where is the story of judith in the bible

The Book of Judith relates the story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people. This was accomplished “by the hand of a female”—a constant motif (cf. 8:33; 9:9, 10; 12:4; 13:4, 14, 15; 15:10; 16:5) meant to recall the “hand” of God in the Exodus narrative (cf. Ex 15:6). The work may have been written around 100 B.C., but its historical range is extraordinary. Within the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (1:1; 2:1), it telescopes five centuries of historical and geographical information with imaginary details. There are references to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital destroyed in 612 B.C., to Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler not of Assyria but of Babylon (605/604–562), and to the second Temple, built around 515. The postexilic period is presumed (e.g., governance by the High Priest). The Persian period is represented by two characters, Holofernes and Bagoas, who appear together in the military campaigns of Artaxerxes III Ochus (358–338); there seem to be allusions to the second-century Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Several mysteries remain: Judith herself, Arphaxad, and others are otherwise unknown. The geographical details, such as the narrow defile into Bethulia (an unidentified town which gives access to the heart of the land), are fanciful. The simple conclusion from these and other details is that the work is historical fiction, written to exalt God as Israel’s deliverer from foreign might, not by an army, but by means of a simple widow.
The book can be divided into five parts:

Where is the story of judith in the bible
The subject is one of the most commonly shown in the Power of Women topos. The account of Judith’s beheading Holofernes has been treated by several painters and sculptors, most notably Donatello and Caravaggio, as well as Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Giorgione, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Titian, Horace Vernet, Gustav Klimt, Artemisia Gentileschi, Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Trophime Bigot, Francisco Goya, Francesco Cairo and Hermann-Paul. Also, Michelangelo depicts the scene in multiple aspects in one of the Pendentives, or four spandrels on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Judy Chicago included Judith with a place setting in The Dinner Party. [46]
Judith is also made reference to in chapter 28 of 1 Meqabyan, a book considered canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. [26]

Inner-biblical references are noteworthy: as God acted through Moses’ hand (Ex 10:21–22; 14:27–30), so God delivers “by the hand of a female,” Judith. Like Jael, who drove a tent peg through the head of Sisera (Jgs 4), Judith kills an enemy general. Like Deborah (Jgs 4–5), Judith “judges” Israel in the time of military crisis. Like Sarah, the mother of Israel’s future (Gn 17:6), Judith’s beauty deceives foreigners, with the result that blessings redound to Israel (Gn 12:11–20). Her Hebrew name means “Jewish woman.” Her exploits captured the imagination of liturgists, artists, and writers through the centuries. The book is filled with double entendres and ironic situations, e.g., Judith’s conversation with Holofernes in 11:5–8, 19, where “my lord” is ambiguous, and her declaration to Holofernes that she will lead him through Judea to Jerusalem (his head goes on such a journey).
The Book of Judith relates the story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people. This was accomplished “by the hand of a female”—a constant motif (cf. 8:33; 9:9, 10; 12:4; 13:4, 14, 15; 15:10; 16:5) meant to recall the “hand” of God in the Exodus narrative (cf. Ex 15:6). The work may have been written around 100 B.C., but its historical range is extraordinary. Within the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (1:1; 2:1), it telescopes five centuries of historical and geographical information with imaginary details. There are references to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital destroyed in 612 B.C., to Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler not of Assyria but of Babylon (605/604–562), and to the second Temple, built around 515. The postexilic period is presumed (e.g., governance by the High Priest). The Persian period is represented by two characters, Holofernes and Bagoas, who appear together in the military campaigns of Artaxerxes III Ochus (358–338); there seem to be allusions to the second-century Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Several mysteries remain: Judith herself, Arphaxad, and others are otherwise unknown. The geographical details, such as the narrow defile into Bethulia (an unidentified town which gives access to the heart of the land), are fanciful. The simple conclusion from these and other details is that the work is historical fiction, written to exalt God as Israel’s deliverer from foreign might, not by an army, but by means of a simple widow.

In the Book of Judith as we know it today, King Nebuchadnezzar of Assyria has sent his general Holofernes to utterly destroy the Jews in Judaea. Holofernes lays siege to the region, depriving the Jews of their food and water, bringing them to the point of surrender. But a highly-respected widow named Judith rebukes the elders for their faint-heartedness, insisting that they trust more fully in God. This is not mere piety, for Judith has a plan to liberate her people single-handedly: “Listen to me. I am about to do a thing which will go down through all generations of our descendants” (Jud 8:32). And so, taking only her maid, she sets out for the garrison of Holofernes.

If you follow out the words of your maidservant, God will accomplish something through you, and my lord will not fail to achieve his purposes…. Now as for the things Alchior said…, do not disregard what he said, but keep it in your mind, for it is true: our nation cannot be punished…unless they sin against their God. And now, in order that my lord may not be defeated…, death will fall upon them, for a sin has overtaken them by which they are about to provoke their God…. Since their food supply is exhausted and their water has almost given out, they have planned to kill their cattle and have determined to use all that God by his laws has forbidden them to eat. [Jud 11:5-15]

Where is the story of judith in the bible
The work’s historicity is suspect because of numerous historical and chronological errors. Some scholars have suggested that the existence of similar accounts in the Bible (e.g., Jael in the Book of Judges) and in the interpretive stories of the Midrash point to an early, common source (perhaps from the 6th century bce ) now lost. Others, however, view the story as sheer fiction and attribute it to an anonymous Palestinian Jew who wrote shortly after the end of the Maccabean revolt (2nd century bce ). According to this view, Judith was meant to be the female counterpart of Judas Maccabeus, leader of the revolt, and the book, discussing a contemporary situation in the guise of an ancient historical setting, was written to encourage the Judaean Jews in the uneasy period of independence following the wars precipitated by the Maccabean uprising.
Book of Judith, apocryphal work excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant biblical canons but included in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Hebrew Bible) and accepted in the Roman canon.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/intro/?search=Judith&version=NABRE
http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/two-strong-women-old-testament-first-judith/
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Book-of-Judith
http://www.usccb.org/bible/judith/0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *