By Mary Jane Chaignot

The Book of Judith

  1. Authorship and Date
  2. Historical Questions
  3. Structure
  4. Summary of Contents
    1. Nebuchadnezzar's Military Exploits
    2. Preparing to Attack Israel
    3. Judith Enters the Scene
    4. Judith's Plan
    5. Tricking the Assyrians
    6. Israel is Saved
  5. Canonical Status
  6. Outline

Authorship and Date
Most scholars think this book was written around 100 BCE by a Palestinian Jew. This would have been during the Hasmonean period. Scholars argue whether it was intended to support or criticize that regime. It was probably written in Hebrew, though no Hebrew text has ever been discovered.

Historical Questions
The events described in the book of Judith supposedly took place in Assyria, some time during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon. Since both Assyria and Babylon were renowned enemies of Israel, it is highly doubtful this conflation was accidental.

There are, however, several historical inaccuracies in the setting as it is presented. For instance,Nebuchadnezzar wasKing of Babylon, but never ruled from Nineveh as the book says he did. (In fact, his father was among those who led the charge that defeated the Assyrians many years before the events in the book take place. Nineveh was destroyed in that campaign, never to be rebuilt again.)

So, like the Book of Tobit, this book is probably of the genre of a historical novel. Its function would have been to instruct, encourage, and entertain.

The book of Judith is basically divided into two parts. The first half of the book is all about military maneuverings. It seems tedious but reveals a lot about the characters of Nebuchadnezzar and his general, Holofernes. The whole point of these early chapters is to illustrate the might of the Assyrian nation – they were unstoppable and moved like a dark shadow across the land. These early chapters suggest that the Assyrians were intent on world domination. It also introduces Achior, an Ammonite, who has the real insight on God's relationship with His people and what might be at stake. By the time Judith arrives on the scene and takes action, the tension has been heightened.

The second half of the book describes how Judith saved Israel from Holofernes and the Babylonian empire.

Summary of Contents

Nebuchadnezzar's Military Exploits
The first half of the book sets up the story wherein King Nebuchadnezzar intends to do battle with the king of the Medes , who is named Arphaxad in the book although there was never a Median king by this name. Nebuchadnezzar hoped that many of the surrounding nations would join in his endeavors. In fact, he explicitly invited them to do so.

Unfortunately, most of them declined. But not to worry – Nebuchadnezzar easily defeated Arphaxad anyway. (There is, however, a bit of irony at work here. According to historical documents, the Medes and the Babylonians actually defeated the Assyrians in 612 BCE.) After he had been successful in defeating Arphaxad, Nebuchadnezzar turned his sights towards those nations to the west that had rebuffed his request. Among these nations were the areas of Judea and Samaria.

In order to accomplish his mission, Nebuchadnezzar commissioned Holofernes, the general of his army, to gather a huge force and methodically "visit" each nation that had refused to help him. He was also to eliminate their religious sites, so they would only worship Nebuchadnezzar. Holofernes easily destroyed many small towns at will. So, it did not take long for many of the coastal nations to capitulate to his demands. They offered to Holofernes all their dwellings, their fields, their cities and their citizens to do with as he pleased – as long as he "let there be peace."

Holofernes accepted their offer, and destroyed all their high places, which were places of worship. He was loyal to his commission to destroy all other gods so the nations would only worship Nebuchadnezzar. (This, too, does not square with history. Nebuchadnezzar was not worshiped as a god, but this would be the one deal-killer with the Israelites, who only worshiped one God.)

News of Holofernes' victories surely preceded him to the borders of Judea. Rather than push forward, however, Holofernes camped below the mountain village of Bethulia. There the army would rest for a month while they replenished their supplies and their spirits.

Preparing to Attack Israel
In order to move through the mountain pass and press onwards to Jerusalem, the Assyrians would have to take Bethulia (though this is another historical inaccuracy). The first order of battle, then, was to establish a siege and to cut off the water supply to the city. It also provided a psychological impact in that it gave the inhabitants of the city plenty of time to ponder their presumed fate. Their only recourse at this point was to pray and to prepare for war.

In chapter five, the action pauses in order to allow Holofernes to interview the local nations to garner more information about the Israelites, who had, by then, managed to fortify the passes through the mountain. Achior, the leader of the Ammonites, offered to tell Holofernes the whole truth, and nothing less. He gave a short history on the Israelites, highlighting the mighty acts of God on their behalf. He propounded a concise version of Deuteronomic history that stated: God will bless them if they have been faithful to his laws and judge them if they have not.

