Judith 10



1 Now after this, she ceased to cry to the God of Israel, and she completed all these words.

2 She rose where she had fallen down and called her maid; and she went down into the house in which she lived on the sabbath days and on her feast days,

3 and she pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and braided the hair of her head and put a headdress on it, and put on her garments of gladness, which she used to wear during the life of Manasseh her husband.

4 And she put sandals on her feet, and she put on her bracelets and her chains and her rings and her earrings and all her ornaments, and she decked herself out boldly, to allure the eyes of all men who might 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 bread; so she folded all these things together and laid them upon her.

6 Thus they went forth to the gate of the city of Bethulia, and they found standing there Uzziah and the elders 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 "May God, the God of our fathers, give you favor and accomplish your endeavors to the glory of the children of Israel and to the exaltation of Jerusalem." Then they worshipped God.

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

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

11 Thus they went straight ahead in the valley, and the first watch of the Assyrians met her

12 and captured her; and they asked her, "Of what people are you? And where have you come from? And where are you going?" And she said, "I am a woman of the Hebrews, and I have fled from them, for they will be given over to you to be consumed.

13 And I am going before Holofernes the chief captain of your army, to declare words of truth; and I will show him a way, by which he can go and win all the hill country, without losing the body or life of any 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 life because you have hurried to come down to the presence of our lord. Now therefore come to his tent, and some of us will conduct you, until they have delivered you to his hands.

16 And when you stand before him, do not be afraid in your heart, but reveal to him what you have said, and he will treat you well."

17 Then they chose from among them a hundred men to accompany her and her maid; and they brought her to the tent of Holofernes.

18 Then a crowd began to assemble from throughout all the camp, for the news of her arrival had spread among the tents, and they gathered around her as she stood outside the tent of Holofernes, until they had told him about her.

19 And they wondered at her beauty and admired the children of Israel because of her, and each one said to his neighbor, "Who could despise this people, who have such women among them? Surely it is not good for one man among them to be left, who, being set free, might deceive the whole earth."

20 And those who lay near Holofernes went out, and they and all his servants brought her into the tent.

21 Now Holofernes rested on his bed under a canopy, which was woven with purple and gold and emeralds and precious stones.

22 So they informed him about her; and he came out in front of his tent with silver lamps going before him.

23 And when Judith was presented before him and his servants, they all marveled at the beauty of her countenance; and she fell down upon her face and did him reverence, and his servants lifted her up.