Go to Procursus.
Previous Chapter, Procursus
File last modified: 150909
Go to abridged text.

Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 16 (Full 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.

[3] For God breaks the battles.
For among the camps, in the midst of the people,
he has delivered me out of the hands of those who persecuted me.

[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.

[8] For she put off the garment of her widowhood, for the exaltation of those who were oppressed in Israel,
and anointed her face with ointment, and bound her hair in a headdress, and put on a linen garment, to deceive him.

[9] Her sandals ravished his eyes; her beauty took his mind prisoner; and the broadsword passed through his neck.

[10] The Persians quaked at her boldness; and the Medes were daunted by her hardiness.

[11] Then my afflicted shouted for joy and my weak ones cried aloud.
But they were astonished; these lifted up their voices, but they were overthrown.

[12] The sons of the gentlewomen have pierced them through
and wounded them as fugitives’ children; they perished by the battle of the Lord.

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

[14] Let all creatures serve you. For you spoke and they were made;
you sent forth your spirit and it created them; and there is none who can resist your voice.

[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.

[16] For all sacrifice is too little to be a sweet fragrance for you
and all the fat is not sufficient for your burnt offering, but he who fears the Lord is great at all times.

[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.”

bildo

[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. [24] And the house of Israel lamented for her seven days. And before she died, she distributed her goods to all those who were the nearest kindred of Manasseh her husband and to those who were the nearest of her kindred.

[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.

Go to Previous Chapter, Procursus
Return to top.


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.


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 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.