Judith calls for a meeting (Jdt 8:9-8:10)

“Judith heard the harsh words spoken by the people against the ruler, because they were faint for lack of water. She heard all that Uzziah said to them. He had promised them under oath to surrender the city to the Assyrians after five days. Then she sent her maid, who was in charge of all she possessed, to summon Chabris and Charmis, the elders of her town.”

Judith was aware of all that was going on. She may have more water than some of the others. She did not like the harsh words that the people had spoken to their leaders. She, also, did not care for the response of Uzziah that he was going to surrender in 5 days. Thus, she sent her maid to the other leaders, Chabris and Charmis, and not Uzziah, as she wanted to summon all the elders of the town.

Achior tells his story to the Israelites (Jdt 6:14-6:17)

“Then the Israelites came down from their town. They found Achior and untied him. They brought him into Bethulia. They placed him before the magistrates of their city, who in those days were Uzziah son of Micah, of the tribe of Simeon, and Chabris son of Gothoniel, and Charmis son of Melchiel. They called together all the elders of the town. All their young men and women ran to the assembly. They set Achior in the midst of all their people. Uzziah questioned him about what had happened. He answered them. He told them what had taken place at the council of General Holofernes. He told them everything that he had said in the presence of the Assyrian leaders. He told them that General Holofernes had boasted what he would do against the house of Israel.”

The Israelites came down from Bethulia, this difficult to locate town. They found Achior tied up. So they untied him and brought him back to Bethulia. There they called the 3 leaders in Bethulia, Uzziah, Chabris, and Charmis. This author noted that Uzziah was from Simeon, but that tribe had been fully integrated into Judah for centuries. This Uzziah was not the king of Judah who ruled in the 8th century BCE. Both Chabris and Charmis only appear here in this book of Judith. Although they called a meeting for the elders, both the young men and women came to the meeting. Uzziah was the lead questioner. He wanted to know what happened. Then Achior told his side of the story about what he told General Holofernes, plus what General Holofernes had said about the Israelites.