Judith 14

Judith’s instructions for victory

1 Judith said to them, "Listen well, my people! Take this head and hang it from the highest spot on your city walls.
2 At daybreak, when the sun rises upon the earth, take up your weapons, each one of you, and let every capable man go outside of the city. Place a captain over them as if you are preparing to go down to the plain against the Assyrian guard. Only don't go down.
3 Then they will take up their armor and rush to their camp to wake up the Assyrian army officers. They will run together to Holofernes' tent, but they won't find him. Then fear will fall on them, and they'll run from the sight of you.
4 You and all those who live within the borders of Israel will take chase and lay them low on their way.
5 But before this, call Achior the Ammonite to me so that he can see and recognize the man who insulted the house of Israel and sent him to us as if to his death."

Achior converts

6 They brought Achior from Uzziah's house. When he came and saw Holofernes' head in the hand of one of the men at the assembly of the people, he fainted and fell on his face.
7 After they raised him up, he threw himself at Judith's feet, bowed before her, and said, "Blessed are you in every dwelling of Judah! In every nation, whoever hears your name will be terrified.
8 Now tell me what you've been doing during these last few days." So Judith told him in the presence of the people everything she had done since the day she left, up to the time she began talking to them.
9 When she finished speaking, the people gave a great shout and made a joyful noise in their city.
10 When Achior saw all that the God of Israel had done, he believed in God wholeheartedly. So he was circumcised and joined the house of Israel, remaining until this day.

The Assyrians discover Holofernes’ body

11 At dawn they hung Holofernes' head on the wall, and all the men took up their weapons and went out in groups to the mountain passes.
12 When the Assyrians saw them, they sent word to their leaders, who went to the captains, the commanders, and all the other officers.
13 They came to Holofernes' tent and said to the one who looked after his property, "Wake up our master, for the slaves have become so bold as to come down to make war with us—only to be completely destroyed."
14 Then Bagoas went in and knocked at the entrance to the tent, for he assumed that Holofernes was sleeping with Judith.
15 But when there was no answer, he entered the bedroom and found him sprawled on the floor, dead, with his head missing.
16 He cried out with a loud voice, weeping, groaning, and shouting, and he tore his clothes.
17 Next he went into the tent where Judith had been staying. Not finding her, he ran out to the people and shouted,
18 "The slaves have made fools of us! One Hebrew woman has brought shame upon the house of King Nebuchadnezzar. Look, Holofernes is lying on the ground and his head is gone!"
19 When the leaders of the Assyrian army heard this news, they tore their clothes. They were greatly disturbed, and their shouts and cries rang throughout the camp.