THE BOOK OF JUDITH INTRODUCTION. [3], The extant Hebrew language versions, whether identical to the Greek, or in the shorter Hebrew version, date to the Middle Ages. a literary fiction whose characters stand for some real historical figure, generally contemporary to the author. While we see elements of previous Old Testament women, such as Esther, Deborah, and particularly Jael (from Judges 4-5), in these accounts, they’re about faithful women generally. was made from a “Chaldee” VS and that the Jews included Judith among their Apoc. The adoption of that name, though unhistorical, has been sometimes explained either as a copyist's addition, or an arbitrary name assigned to the ruler of Babylon. "[5], Although the text itself does not mention Hanukkah, it became customary for a Hebrew midrashic variant of the Judith story to be read on the Shabbat of Hanukkah as the story of Hanukkah takes place during the time of the Hasmonean dynasty. Kevin R. Brine, et al., The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines, pg. In medieval Christian art, the predominance of church patronage assured that Judith's patristic valences as "Mulier Sancta" and Virgin Mary prototype would prevail: from the 8th-century frescoes in Santa Maria Antigua in Rome through innumerable later bible miniatures. For all this, Judith spoke glory to the Lord of Hosts who had given her this honor, fame in the realm of earth, likewise reward in heaven, victorious recompense in the glory of the skies, because she had true belief always in the Almighty. In other words, this is Genesis 3:15, played out throughout all of history, and brought together in a particularly beautiful way in this Book. For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Arphaxad named the Arphaxadites, who are now called Chaldeans. It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. Judith is a holy woman, exceedingly beatuiful, prays a doxology, chaste widow (virgin), blessed by God among all women, God defeats the ‘enemy’ of God’s people ‘by the hand of a woman’, all generations will praise her, is asked for prayers etc. The Greek version uses deliberately cryptic and anachronistic references such as "Nebuchadnezzar", a "King of Assyria", who "reigns in Nineveh", for the same king. Although Nebuchadnezzar and Ashurbanipal's campaigns show direct parallels, the main incident of Judith's intervention has never been recorded in official history. "Die Judith der Bibel kann ich nicht brauchen. [22], The canonicity of Judith is rejected by Protestants, who accept as the Old Testament only those books that are found in the Jewish canon. [27], The first extant commentary on The Book of Judith is by Hrabanus Maurus (9th century). To not only not know their Scriptures, but not know their own history? [39], Under this theory, the story, although fictional, would be set in the time of Queen Salome Alexandra, the only Jewish regnant queen, who reigned over Judea from 76 to 67 BC. Sure, a few people might miss it, like those people who fall for the old “How many animals did Moses take on his Ark” trick. The Book of Judith (second or early first century b.c.e.) She enters the book bearing her name when the Assyrians have cut off the water supply of Bethulia, the town at the entrance of the narrow corridor leading to Jerusalem (Judith 7:7, 4:7). This is a book about struggling your entire life with hating your body. In 1840, Friedrich Hebbel's play Judith was performed in Berlin. Marc-Antoine Charpentier has composed, Judith sive Bethulia liberata H.391, oratorio for soloists, chorus, 2 flutes, strings, and continuo (? "Judith" redirects here. [27], The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha identifies a clear chiastic pattern in both "acts", in which the order of events is reversed at a central moment in the narrative (i.e., abcc'b'a'). Language used of the Ark is also used of Judith, only strengthening all the connections: 1 Samuel 4:22 / Judith 15:10, “Bring to pass, O Lord, that his *pride* may be cut off *with his own sword*. I would like to see Protestants explain the density of types of Our Lady in that book. English writer Arnold Bennett in 1919 tried his hand at dramaturgy with Judith, a faithful reproduction in three acts; it premiered in spring 1919 at Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne. [30], There are also thematic connections to the revenge of Simeon and Levi on Shechem after the rape of Dinah in Gen. The two conceptual poles represented by these works will inform much of Judith's subsequent history. The inconsistencies are intentional: Judith is set after the return from the Exile, long after Nebuchadnezzar was dead, and while Assyria had been conquered by the Babylonians, the state Nebuchadnezzar ruled over was the New Babylonian/Chaldean Empire, with its capital in Babylon, not Nineveh. In Judith 8, she responds to the leaders (who are threatening to turn the city over to their enemies, if God doesn’t save them in 5 days). He is the first one who discovers Holofernes' beheading. All of this and more is spelled out by Scott Hahn in The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. Throughout her story are echoes of Sarah, Moses as an intermediary, and the … It is not clear whether the Book of Judith was originally written in Hebrew or in Greek. You wouldn’t have to be literate to know the difference between the Assyrians and the Babylonians, but presumably, the readers of Judith were that as well. So I think that the Deuterocanon is a very valuable historical source in addition to being (and even, as a result of being) God-breathed. Hold on, say modern Protestants. During that period, as in the Book of Judith, there was no king in Judah since the legitimate sovereign, Manasseh of Judah, was being held captive in Nineveh at this time. My Judith is paralyzed by her deed, frozen by the thought that she might give birth to Holofernes' son; she knows that she has passed her boundaries, that she has, at the very least, done the right thing for the wrong reasons.