صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

selves to violate thy sanctuary, and defile the
dwelling place of thy name, and to beat down
with their sword the horn of thy altar.
12 Bring to pass, O Lord, that his pride may
be cut off with his own sword.

13 Let him be caught in the net of his own eyes in my regard, and do thou strike him by the graces of the words of my lips.

14 Give me constancy in my mind, that I may despise him: and fortitude that I may overthrow him.

15 For this will be a glorious monument for thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman. 16 For thy power, O Lord, is not in a multitude, nor is thy pleasure in the strength of horses, nor from the beginning have the proud been acceptable to thee: but the prayer of the humble and the meek hath always pleased thee.

17 O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation, hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to thee, and presuming of thy mercy.

18 Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and put thou words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart, that thy house may continue in thy holiness:

19 And all nations may acknowledge that thou art God, and there is no other besides thee. CHAP. X. Judith goeth out towards the camp, and is taken, and brought to Holofernes.

16 And be assured of this, that when thou shalt stand before him, he will treat thee well, and thou wilt be most acceptable to his heart. And they brought her to the tent of Holofernes, telling him of her.

AND it came to pass, when she had ceased
to cry to the Lord, that she rose from the
place wherein she lay prostrate before the Lord.
2 And she called her maid, and going down
into her house she took off her hair-cloth, and
put away the garments of her widowhood,
3 And she washed her body, and anointed her-
self with the best ointment, and plaited the hair
of her head, and put a bonnet upon her head,

17 And when she was come into his presence, forthwith Holofernes was caught by his eyes. 18 And his officers said to him: Who can despise the people of the Hebrews, who have such beautiful women, that we should not think it worth 19 And Judith seeing Holofernes sitting unour while for their sakes to fight against them? der a canopy, which was woven of purple and gold, with emeralds and precious stones:

and clothed herself with the garments of her 20 After she had looked on his face, bowed gladness, and put sandals on her feet, and took down to him, prostrating himself to the ground. her bracelets, and lilies, and earlets, and rings, And the servants of Holofernes lifted her and adorned herself with all her ornaments. by the command of their master. CHAP. XI.


4 And the Lord also gave her more beauty: because all this dressing up did not proceed from sensuality, but from virtue: and therefore the Lord increased this her beauty, so that she apDeared to all men's eyes incomparably lovely. 5 And she gave to her maid a bottle of wine to arry, and a vessel of oil, and parched corn, and dry figs, and bread and cheese, and went out. 6 And when they came to the gate of the city, they found Ozias, and the ancients of the city waiting.

7 And when they saw her they were astonished, and admired her beauty exceedingly.

8 But they asked her no question, only they let her pass, saying: The God of our fathers give thee grace, and may he strengthen all the counsel of thy heart with his power, that Jerusalem may glory in thee, and thy name may be in the number of the holy and just.

9 And they that were there said, all with one voice: So be it, so be it.

10 But Judith praying to the Lord, passed through the gates, she and her maid.

11 And it came to pass, when she went down the hill, about break of day, that the watchmen of the Assyrians met her, and stopped her, saying: Whence comest thou? or whither goest thou?

12 And she answered: I am a daughter of the Hebrews, and I am fled from them, because I knew they would be made a prey to you, because they despised you, and would not of their own accord yield themselves, that they might find mercy in your sight.

13 For this reason I thought with myself, saying: I will go to the presence of the prince Holofernes, that I may tell him their secrets, and shew him by what way he may take them, without the loss of one man of his army. 14 And when the men had heard her words, they beheld her face, and their eyes were amazed, for they wondered exceedingly at her beauty. 15 And they said to her: Thou hast saved thy life by taking this resolution, to come down to our lord.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

7 It is known also what Achior said, nor are we ignorant of what thou hast commanded to

be done to him.

8 For it is certain that our God is so offended with sins, that he hath sent word by his prophets to the people, that he will deliver them up for their sins.

9 And because the children of Israel know they have offended their God, thy dread is upon them. 10 Moreover also a famine hath come upon them, and for drought of water they are already to be counted among the dead.

