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of their God, it was well with them: for their and to deliver him into the hands of the chilGod hateth iniquity. dren of Israel.
22 And even some years ago when they had revolted from the way which God had given them to walk therein, they were destroyed in battles by many nations, and very many of them were led away captive into a strange land. 23 But of late returning to the Lord their God, from the different places wherein they were scattered, they are come together and are gone up into all these mountains, and possess Jerusalem again, where their holies are.
24 Now therefore, my lord, search if there be any iniquity of theirs in the sight of their God: let us go up to them, because their God will surely deliver them to thee, and they shall be brought under the yoke of thy power:
25 But if there be no offence of this people in the sight of their God, we cannot resist them, because their God will defend them: and we shall be a reproach to the whole earth.
26 And it came to pass, when Achior had ceased to speak these words, all the great men of Holofernes were angry, and they had a mind to kill him, saying to each other:
27 Who is this, that saith the children of Israel can resist king Nabuchodonosor, and his armies, men unarmed, and without force, and without skill in the art of war?
28 That Achior therefore may know that he deceiveth us, let us go up into the mountains: and when the bravest of them shall be taken, then shall he with them be stabbed with the sword: 29 That every nation may know that Nabuchodonosor is god of the earth, and besides him there is no other.
Holofernes in great rage sendeth Achior to Bethulia,
there to be slain with the Israelites.
AND it came to pass when they had left off speaking, that Holofernes being in a violent passion said to Achior:
2 Because thou hast prophesied unto us, saying, that the nation of Israel is defended by their God, to shew thee that there is no God, but Nabuchodonoser:
8 And the servants of Holofernes taking him, went through the plains: but when they came near the mountains, the slingers came out against them.
9 Then turning out of the way by the side of the mountain, they tied Achior to a tree hand and foot, and so left him bound with ropes, and returned to their master.
10 And the children of Israel coming down from Bethulia, came to him. And loosing him they brought him to Bethulia, and setting him in the midst of the people, asked him what was the matter, that the Assyrians had left him bound.
11 In those days the rulers there, were Ozias the son of Micha of the tribe of Simeon, and Charmi, called also Gothoniel.
12 And Achior related in the midst of the ancients, and in the presence of all the people, all that he had said being asked by Holofernes: and how the people of Holofernes would have killed him for this word,
13 And how Holofernes himself being angry had commanded him to be delivered for this cause to the Israelites: that when he should overcome the children of Israel, then he might command Achior also himself to be put to death by diverse torments, for having said: The God of heaven is their defender.
14 And when Achior had declared all these things, all the people fell upon their faces, adoring the Lord, and all of them together mourning and weeping, poured out their prayers with one accord to the Lord.
15 Saying: O Lord God of heaven and earth, behold their pride, and look on our low condition and have regard to the face of thy saints,
and shew that thou forsakest not them that trust on thee, and that thou humblest them that presume of themselves, and glory in their own strength.
16 So when their weeping was ended, and the people's prayer, in which they continued all the day, was concluded, they comforted Achior, 17 Saying: The God of our fathers, whose power thou hast set forth, will make this return to thee, that thou rather shalt see their de struction.
3 When we shall slay them all as one man, then thou also shalt die with them by the sword of the Assyrians, and all Israel shall perish with thee: 4 And thou shalt find that Nabuchodonosor is lord of the whole earth: and then the sword 18 And when the Lord our God shall give this of my soldiers shall pass through thy sides, and liberty to his servants, let God be with thee also thou shalt be stabbed and fall among the wound-in the midst of us: that as it shall please thee, ed of Israel, and thou shalt breathe no more till thou be destroyed with them.
so thou with all thine mayest converse with us. 19 Then Ozias, after the assembly was broken up, received him into his house, and made him a great supper.
20 And all the ancients were invited, and they refreshed themselves together after their fast was over.
5 But if thou think thy prophecy true, let not thy countenance sink, and let the paleness that is in thy face, depart from thee, if thou imaginest these my words cannot be accomplished. 6 And tha' thou mayest know that thou shalt experience these things together with them, behold from this hour thou shalt be associated to their people, that when they shall receive the punishment they deserve from my sword, thou Israel. mayst fall under the same vengeance.
