Judith responds to General Holofernes (Jdt 11:5-11:7)

“Judith answered General Holofernes.

‘Accept the words of your slave.

Let your servant speak in your presence.

I will say nothing false to my lord this night.

If you follow out the words of your servant,

God will accomplish something through you.

My lord will not fail to achieve his purposes.

By the life of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the whole earth,

By the power of him who has sent you

To direct every living being!

Not only do human beings serve him because of you,

But also the animals of the field and the cattle

And the birds of the air will live

Because of your power,

Under Nebuchadnezzar and his entire house.’”

Judith pretends to be the humble slave and servant of General Holofernes. She wants to speak as his servant. She said that she was not going to say anything false. A few of the commentators have pointed out that her words have a double meaning. Certainly on their face, they are meant to flatter the general and his king. She said that God will work through him. She accepted King Nebuchadnezzar as the king of the whole earth, who had the power to direct all humans, even the livestock in the field, as well as the birds in the air. She almost sets him up as the power of the known universe. General Holofernes also got his power from his king.

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