[46]. a. You might as well think that the author of Revelation 11:8 really thought that Jesus died in Sodom, Egypt. But like I’ve said, this wasn’t just Scripture, it was history. True b. The Italian Renaissance poet Lucrezia Tornabuoni chose Judith as one of the five subjects of her poetry on biblical figures. Within the next three centuries Judith would be treated by such major figures as Heinrich Frauenlob, Dante, and Geoffrey Chaucer. :). 1. Holofernes, his Turtan (commanding general), is ordered to take revenge on those who refused to ally themselves with him. [28], It has also been called "an example of the ancient Jewish novel in the Greco-Roman period. Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has he done so with us. In so many ways. Judith is a history, and its historical accuracy has been verified by several archeological discoveries. THE BOOK OF JUDITH The sacred writer of this Book is generally believed to be the high priest Eliachim (called also Joachim). Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded from the Hebrew canon and assigned by Protestants to the Apocrypha. It is by way of admonition that he chastises those who are close to him.” Judith, better than virtually anyone before or since, understands that God desires to be Father, not simply Master. [6] Martin Luther viewed the book as an allegory, but listed it as the first of the eight writings in his Apocrypha. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; Who are you, then, that you should have put God to the test this day, setting yourselves in the place of God in human affairs? In other words, this is a triumph of all faithful women in Israel and, as can be seen by their gallant followers, all faithful men, as well. [5][12], Although early Christians, such as Clement of Rome, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria, read and used the Book of Judith,[citation needed] some of the oldest Christian canons, including the Bryennios List (1st/2nd century), that of Melito of Sardis (2nd century) and Origen (3rd century), do not include it. [27] Chapters 8–16 then introduce Judith and depict her heroic actions to save her people. One final note on the Book’s Marian imagery; a line from Judith 15:9: “You are the glory of Jerusalem, the surpassing joy of Israel; you are the splendid boast of our people,” has historically been applied to Mary in Church liturgies. True/False. He deliberately departs from the biblical text: I have no use for the biblical Judith. Modern scholars argue in favor of a 2nd–1st century context for the Book of Judith, understanding it as a sort of roman à clef, i.e. [27] Judith's village, Bethulia (literally "virginity") is unknown and otherwise unattested to in any ancient writing. [5] The renewed interest took the form of "tales of the heroine, liturgical poems, commentaries on the Talmud, and passages in Jewish legal codes. True. (see the material given by T. W. Davies, ISBE, III, p. 1780). Judith is a biblical novella; the genre is an ancient form of “historical fiction”. She took branches in her hands and distributedthem to the women around her, and she and the other women crowned themselveswith garlands of olive leaves. [32], The identity of Nebuchadnezzar was unknown to the Church Fathers, but some of them attempted an improbable identification with Artaxerxes III Ochus (425–338 BC), not on the basis of the character of the two rulers, but due to the presence of a "Holofernes" and a "Bagoas" in Ochus' army. [13] Jerome, when he produced his Latin translation, counted it among the apocrypha,[14] (although he changed his mind and later quoted it as scripture, and said he merely expressed the views of the Jews), as did Athanasius,[15] Cyril of Jerusalem[16] and Epiphanius of Salamis.[17]. The already well established notion of Judith as an exemplum of the courage of local people against tyrannical rule from afar was given new urgency by the Assyrian nationality of Holofernes, which made him an inevitable symbol of the threatening Turks. Both Protestants and Catholics draped themselves in the protective mantle of Judith and cast their "heretical" enemies as Holofernes. [37] As a typical policy of the time, all leadership was thus transferred in the hands of the High Priest of Israel in charge, which was Joakim in this case (Judith 4:6). The nation of Israel treated the Apocryphal books with respect, but never accepted them as true books of the Hebrew Bible. 30 (Open Book Publishers 2010). III. [24], Judith is also referred to in chapter 28 of 1 Meqabyan, a book considered canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.[25]. Barker later expanded the scene into a short play Judith. And the fact that very few people are knowledgeable enough about Judaism to point out that the Talmud wasn’t written until 500 AD doesn’t help matters. Details of vocabulary and phrasing point to a Greek text written in a language modeled on the Greek developed through translating the other books in the Septuagint. The Book of Judith begins, “It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. God, our God, is with us [Immanuel is born]…” 13:11. Your email address will not be published. At the end of the book, Judith returned to her life in Bethulia, and yet it is hard to imagine that life was just the same. (Book 1, Chapter 6). That being said, despite the overall air of negativity to this memoir I still found it extremely relatable. The French composer Jean Guillou wrote his Judith-Symphonie for Mezzo and Orchestra in 1970, premiered in Paris in 1972 and published by Schott-Music. Judith's courage and charm occasion his death. Jewish history was like Moses and George Washington rolled into one, the source of their national, ethnic, and religious identity. Judith A True Woman of God. 