The Book of Judith
As found in the Greek Septuagint
Judith Remains Faithful to Her Religion
Judith 13:1 Holofernes commanded his men to take Judith to the table which was set with his silverware and to serve her some of his own special food and wine.
Judith 12:2 But Judith refused. "I cannot eat your food," she said, "for I would be breaking the laws of my God. I will eat only what I have brought with me."
Judith 12:3 "But what will you do when your food and wine are gone?" Holofernes asked. "Where will we get more food for you? There are no Israelites here in our camp."
Judith 12:4 "Sir," Judith answered, "as surely as you live, I have more than enough food to last until the Lord has used me to carry out his plan."
Judith 12:5 Then Holofernes' personal servants led Judith to a tent. She slept there until the time of the morning watch just before dawn, when she got up
Judith 12:6 and sent a message to Holofernes requesting permission to go out into the valley to pray.
Judith 12:7 Holofernes ordered his guards to let Judith leave the camp. So for three days Judith lived in the camp, and each night she would go out to the valley near Bethulia and bathe at the spring.
Judith 12:8 After she bathed, she would pray to the Lord God to guide her in her plan to bring victory to Israel.
Judith 12:9 Then she would return to the camp ritually pure and remain in her tent until after the evening meal.
Judith 12:10 On the fourth day of Judith's stay in the camp, Holofernes gave a banquet for his highest ranking officers, but he did not invite any of the officers who were on duty.
Judith 12:11 He said to Bagoas, the eunuch who was in charge of his personal affairs, "Go and persuade the Hebrew woman, who is in your care, to come to my tent to eat and drink with us.
Judith 12:12 It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to make love to a woman like that. If I don't try to seduce her, she will laugh at me."
Judith 12:13 So Bagoas left Holofernes and went to Judith. "Lovely lady." he said, "the general invites you to his tent for some drinks. Come and enjoy yourself like the Assyrian women who serve in Nebuchadnezzar's palace, This is a great honor."
Judith 12:14 "I shall be glad to accept," Judith answered "How could I refuse? I'll remember this happy night as long as I live."
Judith 12:15 So Judith got up and put on her prettiest clothes. Her slave woman went ahead of her and placed on the ground in front of Holofernes the lamb skins that Bagoas had given Judith to sit on when she ate.
Judith 12:16 Judith came into the tent and sat down there. Holofernes was aroused when he saw her and had an uncontrollable desire to make love to her. From the first day he had seen her, he had been waiting for a chance to seduce her.
Judith 12:17 "Join us for a drink and enjoy yourself," he said to her.
Judith 12:18 "I'll be glad to, sir," Judith replied; "this is the happiest day of my life."
Judith 12:19 But even then Judith ate and drank only what her slave had prepared.
Judith 12:20 Holofernes was so charmed by her that he drank more wine than he had ever drunk at one time in his whole life.
Judith 13:1 Finally, when it got late, the guests excused themselves and left. Bagoas then closed up the tent from the outside and prevented Holofernes' servants from going in. So they all went to bed; everyone was very tired because the banquet had lasted so long.
Judith 13:2 Judith was left alone in the tent with Holofernes who was lying drunk on his bed.
Judith 13:3 Judith's slave woman was waiting outside the tent for Judith to go and pray, as she had done each night. Judith has also told Bagoas that she would be going out to pray as usual.
Judith 13:4 All the guests and servants were now gone, and Judith and Holofernes were alone in the tent. Judith stood by Holofernes' bed and prayed silently, "O Lord, God Almighty, help me with what I am about to do for the glory of Jerusalem.
Judith 13:5 Now is the time to rescue your chosen people and to help me carry out my plan to destroy the enemies who are threatening us."
Judith 13:6 Judith went to the bedpost by Holofernes' head and took down his sword.
Judith 13:7 She came closer, seized Holofernes by the hair of his head, and said, "O Lord, God of Israel, give me strength now."
Judith 13:8 Then Judith raised the sword and struck him twice in the neck as hard as she could, chopping off his head.
Judith 13:9 She rolled his body off the bed and took down the mosquito net from the bedposts. Then she came out and gave Holofernes' head to her slave,
Judith 13:10 who put it in the food bag.
Judith and Her Slave Return to Bethulia
Judith 13:10 Then the two women left together, as they always did when they went to pray. After they had walked through the Assyrian camp, they crossed the valley and went up the mountainside until they came to the gates of Bethulia.
Judith 13:11 When they were a short distance away, Judith called out to the guards at the gate, "Open the gate! Open the gate! Our God is still with us. Today he has once again shown his strength in Israel and used his power against our enemies."
Judith 13:12 When the men heard her voice, they hurried down to the gates and called for the town officials.
Judith 13:13 Everyone, young and old, ran together to the gate. No one could believe that Judith had come back. They opened the gate for her and her slave and welcomed them. Then, when they had lit a fire to give some light and had gathered around the two women,
Judith 13:14 Judith shouted, "Praise God, give him praise! Praise God, who has not held back his mercy from the people of Israel. Tonight he has used me to destroy our enemies."
Judith 13:15 She then took the head out of the food bag and showed it to the people. "Here," she said, "is the head of Holofernes, the general of the Assyrian army, and here is the mosquito net from his bed, where he lay in a drunken stupor. The Lord used a woman to kill him.
Judith 13:16 As the Lord lives, I swear that Holofernes never touched me, although my beauty deceived him and brought him to his ruin. I was not defiled or disgraced; the Lord took care of me through it all."
Judith 13:17 Everyone in the city was utterly amazed. They bowed down and worshiped God, praying together, "Our God, you are worthy of great praise. Today you have triumphed over the enemies of your people."
Judith 13:18 Then Uzziah said, "Judith, my dear, the Most High God has blessed you more than any other woman on earth. How worthy of praise is the Lord God who created heaven and earth! He guided you as you cut off the head of our deadliest enemy.
Judith 13:19 Your trust in God will never be forgotten by those who tell of God's power.
Judith 13:20 May God give you everlasting honor for what you have done. May he reward you with blessings, because you remained faithful to him and did not hesitate to risk your own life to relieve the oppression of your people." All the people replied, "Amen, amen!"