As Winter ends and the Springtime festivals of Passover and Pentecost draw near, Jews and Christians contemplate the wonderful acts of salvation that God performed for His People at that season. For both Jews and Christians, God's miraculous deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt during the Passover feast serves as the birthday of the Chosen People. For Christians, the miraculous deliverance of mankind by Jesus Christ during the Passover feast is the very climax of all human history. Consequently, the annual Passover season forms the foundation of the liturgical calendar in both the Synagogue and the Church. Inspired by the deep spiritual meaning of the Passover, a Jewish writer who lived perhaps over a century before the birth of Christ recorded a tale of divine intervention on behalf of Israel, in which a Gentile invasion is thwarted by a godly woman named Judith. In this story we turn to the dramatic story of how Judith saved her people from the plight of Holofernes and his powerful army. Along with Achoir a honest and most humble warrior who unknowingly embarks on a path to salvation.
According to the Navarre bible Judith is one of the Deutrocannanical books of the Old Testament., that it, it does not form part of the Hebrew canon. The manuscripts are in Greek and are thought to be a translation of an original Semitic text. (Hebrew or Aramaic) This book is a paean expressing hope in God who does not forget his people, particularly when they are in difficulty, and who comes to their rescue when he is invoked with an upright heart. The Book of Judith was probably written by a Jew living in the Holy Land sometime in the latter half of the second century B.C. Although it exists today only in Greek and Latin versions, it was written originally in Hebrew. This Hebrew version was translated into Greek and included in the Greek Septuagint edition of the Old Testament. The Greek version was later translated into Latin. An Aramaic version was also prepared from the original Hebrew. The Hebrew version is last mentioned by Origen in the third century A.D., but when St. Jerome wanted to prepare a fresh translation for the Latin Vulgate he was only able to obtain the Aramaic translation. Using the Aramaic and the Old Latin versions, St. Jerome produced the version that appears in the Latin Vulgate. The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Old Latin versions are no longer extant-only the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate versions remain.
The book is divided into two parts as stated in Chapters 1-7:32 which I will be addressing today as well as Chapters 8:1 – 16:25 which will be my teaching for next week.In chapters 1-7 the Israelites are beset by a powerful enemy. The text describes the action plan of a powerful army headed for Jerusalem; not far from its objective, it besieges the Israelites in the city of Bethulia. First we are told how fear stricken everyone is by Nebuchadnezzar’s military might in verses 1:1-16. and of the impressive advance of his army led by Holofernes. (2:1-3:10) drawing ever closer to the Israelites –and how they implored God to help them (4:1-15) When Holofernes draws near Bethulia and is discussing strategy with various commanders, one of them, Achoir, the Ammonite leader, tells them about the greatness of the God of Israel (5:1-6:21). Eventually , the siege of Bethulia becomes so intense that its inhabitants are at a point of surrendering ( 7:1-32)
With this all in mind it seems like it is an impossible victory to overcome. There are three key people in the story of Judith. Those being Holofernes the powerful military leader who terrorizes the people, Achoir the Ammonite, who is being brought into the Assyrian army to inform about the Jewish people who is kind of like being a scout. He gives Holofernes his honest perspective about Israel’s history as a God fearing people who have God on their side.. He tells this great Assyrian army that just been steamrolling over other counties, just knocking them over easy and nobody can stop them and he tells them they can’t even touch the Jews , unless they sin
Then we have Judith, a widow and the heroine of this book who despite many obstacles goes on to fight the good fight because of her faith in God. Judith was a righteous woman. She was a woman who obeyed the law of God. She was a woman who had priority in obeying the commandments. She was a woman who delighted in the law of the Lord. Her story comes into light in chapters 8-15. The impossible victory was all done by the powers of God. She let the door open for God’s power by her righteousness. Judith symbolizes faith, whereas Holofernes epitomizes force. These two characters are a paradigm of the difference between those who rely on human power and those who hope is in God. It is the same teaching that is given in
The enemy is portrayed as an amalgam of power that caused the fall of Israel and later of Judah-the military might of Assyria and the overwhelming pride o Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was the prototype of the powerful, tyrannical, proud ruler. The sacred author, who is writing a story to convey a message and is not very interested in history or chronology , uses Nebuchadnezzar as a symbol for the those who dominated the Jews when the book was written. The monarch described here is depicted as a proud and powerful king whose rule is expanding right across the Middle East. First he attacks King Aprhazad whose power is indicated by the size of his walls around his capital, Ecbatana. Nebuchadnezzar tried to get allies to join him in his siege of this city, but he failed to do so, and resolved to take revenge against those who would not help him.
