The book of Judith has a particular literary
style full of symbolism.
•Bethulia = Israel
• Judith = Stands for the entire ...
"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 befor...
“Salvivifici Doloris” by Pope John Paul II
. “ Suffering must serve for conversion,
that is , for rebuilding of goodness i...
"Judith threw herself down prostrate, with ashes strewn
upon her head, and wearing nothing over her sackcloth.
While the i...
1. Symbolizes all offences suffered
by the people of Israel.
2. Description of the Military might
of the Assyria and the a...
He is called:
“The Lord”
“God of the inheritance of Israel”
“Lord of heaven and Earth”
“Creator of waters”
“King of all Cr...
"She made herself very beautiful, to
captivate the eyes of all the men who
should see her." —Judith 10:4
After concluding ...
"You are fair to behold, and your
words are well spoken." —Judith
11:23
Judith told Holofernes that she would
tell him whe...
Jdt 12 — DRINKING AND DRIVING
"The heart of Holofernes was in rapture
over her, and his spirit was shaken. He was
burning ...
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the
Most High God, above all women on
earth; and blessed be the Lord God,
the Creator of he...
Luke 1:42 - "and she [Elizabeth]
exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are
you [Mary] among women and blessed
is the fruit o...
Mary : The Church and New Old Testament
Judith: The synagogue and the Old Testament
Mary: Defeats the Devil in Revelation ...
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the
Most High God, above all women on
earth; and blessed be the Lord God,
the Creator of he...
Chapter
14
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Cr...
" At daybreak they hung the head of
Holofernes on the wall. Then all the Israelite
men took up their arms and went to the
...
Chapter
16
Judith 2
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Judith 2

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  • The second part of Judith describes how the situation was saved. It begins with the entrance on the scene of a beautiful young, God fearing widow who despite the general collapse of moral, still puts all her trust in God and is determined to save her people. First, she prays trustingly to God; he will make her plan succeed as stated in 8:1-9:14. Then she boldly heads for the enemy camp and manages to speak to Holofernes, who is captivated by her beauty and common sense, and gives her a good reception. After a banquet at which Holofernes has too much to rink, Judith goes to his bed and cuts off his head. She leaves the camp while it is still dark and returns to Bethulia with a trophy, the head of Holofernes (10:1=13:20) When Achoir, the Ammonite leader given hospitality by the Israelites, learns what has happened ,he believes in God and becomes a part of the house of Israel. (14:1-10) Meanwhile J when the besieging troops discover that their general has been killed, they panic and flee (14:11-15:7) The book ends by exalting the figure of Judith, for through the wonders for his people. And gives thanks to her faith and trust in God, the Lord who has do ne wonderful things for his people (15:8-16:25)
  • The book of Judith has a particular literary style full of symbolism
    Bethulia = Israel
    Judith = Stands for the entire people
    Holofernes + Nebuchadnazzar = The enemies of Israel
    Judith gives a message of hope and symbolizes faith while Holofernes epitomizes force and symbolizes despair.
  • In Hebrew the name Judith means “the Jewess” it as an instance of a national name being used as a proper name. The only precedent for this name n the Bible is the Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, who was a wife of Esau; perhaps for that reason and in order to make it clear that Judith is a member of the chosen people, the writer gives her genealogy back as far as Jacob. All this leads one to think that he means Judith to stand for the whole Jewish nation. And in fact, in the hymn at the end of the book, the personality of Judith fuses with that of the chosen people. In the genealogy there is no mention of which tribe she belonged to, th but further on in 9:2 we are told that she was of the tribe of Simeon. The names of Salamiel and Sarasadai occur in a more Hebrew form as leading mean of that tribe. The dead husband of Judith, Manasseh, belongs to the same tribe and family. It was customary for devout Jews to marry within their own clan as stated in Tob 4:12.

    Judith had all the qualities of that might be desired in a woman, ranging form beauty to wealth and exemplary piety. In order to live a secluded life and devoted herself to prayer, she had a kind of hut or tent setup on the roof of her house. Constructions of this type were not uncommon.

