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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



JUDITH 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Walls.  Gr. adds, "upon the pinnacle."  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Beneath.  Into the valley; but make your appearance just out of the walls, as if you were rushing upon the enemy.  Gr. adds after arms, "and you shall appoint a leader over them, as if descending into the plain to the advanced guard of the Assyrians; but ye shall not go down.  Then these seizing all their armour, will go to the camp, and awaken the leaders of the Assyrians, and they will run to the tent of Holofernes, and shall not find him.  Then fear shall seize upon them, and they will flee before us.  Whereupon ye, and all who inhabit the confines of Israel, shall follow after, and strew them in their paths," slain and wounded, v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Then.  Gr. &c. "But before ye do this, call to me Achior, the Ammonite, that seeing, he may recognize the contemner of the house of Israel, and the man who sent him away to us unto certain death.  And they called Achior from the house of Ozias.  But as soon as he came, and saw the head of Holofernes in the hand of one of the assembly of the people, he fell," &c. as C. xiii. 29, 30.  "Blessed art thou in every tent of Juda, and in every nation.  All who shall hear thy name shall be amazed.  But now tell me what thou hast done during these days.  And Judith, in the midst of the people, informed him of all that she had performed, since the day of her departure till the time when she was speaking.  She had no sooner ended her speech, than all the people set up a loud shout of joy in their city.  Then," &c. --- Leaving.  Gr. "He believed in God greatly, or with the utmost sincerity.  H. --- Hitherto Achior had only considered the Deity as the peculiar God of Israel, (C.) or as the common gods "revered by all nations;" (Virg. xii.  Servius) but not as the only supreme Being.  He now becomes a proselyte, not merely, like Naaman, to adore one God; but also to observe all the rites of the Jewish religion.  The latter was a matter of choice.  C. vi. 18. It is not still clear that he could enjoy the privileges of the nation as a magistrate, or even marry, (C.) which shews his greater fervour.  Grotius. --- It is certain that no nation could be forbidden to worship God.  Deut. xxiii. 3.  S. Thomas (1. 2. q. 105. a. 3.) believes that a dispensation was granted to Achior, (C.) so that he might be treated like an Israelite in all respects.  Serar. q. 1.  M. --- The evinces that only the impenitent Ammonites, &c. were excluded from the Church.  W. --- With.  Gr. "till this day."

 

Ver. 7.  With.  Gr. "In companies, to the ascent of the mountain."

 

Ver. 8.  Ran.  Gr. "Sent to their officers.  But they went to the leaders and captains of thousands, and to every chief among them, and they proceeded to the tent of Holofernes, and said to his chief steward: Awaken now our lord, for the slaves have been so bold as to come down to offer us battle for their utter ruin.  The Bagoas," &c. v. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Mice.  They speak contemptuously of their foes, like the Philistines.  1 K. xiv. 11.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Into.  Gr. "In, knocked at the hall, (aulh, or antichamber) of the tent, for he suspected that he was sleeping with Judith.  But as no one answered, he opened and went into the bed-chamber, and found him thrown upon the floor, dead, and his head taken from him, and he cried," &c. --- Curtain, which separated this apartment from the rest, (H.) and hung before the door, as Heraclides describes the tent of the Persian kings.  Holofernes assumed the like importance, and was treated almost as a deity.  C. --- Hence he must not be awaked, in a rude manner.  H. --- Civility requires that we should  knock modestly at the doors of the great.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Said.  Gr. "cried aloud, the slaves have prevaricated.  One," &c.  H. --- Perhaps he thought that Judith had introduced some of the Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Cry.  Gr. adds, "and shouting of them (the captains) in," &c.  H.

 

 








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