16
Song of Judith
1Judith said:
Begin to praise my God with drums;
sing to the Lord with cymbals.
Adapt a psalm for him;
lift up your praise,
and call upon his name.
2The Lord is a God who crushes wars.
He rescued me
from the hand of my oppressors,
and brought me into his camp
in the midst of his people.
3The Assyrian came from the mountains in the north;
he came with tens of thousands
of his warriors;
their crowd of people
blocked the ravines,
and their cavalry covered the hills.
4He bragged that he would
burn my territory,
kill my young men with the sword,
throw my infants to the ground,
take my children as slaves,
and rape my virgins.
5But the Lord Almighty overthrew them by the hand of a woman.#Other sources add and brought them to shame.
6Their leader didn’t fall to his knees because of young men,
nor did the sons of the Titans
strike him down,
nor did the tall giants assault him.
But Judith, Merari’s daughter,
paralyzed him with her beauty.
7She took off her widow’s clothing
to lift up the oppressed in Israel.
She put perfume on her face,
8tied a headband around her hair,
and put on a linen gown to trick him.
9Her sandal captured his eyes;
her beauty captured his heart,
and the sword sliced through his neck.
10The Persians trembled at her daring,
and the Medes were troubled
by her boldness.
11Then my humbled ones shouted loudly;
my weak ones cried out,#Other sources read were afraid.
they lifted up their voices,
and the enemies were overthrown.
12Sons of mere girls stabbed them
and wounded them
like the children of deserters.
They perished before
my Lord’s army.
13I will sing to my God a new song.
Lord, you are great and glorious, marvelous in strength
never to be outdone.
14May all of your creation serve you;
you spoke,
and they came into being.
You sent forth your spirit
and it shaped them;
there is no one
who can resist your voice.
15The mountains will be shaken from their foundations with the waters;
rocks will melt like wax before you.
Yet you will show mercy
to those who fear you.
16The pleasant fragrance of all offerings
is a small thing to you,
and the fat of all entirely burned offerings means even less to you.
But those who fear the Lord
are great forever.
17How terrible it will be for those nations
who rise up against my people.
The Lord Almighty will take vengeance upon them on the Judgment Day.
He will send fire and worms
into their flesh,
and they will weep forever with the pain.
End of Judith’s life
18When they arrived in Jerusalem, they worshipped God. Once the people were purified, they offered their entirely burned offerings and spontaneous gifts. 19Judith dedicated all of Holofernes’ belongings that the people had given her. The canopy that she herself had taken from his bedroom, she dedicated as an offering to God. 20The people continued to celebrate in Jerusalem for three months in front of the sanctuary. And Judith remained with them.
21At the end of these days, everyone returned to their homes. Judith went back to Bethulia and lived on her estate. She was honored for the rest of her life all throughout the land. 22There were many men who desired her, but no man had relations with her all the rest of her life after her husband Manasseh died and was buried with his people. 23She became increasingly famous and grew old in her husband’s house, reaching the advanced age of 105. She set her trusted servant free and died in Bethulia. They buried her in her husband Manasseh’s cave, 24and the house of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before she died, she divided her property among all the relatives of Manasseh her husband, and among her own relatives. 25No one terrified the Israelites again during Judith’s lifetime or for a long time after her death.
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