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Judith 9 Common English Bible (CEB)

Judith prays to God

Judith fell on her face, put ashes on her head, and uncovered the funeral clothing she was wearing. Then, at the time when the evening incense was being offered in God’s house in Jerusalem, Judith cried out to the Lord with a loud voice and said:

“Lord, God of my ancestor Simeon, you put a sword into his hand to take revenge on the strangers who opened up a virgin’s womb to pollute her, who exposed her thighs to shame her, and who violated her womb to disgrace her. You said that such a thing shouldn’t happen, and yet they did it anyway. So you handed over their rulers to be murdered. You stained with blood the beds that were ashamed of their owners’ deceit. You struck down slaves along with princes, even princes upon their thrones. You handed over their women as booty and their daughters as prisoners. You gave all of their property to be divided up among your dearly loved children, who burned with holy zeal for you and hated the pollution of their blood, and called on you for help. God, my God, also hear me—a widow. You did those things in the past, and other things before these, and other things that have happened since. You intended the current situation and the things yet to come. What you planned has occurred. The things you considered stood ready and said, ‘Here we are!’ Indeed, all your ways are prepared in advance, and your judgment is known ahead of time.

“Look, the Assyrians have increased their army—priding themselves on their cavalry and horses, boasting in the weapons of their infantry, hoping in their shields, spears, bows, and slings. They don’t know that you are the Lord who crushes wars. The Lord is your name. Destroy their strength with your might, and break their power in your anger. For they plan to defile your sanctuary, to pollute the dwelling where your glorious name resides, and to break off the horns of your altar with a sword. Look at their arrogance, and send your wrath upon their heads. Give my hand, the hand of a widow, the strength to do what I have planned. 10 By using my lying lips, strike down the slave along with the ruler, the ruler along with his servant. Break their pride by the hand of a woman. 11 Your might isn’t in numbers, and your power isn’t in the strength of a human being. But you are the God of the humble. You are a helper of the underdog, defender of the weak, protector of those who despair, savior of those without hope. 12 I beg you, God of my ancestor, God of Israel’s inheritance, ruler of heaven and earth, creator of the waters, king of all your creation, hear my prayer! 13 Make my lying words a wound and a bruise to those who have planned cruel things against your covenant, your sacred temple, Mount Zion, and the house your children possess. 14 Make your whole nation and every tribe understand and know that you are God, the God of all power and might, and that there is no one else who protects the people of Israel except you.”

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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