121Then he commanded to bring her in where his plate was set; and bade that they should prepare for her of his own meats, and that she should drink of his own wine.
2And Judith said, I will not eat thereof, lest there be an offence: but provision shall be made for me of the things that I have brought.
3Then Holofernes said unto her, If thy provision should fail, how should we give thee the like? for there be none with us of thy nation.
4Then said Judith unto him As thy soul liveth, my lord, thine handmaid shall not spend those things that I have, before the Lord work by mine hand the things that he hath determined.
5Then the servants of Holofernes brought her into the tent, and she slept till midnight, and she arose when it was toward the morning watch,
6And sent to Holofernes, saving, Let my lord now command that thine handmaid may go forth unto prayer.
7Then Holofernes commanded his guard that they should not stay her: thus she abode in the camp three days, and went out in the night into the valley of Bethulia, and washed herself in a fountain of water by the camp.
8And when she came out, she besought the Lord God of Israel to direct her way to the raising up of the children of her people.
9So she came in clean, and remained in the tent, until she did eat her meat at evening.
10And in the fourth day Holofernes made a feast to his own servants only, and called none of the officers to the banquet.
11Then said he to Bagoas the eunuch, who had charge over all that he had, Go now, and persuade this Hebrew woman which is with thee, that she come unto us, and eat and drink with us.
12For, lo, it will be a shame for our person, if we shall let such a woman go, not having had her company; for if we draw her not unto us, she will laugh us to scorn.
13Then went Bagoas from the presence of Holofernes, and came to her, and he said, Let not this fair damsel fear to come to my lord, and to be honoured in his presence, and drink wine, and be merry with us and be made this day as one of the daughters of the Assyrians, which serve in the house of Nabuchodonosor.
14Then said Judith unto him, Who am I now, that I should gainsay my lord? surely whatsoever pleaseth him I will do speedily, and it shall be my joy unto the day of my death.
15So 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.
16Now when Judith came in and sat down, Holofernes his heart 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 day that he had seen her.
17Then said Holofernes unto her, Drink now, and be merry with us.
18So Judith said, I will drink now, my lord, because my life is magnified in me this day more than all the days since I was born.
19Then she took and ate and drank before him what her maid had prepared.
20And Holofernes took great delight in her, and drank more wine than he had drunk at any time in one day since he was born.
131Now when the evening was come, his servants made haste to depart, and Bagoas shut his tent without, and dismissed the waiters from the presence of his lord; and they went to their beds: for they were all weary, because the feast had been long.
2And Judith was left alone in the tent, and Holofernes lying alone upon his bed: for he was filled with wine.
3Now Judith 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 prayers, and she spake to Bagoas according to the same purpose.
4So all went forth and none was left in the bedchamber, neither little nor great. Then Judith, standing by his bed, said in her heart, O Lord God of all power, look at this present upon the works of mine hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem.
5For now is the time to help thine inheritance, and to execute thine enterprizes to the destruction of the enemies which are risen against us.
6Then she came to the pillar of the bed, which was at Holofernes’ head, and took down his fauchion from thence,
7And approached to his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day.
8And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him.
9And tumbled his body down from the bed, and pulled down the canopy from the pillars; and anon after she went forth, and gave Holofernes his head to her maid;
10And she put it in her bag of meat: so they twain went together according to their custom unto prayer: and when they passed the camp, they compassed the valley, and went up the mountain of Bethulia, and came to the gates thereof.
11Then said Judith afar off, to the watchmen at the gate, Open, open now the gate: God, even our God, is with us, to shew his power yet in Jerusalem, and his forces against the enemy, as he hath even done this day.
12Now 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 elders of the city.
13And then they ran all together, both small and great, for it was strange unto them that she was come: so they opened the gate, and received them, and made a fire for a light, and stood round about them.
14Then she said to them with a loud voice, Praise, praise God, praise God, I say, for he hath not taken away his mercy from the house of Israel, but hath destroyed our enemies by mine hands this night.
15So she took the head out of the bag, and shewed it, and said unto them, behold the head of Holofernes, the chief captain of the army of Assur, and behold the canopy, wherein he did lie in his drunkenness; and the Lord hath smitten him by the hand of a woman.
16As the Lord liveth, who hath kept me in my way that I went, my countenance hath deceived him to his destruction, and yet hath he not committed sin with me, to defile and shame me.
17Then all the people were wonderfully astonished, and bowed themselves and worshipped God, and said with one accord, Blessed be thou, O our God, which hast this day brought to nought the enemies of thy people.
18Then said Ozias unto her, O daughter, blessed art thou of the most high God above all the women upon the earth; and blessed be the Lord God, which hath created the heavens and the earth, which hath directed thee to the cutting off of the head of the chief of our enemies.
19For this thy confidence shall not depart from the heart of men, which remember the power of God for ever.
20And God turn these things to thee for a perpetual praise, to visit thee in good things because thou hast not spared thy life for the affliction of our nation, but hast revenged our ruin, walking a straight way before our God. And all the people said; So be it, so be it.
141Then said Judith unto them, Hear me now, my brethren, and take this head, and hang it upon the highest place of your walls.
2And so soon as the morning shall appear, and the sun shall come forth upon the earth, take ye every one his weapons, and go forth every valiant man out of the city, and set ye a captain over them, as though ye would go down into the field toward the watch of the Assyrians; but go not down.
3Then they shall take their armour, and shall go into their camp, and raise up the captains of the army of Assur, 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.
4So ye, and all that inhabit the coast of Israel, shall pursue them, and overthrow them as they go.
5But before ye do these things, call me Achior the Ammonite, that he may see and know him that despised the house of Israel, and that sent him to us as it were to his death.
6Then they called Achior out of the house of Ozias; 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 spirit failed.
7But when they had recovered him, he fell at Judith’s feet, and reverenced her, and said, Blessed art thou in all the tabernacles of Juda, and in all nations, which hearing thy name shall be astonished.
8Now therefore tell me all the things that thou hast done in these days. Then Judith declared unto him in the midst of the people all that she had done, from the day that she went forth until that hour she spake unto them.
9And when she had left off speaking, the people shouted with a loud voice, and made a joyful noise in their city.
10And when Achior had seen all that the God of Israel had done, he believed in God greatly, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined unto the house of Israel unto this day.
11And as soon as the morning arose, they hanged the head of Holofernes upon the wall, and every man took his weapons, and they went forth by bands unto the straits of the mountain.
12But when the Assyrians saw them, they sent to their leaders, which came to their captains and tribunes, and to every one of their rulers.
13So they came to Holofernes’ tent, and said to him that had the charge of all his things, Waken now our lord: for the slaves have been bold to come down against us to battle, that they may be utterly destroyed.
14Then went in Bagoas, and knocked at the door of the tent; for he thought that he had slept with Judith.
15But 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.
16Therefore he cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and sighing, and a mighty cry, and rent his garments.
17After he went into the tent where Judith lodged: and when he found her not, he leaped out to the people, and cried,
18These slaves have dealt treacherously; one woman of the Hebrews hath brought shame upon the house of king Nabuchodonosor: for, behold, Holofernes lieth upon the ground without a head.
19When the captains of the Assyrians’ army heard these words, they rent their coats and their minds were wonderfully troubled, and there was a cry and a very great noise throughout the camp.