Chapter 1
1 Tobias of the tribe and city of Nephtali, (which is in the upper parts of Galilee above Naasson, beyond the way that leads to the west, having on the right hand the city of Sephet,)
2 When he was made captive in the days of Salmanasar king of the Assyrians, even in his captivity, forsook not the way of truth,
3 But every day gave all he could get to his brethren his fellow captives, that were of his kindred.
4 And when he was younger than any of the tribe of Nephtali, yet did he no childish thing in his work.
5 Moreover when all went to the golden calves which Jeroboam king of Israel had made, he alone fled the company of all,
6 And went to Jerusalem to the temple of the Lord, and there adored the Lord God of Israel, offering faithfully all his firstfruits, and his tithes,
7 So that in the third year he gave all his tithes to the proselytes, and strangers.
8 These and such like things did he observe when but a boy according to the law of God.
9 But when he was a man, he took to wife Anna of his own tribe, and had a son by her, whom he called after his own name,
10 And from his infancy he taught him to fear God, and to abstain from all sin.
11 And when by the captivity he with his wife and his son and all his tribe was come to the city of Ninive,
12 (When all ate of the meats of the Gentiles) he kept his soul and never was defiled with their meats.
13 And because he was mindful of the Lord with all his heart, God gave him favour in the sight of Salmanasar the king.
14 And he gave him leave to go whithersoever he would, with liberty to do whatever he had a mind.
15 He therefore went to all that were in captivity, and gave them wholesome admonitions.
16 And when he was come to Rages a city of the Medes, and had ten talents of silver of that with which he had been honoured by the king:
17 And when amongst a great multitude of his kindred, he saw Gabelus in want, who was one of his tribe, taking a note of his hand he gave him the aforesaid sum of money.
18 But after a long time, Salmanasar the king being dead, when Sennacherib his son, who reigned in his place, had a hatred for the children of Israel:
19 Tobias daily went among all his kindred, and comforted them, and distributed to every one as he was able, out of his goods:
20 He fed the hungry, and gave clothes to the naked, and was careful to bury the dead, and they that were slain.
21 And when king Sennacherib was come back, fleeing from Judea by reason of the slaughter that God had made about him for his blasphemy, and being angry slew many of the children of Israel, Tobias buried their bodies.
22 But when it was told the king, he commanded him to be slain, and took away all his substance.
23 But Tobias fleeing naked away with his son and with his wife, lay concealed, for many loved him.
24 But after forty-five days, the king was killed by his own sons.
25 And Tobias returned to his house, and all his substance was restored to him.
Chapter 2
1 But after this, when there was a festival of the Lord, and a good dinner was prepared in Tobias's house,
2 He said to his son: Go, and bring some of our tribe that fear God, to feast with us.
3 And when he had gone, returning he told him, that one of the children of Israel lay slain in the street. And he forthwith leaped up from his place at the table, and left his dinner, and came fasting to the body:
4 And taking it up carried it privately to his house, that after the sun was down, he might bury him cautiously.
5 And when he had hid the body, he ate bread with mourning and fear,
6 Remembering the word which the Lord spoke by Amos the prophet: Your festival days shall be turned into lamentation and mourning.
7 So when the sun was down, he went and buried him.
8 Now all his neighbours blamed him, saying: Once already commandment was given for you to be slain because of this matter, and you did scarce escape the sentence of death, and do you again bury the dead?
9 But Tobias fearing God more than the king, carried off the bodies of them that were slain, and hid them in his house, and at midnight buried them.
10 Now it happened one day, that being wearied with burying, he came to his house, and cast himself down by the wall and slept,
11 And as he was sleeping, hot dung out of a swallow's nest fell upon his eyes, and he was made blind.
12 Now this trial the Lord therefore permitted to happen to him, that an example might be given to posterity of his patience, as also of holy Job.
13 For whereas he had always feared God from his infancy, and kept his commandments, he repined not against God because the evil of blindness had befallen him,
14 But continued immoveable in the fear of God, giving thanks to God all the days of his life.
15 For as the kings insulted over holy Job: so his relations and kinsmen mocked at his life, saying:
16 Where is your hope, for which you gave alms, and buried the dead?
17 But Tobias rebuked them, saying: Speak not so:
18 For we are the children of the saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from him.
19 Now Anna his wife went daily to weaving work, and she brought home what she could get for their living by the labour of her hands.
20 Whereby it came to pass, that she received a young kid, and brought it home:
21 And when her husband heard it bleating, he said: Take heed, lest perhaps it be stolen: restore ye it to its owners, for it is not lawful for us either to eat or to touch any thing that comes by theft.
22 At these words his wife being angry answered: It is evident your hope is come to nothing, and your alms now appear.
23 And with these, and other such like words she upbraided him.
Chapter 3
1 Then Tobias sighed, and began to pray with tears,
2 Saying: you are just, O Lord, and all your judgments are just, and all your ways mercy, and truth, and judgment:
3 And now, O Lord, think of me, and take not revenge of my sins, neither remember my offenses, nor those of my parents.
4 For we have not obeyed your commandments, therefore are we delivered to spoil and to captivity, and death, and are made a fable, and a reproach to all nations, amongst which you have scattered us.
5 And now, O Lord, great are your judgments, because we have not done according to your precepts, and have not walked sincerely before you:
6 And now, O Lord, do with me according to your will, and command my spirit to be received in peace: for it is better for me to die, than to live.
7 Now it happened on the same day, that Sara daughter of Raguel, in Rages a city of the Medes, received a reproach from one of her father's servant maids,
8 Because she had been given to seven husbands, and a devil named Asmodeus had killed them, at their first going in unto her.
9 So when she reproved the maid for her fault, she answered her, saying: May we never see son, or daughter of you upon the earth, you murderer of your husbands.
10 will you kill me also, as you have already killed seven husbands? At these words she went into an upper chamber of her house: and for three days and three nights did neither eat nor drink:
11 But continuing in prayer with tears besought God, that he would deliver her from this reproach.
12 And it came to pass on the third day, when she was making an end of her prayer, blessing the Lord,
13 She said: Blessed is your name, O God of our fathers: who when you have been angry, will shew mercy, and in the time of tribulation forgives the sins of them that call upon you.
14 To you, O Lord, I turn my face, to you I direct my eyes.
15 I beg, O Lord, that you loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth.
16 You know, O Lord, that I never coveted a husband, and have kept my soul clean from all lust.
17 Never have I joined myself with them that play: neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in lightness.
18 But a husband I consented to take, with your fear, not with my lust.
19 And either I was unworthy of them, or they perhaps were not worthy of me: because perhaps you have kept me for another man.
20 For your counsel is not in man's power.
21 But this every one is sure of that worships you, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to your mercy.
22 For you are not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm you make a calm, and after tears and weeping you ##pou in joyfulness.
23 Be your name, O God of Israel, blessed for ever.
24 At that time the prayers of them both were heard in the sight of the glory of the most high God:
25 And the holy angel of the Lord, Raphael was sent to heal them both, whose prayers at one time were rehearsed in the sight of the Lord.
Chapter 4
1 Therefore when Tobias thought that his prayer was heard that he might die, he called to him Tobias his son,
2 And said to him: Hear, my son, the words of my mouth, and lay them as a foundation in your heart.
3 When God shall take my soul, you shall bury my body: and you shall honour your mother all the days of her life:
4 For you must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for you in her womb.
5 And when she also shall have ended the time of her life, bury her by me.
6 And all the days of your life have God in your mind: and take heed you never consent to sin, nor transgress the commandments of the Lord our God.
7 Give alms out of your substance, and turn not away your face from any poor person: for so it shall come to pass that the face of the Lord shall not be turned from you.
8 According to your ability be merciful.
9 If you have much give abundantly: if you have a little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little.
10 For thus you store up to yourself a good reward for the day of necessity.
11 For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness.
12 Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it.
13 Take heed to keep yourself, my son, from all fornication, and beside your wife never endure to know a crime.
14 Never suffer pride to reign in your mind, or in your words: for from it all perdition took its beginning.
15 If any man has done any work for you, immediately pay him his hire, and let not the wages of your hired servant stay with you at all.
16 See you never do to another what you would hate to have done to you by another.
17 Eat your bread with the hungry and the needy, and with your garments cover the naked.
18 Lay out your bread, and your wine upon the burial of a just man, and do not eat and drink thereof with the wicked.
19 Seek counsel always of a wise man.
20 Bless God at all times: and desire of him to direct your ways, and that all your counsels may abide in him.
21 I tell you also, my son, that I lent ten talents of silver, while you were yet a child, to Gabelus, in Rages a city of the Medes, and I have a note of his hand with me:
22 Now therefore inquire how you may go to him, and receive of him the foresaid sum of money, and restore to him the note of his hand.
23 Fear not, my son: we lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is good.
Chapter 5
1 Then Tobias answered his father, and said: I will do all things, father, which you have commanded me.
2 But how I shall get this money, I cannot tell; he know me not, and I know not him: what token shall I give him? nor did I ever know the way which leads thither.
3 Then his father answered him, and said: I have a note of his hand with me, which when you shall shew him, he will presently pay it.
4 But go now, and seek you out some faithful man, to go with you for his hire: that you may receive it, while I yet live.
5 Then Tobias going forth, found a beautiful young man, standing girded, and as it were ready to walk.
6 And not knowing that he was an angel of God, he saluted him, and said: From whence are you, good young man?
7 But he answered: Of the children of Israel. And Tobias said to him: know you the way that leads to the country of the Medes?
8 And he answered: I know it: and I have often walked through all the ways thereof, and I have abode with Gabelus our brother, who dwells at Rages a city of the Medes, which is situate in the mount of Ecbatana.
9 And Tobias said to him: Stay for me, I beseech you, till I tell these same things to my father.
10 Then Tobias going in told all these things to his father. Upon which his father being in admiration, desired that he would come in unto him.
11 So going in he saluted him, and said: Joy be to you always.
12 And Tobias said: What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?
13 And the young man said to him: Be of good courage, your cure from God is at hand.
14 And Tobias said to him: can you conduct my son to Gabelus at Rages, a city of the Medes? and when you shall return, I will pay you your hire.
