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The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded by Jews and Protestants. The book contains numerous historical anachronisms, which is why many scholars now accept it as non-historical; it has been considered a parable or perhaps the first historical novel.
The name Judith (Hebrew: יְהוּדִית, Modern Yehudit Tiberian Yəhûḏîṯ ; "Praised" or "Jewess") is the feminine form of Judah.
Judith, the heroine of the book. She is a widow, once married to a certain Manasses. She uses her charm to become an intimate friend of Holofernes, but finally beheads him allowing Israel to counter-attack the Assyrians.
Holofernes, the villain of the book. He is a devout soldier of his king, whom he wants to see exalted in all lands. He is given the task of destroying the rebels who didn't support the king of Nineveh in his resistance against Cheleud and the king of Media, until Israel also becomes a target of his military campaign. Judith's charm occasions his death.
Nebuchadnezzar, claimed here to be the king of Nineveh and Assyria. He is so proud that he wants to affirm his strength as a sort of divine power. Holofernes, his Turtan, is ordered to take revenge on those who refused to ally themselves with him.
Bagoas, a Persian name denoting an official of Holofernes. He is the first one who discovers Holofernes' beheading.
Achior, an Ammonite king at Nebuchadnezzar's court; he warns the king of Assyria of the power of the God of Israel but is mocked. He is the first one to recognize Holofernes' head brought by Judith in the city, and also the first one to praise Hashem.
Oziah, governor of Bethulia; together with Cabri and Carmi, he rules over Judith's city.
In the Christian West from the patristic period on, Judith was invoked in a wide variety of texts as a multi-faceted allegorical figure. "Mulier sancta," she personified the Church and many virtues -- Humility, Justice, Fortitude, Chastity (the opposite of Holofernes' vices Pride, Tyranny, Decadence, Lust) -- and she was, like the other heroic women of the Hebrew scriptural tradition, made into a typological prefiguration of the Virgin Mary. Her gender made her a natural example of the biblical paradox of "strength in weakness"; she is thus paired with David and her beheading of Holofernes paralleled with that of Goliath -- both deeds saved the Covenant People from a militarily superior enemy.
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Y'va-re-che-cha Yahuah V'yish-mire-cha. Ya'er Yahuah panav elei-cha vihu-necha. Yi-sah Yahuah panav elei-cha, V'ya-sem l'cha shalom!
May Abba Yahuah Bless you and guard you. May the light of EL Shaddai shine upon you, and may Abba Yahuah be gracious to you. May the presence of Elohim be with you and give you peace! - Judy
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