Judith 14

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Judith 14

Judith's Counsel

1Then Judith said to them, "Listen to me, my brethren, and take this head and hang it upon the parapet of your wall. 2And as soon as morning comes and the sun rises, let every valiant man take his weapons and go out of the city, and set a captain over them, as if you were going down to the plain against the Assyrian outpost; only do not go down. 3Then they will seize their arms and go into the camp and rouse the officers of the Assyrian army; and they will rush into the tent of Holofer'nes, and will not find him. Then fear will come over them, and they will flee before you, 4and you and all who live within the borders of Israel shall pursue them and cut them down as they flee. 5But before you do all this, bring Ach'ior the Am'monite to me, and let him see and recognize the man who despised the house of Israel and sent him to us as if to his death."

6So they summoned Ach'ior from the house of Uzzi'ah. And when he came and saw the head of Holofer'nes in the hand of one of the men at the gathering of the people, he fell down on his face and his spirit failed him. 7And when they raised him up he fell at Judith's feet, and knelt before her, and said, "Blessed are you in every tent of Judah! In every nation those who hear your name will be alarmed. 8Now tell me what you have done during these days."

Then Judith described to him in the presence of the people all that she had done, from the day she left until the moment of her speaking to them. 9And when she had finished, the people raised a great shout and made a joyful noise in their city. 10And when Ach'ior saw all that the God of Israel had done, he believed firmly in God, and was circumcised, and joined the house of Israel, remaining so to this day.

Holofernes' Death Is Discovered

11As soon as it was dawn they hung the head of Holofer'nes on the wall, and every man took his weapons, and they went out in companies to the passes in the mountains. 12And when the Assyrians saw them they sent word to their commanders, and they went to the generals and the captains and to all their officers. 13So they came to Holofer'nes' tent and said to the steward in charge of all his personal affairs, "Wake up our lord, for the slaves have been so bold as to come down against us to give battle, in order to be destroyed completely."

14So Bago'as went in and knocked at the door of the tent, for he supposed that he was sleeping with Judith. 15But when no one answered, he opened it and went into the bedchamber and found him thrown down on the platform dead, with his head cut off and missing. 16And he cried out with a loud voice and wept and groaned and shouted, and rent his garments. 17Then he went to the tent where Judith had stayed, and when he did not find her he rushed out to the people and shouted, 18"The slaves have tricked us! One Hebrew woman has brought disgrace upon the house of King Nebuchadnez'zar! For look, here is Holofer'nes lying on the ground, and his head is not on him!"

19When the leaders of the Assyrian army heard this, they rent their tunics and were greatly dismayed, and their loud cries and shouts arose in the midst of the camp.