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Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 1 (Abridged Text)


Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon —here wrongly called Nineveh— appeals to all allied and subordinate states to assist in his war against the Medes. They decline, but his conquest succeeds anyway.

[1] In the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned in Nineveh, the great city, in the days of Arphaxad, who reigned over the Medes in Ecbatane, [5] in those very days, king Nebuchadnezzar made war with king Arphaxad on the great plain, which is the plain on the borders of Ragau.

[6] And all those who lived in the hill country came to him there; and all who lived by the Euphrates and the Tigris and the Hydaspes, and on the plain of Arioch the king of the Elymeans, and very many nations of the sons of Chelod assembled themselves for the battle.

[7] Then Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians sent to all who lived in Persia, and to all who lived westward, and to those who lived in Cilicia and Damascus and Libanus and Antilibanus, and to all who lived upon the sea coast, [10] and even to beyond Tanis and Memphis, and to all the inhabitants of Egypt, all the way to borders of Ethiopia.

[11] But all the inhabitants of the land made light of the commandment of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians; neither did they go into the battle with him, for they were not afraid of him. Yes, they considered him to be only one man; and they sent his ambassadors away from them with nothing to show except disgrace. [12] Therefore Nebuchadnezzar was very angry with all this country; and he swore by his throne and kingdom that he would surely be avenged upon all those coasts of Cilicia and Damascus and Syria, and that he would slay with the sword all the inhabitants of the land of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and all Judea, and all who were in Egypt, up to the very borders of the two seas.

[13] Then he marched in battle array with his power against king Arphaxad in the seventeenth year, and he prevailed in his battle, for he overthrew all the power of Arphaxad and all his horsemen and all his chariots, [14] and became lord of his cities. And he came to Ecbatane and took the towers and pillaged its streets and turned its beauty into shame. [15] He also overpowered Arphaxad at the mountains of Ragau and struck him through with his darts, and destroyed him utterly on that day.

[16] So he returned afterward to Nineveh, both he and all his company of diverse nations, who were a very great multitude of men of war; and there he took his ease and banqueted, both he and his army, for one hundred twenty days.

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Source:

This text has been reproduced from:

The World English Bible, a copyright-free modern English rendering of a 1901 translation that has now passed into the public domain.