    8:9-27 We could say that three parts to Judith’s speech, dealing with 3 different ideas. First in verses 8: 11-17 she makes the point that one must not impose conditions on God, one must pray either faith and confidence. Secondly in vs. 18-24 she says that there are very good reasons why the people of Bethulia should put their trust in the Lord and not lose heart on account of difficulties; besides, there city is of unique strategic importance for the defense of Jerusalem and the temple; if they surrendered, they would be responsible for the destruction of the Holy City and the sanctuary. Finally in v 25-27, they must realize that God sends men trials in order to purify them and then come to their rescue, as he did in the case o the patriarchs.

    Three religious ideas back up what Judith has to say: no one knows the mind of God (V 13-14) when God sent punishment, it was because of the people’s idolatry and infidelity ( v 18-20) and God tries with fire those who draw close to him (vv 25-27) These convictions can be found in many passages else where in Holy Scripture such as Is 40;12, Is 44:24-28, in the Psalms dealing with the history of Israel and in the book of Job. However, Judith’s speech has a more lofty appreciation of suffering than those found in the book of Job; it is closer to that in the book of Wisdom (3: 1-9) and especially to that found in Christian tradition as regards suffering being a warning and a call to greater perfection. According to Pope John Paul II as quoted in his encilical Salvivifici doloris. “ Suffering must serve for conversion, that is , for rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance. The purpose of penance is to overcome evil, which under different forms lies dormant in man. Its purpose is also t strengthen goodness both in man himself and in his relations ship with others and especially with God.”
  • However, Judith’s speech has a more lofty appreciation of suffering than those found in the book of Job; it is closer to that in the book of Wisdom (3: 1-9) and especially to that found in Christian tradition as regards suffering being a warning and a call to greater perfection. According to Pope John Paul II as quoted in his encyclical Salvivifici doloris. “ Suffering must serve for conversion, that is , for rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance. The purpose of penance is to overcome evil, which under different forms lies dormant in man. Its purpose is also t strengthen goodness both in man himself and in his relations ship with others and especially with God.” This Apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II discusses the meaning behind suffering. Redemption was first accomplished through the cross of Christ - through His Suffering. Therefore, special respect should be given to every form of human suffering.
  • In 9: 1-4 Judith's prayer expressed in a very poetic languages displays the piety of a typical Jewish woman of faith. As can be seen by many different prayers recorded in the historical books of the Old Testament, especially those which cover the post-exilic period such as in Ezra 9:6-15, Nehemiah 9:6-17 , Tobias 3:2-6 and in Esther 14: 2-9 that Shelly will address next week.

    We can distinguish three parts: 1. The reference to the episode of the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, by Shechem, and the revenge taken by Simeon an Levi in Genesis 34 : 1-31; in Judith’s prayer that event symbolizes all offences suffered by the people of Israel, including those still fresh in their memory-especially the fall and destruction of Jerusalem ( v 2-6) Secondly, a description of the military might of Assyria, and an appeal for victory over them at the hands of a woman )V 7-11) Thirdly, Prayer of her plan to work, (vs. 12-14) Right through her prayer Judith keeps calling for the God of Israel to be exalted and his enemies to be confounded – an appeal which becomes especially intense when she refers to the goodness and providence of God (vs. 11) an his omnipotence (v 12) God is invoked in language typical f Old Testament piety: he is the “Lord” (vs. 9) who can win battles and scatter his enemies like a mighty warrior”



  • We can distinguish three parts: 1. The reference to the episode of the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, by Shechem, and the revenge taken by Simeon an and Levi in Genesis 34 : 1-31; in Judith’s prayer that event symbolizes all offences suffered by the people of Israel, including those still fresh in their memory-especially the fall and destruction of Jerusalem ( v 2-6) Secondly, a description of the military might of Assyria, and an appeal for victory over them at the hands of a woman )V 7-11) Thirdly, Prayer for her plan to work, (vs. 12-14) Right through her prayer Judith keeps calling for the God of Israel to be exalted and his enemies to be confounded – an appeal which becomes especially intense when she refers to the goodness and providence of God (vs. 11) an and his omnipotence (v 12)

    This is Judith chapter 9 Verse 11. “Your strength is not in numbers, nor does your power depend upon fall mark men.” God doesn’t depend on us. He doesn’t depend how good we are or how tough are how many we are. I always think this is great, “You are the God of the lowly, the helper of the oppressed, the power by worldly standards, and you are lowly. And you know Our God is the God of the lowly. IT says. “He is the helper of the oppressed “Maybe you’re being treated unfairly.

