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Judith - Chapter 15

Judith Chapters

1 When the men who were still in their tents heard the news they were appalled.

2 Panic-stricken and trembling, no two of them could keep together, the rout was complete, with one accord they fled along every track across the plain or through the mountains.

3 The men who had been bivouacking in the mountains round Bethulia were fleeing too. Then all the Israelite warriors charged down on them.

4 Uzziah sent messengers to Betomasthaim, Bebai, Choba, Kola, throughout the whole territory of Israel, to inform them of what had happened and to urge them all to hurl themselves on the enemy and annihilate them.

5 As soon as the Israelites heard the news, they fell on them as one man and massacred them all the way to Choba. The men of Jerusalem and the entire mountain country also rallied to them, once they had been informed of the events in the enemy camp. Then the men of Gilead and Galilee attacked them on the flank and struck at them fiercely till they neared Damascus and its territory.

6 All the other inhabitants of Bethulia fell on the Assyrian camp and looted it to their great profit.

7 The Israelites returning from the slaughter seized what was left. The hamlets and villages of the mountain country and the plain also captured a great deal of booty, since there were vast stores of it.

8 Joakim the high priest and the entire Council of Elders of Israel, who were in Jerusalem, came to gaze on the benefits that the Lord had lavished on Israel and to see Judith and congratulate her.

9 On coming to her house, they blessed her with one accord, saying: You are the glory of Jerusalem! You are the great pride of Israel! You are the highest honour of our race!

10 By doing all this with your own hand you have deserved well of Israel, and God has approved what you have done. May you be blessed by the Lord Almighty in all the days to come! And the people all said, 'Amen!'

11 The people looted the camp for thirty days. They gave Judith the tent of Holofernes, all his silver plate, his divans, his drinking bowls and all his furniture. She took this, loaded her mule, harnessed her carts and heaped the things into them.

12 All the women of Israel, hurrying to see her, formed choirs of dancers in her honour. Judith took wands of vine-leaves in her hand and distributed them to the women who accompanied her;

13 she and her companions put on wreaths of olive. Then she took her place at the head of the procession and led the women as they danced. All the men of Israel, armed and garlanded, followed them, singing hymns.

14 With all Israel round her, Judith broke into this song of thanksgiving and the whole people sang this hymn:


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