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Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 16 (Abridged Text)

Judith sings a song of thanksgiving. Israel is at peace. Judith lives in honor to an age of one hundred and five years.

[1] Then Judith began to sing this thanksgiving for all Israel, and all the people sang after her this song of praise. [2] And Judith said,

“Sing to my God with timbrels; sing to my Lord with cymbals;
tune to him a new psalm; exalt him and call upon his name.

[4] Assur came out of the mountains from the north, he came with ten thousands of his army,
their great number stopped the torrents and their horsemen covered the hills.

[5] He bragged that he would burn up my borders,
and kill my young men with the sword,
and dash the infants against the ground,
and make my young children as a prey, and my virgins as plunder.

[6] But the Almighty Lord has disappointed them by the hand of a woman.

[7] For the mighty one didn’t fall by the young men,
neither did the sons of the Titans strike him,
nor did lofty giants set upon him;
but Judith the daughter of Merari weakened him with the beauty of her countenance.

[13] I will sing to the Lord a new song.
O Lord, you are great and glorious, wonderful in strength, and invincible.

[15] For the mountains will be moved from their foundations with the waters;
the rocks will melt like wax at your presence. Yet you are merciful to those who fear you.

[17] Woe to the nations who rise up against my kindred! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance upon them on the Day of Judgment
by putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they will feel them and will weep for ever.”


[18] Now as soon as they entered into Jerusalem, they worshipped the Lord; and as soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings and their free offerings and their gifts. [19] Judith also dedicated all the belongings of Holofernes, which the people had given her, and she gave the canopy, which she had taken out of his bedroom, as a gift to the Lord. [20] So the people continued feasting in Jerusalem before the sanctuary for the space of three months; and Judith remained with them.

[21] After this time, every one returned to his own inheritance. And Judith went to Bethulia and remained in her own possession; and during her time she was held in honor throughout the country. [22] And many desired her, but none knew her all the days of her life, after Manasseh her husband was dead and was gathered to his people.

[23] But she increased more and more in honor; and she grew old in her husband’s house, reaching the age of one hundred five years; and she made her woman servant free. So she died in Bethulia, and they buried her in the cave of her husband Manasseh.

[25] And there was no one who made the children of Israel afraid again during the days of Judith, nor for a long time after her death.

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Interactive review questions are available covering this reading. You can attempt them in a series of three "wimp" quizzes (1, 2, 3), or a pair of "normal" quizzes (1, 2), or a single hero version. All three versions have the same questions. The versions vary only in how many questions are blocked into a single quiz.


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 sculpture of Judith holding the head of Holofernes is from a carved wooden chest made in Paris about 1650. It is in the collection of the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.