7 Then Holofernes commanded his servants to take Achior, and to lead him to Bethulia,
Supra, 5. 6.--Ch. 6. v. 21. The church. That is, the
aynagogue or lace were they met for prayer.
21 And afterwards all the people were called together, and they prayed all the night long within the church, desiring help of the God of
Holofernes besiegeth Fethulia. The distress of the
BUT Holofernes on the next day gave orders
to his army, to go up against Bethulia.
2 Now there were in his troops a hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two and twenty thousand horsemen, besides the preparations of those men who had been taken, and who had been brought away out of the provinces and cities, of all the youth.
3 All these prepared themselves together to fight against the children of Israel, and they came by the hill side to the top, which looketh toward Dothain, from the place which is called Belma, unto Chelmon, which is over-against Esdreion.
4 But the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, putting ashes upon their heads, praying with one accord, that the God of Israel would shew his mercy upon his people.
5 And taking their arms of war, they posted themselves at the places, which by a narrow path-way lead directly between the mountains, and they guarded them all day and night. 6 Now Holofernes, in going round about, found that the fountain which supplied them with water, run through an aqueduct without the city on the south side: and he commanded their aqueduct to be cut off.
7 Nevertheless there were springs not far from the walls, out of which they were seen secretly to draw water, to refresh themselves a little rather than to drink their fill.
8 But the children of Ammon, and Moab came to Holofernes, saying: the children of Israel trust not in their spears, nor in their arrows, but the mountains are their defence, and the steep hills and precipices guard them.
9 Wherefore that thou mayest overcome them without joining battle, set guards at the springs that they may not draw water out of them, and thou shalt destroy them without sword, or at least being wearied out they will yield up their city, which they suppose, because it is situate in the mountains, to be impregnable.
14 And therefore there is no one to help us, while we are cast down before their eyes in thirst, and sad destruction.
15 And now assemble ye all that are in the city, that we may of our own accord yield ourselves all up to the people of Holofernes. 16 For it is better, that being captives we should live and bless the Lord, than that we should die, and be a reproach to all flesh, after we have seen our wives, and our infants die before our eyes.
17 We call to witness this day heaven and earth, and the God of our fathers, who taketh vengeance upon us according to our sins, conjuring you to deliver now the city into the hand of the army of Holofernes, that our end may be short by the edge of the sword, which is made longer by the drought of thirst. 18 And when they had said these things, there was great weeping and lamentation of all in the assembly, and for many hours with one voice they cried to God saying:
19 We have sinned with our fathers, we have done unjustly, we have committed iniquity: 20 Have thou mercy on us, because thou art good, or punish our iniquities by chastising us thyself, and deliver not them that trust in thee to a people that knoweth not thee, 21 That they may not say among the Gentiles: Where is their God?
22 And when being wearied with these cries, and tired with these weepings, they held their peace,
23 Ozias raising up all in tears, said: Be of good courage, my brethren, and let us wait these five days for mercy from the Lord. 24 For perhaps he will put a stop to his indignation, and will give glory to his own name. 25 But if after five days be past there come no aid, we will do the things which you have spoken.
10 And these words pleased Holofernes, and The character of Judith: her discourse to the anhis officers, and he placed all round about a hundred men at every spring.
11 And when they had kept this watch for full NOW it came to pass, when Judith a widow
had heard these words, who was the daughtwenty days, the cisterns, and the reserve of ter of Merari, the son of Idox, the son of Joseph, waters failed among all the inhabitants of the son of Ozias, the son of Elai, the son of Bethulia, so that there was not within the city, Jamnor, the son of Gedeon, the son of Raphaim, enough to satisfy them no not for one day, for wa- the son of Achitob, the son of Melchias, the ter was daily given out to the people by measure. son of Enan, the son of Nathanias, the son 12 Then all the men and women, young men, of Salathiel, the son of Simeon, the son of Ruand children, gathering themselves together to Ozias, all together with one voice,
13 Said: "God be judge between us and thee, for thou hast done evil against us, in that thou wouldst not speak peaceably with the Assyrians, and for this cause God hath sold us into their hands.
