as noticed
under 'Theology.'

(c) _Wisdom_, 'of the serpent,' in his plan for detecting fraud, and
in his skill and versatility in choosing suitable means for unveiling
each kind of imposture; of which another striking instance occurs in
Susanna. He was a man of right understanding, clear insight, and
practical sagacity, as shewn by his methods of dealing with opposing
forces, moral or physical. As a man of great resource he rapidly adapts
himself to fresh conditions.

(d) _Endurance_ of persecution for righteousness' sake. One trial
overcome, a yet greater presents itself; but with unflinching constancy
he faces it and passes unharmed, Ps. lvii. 3, 4.

(e) _Perseverance_, in not resting upon his laurels, won over Bel,
but proceeding against the Dragon. His promptitude of resource is not
mere rashness, but is combined with steady determination in pursuing his
task. As an active and diligent worker he is far-sighted and firm of

(f) _Gratitude._ On receiving Habakkuk's visit he at once acknowledges
God's faithfulness, and addresses himself to the great First Cause
immediately (v. 38), as the ever-watchful shaper of events.

(g) _Mindfulness of faith and duty_, by being ever foremost, even in
association with a heathen king whose eyes he opens and to whom he acts
as a missionary, in shewing hatred of falsehood and love of truth (as in
Susanna). Absence of selfishness and willingness to undertake
responsibility are manifested.

(h) _Disinterested service_ of God in clearing away two great
obstacles to his worship. His aims are realised without any trace of
self-aggrandisement; for those aims are directed to his Maker's rather
than to his own glory.

(i) _Pleasure in God's service._ The tone of the whole story
implicitly conveys the idea that Daniel enjoyed, and was happy in the
achievement of these works, because they were designed to honour God
and to benefit man. Thus he finds his tasks thoroughly interesting and

It is to be observed that Daniel's character is in contrast with that of
everyone in the story, except Habakkuk.

_Per contra_, Daniel might perhaps be accused of cruelty in his method
of slaying the dragon,[86] especially as described in Gaster's Aramaic,
and by Josippon ben Gorion, given by Arnald, _in loc._, from Selden.

In Habakkuk we see _obedience to_ a divine command, apparently
impossible of execution, for which the way is suddenly made plain. He
becomes instrumental in alleviating such a state of affairs as he
deplores in i. 4 of his Prophecy: "for the wicked doth compass about the
righteous, etc." So in the hymn "Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz?"
doubtfully attributed to Hans Sachs, we find the seventh stanza bearing
upon this matter:

Des Daniels Gott ihm nicht rergass,
Da er unter den Löwen sass:
Sein Engel sandt er hin,
Und liess ihm Speise bringen gut,
Durch seiner Diener Habakkuk.

Habakkuk's obedience served God's purpose.

In _Cyrus'_ character we see something of the impulsiveness of the
despotic monarch, giving hasty directions on the spur of the moment as
to matters of much importance. But the events of the story exert an
educative influence upon his mind, culminating in his sentiments as
expressed in v. 41, which apparently imply that Daniel's God was to be
his God. Certainly the monarch's testimony proves that his religious
opinions had been corrected, and raised above the stage represented in
v. 6.

Probably some allegoric, or more strictly 'tropological,' instruction
may be drawn from the story. In Bel we are taught to fight against
crafty deception however generally believed in; in the Dragon, against
fierce, repulsive, and terrifying adversaries. This kind of
interpretation is sometimes strained however, as when in Neale's edition
of the _Moral Concordances_ of St. Antony of Padua (p. 125, n.d.), v. 27
is given as applicable to St. Bartholomew.

