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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 10 And she struck twice upon his neck, and all the unbelievers this night by my hand. cut off his head, and took off his canopy from 28 And that thou mayest find that it is so, bethe pillars, and rolled away his headless body. hold the head of Holofernes, who in the contempt 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. 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.

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 round about her: and she went up to a higher place, and commanded silence to be made. And when all had held their peace,

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 people by my hand this night.

19 Then she brought forth the head of Holofernes out of the wallet, and shewed it 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.

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.

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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.

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

"Pa. 105. 1. & 106. 1.


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:

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. 4 And when the captains of them shall run to the tent of Holofernes, and shall find him without his head wallowing in his blood, fear shall fall upon them.

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

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.

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 fled 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.

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 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.


The canticle of Judith: her virtuous life and death. 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.

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

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 14 The sons of the damsels have pierced them from the least to the greatest all were made rich through, and they have killed them like children by their spoils. fleeing away: they perished in battle before the face of the Lord my God.

9 And Joachim the high priest came from Jerusalem to Bethulia with all his ancients to see Judith.

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.

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

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foundations with the waters: the rocks shall 24 And the people were joyful in the sight of melt as wax before thy face. 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.

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 a


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.


| 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, who set over every table one of ence she is deposed. his nobles, that every man might take what he would.

the days of Assuerus, who reigned from In

Idia 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 servants, 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.


5 And when the days of the feast were ex

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

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

12 But she refused, and would not come at the

pired, he invited all the people that were found king's commandment, which he had signified to in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which angry, and inflamed with a very great fury, 13 Asked the wise men, who according to the was planted by the care and the hand of the king custom of the kings, were always near his per6 And there were hung up on every side sky-son,and all he did was by their counsel, who knew coloured, and green, and violet hangings, fast- the laws, and judgments of their forefathers: ened 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 15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the cups, and the meats were brought in divers vesqueen, who had refused to obey the commandsels one after another. Wine also in abundance ment of king Assuerus, which he had sent to her and of the best was presented, as was worthy by the eunuchs? of a king's magnificence.

A. M. 3485. A. C. 519.

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

17 For this deed of the Queen will go abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come in to him, and she would not.

not only injured the king, but also all people were delivered to Egeus the eunuch: Esther also and princes that are in all the provinces of king among the rest of the maidens was delivered to Assuerus. him to be kept in the number of the women. 9 And she pleased him, and found favour in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments, and to deliver to her her part, and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king's house, and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting-maids. 10 And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that:

18 And by this example all the wives of the princes of the Persians and the Medes will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore the king's indignation is just.

19 If it please thee, let an edict go out from thy presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians and of the Medes, which must not be altered, that Vasthi come in no more to the king, but another, that is better than her, be made queen in her place.

20 And let this be published through all the provinces of thy empire (which is very wide) and let all wives, as well of the greater as of the lesser, give honour to their husbands.

21 His counsel pleased the king, and the princes: and the king did according to the counsel of Mamuchan.

22 And he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, as every nation could hear and read, in divers languages and characters, that the husbands should be rulers and masters in their houses: and that this should be published to every people.



Esther is advanced to be queen. Mardochai detecteth
a plot against the king.
FTER this, when the wrath of king Assu-
erus was appeased, he remembered Vasthi,
and what she had done and what she had suffered:
2 And the king's servants and his officers said:
Let young women be sought for the king, vir-
gins and beautiful,

3 And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the house of the women under the hand of Egeus the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king's women: and let them receive women's ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.

4 And whosoever among them all shall please the king's eyes,let her be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased the king: and he commanded it should be done as they had suggested.

11 And he walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her.

12 Now when every virgin's turn came to go in to the king, after all had been done for setting them off to advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices. 13 And when they were going in to the king, whatsoever they asked to adorn themselves they received: and being decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from the chamber of the women to the king's chamber.

14 And she that went in at evening, came out in the morning, and from thence she was conducted to the second house, that was under the hand of Susagaz the eunuch, who had the charge over the king's concubines: neither could she return any more to the king, unless the king desired it, and had ordered her by name to come. 15 And as the time came orderly about, the day was at hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go in to the king. But she sought not women's ornaments, but whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the virgins had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in the eyes of all.

16 So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi.

5 There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, 18 And He commanded a magnificent feast to named Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of be prepared for all the princes, and for his serSemei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini, vants, for the marriage and wedding of Esther. 6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem And he gave rest to all the provinces, and beat the time that Nabuchodonosor king of Baby-stowed gifts according to princely magnificence. lon carried away Jechonias king of Juda,

7 And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa, who by another name was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was exceeding fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for his daughter.

