Judith 14-16New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
V. Victory and Thanksgiving[a]
Judith’s Plan of Attack. 1 Then Judith said to them: “Listen to me,[b] my brothers and sisters. Take this head and hang it on the parapet of your wall. 2 At daybreak, when the sun rises on the earth, each of you seize your weapons, and let all the able-bodied men rush out of the city under command of a captain, as if about to go down into the valley against the Assyrian patrol, but without going down. 3 The Assyrians will seize their weapons and hurry to their camp to awaken the generals of the army. When they run to the tent of Holofernes and do not find him, panic will seize them, and they will flee before you. 4 Then you and all the other inhabitants of the whole territory of Israel will pursue them and strike them down in their tracks. 5 But before doing this, summon for me Achior the Ammonite, that he may see and recognize the one who despised the house of Israel and sent him here to meet his death.”
Achior’s Conversion.[c] 6 So they called Achior from the house of Uzziah. When he came and saw the head of Holofernes in the hand of one of the men in the assembly of the people, he collapsed in a faint. 7 Then, after they lifted him up, he threw himself at the feet of Judith in homage, saying: “Blessed are you in every tent of Judah! In every nation, all who hear your name will be struck with terror. 8 But now, tell me all that you did during these days.” So Judith told him, in the midst of the people, all that she had done, from the day she left until the time she began speaking to them. 9 When she had finished her account, the people cheered loudly, so that the city resounded with shouts of joy. 10 Now Achior, seeing all that the God of Israel had done, believed firmly in God. He circumcised the flesh of his foreskin and he has been united with the house of Israel to the present day.
Panic in the Assyrian Camp. 11 At daybreak they hung the head of Holofernes on the wall. Then all the Israelite men took up their weapons and went out by groups to the mountain passes. 12 When the Assyrians saw them, they notified their commanders, who, in turn, went to their generals, their division leaders, and all their other leaders. 13 They came to the tent of Holofernes and said to the one in charge of all his things, “Awaken our lord, for the slaves have dared come down against us in battle, to their utter destruction.” 14 So Bagoas went in and knocked at the entry of the tent, presuming that Holofernes was sleeping with Judith. 15 When no one answered, he parted the curtains, entered the bedchamber, and found him thrown on the floor dead, with his head gone! 16 He cried out loudly, weeping, groaning, and howling, and tore his garments. 17 Then he entered the tent where Judith had her quarters; and, not finding her, he rushed out to the troops and cried: 18 “The slaves have duped us! One Hebrew woman has brought shame on the house of King Nebuchadnezzar. Look! Holofernes on the ground—without a head!”
19 When the leaders of the Assyrian forces heard these words, they tore their tunics and were overcome with great distress. Their loud cries and shouts were heard throughout the camp.
1 On hearing what had happened, those still in their tents were horrified. 2 Overcome with fear and dread, no one kept ranks any longer. They scattered in all directions, and fled along every path, both through the valley and in the hill country. 3 Those who were stationed in the hill country around Bethulia also took to flight. Then the Israelites, every warrior among them, came charging down upon them.
4 Uzziah sent messengers to Betomasthaim, to Choba and Kona, and to the whole territory of Israel to report what had happened and to urge them all to attack the enemy and destroy them. 5 On hearing this, all the Israelites, with one accord, attacked them and cut them down as far as Choba. Even those from Jerusalem and the rest of the hill country took part in this, for they too had been notified of the happenings in the camp of their enemy. The Gileadites and the Galileans struck the enemy’s flanks with great slaughter, even beyond Damascus and its borders. 6 The remaining people of Bethulia swept down on the camp of the Assyrians, plundered it, and acquired great riches. 7 The Israelites, when they returned from the slaughter, took possession of what was left. Even the towns and villages in the hill country and on the plain got an enormous quantity of spoils, for there was a tremendous amount of it.
Israel Celebrates Judith’s Victory. 8 Then the high priest Joakim and the senate of the Israelites who lived in Jerusalem came to see for themselves the good things that the Lord had done for Israel, and to meet and congratulate Judith. 9 When they came to her, all with one accord blessed her, saying:
“You are the glory of Jerusalem![d]
And all the people said, “Amen!”
11 For thirty days[e] all the people plundered the camp, giving Judith the tent of Holofernes, with all his silver, his beds, his dishes, and all his furniture. She took them and loaded her mule, hitched her carts, and loaded these things on them.
12 All the women of Israel gathered to see her, and they blessed her and performed a dance in her honor. She took branches in her hands and distributed them to the women around her, 13 and she and the other women crowned themselves with olive leaves. Then, at the head of all the people, she led the women in the dance, while the men of Israel followed, bearing their weapons, wearing garlands and singing songs of praise. 14 [f]Judith led all Israel in this song of thanksgiving, and the people loudly sang this hymn of praise:
Judith’s Hymn of Deliverance
1 And Judith sang:
“Strike up a song to my God with tambourines,
3 “The Assyrian came from the mountains of the north,
5 “But the Lord Almighty thwarted them,
10 “The Persians trembled at her boldness,
13 “I will sing a new song to my God.
“But to those who fear you,
17 “Woe to the nations that rise against my people!
18 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they worshiped God. As soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings, voluntary offerings, and donations. 19 Judith dedicated to God all the things of Holofernes that the people had given her, putting under the ban the canopy that she herself had taken from his bedchamber. 20 For three months the people continued their celebration in Jerusalem before the sanctuary, and Judith remained with them.
The Renown and Death of Judith. 21 When those days were over, all of them returned to their inheritance. Judith went back to Bethulia and remained on her estate. For the rest of her life she was renowned throughout the land. 22 Many wished to marry her, but she gave herself to no man all the days of her life from the time her husband, Manasseh, died and was gathered to his people. 23 Her fame continued to increase, and she lived in the house of her husband, reaching the advanced age of one hundred and five.[g] She set her maid free. And when she died in Bethulia, they buried her in the cave of her husband, Manasseh; 24 and the house of Israel mourned her for seven days.[h] Before she died, she distributed her property to the relatives of her husband, Manasseh, and to her own relatives.
25 During the lifetime of Judith and for a long time after her death, no one ever again spread terror[i] among the Israelites.