JUDITH    TO INDEX

THE STORY OF  

      Chapter 1

1.  In 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.

2.  And 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.

4.  And he 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.

5.  But the 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.

9.  Wherefore 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;

11.  Thus says 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 disobeyed me.

12.  You shall 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.

14.  You 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.

16.  Take care therefore that you do not transgress any of my commands, but perform them fully as I commanded you."

17.  Then Holofernes went forth from the presence of his lord and called all the governors, captains, and officers of the army of Assur.

18.  And he 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 their carriages.

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.

21.  And 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.

22.  From 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.

25.  And he 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.

 

      Chapter 2

      Many kingdoms bow.

1.  Many 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.

2.  Our 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."

3.  So they 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.

5.  For he 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 god.

6.  So he 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.

7.  The 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 nothing.

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.

9.  So they 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 the mountains.

10.  For 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 the Lord.

12.  Then 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.

13.  And 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.

15.  And 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.

16.  Remember 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."

17.  After 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.

18.  Thus with ashes on their heads they cried to the Lord with all their strength that He would look on the house of Israel graciously.

 

      Chapter 3 

     Achior defines Israel to Holofernes.

1.  It 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.

2.  And being 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;

3.  "Tell 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?"

4.  Then 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 country.

5.  These 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 Chaldea.

6.  Their God 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.

9.  Then they 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.

12.  And 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.

13.  But as often as they repented to acknowledge their sins before their God, they prospered, because the God that is with them hates iniquity.

14.  Therefore they were able to destroy the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Feresites, the Hittites, the Hivites and the Amorites and take all their cities.

15.  It went 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 them.

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.

17.  Therefore 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.

18.  But if 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."

19.  And  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?

21.   But so 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.

 

      Chapter 4

     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.

4.  And their 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.

5.  You 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.

8.  And if 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."

9. Then Holofernes commanded his servants to take Achior and bring him to Bethulia to deliver him in the hands of Israel.     So his servants took him and brought him into the plain before the mountains till they came to the fountains that were under Bethulia.

11.  But the 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.

12.  And 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.

13.  The 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.

15.  Ozias 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."

17.  And they 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.

18.  And they 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.

19.  And when the Lord God saves us - you shall be with us among us and dwell with us."

 

      Chapter 5

      Holofernes surrounds Bethulia.

1.  That 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.

3.  And they camped in the valley near Bethulia, by the fountains spreading themselves in width over Dothaim, and in length from Belmain to Cyamon.

4.  The 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.

5.  And every man took up his weapons of war, and kindling fires they guarded the entrances to the mountains watching all that day and night.

6.  But in 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.

7.  After 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 tops thereof.

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.

10.  And we 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 with famine."

11.  Thus shall they be overthrown without the sword in the streets where they live rewarding them for their rebellion in not meeting us peacefully."

12.  These words then pleased Holofernes and his servants, and they ordered it done as they had spoken.

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 Israel.

14.  The 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 Ekrebel.

15.  The rest 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.

16.  Then the children of Israel cried to the Lord their God their hearts failing them, the enemy having surrounded them leaving no way of escape.

17.  Twenty 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.

18.  The young 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 strength.

19.  The 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;

20.  "God 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.

21.  Therefore 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.

22.  We will 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 Holofernes."

24.  Then 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."

26.     And he 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.

 

      Chapter 6 

      Judith.

1.  Judith 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.

2.  Judith 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.

3.  She was 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 Lord greatly.

     Judith speaks out.

4.  When 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?

6.  This does not serve to obtain mercy, but sooner no mercy and wrath; will you bind the Lord to your hours and wishes to help you?

7.  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.

9.  Do not 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.

10.  Let us therefore wait for salvation of Him, and call on Him to help us, and He will hear our voice if it pleases Him.

11.  For 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.

13.  And He 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.

14.  And we 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.

15.  Therefore 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.

16.  Moreover, 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 brother.

17.  For He 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 admonish them." 

       Judith's proposal.

18.  Then 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.

19.  For from the beginning of your days all the people have known your understanding, for the state of your heart is excellent.

20.  But the 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.

21.  You 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."

22.  Then Judith said to them, "Hear me, and I will do a thing which shall be heard throughout all generations of our nation.

23.  Stand in 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.

24.  But do not inquire after my act, for I will not declare to you until it be finished what I plan to do."

25.  Ozias and 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.

 

      Chapter 7 

      Judith's prayer.

1.  Judith 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.

2.  For Thou 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.

3.  And Thou 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.

5.  The 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.

6.  Throw 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.

7.  Behold 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.

8.  Break 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.

11.  Make all 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 Thee."

       Judith goes on her way

12.  And 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 ointment.

13.  And she 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 maid.

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;

16.  "The 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.

18.  And 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 her.

19.  And they 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.

20.  And she 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.

23.  Therefore 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 well.

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.

25.  And they 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.

26.  And 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.

28.  And 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.

 

     Chapter 8 

     Judith deceiving Holofernes.

1.  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.

2.  For if 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."

4.  Then 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 night.

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.

6.  As 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 to you.

7.  Therefore 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.

9.  For their 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.

11.  Therefore 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.

12.  For your 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.

13.  And He 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.

14.  And I 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 you".

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.

17.  And 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 words.

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." 

 

      Chapter 9 

      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."

2.  Holofernes then said; "And when your provision are gone how shall we give you the same, for there is none with us of your nation?"

3.  Judith 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."

4.  Then the 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.

5.  He then 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.

9.  For it 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.

10.  Then 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 Nebuchadnezzar.

11.  And 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 death."

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 them.

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.

       Judith kills Holofernes

16.  And when 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.

17.  And 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.

22.  And she 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.

24.  Then 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 them.

       Judith recalls the events

27.  She then 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 this night".

28.  And she 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."

30.  Then all 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."

31.  Then 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.

32.  For by 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.

33.  For you 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". 

 

      Chapter 10 

      Judith counsels to attack

1.  Then 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.

2.  And let 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 down.

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.

5.  But 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 his death."

6.  And they 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.

8.  Now 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 city.

10.  And 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 mountains.

        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."

14.  Bagoas 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.

15.  He 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;

16.  "These 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 the camp.

 

     Chapter 11

     Defeat of the Assyrians

1.  The 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 neighbor.

2.  And they 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 greatly enriched.

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.

      Judith honored

8.  Then 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 salute her.

9.  And 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.

10.  You did 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.

13.  And they 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. 

 

      Chapter 12 

      Judith's song of praise.

1.  Then Judith began to sing this thanksgiving in Israel, and all the people sang after her this song of praise.

2.  And she 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.

4.  Assur 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.

5.  He 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.

6.  But the 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.

7.  But 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.

8.  She 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.

11.  They 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.

12.  Let all 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.

13.  For the 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.

14.  For all 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 times.

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.

17.  Judith 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 Lord.

18.  So the people continued feasting in Jerusalem before the sanctuary for three months, and Judith remained with them.

       The rest of the days of Judith.

19.  After 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.

21.  But she increased more and more in honor, and grew old in her husband's house being 105 years old, and she set her maid free.

22.  So she died in Bethulia and they buried her in the cave of her husband Manassas, and the house of Israel lamented her seven days.

23.  And before she died, she distributed her goods to all them that were near to her kindred.

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.

End.