A Warrior Leader

1 In the twelfth year of the reign of Arphaxad, who reigned in Ninveh, the great city; in the yamim of Arpachshad, who reigned over the Medes in Ecbatane,

2 And built in Ecbatane walls roundabout of stones carved three cubits broad and six cubits long and made the height of the wall seventy cubits and the breadth of it fifty cubits:

3 And set the towers of it upon the gates of it a hundred cubits high and the breadth of it in the foundation threescore cubits:

4 And he made the gates of it, even gates that were raised to the height of seventy cubits and the breadth of them was forty cubits, for the going forth of his mighty armies and for the setting in array of his footmen:

5 Even in those yamim melech Arphaxad made war with melech Arpachshad in the great plain, which is the plain in the borders of Ragau.

6 And there came to him all they that dwelt in the hill country and all that dwelt by Euphrates and Tigris and Hydaspes and the plain of Arioch the melech of the Elymeans and very many goyim of the sons of Chelod, assembled themselves to the battle.

7 Then Arphaxad melech of the Ashshurim sent to all that dwelt in Persia and to all that dwelt westward and to those that dwelt in Kilikia and Damashek and Lebanon and Antilebanon and to all that dwelt upon the sea coast,

8 And to those among the goyim that were of Carmel and Gilad and the higher Galil and the great plain of Esdraelon,

9 And to all that were in Shomron and the cities of it and beyond Jordan to Yahrushalayim and Betane and Chelus and Kadesh and the river of Mitzrayim and Tapanhes and Rameses and all the land of Goshen,

10 Until you come beyond Tunis and Memphis and to all the inhabitants of Mitzrayim, until you come to the borders of Cush.

11 But all the inhabitants of the land made ohr of the commandment of Arphaxad melech of the Ashshurim, neither went they with him to the battle; for they were not afraid of him: yes, he was before them as one man and they sent away his ambassadors from them without effect and with disgrace.

12 Therefore Arphaxad was very angry with all this country and swore by his kesay and malchut, that he would surely be avenged upon all those coasts of Kilikia and Damashek and Syria and that he would slay with the sword all the inhabitants of the land of Moav and the children of Ammon and all Yahudah and all that were in Mitzrayim, till you come to the borders of the two seas.

13 Then he marched in battle array with his power against melech Arpachshad in the seventeenth year and he prevailed in his battle: for he overthrew all the power of Arpachshad and all his horsemen and all his chariots,

14 And became master of his cities and came to Ecbatane and took the towers and spoiled the streets of it and turned the beauty of it into shame.

15 He took also Arpachshad in the mountains of Ragau and smote him through with his darts and destroyed him utterly that yom.

16 So he returned afterward to Ninveh, both he and all his company of sundry goyim being a very great multitude of men of war and there he took his ease and banqueted, both he and his army, a hundred and twenty yamim.

2 And in the eighteenth year, the twenty-second yom of the first chodesh, there was talk in the bayit of Arphaxad melech of the Ashshurim that he should, as he said, avenge himself on all the earth.

2 So he called to him all his officers and all his nobles and communicated with them his secret counsel and concluded the afflicting of the whole earth out of his own mouth.

3 Then they decreed to destroy all flesh that did not obey the commandment of his mouth.

4 And when he had ended his counsel, Arphaxad melech of the Ashshurim called Holofernes the chief captain of his army, who was next to him and said to him.

5 This saith the great melech, the master of the whole earth, Behold, you shall go forth from my presence and take with you men that trust in their own strength, of footmen a hundred and twenty thousand; and the number of horses with their riders twelve thousand.

6 And you shall go against all the west country because they disobeyed my commandment.

7 And you shall declare to them that they prepare for me earth and mayim: for I will go forth in my wrath against them and will cover the whole face of the earth with the feet of my army and I will give them for a spoil to them:

8 So that their slain shall fill their valleys and brooks and the river shall be filled with their dead, till it overflows:

9 And I will lead them captives to the utmost parts of all the earth.

10 You therefore shall go forth. and take beforehand for me all their coasts: and if they will yield themselves to you, you shall reserve them for me till the yom of their punishment.

11 But concerning them that rebel, let not your eye spare them; but put them to the slaughter and spoil them wherever you go.

12 For as I live and by the power of my malchut, whatever I have spoken, that will I do by my hand.

13 And take heed that you transgress none of the commandments of your master but accomplish them fully, as I have commanded you and defer not to do them.

14 Then Holofernes went forth from the presence of his master and called all the governors and captains and the officers of the army of Ashshur;

15 And he mustered the chosen men for the battle, as his master had commanded him, to a hundred and twenty thousand and twelve thousand archers on horseback;

16 And he arranged them, as a great army is ordered for the war.

17 And he took camels and asses for their carriages, a very great number; and sheep and oxen and goats without number for their provision:

18 And plenty of provisions every man of the army and very much gold and silver out of the melech's bayit.

19 Then he went forth and all his power to go before melech Arphaxad in the voyage and to cover all the face of the earth westward with their chariots and horsemen and their chosen footmen.

20 A great number also sundry countries came with them like locusts and like the sand of the earth: for the multitude was without number.

21 And they went forth from Ninveh three yamim’s journey toward the plain of Bectileth and pitched from Bectileth near the har which is at the left hand of the upper Kilikia.

22 Then he took all his army, his footmen and horsemen and chariots and went from there into the hill country;

23 And destroyed Phud and Lud and spoiled all the children of Rasses and the children of Yisrael, who were toward the midbar at the south of the land of the Chellians.

24 Then he went over Euphrates and went through Mesopotamia and destroyed all the high cities that were upon the river Arbonai, till you come to the sea.

25 And he took the borders of Kilikia and killed all that resisted him and came to the borders of Yapheth, which were toward the south, over against Arabia.

26 He compassed also all the children of Midyan and burned up their tabernacles and spoiled their sheepcotes.

27 Then he went down into the plain of Damashek in the time of wheat harvest and burnt up all their fields and destroyed their flocks and herds, also he spoiled their cities and utterly wasted their countries and smote all their young men with the edge of the sword.

