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Apocrypha. JUDITH. Apocrypka.
7 She was also of a goodly countenance and very beautiful to behold : and her husband Manasses had left her gold, and silver and men-servants, and maid-servants, and cattle, and lands; and she remained upon them. 8 And there was nonc that gave her an ill word ; for she feared God greatly. 9 Now when she heard the evil words of the people against the governor, that they fainted for lack of water; for Judith had heard all the words that Ozias had spoken unto them, and that he had sworn to deliver the city unto the Assyrians after five days; 10 Then she cent her waiting-woman, that had the government of all things that she had, to call Ozias and Chabris and Charmis, the ancients of the city. i i And they came unto her, and she said unto them, Hear me now, O ye governors of the inhabitants of Bethulia: for your words that ye have spoken before the people this day are not right, touching this oath which ye made and pronounced between God and you, and have promised to deliver the city to our enemies, unless within these days the Lord turn to help you. 12 " And now who are ye that have tempted God this day, and stand instead of God among the children of men f 13 And now try the Lord Almighty, but ye shall never know any thing. 14 For ye cannot find the depth of the heart of man, neither can ye perceive the things that he thinketh : then how can ye search out God, that hath made all these things, and know his mind, or comprehend his purpose 2 Nay, my brethren, provoke not the Lord our God to anger. 15 For if he will not help us within these five days, he hath power to defend us when he will, even every day, or to destroy us be: ione our enemies. 16 Do not bind the counsels of the Lord our God: for God is not as man, that he may be threatened; neither is he as the son of man, that he should be wavering. 17 | Therefore let us wait for salvation of him, and call upon him to help us, and he will hear our voice, if it please him. 18 For there arose none in our age, neither is there any now in these days, neither tribe nor family, nor people, nor city, among us, which worship gods made with hands, as hath been aforetime. 19 For the which cause our fathers were given to the sword, and for a spoil, and had a great fall before our enemies. 20 But we know none other god, therefore we trust that he will not despise us, nor any of our nation. 21 For if we be taken so, all Judea shall lie waste, and our sanctuary shall be spoiled : and he will require the profanation thereof at our mouth,
22 And the slaughter of our brethren, and the captivity of the country, and the desolation of our inheritance, will he turn upon our heads among the Gentiles, wheresoever we shall be in bondage; and we shall be an offence and a reproach to all them that possess us. 23 For our servitude shall not be directed to favour : but the Lord our God shall turn it to dishonour. 24 Now therefore, Obrethren, let us shew an example to our brethren, because their hearts depend upon us, and the sanctuary, and the house, and the altar, rest upon us. 25 Moreover, let us give thanks to the Lord our God, which trieth us, even as he did our fathers. 26 Remember what things he did to Abraham, and how he tried Isaac, and what happened to Jacob in Mesopotamia of Syria, when he kept the sheep of Laban his mother's brother. 27 For he hath not tried us in the fire, as he did them, for the examination of their hearts, neither hath he taken vengeance on us : but the Lord doth scourge them that come near unto him, to admonish them. 28 Then said Ozias to her, All that thou hast spoken has: thou spoken with a good | heart, and there is none that may gainsay thy words. 29 For this is not the first day wherein thy wisdom is manifested ; but from the beginning of thy days all the people have known thy understanding, because the disposition of thine heart is good. 30 But the people were very thirsty, and compelled us to do unto them as we have spoken, and to bring an oath upon ourselves, which we will not break. 31 Therefore now pray thou for us, because thou art a godly woman, and the Lord will send us rain to fill our cisterns, and we shall faint no more. 32 Then said Judith unto them, Hear me, and I will do a thing which shall go throughout all generations to the children of our Ination. 33 Ye shall stand this night in the gate, and I will go forth with my waiting-woman: and within the days that ye have promised to deliver the city to our enemies the Lord will visit Israel by mine hand. 34 But inquire not ye of mine act: for I will not declare it unto you, till the things be finished that I do. 35 Then said Ozias and the princes unto her, Go in peace, and the Lord God be before thee, to take vengeance on our enemies. 36 So they returned from the tent, and went to their wards. CHAP. IX. 1 Judith humbleth Berself, 2 and prayeth Ged to proper her purpose against the enemies of his
