Judith

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Judith

[Heb.,=Jewess], early Jewish book included in the Septuagint, but not included in the Hebrew Bible, and placed in the Apocrypha of Protestant Bibles. It recounts an attack on the Jews by an army led by Holofernes, Nebuchadnezzar's general. Bethulia, a besieged Jewish city, is about to surrender when Judith, a Jewish widow of great beauty and piety, takes it upon herself to enter the enemy camp. She gains the favor of Holofernes, who seeks an opportunity to seduce her. Judith beheads him while he is drunk. Judith returns to the city with his head, and the Jews rout the enemy. The story depicts Judith as an example for godly Jews when God's commitment to saving his people is mocked. Texts of Judith exist in several ancient languages. The book might be based on a folk-tale and was probably composed in Palestine during the Hasmonean period (c.160–37 B.C.). The identification of Nebuchadnezzar as king of Assyria (he was king of Babylon) may indicate that the book is not intended as literal history. However, there are historical analogies for the invasion, especially that of Antiochus IVAntiochus IV
(Antiochus Epiphanes) , d. 163 B.C., king of Syria (175 B.C.–163 B.C.), son of Antiochus III and successor of his brother Seleucus IV. His nephew (later Demetrius I) was held as a hostage in Rome, although still claiming the throne.
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. Another Judith, a wife of Esau, is named in the Book of Genesis.

Bibliography

See C. A. Moore, Judith (1985). See also bibliography under ApocryphaApocrypha
[Gr.,=hidden things], term signifying a collection of early Jewish writings excluded from the canon of the Hebrew scriptures. It is not clear why the term was chosen.
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Judith

saved her city from the onslaught of Holofernes by beheading him during a drunken sleep. [Apocrypha: Judith 13:4-10]
See: Heroism

Judith

1. the heroine of one of the books of the Apocrypha, who saved her native town by decapitating Holofernes
2. the book recounting this episode
References in periodicals archive ?
In the original Book of Judith, like Esther and Susanna, Judith belongs only tangentially to the genealogy of other biblical heroes, and, in this way, her actions are cut off from the larger biblical narrative (Carroll 305).
Topics of literary studies are the Sumerian poem Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven (Simonetta Ponchia), Ben Sira (Marttti Nissinen), the apocryphal Book of Judith (Robert Rollinger), a passage from the incantation series Maqlu (Tzvi Abusch), and The Poor Man of Nippur (Manfried Dietrich).
TOMORROW: The Book of Judith, Sefton Park Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 7.
THE Book of Judith tells of an Israelite town besieged by the Assyrian army, who cut off the town's water supply.
This presumes that hearers will be unfamiliar with the text, which is taken from a Matins response in the Sarum Rite, itself adapted from the Book of Judith.