28 Therefore the fear and dread of him fell upon all the inhabitants of the sea coasts, which were in Sidon and Tsor and them that dwelt in Sur and Ocina and all that dwelt in Yemnaan; and they that dwelt in Azotus and Ashkelon feared him greatly.

3 So they sent ambassadors to him to ask for shalom, saying,

2 Behold, we the avadim of Arphaxad the great melech lie before you; use us as shall be tov in your sight.

3 Behold, our houses and all our places and all our fields of wheat and flocks and herds and all the lodges of our tents lie before your face; use them as it pleases you.

4 Behold, even our cities and the inhabitants of it are your avadim; come and deal with them as seems tov to you.

5 So the men came to Holofernes and declared to him after this manner.

6 Then came he down toward the sea coast, both he and his army and set garrisons in the high cities and took out of them chosen men for aid.

7 So they and all the country round about received them with garlands, with dances and with timbrels.

8 Yet he cast down their frontiers and cut down their groves: for he had decreed to destroy all the ahlohim of the land, that all goyim should worship Arphaxad only and that all tongues and tribes should call upon him as ahlohim.

9 Also he came over against Esdraelon near to Yahudah, over against the great strait of Yahudah.

10 And he pitched between Geba and Scythopolis and there he tarried a whole chodesh, that he might gather together all the carriages of his army.

4 Now the children of Yisrael, that dwelt in Yahudah, heard all that Holofernes the chief captain of Arphaxad melech of the Ashshurim had done to the goyim and after what manner he had spoiled all their temples and brought them to nothing.

2 Therefore they were exceedingly afraid of him and were troubled for Yahrushalayim and for the Beit HaMikdash of YHUH their Ahlohim:

3 For they were newly returned from the captivity, and all the people of Yahudah were lately gathered together: and the vessels and the altar and the Bayit were sanctified after they were profaned.

4 Therefore they sent into all the coasts of Shomron and the villages and to Beth-Horon and Belmen and Yericho and to Choba and Esora and to the Valley of Salem:

5 And possessed themselves beforehand of all the tops of the high mountains and fortified the villages that were in them and laid up food for the provision of war: for their fields were of late reaped.

6 Also Yoachim the Kohen HaGadol, who was in those yamim in Yahrushalayim, wrote to them that dwelt in Bethulyah and Betomestham, which is over against Esdraelon toward the open country, near to Dothaim,

7 Charging them to keep the passages of the hill country: for by them there was an entrance into Yahudah and it was easy to stop them that would come up because the passage was straight, for two men at the most.

8 And the children of Yisrael did as Yoachim the Kohen HaGadol had commanded them, with the zechanim of all the people of Yisrael who dwelt at Yahrushalayim.

9 Then every man of Yisrael cried to YHUH with great fervency and with great vehemence did they humble their naphsoth:

10 Both they and their wives and their children and their cattle and every stranger and hireling and their avadim bought with money, put sackcloth upon their loins.

11 So every man and women and the little children and the inhabitants of Yahrushalayim, fell before the Hekal and cast ashes upon their heads and spread out their sackcloth before the face Of YHUH : also they put sackcloth about the altar,

12 And cried to YHUH Ahlohim of Yisrael all with one consent earnestly, that he would not give their children for a prey and their wives for a spoil and the cities of their inheritance to destruction and the sanctuary to be profaned and reproach and for the goyim to rejoice at them.

13 So YHUH heard their tefillot and looked upon their afflictions: for the people fasted many yamim in all Yahudah and Yahrushalayim before the Hekal of YHUH Tzevaot.

14 And Yoachim the Kohen HaGadol and all the kohanim who stood before YHUH and they who ministered to YHUH wore sackcloth on their loins and offered the daily burnt offerings with the vows and free gifts of the people,

15 And had ashes on their turbans and cried to YHUH with all their power, that He would look upon all Beit Yisrael graciously.

5 Then was it declared to Holofernes, the chief captain of the army of Ashur, that the children of Yisrael had prepared for war and had shut up the passages of the hill country and had fortified all the tops of the high hills and had laid impediments in the campaign countries:

2 With which he was very angry and called all the princes of Moav and the captains of Ammon and all the governors of the sea coast,

3 And he said to them, Tell me now, you sons of Kanaan, who this people is, that dwells in the hill country and what are the cities that they inhabit and what is the multitude of their army and in which is their power and strength and what melech is set over them, or captain of their army;

4 And why have they determined not to come to meet me, more than all the inhabitants of the west.

5 Then said Achior, the captain of all the sons of Ammon, Let my master now hear a word from the mouth of your eved and I will declare to you the emet concerning this people who dwells near you and inhabit the hill countries: and there shall no lie come out of the mouth of your eved.

6 This people are descended of the Chaldeans:

7 And they sojourned from then on in Mesopotamia because they would not follow YHUH of their ahvot, who were in the land of Chaldea.

8 For they left the derech of their ancestors and worshipped the ahlohim of the shamayim, the ahlohim whom they knew: so they cast them out from the face of their ahlohim and they fled into Mesopotamia and sojourned there many yamim.

9 Then their ahlohim commanded them to depart from the place where they sojourned and to go into the land of Kanaan: where they dwelt and were increased with gold and silver and with very much cattle.

10 But when a famine covered all the land of Kanaan, they went down into Mitzrayim and sojourned there, while they were nourished and became there a great multitude, so that one could not number their nation.

11 Therefore the melech of Mitzrayim rose up against them and dealt subtly with them and brought them low with laboring in brick and made them avadim.

12 Then they cried to their ahlohim and He smote all the land of Mitzrayim with incurable plagues: so the Mitzrim cast them out of their sight.

13 And YHUH dried the Yam Suf before them,

14 And brought them to Har Senai and Kadesh-Barnea and cast forth all that dwelt in the midbar.

15 So they dwelt in the land of the Amorites and they destroyed by their strength all them of Heshbon and passing over Yarden they possessed all the hill country.

16 And they cast forth before them the Kannaim, the Perrizite, the Yevusite and the Shechemite and all the Gergesites and they dwelt in that country many yamim.

17 And while they sinned not before their ahlohim, they prospered because YHUH who hates iniquity was with them.

18 But when they departed from The Derech which He appointed them, they were destroyed in many battles very sorely and were led captives into a land that was not theirs and the Beit HaMikdash of their YHUH was cast to the ground and their cities were taken by the enemies.

19 But now are they returned to their YHUH and are come up from the places where they were scattered and have possessed Yahrushalayim, where their sanctuary is and are seated in the hill country; for it was desolate.

20 Now therefore, my master and governor, if there be any error against this people and they sin against their YHUH, let us consider that this shall be their ruin and let us go up and we shall overcome them.

21 But if there be no iniquity in their nation, let my master now pass by, lest YHUH defend them and their YHUH be for them and we become a reproach before all the olam.

22 And when Achior had finished these sayings, all the people standing round about the tent murmured and the chief men of Holofernes and all that dwelt by the sea side and in Moav spoke that he should kill him.

23 For, say they, we will not be afraid of the face of the children of Yisrael: for, lo, it is a people that have no strength nor power for a strong battle.

24 Now therefore, master Holofernes, we will go up and they shall be a prey to be devoured by all your army.

6 And when the tumult of men that were about the council was ceased, Holofernes the chief captain of the army of Ashshur said to Achior and all the Moavites before all the company of other goyim,

2 And who are you, Achior and the hirelings of Ephrayim, that you have prophesied against us and have said, that we should not make war with the people of Yisrael because their Ahlohim will defend them? And who is ahlohim but Arphaxad?

3 He will send his power and will destroy them from the face of the earth and their Ahlohim shall not deliver them: but we his avadim will destroy them as one man; for they are not able to sustain the power of our horses.

4 For with them we will tread them under foot and their mountains shall be drunken with their dahm and their fields shall be filled with their dead bodies and their footsteps shall not be able to stand before us, for they shall utterly perish, says melech Arphaxad , master of all the earth: for he said, None of my words shall be in vain.

5 And you, Achior, a hireling of Ammon, who have spoken these words in the yom of your iniquity, shall see my face no more from this yom, until I take vengeance on this nation that came out of Mitzrayim.

6 And then shall the sword of my army and the multitude of them that serve me pass through your sides and you shall fall among their slain, when I return.

7 Now therefore my avadim shall bring you back into the hill country and shall set you in one of the cities of the passages:

8 And you shall not perish, till you are destroyed with them.

9 And if you persuade yourself in your mind that they shall be taken, let not your countenance fall: I have spoken it and none of my words shall be in vain.

10 Then Holofernes commanded his avadim who waited in his tent, to take Achior and bring him to Bethulyah and deliver him into the hands of the children of Yisrael.

11 So his avadim took him and brought him out of the camp into the plain and they went from the midst of the plain into the hill country and came to the fountains that were under Bethulyah.

12 And when the men of the city saw them, they took up their weapons and went out of the city to the top of the hill: and every man that used a sling kept them from coming up by casting of stones against them.

13 Nevertheless having gotten privily under the hill, they bound Achior and cast him down and left him at the foot of the hill and returned to their master.

14 But the Yisraelites descended from their city and came to him and loosed him and brought him to Bethulyah and presented him to the governors of the city:

15 Who were in those yamim Husha the son of Michah, of the tribe of Shimon and Chabris the son of Gothoniel and Charmis the son of Melchiel.

16 And they called together all the zechanim of the city and all their youth ran together and their women, to the assembly and they set Achior in the midst of all their people. Then Husha asked him of that which was done.

17 And he answered and declared to them the words of the council of Holofernes and all the words that he had spoken in the midst of the princes of Ashur and whatever Holofernes had spoken proudly against Beit Yisrael.

18 Then the people fell down and worshipped YHUH and cried to YHUH saying,

19 O YHUH Ahlohim of the shamayim, behold their pride and pity the low estate of our nation and look upon the face of those that are sanctified to you this yom.

20 Then they comforted Achior and praised him greatly.

21 And Husha took him out of the assembly to his bayit and made a feast to the zechanim; and they called on the YHUH of Yisrael all that lyla for help.

7 The next yom Holofernes commanded all his army and all his people who were come to take his part, that they should remove their camp against Bethulyah, to take aforehand the residents of the hill country and to make war against the children of Yisrael.

2 Then their strong men removed their camps in that yom and the army of the men of war was a hundred and seventy thousand footmen and twelve thousand horsemen, beside the baggage and other men that were afoot among them, a very great multitude.

3 And they camped in the valley near to Bethulyah, by the fountain and they spread themselves in breadth over Dothaim even to Belmaim and in length from Bethulyah to Cynamon, which is over against Esdraelon.

4 Now the children of Yisrael, when they saw the multitude of them, were greatly troubled and said everyone to his neighbor, Now will these men lick up the face of the earth; for neither the high mountains, nor the valleys, nor the hills, are able to bear their weight.

5 Then every man took up his weapons of war and when they had kindled fires upon their towers, they remained and watched all that lyla.

6 But in the second yom Holofernes brought forth all his horsemen in the sight of the children of Yisrael who were in Bethulyah,

7 And viewed the passages up to the city and came to the fountains of their waters and took them and set garrisons of men of war over them and he himself removed toward his people.

8 Then came to him all the chief of the children of Esav and all the governors of the people of Moav and the captains of the sea coast and said,

9 Let our master now hear a word, that there be not an overthrow in your army.

10 For this people of the children of Yisrael do not trust in their spears but in the height of the mountains in which they dwell because it is not easy to come up to the tops of their mountains.

11 Now therefore, my master, fight not against them in battle array and there shall not so much as one man of your people perish.

12 Remain in your camp and keep all the men of your army and let your avadim get into their hands the fountain of mayim, which issues from the foot of the har:

13 For all the inhabitants of Bethulyah have their mayim there; so shall thirst kill them and they shall give up their city and we and our people shall go up to the tops of the mountains that are near and will camp there, to watch that none go out of the city.