In search of revenge, Nebuchadnezzar sends Holofernes, his commander-in-chief on a punitive campaign. “The eighteen year: of Nebuchadnezzar was 587 BC, the very year when Babylonian troops took Jerusalem , profaned the temple and set it on fire, and deported part of the population as stated in Jeremiah 52;29. The date is highly symbolic: for the writer the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem implied that Nebuchadnezzar was assuming the prerogatives of divinity, as can also be seen from the fact that he called himself, “Lord of all the earth” Holofernes gathers a huge army and sets out an a campaign of death and destruction. The order to prepare the earth and water in verse 7 is a Persian expression meaning by all means necessary for a conquering army to move in and establish itself in a country. So Nebuchadnezzar's intention was to conquer and seize. Even those who didn’t resist him were subject to his wrath, the worse thing was that they were forced to worship him as a God as stated in Daniel 3: 1-7. Therefore the danger that was threatened was not only to take by force but they had to render to a man the worship that was due to God alone. In verse 13, chapter 2 Holifernes was told “Do not disobey a single one of these orders. Fulfill them exactly as I have commanded you.” He’s already in trouble. He’s not fulfilling them as he was commanded to. That’s why Holifernes becomes the real villain here. He did not really follow orders he took matters into his own hands and took more revenge and disobeyed the orders he was given.According to the Navarre Bible the route of the march is described in verse 2:21-3:10 and is geographically impossible. Here the author is exaggerating the feats of Holofernes, to prepare the groundwork for the religious message he wants to convey.
In chapter 3, verse 7 because of H. military superiority he had subdued all the people and the people it says in verse 7 “ of these cities and all the inhabitants of the countryside received him with garlands and dancing to the sound of timbales. But never the less he devastated the whole territory and cut down their sacred groves. For he had been commissioned to destroy all the Gods of the earth so that allnations shall worship Nebacnezer alone and every people and tribe evokes him as a God. That wasn’t really what he was commissioned to do. If we look back in Chapter 2 verse 10 it says, Neb. Had told Holifernes to go before me and take possession of all their territories. If they surrender to you, guard them for me till the day of punishment. He didn’t really tell Hel. to destroy them, he told them to guard them. At the end of chapter 3, in verse 10 Holifernes set up his camp between Gerba and Cephalous and stayed there a whole month to refurbish all the equipment of his army. That’s just put in there to set up his next attack which will be against the Jewish people in Judea. He was planning form there to go on to Jerusalem and destroy the temple again.
