In the third century B.C., the entire OT as well as the
deuterocanonical books were translated into Greek and often
were revised by later Greek translators. This Greek
translation is known as the Septuagint (LXX). It differs
radically from the Masoretic text in the Aramaic section of
the book of Daniel. The Septuagint is plainly based on another
line of textual tradition, one that we now sometimes find
supported by the Hebrew manuscripts of Daniel discovered at
In the Septuagint, several additions to Daniel
are considered apocryphal. The first set of additions in the
LXX is 3:23-90; verse 91 is
verse 24 in the Hebrew text.
The first twenty-two verses consist of Azariah’s prayer in the
fiery furnace. Azariah praises God and requests
deliverance from Israel’s enemies and for their punishment.
The next six verses tell of the special heating of the furnace
and the descent of the Angel of the Lord, who put out the
fire. The final forty verses are a prayer and praise offered
by the three Hebrews for deliverance by the Angel of the Lord.
The prayer and praise takes place within the fiery furnace.
The second set is usually counted as three additions,
but five different compositions actually are involved. Easily
the most popular of these additions is the story of Susanna.
It is appended to the book as chapter 13 in the Vulgate, a
translation of the Bible into Latin, by Jerome, around the
turn of the fifth century A.D. Conversely, Susanna appears at
the beginning of the book in Theodotion, a later Greek
translation of the OT published under Emperor Commodus (A.D.
180-182). The translations contain somewhat different versions
of this story. In addition, the Vulgate adds as chapter 14, “Bel
and the Dragon,” which is really two separate stories as the
title suggests. The apocryphal additions are not covered in
Peshitta, the Syriac or Aramaic
version of the Bible, was translated by Christians in Syria in
the second century A.D. Its readings sometimes support the
Hebrew text and sometimes support the Septuagint.