    In Father Al’s teaching on Judith he calls attention to the following theme: “He is the helper of the oppressed, supporter of the weak.” Maybe you’re at the point where you are saying, “I don’t know what to do, and I just feel like I can’t do anything right. “He is the supporter of the weak, protector of the forsaken. Maybe you’ve been dejected, rejected, renounced, denounced, maybe you’ve been divorced, stepped on, separated, your heart’s been broken and broken and broken. He is the protector of the forsaken. Maybe you’re at a point that you are so depressed that you hate yourself and wish you didn’t even wake up tomorrow. You’re watching TV just to kind of distract yourself from your misery. You know what it says here, “He is the Savior of those without hope” Wow, You’re thinking suicide; he’s the savior of a person like you without hope. That is a fantastic verse. It expresses what we said, ‘God can do it, and he can do it no matter what the circumstances. He can give you victory in impossible circumstances.








  • Right through her prayer Judith keeps calling for the God of Israel to be exalted and his enemies to be confounded – an appeal which becomes especially intense when she refers to the goodness and providence of God (vs. 11) an and his omnipotence (v 12). God is invoked in language typical of Old Testament piety. He is “The Lord,” (v 9) who can win battles and scatter his enemies like a mighty warrior; the “God of the inheritance of Israel” “Lord of heaven and earth. Creator of the waters, King of all creation; an above all he is the “God of the Lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forlorn, savior of those without hope.

    Judith was prayerful and her concern was for the sanctuary and the Holy City. From what she says we can see that God’s plan is for her to become his hand and to rescue the people. The enemies of Israel-Nebuchadnezzar and his general, Holofernes are God’s enemies. the confrontation narrated in this book is a ruthless religious war aimed at depriving the chosen people of faith, its form of worship and even its identity. So Judith’s appeal to God to bring his naught this idolatrous and blasphemous onslaught. Judith deceives Holofernes, but at the point in the story is she praised for her efforts. In fact the Heroine herself eels obliged to reassru e the elders and the people of Berthuia that she has done nothing blameworthy (V 13-16)

    Judith becomes the heroine raised up by God to save his people when they are at their wit’s end. As Christian tradition sees it, the key thing is that God's enemy and Israel's enemy had been defeated by a woman. The church’s liturgy is aware of this then it applies to the Blessed Virgin the praise that Uzziah heaps on Judith.


  • In chapter 10 verse 1-12:9 When her city was surrounded, that holy woman Judith asked the elders for their permission to go out to the enemy camp Through love for her country and her people, she undertook the dangerous task and went out and God delivered Holofernes life into the hands of a woman named Judith. She continues to put all her trust in God and to keep all the precepts of the Law. Determined to decline any food offered Holofernes as seen in 12;1-14. Now she was even intent on kosher food. When she decided to leave the Israelite’s city and go off and end up beheading the enemy general, Holifernes. She said, I’m going to go out and behead this guy, she didn’t say it that way but it happened. But I certainly don’t want to eat any food that’s not kosher. She’s really strict on food. So she takes this little picnic basket along and she puts a little wine, oil, roasted grain, fig cakes, bread and cheese. This is a little trivia trivia question not related to Judith but it is in the bible. What is the one cookie mentioned in the bible? Fig Newton. Judith chapter 10, verse 5. She makes a point to bring all her provisions with her. She even fasts and does not eat until after she has prayed.
    Before putting her plan into action, but already in the enemy camp, Judith keeps up her religious practices by prayer, ritual bathing and fasting. Christian tradition depicts Judith as a model oh how to deal with difficulties: Prayer fasting and cleansing. Because of her actions of piety she defeats Holofernes with God’s help; thus did one Hebrew woman, on her own, bring shame and humiliation on the entire house of Nebuchadnezzar.
  • In chapter 11 verse 1-4 it talks about his sensuality and his vanity. He begins in sort of a protective tone by saying, “Take courage, life is fair tonight and for the future. No one will harm you. It become ironic when he’s telling her no one will harm you, yet she is there to cut his head off. Like he’s going to be able to do something to her. She is so wrapped up in his own ego that he doesn’t get the picture at all and he thinks he is still in charge of the situation.