11 And they have a design even to kill their cattle, and to drink the blood of them.

12 And the consecrated things of the Lord their God which God forbid them to touch, in corn, wine, and oil, these have they purposed to make use of, and they design to consume the things which they ought not to touch with their hands: therefore because they do these things, it is certain they will be given up to destruction. 13 And I thy handmaid knowing this, am fled from them, and the Lord hath sent me to tell thee these very things.

14 For I thy handmaid worship God even now that I am with thee, and thy handmaid will go out, and I will pray to God,

15 And he will tell me when he will repay them for their sins, and I will come and tell thee, so that I may bring thee through the midst of Jerusalem, and thou shalt have all the people of Israel, as sheep that have no shepherd, and there shall not so much as one dog bark against thee: 16 Because these things are told me by the providence of God.

17 And because God is angry with them, I am sent to tell these very things to thee.

18 And all these words pleased Holofernes, and his servants, and they admired her wisdom, and they said one to another:

19 There is not such another woman upon earth in look, in beauty, and in sense of words.

20 And Holofernes said to her: God hath done well who sent thee before the people, that thou mightest give them into our hands:

21 And because thy promise is good, if thy God shall do this for me, he shall also be my God, and thou shalt be great in the house of Nabuchodonosor, and thy name shall be renowned through all the earth.

have purposed. And his servants brought her into the tent which he had commanded.

5 And when she was going in, she desired that she might have liberty to go out at night and before day to prayer, and to beseech the Lord. 6 And he commanded his chamberlains, that she might go out and in, to adore her God as she pleased, for three days.

7 And she went out in the nights into the valley of Bethulia, and washed herself in a fountain of water.

8 And as she came up, she prayed to the Lord the God of Israel, that he would direct her way to the deliverance of his people.

CHAP. XII. Judith goeth out in the night to pray: she is invited to a banquet with Holofernes.

THE HEN he ordered that she should go in where his treasures were laid up, and bade her tarry there, and he appointed what should be given her from his own table.

2 And Judith answered him and said: Now I cannot eat of these things which thou commandest to be given me, lest sin come upon me: but I will eat of the things which I have brought.

3 And Holofernes said to her: If these things which thou hast brought with thee fail thee, what shall we do for thee?

4 And Judith said: As thy soul liveth, my lord, thy hand-maid shall not spend all these things till God do by my hand that which @ Supra, 5. 5.


9 And going in, she remained pure in the tent, until she took her own meat in the evening. 10 And it came to pass on the fourth day, that Holofernes made a supper for his servants, and said to Vagao his eunuch: Go, and persuade that Hebrew woman, to consent of her own accord to dwell with me.

11 For it is looked upon shameful among the Assyrians, if a woman mock a man, by doing so as to pass free from him.

12 Then Vagao went in to Judith, and said: Let not my good maid be afraid to go in to my lord, that she may be honoured before his face, that she may eat with him and drink wine and be merry.

13 And Judith answered him: Who am I, that I should gainsay my lord?

14 All that shall be good and best before his eyes, I will do. And whatsoever shall please him, that shall be best to me all the days of my life.

15 And she arose and dressed herself out with her garments, and going in she stood before his face.

16 And the heart of Holofernes was smitten, for he was burning with the desire of her. 17 And Holofernes said to her: Drink now, and sit down and be merry; for thou hast found favour before me.

18 And Judith said: I will drink, my lord, because my life is magnified this day above all my days.

19 And she took and eat and drank before him what her maid had prepared for her.

20 And Holofernes was made merry on her occasion, and drank exceeding much wine so much as he had never drunk in his life. CHAP. XIII.

Judith cutteth off the head of Holofernes, and returneth to Bethulia.

AND when it was grown late, his servants made haste to their lodgings, and Vagao shut the chamber-doors, and went his way. 2 And they were all overcharged with wine. 3 And Judith was alone in the chamber. 4 But Holofernes lay on his bed, fast asleep, being exceedingly drunk.

