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Kadosh Woman Living Virtuously
1 There was a man living in Bavel whose name was Yohakim.
2 He married the daughter of Hilkiyah, named Shoshanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared YHUH.
3 Her parents were tzadik and had trained their daughter according to the Torah of Moshe.
4 Yohakim was very rich and had a fine garden next to his house; the Yahudim used to come to him because he was the most esteemed of them all.
5 That year two zechanim from the people were appointed as shophtim. Concerning them YHUH had said: Wickedness came forth from Bavel, from zechanim who were shophtim, who were supposed to govern the people.
6 These men were frequently at Yohakim’s bayit and all who had a case to be tried came to them there.
7 When the people left at noon, Shoshanna would go into her husband’s gan to walk.
8 Every yom the two zechanim used to see her, going in and walking about and they began to lust for her.
9 They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from looking to the shamayim or remembering their duty to administer mishpat.
10 Both were overwhelmed with passion for her, but they did not tell each other of their distress.
11 For they were ashamed to disclose their lustful desires to seduce her.
12 Yom after yom they watched eagerly to see her.
13 One yom they said to each other, Let us go home, for it is time for lunch. So they both left and parted from each other.
14 But turning back, they met again; and when each pressed the other for the reason, they confessed their lust. Then together they arranged for a time when they could find her alone.
15 Once, while they were watching for an opportunity, one yom she went in as before with only two maids and wished to bathe in the gan, for it was a hot yom.
16 No one was there except the two zechanim, who had hidden themselves and were watching her.
17 She said to her maids, Bring me olive oil and ointments and shut the gan doors so that I can bathe.
18 They did as she told them: they shut the doors of the gan and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; they did not see the zechanim, because they were hiding.
19 When the maids had gone out, the two zechanim got up and ran to her.
20 They said, Look, the gan doors are shut and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent and have sex with us.
21 If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you and this was why you sent your maids away.
22 Shoshanna groaned and said, I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands.
23 If I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of YHUH.
24 Then Shoshanna cried out with a loud voice and the two zechanim shouted to drown her out.
25 And one of them ran and opened the gan doors.
26 When the people in the bayit heard the shouting in the gan, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to her.
27 And when the zechanim told their story, the avadim felt very much ashamed, for nothing like this had ever been said about Shoshanna.
28 The next yom, when the people gathered at the bayit of her husband Yohakim, the two zechanim came, full of their wicked plot to have Shoshanna put to death. In the presence of the people they said.
29 Send for Shoshanna daughter of Hilkiyah, the isha of Yohakim.
30 So they sent for her. And she came with her parents, her children and all her relatives.
31 Now Shoshanna was a woman of great refinement and beautiful in appearance.
32 As she was veiled, the scoundrels ordered her to be unveiled, so that they might feast their eyes on her beauty.
33 Those who were with her and all who saw her were weeping.
34 Then the two zechanim stood up before the people and laid their hands on her head.
35 Through her tears she looked up toward the shamayim, for her lev trusted in YHUH.
36 The zechanim said, While we were walking in the gan alone, this woman came in with two maids, shut the gan doors and then dismissed the maids.
37 Then a young man, who was hiding there, came to her and had sex with her.
38 We were in a corner of the gan and when we saw this wickedness we ran to them.
39 Although we saw them having sex, we could not hold the man, because he was stronger than we were and he opened the doors and got away.
40 We did, however, seize this woman and asked who the young man was.
41 But she would not tell us. These things we testify. Because they were zechanim of the people and shophtim, the assembly believed them and condemned her to death.
42 Then Shoshanna cried out with a loud voice and said, O eternal YHUH, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they come to be.
43 You know that these men have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have charged against me.
44 YHUH heard her cry.
45 Just as she was being led off to execution, YHUH stirred up the kadosh ruach of a young lad named Daniyel.
46 And he shouted with a loud voice, I want no part in shedding this woman’s dahm.
47 All the people turned to him and asked, What is this you are saying?
48 Taking his stand among them he said, Are you such fools, O Yisraelites, as to condemn a daughter of Yisrael without examination and without learning the facts?
49 Return to court, for these men have given false evidence against her.
50 So all the people hurried back. And the rest of the zechanim said to him, Come, sit among us and inform us, for Ahlohim has given you the standing of a zachan.
51 Daniyel said to them, Separate them far from each other and I will examine them.
52 When they were separated from each other, he summoned one of them and said to him, You old relic of wicked yamim, your sins have now come to light, which you have committed in the past.
53 Pronouncing unjust mishpatim, condemning the innocent and acquitting the guilty, though YHUH said, You shall not put an innocent and tzadik person to death.
54 Now then, if you really saw this woman, tell me this: Under what eytz did you see them being intimate with each other? He answered, Under a mastic tree.
55 And Daniyel said, Very well. This lie has cost you your head, for the Malach of Ahlohim has received the sentence from Ahlohim and will immediately cut you in two.
56 Then, putting him to one side, he ordered them to bring the other. And he said to him, You offspring of Kanaan and not of Yahudah, beauty has beguiled you and lust has perverted your lev.
57 This is how you have been treating the daughters of Yisrael all along and they were intimate with you through fear; but a daughter of Yahudah would not tolerate your wickedness.
58 Now then, tell me: Under what eytz did you catch them being intimate with each other? He answered, Under an evergreen oak.
59 Daniyel said to him, Very well. This lie has cost you also your head, for the Malach of Ahlohim is waiting with His sword to split you in two, so as to destroy you both.
60 Then the whole assembly raised a great shout and blessed YHUH, who saves those who place their tikvah in Him.
61 And they took action against the two zechanim, because out of their own mouths Daniyel had convicted them of bearing false witness; they did to them as they had wickedly planned to do to their neighbor.
62 Acting in accordance with the Torah of Moshe, they put them to death. Thus innocent dahm was spared that yom.
63 Hilkiyah and his isha praised YHUH for their daughter Shoshanna and so did her husband Yohakim and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of a shameful deed.
64 And from that yom onward Daniyel had a great reputation among all the people. X
SHOSHANNA 1:22 As commanded in the Torah.
SHOSHANNA 1:31 Ancient women in Israel had their heads covered in modesty.