15 And the angel said to him: I will conduct him thither, and bring him back to you.
16 And Tobias said to him: I pray you, tell me, of what family, or what tribe are you?
17 And Raphael the angel answered: do you seek the family of him you hire, or the hired servant himself to go with your son?
18 But lest I should make you uneasy, I am Azarias the son of the great Ananias.
19 And Tobias answered: you are of a great family. But I pray you be not angry that I desired to know your family.
20 And the angel said to him: I will lead your son safe, and bring him to you again safe.
21 And Tobias answering, said: May you have a good journey, and God be with you in your way, and his angel accompany you.
22 Then all things being ready, that were to be carried in their journey, Tobias bade his father and his mother farewell, and they set out both together.
23 And when they were departed, his mother began to weep, and to say: you have taken the staff of our old age, and sent him away from us.
24 I wish the money for which you have sent him, had never been.
25 For poverty was sufficient for us, that we might account it as riches, that we saw our son.
26 And Tobias said to her: Weep not, our son will arrive thither safe, and will return safe to us, and your eyes shall see him.
27 For I believe that the good angel of God does accompany him, and does order all things well that are done about him, so that he shall return to us with joy.
28 At these words his mother ceased weeping, and held her peace.
Chapter 6
1 And Tobias went forward, and the dog followed him, and he lodged the first night by the river of Tigris.
2 And he went out to wash his feet, and behold a monstrous fish came up to devour him.
3 And Tobias being afraid of him, cried out with a loud voice, saying: Sir, he comes upon me.
4 And the angel said to him: Take him by the gill, and draw him to you. And when he had done so, he drew him out upon the land, and he began to pant before his feet.
5 Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of the fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for you: for these are necessary for useful medicines.
6 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes.
7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech you, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which you have bid me keep of the fish?
8 And the angel, answering, said to him: If you put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof drives away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them.
9 And the gall is good for anointing the eyes, in which there is a white speck, and they shall be cured.
10 And Tobias said to him: Where will you that we lodge?
11 And the angel answering, said: Here is one whose name is Raguel, a near kinsman of your tribe, and he has a daughter named Sara, but he has no son nor any other daughter beside her.
12 All his substance is due to you, and you must take her to wife.
13 Ask her therefore of her father, and he will give her you to wife.
14 Then Tobias answered, and said: I hear that she has been given to seven husbands, and they all died: moreover I have heard, that a devil killed them.
15 Now I am afraid, lest the same thing should happen to me also: and whereas I am the only child of my parents, I should bring down their old age with sorrow to hell.
16 Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew you who they are, over whom the devil can prevail.
17 For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil has power.
18 But you when you shall take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep yourself continent from her, and give yourself to nothing else but to prayers with her.
19 And on that night lay the liver of the fish on the fire, and the devil shall be driven away.
20 But the second night you shall be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs.
21 And the third night you shall obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you.
22 And when the third night is past, you shall take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham you may obtain a blessing in children.
Chapter 7
1 And they went in to Raguel, and Raguel received them with joy.
2 And Raguel looking upon Tobias, said to Anna his wife: How like is this young man to my cousin?
3 And when he had spoken these words, he said: Whence are ye young men our brethren?
4 But they said: We are of the tribe of Nephtali, of the captive of Ninive.
5 And Raguel said to them: Do you know Tobias my brother? And they said: We know him.
6 And when he was speaking many good things of him, the angel said to Raguel: Tobias concerning whom you inquires is this young man's father.
7 And Raguel went to him, and kissed him with tears, and weeping upon his neck, said: A blessing be upon you, my son, because you are the son of a good and most virtuous man.
8 And Anna his wife, and Sara their daughter wept.
9 And after they had spoken, Raguel commanded a sheep to be killed, and a feast to be prepared. And when he desired them to sit down to dinner,
10 Tobias said: I will not eat nor drink here this day, unless you first grant me my petition, and promise to give me Sara your daughter.
11 Now when Raguel heard this he was afraid, knowing what had happened to those seven husbands, that went in unto her: and he began to fear lest it might happen to him also in like manner: and as he was in suspense, and gave no answer to his petition,
12 The angel said to him: Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who fears God is your daughter due to be his wife: therefore another could not have her.
13 Then Raguel said: I doubt not but God has regarded my prayers and tears in his sight.
14 And I believe he has therefore made you come to me, that this maid might be married to one of her own kindred, according to the law of Moses: and now doubt not but I will give her to you.
15 And taking the right hand of his daughter, he gave it into the right hand of Tobias, saying: The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob be with you, and may he join you together, and fulfil his blessing in you.
16 And taking paper they made a writing of the marriage.
17 And afterwards they made merry, blessing God.
18 And Raguel called to him Anna his wife, and bade her prepare another chamber.
19 And she brought Sara her daughter in thither, and she wept.
20 And she said to her: Be of good cheer, my daughter: the Lord of heaven give you joy for the trouble you have undergone.
Chapter 8
1 And after they had supped, they brought in the young man to her.
2 And Tobias remembering the angel's word, took out of his bag part of the liver, and laid it upon burning coals.
3 Then the angel Raphael took the devil, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt.
4 Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God to day, and to morrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock.
5 For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God.
6 So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them,
7 And Tobias said: Lord God of our father, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all your creatures that are in them, bless you.
8 You made Adam of the slime of the earth, and gave him Eve for a helper.
9 And now, Lord, you know, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which your name may be blessed for ever and ever.
10 Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.
11 And it came to pass about the cockcrowing, Raguel ordered his servants to be called for, and they went with him together to dig a grave.
12 For he said: Lest perhaps it may have happened to him, in like manner as it did to the other seven husbands, that went in unto her.
13 And when they had prepared the pit, Raguel went back to his wife, and said to her:
14 Send one of your maids, and let her see if he be dead, that I may bury him before it be day.
15 So she sent one of her maidservants, who went into the chamber, and found them safe and sound, sleeping both together.
16 And returning she brought the good news: and Raguel and Anna his wife blessed the Lord,
17 And said: We bless you, O Lord God of Israel, because it has not happened as we suspected.
18 For you have shewn your mercy to us, and have shut out from us the enemy that persecuted us.
19 And you have taken pity upon two only children. Make them, O Lord, bless you more fully: and to offer up to you a sacrifice of your praise, and of their health, that all nations may know, that you alone art God in all the earth.
20 And immediately Raguel commanded his servants, to fill up the pit they had made, before it was day.
21 And he spoke to his wife to make ready a feast, and prepare all kind of provisions that are necessary for such as go a journey.
22 He caused also two fat kine, and four wethers to be killed, and a banquet to be prepared for all his neighbours, and all his friends.
23 And Raguel adjured Tobias, to abide with him two weeks.
24 And of all things which Raguel possessed, he gave one half to Tobias, and made him a writing, that the half that remained should after their decease come also to Tobias.
Chapter 9
1 Then Tobias called the angel to him, whom he took to be a man, and said to him: Brother Azarias, I pray you hearken to my words:
2 If I should give myself to be your servant I should not make a worthy return for your care.
3 However, I beseech you, to take with you beasts and servants, and to go to Gabelus to Rages the city of the Medes: and to restore to him his note of hand, and receive of him the money, and desire him to come to my wedding.
4 For you know that my father numbers the days: and if I stay one day more, his soul will be afflicted.
5 And indeed you see how Raguel has adjured me, whose adjuring I cannot despise.
6 Then Raphael took four of Raguel's servants, and two camels, and went to Rages the city of the Medes: and finding Gabelus, gave him his note of hand, and received of him all the money.
7 And he told him concerning Tobias the son of Tobias, all that had been done: and made him come with him to the wedding.
8 And when he was come into Raguel's house he found Tobias sitting at the table: and he leaped up, and they kissed each other: and Gabelus wept, and blessed God,
9 And said: The God of Israel bless you, because you are the son of a very good and just man, and that fears God, and does almsdeeds:
10 And may a blessing come upon your wife and upon your parents.
11 And may you see your children, and your children's children, unto the third and fourth generation: and may your seed be blessed by the God of Israel, who reigns for ever and ever.
12 And when all had said, Amen, they went to the feast: but the marriage feast they celebrated also with the fear of the Lord.
Chapter 10
1 But as Tobias made longer stay upon occasion of the marriage, Tobias his father was solicitous, saying: Why think you does my son tarry, or why is he detained there?
2 Is Gabelus dead, think you, and no man will pay him the money?
3 And he began to be exceeding sad, both he and Anna his wife with him: and they began both to weep together: because their son did not return to them on the day appointed.
4 But his mother wept and was quite disconsolate, and said: Woe, woe is me, my son; why did we send you to go to a strange country, the light of our eyes, the staff of our old age, the comfort of our life, the hope of our posterity?
5 We having all things together in you alone, ought not to have let you go from us.
6 And Tobias said to her: Hold your peace, and be not troubled, our son is safe: that man with whom we sent him is very trusty.
7 But she could by no means be comforted, but daily running out looked round about, and went into all the ways by which there seemed any hope he might return, that she might if possible see him coming afar off.
8 But Raguel said to his son in law: Stay here, and I will send a messenger to Tobias your father, that you are in health.
9 And Tobias said to him: I know that my father and mother now count the days, and their spirit is grievously afflicted within them.
10 And when Raguel had pressed Tobias with many words, and he by no means would hearken to him, he delivered Sara unto him, and half of all his substance in menservants, and womenservants, in cattle, in camels, and in kine, and in much money, and sent him away safe and joyful from him.
11 Saying: The holy angel of the Lord be with you in your journey, and bring you through safe, and that you may find all things well about your parents, and my eyes see your children before I die.
12 And the parents taking their daughter kissed her, and let her go:
13 Admonishing her to honour her father and mother in law, to love her husband, to take care of the family, to govern the house, and to behave herself irreprehensibly.