The Israelites are terrified when they hear of Holofernes’ military advances and they take steps to resist him by establishing fortresses, stockpiling provisions and stationing their men in strategic positions. (V 4-8) but they also try to win God’s help by means of prayers and penance (v 9-15) The message of this chapter is that this is primarily a struggle about religion. The enemy army depicts the huge impiety and arrogant pride of someone who thinks he is almighty and has no need of God’ whereas the Israelites are devout people who know full well that their strength comes from God alone, and that prayer is the best way to acknowledge their dependence on God just as the Catechism states that “by prayer and petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not he masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already turning back to him” Catechism of the Catholic Church 2629.‘When the Israelites who dwell in Judea heard of all that Holifernes commander and chief of Nebakenezzar, King of the Assyrians had done to the nations and how he destroyed all their temples and how they destroyed them they were in extreme dread of him and greatly alarmed for Jerusalem an r the temple of their Lord. In verse 4 and 5 is how they responded militarily. They sent word to the other Jewish cities around there about this upcoming attack to warn them. In verse 5 they posted guards on all the summits of the high mountains. They fortified their villages and they stored up provisions. But in a religious way is verse 9 “They cried to God with great fervor and did penance” So, the preparing both militarily and spiritually for this attack for this attack. The fact that the spiritual component of this was mentioned shows the religious influence and character of the people. This is the only place in the bible that the altar was covered in sackcloth that that’s mentioned. Now we get to verse 7 of Chapter 4. It the first mention of this little town Butulia. Here is one of the ironies. It’s the most important towns in this story. But it’s virtually unknown. In fact, nobody can really find it on a map. Some people think it is was a symbolic Hebrew name meaning, “House of God” and it was sort of a made up name and it some kind of literary device. It was thought to mean “House of Ascent” going up, symbolizing high places that mountain top thing. It’s mentioned in verse 6 of chapter 4 where it says, “Joachim was high priest in Jerusalem in those days and wrote to the inhabitants of Butulia, which is on the way to these others places and instructed them to keep firm hold of the mountain passes since they afforded access to Judea. So, technically this little town is the first in line blocking this mountain pass that goes through Judea to the temple which is where Holifernes was going to take his army and destroy everything. Here is like a little town defending the nation. One would ask ,”How could this ever work” God asks the little town to prepare a hold against the strongest military leader. It brings us to chapter 4, where it talks about the Israelites who knows that they will be attacked next, are preparing to defend themselves. Needless to say, when they realize all the West have been conquered and destroyed they become afraid also. You can read that in chapter 4, verse 1 and 2. ‘When the Israelites who dwell in Judea heard of all that Holifernes commander and chief of Nebakenezzar, King of the Assyrians had done to the nations and how he destroyed all their temples and how they destroyed them they were in extreme dread of him and greatly alarmed for Jerusalem and the temple of their Lord. The people are preparing for the war.Down to verse 12. The altar too, they draped in sackcloth. What they do here is they go into prayer and mourning in anticipation of the attack and the altar they drape in sackcloth and with one accord they cried out fervently to the God of Israel not to allow their children to be seized. They are concerned about their property. But they also very concerned about their religious threat. They responded in both a militarily and religious way.So it says in verse 23: “We are not afraid of the Israelites for they are a powerless people incapable of a strong offense let us therefore attack them your great army Lord seethe the Lord Holifernes will swallow them up” So it’s all kind of going to their heads. The final advice of Achior was not to go into battle with these people and Holifernes and his army didn’t want to hear it because they saw themselves as greater. So this whole thing sets up a battle against this Lord Holifernes and the Lord God. Again going back to who is the greater? Who is really God? The one who is getting ready to attack Israel or the one who is going to defend Israel
