the days of Arphaxad who reigned over the Medes in Ecabane, where he built
stone walls very high and wide on which he set towers and gates with large
foundations, he was proud in his might and his large kingdom.
Nebuchadnezzar in the 12th year of his reign made war against king Arphaxad in
the great plain, which is on the borders of Ragau.
3. And to
him came all the people that lived in the country by the Euphrates, the Tigris,
and Hydaspes, and the king of Elymeans and many of the sons of Chelod.
sent for all that lived in Persia and that lived westwards, Cilicia Libanus,
Antilibanus, and everyone by the seacoast and higher Galilee, as well as beyond
Jordan, Jerusalem and to Egypt and Ethiopia.
inhabitants took the command of Nebuchadnezzar lightly, and sent his ambassadors
back with disgrace, wherefore he was very angry with all his country and swore
by his throne and country that he would avenge the whole coast of Cilicia, and
Damascus, and Syria.
6. And that
he would slay the inhabitants of Moab, and of Ammon and Judea, and all that were
in Egypt wherefore he marched against Arphaxad and prevailed overthrowing the
powers of Arphaxad.
7. Thus he
became lord of his cities taking Ecabane and turned its beauty into shame, and
afterwards he and his great company returned to Nineveh where he took his rest
and feasted, he and his army 120 days.
Holofernes sent to avenge.
8. And in
the 13th year on the 22nd day of the first month, there was talk in the house of
Nebuchadnezzar the king of the Assyrians that, as he had said, that he should
avenge himself on all the earth.
he called his officers and his nobles, and counseling with them it was concluded
to bring these countries under his rule.
10. They then
decreed to destroy all flesh that did not obey his commands, and he called
Holofernes the chief captain of his army and said to him;
the great king, lord of the whole earth; "You shall go forth from my
presence taking with you men that trust in their strength a 120.000 footmen,
12.000 horses with riders, and go against the west countries, for they have
not spare them but subject them to me, for I will go forth in wrath against them
covering the whole earth with the feet of my army, spoiling them until their
valleys and brooks are filled with their slain.
13. The river
shall be filled with their dead to overflowing, and I will lead them captive to
the utmost part of the earth.
therefore shall go forth and take their coast ahead of me, and if they yield
themselves to you, you shall reserve them for me for their day of punishment.
15. But let
your eye not spare them that rebel, but slaughter them and spoil them
wheresoever you go, for as I live and by the power of my kingdom whatsoever I
have spoken I will do by the power of my hand.
therefore that you do not transgress any of my commands, but perform them fully
as I commanded you."
Holofernes went forth from the presence of his lord and called all the
governors, captains, and officers of the army of Assur.
mustered chosen men for the battle as he was commanded, and arranged them as a
great army ordered for war, and he took a great number of camels and asses for
19. And also
sheep, oxen, and goats in great number for their provisions, and plenty of
victuals for all the men of his army, and gold and silver of the kings treasure.
20. And he
went forth with all his power to go in advance of the king to cover the face of
the earth westwards. His army then
were like locust covering the earth, or like the sand of the earth, as a
multitude without number.
having gone a three days journey from Nineveh towards the plain of Bectileth, he
pitched from there to the mountain at the left hand of upper Cilicia.
there he took his footmen his horsemen, and chariots and going in the hill
country destroyed Phud and Lud spoiling all the children of Rasses and of
Ishmael which were towards the wilderness south of the land of the Chileans.
23. Next he
went over the Euphrates through Mesopotamia and destroyed the cities that were
on the river Arbonal till you come to the sea.
24. And he
took the borders of Cilicia and killed all that resisted him and so came to the
borders of Japheth, which is towards the south over against Arabia.
went by the children of Median burning their tabernacles and spoiling their
sheep cotes, and from there went into the plain of Damascus at the time of the
wheat harvest and burned all their fields, and destroyed their flocks and herds.
26. And he
spoiled their cities and wasted their country, smiting all the young men with
the edge of the sword.
27. Therefore fear and dread of him fell on all the inhabitants of the sea coasts such as were in Sidon, Tyrus, and all that dwelt in Sur, Ocina, Jemmaan, and Azotus, and Ascalon also feared him greatly.
of the kingdoms then sent ambassadors to him saying; "Behold, we the
servants of the great king Nebuchadnezzar lie before you, do with us as is good
in your sight.
houses and our fields of wheat’s, and our flocks and herds, and all that
lodges in our tents that are before you, use them as it pleases you, we are your
servants, deal then with us as it seems good to you."
spoke to Holofernes, and he came to the seacoast setting his army and garrisons
in the high cities, and took from them chosen men to help him.
4. The whole
country then, out of fear for him, received them with garlands dances and
tumbrels, yet still he cast down their frontiers and cut down their groves.
had decreed to destroy all the gods of the lands so that all nations should
worship Nebuchadnezzar only, that all tribes and tongues should call on him as
came to Esdraelon that is near to Judea over against the great city of Judea,
and pitched between Geba and Scythopolis, where he tarried for a month to gather
all his army together.