Chapter 11
1 And as they were returning they came to Charan, which is in the midway to Ninive, the eleventh day.
2 And the angel said: Brother Tobias, you know how you did leave your father.
3 If it please you therefore, let us go before, and let the family follow softly after us, together with your wife, and with the beasts.
4 And as this their going pleased him, Raphael said to Tobias: Take with you of the gall of the fish, for it will be necessary. So Tobias took some of that gall and departed.
5 But Anna sat beside the way daily, on the top of a hill, from whence she might see afar off.
6 And while she watched his coming from that place, she saw him afar off, and presently perceived it was her son coming: and returning she told her husband, saying: Behold your son comes.
7 And Raphael said to Tobias: As soon as you shall come into your house, forthwith adore the Lord your God: and giving thanks to him, go to your father, and kiss him.
8 And immediately anoint his eyes with this gall of the fish, which you carry with you. For be assured that his eyes shall be presently opened, and your father shall see the light of heaven, and shall rejoice in the sight of you.
9 Then the dog, which had been with them in the way, ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail.
10 And his father that was blind, rising up, began to run stumbling with his feet: and giving a servant his hand, went to meet his son.
11 And receiving him kissed him, as did also his wife, and they began to weep for joy.
12 And when they had adored God, and given him thanks, they sat down together.
13 Then Tobias taking of the gall of the fish, anointed his father's eyes.
14 And he stayed about half an hour: and a white skin began to come out of his eyes, like the skin of an egg.
15 And Tobias took hold of it, and drew it from his eyes, and immediately he recovered his sight.
16 And they glorified God, both he and his wife and all that knew them.
17 And Tobias said: I bless you, O Lord God of Israel, because you have chastised me, and you have saved me: and behold I see Tobias my son.
18 And after seven days Sara his son's wife, and all the family arrived safe, and the cattle, and the camels, and an abundance of money of his wife's: and that money also which he had received of Gabelus:
19 And he told his parents all the benefits of God, which he had done to him by the man that conducted him.
20 And Achior and Nabath the kinsmen of Tobias came, rejoicing for Tobias, and congratulating with him for all the good things that God had done for him.
21 And for seven days they feasted and rejoiced all with great joy.
Chapter 12
1 Then Tobias called to him his son, and said to him: What can we give to this holy man, that is come with you?
2 Tobias answering, said to his father: Father, what wages shall we give him? or what can be worthy of his benefits?
3 He conducted me and brought me safe again, he received the money of Gabelus, he caused me to have my wife, and he chased from her the evil spirit, he gave joy to her parents, myself he delivered from being devoured by the fish, you also he has made to see the light of heaven, and we are filled with all good things through him. What can we give him sufficient for these things?
4 But I beseech you, my father, to desire him, that he would vouchsafe to accept one half of all things that have been brought.
5 So the father and the son, calling him, took him aside: and began to desire him that he would vouchsafe to accept of half of all things that they had brought.
6 Then he said to them secretly: Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to him in the sight of all that live, because he has shewn his mercy to you.
7 For it is good to hide the secret of a king: but honourable to reveal and confess the works of God.
8 Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold:
9 For alms delivers from death, and the same is that which purges away sins, and makes to find mercy and life everlasting.
10 But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul.
11 I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you.
12 When you did pray with tears, and did bury the dead, and did leave your dinner, and hide the dead by day in your house, and bury them by night, I offered your prayer to the Lord.
13 And because you were acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove you.
14 And now the Lord has sent me to heal you, and to deliver Sara your son's wife from the devil.
15 For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.
16 And when they had heard these things, they were troubled, and being seized with fear they fell upon the ground on their face.
17 And the angel said to them: Peace be to you, fear not.
18 For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him.
19 I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men.
20 It is time therefore that I return to him that sent me: but bless ye God, and publish all his wonderful works.
21 And when he had said these things, he was taken from their sight, and they could see him no more.
22 Then they lying prostrate for three hours upon their face, blessed God: and rising up, they told all his wonderful works.
Chapter 13
1 And Tobias the elder opening his mouth, blessed the Lord, and said: you are great, O Lord, for ever, and your kingdom is unto all ages:
2 For you scourge, and you save: you lead down to hell, and bring up again: and there is none that can escape your hand.
3 Give glory to the Lord, ye children of Israel, and praise him in the sight of the Gentiles:
4 Because he has therefore scattered you among the Gentiles, who know not him, that you may declare his wonderful works, and make them know that there is no other almighty God besides him.
5 He has chastised us for our iniquities: and he will save us for his own mercy.
6 See then what he has done with us, and with fear and trembling give ye glory to him: and extol the eternal King of worlds in your works.
7 As for me, I will praise him in the land of my captivity: because he has shewn his majesty toward a sinful nation.
8 Be converted therefore, ye sinners, and do justice before God, believing that he will shew his mercy to you.
9 And I and my soul will rejoice in him.
10 Bless ye the Lord, all his elect, keep days of joy, and give glory to him.
11 Jerusalem, city of God, the Lord has chastised you for the works of your hands.
12 Give glory to the Lord for your good things, and bless the God eternal, that he may rebuild his tabernacle in you, and may call back all the captives to you, and you may rejoice for ever and ever.
13 You shall shine with a glorious light: and all the ends of the earth shall worship you.
14 Nations from afar shall come to you: and shall bring gifts, and shall adore the Lord in you, and shall esteem your land as holy.
15 For they shall call upon the great name in you.
16 They shall be cursed that shall despise you: and they shall be condemned that shall blaspheme you: and blessed shall they be that shall build you up.
17 But you shall rejoice in your children, because they shall all be blessed, and shall be gathered together to the Lord.
18 Blessed are all they that love you, and that rejoice in your peace.
19 My soul, bless you the Lord, because the Lord our God has delivered Jerusalem his city from all her troubles.
20 Happy shall I be if there shall remain of my seed, to see the glory of Jerusalem.
21 The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphire, and of emerald, and all the walls thereof round about of precious stones.
22 All its streets shall be paved with white and clean stones: and Alleluia shall be sung in its streets.
23 Blessed be the Lord, who has exalted it, and may he reign over it for ever and ever, Amen.
Chapter 14
1 And the words of Tobias were ended. And after Tobias was restored to his sight, he lived two and forty years, and saw the children of his grandchildren.
2 And after he had lived a hundred and two years, he was buried honourably in Ninive.
3 For he was six and fifty years old when he lost the sight of his eyes, and sixty when he recovered it again.
4 And the rest of his life was in joy, and with great increase of the fear of God he departed in peace.
5 And at the hour of his death he called unto him his son Tobias and his children, seven young men, his grandsons, and said to them:
6 The destruction of Ninive is at hand: for the word of the Lord must be fulfilled: and our brethren, that are scattered abroad from the land of Israel, shall return to it.
7 And all the land thereof that is desert shall be filled with people, and the house of God which is burnt in it, shall again be rebuilt: and all that fear God shall return thither.
8 And the Gentiles shall leave their idols, and shall come into Jerusalem, and shall dwell in it.
9 And all the kings of the earth shall rejoice in it, adoring the King of Israel.
10 Hearken therefore, my children, to your father: serve the Lord in truth, and seek to do the things that please him:
11 And command your children that they do justice and almsdeeds, and that they be mindful of God, and bless him at all times in truth, and with all their power.
12 And now, children, hear me, and do not stay here: but as soon as you shall bury your mother by me in one sepulchre, without delay direct your steps to depart hence:
13 For I see that its iniquity will bring it to destruction.
14 And it came to pass that after the death of his mother, Tobias departed out of Ninive with his wife, and children, and children's children, and returned to his father and mother in law.
15 And he found them in health in a good old age: and he took care of them, and he closed their eyes: and all the inheritance of Raguel's house came to him: and he saw his children's children to the fifth generation.
16 And after he had lived ninety-nine years in the fear of the Lord, with joy they buried him.
17 And all his kindred, and all his generation continued in good life, and in holy conversation, so that they were acceptable both to God, and to men, and to all that dwelt in the land.
Chapter 1
1 Now Arphaxad king of the Medes had brought many nations under his dominions, and he built a very strong city, which he called Ecbatana,
2 Of stones squared and hewed: he made the walls thereof seventy cubits broad, and thirty cubits high, and the towers thereof he made a hundred cubits high. But on the square of them, each side was extended the space of twenty feet.
3 And he made the gates thereof according to the height of the towers:
4 And he gloried as a mighty one in the force of his army and in the glory of his chariots.
5 Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him,
6 In the great plain which is called Ragua, about the Euphrates, and the Tigris, and the Jadason, in the plain of Erioch the king of the Elicians.
7 Then was the kingdom of Nabuchodonosor exalted, and his heart was elevated: and he sent to all that dwelt in Cilicia and Damascus, and Libanus,
8 And to the nations that are in Carmelus, and Cedar, and to the inhabitants of Galilee in the great plain of Asdrelon,
9 And to all that were in Samaria, and beyond the river Jordan even to Jerusalem, and all the land of Jesse till you come to the borders of Ethiopia.
10 To all these Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, sent messengers:
11 But they all with one mind refused, and sent them back empty, and rejected them without honour.
12 Then king Nabuchodonosor being angry against all that land, swore by his throne and kingdom that he would revenge himself of all those countries.
Chapter 2
1 In the thirteenth year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor, the two and twentieth day of the first month, the word was given out in the house of Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, that he would revenge himself.
2 And he called all the ancients, and all the governors, and his officers of war, and communicated to them the secret of his counsel:
3 And he said that his thoughts were to bring all the earth under his empire.
4 And when this saying pleased them all, Nabuchodonosor, the king, called Holofernes the general of his armies,
5 And said to him: Go out against all the kingdoms of the west, and against them especially that despised my commandment.
6 your eye shall not spare any kingdom, and all the strong cities you shall bring under my yoke.
7 Then Holofernes called the captains and officers of the power of the Assyrians: and he mustered men for the expedition, as the king commanded him, a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men on foot, and twelve thousand archers, horsemen.
8 And he made all his warlike preparations to go before with a multitude of innumerable camels, with all provisions sufficient for the armies in abundance, and herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep, without number.