    So at any rate, Judith says in answer, “Listen to the words of your servant and let your handmaid speak in your presence. I will tell no lie to my Lord tonight. “She calls him “Lord” But in a sense she is really talking to God. She will not lie to God tonight. She goes on to say, “And if you follow out the words of your handmaid God will give you complete success and my Lord, (meaning God) will not fail in any of his undertakings” But Holofernes believes that he is being called Lord and he will not fail in his undertakings. This is another example of irony too where she says, “My Lord will not fail”


    In verse 9 she refers back to Achoir. This is why Achoir was so important earlier on. She says, “As for Achoir’s speech in your counsel, we have heard of it.” Well yeah, Holofernes remembers that they dumped him off at the bottom of the mountain in Bethulia and took him in and would have heard everything that has happened. So she said, “When the men of Bethulia spared him he told them all he had told you. So then my Lord and Master do not disregard his word but bear it in mind for it is true for our people are not punished nor does the sword prevail against them except when the sin against their God.

    Here is where she says, ‘But now their guilt has caught up with them by which they bring the wrath of God upon them whenever they do wrong. So that my Lord will not be repulsed and fail but death will overtake them” So she is giving a bleak picture of what is going on. But she’s said previously to the people in Bethulia that they had in fact been faithful but she is telling Holofernes that the people haven’t been faithful. This is where her guile is portrayed. So she is saying that she knows that the city is going to fall and that is why she is running away in verse 16 it says, “ As soon as I, your handmaid learned all this, I fled from them and God has sent me to perform with you such deed that people will be astonished on hearing of them. Your handmaid is indeed a God fearing woman serving the god of heaven night and day.” Because he is so arrogant he doesn’t see the truth in that. She did flee. But in order to come to perform this saving work of God by killing him. He of course has no knowledge of that and he thinks that what God is going to do is be on his side of the battle.

    She goes on to say,” Now I will remain with you but each night I will go out to the ravine and pray. He will tell me when the Israelites have committed their crimes and then I will come and let you know so that you may go out with your whole force and not a one of them will be able to withstand you.” So she is setting him up and she is setting up for her escape at the end. She goes out to pray every night so they get used to her routine and don’t think anything of it. So Holofernes thinks that she is a very fervent and holy Jewish woman, she brought her own kosher food, she goes out to pray, and I can trust her. She’s being truthful and she’s going to tell me when it’s ok to attack so her in verse 20 its says, “Her words pleased Holofernes and all his servants and they marveled at all her wisdom and said “no other woman from one end of the world to the other looks so beautiful or speaks so wisely.” It’s kind of all set up for what Holofernes thinks is going to be his victory.

    He says to her in verse 23, “You are fair to behold and your words are well spoken. If you do as you have said your God will be my God. You shall dwell in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar. You shall be renown throughout the earth. “All that really came true in a sense because God did what was planned here, not what Neb had planned. During the ransacking of Neb army Judith went and was given the palace of the King and she has been renounced to all the ends of the earth. Something that Neb never had thought would ever happen. Holofernes is going to be in for a big surprise
  • The time for action is fast approaching. Holofernes organizes a banquet, which Judith attends dresses up in all best dress because this becomes an opportunity offered by God’s providence. Her inner attitude is one of total humility and trust in God. How many of us can truly say we give total trust to God? When we fail to do this we fall short of the Glory of God. But if we keep our faith like Judith did the Impossible Victory becomes attainable through the mighty deeds of the Lord our God.


