Jdt 101 And it happened that, when she had ceased to cry out to the Lord, she arose from the place where she lay prostrate before the Lord. 2 And she called her handmaid, and descending into her house, she took away from herself the haircloth, and she put away from herself the garments of her widowhood, 3 and she washed her body, and she anointed herself with the best ointment, and she plaited the hair of her head, and she put a headdress on her head, and she clothed herself with the garments of her elegance, and she put sandals on her feet, and she put on her little bracelets, and lilies, and earrings, and rings, and she adorned herself with all her ornaments. 4 And also, the Lord conferred upon her a splendor. For all this dressing up did not proceed from sensuality, but from virtue. And therefore, the Lord increased this, her beauty, so that she appeared with incomparable honor before the eyes of all. 5 And so, she appointed to her handmaid a wineskin, and a vessel of oil, and parched grain, and dried figs, and bread, and cheese, and they departed. 6 And when they came to the gate of the city, they found Uzziah and the elders of the city waiting. 7 And when they saw her, being astounded, they wondered at her surpassing beauty. 8 So, not questioning her at all, they dismissed her to go forth, saying: “May the God of our fathers give you grace, and may he strengthen all the advice of your heart with his virtue, so that Jerusalem may glory over you, and your name may be counted among the holy and the just.” 9 And those who were there, all with one voice, said: “Amen. Amen.” 10 In truth, Judith was praying to the Lord as she crossed through the gates, she and her handmaid. 11 But it happened that, when she descended the mountain at about the break of day, the scouts of the Assyrians met her, and they stopped her, saying, “Where are you coming from? And where are you going?” 12 And she answered: “I am a daughter of the Hebrews. This is why I have fled from their face: because I realized that in the future they would be given over to you with pillaging, for they hold you in contempt, and they would never be willing to surrender themselves, so that they might find mercy in your sight. 13 For this reason, I thought to myself, saying: I will go to the face of the leader Holofernes, so that I may reveal to him their secrets, and show him by what means he may be able to prevail over them, without one man of his army being slain.” 14 And when the men had heard her words, they beheld her face, and their eyes were astounded, because they wondered exceedingly at her beauty. 15 And they said to her: “You have preserved your life by following such an excellent plan, to descend to our lord. 16 But know this, that when you will stand in his sight, he will treat you well, and you will be very pleasing to his heart.” And they led her to the tabernacle of Holofernes, announcing her. 17 And when she had entered before his face, immediately Holofernes was captivated by his eyes. 18 And his attendants said to him, “Who can hold the people of the Hebrews in contempt, who have such beautiful women? So, we ought to think it not worthwhile, for their sakes, to fight against them.” 19 And so, Judith looked upon Holofernes, sitting under a canopy, which was woven from purple and gold, with emeralds and precious stones. 20 And, after she had gazed into his face, she showed reverence for him, prostrating herself to the ground. And the servants of Holofernes lifted her up, at the command of their lord.
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