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Judith 1 Good News Translation (GNT)

The War between Nebuchadnezzar and Arphaxad

While King Nebuchadnezzar was ruling over the Assyrians from his capital city of Nineveh, King Arphaxad ruled over the Medes from his capital city of Ecbatana. Around Ecbatana King Arphaxad built a wall 105 feet high and 75 feet thick of cut stones; each stone was 4 1/2 feet thick and 9 feet long. At each gate he built a tower 150 feet high, with a foundation 90 feet thick. Each gateway was 105 feet high and 60 feet wide—wide enough for his whole army to march through, with the infantry in formation.

In the twelfth year of his reign King Nebuchadnezzar went to war against King Arphaxad in the large plain around the city of Rages. Many nations joined forces with King Arphaxad—all the people who lived in the mountains, those who lived along the Tigris, Euphrates, and Hydaspes rivers, as well as those who lived in the plain ruled by King Arioch of Elam. Many nations joined this Chelodite alliance.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Assyria sent a message to the Persians and to the people to the west, in the regions of Cilicia, Damascus, Lebanon, Antilebanon, to those along the coast, and in the regions of Carmel, Gilead, northern Galilee, and Jezreel Valley. 9-10 The message also went to the people living in Samaria and the nearby towns, to those in the area west of the Jordan River as far as the cities of Jerusalem, Bethany, Chelous, and Kadesh, and to the district of Goshen. The message was also taken to the Egyptian cities of Tahpanhes, Rameses, Tanis, and Memphis, and the district up the Nile River to the Ethiopian[a] border. 11 But everyone in this whole region ignored King Nebuchadnezzar's appeal and refused to take part in the war. They thought that he had no chance of winning the war, so they were not afraid of him and sent his messengers back disgraced and empty-handed.

12 This made Nebuchadnezzar so furious that he vowed he would risk his entire kingdom to take revenge on all those people. He vowed that he would put to death the entire population of Cilicia, Damascus, Syria, Moab, Ammon, Judah, and Egypt—everyone from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.

13 In the seventeenth year of his reign King Nebuchadnezzar led his army into battle against King Arphaxad. He defeated all of Arphaxad's forces, including his entire cavalry, and all his charioteers. 14 Then Nebuchadnezzar occupied all the towns in the land of Media and advanced against the city of Ecbatana. He captured the city's towers, looted its markets, and made that beautiful city a ruin. 15 He captured King Arphaxad in the mountains around Rages and killed him. After Arphaxad's death, 16 Nebuchadnezzar and his entire army returned to Nineveh with all the loot taken in battle. There they relaxed and feasted for four months.

Footnotes:

  1. Judith 1:9 Greek Ethiopian: Ethiopia is the name given in Graeco-Roman times to the extensive territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. Cush was the ancient (Hebrew) name of this region which included within its borders most of modern Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia).
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Judith 1 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Arphaxad Fortifies Ecbatana

It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. In those days Arphaxad ruled over the Medes in Ecbatana. He built walls around Ecbatana with hewn stones three cubits thick and six cubits long; he made the walls seventy cubits high and fifty cubits wide. At its gates he raised towers one hundred cubits high and sixty cubits wide at the foundations. He made its gates seventy cubits high and forty cubits wide to allow his armies to march out in force and his infantry to form their ranks. Then King Nebuchadnezzar made war against King Arphaxad in the great plain that is on the borders of Ragau. There rallied to him all the people of the hill country and all those who lived along the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Hydaspes, and, on the plain, Arioch, king of the Elymeans. Thus, many nations joined the forces of the Chaldeans.[a]

Nebuchadnezzar Issues Ultimatum

Then Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, sent messengers to all who lived in Persia and to all who lived in the west, those who lived in Cilicia and Damascus, Lebanon and Antilebanon, and all who lived along the seacoast, and those among the nations of Carmel and Gilead, and Upper Galilee and the great plain of Esdraelon, and all who were in Samaria and its towns, and beyond the Jordan as far as Jerusalem and Bethany and Chelous and Kadesh and the river of Egypt, and Tahpanhes and Raamses and the whole land of Goshen, 10 even beyond Tanis and Memphis, and all who lived in Egypt as far as the borders of Ethiopia. 11 But all who lived in the whole region disregarded the summons of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, and refused to join him in the war; for they were not afraid of him, but regarded him as only one man.[b] So they sent back his messengers empty-handed and in disgrace.