An unexpectedly adverse opinion on the use of Bel and the Dragon as a
lesson (Nov. 23, matins, old Lectionary) is expressed by J.H. Blunt in
his _Directorium Pastorale_ (1864, p. 59): "I confess I can see no good
which can arise from the public reading to a congregation, composed
principally perhaps of young persons, of such lessons as Bel and the
Dragon, or Lev. xviii., Deut. xxii., xxv." Then he adds the following
curious note: "It is a fact that a man was once sent into a fit of loud
and uncontrollable laughter, although he was honestly preparing for holy
orders, by hearing this lesson (Bel and the Dragon) read for the first
time in the chapel of a Theological College." One cannot help thinking
that this gentleman must have had an abnormally developed sense of
humour under exceptionally bad control.

John Wesley exhibits in his Journal (July 5th, 1773) an equally low
opinion of the story, though free from ill-timed mirth: "St. Patrick
converting 30,000 at one sermon I rank with the History of Bel and the
Dragon" (Quoted in _Church Quarterly Review_, Jan. 1902, p. 323).

These opinions seem too contemptuous and inimical to a narrative which
yields many valuable lessons. Indeed it may be said of this, as in the
Bishops' reply at the Savoy Conference to the Puritan objection to
reading the Apocryphal lessons in general: "It is heartily to be wished
that sermons were as good" (Procter-Frere, _Hist. of P.B._ 1902, p.



Alexander, Abp.
Antony of Padua
Athanasius, pseudo,

Ball, C.J.
Barclay, P.
Barnes, A.
Barry, Bp.
Bayer, F.P.
Bevan, Prof.
Blackie, J.S.
Blakesley, Dean
Blunt, J.H.
Blunt, J.J.
Boys, Dean
Breshith Rabba
Brightman, Canon
Brown, Sir Thos.
Bullock, W.T.
Burgon, Dean
Bury St. Edmunds

Cæsarius of Aries
Cambridge, Trinity College
Cappellus, Ludovione
Castillo, de
Chaplin, Child
Chigi, Cardinal
Clement of Alexandria
Cope, L.C.
Cornelius à Lapide
Cornish, H.P.
Curteis, G.H.
Curtis, E.L.
Curtius, Quintus
Cyprian, pseudo-
Cyril of Alexandria
Cyril of Jerusalem

Damasus I.
Daniel, E.
Deane, H.
Deane, W.
Delitzsch (elder)
Denys, the Carthusian
Driver, Dr.
Dyck, van

Ebed Jesu
Ephrem Syrus
Epiphanius, pseudo-

Farrar, Dean
Feltoe, Dr.
Florence, Council of
Forbes, Bp.
Frank, Archd.
Freeman, Archd.
Fuller, J.M.
Fürst, J.

Givargese, F.
Goodall, F.
Gray, Bp.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nyssa
Gwynne, Prof.

Hebræus, Bar
Heppner, A.
Hieronymus Graecus
Hilary of Poitiers
Home, T.H.
Humphry, W.

Isaacson, S.
Isidore Hispalensis

Jacobus Edessenus
Jahn, J.
Jansen, Cornelius
Jephet ibn Ali
Jocelin of Brakelond
Johnson, S.
Julian, Dr.
Justin Martyr

Kennedy, J.
Kirkpatrick, Prof.

Lightfoot, Bp.
Lowrie, W.
Lucar, Cyril
Lyra, Nich. de

Maccabaeus, Simon
Mamertus, Claudianus
Margoliouth, D.S.
Martin, D.
Mary, Passing of
Moone Abbey
Moses Haddarshan
Muis, de
Munk, S.

Nachman, Rabba bar
Nicephorus, of Constantinople.
Nobilius, Flaminius


Parker, M.
Patrick, St.
Pearson, Bp.
Perowne, Bp.
Philippe, E.
Procter, F.

Quignon, Card.

Rose, H.P.
Ryle, Bp. H.E.
Ryssel, Prof.

Sachs, Hans
Salmon, Prof.
Sanday, Prof.
Scholz, A.
Selwyn, Prof.
Severus, Sulpicius
Shann, G.V.
Shetach, Simon ben
Smith, Prof.
Smith, Prof. Robertson
Stähelin, O.
Stephens, A.J.
Stephens, Dean
Stokes, M.
Streane, Dr.
Susanna, St.
Swete, Prof.