5 And Judith spoke to her maid to stand without before the chamber, and to watch:

6 And Judith stood before the bed praying with tears, and the motion of her lips in silence,

7 Saying: Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, and in this hour look on the works of my hands, that as thou hast promised, thou mayest raise up Jerusalem thy city: and that I may

bring to pass that which I have purposed, hav-|not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and ing a belief that it might be done by thee. tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our 8 And when she had said this, she went to the ruin in the presence of our God. pillar that was at his bed's head, and loosed his sword that hung tied upon it.

9 And when she had drawn it out, she took him by the hair of his head, and said: Strengthen me, O Lord God, at this hour.

26 And all the people said: So be it, so be it. 27 And Achior being called for came, and Judith said to him: The God of Israel, to whom thou gavest testimony, that he revengeth himself of his enemies, he hath cut off the head of all the unbelievers this night by my hand. 28 And that thou mayest find that it is so, behold the head of Holofernes, who in the contempt

10 And she struck twice upon his neck, and cut off his head, and took off his canopy from the pillars, and rolled away his headless body. 11 And after awhile she went out, and de-of his pride despised the God of Israel: and livered the head of Holofernes to her maid, and threatened thee with death, saying: When the bade her put it into her wallet. people of Israel shall be taken, I will command thy sides to be pierced with a sword.

12 And they two went out according to their custom, as if it were to prayer, and they passed the camp, and having compassed the valley, they came to the gate of the city.

13 And Judith from afar off cried to the watchmen upon the walls: Open the gates, for God is with us, who hath shewn his power in Israel. 14 And it came to pass, when the men had heard her voice, that they called the ancients of the city.


15 And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest: for they had now no hopes that she would come.

16 And lighting up lights they all gathered

The Israelites assault the Assyrians, who finding their
general slain, are scized with a panic fear.
AND Judith said to all the people: Hear me,
my brethren, hang ye up this head upon
our walls:

went up to a
place, and commanded silence to be made. And
when all had held their peace,

2 And as soon as the sun shall rise, let every
man take his arms, and rush ye out, not as going
down beneath, but as making an assault.
3 Then the watchmen must needs run to
awake their prince for the battle.

17 Judith said: Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in him. 18 And by me his handmaid he hath fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel: and he hath killed the enemy of his 4 And when the captains of them shall run to people by my hand this night. the tent of Holofernes, and shall find him with19 Then she brought forth the head of Holo-out his head wallowing in his blood, fear shall fernes out of the wallet, and shewed it them, fall upon them. saying: Behold the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God slew him by the hand of a woman.

5 And when you shall know that they are fleeing, go after them securely, for the Lord will destroy them under your feet.

20 But as the same Lord liveth, his Angel hath been my keeper both going hence, and abiding there, and returning from thence hither: and the Lord hath not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but hath brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for his victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance. 21 Give all of you glory to him, because he is good, because his mercy endureth for ever. 22 And they all adored the Lord, and said to her: The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to nought.


29 Then Achior seeing the head of Holofernes, being seized with a great fear he fell on his face upon the earth, and his soul swooned away. 30 But after he had recovered his spirits he fell down at her feet, and reverenced her, and said: 31 Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee.

23 And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.

24 Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies.

25 Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast

Ps. 105. 1. & 106. 1.

6 Then Achior seeing the power that the God of Israel had wrought, leaving the religion of the Gentiles, he believed God, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred until this present day.

7 And immediately at break of day, they hung up the head of Holofernes upon the walls, and every man took his arms, and they went out with a great ncise and shouting.

8 And the watchmen seeing this, ran to the tent of Holofernes.

9 And they that were in the tent came, and made a noise before the door of the chamber to awake him, endeavouring by art to break his rest, that Holofernes might awake, not by their calling him, but by their noise.

10 For no man durst knock, or open and go into the chamber of the general of the Assyrians. 11 But when his captains and tribunes were come, and all the chiefs of the army of the king of the Assyrians, they said to the chamberlains: 12 Go in, and awake him, for the mice coming out of their holes, have presumed to challenge us to fight.

13 Then Vagao going into his chamber, stood before the curtain, and made a clapping with

his hands: for he thought that he was sleeping | chastity, and after thy husband hast not known with Judith. any other: therefore also the hand of the Lord hath strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed for ever.