Israel prepares for battle.
children of Israel then that lived in Judea heard all that Holofernes had done
to the nations, and the manner in which he spoiled them bringing them to
8. And they
were exceedingly afraid, for they were troubled for Jerusalem and for the temple
of the Lord their God that he might do the likes to them.
sent to all the coast of Samaria and the villages of Bethhoron, Bellmen, Jericho,
Choba, Esora, and to the valley of Salem taking possession of all the tops of
Joachim, who was high priest in those days residing in Jerusalem charged them to
keep the passages of the hill country.
11. Thus they
fortified the villages, and put in them provision for war, their fields just
having been reaped, for by these was the entrance to Judea, and it was easy to
stop anyone coming up these passages, they being narrow for no more than two men
at the time only. Israel calls on
every man of Israel cried to the Lord with great earnest, humbling their souls,
both they and their wives, their children, and every stranger and hireling or
servants which they had bought with money, and put sackcloth on their loins.
coming before the temple they cast ashes on their heads, and putting sackcloth
before the Lord on the altar they cried to the God of Israel all with one
consent that He would not give their children for a prey, nor their wives for a
spoil and the city of their inheritance to destruction, or the sanctuary to be
profaned, for the nations to rejoice at.
14. And the
Lord heard their prayers looking on their afflictions, for the people in all
Judea and Jerusalem fasted many days before the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty.
Joachim the high priest admonished the people saying, "Know for a certainty
that the Lord will hear your prayer as long as you do not cease to humble
yourself and to pray to Him.
Moses the servant of the Lord who did not slay Amalek with the sword but with
holy prayer, and so it will be with all enemies of Israel if you thus repent and
humble yourself as you have done."
this admonition they prayed to the Lord remaining before Him with the priest
also in sackcloth, and offering the daily burnt offerings with the vows and free
gifts of the people.
ashes on their heads they cried to the Lord with all their strength that He
would look on the house of Israel graciously.
Achior defines Israel to Holofernes.
then was declared to Holofernes that the children of Israel had prepared for
war, and shut up the passages of the hill country and fortified all the tops of
the high hills, and had placed obstructions in the areas of battle.
very angry he called all the princes of Moab and the captains of Ammon, and all
the governors of the sea coast and said to them;
me you sons of Canaan, who are these people that live in the hill country, and
what is the multitude of their army in the cities they inhabit, wherein is their
power. And what king or captain is
over them that they have determined not to come and meet me as the others did
accepting me with peace?"
Achior, captain of the sons of Ammon said; "Let my lord hear a word from my
mouth, I will declare the truth concerning this people which live in the hill
people are descendants of the Chaldeans, previously living in Mesopotamia, but
came here since they would not follow the gods of their fathers in the land of
commanded them to depart from the place to go to the land of Canaan where they
now live, and were increased with gold, silver, and much cattle.
7. But when
a famine covered the land they went down to Egypt to sojourn and were nourished
there becoming a great multitude which one could not number.
8. And the
king of Egypt rose up against them burdening them with labor making bricks to
build his cities, enslaving them.
cried to their God, and He smote all the land of Egypt with incurable plagues,
and when they had been cast out and the plagues stopped, they pursued them to
return them to slavery.
10. But their
God made a path in the red sea for them that stood like walls and they passed
through, but the Egyptians when they pursued them perished in the sea with no
survivors, and they came to mount Sinai in the wilderness where no man dwells
nor keeps himself.
11. And they
received bread from heaven, and He made the bitter water sweet for them, and
wheresoever they went without sword or arrow, their God fought for them and took
victory, and they passed over the Jordan to possess all the hill country.
no-one was able to stand before them except if they departed from the
commandments of their God, for as often as they took to other gods; they were
defeated and led with shame.
often as they repented to acknowledge their sins before their God, they
prospered, because the God that is with them hates iniquity.
they were able to destroy the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Feresites, the Hittites, the Hivites and the Amorites and take all their cities.
well with them as long as they did not sin against their God, for in previous
times they were destroyed in many battles, and led captive into a land not
theirs because they had not kept the commandments which their God had given
16. But now
they are returned to their God coming up from the places were they were
scattered and possess Jerusalem where also their sanctuary is, and they are
seated in the hill country.
my lord and governor, let it found that if there be any error in this people to
have sinned against their God, let us consider that their ruin, and let us go up
and overcome them.
there be no iniquity in their nation, let my lord pass by lest their God defend
them and we become a reproach before all the world."
Achior having finished speaking, the captains standing there, and the
chiefs of Holofernes said; that he should be killed, for they said;
20. We will
not be afraid of the face of the children of Israel, for are they not a people
without any weapons or strength for battle?
that Achior may see that he has lied, let us go up, and having taken the best of
them, that Achior may be run through with them, so that all nations may know
that Nebuchadnezzar is god on earth and no one other.
