Song of Judith

Judith said:
Begin to praise my God with drums;
sing to the Lord with cymbals.
Adapt a psalm for him;
lift up your praise,
and call upon his name.
The Lord is a God who crushes wars.
He rescued me
from the hand of my oppressors,
and brought me into his camp
in the midst of his people.
The Assyrian came from the mountains in the north;
he came with tens of thousands
of his warriors;
their crowd of people
blocked the ravines,
and their cavalry covered the hills.
He bragged that he would
burn my territory,
kill my young men with the sword,
throw my infants to the ground,
take my children as slaves,
and rape my virgins.
But the Lord Almighty overthrew them by the hand of a woman.[a]
Their leader didn’t fall to his knees because of young men,
nor did the sons of the Titans
strike him down,
nor did the tall giants assault him.
But Judith, Merari’s daughter,
paralyzed him with her beauty.
She took off her widow’s clothing
to lift up the oppressed in Israel.
She put perfume on her face,
tied a headband around her hair,
and put on a linen gown to trick him.
Her sandal captured his eyes;
her beauty captured his heart,
and the sword sliced through his neck.
10 The Persians trembled at her daring,
and the Medes were troubled
by her boldness.
11 Then my humbled ones shouted loudly;
my weak ones cried out,[b]
they lifted up their voices,
and the enemies were overthrown.
12 Sons of mere girls stabbed them
and wounded them
like the children of deserters.
They perished before
my Lord’s army.
13 I will sing to my God a new song.
Lord, you are great and glorious, marvelous in strength
never to be outdone.
14 May all of your creation serve you;
you spoke,
and they came into being.
You sent forth your spirit
and it shaped them;
there is no one
who can resist your voice.
15 The mountains will be shaken from their foundations with the waters;
rocks will melt like wax before you.
Yet you will show mercy
to those who fear you.
16 The pleasant fragrance of all offerings
is a small thing to you,
and the fat of all entirely burned offerings means even less to you.
But those who fear the Lord
are great forever.
17 How terrible it will be for those nations
who rise up against my people.
The Lord Almighty will take vengeance upon them on the Judgment Day.
He will send fire and worms
into their flesh,
and they will weep forever with the pain.

End of Judith’s life

18 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they worshipped God. Once the people were purified, they offered their entirely burned offerings and spontaneous gifts. 19 Judith dedicated all of Holofernes’ belongings that the people had given her. The canopy that she herself had taken from his bedroom, she dedicated as an offering to God. 20 The people continued to celebrate in Jerusalem for three months in front of the sanctuary. And Judith remained with them.

21 At the end of these days, everyone returned to their homes. Judith went back to Bethulia and lived on her estate. She was honored for the rest of her life all throughout the land. 22 There were many men who desired her, but no man had relations with her all the rest of her life after her husband Manasseh died and was buried with his people. 23 She became increasingly famous and grew old in her husband’s house, reaching the advanced age of 105. She set her trusted servant free and died in Bethulia. They buried her in her husband Manasseh’s cave, 24 and the house of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before she died, she divided her property among all the relatives of Manasseh her husband, and among her own relatives. 25 No one terrified the Israelites again during Judith’s lifetime or for a long time after her death.


  1. Judith 16:5 Other sources add and brought them to shame.
  2. Judith 16:11 Other sources read were afraid.