14 So they and their wives and their children shall be consumed with fire and before the sword come against them, they shall be overthrown in the streets where they dwell.

15 So shall you render them an evil reward; because they rebelled and met not your person peaceably.

16 And these words pleased Holofernes and all his avadim and he appointed to do as they had spoken.

17 So the camp of the children of Ammon departed and with them five thousand of the Ashshurim and they pitched in the valley and took the waters and the fountains of the waters of the children of Yisrael.

18 Then the children of Esav went up with the children of Ammon and camped in the hill country over against Dothaim: and they sent some of them toward the south and toward the east over against Ekrebel, which is near to Chusi, that is upon the brook Mochmur; and the rest of the army of the Ashshurim camped in the plain and covered the face of the whole land; and their tents and carriages were pitched to a very great multitude.

19 Then the children of Yisrael cried to YHUH their Ahlohim because their lev failed, for all their enemies had compassed them round about and there was no derech to escape out from among them.

20 So all the company of Ashhur remained about them, both their footmen, chariots and horsemen, forty three yamim, so that all their vessels of mayim failed all the inhabitants of Bethulyah.

21 And the cisterns were emptied and they had not mayim to drink their fill for one yom; for they gave them drink by measure.

22 Therefore their young children were saddened and their women and young men fainted for thirst and fell down in the streets of the city and by the passages of the gates and there was no longer any strength in them.

23 Then all the people assembled to Husha and to the chief of the city, both young men and women and children and cried with a loud voice and said before all the zechanim,

24 YHUH be shophet between us and You: for You have done us great injury, in that You have not required shalom from the children of Ashhur.

25 For now we have no helper: but YHUH has sold us into their hands, that we should be thrown down before them with thirst and great destruction.

26 Now therefore call them to You and deliver the whole city for a spoil to the people of Holofernes and to all his army.

27 For it is better for us to be made a spoil to them, than to die for thirst: for we will be his avadim, that our naphsoth may live and not see the death of our infants before our eyes, nor our wives nor our children to die.

28 We take to witness against You the shamayim and ha’aretz and our Ahlohim and YHUH of our ahvot, who punishes us according to our sins and the sins of our ahvot, that He do not according as we have said this yom.

29 Then there was great weeping with one consent in the midst of the assembly; and they cried to YHUH Ahlohim with a loud voice.

30 Then said Husha to them, Brethren, be of tov courage, let us yet endure five yamim, in which space YHUH our Ahlohim may turn His rachamim toward us; for He will not forsake us utterly.

31 And if these yamim pass and there come no help to us, I will do according to your word.

32 And he dispersed the people, everyone to their own charge; and they went to the walls and towers of their city and sent the women and children into their houses: and they were brought very low in the city.

8 Now at that time Yahudith heard all this, who was the daughter of Merari, the son of Ox, the son of Yoseph, the son of Ozel, the son of Elcia, the son of Chananyah, the son of Gideon, the son of Raphaim, the son of Acitho, the son of Elihu, the son of Eliav, the son of Nathanael, the son of Samael, the son of Salasadal, the son of Yisrael.

2 And Manasseh was her husband, of her tribe and kindred, who died in the barley harvest.

3 For as he stood overseeing them that bound sheaves in the field, the heat came upon his head and he fell on his bed and died in the city of Bethulyah: and they buried him with his ahvot in the field between Dothaim and Balamo.

4 So Yahudith was a widow in her bayit three years and four chodashem.

5 And she made her a tent upon the top of her bayit and put on sackcloth upon her loins and wore her widow's apparel.

6 And she fasted all the yamim of her widowhood, except the erev before the Shabbats, and the Shabbats and the erev before the Chodeshim and the chodeshim and the moadem and solemn yamim of Beit Yisrael.

7 She was also of a goodly countenance and very beautiful to behold: and her husband Manasseh had left her gold and silver and male avadim and maidavadim and cattle and lands; and she remained upon them.

8 And there was none that gave her an ill word; as she feared Ahlohim greatly.

9 Now when she heard the evil words of the people against the governor, that they fainted for lack of mayim; for Yahudith had heard all the words that Husha had spoken to them and that he had sworn to deliver the city to the Ashshurim after five yamim;

10 Then she sent her maidservant who had the oversight of all things that she had, to call Husha and Chabris and Charmis, the zechanim of the city.

11 And they came to her and she said to them, Listen, O you governors of the inhabitants of Bethulyah: for your words that you have spoken before the people this yom are not tzadik, touching this oath which you made and pronounced between Ahlohim and you and have promised to deliver the city to our enemies, unless within these yamim YHUH turns to help you.

12 And now who are you who have tried YHUH this yom and stand instead of Ahlohim among the children of men?

13 And now test YHUH Almighty but you shall never know anything.

14 For you cannot find the depth of the lev of man, neither can you perceive the things that he thinks: then how can you search out YHUH Ahlohim, that has made all these things and know His mind, or comprehend His purpose? No, my brethren, provoke not YHUH our Ahlohim to anger.

15 For if He will not help us within these five yamim, He has Power to defend us when He will, even every yom, or to destroy us before our enemies.

16 Do not bind the counsels of YHUH our Ahlohim: for YHUH is not as man, that He may be threatened; neither is He as a son of man, that He should be wavering.

17 Therefore let us wait for salvation from Him and call upon Him to help us and He will hear our voice, if it pleases Him.

18 For there arose none in our age, neither is there any now in these yamim neither tribe, nor family, nor people, nor city among us, who worship ahlohem made with hands, as has been before.

19 For which cause our ahvot were given to the sword and for a spoil and had a great fall before our enemies.

20 But we know no other ahlohem, therefore we trust that He will not despise us nor any of our nation.

21 For if we be taken so, all Yahudah shall lie waste and our sanctuary shall be spoiled; and He will require the profaning of it 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 goyim, wherever 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 chen: but YHUH our Ahlohim shall turn it to disfavor.

24 Now therefore, O brethren, let us show an example to our brethren because their levavot depend upon us and the Hekal and the Bayit and the Mizbeach, all rest upon our resistance.