Now we get to verse 7 of Chapter 4. It the first mention of this little town Butulia. Here is one of the ironies. It’s the most important towns in this story. But it’s virtually unknown. In fact, nobody can really find it on a map. Some people think it is was a symbolic Hebrew name meaning, “House of God” and it was sort of a made up name and it some kind of literary device. It was thought to mean “House of Ascent” going up, symbolizing high places that mountain top thing. It’s mentioned in verse 6 of chapter 4 where it says, “Joachim was high priest in Jerusalem in those days and wrote to the inhabitants of Butulia, which is on the way to these others places and instructed them to keep firm hold of the mountain passes since they afforded access to Judea. So, technically this little town is the first in line blocking this mountain pass that goes through Judea to the temple which is where Holifernes was going to take his army and destroy everything. Here is like a little town defending the nation. One would ask ,”How could this ever work” God asks the little town to prepare a hold against the strongest military leader. It brings us to chapter 4, where it talks about the Israelites who knows that they will be attacked next, are preparing to defend themselves. Needless to say, when they realize all the West have been conquered and destroyed they become afraid also. You can read that in chapter 4, verse 1 and 2. ‘When the Israelites who dwell in Judea heard of all that Holifernes commander and chief of Nebakenezzar, King of the Assyrians had done to the nations and how he destroyed all their temples and how they destroyed them they were in extreme dread of him and greatly alarmed for Jerusalem and the temple of their Lord. The people are preparing for the war.Down to verse 12. The altar too, they draped in sackcloth. What they do here is they go into prayer and mourning in anticipation of the attack and the altar they drape in sackcloth and with one accord they cried out fervently to the God of Israel not to allow their children to be seized. They are concerned about their property. But they also very concerned about their religious threat. They responded in both a militarily and religious way.So it says in verse 23: “We are not afraid of the Israelites for they are a powerless people incapable of a strong offense let us therefore attack them your great army Lord seethe the Lord Holifernes will swallow them up” So it’s all kind of going to their heads. The final advice of Achior was not to go into battle with these people and Holifernes and his army didn’t want to hear it because they saw themselves as greater. So this whole thing sets up a battle against this Lord Holifernes and the Lord God. Again going back to who is the greater? Who is really God? The one who is getting ready to attack Israel or the one who is going to defend Israel
Chapter 5 depicts an account that set Holofernes and his army close to the Israelites, who are ready to repel his attack on their city. To this foreign general the sons of Israel are a people of no significance; he seems to know nothing about them, for before launching his attack he asks for a report, in order to work out a military strategy. Achoir, whose names means, “my brother is light”, gives Holofernes a detailed summary of the Israelites. He explains that they are a special people, they have not survived through force of arms. His speech is divided into three parts-history of the Jewish people in verse 5-16; their faithfulness to God (vs. 17-19) Holifernes would be wise to ponder carefully before he takes them on.Now in chapter 5 and verse” it was reported to Holifernes, commander and chief of the Assyrian army that the Israelites were ready for battle and had blocked the passes, fortified the summits of the highest peaks and placed roadblocks. In great anger he summoned all these other rulers and said to them, “What can you tell me about these people?” What cities do these people inhabit? How large is their army? What does their power and strength consist of? Why have they refused to come out and surrender like all the people in the West did in other words? Holifernes is thinking, “Who the heck are these people standing in front of me stopping my progress? So he’s asking all these others nations that have joined his army, “What do you know about these people? Give me some information so I can be better prepared for this. And this guy named, Achoir, he is the one who was a seasoned warrior. At this point he goes to Holifernes and explains the history of the Jews. This is a very important part here because he tells it very accurately. Remember he's the one who’s truthful in what he says. Remember its Judith later on that deceitful. He’s being very truthful and he’s fighting on Holifernes side so Holifernes is going to believe him because he’s on his side and he should believe him because he is telling him the truth. Achoir answers all his questions; the only question he really doesn’t answer was “who is their king?” because all the readers of this, the Jewish people would know it is Yahweh. He is the King. It goes without saying and Achoir doesn’t mention that part. The reason it is important for Holifernes to hear it from someone he believes is when later when Judith gets into the picture and starts