Apocrypha. This Judith fell upon her face, and put ashes upon her head, and uncovered the sackcloth where with she was clothed ; and about the time that the incense of that evening was offered in Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, Judith cried with a loud voice, and said, 2 * O Lord God of my father Simeon, to whom thou gavest a sword to take vengeance of the strangers, who loosened the girdie of a maid to defile her, and discovered the thigh to her shame, and polluted her virginity to her reproach ; for thou saidst, It shall not be so ; and yet they did so : 3 Wherefore thou gavest their rulers to be slain, so that they dyed their bed in blood, being deceived, and smotest the servants with their lords, and the lords upon their thrones;
4 And hast given their wives for a prey, and their daughters to be captives, and all their spoils to be divided among thy dear children ; which were moved with thy zeal, and abhorred the pollution of their blood, and called upon thee for aid : O God, O my God, hear me also a widow. 5 For thou hast wrought not only those things, but also the things which fell out before and which ensued after ; thou hast thought upon the things which are now, and which are to come. 6 Yea, what things thou didst determine were ready at hand, and said, Lo, we are here: for all thy ways are prepared, and thy judgments are in thy foreknowledge. 7. For, behold, the Assyrians are multiplied in their power: they are exalted with horse and man; they glory in the strength of their footmen ; they trust in shield and spear, and bow and sling ; and know not that thou art the Lord that breakest the battles: the Lord is thy name. 8 Throw down their sirength in thy power, and bring down their force in thy wrath: for they have purposed to defile thy sanctuary, and to pollute the tabernacle where thy glorious name resteth, and to cast down with sword the horn of thy altar. 9 Behold their pride, and send thy wrath upon their heads: give into mine hand, which an a widow, the power that I have conceived. 10 Smite by the deceit of my lips the serwant with the prince, and the prince with the servant : break down their stateliness by the hand of a woman. 11 For thy power standeth not in multitude, northy might in strong men : for thou art a God of the afflicted, an helper of the oppressed, an upholder of the weak, a protector of the forlorn, a saviour of them that are without hope. 12 I pray thee, I pray thee, O God of my father, and God of the inheritance of Israel,
Lord of the heavens and earth, Creator of
the waters, King of every creature, hear thou
my prayer :
13 And make my speech and deceit to be their wound and stripe, who have purposed cruel things against thy covenant, and tny hallowed house, and against the top of Sion, and against the house of the possession of thy children. 14 And make every nation and tribe to acknowledge that thou art the God or all power and might, and that there is none other that protecteth the people of Israel but thou. CHAP. X. 3 judith adorneth herself, 1o She and her maid go forth into the camp. TOW after that she had ceased to cry unto the God of Israel, and had made an end of all these words, 2 She rose where she had fallen down, and called her maid, and went down into the house, in the which she abode in the sabbath days, and in her feast days, 3 * And pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and braided the hair of her head, and put on a tire upon it, and put on her garments of gladness, where with she was clad during the life of Manasses her husband. 4 And she took sandals upon her feet, and put about her her bracelets, and her chains, and her rings, and her earrings, and all her. ornaments, and decked herself bravely, to allure the eyes of all men that should see her. 5 Then she gave her maid a bottle of wine, and a cruse of oil, and filled a bag with parched corn, and lumps of figs, and with fine bread; so she folded all these things together, and laid them upon her. 6 Thus they went forth to the gate of the city of Bethulia, and found standing there Ozias, and the ancients of the city, Chabris and Charmis. 7 And when they saw her, that her countenance was altered, and her apparel was changed, they wondered at her beauty very greatly, and said unto her, 8 The God, the God of our fathers, give thee favour, and accomplish thine enterprizes to the glory of the children of Israel, and to the exaltation of Jerusalem. Then they worshipped God. 9 And she said unto them, Command the gates of the city to be opened unto me, that i may go forth to accomplish the things whereof ye have spoken with me so they commanded the young men to open unto her, as she had spoken. io And when they had done so, Judith went out, she, and her maid with her ; and the men of the city looked after her, until she was gone down the mountain, and till she had passed the valley, and could see her no in ore.
