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

Chapter 14

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1 JUDITH said to them: ‘Listen to me, my friends; take this head and hang it out on the battlements. 2Then at daybreak, as soon as the sun rises, let every able-bodied man among you arm himself; march out of the town with a leader before you, as if you were going down to the plain to attack the Assyrian outpost, but do not go down. 3The men there will pick up their weapons and make for the camp to rouse their commanders, who will rush to Holophernes' tent. When he is not to be found, panic will seize them and they will flee from you; 4pursue them, you and all who live within Israel's borders, and cut them down in their tracks. 5But first of all, summon Achior the Ammonite to me, so that he may see for himself and identify the man who treated Israel with contempt and sent him to us as if to his death.’

6Achior was summoned from Ozias's house. He came, and when he saw Holophernes' head held by one of the men among the assembled people, he fell down in a faint. 7After they revived him, he threw himself at Judith's feet and did obeisance to her. ‘Your praises will be sung in every home in Judah and among all nations,’ he declared; ‘they will tremble when they hear your name. 8And now tell me what you have done during these days.’ So while the people listened, Judith told him everything from the day she left until that very moment. 9As she ended her story, the people raised a shout of acclamation, making the town resound with their cheers. 10Achior, realizing all that the God of Israel had done, believed wholeheartedly in him; he was circumcised, and admitted as a member of the community of Israel, as his descendants are to this day.

11At dawn they hung Holophernes' head on the wall; then every man took up his weapons, and they marched out in companies towards the approaches to the town. 12The moment the Assyrians set eyes on them, they passed word to their leaders, who went to the commanders, captains, and all the other officers. 13They presented themselves at Holophernes' tent and said to his steward: ‘Wake our master! These slaves have had the audacity to come down and offer battle. They are asking to be utterly wiped out.’ 14Bagoas went in and knocked at the screen of the inner tent, supposing that Holophernes was sleeping with Judith. 15When there was no reply, he drew aside the screen, entered the sleeping apartment, and found the dead body sprawled over a footstool, with the head gone. 16He gave a great cry, wailing and groaning aloud, and tearing his clothes. 17He went into the tent which Judith had occupied, and not finding her there he burst out, shouting to the troops, 18‘The slaves have fooled us. One Hebrew woman has brought shame on King Nebuchadnezzar's house. Look! Holophernes is lying on the ground, headless!’ 19At his words the officers of the Assyrian army were appalled and tore their clothes, and the camp rang with their shouting and wild cries.

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