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Judith 13

13But when the evening was come, his servants made haste to depart, and Bagoas shut the tent without, and dismissed them that waited from the presence of his lord; and they went away to their beds: for they were all weary, because the feast had been long. But Judith was left alone in the tent, and Holofernes lying along upon his bed: for he was overflown with wine. And Judith had said to her servant that she should stand without her bedchamber, and wait for her coming forth, as she did daily: for she said she would go forth to her prayer; and she spake to Bagoas according to the same words. And all went away from her presence, and none was left in the bedchamber, neither small nor great. And Judith, standing by his bed, said in her heart, O Lord God of all power, look in this hour upon the works of my hands for the exaltation of Jerusalem. For now is the time to help thine inheritance, and to do the thing that I have purposed to the destruction of the enemies which are risen up against us. And she came to the rail of the bed, which was at Holofernes’ head, and took down his scimitar from thence; and she drew near unto the bed, and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day. And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and took away his head from him, and tumbled his body down from the bed, and took down the canopy from the pillars; and after a little while she went forth, and gave Holofernes’ head to her maid; and she put it in her bag of victuals: 10 and they twain went forth together unto prayer, according to their custom: and they passed through the camp, and compassed that valley, and went up to the mountain of Bethulia, and came to the gates thereof.

11 And Judith said afar off to the watchmen at the gates, Open, open now the gate: God is with us, even our God, to shew his power yet in Israel, and his might against the enemy, as he hath done even this day. 12 And it came to pass, when the men of her city heard her voice, they made haste to go down to the gate of their city, and they called together the elders of the city. 13 And they ran all together, both small and great, for it was strange unto them that she was come: and they opened the gate, and received them, making a fire to give light, and compassed them round about. 14 And she said to them with a loud voice, Praise God, praise him: praise God, who hath not taken away his mercy from the house of Israel, but hath destroyed our enemies by my hand this night. 15 And she took forth the head out of the bag, and shewed it, and said unto them, Behold, the head of Holofernes, the chief captain of the host of Asshur, and behold, the canopy, wherein he did lie in his drunkenness; and the Lord smote him by the hand of a woman. 16 And as the Lord liveth, who preserved me in my way that I went, my countenance deceived him to his destruction, and he did not commit sin with me, to defile and shame me. 17 And all the people were exceedingly amazed, and bowed themselves, and worshipped God, and said with one accord, Blessed art thou, O our God, which hast this day brought to nought the enemies of thy people. 18 And Ozias said unto her, Blessed art thou, daughter, in the sight of the Most High God, above all the women upon the earth; and blessed is the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who directed thee to the smiting of the head of the prince of our enemies. 19 For thy hope shall not depart from the heart of men that remember the strength of God for ever. 20 And God turn these things to thee for a perpetual praise, to visit thee with good things, because thou didst not spare thy life by reason of the affliction of our race, but didst avenge our fall, walking a straight way before our God. And all the people said, So be it, so be it.

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