Apocrypta. 11 Thus they went straight forth in the valley ; and the first watch of the Assyrians met her, 12 And took her, and asked her, Of what people art thou ? and whence comest thou ? and whither goest thou ? And she said, I am a woman of the Hebrews, and am fled from them : for they shall be given you to be consumed : 13 And I am coming before Holofernes the chief captain of your army, to declare words of truth ; and I will shew him a way whereby he shall go, and win all the hill country, without losing the body or life of any one of his men. 14 Now when the men heard her words, and beheld her countenance, they wondered greatly at her beauty, and said unto her, 15 Thou hast saved thy life, in that thou hast hasted to come down to the presence of our lord : now therefore come to his tent, and some of us shall conduct thee, until they have delivered thee to his hands. 16 And when thou standest before him, be not afraid in thine heart, but shew unto him according to thy word; and he will entreat thee well. 17 Then they chose out of them an hundred men to accompany her and her maid; and they brought her to the tent of Holofernes. . 18. Then was there a concourse throughout all the camp : for her coming was noised among the tents, and they came about her, as she stood without the tent of Holofernes, till they told him of her. 19 And they wondered at her beauty, and admired the children of Israel because of her, and every one said to his neighbour, Who would despise this people that have among them such women surely it is not good that one man of them be left, who being let go might deceive the whole earth. 20 And they that lay near Holofernes went out, and all his servants, and they brought her into the tent. 21 Now Holofernes rested upon his bed under a canopy, which was woven with purple, and gold, and emeralds, and precious stones. 22 So they shewed him of her; and he came out before his tent with silver lamps going before him. 23 And when Judith was come before him and his servants, they all marvelled at the beauty of her countenance ; and she fell down upon her face, and did reverence unto him ; and his servants took her up. CHAP. XI. 3 Holoformer asketà judith the cause of her coning : 20 he is much pleased with her wisdom and beauty. HEN said Holofernes unto her, Woman, be of good comfort, fear not in thine
heart : for I never hurt any that was willing to serve Nabuchodonosor, the king of all the earth. 2 Now therefore, if thy people that dwell. eth in the mountains had not set light by me, I would not have lifted up my spear against them : but they have done these things to themselves. 3 * But now tell me wherefore thou art fled from them, and art come unto us: for thou art come for safeguard; be of good comfort, thou shalt live this night, and hereafter : 4 For none shall hurt thee, but entreat thee well, as they do the servants of king Nabuchodonosor my lord. 5 Then Judith said unto him, Receive the words of thy servant, and suffer thine handmaid to speak in thy presence, and I will declare no lie to my lord this night. 6 And if thou wilt follow the words of thine handmaid, God will bring the thing perfectly to pass by thee; and my lord shall not fail of his purposes. 7 As Nabuchodonosor king of all the earth liveth, and as his power liveth, who hath sent thee for the upholding of every living thing : for not only men shall serve him by thee, but also the beasts of the field, and the cattle, and the fowls of the air, shall live by thy power under Nabuchodonosor and all his house. 8 For we have heard of thy wisdom and thy policies, and it is reported in all the earth, that thou only art excellent in all the kingdom, and mighty in knowledge, and wonderful in feats of war. 9 Now as concerning the matter, which Achior did speak in thy council, we have heard his words; for the men of Bethulia saved him, and he declared unto them aii that he had spoken unto thee. 1o Therefore, O lord and governor, reject not his word ; but lay it up in thine heart, for it is true : for our nation shall not be punished, neither can the sword prevail against them, except they sin against their God. 11 And now, that my lord be not defeated and frustrate of his purpose, even death is now fallen upon them, and their sin hath overtaken them, wherewith they will provoke their God to anger, whensoever they shall do that which is not fit to be done : 12 For their victuals fail them, and all their water is scant, and they have determined to lay hands upon their cattle, and purposed to consume all those things, that God hath forbidden them to eat by his laws: 13 And are resolved to spend the first fruits of the corn, and the tenths of wine and oil, which they had sanctified, and reserved for the priests that serve in Jerusalem before the face of our God; the which things it is