25 Moreover let us give hodu to YHUH our Ahlohim, who tries us, even as He did our ahvot.

26 Remember what things He did to Avraham and how He tried Yitzchak and what happened to Yaakov in Mesopotamia of Syria, when He kept the sheep of Lavan his emma's brother.

27 For He has not tried us in the fire, as He did with them, for the examination of their levavot, neither has He taken vengeance on us: but YHUH scourges them that come near to Him, to admonish them.

28 Then said Husha to her, All that you have spoken have you spoken with a tov lev and there is none that may deny your words.

29 For this is not the first yom where your chochmah is manifested; but from the beginning of your yamim all the people have known your binah because the disposition of your lev is tov.

30 But the people were very thirsty and compelled us to do to them as we have spoken and to bring an oath upon ourselves, which we will not break.

31 Therefore now make tefillah for us because you are a tzadik woman and YHUH will send us rain to fill our cisterns and we shall faint no more.

32 Then said Yahudith to them, Listen and I will do a thing that shall go throughout all generations to the children of our nation.

33 You shall stand this lyla in the gate and I will go forth with my maidservant: and within the yamim that you have promised to deliver the city to our enemies YHUH will visit Yisrael by my hand.

34 But inquire not you of my act: for I will not declare it to you, till the things be finished that I do.

35 Then said Husha and the princes to her, Go in shalom and YHUH Ahlohim be before you to take vengeance on our enemies.

36 So they returned from the tent and went to their wards.

9 Yahudith fell upon her face and put ashes upon her head and uncovered the sackcloth with which she was clothed; and about the time that the incense of that evening was offered in Yahrushalayim in the Bayit of YHUH Yahudith cried with a loud voice and said,

2 O YHUH Ahlohim of my abba Simeon, to whom You gave a sword to take vengeance on the strangers who loosened the girdle of a maid to defile her and discovered the thigh to her shame and polluted her virginity to her reproach; for you said, It shall not be so and yet they did so:

3 Therefore You gave their rulers to be slain, so that they dyed their bed in dahm, being deceived and smote the avadim with their masters and the masters upon their thrones;

4 And gave their wives for a prey and their daughters to be captives and all their spoils to be divided among Your dear children who were moved with Your zeal and abhorred the pollution of their dahm and called upon You for aid: O Ahlohim, O my Ahlohim, hear me also a widow.

5 For You have done not only those things but also the things which took place before and which ensued after; You have thought upon the things which are now and which are to come.

6 Yes, what things You determined were ready at hand and said, Behold, we are here: for all your derachot are prepared and your shophtim are in your foreknowledge.

7 For, behold, the Ashshurim are multiplied in their power; they are exalted with horse and man; they gilah in the strength of their footmen; they trust in shield and spear and bow and sling; and know not that You are YHUH that breaks the battles:YHUH is your Name.

8 Throw down their strength in Your Power and bring down their force in Your wrath: for they have designed to defile Your sanctuary and to pollute the mishkan where your esteemed Name rests and to cast down with sword the horn of your altar.

9 Behold their pride and send Your wrath upon their heads: give into my hand, who am a widow, the power that I have conceived.

10 Smite by the deceit of my lips the eved with the sar and the sar with the eved: break down their elegance by the hand of a woman.

11 For Your Power stands not in multitudes nor Your might in strong men: for You are an Ahlohim of the afflicted, a Helper of the oppressed, an upholder of the weak, a Protector of the forsaken, theOSWHY of them who are without tikvah.

12 I beg you, I beg you, O Ahlohim of my abba and Ahlohim of the inheritance of Yisrael, YHUH of the shamayim and ha’aretz, Creator of the mayim, melech of every creature, hear my tefillah:

13 And make my speech and deceit to be their wound and stripe, who have purposed cruel things against your brit and your set apart Bayit and against the top of Tzion and against the Bayit of the possession of your children.

14 And make every nation and tribe to acknowledge that You are the Ahlohim of all Power and might and that there is no other who protects the people of Yisrael but You.

10 Now after that she had ceased to cry to the Ahlohim of Yisrael 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 bayit in which she abode for the Shabbat yamim and for the moed yamim,

3 And pulled off the sackcloth which she had on and put off the garments of her widowhood and washed her gooff all over with mayim and anointed herself with precious ointment and braided the hair of her head and put a full cover upon it and put on her garments of simcha, with which she was clad during the chayim of Manasseh her husband.

4 And she put sandals on her feet and put her bracelets on her and her chains and her rings and her earrings and all her ornaments and decked herself bravely, to allure the eyes of all men who should see her.

5 Then she gave her maid a bottle of wine and a cruse of oil and filled a bag with parched grain and lumps of figs and with fine lechem; so she folded all these things together and laid them upon her.

6 So they went forth to the gate of the city of Bethulyah and found standing there Husha and the zechanim 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 to her:

8 YHUH, the Ahlohim of our ahvot give you chen and accomplish your enterprises to the tifereth of the children of Yisrael and to the exaltation of Yahrushalayim. Then they worshipped YHUH.

9 And she said to them, Command the gates of the city to be opened to me, that I may go forth to accomplish the things of which you have spoken with me. So they commanded the young men to open it for her, as she had spoken.

10 And when they had done so, Yahudith went out, she and her maid with her; and the men of the city looked after her, until she was gone down the har and till she had passed the valley and they could see her no more.

11 So they went immediately in the valley: and the first watch of the Ashshurim met her,

12 And took her and asked her, Of what people are you? And from where do you come? And where are you going? And she said, I am a woman of the Ivrim 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 emet; and I will show him a derech, by which he shall go and win all the hill country, without losing the gooff or chayim of anyone of his men.

14 Now when the men heard her words and beheld her countenance, they wondered greatly at her beauty and said to her,

15 You have saved your chayim, in that you have hastened to come down to the presence of our master: now therefore come to his tent and some of us shall conduct you, until they have delivered you to his hands.

16 And when you stand before him, be not afraid in your lev but show to him according to your word; and he will treat you well.