talking to Holifernes, she uses a lot of the same information and consequently because it is the same Holifernes believes her. Since he’s heard it before he wouldn’t think she’s making it up and wouldn’t trust her. He’s heard this story before from someone he trusts. What Achoir says though to Holifernes, after he tells them the history in Chapter 5 verse 17? As long as the Israelites did not sin in the sight of their God they would prosper for their God who hates wickedness was with them. Verse 20 says, “So now my Lord and Master, if these people are at fault and are sinning against their God and if we verify this offense of them then we shall be able to go up and conquer them. But if they are not a guilty nation then your Lordship should keep his distance otherwise their Lord and God will shield them and we shall become the laughing stock of the whole world. You can tell Holifernes is an arrogant person and he doesn’t want to listen to this guy anymore who tells him this because Holifernes thinks he can conquer anybody and he doesn’t want to hear that God is going to save somebody. The people didn’t like to hear that either and they are getting in an uproar over what Akilor was saying that there was a possibility that they would lose this battle. In Father’s Al’s teaching on Judith he states the following:There’s this super army against this little group of nobodies. Then there is this Anomite leader scout, “if you get near them they will blow you right out of the water if they haven’t sinned. We see this with Judith. We are holy. If we are holy, if we are repentant. We are untouchable. Now of course the Assyrian leaders thought that what he said was totally ridiculous. They said, “Achoir, what you said it so stupid I’m going to put you into one of the cities that I am going to knock over in a few minutes and if you’re wrong you are going to get killed but if you are right you’ll be o.k.So it says in verse 23: “We are not afraid of the Israelites for they are a powerless people incapable of a strong offense let us therefore attack them your great army Lord seethe the Lord Holifernes will swallow them up” So it’s all kind of going to their heads. The final advice of Achior was not to go into battle with these people and Holifernes and his army didn’t want to hear it because they saw themselves as greater. So this whole thing sets up a battle against this Lord Holifernes and the Lord God. Again going back to who is the greater? Who is really God? The one who is getting ready to attack Israel or the one who is going to defend Israel? Holofernes follows Achoir’s speech with one of his own in which he exalts the divine power of Nebuchadnezzar in a typical prophetical language. Religious values are plainly at stake in the confrontation that lies ahead; Nebuchadnezzar's desire for vengeance is at odds with the will and might of the God of Israel. This is confirmed by the phrase “he has spoken; none of his words shall be in vain” an idea refuted by statements made by the prophets.
In Chapter 6 Holofernes is so enraged that he punishes Achoir by handing him over to the Israelites. When they hear what he has to say, they become even more conscious of the need to have recourse to God; and they treat Achoir with kindness. Moving on to chapter 6 verse 2 Holifernes and his people get a little upset with Achoir and says, ‘Who are you Alkilor to prophesize among us as you have done today and tell us not to fight against the Israelites because their God protects them? What God is there is there besides Nebuchadnezzar He will send his force and destroy them from the face of the earth and their God will not save them. “So it’s saying, “Why are you playing the prophet Alkilor? And yet he was very much the prophet for them but Holifernes didn’t see the irony in that. Holifernes did not realize that he wasn’t just acting he was being the prophet. In verse 5, chapter 6. “As for you Achior, your Ammonite mercenary for saying these things in a moment of perversity you shall not see my face after today until I have taken revenge on this race of people from Egypt. “ This is very ironic for when Achoir sees Holofernes' face is when it is not attached to his body and Holifernes is saying this. Holifernes is being the prophet himself there in that case. So Holifernes and the people are all upset with Achior now. They were happy with him at first when they were telling him about the Jewish history and all that but when they told him they shouldn’t go into battle they turned on him and they are all upset with him. IN verse 7, chapter 6 Holifernes says “My servants will now conduct you Achior, to the mountain region and leave you at one of the towns along the ascent. You shall not die until you are destroyed together with them. Achoir’s fate is going to be the same fate as the Jewish people in Bethulia. He’s being sent to Bethulia by Holifernes because of what he said about the Jewish’s peoples God’s going to save them so Holifernes is saying well we’ll just see. Your fate is going to be