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. And 1 and 2 Maccabees also contain the divine command to celebrate the holiday (1 Maccabees 4:36-59; 2 Maccabees 1:18-2:19; 10:1-8). That is mean, such a nature is not worthy of her success [...]. Oh and she was ‘not defiled’ by that enemy (immaculate conception) who’s head she cut off! Nebuchadnezzar takes revenge (Book of Judith 1-7:32)There is a war between two ancient kings, Nebuchadnezzar and Arphaxad – see Bad Men in the Bible: Nebuchadnezzar for information about Babylon and its king.. At the start of this war Nebuchadnezzar orders all the city states in surrounding kingdoms to send him a levy of soldiers, but they flout his command. 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. Judith Moore is angry, sad, incredibly bitter, often times judgmental of others and extremely judgmental towards herself. The surviving Greek manuscripts contain several historical anachronisms, which is why some scholars now consider the book non-historical: a parable, a theological novel, or perhaps the first historical novel.[2]. At that time Arphaxad ruled over the Medes in Ecbatana”. [5][6], Reasons for its exclusion include the lateness of its composition, possible Greek origin, open support of the Hasmonean dynasty (to which the early rabbinate was opposed), and perhaps the brash and seductive character of Judith herself. And more than that, He is celebrating it at a time and in a context where it will be understood that way: many of His followers would have believed that these were inspired texts. In another echo of the Magnificat, Judith promises in 8:32, “I will do something that will go down from generation to generation among the descendants of our race.” (She also repeatedly refers to herself as a handmaid throughout Judith 12, but that might be coincidental). For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Despite this, she is a model of Jewish courage and piety. [27], Owing to her unwavering religious devotion, she is able to step outside of her widow's role, and dress and act in a sexually provocative manner while clearly remaining true to her ideals in the reader's mind, and her seduction and beheading of the wicked Holofernes while playing this role has been rich fodder for artists of various genres. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Learn how your comment data is processed. The profanation of the temple (Judith 4:3) might have been that under king Hezekiah (see 2 Chronicles, xxix, 18–19), who reigned between c. 715 and 686 BC. mid-1670s) and Sébastien de Brossard, a cantate Judith. If He knows that these texts are spurious and uninspired, this is a bizarre way of signalling that. …so what did the author mean by Nebuchadnezzar King of The Assyrians? This is generally untrue. Croatian poet and humanist Marko Marulić also wrote an epic on Judith's story in 1501, the Judita. Check it out. Details of vocabulary and phrasing point to a Greek text written in a language modeled on the Greek developed thr… In the case of the Book of Judith, Biblical scholar Gabriele Boccaccini,[38] identified Nebuchadnezzar with Tigranes the Great (140–56 BC), a powerful King of Armenia who, according to Josephus and Strabo, conquered all of the lands identified by the Biblical author in Judith. In this study, we will learn why the book of Judith is included in Catholic scripture but not Protestant versions of the bible. THE BOOK OF JUDITH. The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, Holy Days, pg. Much of this work has focused on linking Nebuchadnezzar with various conquerors of Judea from different time periods and, more recently, linking Judith herself with historical female leaders, including Queen Salome Alexandra, Judea's only female monarch (76–67 BC) and its last ruler to die while Judea remained an independent kingdom. The story of Judith has been a favourite of latter-day playwrights; it was brought alive in 1892 by Abraham Goldfaden, who worked in Eastern Europe. He is given the task of destroying the rebels who did not support the king of Nineveh in his resistance against Cheleud and the king of Media, until Israel also becomes a target of his military campaign. [40], Like Judith, the Queen had to face the menace of a foreign king who had a tendency to destroy the temples of other religions. Her gender made her a natural example of the biblical paradox of "strength in weakness"; she is thus paired with David and her beheading of Holofernes paralleled with that of Goliath – both deeds saved the Covenant People from a militarily superior enemy. I. The Christian Gospels are partially modeled on the early accounts of the life of Apollonius of Tyana. True b. The sacred writer of this Book is generally believed to be the high priest Eliachim, (called also Joachim.) Get the book: Get the audiobook: Judith Pearson does a remarkable job of bringing one of America’s greatest spies back to life. Les deutérocanoniques ne sont pas apocryphes ! ; this he learned from the Jews themselves (Letter to Africanus, 13). To which the writer of Judith would say, “Obviously.” I mean, it’s one thing for a modern Protestant to think that an ordinary reader doesn’t remember if Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Assyrians or the Babylonians, but do they honestly think that a pre-Christian diaspora Jewish audience wouldn’t catch that mistake… immediately? Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians? The town which Judith protects is called Bethulia (‘a virgin’) and guess who is attacking ‘a Virgin’? "[42], At the same time she is the subject of a homily by the Anglo-Saxon abbot Ælfric. II. [27] Other details, such as fictional place names, the immense size of armies and fortifications, and the dating of events, cannot be reconciled with the historical record. The "facts " are obviously screwed up. The character of Judith is larger than life, and she has won a place in Jewish and Christian lore, art, poetry and drama. Both women were widows whose strategical and diplomatic skills helped in the defeat of the invader. In fact, without them, there’s no Biblical record for the establishment of one of the biggest religious holidays in Judaism: Hanukkah, which Jesus Himself celebrates (see John 10:22). ”. Most scholars agree that the original text of Judith was written in Heb. What’s Really Going on in Judith 1:1. Jerome claims that his Vul. Thenceforth her presence in medieval European literature is robust: in homilies, biblical paraphrases, histories and poetry. [citation needed]. Read in English by ancientchristian The Book of Judith is included in the Septuagint (the Greek form of the Old Testament) and has been retained in Catholic and Orthodox Christian Bibles, but was eventually excluded from the Hebrew canon and assigned by Protestants to their apocrypha. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded from the Hebrew canon and assigned by Protestants to their apocrypha. [10][11] The textual reliability of the Book of Judith was also taken for granted, to the extent that Biblical commentator Nachmanides (Ramban) quoted several passages from a Peshitta (Syriac version) of Judith in support of his rendering of Deuteronomy 21:14. [27], Nevertheless, there have been various attempts by both scholars and clergy to understand the characters and events in the Book as allegorical representations of actual personages and historical events. As documented in The Book of Judith, the story goes that in the 2nd century BCE the town of Bethulia Israel was besieged by the Assyrian army and … The transactions herein related, most probably happened in his days, and in the reign of Manasses, after his repentance and return from captivity. The Weakness of the Argument Against Judith 1:1. He is a devout soldier of his king, whom he wants to see exalted in all lands. (Note: This page was mistakenly created however it does have more information than the other one on Judith. The book of Judith was probably written sometime after the Maccabean revolt. Oziah, governor of Bethulia; together with Cabri and Carmi, he rules over Judith's city. He is the first one to recognize Holofernes' head brought by Judith in the city, and also the first one to praise God. Judith, the heroine of the book. When I first read Judith I was dumbfounded with how great a type of Mary Judith was. [citation needed], Although the author was likely Jewish, there is no evidence that the Book of Judith was ever considered authoritative or a candidate for canonicity by any Jewish group. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. There would not be a Jew who wouldn’t know about the Assyrians (taking the 10 tribes of Israel away, hence the so called 'lost tribes ’ of Israel) in the 8th century Bc and the Babylonian … This is her true story, her ONLY biography to include information from those brave men who were a part of her spy circuit. In so many ways. [33] This view also gained currency with scholarship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There’s also a. She is the daughter of Merari, a Simeonite, and widow of a certain Manasses. So we now have Judith, whose name just means “Jewish Woman,” up against the combined forces of the Babylonians, Assyrians, Medeans, and Chaldeans. "[29] Other scholars note that Judith fits within and even incorporates the genre of "salvation traditions" from the Old Testament, particularly the story of Deborah and Jael (Judges 4–5), who seduced and inebriated the Canaanite commander Sisera before hammering a tent-peg into his forehead. &nbs… The Hebrew versions name important figures directly such as the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, thus placing the events in the Hellenistic period when the Maccabees battled the Seleucid monarchs. Q: How can the book of Judith be true if it says in its very first verse that Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Assyrians when he was really the king of the Babylonians? The relevant passage is as follows ( chapter 16, verse 4 ): Certain people say that a timbrel ( tympanum ) is a musical instrument, “like two cones with only the points joined together; the sonorous reverberation is from the hide stretched over them. [citation needed] It served as the grounds for the death sentence passed on printer William Carter who had printed Martin's tract and who was executed in 1584. [18] In Jerome's Prologue to Judith[19][20] he claims that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures". I recommend it to those who haven't taken the opportunity to read it, especially those in need of a great role model. 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