Achior delivered to Israel.
1. And when
the tumult ceased Holofernes said to Achior, "How dare you Achior to
prophesy saying that we should not make war with the people of Israel because
their God will defend them?
2. For now we will slay them as one man, and you will see that there is no gods but Nebuchadnezzar, and you will be killed with the sword of the Assyrians along with them.
3. We his
servants will destroy them, because they are not able to resist the power of our
horses, thus we will tread them under foot, and their mountains shall be drunk
with their blood.
fields are filled with their dead bodies; they shall not be able to stand before
us, but perish utterly, so said Nebuchadnezzar lord of all the earth, for he
said; none of my words shall be in vain.
therefore Achior, hireling of Ammon, you have spoken these words in this day in
your iniquity, for you shall not see my face from this day until I take vengeance
on this nation that came out of Egypt.
6. When the
sword of my army, and the multitude of them that serve me, shall pass through,
you shall fall among the slain.
7. You shall
be brought to the hill country, and be set in one of the passages and not perish
until you are destroyed with them.
you think in your mind that they shall not be taken, don't feign for I have
spoken it, and none of my words shall be in vain."
Holofernes commanded his servants to take Achior and bring him to Bethulia to
deliver him in the hands of Israel.
servants took him and brought him into the plain before the mountains till they
came to the fountains that were under Bethulia.
men of the city saw them and took up their weapons and went out of the city to
the top of the hill, and every man using a sling prevented them from coming up
by casting stones against them.
having come under a hill, they bound Achior hand and foot, leaving him at the
foot of the hill, and returned to their lord.
Israel receives Achior.
Israelites then descended, and coming to him loosened him and brought him to
Bethulia presenting him to the rulers of the city, which in these days were
Ozias, the son of Micha of the tribe of Simeon, and Chabrias, son of Gothonoel,
and Charmis, son of Melchiel.
14. And they
called all the elders together, and also their youth and women ran together, and
they set Achior in their midst.
then asked him what he had done, and he answered him to what he had counseled
Holofernes, with all the words he had spoken in the midst of the princes of
Assur, and what Holofernes had proudly answered him against the house of Israel.
16. Then the
people fell down and worshipped God, and cried to Him saying; "O Lord God
of heaven behold their pride, and pity the low estate of our nation, look on the
face of them that are sanctified to Thee this day."
comforted Achior, and praised him greatly, and Ozias took him out of the
assembly to his house and made a feast to his elders, and called on the God of
Israel all that night for help.
said to Achior; "The God of our fathers whom you praised - will reward you
that they will not accomplish their evil desire against you, but that you may
behold how they will be slain and destroyed.
the Lord God saves us - you shall be with us among us and dwell with us."
Holofernes surrounds Bethulia.
next day Holofernes commanded all his army and all the people that had come up
to join him, to relocate their camp up against Bethulia, so that they might take
the ascents of the hill country for war against Israel.
2. And they
relocated the camp that day, their number 120.000 footmen, 12.000 horsemen,
besides baggage and other men afoot, a very great multitude.
camped in the valley near Bethulia, by the fountains spreading themselves in
width over Dothaim, and in length from Belmain to Cyamon.
children of Israel now when they saw that multitude, were troubled and bowed
themselves praying to their God that He would be merciful to them His people.
man took up his weapons of war, and kindling fires they guarded the entrances to
the mountains watching all that day and night.
the second day Holofernes, as he made his rounds, noticed the fountains, which
were piped into the city, and he commanded to cut off the piping leaving them
only the small fountains higher up which were not sufficient water for them.
this, the governors of Moab and the captains of the Ammonites said to Holofernes. "Let our lord hear
a word from us; these people of Israel do not trust in spears, but in the
heights of the mountains wherein they live since it is not easy to get to the
8. Do not
therefore fight them in battle array, but let all the men of the army remain in
the camp that none of your servants may perish, but take only the fountains of
water at the foot of the mountain.
9. For all
the inhabitants of Bethulia receive their water from it, so shall thirst kill
them, and they will give up their city.
and our people shall go up to the tops of the mountains that are nearby to watch
that no-one goes out of the city, so their wives and children may be consumed
shall they be overthrown without the sword in the streets where they live
rewarding them for their rebellion in not meeting us peacefully."
words then pleased Holofernes and his servants, and they ordered it done as they
13. The camp
of the children of Ammon then departed and with them 500 of the Assyrians, and
they pitched in the valley taking the fountains of the water of the children of
children of Esau then went up and encamped in the hill country over against
Dothaim, and some were sent towards the south, some to the east, over against
of the army of the Assyrians remained in the plain covering the face of the
whole land, their tents and carriages being a great multitude.
