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

Chapter 15

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1When news of those events spread to the men in the camp, they were thrown into confusion. 2Terrified and panicstricken and making no attempt to keep together, they streamed out as if by a common impulse, seeking to escape by any and every path across the plain and the hill-country, 3while those who were encamped in the hills around Bethulia also took to flight. Thereupon all the fighting men of Israel poured out in pursuit. 4Ozias sent messengers to Bethomesthaim, Choba, and Chola, and throughout the whole territory of Israel, to report what had happened and to encourage all to attack and destroy the enemy. 5At this every man in Israel joined in the onslaught, cutting down the fugitives the whole way to Choba. So also the men from Jerusalem and the entire hill-country rallied in support, for word had reached them of what had happened to the enemy camp. The men of Gilead and Galilee outflanked the Assyrians and inflicted heavy losses on them, pressing on beyond Damascus and its surrounding district. 6The rest of the inhabitants of Bethulia fell on the Assyrian camp and made themselves rich with the spoils. 7When the Israelites returned from the slaughter, they helped themselves to what remained; there was a huge quantity, and the villages and hamlets in the hill-country and in the plain secured booty in plenty.

8Joakim the high priest and the senate of Israel came from Jerusalem to see for themselves the great things the Lord had done for his people, and to greet Judith in person. 9When they came into her presence, they all with one accord praised her: ‘You are the glory of Jerusalem, the great pride of Israel, the great boast of our people! 10With your own hand you have done all this, bestowing these benefits on Israel, and God has shown his approval. Blessings on you from the Lord Almighty, for all time to come!’ And the people responded, ‘Amen.’

11The looting of the camp went on for thirty days. Judith was given Holophernes' tent, with all his silver, and his couches, bowls, and furniture. She loaded her mule, then got her wagons ready and piled the goods on them. 12The Israelite women all came flocking to see her; they sang her praises, and some performed a dance in her honour. She took garlanded wands and distributed them among the women who accompanied her, 13and she and those who were with her crowned themselves with olive leaves. Then, at the head of the people, she led the women in the dance; the men of Israel, in full armour, followed, all wearing garlands on their heads and singing hymns.

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