Thomas of Harkel
Toledo, 4th Council of
Toy, C.H.
Trent, Council of

Van Ess
Vatican, Council of
Veronese, P.

Waldo, P.
Warren, Canon F.E.
Walton, Bp. B.
Wesley, J.
Westcott, Bp.
Wilson, Bp.
Wilton, R.
Wintle, J.
Wordsworth, Bp. Chas.
Wordsworth, Bp. Chris.
Wyon, W.G.


Yonge, Miss





i. 1
ii. 2, 3
vii. 14
x. 15
xxi. 17
xxii. 18
xxiii. 3, 4, 8
xxiv. 65
xxvi. 4
xxxi. 5
xxxiv. 29
xxxvii. 24


ii. 2
iv. 3
vii. 9
ix. 16


ii. 9, 11
xx. 10
xxiii. 7
xxvi. 21


xi. 15
xi. 16


v. 21
x. 17
xviii. 20
xxii. 22
xxviii. 49, 50
xxxii. 4
xxxii. 23


xxii. 19


xxiii. 1


xxiv. 14


x. 8
xv. 19
xvi. 28
xviii. 12
xviii. 27
xviii. 32
xx. 7
xxi. 8, 11


xiii. 5
xxiv. 8, 12
xxv. 28
xxv. 27


ii. 31, 34, 35
xxi. 13


iv. 5
xii. 12
xx. 12
xxxv. 3
xxxv. 15
xxxvi. 8, 9


iv. 12
iv. 15
viii. 2


ix. 33


ii. 3
ii. 9
ii. 12
vii. 8


i. 1
i. 8
ii. 3
xxxiii. 10
xlii. 17


xv. 11
xvi. 2
xxv. 14
xxviii. 7
xxxiv. 19
xlix. 1
xlix. 18
lvii. 3, 4
lx. 3
lxxiv. 9
lxxx. 1
xcix. 1
civ. 4
cv. 46
cxxxvi. 2


xxiv. 22
xxvi. 27


ii. 1, 2
iv. 12


v. 2
v. 7
v. 10
xvii. 1
xliii. 2
xliii 4
xlv. 1


x. 15
xi. 10
xiv. 21
xix. 1
xxii. 24
xxv. 12
xxvi. 17
xxxviii. 1-4
xxix. 5
xxix. 21
xxix. 23
xxix. 22
xxix. 23
xlii. 11
xliv. 8
l. 2
li. 34
li. 44


iii. 12, 14
viii. 3
xvi. 3
xvi. 38
xxxviii. 6


i. 1
i. 3
i. 15
i. 17
i. 20
ii. 5
ii. 9
ii. 28, 29
ii. 31
ii. 32, 33
ii. 45
ii. 47
iii. 1
iii. 14
iii. 16-18
iii. 21
iii. 22
iii. 23
iii. 24
iii. 28-30
iv. 6
iv. 8
iv. 14
iv. 25
iv. 27
iv. 36
v. 3
v. 23
v. 25-28
v. 31
vi. 17
vi. 20
vi. 21, 22
vi. 25-28
vi. 26
vi. 28
vii. 9
vii. 11
viii. 10
ix. 2
ix. 4
ix. 5
ix. 13
ix. 14
ix. 15
ix. 17
ix. 18
x. 1
x. 1
xi. 36
xii. 3
xii. 14
xiii. 1


iii. 4
iv. 15
iv. 16
v. 13
xii. 6
xiv. 5


ii. 2


ii. 2


i. 1
i. 4
i. 6
ii. 18


i. 11


i. 37
i. 43
iv. 52
iv. 62
v. 58


iii. 2


iv. 6
xx. 8


iii. 2
viii. 5
x. 10
xii. 6
xiii. 10


xiv. 6, 7


xvi. 13
xliii. 4, 22


i. 3
ii. 9


(_Greek verse numbers._)







