1. So then, when it had become late, his servants hurried to their lodgings, and Vagao closed the chamber doors, and he went away.

2. But they were all drowsy from the wine.

3. And Judith was alone in the chamber.

4. Moreover, Holofernes, being very inebriated, was fast asleep, reclining on his bed.

5. And Judith told her handmaid to stand outside before the chamber, and to watch.

6. And Judith stood in front of the bed, praying with tears, and her lips moved in silence,

7. saying: “Confirm me, O Lord God of Israel, and in this hour look kindly upon the works of my hands, so that, just as you promised, you may raise up Jerusalem, your city, and so that, believing through you that this plan is able to be accomplished, I may succeed.”

8. And when she had said this, she approached the pillar, which was at the head of the bed, and she released his blade, which was hanging tied to it.

9. And when she had unsheathed it, she grabbed him by the hair of his head, and she said, “Confirm me, O Lord God, in this hour.”

10. And she struck him twice on his neck, and she cut off his head, and she took off his canopy from the pillars, and she rolled away the trunk of his body.

11. And after a little while, she went out, and she delivered the head of Holofernes to her handmaid, and she ordered her to put it in her bag.

12. And the two went out, according to their custom, as if to prayer, and they passed through the camp, and having circled around the valley, they came to the gate of the city.

13. And Judith, from a distance, spoke to the watchmen on the walls, “Open the gates, for God is with us, and he has acted with his power in Israel.”

14. And it happened that, when the men had heard her voice, they called the elders of the city.

15. And all rushed toward her, from the least to the greatest. For, until then, they held no hope that she would return.

16. And, enflaming the lights, they gathered all around her. But she climbed up to a higher place, and she ordered them to be made silent. And when all had quieted down,

17. Judith said: “Praise the Lord our God, who has not abandoned those who hope in him.

18. And by me, his handmaid, he has fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel. And he has killed the enemy of his people, by my hand this night.”

19. Then, taking the head of Holofernes from the bag, she displayed it to them, saying: “Behold, the head of Holofernes the leader of the military of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, under which he reclined in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God struck him by the hand of a woman.

20. But, as the Lord himself lives, his angel has been my guardian both from my departure, and while staying there, and when returning from there. And the Lord has not permitted me, his handmaid, to be defiled, but he has called me back to you without the pollution of sin, rejoicing in his victory, in my escape, and in your liberation.

21. Confess everything to him, for he is good, for his mercy is with every generation.”

22. Then everyone adored the Lord, and they said to her, “The Lord has blessed you by his power, because, through you, he has reduced our enemies to nothing.”

23. Furthermore, Uzziah, the leader of the people of Israel, said to her: “O daughter, you have been blessed by the Lord, the most high God, above all the women on earth.

24. Blessed is the Lord, who made heaven and earth, who has guided you in harming the head of the leader of our enemies.

25. For he has so magnified your name this day, that your praise will not retire from the mouth of men, who will be mindful of the power of the Lord forever, because you have risked your life for the sake of the distress and tribulation of your people, and you have prevented our ruin before the sight of our God.”

26. And all the people said: “Amen. Amen.”

27. And so, Achior was called, and he drew near, and Judith said to him: “The God of Israel, to whom you gave testimony, has avenged himself on his enemies. He has cut down the head of all unbelievers, by my hand this night.

28. And, so that you may determine that this is so, behold, the head of Holofernes, who, in the contempt of his pride, despised the God of Israel and threatened Israel with ruin, saying, ‘When the people of Israel have been captured, I will instruct your sides to be pierced through with a sword.’ ”

29. Then Achior, seeing the head of Holofernes, and being distressed by fear, fell upon his face on the ground, and his soul became agitated.

30. In truth, after this, when he had recovered his breath, he fell down before her feet, and he showed reverence for her, and he said:

31. “Blessed are you by your God, in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation that will hear of your name, the God of Israel will be magnified over you.”



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