Despair, and the promise of Ozias.
children of Israel cried to the Lord their God their hearts failing them, the
enemy having surrounded them leaving no way of escape.
days then having passed, the vessels of water began to fail in Bethulia, nor was
there water in any can for as much as a single day, while daily the water was
given by measure.
children therefore fainted, with the women and young men falling in the streets
of the city for thirst, and also those guarding the passages failed for
people them assembled to Ozias and the chiefs of the city, young men women and
children, and cried with a loud voice before the elders saying;
be judge between us and you, you have done us great injury in that you have not
required peace of the children of Assur. For
now we have no helper, but God has sold us into their hands that we should be
thrown before them with thirst and great destruction.
now, call to them and deliver the city for a spoil to the people of Holofernes
and his army, for it is better to be made a spoil to them than to die of thirst.
rather be his servants that our souls may live, and not the death of our infants
before our eyes, nor that our wives should die.
23. We take
heaven and earth as witness against you, and our God, Lord of our fathers who is
punishing us for our sins, that we prayed you to give the city over to
there was great weeping with one consent in the midst of the assembly, they
cried to the Lord with a loud voice.
25. And Ozias
said to them; "Be of good courage brothers, let us yet endure five days in
which time the Lord our God may turn His mercy to us, for He will not utterly
forsake us. And if in these days no
help comes to us, I will do according to your word."
dispersed the people to their duties, and they went to the walls and towers of
the city, with the women and children to their houses, thus they were brought
very low in the city.
then at that time heard thereof, she was the daughter of Merari, and Manassas of
her tribe also, was her husband who had died in the barley harvest. For as he oversaw the binding of the sheaves he got struck
with heat-stroke, and died on his bed in the city of Bethulia, and they buried
him with his fathers in the field between Dothaim and Balamo.
was a widow of three years and some months, and she had made a tent on top of
her house, and putting on sackcloth and wearing her widow garments she fasted
all the days of her widowhood except for the Sabbaths and the feasts of the new
moons, and the solemn days of the house of Israel.
also of goodly countenance, very beautiful to behold, and her husband had left
her gold silver, menservants, maidservants, cattle, and lands, and she remained
on them, and there was no-one able to speak any ill of her, for she feared the
Judith speaks out.
Judith then heard of the evil words of the people against the governor as they
fainted for lack of water, and the words which Ozias had spoken to them, how he
had sworn to deliver the city to the Assyrians in five days.
5. She sent
her head woman to call Ozias and the elders of the city, and they came to her,
and she said to them "What is this that you have done making an oath to
deliver the city in five days if we are not delivered?
Who are you to tempt the Lord?
not serve to obtain mercy, but sooner no mercy and wrath; will you bind the Lord
to your hours and wishes to help you?
cannot perceive the hearts of men, how then can you search out God that has made
all things, and know His mind, or comprehend His purpose?
8. No my
brothers provoke not the Lord our God to anger, for whether He will help us in
these five days or not, He has power to defend us whenever He will, even every
day, or to destroy us before our enemies.
bind the counsel of the Lord our God, for God is not as man that He may be
threatened, nor is He a son of man that He should be wavering.
therefore wait for salvation of Him, and call on Him to help us, and He will
hear our voice if it pleases Him.
nothing has arisen in our days, nor is there any tribe, family, people, or city
among us that now worships gods made with hands such as was done, for which
cause our fathers were given to the sword falling before their enemies.
12. But we
know no other gods, therefore we trust that He will not despise us, nor any of
our nation, for if we be taken, all Judea shall be laid waste, and our sanctuary
also shall be spoiled.
will require this profanity of our mouth and the slaughter of our brothers, and
the captivity of the country, and the desolation of our heritage, these He will
turn on our heads among the Gentiles wheresoever we shall be in bondage.
shall be an offense and a reproach to all that possess us, our servitude shall
not be directed to favor, but the Lord our God shall turn it to dishonor.
O brothers let us now be an example to our brothers, for they in their heart
depend on us, and the sanctuary and the house of the altar rests on us.
let us give thanks to the Lord our God who tries us as He did our fathers,
remember what things He did to Abraham, and how He tried Isaac, and what happen
to Jacob in Mesopotamia of Syria when he kept the sheep of Laban his mother's
has not tried us in the fire as He did them to examine their hearts, nor has He
taken vengeance on us, but the Lord scourges them that come near to Him to
Ozias said to her, "All that you have said you have spoken with a good
heart, no-one can gainsay your words, and this is not the first day wherein your
wisdom is thus manifested.
the beginning of your days all the people have known your understanding, for the
state of your heart is excellent.
people were very thirsty and compelled us to do to them as we spoke, and brought
an oath on ourselves which we may not break.
therefore pray now for us because you are a Godly woman, and the Lord will sent
help to fill our vessels to faint no more."
