81 And in those days Judith heard thereof, the daughter of Merari, the son of Ox, the son of Joseph, the son of Oziel, the son of Elkiah, the son of Ananias, the son of Gideon, the son of Raphaim, the son of Ahitub, the son of Elihu, the son of Eliab, the son of Nathanael, the son of Salamiel, the son of Salasadai, the son of Israel. 2 And her husband was Manasses, of her tribe and of her family, and he died in the days of barley harvest. 3 For he stood over them that bound sheaves in the field, and the heat came upon his head, and he fell on his bed, and died in his city Bethulia: and they buried him with his fathers in the field which is between Dothaim and Balamon. 4 And Judith was a widow in her house three years and four months. 5 And she made her a tent upon the roof of her house, and put on sackcloth upon her loins; and the garments of her widowhood were upon her. 6 And she fasted all the days of her widowhood, save the eves of the sabbaths, and the sabbaths, and the eves of the new moons, and the new moons, and the feasts and joyful days of the house of Israel. 7 And she was of a goodly countenance, and exceeding beautiful to behold: and her husband Manasses had left her gold, and silver, and menservants, and maidservants, and cattle, and lands; and she remained upon them. 8 And there was none that gave her an evil word; for she feared God exceedingly.
9 And she heard the evil words of the people against the governor, because they fainted for lack of water; and Judith heard all the words that Ozias spake unto them, how he sware to them that he would deliver the city unto the Assyrians after five days. 10 And she sent her maid, that was over all things that she had, to call Ozias and Chabris and Charmis, the elders of her city. 11 And they came unto her, and she said unto them,
Hear me now, O ye rulers of the inhabitants of Bethulia: for your word that ye have spoken before the people this day is not right, and ye have set the oath which ye have pronounced between God and you, and have promised to deliver the city to our enemies, unless within these days the Lord turn to help you. 12 And now who are ye that have tempted God this day, and stand instead of God among the children of men? 13 And now try the Lord Almighty, and ye shall never know anything. 14 For ye shall not find the depth of the heart of man, and ye shall not perceive the things that he thinketh: and how shall ye search out God, which hath made all these things, and know his mind, and comprehend his purpose? Nay, my brethren, provoke not the Lord our God to anger. 15 For if he be not minded to help us within these five days, he hath power to defend us in such time as he will, or to destroy us before the face of our enemies. 16 But do not ye pledge the counsels of the Lord our God: for God is not as man, that he should be threatened; neither as the son of man, that he should be turned by intreaty. 17 Wherefore let us wait for the salvation that cometh from him, and call upon him to help us, and he will hear our voice, if it please him. 18 For there arose none in our age, neither is there any of us to-day, tribe, or kindred, or family, or city, which worship gods made with hands, as it was in the former days; 19 for the which cause our fathers were given to the sword, and for a spoil, and fell with a great fall before our enemies. 20 But we know none other god beside him, wherefore we hope that he will not despise us, nor any of our race. 21 For if we be taken so, all Judæa shall sit upon the ground, and our sanctuary shall be spoiled; and of our blood shall he require the profanation thereof. 22 And the slaughter of our brethren, and the captivity of the land, and the desolation of our inheritance, shall he turn upon our heads among the Gentiles, wheresoever we shall be in bondage; and we shall be an offence and a reproach before them that take us for a possession. 23 For our bondage shall not be ordered to favour: but the Lord our God shall turn is to dishonour. 24 And now, brethren, let us shew an example to our brethren, because their soul hangeth upon us, and the sanctuary and the house and the altar rest upon us. 25 Besides all this let us give thanks to the Lord our God, which trieth us, even as he did our fathers also. 26 Remember all the things which he did to Abraham, and all the things in which he tried Isaac, and all the things which happened to Jacob in Mesopotamia of Syria, when he kept the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother. 27 For he hath not tried us in the fire, as he did them, to search out their hearts, neither hath he taken vengeance on us; but the Lord doth scourge them that come near unto him, to admonish them.
28 And Ozias said to her, All that thou hast spoken hast thou spoken with a good heart, and there is none that shall gainsay thy words. 29 For this is not the first day wherein thy wisdom is manifested; but from the beginning of thy days all the people have known thine understanding, because the disposition of thy heart is good. 30 But the people were exceeding thirsty, and compelled us to do as we spake to them, and to bring an oath upon ourselves, which we will not break. 31 And now pray thou for us, because thou art a godly woman, and the Lord shall send us rain to fill our cisterns, and we shall faint no more. 32 And Judith said unto them, Hear me, and I will do a thing, which shall go down to all generations among the children of our race. 33 Ye shall stand at the gate this night, and I will go forth with my maid: and, within the days after which ye said that ye would deliver the city to our enemies, the Lord shall visit Israel by my hand. 34 But ye shall not inquire of mine act: for I will not declare it unto you, till the things be finished that I do. 35 And Ozias and the rulers said unto her, Go in peace, and the Lord God be before thee, to take vengeance on our enemies. 36 And they returned from the tent, and went to their stations.
Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, No. 1076