1 Judith knelt and bowed her head to the ground, put ashes on her head and uncovered the sackcloth with which she was clothed. At precisely the same moment as in cense was being offered in the House of God at Jerusalem, Judith invoked aloud the Lord God, she said, 2 Lord, God of my father Simeon, you placed a sword in his hand to punish the foreigners who did violence to a young girl. For they had abused her, uncovering her body to shame her and violating her womb to dishonor her. They did this though you said: This shall not be done. 3 Because of this you handed over their leaders to be slain and their bed, reddened be cause of their deceit, was left red with their blood. You struck down the slaves with their leaders and the leaders themselves with their ser vants. 4 You handed over their women to rape, their daughters to slavery and all their possessions to be shared among your favored sons who were filled with horror at this defilement of their blood and invoked your help.
5 O God, my God, listen to me, a wid ow! It is you who made all things past, what is present and what is yet to come. It is you who consider things present and to come. Those things which you decided have been realized. 6 The things you have planned have presented themselves saying: Here we are. In truth, all your ways are prepared and your decision is known from the beginning of time.
7 Therefore see what a great multitude these Assyrians make with their army, how they pride them selves on their horses and their cavalrymen. They have placed great pride in the strength of their foot soldiers and their trust in their shields, javelins, bows and arrows. 8 But they do not recognize that you, Lord, decide the outcome of wars. Lord is your name
9 Consider their pride, let your anger fall on their heads and give to my hands, the hands of a widow, the strength necessary for what I have decided. 10 By my lying lips punish the slave with his master and the master with his servant
11 Truly your strength is not in number nor your power in strong men for you are a God of the humble, the defender of the little ones, the support of the weak, the protector of the abandoned, the savior of those in despair.
12 Yes, God of my fathers and God of the heritage of Israel, Ruler of the heavens and the earth, Creator of the waters, King of all creation, listen to my prayer.
13 Give me tempting words to wound and kill those who have con ceived cruel designs against your Covenant, your consecrated House, Mount Zion and the House which belongs to your children.
14 Make the nation and all the tribes know that you are God, all-powerful and strong, and that, apart from you, there is no other protector for the people of Israel.