tied up with theirs. Verse 8 says, “You shall not die until you are destroyed together with them. If you still cherish the hope that they will not be taken then there is no need for you to be downcast. I have spoken and my words shall not prove false in any respect.” At any rate, just about everything that Holifernes had said here about him dying and all that and Holifernes taking over these people happens the opposite of what he says. When he has spoken that his words shall not prove false, well most of his words did prove false which depicts another irony. It’s mentioning high places here again, it says in verse 7, “My servant will now conduct you to the mountain region “So as the battle grows closer this idea of these high places is being emphasized again. In verse 15, Achior gets to Bethulia and the people there took him in. Verse 14-“The Israelites came down from him to the city and loosed him because Holifernes’ men had tied him up at the bottom of the hill. And they brought him into the city of Bethulia. They hailed him before the rulers of the day. Then they convened all the elders of the city along with the young men and women of the assembly and they placed Achior in the center and they questioned him. He replied in verse 17-by giving them an account of what was said in the counsel of Holifernes and in all of his own words among the Assyrian officers. Verse 18-At this the people fell prostrate and worshipped God and they cried, “Lord God of Heaven. Behold their arrogance. Have pity on the lowliness of our people and look with favor this day on those who are consecrated to you.” So they were looking to God in this respect, in this point. When it talks about verse 21 they brought him from the assembly to his house where he gave a banquet for the elders. They were really having an all night prayer service. They were praying for deliverance. They were praying to God. A little summary of this last part. Good old haughty Holifernes says to Achior because of your great advise not to fight, I will have mercy on you actually but in a sense we warned you by turning you over to the Israelites and your fate is going to be in their hands and actually Achoir’s advise to Holifernes not to fight was great and it turned out to be Achoir’s salvation really otherwise he wouldn’t be turned over to the Jewish people and would have been destroyed when Holifernes and his army gets destroyed. So he was able to live because of his advice to Holifernes. It another one of those ironies because Holifernes thought he was sending him off to be doomed and in fact his he was sending him off to be saved with the Israelite.
The seize of BethuliaocThe city whose deliverance by Judith, when besieged by Holofernes, forms the subject of the Book of Judith. The view that Bethulia is merely a symbolic name for Jerusalem or a fictitious town, has met with little favor, even among those who deny the historical character of the book. Bethulia is clearly distinguished from Jerusalem (4:6; 11:14, 19; 15:5, 8; the references throughout the article being to the fuller Greek text), and the topographical details leave no doubt that the story, even if it be only a pious romance, is connected with a definite place. Its site, however, is in dispute. Beside Sânûr, Mithilîyeh, or Misilîyeh, Tell Kheibar and Beit-Ilfa, which have divided opinion for some time, Haraiq el-Mallah, Khirbet Sheikh Shibel, el-Bârid and Sichem (Bethulia being considered a pseudonym) have recently been proposed as sites of Bethulia. The city was situated on a mountain overlooking the plain of Jezrael, or Esdrelon, and commanding narrow; passes to the south (4:6-7; 6:11-13); at the foot of the mountain there was an important spring, and other springs were in the neighborhood (6:11; 7:3, 7, 12). Moreover it lay within investing lines which ran through Dothain, or Dothan, now Tell Dothân, to Belthem, or Belma, no doubt the same as the Belamon of 8:3, and thence to Kyamon, or Chelmon, "which lies over against Esdrelon" (7:3). These data point to a site on the heights west of Jenîn (Engannim), between the plains of Esdrelon and Dothan, where Haraiq, Kh. Sheikh Shibel, and el-Bârid lie close together. Such a site best fulfils all requirements. It lies between lines drawn from Tell Dothân to Belæema, probably Belma, or Belamon, and from the latter to el-Yâmûn, probably Kyamon; there are a number of springs and wells in the neighborhood, and near by are the two passes of KefrAdân and Burqîn, so narrow in places that two horsemen cannot ride abreast. One of the three above-named places is in all probability the site of ancient Bethulia. The other sites are all deficient in some essential requirement. curred in
