1 Holofernes said to Judith, Have confidence, woman, have no fear in your heart, I do not harm any person who has chosen to serve Nebuchad nezzar, king of all the earth. 2 And, if those of your people who dwell on the mountain had not ignored me, I should not have raised my sword against them
5 Judith replied, Listen to the words of your servant, so that I may speak freely in your pres ence and I will not lie to my lord tonight. 6 And if you follow the advice of your servant, everything will be ac complished by the hand of God and my lord will not fail in his undertakings. 7 For just as truly as Nebu chadnezzar is king of all the earth and his presence is felt, and he has sent you for the correction of others, it is thanks to your power that not only do men serve him but also wild beasts, animals and the birds of the air live for Nebuchadnezzar and all his house.
8 We have heard of your wisdom and prudence of mind and it is said throughout the world that you alone are the bravest man in the kingdom, powerful because of your knowledge and outstanding in military strategy. 9 We have heard about the discourse delivered in your coun cil by Achior, and of its terms, because the men of Bethulia took him in and he reported to them all that he had said in your presence. 10 Now all-powerful lord, do not dismiss what he said but keep it in mind because it is true. Our nation will never be punished nor the sword used against it unless its people sin against their God. 11 Yet my lord will not be driven back and fail. Death will overtake them, for they have fallen into the sin that arouses the anger of God every time they commit it. 12 As a result of the shortage of food and water, they have decided to lay hands on their animals. They have resolved to eat those things which God in his laws forbade them to eat, including the first fruits of the harvest and the tithes of wine and oil which, after their consecration, had been put aside for the priests who minister before the face of our God in Jerusalem. 13 They have de cided to con sume these things completely, although it is not lawful for any of the people even to touch them with their hands. 14 They have sent messengers to Jerusalem for those who dwell there have also done this and they have charged these men to bring back this permission from the Council of the Elders. 15 Now it will come to pass that when this permission arrives and the peo ple will have acted upon it, on that same day they will be delivered over to you for their de struction. 16 That is why I, your servant, having understood all this, have fled far from them. God has sent me to bring about, along with you, deeds that will strike terror throughout the whole world and cause those who hear them to talk. 17 For your servant is a pious woman who serves God night and day. From now on I will remain near you, my lord. Each evening I will go out towards the ravine and I will pray to God and he will tell me when they have fallen into sin. 18 Then I will report this to you, so that you will go forth with your whole army and there will be no man able to withstand you. 19 Then I will lead you through Judea until I arrive in Jerusalem where I will set up your tent. You will lead them like sheep without a shepherd and not one dog will growl at you. I have been given a premonition of these things. It has been revealed to me, and I have been sent to make it known to you.
20 Her words pleased Holofernes and all his officers. They admired her wisdom and said, 21 From one end of the earth to the other there is no woman like her for the beauty of her face and the wisdom of her words. 22 Holofernes said to her, God has done well to send you ahead of this people to show them that the power is in my hands and that destruction is the fate of those who despised my lord. 23 You are beautiful to look at and prudent in your words: if you do as you have said, your God shall be my God and you will live in the house of King Nebuchad ne zzar, and be famous throughout all the world.