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Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 9 (Full Text)


Judith prays for divine help in what she is about to do in his name.

[1] Judith fell upon her face and put ashes on her head and uncovered the sackcloth she was wearing; and, about the time that the incense of that evening was offered in Jerusalem in the house of the Lord, Judith cried with a loud voice, and said,

[2] “O Lord God of my father Simeon, to whom you gave a sword to take vengeance on the strangers, who loosened the girdle of a maid to defile her, and uncovered the thigh to her shame, and polluted her virginity to her reproach; for you said, ‘It will not be so,’ and yet they did so. [3] Therefore you gave their rulers to be slain, so that they dyed their bed in blood, being deceived, and you struck the servants with their lords and the lords upon their thrones; [4] and you have given their wives for a prey and their daughters to be captives and all their plunder to be divided among your dear children, who were moved with your zeal and abhorred the pollution of their blood and called upon you for aid. O God, my God, hear me also for I am a widow.

[5] “And you have wrought not only those things, but also the things which happened before and which followed afterwards; you have thought about the things which are now and which are to come. [6] Yes, the things you established were ready at hand, and they said, ‘Lo, we are here,’ for all your ways are prepared and your judgments are in your foreknowledge. [7] For, behold, the Assyrians are multiplied in their power; they are exalted with horse and man; they glory in the strength of their foot soldiers; they trust in shield and spear and bow and sling; and they do not know that you are the Lord who breaks the battles: the Lord is your name.

[8] “Throw down their strength in your power and bring down their force in your wrath; for they have resolved to defile your sanctuary and to pollute the tabernacle where your glorious name rests and to cast down with sword the horn of your altar. [9] Behold their pride and send your wrath upon their heads; give into my hand, the hand of a widow, the power that I have conceived. [10] Strike, by the deceit of my lips, the servant with the prince, and the prince with the servant; break down their stateliness by the hand of a woman.

[11] “For your power is not found in numbers, nor your might in strong men; for you are a God of the afflicted, a helper of the oppressed, an upholder of the weak, a protector of the forlorn, a savior of those who are without hope.

[12] “I pray to you, I beg you, O God of my father and God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of the heavens and the earth, Creator of the waters, King of every creature, hear my prayer; [13] and make my speech and deceit to be their wound and stripe, who have resolved cruel things against your covenant and your hallowed house, and against the top of Zion and the house of the possession of your children; [14] and so make every nation and tribe acknowledge that you are the God of all power and might, and that there is no other who protects the people of Israel but you.”

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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.