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TITLE AND POSITION.
This is in general simply Σουσάννα, as in the true LXX.
In Cod. A (Θ) it is designated at the end ὅρασις αʹ, our chap. i. being ὅρασις βʹ, and so on. It is therefore included in the number of the visions.2929It 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 ὅρασις βʹ, and ὅρασις αʹ is the subscription of Susanna in A.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, 389b). 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. C. 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 Hebraeus (†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, 396b, 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 (de Hab. Vita, etc., Lips. 1842, p. 25n) says that ”Unus Cod. qui ex cœnobiis 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 שׁוֹשַׁנָּה 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 piece3030The name is used of an actual woman in St. Luke viii. 3.. 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, 1904).
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, ”Haec Susannæ 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.
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