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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



JUDITH 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Oratory.  Of such our Saviour speaks, Matt. vi.; and Baronius at large.  A.D. 293.  W. --- Gr. "But Judith fell prostrate, and sprinkled ashes upon her head, (Syr. adds, and tore her tunic) and uncovered the sackcloth which she had on.  That evening the incense had just been offered, in the house of the Lord, at Jerusalem.  And Judith cried aloud," &c.

 

Ver. 2.  Gavest him a sword, &c.  The justice of God is here praised, in punishing by the sword of Simeon the crime of the Sichemites: and not the fact of Simeon, which was justly condemned by his father.  Gen. xlix. 5.  Though even with regard to this fact, we may distinguish between his zeal against the crime committed by the ravishers of his sister, which zeal may be considered just: and the manner of his punishing that crime, which was irregular and excessive.  Ch. --- The former is here commended.  W.  M. --- Yet Simeon was not blameless.  God put the sword into his hand as he makes use of tyrants; in which sense Nabuchodonosor is styled his servant.  Jer. xxv. 9.  Ezec. xxix. 18.  Gen. xxiv. 2. 25.

 

Ver. 3.  And. Gr. "For thou didst say: It shall not be so: and they did it because thou hadst given their princes unto slaughter, and their bed, which had perceived their deceit, unto blood; and thou didst slay the slaves with the princes, and the princes on their thrones; and thou gavest," &c.  H. --- This style seems rather poetical.  Grot.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Of old.  Gr. "before these, and these, and what followed, and is at present, and things to come, thou hast foreseen."  All events depend on Thee.  "For the things which thou hadst decreed were at hand, and said: Behold, we are here."  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Judgments.  All is foreseen: nothing can resist the decrees of God.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  As.  Gr. speaks not of the Egyptians: "For behold the Assyrians are multiplied in their power, and exalted on account of their cavalry; they have boasted on the strong arm of the infantry, have trusted in their shield, and bow, and sling; and they have not known that thou art the Lord, making an end of wars: Thy name is Lord; break their force, by thy power," &c. v. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Them, as they were not able to come to action during the  night.  Ex. xiv.

 

Ver. 13.  Lips, or with my endearing speeches.  M. --- She meant innocently to engage the affections of Holofernes, (H.) and prays that he may receive her in that manner, as he might have done without sin.  But when he abused his free-will, God turned his sin to the good of others.  See Ex. vii.  S. Aug. ser. 288.  W. --- Gr. "Give that power which I have devised to the hand of me, a widow.  Strike the slave by the lips of my delusion, (or by my ensnaring words) with the prince; and the chief, with his minister, break their haughtiness by the hand of a female, v. 15.  H. --- This prayer seems contrary to sound morality, as well as the indiscreet conduct of Judith, in exposing herself to danger, though her intention was good.  C. --- But are not stratagems lawful in war?  See 2 K. xv.  Is it sinful for a woman to endeavour to captivate the heart?  The situation might be dangerous, but it was not criminal; and Judith was certainly determined to yield to no dishonest proposals. God therefore approved of her designs, and enhanced her beauty.  C. x. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Horses.  Gr. "the potent, but thou art the Lord of the humble."

 

Ver. 17.  And.  Gr. "give my word and deceit to be a wound and a scar to them, who, against thy covenant and sanctified house, and the summit of Sion,...have devised cruel things, and do for all thy nation according to thy power and strength; for there is no other to shield Israel but Thou."

 

 








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