Here is the siege of Bethulia by Holofernes. Despite beseeching God’s help, the Israelites become terrified when they find themselves surrounded. Their appeal to Uzziah, the main rule and the council of elders show how despairing they are; it is as if they have lost faith in God, and it is reminiscent of the complaints the Israelites in the desert made against Moses. Under pressure all that Uzziah can do is delay the decision to surrender for 5 days, in the hope that God may still show mercy before the 5 days are up. This reflects the dire straights in which the Jews found themselves during that time, but it also prepares the ground for God’s wondrous intervention, jus as he also came to their rescue during the Exodus. Well what happened to their faith in God? It sort of melted when they saw the army in front of them. “They all seized their weapons, lighted fires on their bases and kept watch throughout the night. On the second day Holofernes marches out and seizes their water supply and in doing so they would cut off their water and they would surrender when they ran out of water. The people got upset and thought it would be better to surrender than to become their prey. In verse 27-“Would we be better off to become their prey. We should indeed be made slaves, but at least we would live and not to behold our little ones dying before our eyes” So there are asking this Uzziah and their chief elders just to surrender the town. They are saying in verse 28- “We adjure you by heaven and earth, and by our God, the Lord of our forefathers, who is punishing us for our sins and for our forefathers, to do as we have proposed this very day” Well see they are saying that they have been unfaithful and God will not defend them anymore and so they really need to surrender but when Judith comes on the scene she doesn’t admit to that, she says the people have been faithful and they should expect God to deliver them. But up to this point, the people are getting afraid and are asking to surrender. In verse 30-“But Uzziah said to them, “Courage, my brothers! Let us wait five days more for the Lord, our God, to show his mercy toward us; he will not utterly forsake us.” But then he adds, “But if those days pass without help coming to us I will do as you say” So he was on the side of being a bit wishy washy side. He was willing to trust God for 5 more days but after that forget it. He would give in to the people of the town.In the last chapter the tempo of the story picks up a little bit, with the dialogue between the people. It’s written to give insight into the character and the feelings of the people who are talking. Bethulia had started out strongly defying Holofernes. But now you can say both now their courage and their water is evaporating. When one goes the other goes and Uzziah compromises by saying he will wait for 5 days but then gives in prolongs the setting up of the contrast when we have the next part when Judith comes on with her deep faith and the situation is saved. It begins with a god-fearing widow, who despite the general collapse of the Israelites morale, she still puts her trust in God and is determined to take action to save her people.
Study on judith
One of thedeutercanonical booksof the Old testamentIt does not form partof the Hebrew canon.
“Some boast of chariots,and some of horses; but weboast of the name of theLord or God” Psalm 20:8
ChapterOne Then Nebuchadnezzar was very angry with the whole region, and swore by his throne and his kingdom that he would avenge himself on all the territories of Cilicia and Damascus and Syria, and also destroy with his sword all the inhabitants of Moab, Ammon, the whole of Judea." — Judith 1:12Judea and several other territories refused to join Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in his war against Arphaxad, king of the Medes. After Nebuchadnezzar won the war, he swore revenge on those who refused to be bullied into joining him in war.
ChapterTwo There was a discussion in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, about taking revenge on the whole world." —Judith 2:1 Like Nebuchadnezzar, there are still many people trying to take revenge on the whole world. Lets forgive and repent of resentment and bitterness.
Chapter 3 "Nevertheless, he devastated their whole territory and cut down their sacred groves, for he had been commissioned to destroy all the gods of the earth, so that every nation might worship Nebuchadnezzar alone, and every people and tribe invoke him as a god." —Judith 3:8 Holofernes army steamrolled country after country. The power of the evil one sometimes seems invincible.
Chapter 4 "All the men of Israel cried to God with great fervor and did penance." —Judith 4:9 The Israelites opposed Holofernes mighty army by praying, fasting, and doing penance.
Chapter 4 "All the men of Israel cried to God with great fervor and did penance." —Judith 4:9 The Israelites opposed Holofernes mighty army by praying, fasting, and doing penance.
Chapter 5 But if they are not a guilty nation, then your lordship should keep his distance; otherwise their Lord and God will shield them, and we shall become the laughingstock of the whole world." — Judith 5:21 Achior the Ammonite informed Holofernes that the Israelites were invincible no matter what the circumstances, if they were obedient to the Lord (see 2 Cor 10:4- 6; Rm 16:19-20).
