General Holofernes speaks to Judith (Jdt 11:1-11:4)

“Then General Holofernes said to Judith.

‘Take courage, woman!

Do not be afraid in your heart.

I have never hurt anyone,

Who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar,

The king of all the earth.

Even now,

If your people who live in the hill country had not slighted me,

I would never have lifted my spear against them.

They have brought this on themselves.

Now tell me,

Why you have fled from them?

Why have come over to us?

In any event,

You have come to safety.

Take courage!

You will live tonight and ever after.

No one will hurt you.

All will treat you well.

They will treat you as they do the servants of my lord,

King Nebuchadnezzar.’”

General Holofernes was very cordial. He told Judith to take courage and not be afraid. He has never hurt anybody who served his King Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king of the whole earth, certainly a humble title. He would not have lifted a spear against her people, but they brought this on themselves, by slighting him. He wanted to know why she had fled to his side. She could be assured that she would be safe tonight and forever. She would be treated like the other servants of King Nebuchadnezzar.

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