ii. 17
ii. 59
xv. 6


ix. 17


vi. 6


i. 11, 12
iv. 1
v. 28
xi. 21
xi. 29
xii. 18
xiii. 42, 50
xxiv. 51
xxvii. 24
xxvii. 26


i. 38
ii. 29
ii. 42
ii. 52
viii. 3
xxi. 24


x. 9
xi. 1
xviii. 18
xviii. 35
xix. 16


ii. 10
ii. 23
iv. 24
vi. 9
viii. 39
ix. 1
xiii. 13
xvii. 17
xvii. 23
xxii. 4
xxiv. 6


i. 23


i. 10


ii. 12


i. 18


i. 7
ix. 5
x. 34
xi. 23
xi. 34
xii. 23


ix. 20
xii. 7, 8
xii. 9
xiii. 4
xiii. 14
xxi. 13


[1] He refers to Theiner, _Acta ... concil. Trident_, i. 77.

[2] So Raymund Martini, at the end of his _Pugio fidei_; but his
quotation has been doubted. _See_ B. and D. 'Chronology,' p. 229.

[3] The Vatican Council confirmed the Tridentine decree on Scripture
(_Const._ "Dei Filius" II., Loisy, p. 239).

[4] "The first and most gifted of creatures" (M'Swiney, _Psalms and
Canticles_, 1901, p. 644).

[5] Perhaps in default of better explanation the "earth" verse may have
been put into the third person in order to mark the transition from
things celestial to those terrestrial.

[6] This may refer to the titles he gives from "the Vatican LXX"; but
see above, p. 18, as to the absence of these.

[7] _Psalms_, Lond. 1871, II. 462.

[8] _Proc. Soc. Bibl. Archæol._ 1895, p. 81.

[9] _Rational ittuitrat. of P.B._

[10] But J.T. Marshall (Hastings' _D.B._ IV. 755), "The hymn is modelled
after Ps. 136, and has equal claim to be considered poetical."

[11] He appears, on p. 303, to date Daniel between 160 and 170 B.C.

[12] This particularly is unsuggestive of Egypt.

[13] _Commentary on Canticles in Divine Service_, Lond. 1853, p. 81.

[14] Swete, _Introd. to Greek O.T._, p. 43.

[15] _Op. cit._, pp. 48, 396, 403.

[16] _Cf._ Ewald in 'Date,' p. 29.

[17] Some slight warrant, or at least precedent, for using our R.V., in
which dissenters had a hand, might perhaps be found in this fact.

[18] G. Jahn in his "restoration" of the Hebrew text of Daniel from the
LXX, admits vv. 28 and 49--51 into his canonical text (Leipzig, 1904).

[19] As to the possibility of the fact, _cf. Yorkshire Post_, April
12th, 1902, on Coronation bonfires: "Spectators should keep clear of the
lee side. The flame of such bonfires has been known to stream in a flash
150ft. out."

[20] Dr. Julian (_Diet. Hymnol._ p. 134) has the following strange
sentence as to _Benedicite_, " It is not in the Hebrew version (_sic_)
of the Scriptures, and on this ground, among others, it is omitted from

[21] G. Jahn _in loc._ thinks this fact an indication of a later hand,
as shewing that they severed themselves in the furnace from contact with
heathenism, and were giving themselves to intercourse with Jahwe alone.
But surely an interpolator must have been aware that this was their
attitude from the outset.

[22] _Proc. Sac. Bibl. Archæol._ 1895, p. 80.

[23] In the Hebrew of this verse the parallel is less striking.

[24] ὑπηρέται, v. 23 (46), attendants probably holding some official
position superior to that of slaves. _Cf._ St. John xviii. 18.

[25] _Cf._ Ps. lxxiv. 9.

[26] See also H.J. Rose's Paper _On the Heb. coins called shekels_,
Beds. Architect. Soc. Rep. I., p. 367, 1851.

