16
Judith's Song of Praise
1Judith sang:
Shout praises to my Lord God;
play tambourines and cymbals.
Sing a new song of praise
and pray for his help.
2The Lord God is a warrior
who rescued me from my enemy.
God wins every battle
and camps among his people.
3The Assyrians marched down
from the mountains in the north.
Thousands of soldiers blocked
the rivers and streams;
cavalry troops covered
the mountain like a blanket.
4They threatened to burn our land
and slaughter our young men,
to kill our babies
to capture our children,
and to carry off
all of our young women.
5But the Lord All-Powerful
fooled the Assyrians
and used a woman
to wipe them out.
6The mighty Assyrian leader
wasn't killed by young men
or cruel warriors#16.6 cruel warriors: Greek “the sons of the Titans.” In Greek mythology, the Titans were powerful warriors who ruled the world for a time. or giants.
I, Judith the daughter of Merari,
used my charm
to strike him dead.
7I put aside my widow's clothes
and won a victory
for troubled Israel.
I put on perfume 8and placed
a fancy headband in my hair,
and I dressed in linen
to attract and fool him.
9He liked my sandals
and thought I was lovely;
then I took his own sword
and cut off his head.
10My courage shocked the Persians
and stunned the Medes.
11Our weak and abused people
let out shouts of victory,
while the Assyrians
trembled in fear and ran.#16.11 ran: One possible meaning for the difficult Greek text of verse 11.
12Though our ancestors were slaves,
we, the Lord's mighty army,
attacked and killed
enemy troops.
13 # Ps 144.9 I will sing a new song of praise
to the Lord our God;
he is glorious and all-powerful,
and his strength never fails.
14Let all living creatures
worship the Lord.
By his word, he gave them life;
his breath created them.
Nothing can oppose
the Lord's command.
15Mountains and oceans
shake with fear,
and rocks melt like wax,
when the Lord approaches.
But he shows mercy to all
who are faithful to him.
16 # 1 S 15.22Ps 51.1617Ho 6.6 It is much better
to obey the Lord
than to offer
sweet-smelling sacrifices
or the fat of choice meat.
17All nations that oppose Israel
will fall into ruin;
the Lord All-Powerful
will punish them
on the day of judgment.
Fire and worms
will destroy their bodies,
and they will always
groan in pain.
The People Celebrate in Jerusalem
18When the crowd reached Jerusalem, they immediately got ready to worship God by going through the ceremonies to make themselves clean. Then they offered the required sacrifices to please God,#16.18 sacrifices to please God: See the note at 4.14. including the voluntary offering and other sacrifices and gifts.
19Judith brought along all of Holofernes' possessions that the people had given her, and she dedicated them to God. She also gave the mosquito net from the bed of Holofernes as a special offering to keep a promise.
20Judith stayed in Jerusalem for three months, while she and the people celebrated at the temple.
The Rest of Judith's Life
21After the victory celebration, everyone went back home, and Judith returned to her place in Bethulia. She was famous everywhere in Israel for as long as she lived. 22Although a lot of men asked to marry her, she always refused and never remarried after her husband Manasseh died. 23-24Judith became more famous as time went by, and she continued to live in the house Manasseh had left her.
Some time before Judith died, she divided her possessions and property among her own closest relatives, as well as those of her husband, and she allowed her servant woman to go free.
Judith died in Bethulia at the age of 105. She was buried beside her husband in their family tomb, and everyone in Israel mourned her death for seven days.
25As long as Judith was alive, and for many years after her death, no enemy nation terrorized the people of Israel.
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