The character of Achior does several things for the story. First, he sets up Judith's later claim that she abandoned her people precisely because they had been unfaithful. It also placed him in the presence of Holofernes, which enabled him to positively identify his severed head later.

Achior's counsel, however, did not sit well with Holofernes. Achior said if the Israelites had been sinning, Holofernes would be successful; on the other hand, if they had been obedient to God's laws, God would be on their side and no force would be strong enough to conquer them. Obviously, this enraged the man who intended to conquer the world for King Nebuchadnezzar. Holofernes then expelled Achior to the Israelites to suffer whatever fate awaited them. The Israelites welcomed Achior and showed him great hospitality.

Judith Enters the Scene
By the time Judith is introduced in the eighth chapter, the Israelites' water had been cut off and their courage had failed them. They were crying out to God and complaining to the elders and Uzziah, of the tribe of Simeon. (There are echoes of the wilderness at this point – people cry out to God for lack of water and rail against their leaders!) Uzziah tried to encourage them, but finally offered a compromise that only made sense to him. They should wait for five more days. If God had not sent water within that time, they would surrender without condition. The people accepted this and went back to their homes.

Judith was a wealthy widow who spent most of her days in solitude, prayer, and fasting. Despite her seclusion, she heard about the events that had transpired in the town square and sent her maid to invite Uzziah and the elders to her home posthaste. When they arrive, she first upbraided them for their lack of faith. She thought they were trying to put God to the test and that was never a good idea. God was free to choose to help them or not. Then she tells them that they should all know that God would come to their aid because they had been obedient to his laws. They were not worshiping idols, which essentially confirmed the Deuteronomic theology as stated by Achior. 

The citizens all knew that Bethulia was the last fortress standing between the Assyrian army and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. It was inconceivable to Judith that God would allow such destruction at a time when they had been faithful. So even though she accepted that God was free to choose, she also believed that God would, indeed, answer those who had been faithful – and God would do this through them! So, in a deep sense this was not a test of God, but of them. Uzziah and the leaders were persuaded by her wisdom and wanted Judith to pray with them. She, however, had no intentions of praying for rain; she had a much bolder plan and told them to "stand by."

Judith's Plan
After purifying herself and praying diligently, Judith was ready to go forth. She put aside her garments of mourning (which she had worn for three and a half years since the death of her husband). She adorned herself with perfume, fine clothes, and jewelry. She took on the identity of a beautiful seductress. Along with her maid, she left through the gates of the city. Any men that saw her were immediately awestruck by her beauty.

It was not long before they approached the Assyrian outpost. The men took her into custody and asked what in the world she was doing there. She replied that she was fleeing her people because they were about to be conquered for violating the laws of God (see, how nicely this fits in with Achior's prophecy!). She asked to see Holofernes and promised to give him a trustworthy report on how he could take the city without any cost to his army. 

Upon seeing her, Holofernes marveled at the beauty of her face and was only too anxious to be gracious to her. Despite her promise to give a "trustworthy report," Judith equivocated with the truth. She said, "I will say nothing false to my lord."

Of course Holofernes, thought she was talking about him, but Judith had only one Lord – God. Everything she said to Holofernes was completely deceptive.She could swear by Nebuchadnezzar because he meant nothing to her. Swearing by the God of the Israelites was the only swearing that counted. So Judith cunningly wove words and expounded more Deuteronomic theology – all the while knowing that the Israelites had been a faithful people. She ended by saying, "God has sent me to accomplish with you things that will astonish the world." Again, this is very ironic. Holofernes was thinking along one line, Judith another. 

Tricking the Assyrians
For three days, Judith lived in the Assyrian camp, establishing a pattern and gaining their confidence. Early each morning, she and her maid went out of the camp to pray, which showed her to be in complete control of the situation. The men continued to be smitten with her beauty to the extent that no one questioned any of her movements.

On the fourth day, Holofernes planned a huge banquet for his servants that did not include any of his soldiers. He intended to seduce Judith, yet held her in such high esteem that he was very deferential towards her. She accepted the invitation to attend, and again dressed up in all her finery. She hinted that Holofernes would have his way with her, which only heightened his desire for her.