8 And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, and according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, and

Infra, 11. 2.-b 4 Kin. 24. 15. Infra, 11. 4.- A. M. 3465.-4 A. M. 3190. A. C. 514.

19 And when the virgins were sought the second time and gathered together, Mardochai stayed at the king's gate,

20 Neither had Esther as yet declared her country, and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought her up a little one.

21 At that time therefore, when Mardochai abode at the king's gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the krg's eunuchs, who were porters.

and presided in the first entry of the palace, same month: and they wrote, as Aman had were angry and they designed to rise up commanded, to all the king's lieutenants, and against the king, and to kill him. to the judges of the provinces, and of divers na22 And Mardochai had notice of it, and im- tions, as every nation could read, and hear acmediately he told it to queen Esther: and she cording to their different languages, in the name to the king in Mardochai's name, who had re- of king Assuerus: and the letters sealed with ported the thing unto her. his ring 23 It was inquired into, and found out: and 13 Were sent by the king's messengers to all they were both hanged on a gibbet. And it was provinces, to kill and destroy all the Jews, both put in the histories, and recorded in the chroni-young and old, little children, and women, in cles before the king. one day, that is, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is called Adar, and to make a spoil of their goods.


Aman advanced by the king, is offended at Mardochai, and therefore procureth the king's decree to destroy the whole nation of the Jews."

14 And the contents of the letters were to this effect, that all provinces might know, and be

AFTER these things, king Assuerus ad-ready against that day.

vanced Aman the son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all the princes that were with him.

2 And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship him.

3 And the king's servants that were chief at the

doors of the palace, said to him: Why dost thou
alone not observe the king's commandment?
4 And when they were saying this often, and
he would not hearken to them, they told Aman,
desirous to know whether he would continue in
his resolution: for he had told them that he
was a Jew.

5 Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor worship him, he was exceedingly angry.

6 And he counted it as nothing to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone: for he had heard that he was of the nation of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.

15 The couriers that were sent made haste to
fulfil the king's commandment. And imme-
diately the edict was hung up in Susan, the
king and Aman feasting together, and all the
Jews that were in the city weeping.

Mardochai desireth Esther to petition the king for the
Jews. They join in fasting and prayer.

Now when Mardochai had heard these
things, he rent his garments, and put on
sack-cloth, strewing ashes on his head: and he
cried with a loud voice in the street in the midst
of the city, shewing the anguish of his mind.
2 And he came lamenting in this manner even
to the gate of the palace: for no one clothed
with sack-cloth might enter the king's court.
3 And in all provinces, towns, and places, to
which the king's cruel edict was come, there
was great mourning among the Jews, with fast-
ing, wailing, and weeping, many using sack-
cloth and ashes for their bed.

4 Then Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in, and told her. And when she heard it she was in a consternation: and she sent a garment, to clothe him, and to take away the sack-cloth: but he would not receive it.

7 In the first month (which is called Nisan) in
the twelfth year of the reign of Assuerus, the
lot was cast into an urn, which in Hebrew is
called Phur, before Aman, on what and what
month the nation of the Jews should be destroy- to learn of him why he did this.
ed: and there came out the twelfth month
which is called Adar.

5 And she called for Athach the eunuch, whom the king had appointed to attend upon her, and she commanded him to go to Mardochai, and

8 And Aman said to king Assuerus: There is a people scattered through all the provinces of thy kingdom, and separated one from another, that use new laws and ceremonies, and moreover despise the king's ordinances: and thou knowest very well that it is not expedient for thy kingdom that they should grow insolent by impunity. 9 If it please thee, decree that they may be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents to thy treasurers.

10 And the king took the ring that he used, from his own hand, and gave it to Aman the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, the enemy of the Jews,

11 And he said to him: As to the money which thou promisest, keep it for thyself: and as to the people do with them as seemeth good to thee.

12 And the king's scribes were called in the first month Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the

A. M .194. A. C. 510. A. M. 3495.

6 And Athach going out went to Mardochai, who was standing in the street of the city, before the palace-gate:

7 And Mardochai told him all that had happened, how Aman had promised, to pay money into the king's treasures to have the Jews destroyed.

8 He gave him also a copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan, that he should shew it to the queen, and admonish her to go in to the king, and to entreat him for her people.

9 And Athach went back and told Esther all that Mardochai had said.

10 She answered him, and bade him say to Mardochai:

11 All the king's servants, and all the provinces that are under his dominion, know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, cometh into the king's inner court, who is not called for, is immediately to be put to death without any delay: except the king shall hold out the golden sceptre to him, in token of clemency, that so he may live. How then can I go in to the king,

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