Judith said to them, "Hear me, and I will do a thing which shall be heard
throughout all generations of our nation.
the gate this night and I will go forth with my chief maid-servant and within
the days that you promised to deliver the city to our enemies the Lord will
visit Israel by my hand.
not inquire after my act, for I will not declare to you until it be finished
what I plan to do."
the princes then said to her; "Go in peace and let the Lord be with you to
take vengeance on our enemies." And
they returned to their dwellings.
then put ashes on her head, and at the time of the evening she said.
"O Lord God of my father Simeon to whom Thou gave a sword to take
vengeance on those who loosened the girdle of a maid to defile her, to discover
her thigh and shame her virginity.
said; It shall not be so, and yet they did so for which reason Thou gave their
rulers to be slain dying their beds with blood, and smote their servants, and
their lords on their thrones.
gave their wives for a prey and their daughters to be captive, and their spoil
to be divided among Thy dear children which were moved with Thy zeal, for they
abhorred the pollution of their blood and called on Thee for aid.
4. Hear now
also me a widow for Thou did not only these things but all that was before and
what was afterwards. For Thou has
thought on the things that are now, and that are to come, and whatever Thou
determined is ready at Thy hand saying here we are.
For all Thy ways are prepared in Thy judgment in Thy foreknowledge.
Assyrians now have multiplied their power exalting themselves with horses and
men glorying in the strength of their footmen, trusting in shields and spear and
bow and sling, but know not that Thou art the Lord that breaks battles, that Thy
name is Lord.
down their strength in Thy power, bring down their force in Thy wrath, for they
purpose to defile Thy sanctuary and pollute the tabernacle where Thy glorious
name rests, and to cast the horn of Thy altar down with the sword.
their pride, and sent Thy wrath on their heads, give them into my hand, me a
widow in what I have conceived, by the deceit of my lips smite down the servants
with the prince, and the prince with the servants.
down their stateliness by the hand of a woman, for Thy power is not in
multitude, nor is Thy might in strong men.
For Thou art a God of the afflicted, a helper of the oppressed, upholder
of the meek, a protector of the furlong, a Savior of them that are without hope.
9. I pray
Thee O God of my fathers, Lord of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of heaven and
earth, Creator of the waters, King of every creature, hear Thou my prayer and
make my speech and my deceit to be their wound and stripe.
10. For they
have purposed cruel things against Thy covenant and Thy hollowed house, and
against the top of Zion the house of the possession of Thy children.
nations and tribe to acknowledge that Thou art the God of all power and might,
and that there is none other that protects the people of Israel except
Judith goes on her way
Judith having made an end of her prayer rose and called her maid, and took off
her clothing of morning, and washing herself she anointed herself with precious
put on her garments of gladness, and rings and earrings and all her ornaments
decking herself beautifully to allure the eyes of men.
14. And she
gave her maid a bottle of wine, a cruse of oil, and a bag of parched corn and
lumps of figs with fine bread, and folding these together she laid them on her
15. Thus they
went forth to the gate of the city, and Ozias was there with the elders, and on
seeing her how her countenance and apparel had changed, they wondered greatly at
her beauty, and said to her;
God of our fathers give you favor to accomplish your enterprise to the glory of
the children of Israel, and to the exultation of Jerusalem."
17. And she
said to them, "Command the gates to be opened that I may go forth to
perform what I have purposed". And
the young men opened the gates.
Judith with her maid went forth the men of the city looking after her until she
had gone down from the mountain and passing the valley they could no longer see
went straight forward till they came to the first watch of the Assyrians, where
they asked her of what people they were, where they came from, and going to.
said; "I am a woman of the Hebrews and have fled from them for I know that
they will be given in the power of your hands, and I am going to Holofernes the
declare the secrets.
21. I will
show him a way where he should go to win the hill country without losing the
body or life of any of his men."
22. And the
men hearing these words and looking at her, they wondered greatly at her beauty,
and said to her; "You have saved your life in hasting to come down to the
presence of our lord.
now we shall conduct you to his tent, and when you come before him be not afraid
in your heart, but show him according as you have said, and he will treat you
24. They then
chose a hundred men to accompany her and her maid, and brought them to the tent
of Holofernes, and a concourse came throughout the camp.
Her arrival being noised among the tents.
came to see her as she stood outside of the tent of Holofernes while he was
being told of her, and they wondered at her beauty, and admired the children of
Israel because of her.
everyone said to his neighbor; who could despise this people that have such
women among them, surely it is good that we leave not one man of them seeing
they have such beautiful women.
27. And she
was brought before Holofernes in the tent while he was resting on his bed under
a canopy woven of purple and gold and emeralds and precious stones.
seeing her they all marveled at her beauty, and she fell down and did reverence
to him, but Holofernes commanded his servants to lift her up again.
Judith deceiving Holofernes.
then said to her, "Be of good comfort woman, fear not in your heart for I
never hurt anyone willing to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of all the earth.
your people that live in the mountains had not wronged me I would not have
lifted my spear against them, but they done it of themselves.