12 Then Nebuchadnezzar became very angry with this whole region, and swore by his throne and kingdom that he would take revenge on the whole territory of Cilicia and Damascus and Syria, that he would kill with his sword also all the inhabitants of the land of Moab, and the people of Ammon, and all Judea, and every one in Egypt, as far as the coasts of the two seas.

Arphaxad Is Defeated

13 In the seventeenth year he led his forces against King Arphaxad and defeated him in battle, overthrowing the whole army of Arphaxad and all his cavalry and all his chariots. 14 Thus he took possession of his towns and came to Ecbatana, captured its towers, plundered its markets, and turned its glory into disgrace. 15 He captured Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau and struck him down with his spears, thus destroying him once and for all. 16 Then he returned to Nineveh, he and all his combined forces, a vast body of troops; and there he and his forces rested and feasted for one hundred twenty days.

Footnotes:

  1. Judith 1:6 Syr: Gk Cheleoudites
  2. Judith 1:11 Or a man
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Judith 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Assyrian Threat[a]

Chapter 1

Nebuchadnezzar Against Arphaxad.[b] It was the twelfth year[c] of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. At that time Arphaxad was ruling over the Medes in Ecbatana. [d]Around Ecbatana he built a wall of hewn stones, three cubits thick and six cubits long. He made the walls seventy cubits high and fifty cubits wide. At its gates he raised towers one hundred cubits high with foundations sixty cubits wide. He made its gates seventy cubits high and forty cubits wide to allow passage of his mighty forces, with his infantry in formation. At that time King Nebuchadnezzar waged war against King Arphaxad in the vast plain that borders Ragau.[e] Rallying to him were all who lived in the hill country, all who lived along the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Hydaspes, as well as Arioch, king of the Elamites, in the plains. Thus many nations joined the ranks of the Chelodites.[f]

Then Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, contacted all the inhabitants of Persia[g] and all who lived in the west, the inhabitants of Cilicia and Damascus, Lebanon and Antilebanon, and all who lived along the seacoast, the peoples of Carmel, Gilead, Upper Galilee, and the vast plain of Esdraelon, and all in Samaria and its cities, and west of the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, Bethany, Chelous, Kadesh, and the river of Egypt; Tahpanhes, Raamses, all the land of Goshen, 10 Tanis, Memphis and beyond, and all the inhabitants of Egypt as far as the borders of Ethiopia.

11 But all the inhabitants of the whole land[h] made light of the summons of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, and would not join him in the war. They were not afraid of him, since he was only a single opponent. So they sent back his envoys empty-handed and disgraced. 12 Then Nebuchadnezzar fell into a violent rage against all the land, and swore by his throne and his kingdom that he would take revenge on all the territories of Cilicia, Damascus, and Syria, and would destroy with his sword all the inhabitants of Moab, Ammon, the whole of Judea, and all those living in Egypt as far as the coasts of the two seas.[i]