After drinking way too much wine, Holofernes passed out and his servant gently closed the tent leaving Judith alone with him. She took advantage of the situation and beheaded him, much in the same fashion that Jael killed Sisera with the tent peg or stake (See Judges 4:17-22). Early in the morning, she and the maid left as usual to pray, only this time they had his head in their bag. Again, no one stopped or questioned them. 

Israel is Saved
Judith and her servant made their way to Bethulia and shouted for the guards to open the gates letting them in. When all saw the head of Holofernes, there was much rejoicing and praising of God. Achior attested to the identity of Holofernes and converted to Judaism right on the spot.

The next step in Judith's plan required that the army prepare to go out later that morning. When the Assyrians went to awaken their commanders, they would find Holofernes dead. She said they would panic and only then should the Israelites attack them. Everything worked like clockwork, and just as Judith prophesied. When the eunuch went to awaken Holofernes, he exclaimed, "One Hebrew woman has brought disgrace on the house of King Nebuchadnezzar." 

That pretty much summed it up. The Israelites plundered the Assyrian camp for a month. The story ended with dancing and a song praising God, which echoes the song of Moses at the Red Sea. The elders blessed Judith, who resumed her solitary life on her estate. 

But it is hard to imagine that her life was the same as before this incident. She continued to live on her husband's estate and was buried in his tomb. Throughout her story there are echoes of Sarah, Moses (as an intermediary), and the many judges that God raised up to save his people. Because of Judith, the land had peace for many years. There is no doubt that she is the idealized person. Her piety is unquestionable, yet she doesn't hesitate to lie or use her beauty in the interest of saving the Israelites. She remains a complex character and one of the esteemed heroines of Judah.

Canonical Status
Like many of the books of the Apocrypha, Judith was part of the early canon in the Christian Bible, but is not part of the Protestant canon. There are several possible reasons it was not included in the Protestant canon.

The first is perhaps the most disquieting aspect of this book – the role of deceit and the violation of hospitality. Another is how Judith used the episode of Simeon and Levi in Genesis 34 (the violation of Dinah and the subsequent killing of the Shechemites) as part of her prayer in 9:2-4. Judith saw them as models to be emulated for what she was about to do. All these examples, of course, are culturally bound and tied to the sense of honor and shame.

Also, Nebuchadnezzar's revenge was occasioned by the refusal of the western nations to join his campaign against Arphaxad. Holofernes claimed divine status for Nebuchadnezzar, saying "What god is there except Nebuchadnezzar?" (6:2) Judith intended to decisively answer that question. She understood that it was God's honor that was at stake and that the people had a responsibility to safeguard His honor. In that context, deceit and empty oaths were a necessary means to an end. She also transformed herself as one who was about to betray her people. Holofernes was so awed by her beauty that he never questioned any of her motives.

Last, of course, is the fact that Judith was a woman during the intertestamental period. She was not the stereotypical widow – poor and without a place in that society. Indeed, when she invited Uzziah and the elders to her home, they went. She upbraided them for their poor decisions and lectured them on theological points. She used her sexuality to deliver an entire town. This hardly fits with what scholars think they know about the role of women in the first century.

These may be the reasons why the book never became canonical. The book certainly shows a lot of piety and relies heavily on God (unlike Esther, which never mentions God). Other scholars, however, think it might have been ignored because of Achior's conversion. Deuteronomy 23:3 specifically states that an Ammonite or Moabite should never enter the congregation of the Lord. It is possible that first century rabbis could not reconcile the two. The simplest suggestion, of course, is that it was written too late to be included. 

There are roughly eight sections to this letter: 

  1. 1:1-16 – War Between the Kings;
  2. 2:1-3:10 – Nebuchadnezzar's Revenge;
  3. 4:1-7:32 – The Jews Refused to Surrender;
  4. 8:1-9:14 – Judith and Her Plan;
  5. 10:1-13:10 – Judith's Encounter with Holofernes;
  6. 13:11-15:7 – The Impact of Holofernes' Death;
  7. 15:8-16:20 – Victory and Praise;
  8. 16:21-25 – Death of Judith

Here's a quick outline of the entire book.

