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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



JUDITH 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 2.  House.  Gr. adds, "where she spent the sabbath and festival days, she rolled up her," &c.  H. --- She remained in her oratory therefore only on other days.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Body.  Compl. Gr. "mouth."  But other editions seem more accurate.  H. --- Best.  Gr. "thick," probably the myrobalanum of Pliny xii. 21. and xiii. 1. --- Bonnet, or mitre, tied with ribbands, hanging down behind, like those of bishops. --- Sandals, highly ornamented, and worn by people of quality.  C. --- Lilies, pendent from the neck.  Grot.

 

Ver. 4.  And.  Gr. "and she was richly adorned, so that she might captivate (literally, deceive) the eyes of whatever men should behold her.  And," v. 5.  H. --- The fathers highly extol her virtue, and shew was, no doubt, actuated by the purest motives.  Yet she might be guilty of some indiscretion.  Even the working of miracles would not prove the contrary, as wicked priests may confer the sacraments; and Moses was reprehensible the moment (C.) before (H.) he wrought a miracle.  Num. xx. 10.  Mat. vii. 22.  God inspired her with the laudable design of freeing her country, but the means were left to her own choice.  C. --- The making use of this rich attire was not, however, sinful in itself; and we have no right to suspect that Judith gave any way either to vanity or to sensuality.  How many ladies of quality are dressed so as to enchant all those who are not upon their guard!  Yet, provided they observe due modesty, who will blame their rich attire or perfumes?  H. --- Judith might lawfully desire to marry Holofernes for the good of her nation, (M.) as Esther became the wife of Assuerus, though an infidel.  The general seemed even willing to become a convert.  C. xi. 21.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Bottle; made of leather, (C.) used for carrying wine.  Pollox.  M. --- Corn.  It was eaten either steeped in water or mixed with oil. --- Cheese.  So the Syr. reads.  Gr. "pure loaves."  C. --- Why she took her provisions with her, she explains.  C. xii. 2.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Her.  Gr. adds, "with her countenance and robes changed."

 

Ver. 8.  But.  Gr. "And they said to her, May God, the God of." --- With.  Gr. "For the glory of the Israelites, and the exaltation of Jerusalem; and they adored God.  And she said to them, Order the gate of the city to be opened for me, and I will go out to accomplish what you were talking about to me.  And they commanded the young men to open for her; and they did so.  But Judith and her maid went out.  And the citizens looked at her while she descended the hill, till she had passed the valley, when they lost sight of her; and they passed along straight through the vale, and the advanced guard of," &c.  H. --- It appears that there was still day-light, (C.) or the moon shone brightly.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Because I knew, &c.  In this and the following chapter, some things are related to have been said by Judith, which seem hard to reconcile with truth.  But all that is related in Scripture of the servants of God, is not approved by the Scripture: and even the saints in their enterprizes may sometimes slip into venial sins.  Ch. --- By means of mental reservation, we may exculpate her from lying.  Serar.  M. --- But this expedient is bad and childish.  H. --- She might speak ironically, (Carthus.) or prophetically.  Raban.  Glossa, &c. --- Still it might be an untruth, (C.) to be excused, like stratagems in war.  M. --- How often does an enemy give out that he is going to march to some place, when he intends to go quite another way!  H. --- I knew.  Gr. "Because they are about to be given up a prey to you.  Therefore, I come to Holofernes, general in chief of your army, to inform him of the truth, and to shew," &c.  H. --- She spoke many things certainly true, and others which would probably have taken place, if God had not sent relief.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Lord.  Gr. adds, "and now proceed to his tent, and some of us shall give thee into his hands.  But if thou stand before him, let not thy heart fear, but tell him this, and he will treat thee well.  And they selected 100 men, and surrounded her and her servant-maid, and conducted her to the tent of Holofernes.  And they ran from all parts of the camp, as soon as her coming was made known, and they came round her as she stood without the tent of Holofernes, till they had told him of her.  And they were astonished at her beauty, and at the Israelites, and said to each other, Who," &c. v. 18.

 

Ver. 18.  That we.  Gr. "For it is not expedient to leave one man of them alive, lest they should delude all the earth."  (Old Vulg. omits the negation.)  "And all who slept near Holofernes, and all his servants, came out and introduced her into the tent;" (H. which was divided into two apartments.  Heraclides) "and Holofernes was reposing on a bed in the canopy, (or inner room) which," &c.  H. --- The curtain was intended to keep off gnats.  M. Anthony imitated this delicacy.

                            Interque signa (turpe!) militaria,

                            Sol aspicit conop├Žum.  Hor. epod. ix.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  After.  Gr. "And they told him of her, and he came out to the forepart of the tent, and silver lamps preceded him, (H.) either for grandeur, as they did the kings of Persia and the emperors of Rome and of the Turks, or because it was still dark."  C. --- "But as soon as Judith came in sight of him and of his ministers, they all were astonished at the beauty of her face; and falling prostrate, she adored him, (with civil respect) and his servants lifted her up."  H. --- S. Fulgentius (ep. 2.) judges, with great probability, that Judith was now about 40 years old.  W.

 

 








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