9 He appointed corn to be prepared out of all Syria in his passage.
10 But gold and silver he took out of the king's house in great abundance.
11 And he went forth he and all the army, with the chariots, and horsemen, and archers, who covered the face of the earth, like locusts.
12 And when he had passed through the borders of the Assyrians, he came to the great mountains of Ange, which are on the left of Cilicia: and he went up to all their castles, and took all the strong places.
13 And he took by assault the renowned city of Melothus, and pillaged all the children of Tharsis, and the children of Ismahel, who were over against the face of the desert, and on the south of the land of Cellon.
14 And he passed over the Euphrates and came into Mesopotamia: and he forced all the stately cities that were there, from the torrent of Mambre, till one comes to the sea:
15 And he took the borders thereof from Cilicia to the coasts of Japheth, which are towards the south.
16 And he carried away all the children of Madian, and stripped them of all their riches, and all that resisted him he slew with the edge of the sword.
17 And after these things he went down into the plains of Damascus in the days of the harvest, and he set all the corn on fire, and he caused all the trees and vineyards to be cut down
18 And the fear of them fell upon alit the inhabitants of the land.
Chapter 3
1 Then the kings and the princes of all the cities and provinces, of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Syria Sobal, and Libya, and Cilicia sent their ambassadors, who coming to Holofernes, said:
2 Let your indignation towards us cease: for it is better for us to live and serve Nabuchodonosor the great king, and be subject to you, than to die and to perish, or suffer the miseries of slavery.
3 All our cities and our possessions, all mountains and hills, and fields, and herds of oxen, and flocks of cheep, and goats, and horses, and camels, and all our goods, and families are in your sight:
4 Let all we have be subject to your law.
5 Both we and our children are your servants.
6 Come to us a peaceable lord, and use our service as it shall please you.
7 Then he came down from the mountains with horsemen, in great power, and made himself master of every city, and all the inhabitants of the land.
8 And from all the cities he took auxiliaries valiant men, and chosen for war.
9 And so great a fear lay upon all those provinces, that the inhabitants of all the cities, both princes and nobles, as well as the people, went out to meet him at his coming.
10 And received him with garlands, and lights, and dances, and tumbrels, and flutes.
11 And though they did these things, they could not for all that mitigate the fierceness of his heart:
12 For he both destroyed their cities and cut down their groves.
13 For Nabuchodonosor the king had commanded him to destroy all the gods of the earth, that he only might be called God by those nations which could be brought under him by the power of Holofernes.
14 And when he had passed through all Syria Sobal, and all Apamea, and all Mesopotamia, he came to the Idumeans into the land of Gabaa,
15 And he took possession of their cities, and stayed there for thirty days, in which days he commanded all the troops of his army to be united.
Chapter 4
1 Then the children of Israel, who dwelt in the land of Juda, hearing these things, were exceedingly afraid of him.
2 Dread and horror seized upon their minds, lest he should do the same to Jerusalem and to the temple of the Lord, that he had done to other cities and their temples.
3 And they sent into all Samaria round about, as far as Jericho, and seized upon all the tops of the mountains:
4 And they compassed their towns with walls, and gathered together corn for provision for war.
5 And Eliachim the priest wrote to all that were over against Esdrelon, which faces the great plain near Dothain, and to all by whom there might be a passage of way, that they should take possession of the ascents of the mountains, by which there might be any way to Jerusalem, and should keep watch where the way was narrow between the mountains.
6 And the children of Israel did as the priest of the Lord Eliachim had appointed them,
7 And all the people cried to the Lord with great earnestness, and they humbled their souls in fastings, and prayers, both they and their wives.
8 And the priests put on haircloths, and they caused the little children to lie prostrate before the temple of the Lord, and the altar of the Lord they covered with haircloth.
9 And they cried to the Lord the God of Israel with one accord, that their children might not be made a prey, and their wives carried off, and their cities destroyed, and their holy things profaned, and that they might not be made a reproach to the Gentiles.
10 Then Eliachim the high priest of the Lord went about all Israel and spoke to them,
11 Saying: Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with perseverance in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord.
12 Remember Moses the servant of the Lord, who overcame Amalec that trusted in his own strength, and in his power, and in his army, and in his shields, and in his chariots, and in his horsemen, not by fighting with the sword, but by holy prayers:
13 So shall all the enemies of Israel be, if you persevere in this work which you have begun.
14 So they being moved by this exhortation of his, prayed to the Lord, and continued in the sight of the Lord.
15 So that even they who offered the holocausts to the Lord, offered the sacrifices to the Lord girded with haircloths, and with ashes upon their head.
16 And they all begged of God with all their heart, that he would visit his people Israel.
Chapter 5
1 And it was told Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, that the children of Israel prepared themselves to resist, and had shut up the ways of the mountains.
2 And he was transported with exceeding great fury and indignation, and he called all the princes of Moab and the leaders of Amman.
3 And he said to them: Tell me what is this people that besets the mountains: or what are their cities, and of what sort, and how great: also what is their power, or what is their multitude: or who is the king over their warfare:
4 And why they above all that dwell in the east, have despised us, and have not come out to meet us, that they might receive us with peace?
5 Then Achior captain of all the children of Ammon answering, said: If you vouch safe, my lord, to hear, I will tell the truth in your sight concerning this people, that dwells in the mountains, and there shall not a false word come out of my mouth.
6 This people is of the offspring of the Chaldeans.
7 They dwelt first in Mesopotamia, because they would not follow the gods of their fathers, who were in the land of the Chaldeans.
8 Wherefore forsaking the ceremonies of their fathers, which consisted in the worship of many gods,
9 They worshipped one God of heaven, who also commanded them to depart from thence, and to dwell in Charan. And when there was a famine over all the land, they went down into Egypt, and there for four hundred years were so multiplied, that the army of them could not be numbered.
10 And when the king of Egypt oppressed them, and made slaves of them to labour in clay and brick, in the building of his cities, they cried to their Lord, and he struck the whole land of Egypt with divers plagues.
11 And when the Egyptians had cast them out from them, and the plague had ceased from them, and they had a mind to take them again, and bring them back to their service,
12 The God of heaven opened the sea to them in their flight, so that the waters were made to stand firm as a wall on either side, and they walked through the bottom of the sea and passed it dry foot.
13 And when an innumerable army of the Egyptians pursued after them in that place, they were so overwhelmed with the waters, that there was not one left, to tell what had happened to posterity.
14 And after they came out of the Red Sea, they abode in the deserts of mount Sina, in which never man could dwell, or son of man rested.
15 There bitter fountains were made sweet for them to drink, and for forty years they received food from heaven.
16 Wheresoever they went in without bow and arrow, and without shield and sword, their God fought for them and overcame.
17 And there was no one that triumphed over this people, but when they departed from the worship of the Lord their God.
18 But as often as beside their own God, they worshipped any other, they were given to spoil, and to the sword, and to reproach.
19 And as often as they were penitent for having revolted from the worship of their God, the God of heaven gave them power to resist.
20 So they overthrew the king of the Chanaanites, and of the Jebusites, and of the Pherezites, and of the Hethites, and of the Hevites, and of the Amorrhites, and all the mighty ones in Hesebon, and they possessed their lands, and their cities:
21 And as long as they sinned not in the sight of their God, it was well with them: for their God hates iniquity.
22 And even some years ago when they had revolted from the way which God had given them to walk therein, they were destroyed in battles by many nations, and very many of them were led away captive into a strange land.
23 But of late returning to the Lord their God, from the different places wherein they were scattered, they are come together and are gone up into all these mountains, and possess Jerusalem again, where their holies are
24 Now therefore, my lord, search if there be any iniquity of theirs in the sight of their God: let us go up to them, because their God will surely deliver them to you, and they shall be brought under the yoke of your power:
25 But if there be no offense of this people in the sight of their God, we can not resist them, because their God will defend them: and we shall be a reproach to the whole earth.
26 And it came to pass, when Achior had ceased to speak these words, all the great men of Holofernes were angry, and they had a mind to kill him, saying to each other:
27 Who is this, that said the children of Israel can resist king Nabuchodonosor, and his armies, men unarmed, and without force, and without skill in the art of war?
28 That Achior therefore may know that he deceives us, let us go up into the mountains: and when the bravest of them shall be taken, then shall he with them be stabbed with the sword:
29 That every nation may know that Nabuchodonosor is god of the earth, and besides him there is no other.
Chapter 6
1 And it came to pass when they had left off speaking, that Holofernes being in a violent passion, said to Achior:
2 Because you have prophesied unto us, saying: That the nation of Israel is defended by their God, to shew you that there is no God, but Nabuchodonosor:
3 When we shall slay them all as one man, then you also shall die with them by the sword of the Assyrians, and all Israel shall perish with you:
4 And you shall find that Nabuchodonosor is lord of the whole earth: and then the sword of my soldiers shall pass through your sides, and you shall be stabbed and fall among the wounded of Israel, and you shall breathe no more till you be destroyed with them.
5 But if you think your prophecy true, let not your countenance sink, and let the paleness that is in your face, depart from you, if you imagine these my words cannot be accomplished.
6 And that you may know that you shall experience these things together with them, behold from this hour you shall be associated to their people, that when they shall receive the punishment they deserve from my sword, you may fall under the same vengeance.
7 Then Holofernes commanded his servants to take Achior, and to lead him to Bethulia, and to deliver him into the hands of the children of Israel.
8 And the servants of Holofernes taking him, went through the plains: but when they came near the mountains, the slingers came out against them.
9 Then turning out of the way by the side of the mountain, they tied Achior to a tree hand and foot, and so left him bound with ropes, and returned to their master.
10 And the children of Israel coming down from Bethulia, came to him, and loosing him they brought him to Bethulia, and setting him in the midst of the people, asked him what was the matter, that the Assyrians had left him bound.
11 In those days the rulers there, were Ozias the son of Micha of the tribe of Simeon, and Charmi, called also Gothoniel.
