Leslie J. Hoppe
The Book's Literary Form
There have been several attempts at classifying the book of Judith according to its literary type. The book is certainly not a historical account. The introduction points out the uselessness of trying to read this book against the “backdrop of Jewish history in relation to the empires of the ancient world” (OT, p. 554 ). There are just too many historical errors and anachronisms in the book. For example, the book describes Nebuchadnezzar as the king of the Assyrians ( 1, 1 ) when he was king of Babylon. His attack against Judah supposedly took place after the return from exile ( 4, 1–3 )! The historical errors are so egregious that it is likely that the author meant readers to recognize them as such. Is the book of Judith a historical novel, midrash (the expansion, probing, and exposition of biblical texts to find new meaning in them), or a fictional drama? None of these classifications is completely satisfactory. This book is the result of a conscious, systematic, and faith‐filled meditation on God's providential care for Israel. The book attempts to show how the invisible hand of God rescues Israel through the hand of Judith.