Why is Judith in the Bible?

What is to be learned from the book of Judith? It seems as if Judith dresses herself up to seduce an enemy, lies to them, and then assassinates them to save the Hebrews from what seems to be another oncoming punishment from God for turning away from Him. I’m very confused about the merit of this book.

In one sense, a pre-figurement of Mary inasmuch as through her courage and singular action at great personal risk, the nation of Israel was saved from certain destruction. Uzziah stated that Judith was “blessed above all the women on earth” - also a pre-figurement of Elizabeth’s statement to Mary at the visitation.

17 All the people were greatly astonished. They bowed down and worshiped God, saying with one accord, “Blessed are you, our God, who today have humiliated the enemies of your people.” 18 Then Uzziah said to her, “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the leader of our enemies. 19 Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who recall the might of God. 20 May God make this redound to your everlasting honor, rewarding you with blessings, because you risked your life when our people were being oppressed, and you averted our disaster, walking in the straight path before our God.” And all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!”


Its strength is in its allegorical merits.

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Because the Church said it’s a canonical book.


Is that supposed to be a joke? I’m seeking understanding of why it was included.

That seems like a stretch. Is that what is taught about the book? Mary humbly responded to God. It seems like Judith just did what she wanted and then prayed after each action.

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I agree: ‘And Uzziah said to her, "O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies. Your hope will never depart from the hearts of men, as they remember the power of God.’ - Judith 13:18-19

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  1. It’s a historical book. So, first lesson, something which happened in the history of the Jewish people.
  2. The value of faith. Judith’s faith in God and courage against insurmountable odds is rewarded when God puts her enemy at her disposal.

The Book of Judith is part of the canon of Scripture which was defined by the Councils of Carthage, Florence and Trent. It’s inspired by God Himself.


The bolded reminds me of Genesis 3:15 and it’s reference to Mary and Jesus, too.


Well, what about Jacob and Esau? What about Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery? If you are looking for moral perfection in any human endeavor, you will be greatly disappointed.


(NOTE: all quotes from the NABRE)
And yet as Judith 4:3 states,

Now, they had only recently returned from exile, and all the people of Judea were just now reunited, and the vessels, the altar, and the temple had been purified from profanation.

So it’s unlikely that their actions had so soon turned from G_D requiring Him to chastise them. Plus, later in chapter 4, it describes the whole land wearing sackcloth and begging G_D to keep them from being enslaved again. So it’s unlikely that G_D had intended this army to be another punishment.

The enemy recognizes this in Judith 5:21:

But if they are not a guilty nation, then let my lord keep his distance; otherwise their Lord and God will shield them, and we will be mocked in the eyes of all the earth.”

The commentary on 6:2 makes the point of this book clear: Holofernes, the enemy general, defends Nebuchadnezzar and gives him attributes only reserved for G_D, (“For he has spoken, and his words will not be in vain.”) Judith, on the other hand, defends G_D and in chapter 7 reminds the leaders that G_D is in control and it is not for them to state that G_D will do such-and-such for them at this time. She states that this is a test in their trust of G_D, and that He will not abandon those who trust in Him. In the end, it is a Jewish woman (the meaning of the name “Judith”) who will bring low those enemies of the Lord and those who defile His Name.

Did you read Judith for yourself?

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Judith is in the Bible as a prefiguration of the Blessed Virgin in her Immaculate Conception stomping on the head of the snake (aka Holofernes)

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This seems to be the general consensus, so I guess all I can do is pray to see and accept this truth.

I certainly find it hard to imagine Mary doing what Judith did. And the one who crushes the snake is Jesus, not Mary.

Many statues of Mary depict a snake at her feet. God tells Eve that He will put enmity between her and the serpant, and I think Mary is supposed to be the new Eve as Jesus is the new Adam.

Good question!

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Not to forget that murderer, Moses!

Yes, read the whole thing and reread the parts that don’t make sense to me several times.

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