14:16. And after he had lived ninety-nine years in the fear of the Lord, with joy they buried him.
14:17. And all his kindred, and all his generation continued in good life, and in holy conversation, so that they were acceptable both to God, and to men, and to all that dwelt in the land.
THE BOOK OF JUDITH
The sacred writer of this Book is generally believed to be the high priest Eliachim (called also Joachim). The transactions herein related, most probably happened in his days, and in the reign of Manasses, after his repentance and return from captivity. It takes its name from that illustrious woman, by whose virtue and fortitude, and armed with prayer, the children of Israel were preserved from the destruction threatened them by Holofernes and his great army. It finishes with her canticle of thanksgiving to God.
Judith Chapter 1
Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians overcometh Arphaxad king of the Medes.
1:1. Now Arphaxad king of the Medes had brought many nations under his dominions, and he built a very strong city, which he called Ecbatana,
Arphaxad... He was probably the same as is called Dejoces by Herodotus; to whom he attributes the building of Ecbatana, the capital city of Media.
1:2. Of stones squared and hewed: he made the walls thereof seventy cubits broad, and thirty cubits high, and the towers thereof he made a hundred cubits high. But on the square of them, each side was extended the space of twenty feet.
1:3. And he made the gates thereof according to the height of the towers:
1:4. And he gloried as a mighty one in the force of his army and in the glory of his chariots.
1:5. Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him,
Nabuchodonosor... Not the king of Babylon, who took and destroyed Jerusalem, but another of the same name, who reigned in Ninive: and is called by profane historians Saosduchin. He succeeded Asarhaddan in the kingdom of the Assyrians, and was contemporary with Manasses king of Juda.
1:6. In the great plain which is called Ragua, about the Euphrates, and the Tigris, and the Jadason, in the plain of Erioch the king of the Elicians.
1:7. Then was the kingdom of Nabuchodonosor exalted, and his heart was elevated: and he sent to all that dwelt in Cilicia and Damascus, and Libanus,
1:8. And to the nations that are in Carmelus, and Cedar, and to the inhabitants of Galilee in the great plain of Asdrelon,
1:9. And to all that were in Samaria, and beyond the river Jordan even to Jerusalem, and all the land of Jesse till you come to the borders of Ethiopia.
1:10. To all these Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, sent messengers:
1:11. But they all with one mind refused, and sent them back empty, and rejected them without honour.
1:12. Then king Nabuchodonosor being angry against all that land, swore by his throne and kingdom that he would revenge himself of all those countries.
Judith Chapter 2
Nabuchodonosor sendeth Holofernes to waste the countries of the west.
2:1. In the thirteenth year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor, the two and twentieth day of the first month, the word was given out in the house of Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, that he would revenge himself.
2:2. And he called all the ancients, and all the governors, and his officers of war, and communicated to them the secret of his counsel:
2:3. And he said that his thoughts were to bring all the earth under his empire.
2:4. And when this saying pleased them all, Nabuchodonosor, the king, called Holofernes the general of his armies,
2:5. And said to him: Go out against all the kingdoms of the west, and against them especially that despised my commandment.
2:6. Thy eye shall not spare any kingdom, and all the strong cities thou shalt bring under my yoke.
2:7. Then Holofernes called the captains, and officers of the power of the Assyrians: and he mustered men for the expedition, and the king commanded him, a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men on foot, and twelve thousand archers, horsemen.
2:8. And he made all his warlike preparations to go before with a multitude of innumerable camels, with all provisions sufficient for the armies in abundance, and herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep, without number.
2:9. He appointed corn to be prepared out of all Syria in his passage.
2:10. But gold and silver he took out of the king's house in great abundance.
2:11. And he went forth he and all the army, with the chariots, and horsemen, and archers, who covered the face of the earth, like locusts.
2:12. And when he had passed through the borders of the Assyrians, he came to the great mountains of Ange, which are on the left of Cilicia: and he went up to all their castles, and took all the strong places.
2:13. And he took by assault the renowned city of Melothus, and pillaged all the children of Tharsis, and the children of Ismahel, who were over against the face of the desert, and on the south of the land of Cellon.
2:14. And he passed over the Euphrates and came into Mesopotamia: and he forced all the stately cities that were there, from the torrent of Mambre, till one comes to the sea:
2:15. And he took the borders thereof, from Cilicia to the coasts of Japheth, which are towards the south.
2:16. And he carried away all the children of Madian, and stripped them of all their riches, and all that resisted him he slew with the edge of the sword.
2:17. And after these things he went down into the plains of Damascus in the days of the harvest, and he set all the corn on fire, and he caused all the trees and vineyards to be cut down.
2:18. And the fear of them fell upon all the inhabitants of the land.
Judith Chapter 3
Many submit themselves to Holofernes. He destroyeth their cities, and their gods, that Nabuchodonosor only might be called God.
3:1. Then the kings and the princes of all the cities and provinces, of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Syria Sobal, and Libya, and Cilicia sent their ambassadors, who coming to Holofernes, said:
3:2. Let thy indignation towards us cease, for it is better for us to live and serve Nabuchodonosor the great king, and be subject to thee, than to die and to perish, or suffer the miseries of slavery.
3:3. All our cities and our possessions, all mountains and hills, and fields, and herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep, and goats, and horses, and camels, and all our goods, and families are in thy sight:
3:4. Let all we have be subject to thy law,
3:5. Both we and our children are thy servants.