12 And Achior related in the midst of the ancients, and in the presence of all the people, all that he had said being asked by Holofernes: and how the people of Holofernes would have killed him for this word,
13 And how Holofernes himself being angry had commanded him to be delivered for this cause to the Israelites: that when he should overcome the children of Israel, then he might command Achior also himself to be put to death by diverse torments, for having said: The God of heaven is their defender.
14 And when Achior had declared all these things, all the people fell upon their faces, adoring the Lord, and all of them together mourning and weeping poured out their prayers with one accord to the Lord,
15 Saying: O Lord God of heaven and earth, behold their pride, and look on our low condition, and have regard to the face of your saints, and shew that you forsakes not them that trust on you, and that you humblest them that presume of themselves, and glory in their own strength.
16 So when their weeping was ended, and the peoples prayer, in which they continued all the day, was concluded, they comforted Achior,
17 Saying: the God of our fathers, whose power you have set forth, will make this return to you, that you rather shall see their destruction.
18 And when the Lord our God shall give this liberty to his servants, let God be with you also in the midst of us: that as it shall please you, so you with all yours may converse with us.
19 Then Ozias, after the assembly was broken up, received him into his house, and made him a great supper.
20 And all the ancients were invited, and they refreshed themselves together after their fast was over.
21 And afterwards all the people were called together, and they prayed all the night long within the church, desiring help of the God of Israel.
Chapter 7
1 But Holofernes on the next day gave orders to his army, to go up against Bethulia.
2 Now there were in his troops a hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two and twenty thousand horsemen, besides the preparations of those men who had been taken, and who had been brought away out of the provinces and cities of all the youth.
3 All these prepared themselves together to fight against the children of Israel, and they came by the hillside to the top, which looks toward Dothain, from the place which is called Behlma, unto Chelmon, which is over against Esdrelon.
4 But the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, putting ashes upon their heads, praying with one accord, that the God of Israel would shew his mercy upon his people.
5 And taking their arms of war, they posted themselves at the places, which by a narrow pathway lead directly between the mountains, and they guarded them all day and night.
6 Now Holofernes, in going round about, found that the fountains which supplied them with water, ran through an aqueduct without the city on the south side: and he commanded their aqueduct to he cut off.
7 Nevertheless there were springs not far from the walls, out of which they were seen secretly to draw water, to refresh themselves a little rather than to drink their fill.
8 But the children of Ammon and Moab came to Holofernes, saying: The children of Israel trust not in their spears, nor in their arrows, but the mountains are their defense, and the steep hires and precipices guard them.
9 Wherefore that you may overcome them without joining battle, set guards at the springs that they may not draw water out of them, and you shall destroy them without sword, or at least being wearied out they will yield up their city, which they suppose, because it is situate in the mountains, to be impregnable.
10 And these words pleased Holofernes, and his officers, and he placed all round about a hundred men at every spring.
11 And when they had kept this watch for full twenty days, the cisterns, and the reserve of waters failed among all the inhabitants of Bethulia, so that there was not within the city, enough to satisfy them, no not for one day, for water was daily given out to the people by measure.
12 Then all the men and women, young men, and children, gathering themselves together to Ozias, all together with one voice,
13 Said: God be judge between us and you, for you have done evil against us, in that you would not speak peaceably with the Assyrians, and for this cause God has sold us into their hands.
14 And therefore there is no one to help us, while we are cast down before their eyes in thirst, and sad destruction.
15 And now assemble ye all that are in the city, that we may of our own accord yield ourselves all up to the people of Holofernes.
16 For it is better, that being captives we should live and bless the Lord, than that we should die, and be a reproach to all flesh, after we have seen our wives and our infants die before our eyes.
17 We call to witness this day heaven and earth, and the God of our fathers, who takes vengeance upon us according to our sins, conjuring you to deliver now the city into the hand of the army of Holofernes, that our end may be short by the edge of the sword, which is made longer by the drought of thirst.
18 And when they had said these things, there was great weeping and lamentation of all in the assembly, and for many hours with one voice they cried to God, saying:
19 We have sinned with our fathers we have done unjustly, we have commited iniquity:
20 Have you mercy on us, because you are good, or punish our iniquities by chastising us yourself, and deliver not them that trust in you to a people that know not you,
21 That they may not say among the gentiles: Where is their God?
22 And when being wearied with these cries, and tired with these weepings, they held their peace,
23 Ozias rising up all in tears, said: Be of good courage, my brethren, and let us wait these five days for mercy from the Lord.
24 For perhaps he will put a stop to his indignation, and will give glory to his own name.
25 But if after five days be past there come no aid, we will do the things which you leave spoken.
Chapter 8
1 Now it came to pass, when Judith a widow had heard these words, who was the daughter of Merari, the son of Idox, the son of Joseph, the son of Ozias, the son of Elai, the son of Jamnor, the son of Gedeon, the son of Raphaim, the son of Achitob, the son of Melehias, the son of Enan, the son of Nathanias, the son of Salathiel, the son of Simeon, the son of Ruben:
2 And her husband was Manasses, who died in the time of the barley harvest:
3 For he was standing over them that bound sheaves in the field ; and the heat came upon his head, and he died in Bethulia his own city, and was buried there with his fathers.
4 And Judith his relict was a widow now three years and six months.
5 And she made herself a private chamber in the upper part of her house, in which she abode shut up with her maids.
6 And she wore haircloth upon her loins, and fasted all the days of her life, except the sabbaths, and new moons, and the feasts of the house of Israel.
7 And she was exceedingly beautiful, and her husband left her great riches, and very many servants, and large possessions of herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep.
8 And she was greatly renowned among all, because she feared the Lord very much, neither was there any one that spoke an ill word of her.
9 When therefore she had heard that Ozias had promised that he would deliver up the city after the fifth day, she sent to the ancients Chabri and Charmi.
10 And they came to her, and she said to them: What is this word, by which Ozias has consented to give up the city to the Assyrians, if within five days there come no aid to us?
11 And who are you that tempt the Lord?
12 This is not a word that may draw down mercy, but rather that may stir up wrath, and enkindle indignation.
13 You have set a time for the mercy of the Lord, and you have appointed him a day, according to your pleasure.
14 But forasmuch as the Lord is patient, let us be penitent for this same thing, and with many tears let us beg his pardon:
15 For God will not threaten like man, nor be inflamed to anger like the son of man.
16 And therefore let us humble our souls before him, and continuing in an humble spirit, in his service:
17 Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us: that as our heart is troubled by their pride, so also we may glorify in our humility.
18 For we have not followed the sins of our fathers, who forsook their God, and worshipped strange gods.
19 For which crime they were given up to their enemies, to the sword, and to pillage, and to confusion: but we know no other God but him.
20 Let us humbly wait for his consolation, and the Lord our God will require our blood of the afflictions of our enemies, and he will humble all the nations that shall rise up against us, and bring them to disgrace.
21 And now, brethren, as you are the ancients among the people of God, and their very soul rests upon you: comfort their hearts by your speech, that they may be mindful how our fathers were tempted that they might be proved, whether they worshipped their God truly.
22 They must remember how our father Abraham was tempted, and being proved by many tribulations, was made the friend of God.
23 go Isaac, so Jacob, so Moses, and all that have pleased God, passed through many tribulations, remaining faithful.
24 But they that did not receive the trials with the fear of the Lord, but uttered their impatience and the reproach of their murmuring against the Lord,
25 Were destroyed by the destroyer, and perished by serpents.
26 As for us therefore let us not revenge ourselves for these things which we suffer
27 But esteeming these very punishments to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which like servants we are chastised, have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction.
28 And Ozias and the ancients said to her: All things which you have spoken are true, and there is nothing to be reprehended in your words.
29 Now therefore pray for us, for you are a holy woman, and one fearing God.
30 And Judith said to them: As you know that what I have been able to say is of God:
31 So that which I intend to do prove ye if it be of God, and pray that God may strengthen my design.
32 You shall stand at the gate this night, and I will go out with my maidservant: and pray ye, that as you have said, in five days the Lord may look down upon his people Israel.
33 But I desire that you search not into what I am doing, and till I bring you word let nothing else be done but to pray for me to the Lord our God.
34 And Ozias the prince of Juda said to her: Go in peace, and the Lord be with you to take revenge of our enemies. So returning they departed.
Chapter 9
1 And when they were gone, Judith went into her oratory: and putting on haircloth, laid ashes on her head: and falling down prostrate before the Lord, she cried to the Lord, saying:
2 O Lord God of my father Simeon, who gave him a sword to execute vengeance against strangers, who had defiled by their uncleanness, and uncovered the virgin unto confusion:
3 And who gave their wives to he made a prey, and their daughters into captivity: and all their spoils to be divided to your servants, who were zealous with your zeal: assist, I beseech you, O Lord God, me a widow.
4 For you have done the things of old, and have devised one thing after another: and what you have designed has been done.
5 For all your ways are prepared, and in your providence you have placed your judgments.
6 Look upon the camp of the Assyrians now, as you were pleased to look upon the camp of the Egyptians, when they pursued armed after your servants, trusting in their chariots, and in their horsemen, and in a multitude of warriors.
7 But you looked over their camp, and darkness wearied them.
8 The deep held their feet, and the waters overwhelmed them.
9 So may it be with these also, O Lord, who trust in their multitude, and in their chariots, and in their pikes, and in their shields, and in their arrows, and glory in their spears,
10 And know not that you are our God, who destroy wars from the beginning, and the Lord is your name.
11 Lift up your arm as from the beginning, and crush their power with your power: let their power fall in their wrath, who promise themselves to violate your sanctuary, and defile the dwelling place of your name, and to beat down with their sword the horn of your altar.
12 Bring to pass, O Lord, that his pride may be cut off with his own sword.
13 Let him be caught in the net of his own eyes in my regard, and do you strike him by the graces of the words of my lips.
14 Give me constancy in my mind, that I may despise him: and fortitude that I may overthrow him.
15 For this will be a glorious monument for your name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman.
16 For your power, O Lord, is not in a multitude, nor is your pleasure in the strength of horses, nor from the beginning have the proud been acceptable to you: but the prayer of the humble and the meek has always pleased you.
