Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical Books

Judith (Douay-Reims Bible)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16

Cruelty and Violence

Dwindling in Unbelief

"And she wore haircloth upon her loins." -- 8:6

Judith for Skeptics

In the Book of Judith we learn who is the most blessed among all women, and it's not who Catholics think it is. It's Judith.

And why is she so darned blessed? Because she cut off a sleeping man's head.

That's what this book is all about. Here are the highlights.

  • "Nabuchodonosor the king had commanded him to destroy all the gods of the earth, that he only might be called God." 3:13

  • "The priests put on haircloths, and they caused the little children to lie prostrate before the temple of the Lord, and the altar of the Lord they covered with haircloth." 4:8

  • "And she wore haircloth upon her loins." (Judith was an especially virtuous woman.) 8:6

  • God not only approved of the Shechem massacre, he gave Simeon the sword to do it with. Judith asks God to help her to go and do likewise.
    The Shechem and Dinah love story/massacre 9:2-3

  • Judith prays that God will drown her enemies, like he did the Egyptians. 9:6-11

  • Give me constancy in my mind, that I may despise him ... For this will be a glorious monument for thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman. 9:14-15

  • God, the great beautician, made Judith even more beautiful. Then she and her slave took a bottle of wine and left to visit Holofernes. On the way she passed by the Hebrew old men, who "admired her beauty exceedingly." 10:4-7

  • Judith, with God's approval and assistance, decapitated Holfernes while he slept. 13:2-11

  • Judith shows off the head of Holofernes, assuring everyone that no sex was involved in the performance of the murderous deed. 13:17-20

  • For cutting off the head of a drunken man as he slept, Judith is blessed by God "above all woman." (Even more blessed than Jael and Mary?) 13:22-25

  • Judith: "God ... hath cut off the head of all the unbelievers this night by my hand." 13:27

  • Judith tells the Israelites to hang Holofernes' head up on the wall. 14:1

  • Judith tells the Israelite army that the Assyrian captains will freak out when the see the headless Holofernes wallowing about in his own blood. That's when, she says, the Israelites should attack, knowing that God will kill the Assyrians for them. 14:4-5

  • When Achior (the leader of the Ammonites) saw what God had done (helped Judith cut off a drunken man's head) he immediately converted to Judaism and cut off his own foreskin. 14:6

  • When the Assyrian army sees the headless body of Hofernes "sweltering in his blood," they all screamed and "rent their garments." 14:13-18

  • The Assyrian army ran away after hearing about the headless Holfernes, and the Israelites (with God's help) slaughtered them as they ran, taking all their stuff and giving it to Judith -- the forever blessed, glory of Jerusalem and joy of Israel. (God gave Judith the strength to behead a sleeping man to reward her for not having sex after her husband died.) 15:1-15