Exo. 5. 21.-b Ps. 10. 6.
Ch. 8. v. 1. Simeon, the son of Ruben. In the Greek, it is the son of Israel. For Simeon the patriarch, from whom Judith descended, was not the son, but the brother of Ruben. It seems more probable that the Simeon and the Ruben here mentioned are not the patriarchs; but two of the descendants of the patriarch Simeon: and that the genealogy of Judith, recorded in this place, is not tarried up so high as the patriarchs. No more than that of Elcana the father of Samuel, 1 Kings, 1. 1., and that of king Saul, 1 Kings, 9. 1.
2 And her husband was Manasses, who died in the time of the barley harvest: 3 For he was standing over them that bound sheaves in the field; and the heat came upon his head, and he died in Bethulia his own city, and was buried there with his fathers.
4 And Judith his relict was a widow now three years and six months.
5 And she made herself a private chamber in the upper part of her house, in which she abode shut up with her maids,
6 And she wore hair-cloth upon her loins, and fasted all the days of her life, except the sabbaths, and new-moons, and the feasts of the house of Israel.
7 And she was exceedingly beautiful, and her
nusband left her great riches, and very many servants, and large possessions of herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep.
8 And she was greatly renowned among all, because she feared the Lord very much, neither was there any one that spoke an ill word of her. 9 When therefore she had heard that Ozias had promised that he would deliver up the city after the fifth day, she sent to the ancients Chabri and Charmi.
10 And they came to her, and she said to them: What is this word, by which Ozias hath consented to give up the city to the Assyrians, if within five days there come no aid to us?
11 And who are you that tempt the Lord? 12 This is not a word that may draw down mercy, but rather that may stir up wrath, and enkindle indignation.
13 You have set a time for the mercy of the Lord, and you have appointed him a day, according to your pleasure.
14 But forasmuch as the Lord is patient, let us be penitent for this same thing, and with many tears let us beg his pardon:
15 For God will not threaten like man, nor be inflamed to anger like the son of man. 16 And therefore let us humble our souls before him, and continuing in an humble spirit, in his service:
17 Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us: that as our heart is troubled by their pride, so also we may glorify in our humility.
18 For we have not followed the sins of our fathers, who forsook their God, and worshipped strange gods,
25 Were destroyed by the destroyer, and perished by serpents. 26 As for us therefore let us not revenge ourselves for these things which we suffer, 27 But esteeming these very punishments to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which like servants we are chastised, have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction. 28 And Ozias and the ancients said to her: All things which thou hast spoken are true, and there is nothing to be reprehended in thy words. 29 Now therefore pray for us, for thou art a holy woman, and one fearing God. 30 And Judith said to them: As you know that what I have been able to say is of God: 31 So that which I intend to do, prove ye if it be of God, and pray that God may strengthen my design.
32 You shall stand at the gate this night, and I will go out with my maid servant: and pray ye, that as you have said, in five days the Lord may look down upon his people Israel. 33 But I desire that you search not into what am doing, and till I bring you word let nothing else be done but to pray for me to the Lord ourGod. 34 And Ozias the prince of Juda said to her: Go in peace, and the Lord bewith thee to take revenge of our enemies. So returning they departed. CHAP. IX.
Judith's prayer, to beg of God to fortify her in her undertaking.
AND when they were gone, Judith went into her oratory and putting on hair-cloth, laid ashes on her head: and falling down prostrate before the Lord, she cried to the Lord, saying 19 For which crime they were given up to their 20 Lord God of my father Simeon, who gavest enemies, to the sword, and to pillage, and to con-him a sword to execute vengeance against stran fusion: but we know no other God but him. 20 Let us humbly wait for his consolation, and the Lord our God will require our blood of the afflictions of our enemies, and he will humble all the nations that shall rise up against us, and bring them to disgrace.
