According to the Book of Judith, chief captain of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians (Judith 2:4), who was commissioned to make war upon the West country and to receive from the inhabitants the usual tokens of complete submission, earth and water. The object of the expedition of Holofernes, who thus became the typical persecutor of the Jews, was to compel men everywhere to worship Nebuchadnezzar. He was slain by Judith, the heroine of the book of that name, during the siege of Bethulia. There is no notice of Holofernes except in the Book of Judith. The termination of the word would seem to indicate a Persian origin for the name. The Holofernes of Shakespeare and Rabelais is in no way connected with the deeds of the Holofernes of the Apocrypha.
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