1
Now at that time Iudeth heard thereof, which was the daughter of Merari the sonne of Ox, the sonne of Ioseph, the sonne of Oziel, the sonne of Elcia, the sonne of Ananias, the sonne of Gedeon, the sonne of Raphaim, the son of Acitho, the sonne of Eliu, the sonne of Eliab, the sonne of Nathanael, the sonne of Samael, the sonne of Salasadai, the son of Israel.
2
And Manasses was her husband of her tribe and kinred, who died in the barley haruest.
3
For as hee stood ouerseeing them that bound sheaues in the field, the heat came vpon his head, and hee fell on his bed, and died in the city of Bethulia, and they buried him with his fathers, in the field betweene Dothaim and Balamo.
4
So Iudeth was a widow in her house three yeeres, and foure moneths.
5
And she made her a tent vpon the top of her house, and put on sackecloth on her loynes, and ware her widowes apparell.
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And she fasted all the dayes of her widowhood, saue the eues of the Sabbath, and the Sabbaths, and the eues of the newe Moones, and the newe Moones, and the Feasts, and solemne dayes of the house of Israel.
7
Shee was also of a goodly countenance, and very beautifull to behold: and her husband Manasses had left her golde and siluer, and men seruants and maide seruants, and cattell, and lands, and she remained vpon them.
8
And there was none that gaue her an ill worde;
for shee feared God greatly.
9
Now when shee heard the euill wordes of the people against the gouernor, that they fainted for lacke of water (for Iudeth had heard all the wordes that Ozias had spoken vnto them, and that he had sworne to deliuer the citie vnto the Assyrians after fiue dayes)
10
Then shee sent her waiting woman that had the gouernment of all things that she had, to call Ozias, and Chabris, and Charmis, the ancients of the citie.
11
And they came vnto her, and she said vnto them, Heare me now, O yee gouernours of the inhabitants of Bethulia: for your wordes that you haue spoken before the people this day are not right, touching this othe which ye made, and pronounced betweene God and you, and haue promised to deliuer the citie to our enemies, vnlesse within these daies the Lord turne to helpe you.
12
And now who are you, that haue tempted God this day, & stand in stead of God amongst the children of men?
13
And now trie the Lord Almighty, but you shall neuer know any thing.
14
For you cannot find the depth of the heart of man, neither can ye perceiue the things that he thinketh: then how can you search out God, that hath made all these things, and knowe his minde, or comprehend his purpose?
Nay my brethren, prouoke not the Lord our God to anger.
15
For if he will not helpe vs within these few dayes, he hath power to defend vs when he will, euen euery day, or to destroy vs before our enemies.
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Doe not binde the counsels of the Lord our God, for God is not as man, that he may be threatned, neither is he as the sonne of man that he should bee wauering.
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Therefore let vs waite for saluation of him, and call vpon him to helpe vs, and he will heare our voyce if it please him.
18
For there arose none in our age, neither is there any now in these daies, neither tribe, nor familie, nor people, nor city among vs, which worship gods made with hands, as hath bene aforetime.
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For the which cause our fathers were giuen to the sword, & for a spoile, and had a great fall before our enemies.
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But we know none other god: therefore we trust that he will not despise vs, nor any of our nation.
21
For if we be taken so, all Iudea shall lie waste, and our Sanctuarie shal be spoiled, and he will require the prophanation thereof, at our mouth.
22
And the slaughter of our brethren, and the captiuitie of the countrey, and the desolation of our inheritance, will he turne vpon our heads among the Gentiles, wheresoeuer we shall bee in bondage, and we shall be an offence and a reproch to all them that possesse vs.
23
For our seruitude shall not be directed to fauour: but the Lord our God shall turne it to dishonour.
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Now therefore, O brethren, let vs shew an example to our brethren, because their hearts depend vpon vs, and the Sanctuary, and the house, and the Altar rest vpon vs.
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Moreouer, let vs giue thankes to the Lord our God, which trieth vs, euen as he did our fathers.
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Remember what things he did to Abraham, and how he tried Isaac, and what happened to Iacob in Mesopotamia of Syria, when he kept the sheepe of Laban his mothers brother.
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For, hee hath not tried vs in the fire as he did them, for the examination of their hearts, neither hath hee taken vengeance on vs: but the Lord doeth scourge them that come neere vnto him to admonish them.
28
Then said Ozias to her, All that thou hast spoken, hast thou spoken with a good heart, and there is none that may gainesay thy words.
29
For this is not the first day wherin thy wisedome is manifested, but from the beginning of thy dayes all thy people haue knowen thy vnderstanding, because the disposition of thine heart is good.
30
But the people were very thirsty, and compelled vs to doe vnto them as we haue spoken, and to bring an othe vpon our selues, which wee will not breake.
31
Therefore now pray thou for vs, because thou art a godly woman, and the Lord will send vs raine to fill our cisternes, and we shall faint no more.
32
Then said Iudeth vnto them, Heare me, and I wil doe a thing, which shall goe throughout all generations, to the children of our nation.
33
You shall stand this night in the gate, and I will goe foorth with my waiting woman: and within the dayes that you haue promised to deliuer the citie to our enemies, the Lord will visit Israel by mine hand.
34
But inquire not you of mine act: for I will not declare it vnto you, til the things be finished that I doe.
35
Then said Ozias and the princes vnto her, Goe in peace, and the Lord God be before thee, to take vengeance on our enemies.
36
So they returned from the tent, and went to their wards.