17 Then they chose out of them a 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 around 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 Yisrael because of her and everyone said to his neighbor, Who would despise this people that have among them such women? Surely it is not tov 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 avadim 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 showed her to him; and he came out before his tent with silver lamps going before him.

23 And when Yahudith was come before him and his avadim they all marveled at the beauty of her countenance; and she fell down upon her face and did reverence to him: and his avadim took her up.

11 Then said Holofernes to her, Woman, be of tov comfort, fear not in your lev: for I never hurt any that was willing to serve Arphaxad, the melech of all the earth.

2 Now therefore, if your people that dwell in the mountains had not set ohr 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 why you are fled from them and are come to us: for you are come for safeguard; be of tov comfort, you shall live this lyla and from now on:

4 For none shall hurt you but treat you well, as they do the avadim of melech Arphaxad my master.

5 Then Yahudith said to him, Receive the words of your eved and suffer your handmaid to speak in your presence and I will declare no lie to my master this lyla.

6 And if you will follow the words of your handmaid, YHUH will bring the thing perfectly to pass for you; and my master shall not fail in any of his purposes.

7 As Arphaxad melech of all the earth lives and as his power lives who has sent you for the upholding of every living thing: for not only men shall serve him by you but also the beasts of the field and the cattle and the fowls of the air, shall live by your power under Arphaxad and all his bayit.

8 For we have heard of your chochmah and your policies and it is reported in all the earth, that you only are excellent in all the malchut and mighty in da’at and wonderful in feats of war.

9 Now as concerning the matter which Achior did speak in your council, we have heard his words; for the men of Bethulyah saved him and he declared to them all that he had spoken to you.

10 Therefore, O master and governor, respect not his word; but lay it up in your lev, for it is emet: for our nation shall not be punished, neither can sword prevail against them, except they sin against their Ahlohim.

11 And now, that my master be not defeated and frustrate his purpose, even death is now fallen upon them and their sin has overtaken them, with which they will provoke their Ahlohim to anger whenever they shall do that which is not fit to be done:

12 For their provisions fail them and all their mayim is scant and they have determined to lay hands upon their cattle and purposed to consume all those things, that YHUH has forbidden them to eat by his laws:

13 And are resolved to spend the bikkurim of the ma’aser of wine and oil, which they had set apart and reserved for the kohanim that serve in Yahrushalayim before the face of our Ahlohim; which things it is not Torah for any of the people so much as to touch with their hands.

14 For they have sent some to Yahrushalayim because they also that dwell there have done the like, to bring them a license from the senate.

15 Now when they shall bring them word, they will right away do it and they shall be given to you to be destroyed the same yom.

16 So I your handmaid, knowing all this, am fled from their presence; and YHUH has sent me to work things out with you, by which all the earth shall be astonished and whoever shall hear it.

17 For your eved is faithful and serves the YHUH of the shamayim yom and lyla: now therefore, my master, I will remain with you and your eved will go out by lyla into the valley and I will make tefillah to YHUH and He will tell me when they have committed their sins:

18 And I will come and show it to you: then you shall go forth with all your army and there shall be none of them that shall resist you.

19 And I will lead you through the midst of Yahudah, until you come before Yahrushalayim; and I will set your kesay in the midst of it; and you shall drive them as sheep that have no shepherd and a dog shall not so much as open his mouth at you: for these things were told to me according to my foreknowledge and they were declared to me and I am sent to tell you.

20 Then her words pleased Holofernes and all his avadim; and they marveled at her chochmah and said,

21 There is not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other, both for beauty of face and chochmah of words.

22 Likewise Holofernes said to her. Ahlohim has done well to send you before the people, that strength might be in our hands and destruction upon them that lightly regard my master.

23 And now you are both beautiful in your countenance and witty in your words: surely if you do as you have spoken your Ahlohim shall be my YHUH and you shall dwell in the bayit of melech Arphaxad and shall be known throughout the whole earth.

12 Then he commanded to bring her in where his plate was set; and asked that they should prepare for her of his own meats and that she should drink of his own wine.

2 And Yahudith said, I will not eat, lest there be an offence: but provision shall be made for me of the things that I have brought.

3 Then Holofernes said to her, If your provision should fail, how should we give you the same? For there be none with us of your nation.

4 Then said Yahudith to him, As your nephesh lives, my master, your handmaid shall not spend those things that I have, before YHUH works by my hand the things that He has determined.

5 Then the avadim of Holofernes brought her into the tent and she slept till midlyla and she arose when it was toward the boker watch,

6 And sent to Holofernes, saving, Let my master now command that your handmaid may go forth to tefillah.

7 Then Holofernes commanded his guard that they should not keep her: so she abode in the camp three yamim and went out in the lyla into the valley of Bethulyah and washed herself, mikvah in a fountain of mayim by the camp.

8 And when she came out, she sought YHUH Ahlohim of Yisrael to direct her derech 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 yom Holofernes made a feast to his own avadim 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 Ivrit woman who is with you, that she come to us and eat and drink with us.

12 For, look, it will be a shame for us, if we shall let such a woman go, not having had her company; for if we draw her not to 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 master and to be esteemed in his presence and drink wine and be merry with us and be made this yom as one of the daughters of the Ashurim, who serve in the bayit of Arphaxad .

14 Then said Yahudith to him, Who am I now, that I should gainsay my master? Surely whatsoever pleases him I will do speedily and it shall be my simcha to the yom of my death.

15 So she arose and decked herself with her apparel and all her woman'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 Yahudith came in and sat down, Holofernes’s lev 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 yom that he had seen her.

17 Then said Holofernes to her, Drink now and be merry with us.

18 So Yahudith said, I will drink now, my master because my chayim is magnified in me this yom more than all the yamim since I was born.

19 Then she took and ate and drank before him what her maid had prepared.

20 And Holofernes took great delight in her and drank more wine than he had drunk at any time in one yom since he was born.

13 Now when the evening was come, his avadim made haste to depart and Bagoas shut his tent without and dismissed the waiters from the presence of his master; and they went to their beds: for they were all weary because the feast had been long.

