The “Song of the Three Holy Youths” is part of the hymn called a canon sung during the Matins and other services in Orthodoxy. It can be found in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer as the canticle called the “Benedicite” and is one of the traditional canticles that can follow the first scripture lesson in the Order of Morning Prayer. It is also an optional song for Matins in Lutheran liturgies, and either an abbreviated or full version of the Song is featured as the Old Testament Canticle in the Lauds liturgy for Sundays and Feasts in the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Prayer and accompanying Song are not found in the Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Book of Daniel, nor are they cited in any extant ancient Jewish writings. However, the passage does appear in certain ancient witnesses, notably the Greek, Syriac, and Latin. At the end of the 19th century, M. Gaster identified what appears to be an Aramaic original of the song and another, Bel and Draco, also missing from the canonical book of Daniel. The Aramaic text is part of a collection of ancient Jewish texts compiled by a rabbi of about 14th century, and it is known under the name of The Chronicles of Jerachmeel.

The origins of these writings are obscure. Whether the accounts were originally composed in Hebrew (or Aramaic) or in Greek is uncertain, although many modern scholars conclude on the basis of textual evidence that there was probably an original Semitic edition. The date of composition of these documents is also uncertain, although many scholars favor a date either in the second or first century B.C.

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Susanna or Shoshana, also called Susanna and the Elders, is included in the Book of Daniel (as chapter 13) by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants. It is not included in the Jewish Tanakh and is not mentioned in early Jewish literature, although the text is part of the original Septuagint (2nd century BC) and was revised by Theodotion, Hellenistic Jewish redactor of the Septuagint text (c. 150 AD).