I – 1:1-16 – War Between the Kings

  • 1:1
    • Introductory verses
    • Nebuchadnezzar rules from Nineveh
    • (In history, however, he ruled from Babylon. His father and the king of Medes combined forces to destroy Nineveh in 612 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar's twelfth year would have been 593 BCE. Nineveh was long destroyed by that time.)
    • Arphaxad rules over the Medes in Ecbatana
    • (Ecbatana would have been 300 miles NE of Babylon and 325 miles SE of Nineveh. Arphaxad is unknown as a Median king.)
  • 1:2-4
    • Description of the city's defenses
    • Ecbatana's city walls were over 100 feet tall and 75 feet thick (!)
    • (These dimensions indicate how amazing was Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of it.)
    • Their towers were 150 feet tall; the gates were 60 feet wide
  • 1:5-6
    • Nebuchadnezzar makes war against Ecbatana
    • Many nations from the hill country join forces with him
  • 1:7-10
    • Message goes out to all the nations
    • Nations, both east and south, are enjoined to unite with Nebuchadnezzar
  • 1:11
    • These nations refused him
    • They think he is just an ordinary person who thought too big
  • 1:12
    • Filled with rage, Nebuchadnezzar vows to take revenge on this whole area
    • Judea part of this region
  • 1:13-16
    • Defeat of Arphaxad
    • In the 17th year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar defeat Arphaxad
    • He and his men return to Nineveh and feast for four months

II – 2:1-3:10 – Nebuchadnezzar's Revenge

  • 2:1-4
    • Introduction of Holofernes
    • The following year, Nebuchadnezzar plans to make good on his promise
    • He summons Holofernes, the general in command of his army
  • 2:5-13
    • Instructions to Holofernes
    • He is to take up to 120,000 soldiers and 12,000 cavalry and march against the region to the west
    • (The west had refused his call for help) 
    • If the territory surrenders, Holofernes is to wait for Nebuchadnezzar to come If they did not surrender, Holofernes was to show them no mercy
  • 2:14-28
    • The first campaign
    • Holofernes leads the campaign, from Nineveh to Damascus
    • He ravages all the cities and kills all those who resist him
    • Fear and dread soon come upon all the cities
    • Then they sent messengers to him promising peace
  • 3:1-10
    • Message from the cities to Holofernes
    • All the cities offer themselves as slaves
    • They welcome him with garlands and dances
    • Holofernes demolishes all their shrines and make them worship Nebuchadnezzar
    • Finally, he makes his way to the edge of Judea

III – 4:1-7:32 – The Jews Refused to Surrender

  • 4:1-15
    • Judea's initial reaction
    • Needless to say, upon hearing of Holofernes' successes, the Jews were terrified
    • They alert all the cities near Jerusalem and fortify them as best they can
    • Joakim, the High Priest, writes to Bethulia telling them to occupy the passes up into the hill country (the idea was to hold back the army)
    • Their main concern is to safeguard the Temple in Jerusalem
    • Mostly, the entire nation cries out to God, fasts, and prostrates themselves
    • Even the High Priest wears sackcloth in the sanctuary of the Lord
  • 5:1-21
    • The role of Achior, the Ammonite
    • When Holofernes hears that the Jews are building their defenses, he is angry
    • He summons all the generals to gain information about this rebel nation
    • Achior, the Ammonite, gives him the information he requested
    • He basically recites Israelite history going back to the time of Abraham, including the Exodus, and their exile
    • The exile was attributed to their many sins
    • But now, he continues, they have stopped sinning
    • He summed it up by saying the Assyrians' only shot at defeating them would be if the Israelites have been disobedient towards their God
    • But if they are innocent, then Holofernes will be unable to conquer them and he will become a laughing stock to the nations
  • 5:22-6:21
    • Achior's reward
      • 5:22-24 
        • Upon hearing Achior's report, Holofernes' army blew off what he had said
      • 6:1-4
        • Holofernes shared his men's views
        • He, too, boasts that he is invincible;
        • Nebuchadnezzar is the only god
      • 6:5-13 
        • Achior was sent to the Israelites
        • Since Achior thinks the Jews might prevail, Holofernes sends him over to their side
        • If they lose, he will be killed with them for saying such treasonous things
      • 6:14-21
        • The Jews find Achior
        • The Israelites find him and take him to Bethulia
        • Achior tells them all about Holofernes' plans
        • The Israelites pray day and night for deliverance
  • 7:1-32
    • The siege against Bethulia
    • By now Holofernes' army has increased to 170,000
    • He brings his men in full strength to camp just outside Bethulia
    • The following day, they captured their water source
    • The Ammonites and Moabites joined forces with Holofernes
    • The Israelites cried out to God even more
    • They were surrounded on all sides with no possible means of escape
    • After 34 days, the Isarelites had lost heart
    • They gathered around Uzziah, from the tribe of Simeon, and all the leaders
    • They were ready to surrender, to become slaves in order to spare their children
    • They cried out with a bitter and long lamentation
    • Uzziah countered with the notion that they should wait for five days
    • If nothing had happened by then, the city could surrender
    • With that, the people were sent to their houses, but they were very dejected