3. But now tell me why you have fled from them and come to us for safeguard, and be of good comfort for this night you shall live and also hereafter, for no-one shall hurt you but treat you well as is done to all servants of Nebuchadnezzar."
Judith said to him; "Hear the words of your servant and suffer your
handmaid to speak in your presence, and I will declare no lies to my lord this
5. And if
you will follow the words of your handmaid God will bring the things to pass for
you perfectly so that my lord will not fail in his purpose.
concerning the matter of which Achior spoke in your counsel, we heard your words
for the men of Bethulia saved him and he declared to them all that he had spoken
O lord and governor do not reject his word but lay it to your heart, for it is
true, for our nation shall not be punished, neither can the sword prevail
against them except they sin against their God.
8. And so
that my lord be not defeated and frustrated of his purpose, even now death is
falling on them, their sins have overtaken them with which they will provoke
their God to anger when they shall perform what is not fit to be done.
provisions are failing and their water is scant, and they determined to lay
their hands on the offered cattle proposing to consume all those things that God
has forbidden to eat by His laws.
10. And they
are resolved to spend the first-fruits of the corn and the tenth of the wine and
oil which they had sanctified reserved for the priests that serve before the
face of God in Jerusalem which thing is not lawful for anyone of the people even
to touch with their hands.
I knowing all this fled from their presence, God having sent me to work things
with you of which all the earth that hears of it shall be astonished.
servant is religious and serves the God of heaven day and night, therefore I
will remain with you, and your servant shall go out by night into the valley to
pray to God.
will tell me when they have committed their sins, and I will come and tell you
so you may go forth with all your army, and there shall be none to resist you.
will lead you through the midst thereof until you come to Jerusalem and set your
throne in the midst thereof, and you shall drive them as sheep that have no
shepherd, and not even a dog shall open his mouth to you.
15. For these
things were declared to me according to my foreknowledge, and I am sent to tell
16. Her words
then pleased Holofernes and all his servants, and they marveled at her wisdom
and her beauty and said. There is
not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other for beauty of face or
for wisdom of words.
Holofernes said; "God has done well to sent you before these people fall
into the strength of my hand, you are both beautiful to behold and witty in
18. If then
you do as you have spoken your God shall also be my God, and you shall dwell in
the house of Nebuchadnezzar and be renowned in the whole earth."
Judith remains three days.
1. He then commanded to bring her where his plate was set and bade her that they should prepare food and wine of his food, but Judith said; "I will not eat of it lest there be an offense, but food shall be made for me of the provisions I brought."
then said; "And when your provision are gone how shall we give you the
same, for there is none with us of your nation?"
then said, "As your soul lives my lord your handmaid shall not spend the
things that I have before the Lord shall work the thing that I have determined
by my hand."
servants of Holofernes brought her to the tent and she slept till midnight, and
arising towards the morning watch she sent to Holofernes saying; Let my lord
command that your handmaid may go out to prayer.
commanded his guard that they should not keep her, and she abode in the camp
three days and at night went out in the valley of Bethulia and washed herself in
the fountain of water by the camp.
6. And when
she came she entreated the Lord God of Israel to direct her way to the
deliverance of the children of her people, thus she came in clean and remained
in the tent until she ate her meat at evening.
7. And in
the fourth day Holofernes made a feast to his servants only calling none of the
officers to the banquet.
8. And he
said to Bagoas the eunuch who was in charge over all that he had to persuade
this Hebrew woman who is with you that she come to us and eat and drink with us.
shall be a shame to us if we shall let such a woman from us and not having known
her, or she will laugh us to scorn.
Bagoas went from the presence of Holofernes and coming to her said.
Fear not beautiful woman to come to my lord to be honored in his
presence, and to drink wine and be merry with us, to be made this day with us as
one of the daughters of the Assyrians which serve in the house of
Judith replied; "Who am I that I should refuse my lord, surely whatsoever
pleases him I will do speedily, and it shall be my joy until the day of my
12. So she
arose and decked herself with her apparel and all her woman's attire, and her
maid went and laid soft skins on the ground for her over against Holofernes
which she had received of Bagoas for her daily use that she might sit and eat on
13. Then as
Judith came in and sat down Holofernes heart was ravished, his mind moved
greatly in desire for her, for he had waited for a time to deceive her from the
day that he had seen her.
14. He then
said to her; "Drink and be merry with us."
And Judith said; "I will drink now my lord because my life is
magnified in me this day more than all the days since I was born."
15. Then she
took and ate and drank before them what her maid had prepared, and Holofernes
took great delight in her and drank much more wine than he had drunk at any time
since he was born.
evening had come his servants made haste to depart, and Bagoas shut his tent
outside and dismissed the waiters from the presence of his lord and they went to
their beds for they were all weary, the feast having been long.