    12:2 when she gets into the camp then Holofernes says, come and I got a great meal for you. She says, No, I can’t eat any of that stuff I got my own koshered food. In 12:19 it says that even though she went to the party she brought her own food. Cause she didn’t want to eat anything that wasn’t kosher. So we might think, what’s the big deal? But the point of it is she was a very, God fearing women and that is the key concept in understanding on why God chose Judith.

    As you reading you see how Holiferenes and his aides are used to eating reclining on low couches or divans draped with pelts but Judith, on the other hand, reclines on fleeces piled on the floor, as if to imply a degree of austerity on her part. She was always in full control of herself. If Judith had drunk the wine she would have slept with the adversary, but since she did not drink, the sobriety of that woman alone brought about an easy victory over the drunken army.


  • Holofernes is captivated by her beauty and becomes so inebriated with her beauty and with drink that he doesn't have a clue about what is going to happen. He becomes so drunk he passes out and this give Judith the opportunity to save her people. Before she does the deed, she says a short prayer to God. As stated in verse There is no evidence of hatred or vengeance heroes. She is simply acting to defend the chosen people and the house of God.

    Chapter 13. So by verse 2, Judith was left alone in the tent with Holofernes who lay prostrate on his bed for he was sodden with wine. She had ordered her maid to stand outside the bedroom and wait as on the other days for her to come out. She said she was going out to for her prayer and to Begois, this servant of Holofernes, she said this also. She is making it clear that she will be going out again and they thought it would be for prayer. When everybody had departed Judith stood by Holofernes’ bed and said within herself, she is saying a prayer here. Praying before the big moment. “Oh Lord, God of all might. In this hour look graciously on my undertaking for the exultation of Jerusalem. This is not for her own exhalation. Now is the time for aiding your heritage and for carrying out my design to shatter the enemies who have risen against us. And with that prayer she goes over to the bedpost near the head of Holofernes and taking his sword from it, drew close to the bed, and grasped the hair of his head up and she said another prayer. “Strengthen me this day, Oh God of Israel” and then Judith proceed to cut off Holofernes’ head with a sword; the Greek word is akinate, a sword of Persian origin, short, worn in the belt by archers. There are parallels with the account of the death of Goliath. Where those who rely on their own might are defeated by those who count on God’s death.

    So her prayer was answered. Really it’s something we would not do and it’s hard for us to understand but if you can see it in the context of the story it makes sense. She was victorious . She rolled his body of his bed. So in other words he was lying down at her feet. She was superior over him and conquered him. He was at her feet. She took the canopy from its supporter and used it to carry his head. Soon afterward she came out and handed over the head of Holofernes to her maid who put it into her food pouch and the two went off together as they were accustomed to pray. Don’t you love it? She is wild and ambitious and set up and used this great strategy. So they pass through the camp like nothing is going on and goes back to Bethulia. Before the enemy discovers what has happened Judith has already made her escape. Remember she had set up a ritual of leaving every night to pray and this was an anticipated pattern of behavior that she cleverly planned ahead of time for. Judith and her maid makes thier way back to Bethulia with the head of Holifernes.



    When she got to the gates she says, Open, Open the gates, God, Our God is with us. And once more has made manifest to strengthen Israel with his power against our enemies. He has done it this very day. She gives credit and praise to God. God is with us. He has made manifest his strength. His power against our enemies has done it. It is all giving glory to God. The people recognized her voice and came out so that provides an audience for all the praising to God.

    In verse 14 she says, “Praise God, Praise God who has not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israel. But has shattered our enemies by my hand this very night. She mentions she was his hand and then like a magician magically takes out his head and says here it is! Here is the head of Holofernes, general and in charge of the Assyrian army and here is the canopy in which he lay in his drunkenness. The Lord struck him down by the hand of the women. God prevailed but used a lowly woman. She goes on to say,” As the Lord lives who has protected me in the path I have followed I swear that it was my faced that seduced Holofernes to his ruin and that he did not sin with me to my defilement and my disgrace.