Apocrypha. not lawful for any of the people so much as to touch with their hands. 14 For they have sent some to Jerusalem, because they also that dwell there have done the like, to bring them a license from the senatc. 15 Now when they shall bring them word, they will forthwith do it, and they shall be given thee to be destroyed the same day. 16 Wherefore I thine handmaid knowing all this, am fled from their presence; and God hath sent me to work things with thee, whereat all the earth shall be astonished, and whosoever shall hear it. 17 For thy servant is religious, and serveth the God of heaven day and night : now therefore, my lord, I will remain with thee, and thy servant will go out by night into the valley, and I will pray unto God, and he will tell me when they have committed their sails : 18 And I will come and shew it unto thee: then thou shalt go forth with all thine army, and there shall be none of them that shall resist thee. 19 And I will lead thee through the midst of Judea, until thou come before Jerusalem ; and I will set thy throne in the midst thereof ; and thou shalt drive them as sheep that have no shepherd, and a dog shall not so much as open his mouth at thee : for these things were told me according to my foreknowledge, and they were declared unto me, and I am sent to tell thee. 20 * Then her words pleased Holofernes, and all his servants; and they marvelled at her wisdom, and said, 21 There is not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other, both for beauty of face, and wisdom of words. 22. Likewise Holofernes said unto her, God hath done well to send thee before the people, that strength might be in our hands, and destruction upon them that lightly regard my lord. 23 And now thou art both beautiful in thy countenance, and witty in thy words: surely if thou do as thou hast spoken, thy God shall be my God, and thou shalt dwell in the house of king Nabuchodonosor, and shalt be renowned through the whole earth. CHAP. XII. 2 judith will not eat of Holofernes' meat : 7 be tarrieth three days in the camp. HEN he commanded to bring her in where his plate was set ; and bade that they should prepare for her of his own meats, and that she should drink of his own wine. 2 * And Judith said, I will not eat thereof, lest there be an offence: but provision shall be made for me of the things that I have brought. 3 Then Holofernes said unto her, If thy provision should fail, how should we give
thee the like for there be none with us of thy nation. 4 Then said Judith unto him, As thy soul liveth, my lord, thine handmaid shall not spend those things that I have, before the Lord work by mine hand the things that he hath determined. 5.Then the servants of Holofernes brought her into the tent, and she slept till midnight, and she arose when it was toward the morning watch, 6 And sent to Holofernes, saying, Let my lord now command that thine handmaid may go forth unto prayer. 7 "Then Holofernes commanded his guard that they should not stay her: thus she abode in the camp three days, and went out in the night into the valley of Bethulia, and washed herself in a fountain of water by the camp. 8 And when she came out, she besought the Lord God of Israel to direct her way to the raising up of the children of her people. 9 So she came in clean, and remained in the tent, until she did eat her meat at evening. 10 And in the fourth day Holofernes made a feast to his own servants only, and called none of the officers to the banquet. 11 Then said he to Bagoas the eunuch, who had charge over all that he had, Go now, and persuade this Hebrew woman which is with thee, that she come unto us, and eat and drink with us. 12 For lo, it will be a shame for our person, if we shall let such a woman go, not having had her company; for if we draw her not unto us, she will laugh us to scorn. 13 Then went Bagoas from the presence of Holofernes, and came to her, and he said, Let not this fair damsel fear to come to my lord, and to be honoured in his presence, and drink wine, and be merry with us, and be made this day as one of the daughters of the Assyrians, which serve in the house of Nabuchodomosor. 14 Then said Judith unto him, Who am I now, that I should gainsay my lord 2 surely whatsoever pleaseth him I will do speedily, and it shall be my joy unto the day of my death. 15 So she arose, and decked herself with her apparel, and all her women's attire, and her maid went and laid soft skins on the ground for her over against Holofernes, which she had received of Bagoas for her daily use, that she might sit and eat upon them. 16 Now when Judith came in and sat down, Holofernes' heart was ravished with her, and his mind was moved, and he desired greatly her company; for he waited a time to deceive her, from the day that he had seen her. 17 Then said Holofernes unto her, Drink now, and be merry with us. 18 So Judith said, I will drink now, my Apocrypha.
