Judith, Book of

Judith, Book of

      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.

      The book relates that Nebuchadrezzar (Nebuchadrezzar I), king of Assyria, sent his general Holofernes on an expedition against Palestine. At the siege of the Jewish city of Bethulia, a general named Achior warned Holofernes of the danger of attacking the Jews. A beautiful Jewish widow named Judith left the besieged city in pretended flight and foretold to Holofernes that he would be victorious. Invited into his tent, she cut off his head as he lay in drunken sleep and brought it in a bag to Bethulia. A Jewish victory over the leaderless Assyrian forces followed.

      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 BC) 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 BC). 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.

      The work has apocalyptic overtones insofar as the enemy attack against Palestine was seen as a combat between the forces of evil and the people of God. Religion and patriotism are equated, and emphasis is also placed on the beliefs that disobedience to the Law will bring certain punishment and that faith must remain strong in times of stress. God's Providence is shown as working through human instruments, in this case, Judith, not through the intervention of divine beings. As a work of literature, Judith maintains a constant dramatic tension, and its popularity in antiquity is attested by its preservation in several Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, and Latin editions.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JUDITH, BOOK OF — JUDITH, BOOK OF, a historical narrative dating from Second Temple times, included by the Septuagint and the canon of the Catholic and Greek churches in the Bible and by the Protestants in the Apocrypha. The story is as follows: Nebuchadnezzar,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Judith, Book of — • The book exists in distinct Greek and Latin versions, of which the former contains at least eighty four verses more than the later Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Book of Judith —     Book of Judith     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Book of Judith     HISTORY     Nabuchodonosor, King of Nineveh, sends his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews. The latter besieges them in Bethulia, a city on the southern verge of the Plain of… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Judith Quiney — Judith Shakespeare redirects here. For Virginia Woolf s fictional Judith, see A Room of One s Own Judith Quiney ( née Shakespeare) (baptised 2 February 1585 ndash; buried 9 February 1662) was the daughter of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway …   Wikipedia

  • Judith Regan — (born 17 August 1953 in Massachusetts) is an American editor and book publisher, who became famous for pioneering the publishing of celebrity autobiographies.Early lifeRegan grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1971 …   Wikipedia

  • Judith (disambiguation) — Judith may refer to:In names: * Judith (name), female given nameIn people: * Judith (Genesis), a character in the Book of Genesis * Judith, daughter of Welf, a Frankish queen * Judith of Friuli, daughter of Evrard of Friuli * Judith of Flanders,… …   Wikipedia

  • Judith (poem) — Judith is an Old English poetic Biblical paraphrase retelling the story of the beheading of Holofernes, an Assyrian military leader, by the eponymous heroine, as recorded in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith.History/IncompletenessThe manuscript …   Wikipedia

  • Judith Sargent Murray — (1751 1820) was an early American advocate for women s rights, an essayist, playwright, poet, and letter writer. She was one of the first American proponents of the idea of the equality of the sexes that women, like men, had the capability of… …   Wikipedia

  • Judith Butler — Butler during a lecture at the University of Hamburg. April 2007 Full name Judith Butler Born February 24, 1956 (1956 02 24) (age 55) Clevelan …   Wikipedia

  • Judith Wright — Judith Arundell Wright (31 May 1915 mdash;26 June 2000) was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights. [ [http://litweb.net/biography/18/Judith Wright.html Judith Wright Biography and Bibliography at… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”