IV – 8:1-9:14 – Judith and Her Plan

  • 8:1-8
    • Introduction of Judith
    • Judith's family is noted
    • She had been a widow for 3 years, 4 months
    • She had mourned every day since the death of her husband
    • He had left her plenty of money and servants and fields
    • No one spoke evil of her
  • 8:9-36
    • Judith and the Elders
    • She summoned Uzziah and the Elders to her home for a meeting
    • She admonished them for testing the Lord
    • She understood the siege not as abandonment by God but as a test from Him
    • She didn't want the people to be idle for five days – waiting for the Lord to act
    • Instead they should be praying mightily that the Lord would act through them
    • Uzziah was chastened, but felt he could not alter his agreement
    • He would wait for five days – and pray for rain to fill the cisterns(!)
    • Judith said she was under no such restraints
    • She promised that she would go out with her maid that very evening and that the Lord would deliver Israel through her hands
    • She refused to give them any more details
    • Uzziah and the rulers approved of her proposal (but did not offer to go with her)
  • 9:1-14
    • Judith's prayer
    • Judith prayed that God would hear her
    • She also prayed that God would defeat the army
    • Twice, she prayed for deceitful lips – she knew what she intended to do
    • Basically, she was asking God to help her use deceitful tactics against the enemy

V – 10:1-13:10 – Judith's Encounter with Holofernes

  • 10:1-17
    • Preparing to meet Holofernes
    • After she finished praying, Judith ended her mourning and put on her finest clothes
    • She also adorned herself with jewelry
    • She went to the gate where Uzziah and the elders were waiting
    • They could not believe how amazing she looked
    • They opened the gate for her and even the guards were smitten with her
    • Outside the gate, an Assyrian patrol soon stopped her
    • She told them she was running away from the city because it was about to be destroyed
    • She offered to give them inside information so they could easily capture Bethulia
    • The patrol was also smitten by her beauty and hurried to take her to Holofernes
  • 10:18-11:23
    • Judith and her "inside" information
    • Word of her arrival in the Assyrian camp spread quickly and all were struck by her beauty
    • Finally, the guards took her in to see Holofernes
    • Again, they were all struck by her beauty
    • She bowed to Holofernes, who immediately asked her to rise
    • He did not want her to be fearful; indeed, she would be treated as a loyal subject
    • Judith offered to talk with him in private and tell him the secrets to success
    • She remembered the advice Achior gave to them
    • His advice was true, but because of the siege, the Israelites were about to slay and eat unclean food
    • That was precisely the sin Achior had been alluding to
    • They were also about to eat the firstfruits of the grain and all the tithes
    • This, too, would be a grievous sin
    • Men from Bethulia had gone to Jerusalem to get permission for all this
    • The minute they returned, the judgment would begin
    • She offered to go out in the valley each night and wait for the messengers to return
    • Then she would know when they had started sinning, and he could attack
    • Once the sinning started, they would have no defense because
    • God would not protect them
    • Holofernes would be famous for his easy victory
    • Needless to say, Holofernes and his men were delighted with all she had to say
    • Again, the author repeated how beautiful she really was
  • 12:1-9
    • Judith and Holofernes
    • Holofernes invited her to dinner
    • She demurred by saying she had brought her own food to eat
    • Later that evening, she asked to be allowed to leave to pray
    • Holofernes instructed the guards to let her pass
    • She went out to the valley of Bethulia where she bathed at the spring
    • Purified, she returned to the camp
    • She followed this routine for three days in a row
  • 12:10-20
    • The banquet
    • On the fourth day, Holofernes had a banquet for his personal attendants
    • He told his eunuch to persuade the Hebrew woman to join them so he could have sex with her
    • In his mind, if he didn't at least try to seduce her, he thought she would laugh at him
    • Judith accepted the invitation and proceeded to dress up
    • She went to the banquet and sat next to Holofernes
    • He was consumed with desire
    • He offered her food and a drink
    • She accepted both, which made him so happy he drank more than ever
  • 13:1-10
    • Judith killed Holofernes
    • After the banquet, his attendants closed his tent and left them alone
    • By this time, Holofernes was passed out from drinking too much
    • Judith prayed silently for strength
    • Then she took Holofernes' sword and beheaded him
    • She put his head in her sack, then went out "to pray" as was her custom
    • This time, however, she and her maid went to Bethulia