[27] In the _Bk. of private Prayer_ (Lond. 1887, p. 32), approved by the
Lower House of Canterbury Convocation, these six verses are employed as
a separate canticle, under the title _Benedictus es_, probably suggested
by the Ambrosian rite above mentioned. The same canticle had also
appeared previously in _An Additional Order for Evening Prayer_, put
forth by the same authority in 1873, for singing after the first lesson.

[28] Its use declined in the 18th century as is shewn by P. Barclay
(_Letter to People of Scotland on Comm. Pr._, Lond. 1713, p. 36), who
says, "Benedicite is very good; but because it is seldom or never used,
I don't insist upon it." P. Waldo (_Commentary on Liturgy_, 1775, p.
98), also deplores its disuse. And even in the 19th century C. Chaplin
(_Benedicite_, 1879, p. 11) says, "In a few churches it seems to be
banished from the service altogether."

[29] It is stated in Dr. Swete's _Introd._ (1902, p. 260) that Susanna
is excluded from the visions, Dan. i. 1 commencing the first of them.
But this is not borne out by the 'apparatus criticus' to his Greek text,
where i. 1 in A and Q begins ὃρασις β', and ὅρασις α' is the
subscription of Susanna in A.

[30] The name is used of an actual woman in St. Luke viii. 3.

[31] Kothstein (Kautzsch i., 176) gives the first quarter of the last
century B.C. as the latest possible date for the LXX version of Daniel.
Exceedingly little time therefore would be allowed, on Ball's theory,
for the original publication, the translation, and the incorporation
into the Alexandrian canon, of this Susanna-book.

[32] If not, as Bissell in his note elegantly puts it, "it would be a
bungling lapsus pennæ."

[33] This may be merely an echo of Reuss, who reckons Susanna "in die
Reihe der moralischen Märchen" (_O.T._ 1894, VII. 159).

[34] _See_ J.M. Fuller in S.P.C.K. _Comm. Introd. to Sus._

[35] These names, however, do not agree with the Jewish identification
of them, as the Ahab and Zedekiah of Jer. xxix. 21, which Origen reports
in his _Ep. ad Afric._ (_Speaker's Comm._ 325b).

[36] So in N.T., St. Mark v. 19.

[37] _Adv. Christ._, Bk. XII.

[38] For similar instances of word-play see accounts of Melito's
pseudo-Clavis, _D.C.B._ iii. 897b, and Muratorian Fragment, line 67.

[39] Jerome in his _Prol. gal._ shews how it might be done in Latin; and
in the Vulgate some attempt is made to reproduce it in vv. 54, 55
('schinus, scindit'). Luther tried after rhymes in German, 'Linden,'
'finden,' 'Eiche,' 'zeichnen.' In the French version of Martin no play
is attempted; but in the Arabic, according to Delitzsch (_op. cit._
102), an easy one is produced.

[40] Μιαρά for μικρά would yield good sense, but evidence for such a
reading is absent.

"And that which all faire workes doth most aggrace,
The art which all that wrought appeared in no place."

SPENSER, _Faery Queene_, II. XII. 58.

[42] _I. Macc._, Fairweather and Black, Camb. 1897, p. 14; Streane, _Age
of Macc._, Lond. 1898, pp. 247, 248.

[43] Curiously enough the canonical Daniel has not escaped this
accusation, for G. Jahn (Leips. 1904, p. 64) says of vi. 28, "Der König
wie ein jüdischen Rabbiner predigt."

[44] _Right use of Early Fathers_, Lond., 1857, p. 649.

[45] See Wordsworth, _Gk. Test._, note _in loc._

[46] Quintus Curtius (v. 1) gives a terrible account, in connection with
Alexander's capture of this city, of Babylonian debauchery, which must
have been of long standing when it had attained the pitch he indicates.

[47] "Soap making is the chief industry of modern Palestine" (Hastings'
_D.B._ art. _Soap_).