Judith was left alone in the tent with Holofernes lying alone on his bed for he
was filled with wine.
18. And she
commanded her maid to stand outside the bed chamber and to wait for her coming
forth, and Judith stood by his bed and said in her heart;
19. O Lord
God of all power look at this work of my hand for the exultation of Jerusalem,
for now is the time to help Thy inheritance, to execute my plan to the
destruction of the enemies which are risen against us.
20. She then
came to the pillar of the bed, which was at the head end and took his sword from
its sheath and approached his bed, and taking hold of his hair she said.
Strengthen me O Lord God of Israel this day.
21. And she
smote twice on his neck with all her might and cut his head from him, and
tumbled his body down from the bed.
pulled down the canopy from the pillars, and went forth giving Holofernes head
to her maid putting it in the food-bag.
23. So the
two went as was their custom forth to prayer, and having passed the camp they
went to the valley up to the mountains of Bethulia coming to the gates thereof.
Judith afar off said to the watchmen of the gate; Open the gates for God our God
is with us to show His power in Jerusalem and His forces against the enemy, as
He has done this day.
25. And the
men of the city hearing her voice hasten to go down to the gates and called
their elders and they all ran together great and small, for they had not
expected her to return.
26. Thus they
opened the gate and received them and making a fire for light they stood around
said with a loud voice; "Praise God, Praise God I say, for He has not taken
His mercy from the house of Israel, but has destroyed our enemies by my hand
took the head out of the bag and showing it to them said; "Behold the head
of Holofernes chief captain of the army of Assur, and behold the canopy wherein
he lay in his drunkenness.
29. The Lord
has smitten him by the hand of a woman, as surely as the Lord lives who kept me
in my way, by my looks I have deceived him to his destruction, and yet he has
not committed no sin with me to defile or shame me."
the people were astonished and bowed themselves worshipping God, and spoke with
one accord; "Blessed be Thou O Lord God which has this day brought the
enemies of our people to nothing."
Ozias said to her; "O daughter, blessed are you of the Most High God above
all the women on earth, and blessed be the Lord God who created the heavens and
the earth, who directed you to cut off the head of our enemies.
this the hearts of men shall have confidence who shall remember this in the
power of God forever, and God turn these things to you for a perpetual praise to
visit you with good things.
did not spare your life for the affliction of our nation, but avenged our ruin
walking in a straight path before our God." And all the people said, "So be it, so be it".
Judith said to them; "Hear me my brothers, take this head and hang it on
the highest place of our walls, for as soon as morning appears the sun rising on
the earth, let everyone take his weapon.
us go forth valiantly out of the city, and set a captain over you as though you
were going down in the field towards the watch of the Assyrians, but do not go
3. Then they
shall take their armor and go into their camp to raise the captains of the army
of Assur, and they shall run to the tent of Holofernes but not find him.
4. Then fear
shall fall on them and they shall flee before your face, and you and all that
inhabit the coast of Israel shall pursue them and overthrow them as they go.
before you do these things call to me Achior the Ammonite that he may see and
recognize him that despised the house of Israel who sent him to us as though to
called Achior out of the house of Ozias and when he had come and saw the head of
Holofernes in the hand of a man in the assembly of the people, he fell down his
spirit failing him.
7. But when
they recovered him he fell at Judith's feet and reverenced her and said;
"Blessed are you in the tabernacle of Judah and in all nations who when
they hear your name shall be astonished.
therefore tell me all the things that you have done in these days."
Then Judith declared to him in the midst of the people all that she had
done from the day that she went forth until the hour she spoke to them.
9. And when
she had finished the people shouted with a loud voice making a noise in the
Achior having seen all that the God of Israel had done, he believed greatly in
God and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin and was joined to the house of
Israel to this day.
11. And as
soon as morning dawned they hung the head of Holofernes on the wall and every
man took his weapons, and by bands they went forth to the straits of the
Holofernes found dead.
12. And when
the Assyrians saw them they sent to their leaders, which came to their captains
and tribunes, and to every one of their rulers.
13. Thus they
came to Holofernes tent and said to him who had charge of all things,
"Awaken our lord for the slaves have been bold to come down to battle us so
they may be utterly destroyed."
then went in and clapped with his hands before the room, for he thought that he
was sleeping with Judith, but since no one answered, he opened it and went to
the bed finding him cast on the ground dead with his head cut off.
therefore cried with a loud voice with weeping an sighing a mighty cry, and rent
his garment, then going into the tent where Judith lodged and did not find her,
he leaped out to the people and cried;
slaves have dealt treacherously, one woman of the Hebrews has brought shame on
the house of Nebuchadnezzar, for behold Holofernes lies dead on the ground
without a head".