    She is making it clear that she did not sin sexually with him. You can imagine everyone staring at her and was astonished and all bowed down and worshipped God with one accord. It goes on to say, “Blessed are you our God who today brought to naught the enemies of our people” and then Uzziah says, “Blessed are you daughter by the most high God, above all the women on earth and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth who guided your blow at the chief of our enemies and it goes on to say this prayer-a triumphant moment that prefigures Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
     
     
     





  • Judith becomes the heroine raised up by God to save his people when they are at their wit’s end. As Christian tradition sees it, the key thing is that God's enemy and Israel's enemy had been defeated by a woman. The church’s liturgy is aware of this then it applies to the Blessed Virgin the praise that Uzziah heaps on Judith. “ The Lord has blessed you with his power because through you he has overcome our enemies. The Lord has blessed you, my daughter, more than any other woman in the world” Divine Office.

    Since the book of Judith was included in the canonical books she become a prefiguration of Mary.
    Judith and Esther prefigure Mary by way of their beauty and their intercession on behalf of the people of God and as instruments of divine protection from their enemies. Each of these Old Testament women prefigure Mary through their humility, as God demonstrates the distinction between nature and grace.

  • Since the Book of Judith was included in the canonical books of the Old Testament, Christian typology of Judith becomes he prefiguration of the Virgin Mary. As St. Bonaventure commented on the virtuous similarity to Mary and Judith for their fight against the Devil. In part this association can be found in the meaning of Bethulia, which in Hebrew means not only “virgin” but also an innocent and pure young women. In addition the Hebrew word Bethulia, was understood as also meaning “the house of the Lord” that is the temple in the Old Testament or the City of Jerusalem, a prototype in the New Testament for the Christian Church, because she had defeated the villain Holofernes, just as Mary had conquered the Devil

    Judith not only represent Mary in that she is symbolically pure, but also prefigures her in the bible; as Mary foreshadows the church and the New Testament. While Judith foreshadows the synagogue and the Old Testament.

    Judith also prefigures Mary by way of her beauty and their intercession on behalf of the people of God and as instruments of divine protection from their enemies. Each of these Old Testament women prefigure Mary through their humility, as God demonstrates the distinction between nature and grace.

  • Uzziah goes on to give a blessing to Judith. It portrays another similarity between Mary and Judith. She is prefigured here as you can see a contrast between Uzziah’s blessing in 13:18 and Elizabeth’s blessing in Luke 1:42 “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” Uzziah says, “O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies. “

  • The events covered here bear out what Achior the Ammonite said in his speech to Holofernes. Now as the story draws to an end, we meet Achoir again and when he hears what has happened he is converted and becomes a member of the nation that enjoys such divine favor.

    Judith goes on to say, in Chapter 14 “Listen to me brothers, Take his head and hang it on the parapet of the wall. That was done a lot in the O.T. for people to view in public. (Goliath, John the Baptist) She is saying here is what’s going to happen now. It’s like she has become the military leader so to speak. She has taken the man’s role. In verse 2, she says, “Let each of you seize his weapon, let the able bodied men rush out of the city under command of a captain. They will seize their armor and hurry to their camps to awaken the generals of the Assyrians like when they see you coming and when they run to the tent of Holofernes and do not find him or more like not find his head they will panicky and flee from you and then you and all the other inhabitants of the whole territory will pursue them and strike them down in their tracks. She is the general now, the lowly widow and Holifernes who had been a strong general is dead.

    She brings in Achoir because he is the one person who can identify the head of Holofernes. These people didn’t know who he was but Achoir did because he had advised him. In verse 6 “so they call Achoir from the house of Uzziah and when he came and saw the head of Holifernes in the hand of one of the men in the assembly of the people he fell forward in a faint. Then after they lifted him up, he threw himself at the feet of Judith in almage and said Blessed are you in every tent of Judah and every foreign nation all who hear of you will be struck with terror. But now tell me all that you did during all these days. So after Achoir identifies Holofernes and sets it up so she can tell her story to all the people.