[48] καὶ ἰδοδ ἄγγελος

[49] In Hastings' _D.B._ art. _Jehoiachin_, it is stated that he does;
but Hippolytus' _Comm._ in Migne, _Patr. gr._ x. 689, does not shew
this. It is apparently based on a quotation from Hippolytus by Georgius
Syncellus, given among the critical notes of Bonwetsch's ed. of _Hipp._
p. 10 (Lips. 1897).

[50] But see G. Jahn, _in loc._, and art. _Jehoiakim_ in Hastings'
_D.B._ as to making the date in Dan. i. 1 a little later.

[51] Scrivener, _Introd. to A.V._ § vii., and Sayce, _Tobit_, 1903, p.

[52] _Speaker's Comm._, end of _Introd. to Sus._

[53] _See_ Jerome's _Pref. to Daniel_, end.

[54] Warren, _Ante-Nicene Liturgy_, 1897, p. 188.

[55] But Δανιὴλ ψευδεπίγραφα may refer to them.

[56] There is a very quaint note in Gwillim's _Heraldry_ (1611, p. 109)
as to a mulberry figured on a shield, "This fruit hath a purple blushing
colour, in the one resembling the judges' attire who attempted Susanna,
in the other that hue of their face which should have been in them, if
they had been so gracious to blush at their fault," etc.

[57] There are similar instances in chaps. iii. and vi. of the canonical
Daniel. See also the _Notes on Scripture, in loco, of_ Bishop Wilson, of
Sodor and Man, who tells what comfort he derived from hearing Susanna
read in the daily service when himself falsely accused.

[58] Thackeray's mention of Susanna in _Tht Newcomes_, chap, lvi., seems
pointless, though that in chap. xix. is suitable enough. Steele has an
absurd reference in the _Spectator_, No. 14, to the "opera of Susanna,
or Innocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited next week, with a pair of
new Elders."

[59] St. Antony of Padua curiously gives vv.. 52, 56, as an example of
the "Zeal of prelates" (_Moral Concordance,_ Neale's edit., n.d., p.

[60] In each case it is not clear from the text that the 'worship'
consisted in anything else than supplying food.

[61] The title ὅρασις is also used in Q in some of Isaiah's visions,
_e.g._ xvii. 1.

[62] _See_ under Theodoret in 'Early Christian Literature,' and
'Chronology,' p. 224.

[63] This has been attributed to Rabba bar Nachman of Pumbaditha, about
A.D. 300, but is probably later. _See_, however, Etheridge, _Jerus. and
Tiberias_, p. 143.

[64] Schrader, _Cuneiform Inscriptions of O.T._² II. 125, considers Bel
not to enter explicitly into the second of these names, which he takes
to mean 'may his life protect'; but even in this case the mention of a
Deity is evidently understood. But _cf._ Dan. iv. 8. Gesenius and
Longfield (_Chaldee Grammar_, 1859, p. 115) take the older view. _See_
also Sayce's art. in Hastings' _D.B._ on _Merodach-Baladan_, where M.
seems identified with Bel; also art. _Merodach._

[65] _Daniel_, Oxf. 1792, p. 40.

[66] _Chambers's Encyclop._, 1888, art. _Bel._

[67] There is clearly a slip in v. 35 of Δανιήλ for Ἀμβακούμ, and
probably in v. 11 of δακτύλῳ for δακυλίῳ, indicating some mistakes on
the scribe's part, or errors in his copy.

[68] The same writer, on p. 224, spells מאח with a final ם.

[69] It is even given in L.C. Cope's _English Composition_ (Lond.,
1900), as an example of the four essentials of composition, viz.
invention, selection, disposition, diction. He also speaks (p. 29) of
the "superb workmanship in framing the narrative."

[70] Bar Hebræus (_op. cit._, p. 27), gives this as a reason why some
would not receive Bel and the Dragon.