21 And now, brethren, as you are the ancients among the people of God; and their very soul resteth upon you: comfort their hearts by your speech, that they may be mindful how our fathers were tempted that they might be proved, whether they worshipped their God truly.
22 They must remember how our father Abraham was tempted, and being proved by many tribulations, was made the friend of God.
23 So Isaac, so Jacob, so Moses, and all that have pleased God, passed through many tribulations remaining faithful.
gers, who had defiled by their uncleanness, and uncovered the virgin unto confusion: 3 And who gavest their wives to be made a prey, and their daughters into captivity and all their spoils to be divided to thy servants, who were zealous with thy zeal: assist, I beseech thee, O Lord God, me a widow. 4 For thou hast done the things of old, and hast devised one thing after another: and what thou hast designed hath been done. 5 For all thy ways are prepared, and in thy providence thou hast placed thy judgments. 6 Look upon the camp of the Assyrians now, as thou wast pleased to look upon the camp of the Egyptians, when they pursued armed after thy servants, trusting in their chariots, and in their horsemen, and in a multitude of warriors. 7 But thou lookedst over their camp, and dark
8 The deep held their feet, and the waters overwhelmed them.
24 But they that did not receive the trials withness wearied them.
Gễn. 22. 1.-b 1 Cor. 10. 9. Gen. 34. 26.- Exo. 14. 9. Ch. 9. v. 2. Garest him a sword, &c. The justice of God is here praised, in punishing by the sword of Simeon the crime of the Sichimites: and not the fact of Simeon, which was justly condemned by his father, Gen. 49. 5. Though even with regard to this fact, we may distinguish between his zeal against the crime committed by the ravishers of his sister, which zeal may be considered just: and the manner of his punishing that crime, which was
regular and excessive
9 So may it be with these also, O Lord, who trust in their multitude, and in their chariots, and in their pikes, and in their shields, and in their arrows, and glory in their spears,
10 And know not that thou art our God, who destroyest wars from the beginning, and the Lord is thy name.
11 Lift up thy arm as from the beginning, and crush their power with thy power: let their power fall in their wrath, who promise them
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.
ND 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 herself with the best ointment, and plaited the hair of her head, and put a bonnet upon her head, and clothed herself with the garments of her gladness, and put sandals on her feet, and took her bracelets, and lilies, and earlets, and rings, and adorned herself with all her ornaments.
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 carry, 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.
Judg. 4. 21. & 5. 26.
Ch. 10. v. 12. Because I knew, &c. In this and the following chapter, some things are related to have been said by Judith, which seem hard to reconcile with truth. But all that is related in scripture of the servants of God is not approved by the scripture and even the saints in their good enterprises may sometimes slip into venial sins.
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.
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.
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 our while for their sakes to fight against them? 19 And Judith seeing Holofernes sitting under a canopy, which was woven of purple and gold, with emeralds and precious stones: 20 After she had looked on his face, bowed down to him, prostrating himself to the ground. And the servants of Holofernes lifted her up, by the command of their master.
Judith's speech to Holofernes.
THEN Holofernes said to her: Be of good comfort, and fear not in thy heart: for I have never hurt a man that was willing to serve Nabuchodonosor the king.
2 And if thy people had not despised me, I would never have lifted up my spear against them.
3 But now tell me, for what cause hast thou left them, and why it hath pleased thee to come to us? 4 And Judith said to him: Receive the words of thy handmaid, for if thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord will do with thee a perfect thing.
5 For as Nabuchodonosor the king of the earth liveth, and his power liveth which is in thee for chastising of all straying souls: not only men serve him through thee, but also the beasts of the field obey him.
6 For thy industry of the mind is spoken of among all nations, and it is told through the whole world, that thou only art excellent, and mighty in all his kingdom, and thy discipli is cried up in all provinces.
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.
Judith goeth out in the night to pray: she is invited to a banquet with Holofernes.
THEN 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.
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.
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
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.
Judith cutteth off the head of Holofernes, and returneth to Bethulia.
ND 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