Chapter 6 "My servants will now conduct you to the mountain region, and leave you at one of the towns along the ascent. You shall not die till you are destroyed together with them. If youHolofernes still cherish the hope that they willresponded to Achior not be taken, then there is no needby handing him overto the Israelites at for you to be downcast.—Judith 6:7-9Bethulia. If theIsraelites wereobeying God andAchior was rightabout theirinvincibility, hewould be saved.Otherwise, he wouldbe killed.
Chapter 7 The siege of Bethulia "Their children fainted away, and the women and youths were consumed with thirst and were collapsing in the streets and gateways of the city, with no strength left in them." —Judith 7:22 The Israelites were surrounded by enemy troops who cut off their water supply. They were left to literally die of thirst. After 34 days, the people cried in agony to King Uzziah, who promised to surrender in five days if the Lord did not miraculously deliver His people. .
Chapter 8 "No one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God-fearing woman." —Judith 8:8 With only five days left before the surrender and destruction of Bethulia, a very beautiful and God-fearing widow, Judith, entered the picture. After asking the elders of the city to visit her, she corrected them for giving in to the peoples complaints and setting five days as a deadline for Gods intervention. She saw the tragic circumstances around her in a very different perspective. She maintained that "we should be grateful to the Lord our God, for putting us to the test, as He did our forefathers" (8:25). "Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has He done so with us. It is by way of admonition that He chastises those who are close to Him" (8:27). Finally, Judith promised: "I will do something that will go down from generation to generation among the descendants of our race" (8:32). "Within the days you have specified before you will surrender the city to our enemies, the Lord will rescue Israel by my hand" (8:33).
Chapter 9 "Judith threw herself down prostrate, with ashes strewn upon her head, and wearing nothing over her sackcloth. While the incense was being offered in the temple of God in Jerusalem that evening, Judith prayed to the Lord with a loud voice." —Judith 9:1 Judith prayed a mighty prayer of faith.
Chapter 10 "She made herself very beautiful, to captivate the eyes of all the men who should see her." —Judith 10:4 After concluding her prayer, Judith took off her sackcloth and ashes, arranged her hair, put on her best dress and jewelry, and "made herself beautiful." She left the city and went to the enemy commander, Holofernes.
Chapter 11 "You are fair to behold, and your words are well spoken." —Judith 11:23 Judith told Holofernes that she would tell him when the Israelites had sinned and thereby had become vulnerable to his attacks. Holofernes had scoffed at this line of thinking in chapter five. Coming from the lovely lips of Judith, however, he now considered it to be wise.
Chapter 12 Jdt 12 — DRINKING AND DRIVING "The heart of Holofernes was in rapture over her, and his spirit was shaken. He was burning with the desire to possess her, for he had been biding his time to seduce her from the day he saw her." —Judith 12:16 While Judith was careful to eat only kosher food, "Holofernes, charmed by her, drank a great quantity of wine, more than he had ever drunk on one single day in his life" (12:20). Alcohol + lust = death.
Chapter13 "Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies." —Judith 13:18 Judith chopped off the head of the drunken Holofernes, put it in her picnic basket, and went out to pray.
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth,Judith chopped off the head of the drunken Holofernes, put it in her picnic basket, and went out to pray. Chapter 14 "Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies." —Judith 13:18 Judith chopped off the head of the drunken Holofernes, put it in her picnic basket, and went out to pray.
Chapter15 " At daybreak they hung the head of Holofernes on the wall. Then all the Israelite men took up their arms and went to the slopes of the mountain." —Judith 14:11 When the Assyrian army heard about the beheading of Holofernes, they were "overcome with fear and trembling. No one kept ranks any longer; they scattered in all directions, and fled along every road, both through the valley and in the mountains. Those also who were stationed in the mountain district around Bethulia took to flight. Then all the Israelite warriors overwhelmed them" (15:2-3). They seized an enormous quantity of booty and, in Judiths honor, threw a party and started dancing.