17. And when
the captains of the Assyrians heard these words they rent their coats and their
minds were sorely troubled, and there came a great cry with much noise through
people of the camp then were astonished at what had been done and fear and
trembling fell on them so that no man dared to abide in the sight of his
all rushed out fleeing into every direction of the plain and hill country
inclusive these that were stationed in the mountains around Bethulia.
3. Then the
children of Israel, everyone that was a warrior among them, rushed out on them,
and Ozias sent to Betomasthem, Bebai, Chobal, Cola, and to all the coast of
Israel to tell what had been done and that they should all rush on their enemies
to destroy them.
4. And they
fell on them with one consent and slew them, and also from Jerusalem they came,
and from all the hill country.
5. And they
that were in Galaad and in Galilee chased them with a great slaughter until they
were passed the borders of Damascus.
6. And the
rest that lived in Bethulia fell on the camp of Assur spoiling them and were
7. And the
children of Israel that returned from the slaughter, as well as the villages and
cities that were in the mountains took the remains obtaining much spoil, for
their multitude had been great.
Joachim the high priest and the elders of Israel that lived in Jerusalem came to
behold the good things that God had showed to Israel and to see Judith and to
coming to her they blessed her with one accord and said to her; "You are
the exultation of Jerusalem, and the great glory of Israel, you are the great
rejoicing of our nation.
all these things with your hand, you have done much good in Israel, and God is
pleased with it, blessed be you of the Almighty Lord forever.
11. And all
the people said, "So be it". And
the peopled spoiled the camp for thirty days, and they gave to Judith the tent
of Holofernes and all his plates and his bed and vessels, and she took it and
laid it on her mule and her cart.
12. Then all
the women of Israel ran together to see her and blessed her, and danced for her,
and she took branches in her hand and gave also to the women that were with her.
put a garland of olives on her and her maid that was with her, and she went
before all the people in the dance leading all the women and all the men
followed in their armor with garlands and songs in their mouth.
Judith's song of praise.
Judith began to sing this thanksgiving in Israel, and all the people sang after
her this song of praise.
said; "Make melody unto God with tumbrels, sing to the Lord with cymbals,
tune to Him a new psalm, exalt Him and call on His name.
3. For the Lord breaks the battles, He delivered me out of the hands of those that persecuted me from amidst the camps and its people.
came out of the mountains from the north with ten thousands of his army, the
multitude of which stopped the torrents, and their horsemen covered the hills.
bragged that he would burn my borders and kill my young men with the sword, to
dash suckling to the ground, and make my infants a prey, and spoil my virgins.
Almighty Lord has disappointed them by the hand of a woman, for that mighty one
did not fall by the young men nor did the sons of titans smite him, nor did high
giants set upon him.
Judith the daughter of Memaru weakened him with the beauty of her countenance,
for she put off the garment of her widowhood for the exultation of those that
were oppressed in Israel.
anointed her face with ointment bound her hair in a tire, and took linen
garments to deceive him, her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty took his mind
prisoner, and the sword passed through his neck.
9. The Persians quaked at her boldness, and the Medes were daunted at her hardiness, then my afflicted shouted for joy, and my weak ones cried aloud.
10. But these
others were astonished, they lifted up their voices and were overthrown, the
young men pierced them through wounding them as fugitive children.
perished in the battle of the Lord, I will sing to the Lord a new song, O Lord
Thou art great and glorious, wonderful in strength and invincible.
Thy creatures serve Thee, for Thou spoke and it was made, Thou did sent forth
Thy Spirit and created them, and there is none that can resist Thy voice.
mountains shall be moved from their foundations with the waters, the rocks shall
melt as wax at Thy presence, yet Thou art merciful to them that fear Thee.
the sacrifice is too little for a sweet savor to Thee, and all the fat is not
sufficient for Thy burnt offering, but he that fears the Lord is great at all
15. Woe to the nations that rise up against Thy kindred, the Lord Almighty
will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment in putting fire and worms in
their flesh, and they shall feel them and weep forever."
A feast of thanksgiving.
16. As soon
as they had entered Jerusalem then they worshipped the Lord and as soon as the
people were purified they offered their burnt offerings, their free offerings,
and their gifts.
also dedicated all the things of Holofernes, which the people had given her, and
gave the canopy, which she had taken, out of his bed chamber for a gift to the
people continued feasting in Jerusalem before the sanctuary for three months,
and Judith remained with them.
The rest of the days of Judith.
this everyone returned to his own inheritance, and Judith went to Bethulia and
remained in her possessions, and was honored in her time in all the country.
20. And many
desired her, but none knew her all the days of her life after that Manassas her
husband was dead and gathered to his people.
increased more and more in honor, and grew old in her husband's house being 105
years old, and she set her maid free.
died in Bethulia and they buried her in the cave of her husband Manassas, and
the house of Israel lamented her seven days.
before she died, she distributed her goods to all them that were near to her
24. And there
was none that made the children of Israel afraid any more in the days of Judith,
nor a long time after her death.