2 And Yahudith was left alone in the tent and Holofernes lying along upon his bed: for he was filled with wine.

3 Now Yahudith had commanded her maid to stand without her bedchamber and to wait for her. Coming forth, as she did daily: for she said she would go forth to her tefillot and she spoke to Bagoas according to the same purpose.

4 So all went forth and none was left in the bedchamber, neither little nor great. Then Yahudith, standing by his bed, said in her lev, O YHUH Ahlohim of all Power, look at this present upon the works of my hands for the exaltation of Yahrushalayim.

5 For now is the time to help your inheritance and to execute your enterprises to the destruction of the enemies who are risen against us.

6 Then she came to the pillar of the bed, which was at Holofernes' head and took down his sword from there,

7 And approached his bed and took hold of the hair of his head and said, Strengthen me, O YHUH Ahlohim of Yisrael, this yom.

8 And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might and she took away his head from him.

9 And his gooff tumbled down from the bed and pulled down the canopy from the pillars; and immediately after she went forth and gave Holofernes’ head to her maid;

10 And she put it in her bag of meat: so they two went together according to their custom to tefillah: and when they passed the camp, they compassed the valley and went up the har of Bethulyah and came to the gates of it. 

11 Then said Yahudith afar off, to the watchmen at the gate, Open, open now the gate: YHUH, even our Ahlohim, is with us, to show His Power yet in Yahrushalayim and His forces against the enemy, as He has even done this yom.

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 zechanim of the city.

13 And then they ran all together, both small and great, for it was strange to them that she had come: so they opened the gate and received them and made a fire for a ohr and stood round about them.

14 Then she said to them with a loud voice, Praise, tehilla TO YHUH, tehilla Ahlohim, I say, for He has not taken away His rachamim from Beit Yisrael but has destroyed our enemies by my hands this lyla.

15 So she took the head out of the bag and showed it and said to them, behold the head of Holofernes, the chief captain of the army of the Ashurim and behold the canopy, in which he did lie in his drunkenness; and YHUH has smitten him by the hand of a woman.

16 As YHUH lives, who has kept me in my derech that I went, my countenance has deceived him to his destruction and yet has he not committed sin with me, to defile and shame me.

17 Then all the people were wonderfully astonished and bowed themselves and worshipped YHUH and said with one accord, Blessed be You, O our Ahlohim, who has this yom brought to nothing the enemies of Your people.

18 Then said Husha to her, O daughter, blessed are you of El-Elyon, above all the women upon the earth; and blessed be YHUH Ahlohim, who has created the shamayim and ha’aretz, who has directed you to the cutting off of the head of the chief of our enemies.

19 For this your confidence shall not depart from the lev of men, who will remember the Power of Ahlohim le-olam-va-ed.

20 And YHUH turn these things to you for a perpetual tehilla, to visit you in tov things because you have not spared your chayim for the affliction of our nation but have revenged our ruin, walking The Straight Derech before our YHUH. And all the people said; Ahmein ve’ ahmein.

14 Then said Yahudith to 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 boker shall appear and the shemesh shall come forth upon the earth, take everyone his weapons and go forth every valiant man out of the city and set a captain over them, as though you would go down into the field toward the watch of the Ashurim; but go not down.

3 Then they shall take their armor and shall go into their camp and wake up the captains of the army of the Ashurim and shall run to the tent of Holofernes but shall not find him: then fear shall fall upon them and they shall flee before your face.

4 So you and all that inhabit the coast of Yisrael, shall pursue them and overthrow them as they go.

5 But before you do these things, call to me Achior the Ammonite, that he may see and know him that despised Beit Yisrael and that sent him to us as it were to his death.

6 Then they called Achior out of the bayit of Husha; and when he was come and saw the head of Holofernes in a man's hand in the assembly of the people, he fell down on his face and his ruach failed.

7 But when they had restored him, he fell at Yahudith's feet and reverenced her and said, Blessed are you in all the tabernacles of Yahudah and in all goyim, who hearing your name shall be astonished.

8 Now therefore tell me all the things that you have done in these yamim. Then Yahudith declared to him in the midst of the people all that she had done, from the yom that she went forth until that hour she spoke to them.

9 And when she had stopped speaking, the people shouted with a loud voice and made a joyful noise in their city.

10 And when Achior had seen all that the Ahlohim of Yisrael had done, he believed in YHUH greatly and performed brit-milah and was joined to Beit Yisrael to this yom.

11 And as soon as the boker arose, they hanged the head of Holofernes upon the wall and every man took his weapons and they went forth by bands to the straits of the har.

12 But when the Ashurim saw them, they sent to their leaders, who came to their captains and tribunes and to everyone of their rulers.

13 So they came to Holofernes' tent and said to him that had the charge of all his things, Waken now our master: for the slaves have been bold to come down against us to battle, that they may be utterly destroyed.

14 Then went in Bagoas and knocked at the door of the tent; for he thought that he had slept with Yahudith.

15 But because none answered, he opened it and went into the bedchamber and found him cast upon the floor dead and his head was taken from him.

16 Therefore he cried with a loud voice, with weeping and sighing and a mighty cry and rent his garments.

17 After he went into the tent where Yahudith lodged: and when he found her not, he leaped out to the people and cried,

18 These avadim have dealt treacherously; one woman of the Ivrim has brought shame upon the bayit of melech Arphaxad: for, behold, Holofernes lies upon the ground without a head.

19 When the captains of the Ashurim's army heard these words, they rent their coats and their minds were fully troubled and there was a cry and a very great noise throughout the camp.

15 And when they that were in the tents heard, they were astonished at the thing that was done.

2 And fear and trembling fell upon them, so that there was no man that dared to abide in the sight of his neighbor but rushing out all together, they fled into every derech of the plain and of the hill country.

3 They also that had camped in the mountains round about Bethulyah fled away. Then the children of Yisrael, everyone that was a warrior among them, rushed out upon them.

4 Then sent Husha to Betomasthem and to Bebai and Chobai and Cola and to all the coasts of Yisrael, such as should tell the things that were done and that all should rush forth upon their enemies to destroy them.