lord, because my life is magnified in me this day more than all the days since I was born. 19 Then she took and ate and drank before him what her maid had prepared. 20 And Hol, fernes took great delight in her, and drank much more wine than he had drunk at any time in one day since he was born. CHAP. XIII. 2 judit! is lost alone with Holoformes in hi, tent : 7 she cutteth off his head while he slopt. jow when the evening was come, his servants made haste to depart, and Bagoas shut his tent without, and dismissed the waiters from the presence of his lord; and they went to their beds : for they were all weary, because the feast had been long. 2 * And Judith was left alone in the tent. and Holofernes lying along upon his bed : for he was filled with wine. 3 Now Judith had commanded her maid to stand without her bed chamber, and to wait for her coming forth, as she did daily: for she said she would go forth to her players, and she spake to Bagoas according to the same purpose. 4 So all went forth, and none was left in the bed chamber, neither little nor great. Then Judith, standing by his bed, said in her heart, O Lord God of all power, look at this present upon the works of mine hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem. 5 For now is the time to help thine inheritance, and to execute mine enterprizes to the destruction of the enemies which are risen against us. 6 Then she came to the pillar of the bed which was at Holofernes' head, and took down his fauchion from thence, 7 * And approached to his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head,and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day. 8 And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him, 9 And tumbled his body down from the bed, and pulled down the canopy from the pillars, and anon after she went forth, and gave Holofernes' head to her maid; 10 And she put it in her bag of meat : so they twain went together according to their custom unto prayer ; and when they passed the camp, they compassed the vallev, and went up the mountain of Bethulia, and came to the gates thereof. 11 Then said Judith afar off to the watch men at the gate, Open, open now the gate: God, even our God is with us, to shew his power yet in Jerusalem and his forces against the enemy, as he hath even done this day. 12 Now when the men of her city heard her voice, they made haste to go down to the gate of their city, and they called the elders of the city.
Apocry?!. 13 And then they ran all together both small and great, for it was strange unto them that she was come: so they opened the gate, and received them, and made a fire for a light, and stood round about them. 14. Then she said to them with a loud voice, Praise, praise God, praise God. I say, for he hath not taken away his mercy from the house of Israel, but hath destroyed our enemies by mine hands this night. 15 So she took the head out of the bag, and shewed it, and said unto them, Behold the head of Holofernes, the chief captain of the army of Assur, and behold the canopy, wherein he did lie in his drunkenness ; and the Lord hath smitten him by the hand of a woman. 16 As the Lord liveth, who hath kept me in my way that I went, my countenance hath deceived him to his destruction, and yet hath he not committed sin with me, to defile and shame me. 17 Then all the people were wonderfully astonished, and bowed themselves, and worshipped God, and said with one accord, Blessed be thou, O our God, which hast this day brought to nought the enemies of thy people. 18 Then said Ozias unto her, O daughter, Blessed art thou of the most high God above all the women upon the earth; and blessed be the Lord God, which hath created the heavens and the earth, which hath directed thee to the cutting off of the head of the chief of our enemies. 19 For this thy confidence shall not depart from the heart of men, which remember the power of God for ever. 20 And God turn these things to thee for a perpetual praise, to visit thee in good things, because thou hast not spared thy life for the affliction of our nation, but hast revenged our ruin, walking a straight way before our God. And all the people said. So be it, so be it. CHAP. XIV. 1 judith's advice. 11 The bead of Holos-rres is Aanged up : 15 he is found dead, and zoch larwented. HEN said Judith unto them, Hear me now, my brethren, and take this head, and hang it upon the highest place of your walls. 2 And so soon as the morning shall appear, and the sun shall come forth upon the earth, take ye every one his weapons, and go orth every valiant man out of the city, and set ye a captain over them, as though ye would go down into the field toward the watch of the Assyrians; but go not down. 3 Then they shall take their armour, and shall go into their camp, and raise up the captains of the army of Assur, and they shall run to the tent of Holofernes, but shall not find him : then fear shall fall upon then, and they