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Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 15 (Abridged Text)

Without a leader, the Assyrian forces disperse, with the Israelites and their allies in pursuit. The Israelites plunder the Assyrian camp.

[1] And when those who were in the tents heard, they were astonished at what had happened. [2] And fear and trembling fell upon them, so that there was no man who dared to remain in the sight of his neighbor, but rushing out all together, they fled in every direction of the plain and of the hill country. [3] Those who had camped in the mountains surrounding Bethulia also fled away. Then the children of Israel, every one who was a warrior among them, rushed out upon them.

painting

[5] Now when the children of Israel heard it, they all fell upon them with one consent and slew them all the way to Chobai; and those who came from Jerusalem and from all the hill country did likewise, for men had told them what had happened in the camp of their enemies, and those who were in Galaad and in Galilee chased them with a great slaughter, until they were past Damascus and its borders.

[6] And the remnant who lived at Bethulia fell upon the camp of Assur and pillaged them, and they were greatly enriched.

[8] Then Joacim the high priest and the elders of the children of Israel who lived in Jerusalem came to behold the good things that God had done for Israel, and to see Judith and greet her.

sculpture

[11] And the people plundered the camp for the space of thirty days. And they gave the tent of Holofernes to Judith, and all his plates and beds and vessels and all his belongings; and she took it and laid it on her mule; and she prepared her cart and laid them on it.

[12] Then all the women of Israel ran together to see her, and they blessed her and made a dance among them for her; and she took branches in her hand and gave some also to the women who were with her. [13] And they put a garland of olive upon her and on her maid who was with her; and she went before all the people in the dance, leading all the women; and all the men of Israel followed in their amour with garlands, and with songs in their mouths.

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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.

The picture of Judith triumphantly displaying the head of Holofernes is from one of many copies of the Nurenberg Chronicle (1493), a Latin recounting of the human history as represented in Biblical stories and in local Germanic traditions. Woodcut illustrations were frequently hand colored in various ways.

The miniature Gothic ivory carving is attributed to Christoph Angermair (1580-1633). It is in the collection of the Ontario Gallery of Art in Toronto.