9:2. Lord God of my father Simeon, who gavest him a sword to execute vengeance against strangers, who had defiled by their uncleanness, and uncovered the virgin unto confusion:
Gavest him a sword, etc... The justice of God is here praised, in punishing by the sword of Simeon the crime of the Sichemites: and not the act of Simeon, which was justly condemned by his father, Gen. 49.5.
Though even with regard to this act, we may distinguish between his zeal against the crime committed by the ravishers of his sister, which zeal may be considered just: and the manner of his punishing that crime, which was irregular and excessive.
9:3. And who gavest their wives to be made a prey, and their daughters into captivity: and all their spoils to be divided to the servants, who were zealous with thy zeal: assist, I beseech thee, O Lord God, me a widow.
9:4. For thou hast done the things of old, and hast devised one thing after another: and what thou hast designed hath been done.
9:5. For all thy ways are prepared, and in thy providence thou hast placed thy judgments.
9:6. Look upon the camp of the Assyrians now, as thou wast pleased to look upon the camp of the Egyptians, when they pursued armed after thy servants, trusting in their chariots, and in their horsemen, and in a multitude of warriors.
9:7. But thou lookedst over their camp, and darkness wearied them.
9:8. The deep held their feet, and the waters overwhelmed them.
9:9. So may it be with these also, O Lord, who trust in their multitude, and in their chariots, and in their pikes, and in their shields, and in their arrows, and glory in their spears,
9:10. And know not that thou art our God, who destroyest wars from the beginning, and the Lord is thy name.
9:11. Lift up thy arm as from the beginning, and crush their power with thy power: let their power fall in their wrath, who promise themselves to violate thy sanctuary, and defile the dwelling place of thy name, and to beat down with their sword the horn of thy altar.
9:12. Bring to pass, O Lord, that his pride may be cut off with his own sword.
9:13. Let him be caught in the net of his own eyes in my regard, and do thou strike him by the graces of the words of my lips.
9:14. Give me constancy in my mind, that I may despise him: and fortitude that I may overthrow him.
9:15. For this will be a glorious monument for thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman.
9:16. For thy power, O Lord, is not in a multitude, nor is thy pleasure in the strength of horses, nor from the beginning have the proud been acceptable to thee: but the prayer of the humble and the meek hath always pleased thee.
9:17. O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation, hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to thee, and presuming of thy mercy.
9:18. Remember, O Lord, thy covenant, and put thou words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart, that thy house may continue in thy holiness:
9:19. And all nations may acknowledge that thou art God, and there is no other besides thee.
Judith Chapter 10
Judith goeth out towards the camp, and is taken, and brought to Holofernes.
10:1. And it came to pass, when she had ceased to cry to the Lord, that she rose from the place wherein she lay prostrate before the Lord.
10:2. And she called her maid, and going down into her house she took off her haircloth, and put away the garments of her widowhood,
10:3. And she washed her body, and anointed herself with the best ointment, and plaited the hair of her head, and put a bonnet upon her head, and clothed herself with the garments of her gladness, and put sandals on her feet, and took her bracelets, and lilies, and earlets, and rings, and adorned herself with all her ornaments.
10:4. And the Lord also gave her more beauty: because all this dressing up did not proceed from sensuality, but from virtue: and therefore the Lord increased this her beauty, so that she appeared to all men's eyes incomparably lovely.
10:5. And she gave to her maid a bottle of wine to carry, and a vessel of oil, and parched corn, and dry figs, and bread and cheese, and went out.
10:6. And when they came to the gate of the city, they found Ozias, and the ancients of the city waiting.
10:7. And when they saw her they were astonished, and admired her beauty exceedingly.
10:8. But they asked her no question, only they let her pass, saying: The God of our fathers give thee grace, and may he strengthen all the counsel of thy heart with his power, that Jerusalem may glory in thee, and thy name may be in the number of the holy and just.
10:9. And they that were there said, all with one voice: So be it, so be it.
10:10. But Judith praying to the Lord, passed through the gates, she and her maid.
10:11. And it came to pass, when she went down the hill, about break of day, that the watchmen of the Assyrians met her, and stopped her, saying: Whence comest thou or whither goest thou?
10:12. And she answered: I am a daughter of the Hebrews, and I am fled from them, because I knew they would be made a prey to you, because they despised you, and would not of their own accord yield themselves, that they might find mercy in your sight.
Because I knew, etc... In this and the following chapter, some things are related to have been said by Judith, which seem hard to reconcile with truth. But all that is related in scripture of the servants of God is not approved by the scripture; and even the saints in their good enterprises may sometimes slip into venial sins.
10:13. For this reason I thought with myself, saying: I will go to the presence of the prince Holofernes, that I may tell him their secrets, and shew him by what way he may take them, without the loss of one man of his army.
10:14. And when the men had heard her words, they beheld her face, and their eyes were amazed, for they wondered exceedingly at her beauty.
10:15. And they said to her: Thou hast saved thy life by taking this resolution, to come down to our lord.
10:16. And be assured of this, that when thou shalt stand before him, he will treat thee well, and thou wilt be most acceptable to his heart. And they brought her to the tent of Holofernes, telling him of her.
10:17. And when she was come into his presence, forthwith Holofernes was caught by his eyes.
10:18. And his officers said to him: Who can despise the people of the Hebrews, who have such beautiful women, that we should not think it worth our while for their sakes to fight against them?
10:19. And Judith seeing Holofernes sitting under a canopy, which was woven of purple and gold, with emeralds and precious stones:
10:20. After she had looked on his face, bowed down to him, prostrating herself to the ground. And the servants of Holofernes lifted her up, by the command of their master.
Judith Chapter 11
Judith's speech to Holofernes.
11:1. Then Holofernes said to her: Be of good comfort, and fear not in thy heart: for I have never hurt a man that was willing to serve Nabuchodonosor the king.
11:2. And if thy people had not despised me, I would never have lifted up my spear against them.
11:3. But now tell me, for what cause hast thou left them, and why it hath pleased thee to come to us?
11:4. And Judith said to him: Receive the words of thy handmaid, for if thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord will do with thee a perfect thing.
11:5. For as Nabuchodonosor the king of the earth liveth, and his power liveth which is in thee for chastising of all straying souls: not only men serve him through thee, but also the beasts of the field obey him.
11:6. For the industry of thy mind is spoken of among all nations, and it is told through the whole world, that thou only art excellent, and mighty in all his kingdom, and thy discipline is cried up in all provinces.