17 O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation, hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to you, and presuming of your mercy.
18 Remember, O Lord, your covenant, and put you words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart, that your house may continue in your holiness:
19 And all nations may acknowledge that you are God, and there is no other besides you.
Chapter 10
1 And it came to pass, when she had ceased to cry to the Lord, that she rose from the place wherein she lay prostrate before the Lord.
2 And she called her maid, and going down into her house she took off her haircloth, and put away the garments of her widowhood,
3 And she washed her body, and anointed herself with the best ointment, and plaited the hair of her head, and put a bonnet upon her head, and clothed herself with the garments of her gladness, and put sandals on her feet, and took her bracelets, and lilies, and earlets, and rings, and adorned herself with all her ornaments.
4 And the Lord also gave her more beauty: because all this dressing up did not proceed from sensuality, lent from virtue: and therefore the Lord increased this her beauty, so that she appeared to all men's eyes incomparably lovely.
5 And she gave to her maid a bottle of wine to carry, and a vessel of oil, and parched corn, and dry figs, and bread and cheese, and went out.
6 And when they came to the gate of the city, they found Ozias, and the ancients of the city waiting.
7 And when they saw her they were astonished, and admired her beauty exceedingly.
8 But they asked her no question, only they let her pass, saying: The God of our fathers give you grace, and may he strengthen all the counsel of your heart with his power, that Jerusalem may glory in you, and your name may be in the number of the holy and just.
9 And they that were there said, all with one voice: So be it, so be it.
10 But Judith praying to the Lord, passed through the gates, she and her maid.
11 And it came to pass, when she went down the hill, about break of day, that the watchmen of the Assyrians met her and stopped her, saying: Whence come you? or whither go you?
12 And she answered: I am a daughter of the Hebrews, and I am fled from them, because I knew they would be made a prey to you, because they despised you, and would not of their own accord yield themselves, that they might find mercy in your sight.
13 For this reason I thought with myself, saying: I will go to the presence of the prince Holofernes, that I may tell him their secrets, and shew him by what way he may take them, without the loss of one man of his army.
14 And when the men had heard her words, they beheld her face, and their eyes were amazed, for they wondered exceedingly at her beauty.
15 And they said to her: you have saved your life by taking this resolution, to come down to our lord.
16 And be assured of this, that when you shall stand before him, he will treat you well, and you will be most acceptable to his heart. And they brought her to the tent of Holofernes, telling him of her.
17 And when she was come into his presence, forthwith Holofernes was caught by his eyes.
18 And his officers said to him: Who can despise the people of the Hebrews who have such beautiful women, that we should not think it worth our while for their sakes to fight against them?
19 And Judith seeing Holofernes sitting under a canopy, which was woven of purple and gold, with emeralds and precious stones:
20 After she had looked on his face bowed down to him, prostrating herself to the ground. And the servants of Holofernes lifted her up, by the command of their master.
Chapter 11
1 Then Holofernes said to her: Be of good comfort, and fear not in your heart: for I have never hurt a man that was willing to serve Nabuchodonosor the king.
2 And if your people had not despised me, I would never have lifted up my spear against them.
3 But now tell me, for what cause have you left them, and why it has pleased you to come to us?
4 And Judith said to him: Receive the words of your handmaid, for if you will follow the words of your handmaid, the Lord will do with you a perfect thing.
5 For as Nabuchodonosor the king of the earth lives, and his power lives which is in you for chastising of all straying souls: not only men serve him through you, but also the beasts of the field obey him.
6 For the industry of your mind is spoken of among all nations, and it is told through the whole world, that you only art excellent, and mighty in all his kingdom, and your discipline is cried up in all provinces.
7 It is known also what Achior said, nor are we ignorant of what you have commanded to be done to him.
8 For it is certain that our God is so offended with sins, that he has sent word by his prophets to the people, that he will deliver them up for their sins.
9 And because the children of Israel know they have offended their God, your dread is upon them.
10 Moreover also a famine has come upon them, and for drought of water they are already to be counted among the dead.
11 And they have a design even to kill their cattle, and to drink the blood of them.
12 And the consecrated things of the Lord their God which God forbade them to touch, in corn, wine, and oil, these have they purposed to make use of, and they design to consume the things which they ought not to touch with their hands: therefore because they do these things, it is certain they will be given up to destruction.
13 And I your handmaid knowing this, am fled from them, and the Lord has sent me to tell you these very things.
14 For I your handmaid worship God even now that I am with you, and your handmaid will go out, and I will pray to God,
15 And he will tell me when he will repay them for their sins, and I will come and tell you, so that I may bring you through the midst of Jerusalem, and you shall have all the people of Israel, as sheep that have no shepherd, and there shall not so much as one dog bark against you:
16 Because these things are told me by the providence of God.
17 And because God is angry with them, I am sent to tell these very things to you.
18 And all these words pleased Holofernes, and his servants, and they admired her wisdom, and they said one to another:
19 There is not such another woman upon earth in look, in beauty, and in sense of words.
20 And Holofernes said to her: God has done well who sent you before the people, that you might give them into our hands:
21 And because your promise is good, if your God shall do this for me, he shall also be my God, and you shall be great in the house of Nabuchodonosor, and your name shall be renowned through all the earth.
Chapter 12
1 Then he ordered that she should go in where his treasures were laid up, and bade her tarry there, and he appointed what should be given her from his own table.
2 And Judith answered him and said: Now I cannot eat of these things which you command to be given me, lest sin come upon me: but I will eat of the things which I have brought.
3 And Holofernes said to her: If these things which you have brought with you fail you, what shall we do for you?
4 And Judith said: As your soul lives, my lord, your handmaid shall not spend all these things till God do by my hand that which I have purposed. And his servants brought her into the tent which he had commanded.
5 And when she was going in, she desired that she might have liberty to go out at night and before day to prayer, and to beseech the Lord.
6 And he commanded his chamberlains, that she might go out and in, to adore her God as she pleased, for three days.
7 And she went out in the nights into the valley of Bethulia, and washed herself in a fountain of water.
8 And as she came up, she prayed to the Lord the God of Israel, that he would direct her way to the deliverance of his people.
9 And going in, she remained pure in the tent, until she took her own meat in the evening.
10 And it came to pass on the fourth day, that Holofernes made a supper for his servants, and said to Vagao his eunuch: so, and persuade that Hebrew woman, to consent of her own accord to dwell with me.
11 For it is looked upon as shameful among the Assyrians, if a woman mock a man, by doing so as to pass free from him.
12 Then Vagao went in to Judith, and said: Let not my good maid be afraid to go in to my lord, that she may be honoured before his face, that she may eat with him and drink wine and be merry.
13 And Judith answered him: Who am I, that I should gainsay my lord?
14 All that shall be good and best before his eyes, I will do. And whatsoever shall please him, that shall be best to me all the days of my life.
15 And she arose and dressed herself out with her garments, and going in she stood before his face.
16 And the heart of Holofernes was smitten, for he was burning with the desire of her.
17 And Holofernes said to her: Drink now, and sit down and be merry for you have found favour before me.
18 And Judith said: I will drink my lord, because my life is magnified this day above all my days.
19 And she took and ate and drank before him what her maid had prepared for her.
20 And Holofernes was made merry on her occasion, and drank exceeding much wine, so much as he had never drunk in his life.
Chapter 13
1 And when it was grown late, his servants made haste to their lodgings, and Vagao shut the chamber doors, and went his way.
2 And they were all overcharged with wine.
3 And Judith was alone in the chamber.
4 But Holofernes lay on his bed, fast asleep, being exceedingly drunk.
5 And Judith spoke to her maid to stand without before the chamber, and to watch:
6 And Judith stood before the bed praying with tears, and the motion of her lips in silence,
7 Saying: Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, and in this hour look on the works of my hands, that as you have promised, you may raise up Jerusalem your city: and that I may bring to pass that which I have purposed, having a belief that it might be done by you.
8 And when she had said this, she went to the pillar that was at his bed's head, and loosed his sword that hung tied upon it.
9 And when she had drawn it out, she took him by the hair of his head, and said: Strengthen me, O Lord God, at this hour.
10 And she struck twice upon his neck, and out off his head, and took off his canopy from the pillars, and rolled away his headless body.
11 And after a while she went out, and delivered the head of Holofernes to her maid, and bade her put it into her wallet.
12 And they two went out according to their custom, as it were to prayer, and they passed the camp, and having compassed the valley, they came to the gate of the city.
13 And Judith from afar off cried to the watchmen upon the walls: Open the gates for God is with us, who has shewn his power in Israel.
14 And it came to pass, when the men had heard her voice, that they called the ancients of the city.
15 And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest: for they now had no hopes that she would come.
16 And lighting up lights they all gathered round about her: and she went up to a higher place, and commanded silence to be made. And when all had held their peace,
17 Judith said: Praise ye the Lord our God, who has not forsaken them that hope in him.
18 And by me his handmaid he has fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel: and he has killed the enemy of his people by my hand this night.
19 Then she brought forth the head of Holofernes out of the wallet, and shewed it them, saying: Behold the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God slew him by the hand of a woman.
20 But as the same Lord lives, his angel has been my keeper both going hence, and abiding there, and returning from thence hither: and the Lord has not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but has brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for his victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance.
21 Give all of you glory to him, because he is good, because his mercy endures for ever.
22 And they all adored the Lord, and said to her: The Lord has blessed you by his power, because by you he has brought our enemies to nought.
23 And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed are you, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.
24 Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who has directed you to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies.
25 Because he has so magnified your name this day, that your praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that you have not spared your life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of your people, but have prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.
26 And all the people said: So be it, so be it.
27 And Achior being called for came, and Judith said to him: The God of Israel, to whom you gave testimony, that he revenges himself of his enemies, he has cut off the head of all the unbelievers this night by my hand.
28 And that you may find that it is so, behold the head of Holofernes, who in the contempt of his pride despised the God of Israel: and threatened you with death, saying: When the people of Israel shall be taken, I will command your sides to be pierced with a sword.