12 And all the people said: So be it, so be it. 13 And thirty days were scarce sufficient for the people of Israel to gather up the spoils of the Assyrians.

14 But when with hearkening, he perceived no motion of one lying, he came near to the curtain, and lifting it up, and seeing the body of Holofernes, lying upon the ground, without the head, weltering in his blood, he cried out with a loud voice, with weeping, and rent his garments. 15 And he went into the tent of Judith, and not finding her, he run out to the people, 16 And said: One Hebrew woman hath made confusion in the house of king Nabuchodonosor: for behold Holofernes lieth upon the ground, and his head is not upon him.

17 Now when the chiefs of the army of the Assyrians had heard this, they all rent their garments, and an intolerable fear and dread fell upon them, and their minds were troubled exceedingly.

18 And there was a very great cry in the midst of their camp.


The Assyrians flee: the Hebrews pursue after them, and are enriched by their spoils.


ND when all the army heard that Holofernes was beheaded, courage and counsel fled from them, and being seized with trembling and fear they thought only to save themselves by flight:

2 So that no one spoke to his neighbour, but hanging down the head, leaving all things behind, they made haste to escape from the Hebrews, who, as they heard, were coming armed upon them, and filed by the ways of the fields, and the paths of the hills.

3 So the children of Israel seeing them fleeing, followed after them. And they went down sounding with trumpets and shouting after them. 4 And because the Assyrians were not united together, they went without order in their flight; but the children of Israel pursuing in one body, defeated all that they could find.

5 And Ozias sent messengers through all the cities and countries of Israel.

6 And every country, and every city, sent their chosen young men armed after them, and they pursued them with the edge of the sword until they came to the extremities of their confines. 7 And the rest that were in Bethulia went into the camp of the Assyrians, and took away the spoils, which the Assyrians in their flight had left behind them, and they were loaden exceedingly.

14 But all those things that were proved to be the peculiar goods of Holofernes, they gave to Judith in gold, and silver, and garments and precious stones, and all household stuff, and they all were delivered to her by the people. 15 And all the people rejoiced, with the women, and virgins, and young men, playing on instruments and harps.

10 And when she was come out to him, they all blessed her with one voice, saying: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people:

11 For thou hast done manfully, and thy heart has been strengthened, because thou hast loved

Ps. 32. 9.


The canticle of Judith: her virtuous life and death.

THEN Judith sung this canticle to the Lord,


2 Begin ye to the Lord with timbrels,, sing ye to the Lord with cymbals, tune unto him a new psalm, extol and call upon his name.

3 The Lord putteth an end to wars, the Lord is his name.

4 He hath set his camp in the midst of his people, to deliver us from the hand of all our enemies. 5 The Assyrian came out of the mountains from the north.in the multitude of his strength: his multitude stopped up the torrents, and their horses covered the valleys.

6 He bragged that he would set my borders on fire, and kill my young men with the sword, to make my infants a prey, and my virgins captives. 7 But the almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him.

8 For their mighty one did not fall by young men, neither did the sons of Titan strike him, nor tall giants oppose themselves to him, but Judith the daughter of Merari weakened ́him with the beauty of her face.

9 For she put off her the garments of widowhood, and put on her the garments of joy, to give joy to the children of Israel.

10 She anointed her face with ointment, and bound up her locks with a crown, she took a new robe to deceive him.

11 Her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty made his soul her captive, with a sword she cut off his head.

12 The Persians quaked at her constancy, and the Medes at her boldness.

8 But they that returned conquerors to Bethulia, brought with them all things that were theirs, so that there was no numbering their cattle, and beasts, and all their moveables, insomuch that from the least to the greatest all were made rich by their spoils.