[71] Not in Ο´.

[72] See note to 'For Whom and with What Object' p. 196.

[73] Compare the Aramaic of the passage, given under 'Chronology,' p.

[74] On the propriety of such a sentence, accordant with Babylonian
ideas of justice, _see_ Mozley, _Ruling O.T. Ideas_, 1878, pp. 88, 95,

[75] "More withering sarcasm could scarcely be poured on heathenism than
in the apocryphal story of Bel and the Dragon" (Edersheim, _Life and
Times of Messiah_, 1886, I. 31). Daniel's laugh in v. 7 accords with
Jeremiah's view of idols (X. 15). Other coincidences with Jeremiah may
be noted in 1. 2, li. 44 of that prophet.

[76] Ezekiel is transported in the opposite direction, and bothcprophets
went unwillingly (Trapp). Both, too, were concerned in suppression of

[77] The destruction of the Dragon, by means which in A.V. and the Greek
appear inadequate, does not come under this head, since the Aramaic
explains it by iron teeth concealed in the ball (v. 27), an intelligible
and practical device.

[78] Of general condemnations, Alb. Barnes' may be taken as a sample:
"This foolish story... is wholly unworthy a place in any volume claiming
Divine origin, or any volume of respectable authorship whatever"
(_Comment. on Dan._ Vol. I. pp. 79, 81).

[79] The phrase applied to the Additions in the _Introd. to Daniel_ in
the _Speaker's Comm._ (p. 216a), דברי פיוטין if we take פיוט to mean
'poet,' would fall in with this view. J.M. Fuller does not make quite
clear his source for this phrase.

[80] Sozomen, _H.E._ vii. 29, says that Habakkuk's tomb was found at
Keilah, κελὰ, ἡ πρὶν κείλα... καθ᾽ ἡν ὁ Ἀβακοὺμ (_sic_) εὑρέθη. Now
Keilah is mentioned in I Sam. xxiii. 1 as having threshing-floors worth
robbing, and so presumably lay in a corn-growing district.

[81] Delitzech thought it likely, though not certain, that the βιβλία
mentioned by Josephus (_Ant._ x. 11. 7) as left by Daniel refer to the
Additions as portions of the canonical hook (_De Hab. vita_, etc., Lips.
1842, p. 25).

[82] Cf. _Revue biblique internationale_ (Dominican) Paris, Jan. 1901,
p. 149, "L'église romaine s'est prononcée dès ce moment, et _si elle ne
pas dès lors imposé sa solution comme définitive et irréformable_, elle
ne s'en est du moins jamais écartée et c'est cette solution qui explique
l'unanimité pratique de l'Église latine, où les doutes n'étaient plus
que le reflet érudit d'anciennes controverses." See also Sanday on
_Inspiration_, Note B. to Lect. V. "The Use of the term
Deutero-oanonical in the Roman Church."

[83] So spelt in Migne in this instance, though elsewhere with final μ.
A misprint may he suspected.

[84] It was told as a story to Miss Yonge when a child by her father
(_Life_, 1903, p. 78), and apparently remembered with pleasure through
life. So Saml. Johnson: "When I was a boy I have read or heard Bel and
the Dragon, Susanna, etc." (_Prayers and Meditations_, Lond. [1905], p.

[85] So Butler in his _Hudibras_ of the Presbyterian Assembly of

"Bell (_sic_) and the Dragon's chaplains were
More moderate than those by far."--(I. III. 1181).

[86] J.H. Blunt (_Comm._ on v. 27) makes an unaccountable mistake in
supposing that the balls were put into the _statue_ of Bel, not eaten by
the Dragon. "The composition would not of itself burst the hollow statue
either by chymical explosion or mechanical expansion." Almost as
ridiculous is the abusive phrase "Offspring of Bel and the Dragon,"
which Congreve puts into the mouth of Fondlewife in his play of _The Old
Bachelor_, Act IV. sc. 4.

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