29 Then Achior seeing the head of Holofernes, being seized with a great fear he fell on his face upon the earth, and his soul swooned away.
30 But after he had recovered his spirits he fell down at her feet, and reverenced her and said:
31 Blessed are you by your God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear your name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of you.
Chapter 14
1 And Judith said to all the people: Hear me, my brethren, hang ye up this head upon our walls.
2 And as soon as the sun shall rise, let every man take his arms, and rush ye out, not as going down beneath, but as making an assault.
3 Then the watchmen must needs run to awake their prince for the battle.
4 And when the captains of them shall run to the tent of Holofernes, and shall find him without his head wallowing in his blood, fear shall fall upon them.
5 And when you shall know that they are fleeing, go after them securely, for the Lord will destroy them under your feet.
6 Then Achior seeing the power that the God of Israel had wrought, leaving the religion of the gentiles, he believed God, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred until this present day.
7 And immediately at break of day, they hung up the head of Holofernes upon the walls, and every man took his arms, and they sent out with a great noise and shouting.
8 And the watchmen seeing this, ran to the tent of Holofernes.
9 And they that were in the tent came, and made a noise before the door of the chamber to awake him, endeavoring by art to break his rest, that Holofernes might awake, not by their calling him, but by their noise.
10 For no man durst knock, or open and go into the chamber of the general of the Assyrians.
11 But when his captains and tribunes were come, and all the chiefs of the army of the king of the Assyrians, they said to the chamberlains
12 Go in, and awake him, for the mice coming out of their holes, have presumed to challenge us to fight.
13 Then Vagao going into his chamber, stood before the curtain, and made a clapping with his hands: for he thought that he was sleeping with Judith.
14 But when with hearkening, he perceived no motion of one lying, he came near to the curtain, and lifting it up, and seeing the body of Holofernes, lying upon the ground, without the head, sweltering in his blood, he cried out with a loud voice, with weeping, and rent his garments.
15 And he went into the tent of Judith, and not finding her, he ran out to the people,
16 And said: One Hebrew woman has made confusion in the house of king Nabuchodonosor: for behold Holofernes lies upon the ground, and his head is not upon him.
17 Now when the chiefs of the army of the Assyrians had heard this, they all rent their garments, and an intolerable fear and dread fell upon them, and their minds were troubled exceedingly.
18 And there was a very great cry in the midst of their camp.
Chapter 15
1 And when all the army heard that Holofernes was beheaded, courage and counsel fled from them, and being seized with trembling and fear they thought only to save themselves by flight:
2 So that no one spoke to his neighbour, but hanging down the head, leaving all things behind, they made haste to escape from the Hebrews, who, as they heard, were coming armed upon them, and fled by the ways of the fields, and the paths of the hills.
3 So the children of Israel seeing them fleeing, followed after them. And they went down sounding with trumpets and shouting after them.
4 And because the Assyrians were not united together, they went without order in their flight ; but the children of Israel pursuing in one body, defeated all that they could find.
5 And Ozias sent messengers through all the cities and countries of Israel.
6 And every country, and every city, sent their chosen young men armed after them, and they pursued them with the edge of the sword until they came to the extremities of their confines.
7 And the rest that were in Bethulia went into the camp of the Assyrians, and took away the spoils, which the Assyrians in their flight had left behind them, and they were laden exceedingly.
8 But they that returned conquerors to Bethulia, brought with them all things that were theirs, so that there was no numbering of their cattle, and beasts, and all their moveables, insomuch that from the least to the greatest all were made rich by their spoils.
9 And Joachim the high priest came from Jerusalem to Bethulia with all his ancients to see Judith.
10 And when she was come out to him, they all blessed her with one voice, saying: you are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honour of our people:
11 For you have done manfully, and your heart has been strengthened, because you have loved chastity, and after your husband have not known any other: therefore also the hand of the Lord has strengthened you, and therefore you shall be blessed for ever.
12 And all the people said: So be it, so be it
13 And thirty days were scarce sufficient for the people of Israel to gather up the spoils of the Assyrians.
14 But all those things that were proved to be the peculiar goods of Holofernes, they gave to Judith in gold, and silver, and garments and precious stones, and all household stuff, and they all were delivered to her by the people.
15 And all the people rejoiced, with the women, and virgins, and young men, playing on instruments and harps.
Chapter 16
1 Then Judith sung this canticle to the Lord, saying:
2 Begin ye to the Lord with timbrels, sing ye to the Lord with cymbals, tune unto him a new psalm, extol and call upon his name.
3 The Lord puts an end to wars, the Lord is his name.
4 He has set his camp in the midst of his people, to deliver us from the hand of all our enemies.
5 The Assyrians came out of the mountains from the north in the multitude of his strength: his multitude stopped up the torrents, and their horses covered the valleys.
6 He bragged that he would set my borders on fire, and kill my young men with the sword, to make my infants a prey, and my virgins captives.
7 But the almighty Lord has struck him, and has delivered him into the hands of a woman, and has slain him.
8 For their mighty one did not fall by young men, neither did the sons of Titan strike him, nor tall giants oppose themselves to him, but Judith the daughter of Merari weakened him with the beauty of her face.
9 For she put off her the garments of widowhood, and put on her the garments of joy, to give joy to the children of Israel.
10 She anointed her face with ointment, and bound up her locks with a crown, she took a new robe to deceive him.
11 Her sandals ravished his eyes, her beauty made his soul her captive, with a sword she cut off his head.
12 The Persians quaked at her constancy, and the Medes at her boldness.
13 Then the camp of the Assyrians howled, when my lowly ones appeared, parched with thirst.
14 The sons of the damsels have pierced them through, and they have killed them like children fleeing away: they perished in battle before the face of the Lord my God.
15 Let us sing a hymn to the Lord, let us sing a new hymn to our God.
16 O Adonai, Lord, great are you, and glorious in your power, and no one can overcome you.
17 Let all your creatures serve you: because you have spoken, and they were made: you did send forth your spirit, and they were created, and there is no one that can resist your voice.
18 The mountains shall be moved from the foundations with the waters: the rooks shall melt as wax before your face.
19 But they that fear you, shall be great with you in all things.
20 Woe be to the nation that rises up against my people: for the Lord almighty will take revenge on them, in the day of judgment he will visit them.
21 For he will give fire, and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever.
22 And it came to pass after these things, that all the people, after the victory, came to Jerusalem to adore the Lord: and as soon as they were purified, they all offered holocausts, and vows, and their promises.
23 And Judith offered for an anathema of oblivion all the arms of Holofernes, which the people gave her, and the canopy that she had taken away out of his chamber.
24 And the people were joyful in the sight of the sanctuary, and for three months the joy of this victory was celebrated with Judith.
25 And after those days every man returned to his house, and Judith was made great in Bethulia, and she was most renowned in all the land of Israel.
26 And chastity was joined to her virtue, so that she knew no man all the days of her life, after the death of Manasses her husband.
27 And on festival days she came forth with great glory.
28 And she abode in her husband's house a hundred and five years, and made her handmaid free, and she died, and was buried with her husband in Bethulia.
29 And all the people mourned for seven days.
30 And all the time of her life there was none that troubled Israel, nor many years after her death.
31 But the day of the festivity of this victory is received by the Hebrews in the number of holy days, and is religiously observed by the Jews from that time until this day.
Chapter 1
1 In the days of Assuerus, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces:
2 When he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city Susan was the capital of his kingdom.
3 Now in the third year of his reign he made a great feast for all the princes, and for his servants, for the most mighty of the Persians, and the nobles of the Medes, and the governors of the provinces in his sight,
4 That he might shew the riches of the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for a long time, to wit, for a hundred and fourscore days.
5 And when the days of the feast were expired, he invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand of the king.
6 And there were hung up on every side sky coloured, and green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk, and of purple, which were put into rings of ivory, and were held up with marble pillars. The beds also were of gold and silver, placed in order upon a floor paved with porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting of wonderful variety.
7 And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, as was worthy of a king's magnificence.
8 Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that were not willing, but as the king had appointed, who set over every table one of his nobles, that every man might take what he would.
9 Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the women in the palace, where king Assuerus was used to dwell.
10 Now on the seventh day, when the king was merry, and after very much drinking was well warmed with wine, he commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Harbona, and Bagatha, and Abgatha, and Zethar, and Charcas, the seven eunuchs that served in his presence,
11 To bring in queen Vasthi before the king, with the crown set upon her head, to shew her beauty to all the people and the princes: for she was exceeding beautiful.
12 But she refused, and would not come at the king's commandment, which he had signified to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry, and inflamed with a very great fury,
13 Baked the wise men, who according to the custom of the kings, were always near his person, and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws, and judgments of their forefathers:
14 (Now the chief and nearest him were, Charsena, and Sethar, and Admatha, and Tharsis, and Mares, and Marsana, and Mamuchan, seven princes of the Persians, and of the Medes, who saw the face of the king, and were used to sit first after him:)
15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the queen, who had refused to obey the commandment of king Assuerus, which he had sent to her by the eunuchs?
16 And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of the king and the princes: Queen Vasthi has not only injured the king, but also all the people and princes that are in all the provinces of king Assuerus.
17 For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come in to him, and she would not.
18 And by this example all the wives of the princes of the Persians and the Medes will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore the king's indignation is just.
19 If it please you, let an edict go out from your presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians and of the Medes, which must not be altered, that Vasthi come in no more to the king, but another, that is better than her, be made queen in her place.
20 And let this be published through all the provinces of your empire, (which is very wide,) and let all wives, as well of the greater as of the lesser, give honour to their husbands.
21 His counsel pleased the king, and the princes: and the king did according to the counsel of Mamuchan.
22 And he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, as every nation could hear and read, in divers languages and characters, that the husbands should be rulers and masters in their houses: and that this should be published to every people.
Chapter 2
1 After this, when the wrath of king Assuerus was appeased, he remembered Vasthi, and what she had done end what she had suffered:
2 And the king's servants and his officers said: Let young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful,
3 And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the house of the women under the hand of Egeus the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king's women: and let them receive women's ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.