VI – 13:11-15:7 – The Impact of Holofernes' Death

  • 13:11-20
    • Judith arrives at Bethulia
    • When Judith approached, she called out to the gate keepers to let her in
    • Everyone came running to welcome her, including all the elders
    • Judith showed everyone the head of Holofernes
    • She said that the Lord struck him down by the hand of a female
    • Yet that same Lord had kept her safe and undefiled
    • Uzziah said she was more blessed than all other women on earth
    • He commended her for risking her life and going out boldly to meet disaster
    • All the people agreed
  • 14:1-10
    • Judith's plan
    • She told the townspeople to hang the head from the parapet of the wall
    • In the morning, they should march out as though they were ready for war
    • The Assyrians would go wake their officers and they would find Holofernes
    • Then they would panic and the Israelites should pursue them
    • Then Judith asked them to bring Achior to her
    • Achior had been "banished" to the Israelites by Holofernes for suggesting their God might protect them if they remained innocent
    • When Achior saw the head of Holofernes, he fainted
    • When he rose up, he fell at the feet of Judith and praised her
    • When Judith told him all that had happened, he believed in the Lord
    • He was circumcised that very day and joined himself to the house of Israel
  • 14:11-15:7
    • Panic in the camp
    • The Israelites did just as Judith suggested and so did the Assyrians
    • They went to their commanders and told Holofernes' attendant to wake him up
    • When the attendant discovered his headless body, he cried out with a loud voice
    • He shouted to all that "one Hebrew woman has brought disgrace on the house of king Nebuchadnezzar"
    • When the leaders heard this, they tore their tunics and panic ensued
    • Upon hearing all the commotion, the men in the tents tried to flee
    • The Israelites fell upon the enemy and routed them
    • Then they looted the whole camp, acquiring great riches

VII – 15:8-16:20 – Victory and Praise

  • 15:8-13
    • Celebration of victory
    • The High Priest and the elders came to Judith and blessed her
    • The army gave Judith the tent of Holofernes and all his valuables
    • All the women of Israel blessed her and danced in her honor
    • She then led the dance that included all the women and the army
  • 15:14-16:17
    • Judith's hymn of praise
    • This resembles the Song of Moses sung by the Red Sea
    • She called on the people to proclaim God as the victor and savior
    • The body of the hymn reviews the events as they happened
    • She summed up by praising God and inviting all to join in these praises
  • 16:18-20
    • Celebrations in Jerusalem
    • The people went to Jerusalem to purify themselves and offer sacrifices
    • Judith dedicated to God all of Holofernes' possessions
    • The people stayed in Jerusalem for three months

VII – 16:21-25 – Death of Judith

  • Judith returned home to Bethulia and remained on her husband's estate
  • Throughout her life, she was honored by the whole country
  • Many men wished to marry her, but she refused them all
  • She lived to be 105
  • Before she passed on, she freed her slaves and distributed all her property to her husband's next of kin
  • No one ever again spread terror in the land as long as she was alive

At the end of the book, Judith returned to her life in Bethulia, and yet it is hard to imagine that life was just the same. She continued to live on her husband's estate and was buried in his tomb. Throughout her story are echoes of Sarah, Moses as an intermediary, and the many judges that God raised up to save his people. Because of Judith, the land had peace for many years. There is no doubt that she is the idealized person. Her piety is unquestionable, yet she doesn't hesitate to lie or use her beauty in the interest of saving the Israelites. She remains a complex character and one of the esteemed heroines of Judah.


deSilva, David. Introducing the Apocrypha. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2002.

Harrington, Daniel J. Invitation to the Apocrypha. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans. 1999.

Moore, Carey A. "Judith." The Anchor Bible. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing. 1985.

Meeks, Wayne, ed. The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins Publishers. 1993.

Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson, Eds. "Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha." Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. 1995.

Old Testament Apocrypha

Christian Apocrypha