5 Now when the children of Yisrael heard it, they all fell upon them with one consent and slew them to Chobai: likewise also they that came from Yahrushalayim and from all the hill country (for men had told them what things were done in the camp of their enemies and they that were in Gilad and in Galil, chased them with a great slaughter, until they were past Damascus and the borders of it).

6 And the residue that dwelt at Bethulyah fell upon the camp of the Ashurim and spoiled them and were greatly enriched.

7 And the children of Yisrael that returned from the slaughter had that which remained; and the villages and the cities, that were in the mountains and in the plain, got many spoils: for the multitude was very great.

8 Then Yoachim the Kohen HaGadol and the zechanim of the children of Yisrael who dwelt in Yahrushalayim, came to behold the tov things that YHUH had showed to Yisrael and to see Yahudith and to salute her.

9 And when they came to her, they blessed her with one accord and said to her, You are the exaltation of Yahrushalayim, you are the great tifereth of Yisrael, you are the great rejoicing of our nation:

10 You have done all these things by your hand: you have done much tov to Yisrael and YHUH is pleased with it: blessed are you by The Almighty YHUH le olam va-ed. And all the people said, Ahmein.

11 And the people spoiled the camp the space of thirty yamim: and they gave to Yahudith Holoferne’s tent and all his plate and beds and vessels and all his stuff: and she took it and laid it on her mule; and made ready her carts and laid them on it.

12 Then all the women of Yisrael ran together to see her and blessed her and made a dance among them for her: and she took branches in her hand and gave also to the women that were with her.

13 And they put a garland of olive upon her and her maid that was with her and she went before all the people in the dance, leading all the women: and all the men of Yisrael followed in their armor with garlands and with shirim in their mouths.

16 Then Yahudith began to shir this thanksgiving in all Yisrael and all the people sang after her this shir of tehilla.

2 And Yahudith said, Begin praising my Ahlohim with timbrels, shir to my YHUH with cymbals: shir to Him a new psalm: exalt Him and call upon His Name.

3 For YHUH breaks the battles: for among the camps in the midst of the people he has delivered me out of the hands of them that persecuted me.

4 Ashur came out of the mountains from the north, he came with ten thousands of his army, the multitude whereof stopped the torrents and their horsemen have covered the hills.

5 He bragged that he would burn up my borders and kill my young men with the sword and dash the sucking children against the ground and make my infants as a prey and my virgins as a spoil.

6 But The Almighty YHUH has disappointed them by the hand of a woman.

7 For the mighty one did not fall by the young men, neither did the sons of the Titans-Nephilim smite him, nor high giants-Nephilim overcome him: but Yahudith the daughter of Merari weakened him with the beauty of her countenance.

8 For she put off the garment of her widowhood for the exaltation of those that were oppressed in Yisrael and anointed her face with ointment and bound her hair in a covering and took a linen garment to deceive him.

9 Her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty took his mind prisoner and the sword passed through his neck.

10 The Persians quaked at her boldness and the Medes were daunted at her resolve and strength.

11 Then my afflicted people shouted for simcha and my weak ones cried aloud; but the enemies were astonished: these lifted up their voices but they were overthrown.

12 The sons of the damsels have pierced them through and wounded them as fugitives' children: they perished by the battle of YHUH.

13 I will shir to YHUH a new shir: O YHUH, You are great and marvelous, wonderful in strength and invincible.

14 Let all creatures serve You: for You spoke and they were made. You sent forth Your Ruach and He created them and there is none that can resist Your voice.

15 For the mountains shall be moved from their foundations with the mayim, the rocks shall melt as wax at Your presence: yet You are merciful to them that fear You.

16 For all sacrifices are still too little for a sweet savor to You and all the fat is not sufficient for Your burnt offering: but he that fears YHUH is great at all times.

17 Woe to the goyim that rise up against my kindred. YHUH Almighty will take vengeance on them in the Yom Ha Din, in putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they shall feel them and weep le-olam-va-ed.

18 Now as soon as they entered into Yahrushalayim, they worshipped YHUH; and as soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings and their free offerings and their gifts.

19 Yahudith also dedicated all the stuff of Holofernes, which the people had given her and gave the canopy, which she had taken out of his bedchamber, for a gift to YHUH.

20 So the people continued feasting in Yahrushalayim before the sanctuary for the space of three chodeshim and Yahudith remained with them.

21 After this time everyone returned to his own inheritance and Yahudith went to Bethulyah and remained in her own possession and was in her time honorable in all the country.

22 And many desired her but none knew her all the yamim of her chayim, after that Manasseh her husband was dead and was gathered to his people.

23 But she increased more and more in esteem and waxed old in her husband's bayit, being a hundred and five years old and she set her maid free; so she died in Bethulyah: and they buried her in the cave of her husband Manasseh.

24 And all of Beit Yisrael lamented her seven yamim: and before she died, she distributed her goods to all them that were nearest of kindred to Manasseh her husband and to them that were the nearest of her kindred.

25 And there were none that made the children of Yisrael afraid anymore in the yamim of Yahudith, nor a long time after her death. X


  • JUDITH 1:1This takes place in the days of the Assyrian Empire before the Babylon Empire. Some translations refer to Nebuchadnezzer but are incorrect, as the Assyrian Empire was before him and if it were him, he certainly would have known who the Jews in Judah were. The Assyrians would not know about Jews in the hills, as they were familiar mostly with the House of Israel-Ephraim. The Medo Persians were already around and would conquer Babylon about 300 years after this account.

  • JUDITH 4:3 The time setting for Judith seems to be not long after a few Jews returned from their exile to Babylon.

  • JUDITH 8:6 More proof that Shabbat and all Torah days start at sunrise, as the lyla before Shabbat is still considered day 6.

  • JUDITH 11:13 You can see that even after the Babylonian captivity the summer firstfruit feasts of wine and oil, were considered annual feasts like in Leviticus ch. 23.

  • JUDITH 13:14 So much for the ongoing lie that YAH cannot use women to do His work.

  • JUDITH 16:7 A Levite.