Judith - Chapter 16
1 Break into song for my God, to the tambourine, sing in honour of the Lord, to the cymbal, let psalm and canticle mingle for him, extol his name, invoke it!
2 For the Lord is a God who breaks battle-lines; he has pitched his camp in the middle of his people to deliver me from the hands of my oppressors.
3 Assyria came down from the mountains of the north, came with tens of thousands of his army. Their multitude blocked the ravines, their horses covered the hills.
4 He threatened to burn up my country, destroy my young men with the sword, dash my sucklings to the ground, make prey of my little ones, carry off my maidens;
5 but the Lord Almighty has thwarted them by a woman's hand.
6 For their hero did not fall at the young men's hands, it was not the sons of Titans struck him down, no proud giants made that attack, but Judith, the daughter of Merari, who disarmed him with the beauty of her face.
7 She laid aside her widow's dress to raise up those who were oppressed in Israel; she anointed her face with perfume,
8 bound her hair under a turban, put on a linen gown to seduce him.
9 Her sandal ravished his eye, her beauty took his soul prisoner and the scimitar cut through his neck!
10 The Persians trembled at her boldness, the Medes were daunted by her daring.
11 These were struck with fear when my lowly ones raised the war cry, these were seized with terror when my weak ones shouted, and when they raised their voices these gave ground.
12 The children of mere girls ran them through, pierced them like the offspring of deserters. They perished in the battle of my Lord!
13 I shall sing a new song to my God. Lord, you are great, you are glorious, wonderfully strong, unconquerable.
14 May your whole creation serve you! For you spoke and things came into being, you sent your breath and they were put together, and no one can resist your voice.
15 Should mountains be tossed from their foundations to mingle with the waves, should rocks melt like wax before your face, to those who fear you, you would still be merciful.
16 A little thing indeed is a sweetly smelling sacrifice, still less the fat burned for you in burnt offering; but whoever fears the Lord is great for ever.
17 Woe to the nations who rise against my race! The Lord Almighty will punish them on judgement day. He will send fire and worms in their flesh and they will weep with pain for evermore.
18 When they reached Jerusalem they fell on their faces before God and, once the people had been purified, they presented their burnt offerings, voluntary offerings and gifts.
19 All Holofernes' property given her by the people, and the canopy she herself had stripped from his bed, Judith vowed to God as a dedicated offering.
20 For three months the people gave themselves up to rejoicings in front of the Temple in Jerusalem, where Judith stayed with them.
21 When this was over, everyone returned home. Judith went back to Bethulia and lived on her property; as long as she lived, she enjoyed a great reputation throughout the country.
22 She had many suitors, but all her days, from the time her husband Manasseh died and was gathered to his people, she never gave herself to another man.
23 Her fame spread more and more, the older she grew in her husband's house; she lived to the age of one hundred and five. She emancipated her maid, then died in Bethulia and was buried in the cave where Manasseh her husband lay.
24 The House of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before her death she had distributed her property among her own relations and those of her husband Manasseh.
25 Never again during the lifetime of Judith, nor indeed for a long time after her death, did anyone trouble the Israelites.
Book of Judith Chapters
Reading for June 8th, 2023Reading 1, Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Gospel, John 6:51-58
Reading 2, First Corinthians 10:16-17
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