9 And Joachim the high priest came from Je-face of the Lord my God.
rusalem to Bethulia with all his ancients to see

13 Then the camp of the Assyrians howled, when my lowly ones appeared, parched with thirst.

14 The sons of the damsels have pierced them through, and they have killed them like children fleeing away: they perished in battle before the

15 Let us sing a hymn to the Lord, let us sing a new hymn to our God.

16 O Adonai Lord, great art thou, and glorious in thy power, and no one can overcome thee. 17 Let all thy creatures serve thee: because thou hast spoken, and they were made: thou didst send forth thy Spirit, and they were created, and there is no one that can resist thy voice. 18 The mountains shall be moved from the

24 And the people were joyful in the sight of the sanctuary, and for three months the joy of

19 But they that fear thee, shall be great with this victory was celebrated with Judith. thee in all things.

25 And after those days every man returned to 20 Wo be to the nation that riseth up against his house, and Judith was made great in Bethumy people: for the Lord almighty will take re- lia, and she was most renowned in all the land venge on them, in the day of judgment he will of Israel.


visit them. 26 And chastity was joined to her virtue, so 21 For he will give fire, and worms into their that she knew no man all the days of her life, flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for after the death of Manasses her husband. 27 And on festival days she came forth with 22 And it came to pass after these things, that great glory. all the people, after the victory, came to Jerusa- 28 And she abode in her husband's nouse a lem to adore the Lord: and as soon as they were hundred and five years, and made her handpurified, they all offered holocausts, and vows, maid free, and she died and was buried with and their promises. her husband in Bethulia.

23 And Judith offered for an anathema of oblivion all the arms of Holofernes, which the people gave her, and the canopy that she had taken away out of his chamber.

foundations with the waters: the rocks shall melt as wax before thy face.

Ch. 16. v. 23. An anathema of oblivion: that is, a gift or offering made to God, by way of an everlasting monument, to prevent the oblivion or forgetting so great



29 And all the people mourned for seven days. 30 And all the time of her life there was none that troubled Israel, nor many years after her death.

31 But the day of the festivity of this victory is received by the Hebrews in the number of holy days, and is religiously observed by the Jews from that time until this day.


This Book takes its name from queen Esther; whose history is here recorded. The general opinion of almost all commentators on the Holy Scripture makes Mardochai the writer of it: which also may be collected below from chap. 9. ver. 20.

IN the days of Assuerus, who reigned from It
dia to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty
seven provinces:
2 When he sat on the throne of his kingdom,
the city Susan was the capital of his kingdom.
3 Now in the third year of his reign he made
a great feast for all the princes, and for his ser-
vants, for the most mighty of the Persians, and
the nobles of the Medes, and the governors of
the provinces in his sight,

4 That he might shew the riches of the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for a long time, to wit, for hundred and fourscore days.



| 8 Neither was there any one to compel them King Assuerus maketh a great feast. Queen Vasthi to drink that were not willing, but as the king being sent for refuseth to come: for which disobedi- had appointed, set over every table one of ence she is deposed. his nobles, that every man might take what he


9 Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the used to dwell. women in the palace, where king Assuerus was

10 Now on the seventh day, when the king was merry, and after very much drinking was well warmed with wine, he commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Harbona, and Bagatha, and Abgatha, and Zethar, and Charcas, the seven eunuchs that served in his presence,

with the crown set upon her head, to shew her 11 To bring in queen Vasthi before the king, beauty to all the people and the princes: for she was exceeding beautiful.

5 And when the days of the feast were expired, he invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and

commanded a feast to be made seven days in

12 But she refused, and would not come at the king's commandment, which he had signified to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry, and inflamed with a very great fury, 13 Asked the wise men, who according to the custom of the kings, were always near his person,and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws, and judgments of their forefathers:

the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand of the king 6 And there were hung up on every side skycoloured, and green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk, and of purple which 14 (Now the chief and nearest him were, Charwere put into rings of ivory, and were held up sena, and Sethar, and Admatha,and Tharsis, and with marble pillars. The beds also were of gold Mares, and Marsana, and Mamuchan, seven and silver, placed in order upon a floor paved princes of the Persians, and of the Medes, who with porphyry and white marble: which was saw the face of the king, and were used to sit embellished with painting of wonderful variety. first after him :) 7 And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, as was worthy of a king's magnificence.

15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the queen, who had refused to obey the commandment of king Assuerus, which he had sent to her by the eunuchs?

16 And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of the king and the princes: Queen Vasthi hath

A. M. 3185. A. C. 519.

« السابقةمتابعة »