  • . In Chapter 15- verse 8 they are still giving credit to God and sees that Judith was just God’s mean for doing this. this prayer is sometimes used for the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc- another woman who went off to battle. Then when she finished her account the people cheered loudly and the city resounded with shouts of joy. So Achoir realizes that he was saved with the Israelites and becomes Jewish. The Israelites were celebrating their victory and praising Judith some more and in the meantime they were chasing after Holofernes army to destroy them. In verse 8 they are still giving credit to God and sees that Judith was just God’s mean for doing this

    It says in verse 9, “ And when they met her they all blessed her with one accord and said to her, “You are the exaltation of Jerusalem, you are the great glory of Israel, you are the great pride of our nation! You have done all this singlehanded; you have done great good to Israel and God is well pleased with it. May the Almighty Lord bless you for ever: and all the people said, “So be it!”

    Do we not hear an echo of the words of Judith, when Mary sings in the Magnificat: "He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has raised up the humble" (Lk 1,52). One can understand why the liturgical tradition common to Christians of the East and of the West loves to ascribe to Mary the Mother of Jesus, the praise given to Judith in verse 9 and 10?


    The people were all dancing around in verse 12 and blessing Judith and dancing in her honor. It was like Miriam and the Israelite women in Exodus 15: 20-21 after they were delivered from their enemies. Then Judith took branches something like the one in the festival of booths that you can read in Leviticus 23:40 and used Olive leaves which are a symbol of life, peace and thanksgiving and it says she took these branches in her hands and distributed them to the woman around her and she and the other women crowned themselves with garlands of olive leaves.

    Verse 14 says that Judith leads all Israel to this Psalm of Thanksgiving and this leads us into chapter 16.

  • The book of Judith began by describing Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance. God, through Judith has defeated him. The book ends by exalting Judith, the humble widow who put all her trust in God as stated in 16:21-24.

    . This leads us into chapter 16 becomes this poetic kind of Psalm that really is a hymn of praise to God. In verse 2 it says, Begin a song to my god with tambourines , sing to my Lord with cymbals, Raise to him a new pslam, exalt him, and cal upon his name. ‘For God is the Lord who crushes wars, for he has delivered me out of the hands of my pursuers, and brought me to his camp, in the midst of his people. (She is referring not to herself but to all the people)

    In verse 4 -5 . “ She was childless and hears she speak like a good mother, someone who values people above possessions and is clearly speaking about the children of Israel here.

    In verse 13 she is talking about singing a new psalm to God that now have been saved by God again. She gives reason for singing this song for singing this song from verse 13-17, with all the things that can happen when God is in power. This psalm is made up of other psalms or songs in the bible. Pieces of Psalm, from Judges and Isaiah. It appears that it is a compilation of things

    In verse 16 its says, “Read from book ” This is a little piece of theology isnsaying that all our little rituals are not as important as being in awe of God and all of his faithfulness in us. Our rituals are not enough, reverse for God is more important. We need to respond to God and live our lives according to our plans and Judith is an example of this. She was a woman of piety and she lived out this plan for God because of her awe of his greatness.

    Main idea is that it is patterned after Exodus 15, the song of triumph. It reminds us of God’s saving power. The idea is that the hand of God worked through people in Exodus through Moses and in this story Judith. They are parallel in that sense and you can ask yourself too, how does God work through you life and how do you respond to God in a way that you are the hand of God. How do some of your actions go beyond the daily rituals that you carry out?

    Verse 21-25 is an epilogue. When Judith goes back home she remains a widow and does not remarry. That would have been an obstacle to her dedication to God. She was renowned and rewarded with fame and honor in her own town. Her reward was a long life as she lived to be 105 years. She was really only in the public eye for a short period of time for a total of a month or so. She goes back to her home on the rooftop. She did something for her people in saving them and protecting them from their doubts. They see her as a model of freedom and courage. She is the one that brings them back with her faithfulness and obedience to the Lord.

