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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 9

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1Judith prostrated herself; she put ashes on her head and uncovered the sackcloth she was wearing, and at the moment when the evening incense was being offered in the house of God at Jerusalem, she raised her voice and cried to the Lord: 2‘Lord, the God of my forefather Simeon, you put a sword in Simeon's hand for him to take vengeance on those foreigners who had stripped off a virgin's veil to defile her, uncovered her thighs to shame her, and violated her womb to dishonour her. Though you said, “Such a thing shall not be done,” yet they did so. 3That was why you gave up their rulers to be slain, and the bed they had disgraced with their treachery to be stained with blood; beneath your stroke both slaves and princes fell, even princes upon their thrones. 4You gave their wives as booty, and their daughters as captives, and all the spoils to be apportioned among your beloved sons, who, aflame with zeal for your cause and aghast at the pollution of their blood, called on you for help. God, my God, hear also a widow's prayer. 5All that happened then, and all that happened before and after, was your work. What is now and what is yet to be, you have planned; and what you have planned has come to pass. 6The things you have foreordained present themselves and say, “We are here.” All your ways are prepared beforehand: your judgement rests on foreknowledge.

7‘Here are the Assyrians massed in force, exultant in their horses and riders, boasting of the might of their infantry, confident in shield and javelin, bow and sling. They do not know that you are the Lord who stamps out wars; the Lord is your name. 8Overthrow their strength by your power and crush their might in your anger, for their aim is to desecrate your temple, to defile the dwelling-place of your glorious name, and to lay low the horns of your altar with the sword. 9See how arrogant they are! Bring down your wrath on their heads, and give to me, widow though I am, the strength to achieve my end. 10Use the guile of my words to strike them down, the slave with the ruler, the ruler with the servant; shatter their pride by a woman's hand. 11Your might lies not in numbers nor your sovereign power in strong men, but you are the God of the humble, the help of the poor, the support of the weak, the protector of the despairing, the deliverer of those who have lost all hope. 12God of my forefather, God of Israel's heritage, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all your creation, hear my prayer! 13Grant that my deceiving words may wound and bruise those who harbour cruel designs against your covenant and against your temple, the summit of Zion, and the home and possession of your children. 14May your whole nation, every tribe, be made aware that you are God, God of all power and might, and that you and you alone are Israel's shield.’

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