Defeat of Arphaxad. 13 In the seventeenth year[j] he mustered his forces against King Arphaxad and was victorious in his campaign. He routed the whole force of Arphaxad, his entire cavalry, and all his chariots, 14 and took possession of his cities. He pressed on to Ecbatana, took its towers, sacked its marketplaces, and turned its glory into shame. 15 He captured Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau, ran him through with spears, and utterly destroyed him once and for all. 16 Then he returned to Nineveh with all his consolidated forces, a very great multitude of warriors; and there he and his forces relaxed and feasted for one hundred and twenty days.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–3:10 This section consists of an introduction to Nebuchadnezzar (1:1–16), his commissioning of Holofernes (2:1–13), and a description of the campaigns Holofernes leads against the disobedient vassal nations of the west (2:14–3:10).
  2. 1:1–16 Introduction to Nebuchadnezzar and his campaign against Arphaxad. Nebuchadnezzar (605/4–562 B.C.), the most famous Neo-Babylonian king, destroyed Jerusalem in 587 B.C., the eighteenth year of his reign (see Jer 32:1). His depiction here as an Assyrian is an invention of the author, as is the description of Arphaxad, an otherwise unknown king of the Medes, in Ecbatana.
  3. 1:1 Twelfth year: in the twelfth year of Nebuchadnezzar (593 B.C.) Zedekiah, king of Judah, refused to join a revolt against him (see Jer 27:3; 28:1). Nineveh: capital of Assyria, destroyed in 612 B.C.
  4. 1:2–4 Since a cubit was the distance from the elbow to the fingertip (approximately eighteen inches), these dimensions are prodigious. The massive wall around Ecbatana is described as 105 feet high and 75 feet thick, with each stone measuring four and a half feet thick and nine feet long. The tower gates are 150 feet high and 60 feet wide. Such unlikely massive structures have never been found at Ecbatana, which lies beneath the modern city of Hamadan, located in the Zagros mountains of northwest Iran. Ecbatana is mentioned in vv. 1, 2, 14 as Arphaxad’s headquarters. Tradition claims Esther and Mordecai are buried there.
  5. 1:5 Ragau, the place where Arphaxad is slain (v. 15), one of the oldest settlements in Iran, is located on a plain one hundred miles northeast of Ecbatana. In the Book of Tobit it is the home of Gabael (Tb 1:14; 4:1, 20; 5:6; 6:13; 9:2, 5).
  6. 1:6 Chelodites: Greek Cheleoud, probably a corruption of “Chaldeans,” i.e., the Neo-Babylonians.
  7. 1:7 Mention of Persia suggests a postexilic setting for the book, since this area would have been designated Media before the middle of the fifth century B.C.
  8. 1:11 References to “the whole land,” “all the land” are used ten times in the first two chapters (vv. 11, 12; 2:1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 19). This signifies all the nations west of Persia as far as Egypt that were subject to Nebuchadnezzar, i.e., the whole earth or world (esp. 2:9). These and similar formulations throughout the book build the case that the “God of heaven” (5:8; 6:19; 11:17) is the true “Master of heaven and earth” (9:12).
  9. 1:12 The two seas: probably the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, though possibly the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
  10. 1:13 Seventeenth year: 588 B.C. Without help from the vassal nations, Nebuchadnezzar defeats Arphaxad.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Judith 1 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Now Arphaxad king of the Medes had brought many nations under his dominions, and he built a very strong city, which he called Ecbatana,

Of stones squared and hewed: he made the walls thereof seventy cubits broad, and thirty cubits high, and the towers thereof he made a hundred cubits high. But on the square of them, each side was extended the space of twenty feet.

And he made the gates thereof according to the height of the towers:

And he gloried as a mighty one in the force of his army and in the glory of his chariots.

Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him,

In the great plain which is called Ragua, about the Euphrates, and the Tigris, and the Jadason, in the plain of Erioch the king of the Elicians.

Then was the kingdom of Nabuchodonosor exalted, and his heart was elevated: and he sent to all that dwelt in Cilicia and Damascus, and Libanus,

And to the nations that are in Carmelus, and Cedar, and to the inhabitants of Galilee in the great plain of Asdrelon,

And to all that were in Samaria, and beyond the river Jordan even to Jerusalem, and all the land of Jesse till you come to the borders of Ethiopia.

10 To all these Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, sent messengers:

11 But they all with one mind refused, and sent them back empty, and rejected them without honour.

12 Then king Nabuchodonosor being angry against all that land, swore by his throne and kingdom that he would revenge himself of all those countries.

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