    . Judith 16:25 during the life of Judith and after her death no one again disturbed the Israelites. When God is given a chance to show his divinity because we are not putting the obstacles of sin in the way we are going to live happily ever after. And if that ever changes it will be our idea and not his. His is ever faithful. The best way to approach this book is through the viewpoint that things are bad. Real bad and they have been that way for years and years. Here is entrenched evil. This book says “God” is still God no matter how entrenched evil is. Maybe you’re a black person and you see the racism entrenched in our society God is still God and you are his people and you don’t have to worry about a thing. Abortion has been legal for years Legalized. Some think who cares? But Jesus and he cares about his people and we are stronger than the most entrenched evil. Think about slavery that was internationally for centuries. Think about third right God changed that. The evil was entrenched but Lord knows how to change things. So that’s the way to approach it.

    I know that there are things in your life that you say that’s this is the way it’s been forever and there is no way it’s going to change then the book of Judith is for you .


    From the experience of the victory, the canticle of Judith ends with an invitation to raise a new song to God, acknowledging him as "great and glorious". At the same time, all creatures are admonished to remain subject to Him who with his word made everything and with his spirit fashioned it all. Who can resist the voice of God? Judith recalls it very forcefully: before the Creator and Lord of history, the mountains shall be shaken to their foundations and the rocks melt like wax (cf. Jdt 16,15). They are effective metaphors to recall that everything is "nothing" before the power of God. However the canticle of victory does not want to terrify, but to comfort. In fact, God puts his invincible power at the support of those who are faithful to him: "to those who fear you, you will continue to show mercy" (Jdt 16,15).

    . Because she conquered the unconquerable, she won the impossible victory and became the hand of God because she fought the good fight and gave all her glory to God.

  • Judith 2

    1. 1. The book of Judith has a particular literary style full of symbolism. •Bethulia = Israel • Judith = Stands for the entire people •Holofernes + Nebuchadnazzar = The enemies of Israel Judith gives a message of hope and symbolizes faith. Holofernes epitomizes force and symbolizes despair.
    2. 2. "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 people's complaints and setting five days as a deadline for God's 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 8
    3. 3. “Salvivifici Doloris” by Pope John Paul II . “ Suffering must serve for conversion, that is , for rebuilding of goodness in the subject, who can recognize the divine mercy in this call to repentance. The purpose of penance is to overcome evil, which under different forms lies dormant in man. Its purpose is also to strengthen goodness both in man himself and in his relations ship with others and especially with God.”
    4. 4. "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 9
    5. 5. 1. Symbolizes all offences suffered by the people of Israel. 2. Description of the Military might of the Assyria and the appeal for victory over them by the hands of a woman 3. Prayer for her plan to work 4. Seen in three parts
    6. 6. He is called: “The Lord” “God of the inheritance of Israel” “Lord of heaven and Earth” “Creator of waters” “King of all Creation” “”God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forlorn, and savior of those without hope”
    7. 7. "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 10
    8. 8. "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. Chapter11
    9. 9. 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. Chapter12
    10. 10. "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. Chapter 13
    11. 11. Luke 1:42 - "and she [Elizabeth] exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you [Mary] among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!' " Judith 13:18 - "And Uzziah said to her [Judith], 'O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies.' "
    12. 12. Mary : The Church and New Old Testament Judith: The synagogue and the Old Testament Mary: Defeats the Devil in Revelation 12:1-17 Judith: Defeats Holofornes Mary New Testament and Judith in Old Testament both become the antitype of the victorious church. Both had the virtues of humility and chasity
    13. 13. "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 Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” — Luke 1:42 Chapter 13
    14. 14. 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, 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. “"Summon for me Achior the Ammonite, that he may see and recognize the one who despised the house of Israel and sent him here to meet his death." —Judith 14:5 When Achior "saw the head of Holofernes in the hand of one of the men in the assembly of the people, he fell forward in a faint" (14:6). "Now Achior, seeing all that the God of Israel had done, believed firmly in Him. He had the flesh of his foreskin circumcised, and he has been united with the house of Israel to the present day" (14:10).
    15. 15. " 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 Judith's honor, threw a party and started dancing. Chapter 15
    16. 16. Chapter 16

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