4 And whosoever among them all shall please the king's eyes, let her be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased the king: and he commanded it should be done as they had suggested.
5 There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, named Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini,
6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away Jechonias king of Juda,
7 And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa, who by another name was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was exceeding fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for his daughter.
8 And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, and according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, and were delivered to Egeus the eunuch: Esther also among the rest of the maidens was delivered to him to be kept in the number of the women.
9 And she pleased him, and found favour in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments, and to deliver to her part, and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king's house, and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting maids.
10 And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that:
11 And he walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her.
12 Now when every virgin's turn came to go in to the king, after all had been done for setting them off to advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices.
13 And when they were going in to the king, whatsoever they asked to adorn themselves they received: and being decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from the chamber of the women to the king's chamber.
14 And she that went in at evening, came out in the morning, and from thence she was conducted to the second house, that was under the hand of Susagaz the eunuch, who had the charge over the king's concubines: neither could she re- turn any more to the king, unless the king desired it, and had ordered her by name to come.
15 And as the time came orderly about, the day was at hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go in to the king. But she sought not women's ornaments, but whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the virgins had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in the eyes of all.
16 So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi.
18 And he commanded a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the princes, and for his servants, for the marriage and wedding of Esther. And he gave rest to all the provinces, and bestowed gifts according to princely magnificence.
19 And when the virgins were sought the second time, and gathered together, Mardochai stayed at the king's gate,
20 Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought her up a little one.
21 At that time, therefore, when Mardochai abode at the king's gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the king's eunuchs, who were porters, and presided in the first entry of the palace, were angry: and they designed to rise up against the king, and to kill him.
22 And Mardochai had notice of it, and immediately he told it to queen Esther: and she to the king in Mardochai's name, who had reported the thing unto her.
23 It was inquired into, and found out: and they were both hanged on a gibbet. And it was put in the histories, and recorded in the chronicles before the king.
Chapter 3
1 After these things, king Assuerus advanced Aman, the son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all the princes that were with him.
2 And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship him.
3 And the king's servants that were chief at the doors of the palace, said to him: Why do you alone not observe the king's commandment?
4 And when they were saying this often, and he would not hearken to them; they told Aman, desirous to know whether he would continue in his resolution: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
5 Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor worship him, he was exceeding angry.
6 And he counted it nothing to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone: for he had heard that he was of the nation of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.
7 In the first month (which is called Nisan) in the twelfth year a of the reign of Assuerus, the lot was cast into an urn, which in Hebrew is called Phur, before Aman, on what day and what month the nation of the Jews should be destroyed: and there came out the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
8 And Aman said to king Assuerus: There is a people scattered through all the provinces of your kingdom, and separated one from another, that use new laws and ceremonies, and moreover despise the king's ordinances: and you know very well that it is not expedient for your kingdom that they should grow insolent by impunity.
9 If it please you, decree that they may he destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents to your treasurers.
10 And the king took the ring that he used, from his own hand, and gave it to Aman, the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, the enemy of the Jews,
11 And he said to him: As to the money which you promise, keep it for yourself: and as to the people, do with them as seems good to you.
12 And the king's scribes were called in the first month Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the same month: and they wrote, as Aman had commanded, to all the king's lieutenants, and to the judges of the provinces, and of divers nations, as every nation could read, and hear according to their different languages, in the name of king Assuerus: and the letters, sealed with his ring,
13 Were sent by the king's messengers to all provinces, to kill and destroy all the Jews, both young and old, little children, and women, in one day, that is, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is called Adar, and to make a spoil of their goods.
14 And the contents of the letters were to this effect, that all provinces might know and be ready against that day.
15 The couriers that were sent made haste to fulfil the king's commandment. And immediately the edict was hung up in Susan, the king and Aman feasting together, and all the Jews that were in the city weeping.
Chapter 4
1 Now when Mardochai had heard these things, he rent his garments, and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head: and he cried with a loud voice in the street in the midst of the city, shewing the anguish of his mind.
2 And he came lamenting in this manner even to the gate of the palace: for no one clothed with sackcloth might enter the king's court.
3 And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which the king's cruel edict was come, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.
4 Then Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in, and told her. And when she heard it she was in a consternation: and she sent a garment, to clothe him, and to take away the sackcloth: but he would not receive it.
5 And she called for Athach the eunuch, whom the king had appointed to attend upon her, and she commanded him to go to Mardochai, and learn of him why he did this.
6 And Athach going out went to Mardochai, who was standing in the street of the city, before the palace gate:
7 And Mardochai told him all that had happened, how Aman had promised to pay money into the king's treasures, to have the Jews destroyed.
8 He gave him also a copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan, that he should shew it to the queen, and admonish her to go in to the king, and to entreat him for her people.
9 And Athach went back and told Esther all that Mardochai had said.
10 She answered him, and bade him say to Mardochai:
11 All the king's servants, and all the provinces that are under his dominion, know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, comes into the king's inner court, who is not called for, is immediately to be put to death without any delay: except the king shall hold out the golden sceptre to him, in token of clemency, that so he may live. How then can I go in to the king, who for these thirty days now have not been called unto him?
12 And when Mardochai had heard this,
13 He sent word to Esther again, saying: Think not that you may save your life only, because you are in the king a house, more than all the Jews:
14 For if you will now hold your peace, the Jews shall be delivered by some other occasion: and you, and your father's house shall perish. And who know whether you are not therefore come to the kingdom, that you might be ready in such a time as this?
15 And again Esther sent to Mardochai in these words:
16 Go, and gather together all the Jews whom you shall find in Susan, and pray ye for me. Neither eat nor drink for three days and three nights: and I with my handmaids will fast in like manner, and then I will go in to the king, against the law, not being called, and expose myself to death and to danger.
17 So Mardochai went, and did all that Esther had commanded him.
Chapter 5
1 And on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's hall: now he sat upon his throne in the hall of the palace, over against the door of the house.
2 And when he saw Esther the queen standing, she pleased his eyes, and he held out toward her the golden sceptre, which he held in his hand: and she drew near, and kissed the top of his sceptre.
3 And the king said to her: What will then, queen Esther? what is your request? if you should even ask one half of the kingdom, it shall be given to you.
4 But she answered: If it please the king. I beseech you to come to me this day, and Aman with you to the banquet which I have prepared.
5 And the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly, that he may obey Esther's will. So the king and Aman came to the banquet which the queen had prepared for them.
6 And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine plentifully: What do you desire should be given you? and for what thing ask you? although you should ask the half of my kingdom, you shall have it.
7 And Esther answered: My petition and request is this:
8 If I have found favour in the king's sight, and if it please the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfil my petition: let the king and Aman come to the banquet which I have prepared them, and to morrow I will open my mind to the king.
9 So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when he saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace, and that he not only did not rise up to honour him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was exceedingly angry:
10 But dissembling his anger, and returning into his house, he called together to him his friends, and Zares his wife:
11 And he declared to them the greatness of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory the king had advanced him above all his princes and servants.
12 And after this he said: Queen Esther also has invited no other to the banquet with the king, but me: and with her I am also to dine to morrow with the king:
13 And whereas I have all these things, I think I have nothing, so long as I see Mardochai the Jew sitting before the king's gate.
14 Then Zares his wife, and the rest of his friends answered him: Order a great beam to be prepared, fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king, that Mardochai may be hanged upon it, and so you shall go full of joy with the king to the banquet. The counsel pleased him, and he commanded a high gibbet to be prepared.
Chapter 6
1 That night the king passed without sleep, and he commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought him. And when they were reading them before him,
2 They came to that place where it was written, how Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus.
3 And when the king heard this, he said: What honour and reward has Mardochai received for this fidelity? His servants and ministers said to him: He has received no reward at all.
4 And the king said immediately: Who is in the court? for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king's house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet which was prepared for him.
5 The servants answered: Aman stands in the court, and the king said: Let him come in.
6 And when he was come in, he said to him: What ought to be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour? But Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king would honour no other but himself,
7 Answered: The man whom the king desires to honour,
8 Ought to be clothed with the king's apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rides upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head,
9 And let the first of the king's princes and nobles hold his horse, and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: Thus shall he be honoured, whom the king has a mind to honour.
10 And the king said to him: Make haste and take the robe and the horse, and do as you have spoken to Mardochai the Jew, who sits before the gates of the palace. Beware you pass over any of those things which you have spoken.
11 So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, whom the king has a mind to honour.
12 But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourning and having his head covered:
13 And he told Zares his wife, and his friends, all that had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel, and his wife answered him: If Mardochai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom you have begun to fall, you can not resist him, but you shall fall in his sight.
14 As they were yet speaking, the king's eunuchs came, and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the queen had prepared.
Chapter 7
1 So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen.
2 And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: What is your petition, Esther, that it may be granted you? and what will you have done: although you ask the half of my kingdom, you shall have it.
3 Then she answered: If I have found Favour in your sight, O king, and if it please you, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request.
4 For we are given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bondmen and bondwomen: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redounds upon the king.
5 And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things?
6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing this was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of the king and of the queen.
7 But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up to entreat Esther the queen for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king.
8 And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: He will force the queen also in my presence, in my own house. The word was not yet gone out of the king's mouth, and immediately they covered his face.
9 And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: Behold the gibbet which he has prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, stands in Aman's house, being fifty cubits high. And the king said to him: Hang him upon it.
10 So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king's wrath ceased.
Chapter 8
1 On that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her uncle.
2 And the king took the ring which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardochai over her house.
3 And not content with these things, she fell down at the king's feet and wept, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that the malice of Aman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect.
4 But he, as the manner was, held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him,
5 And said: If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech you, that the former letters of Aman the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters.
6 For how call I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people?
7 And king Assuerus answered Esther the queen, and Mardochai the Jew: I have given Aman's house to Esther, and I have commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet, because he durst lay hands on the Jews.
8 Write ye therefore to the Jews, as it pleases you, in the king's name, and seal the letters with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay the letters which were sent in the king's name, and were sealed with his ring.
9 Then the king's scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the time of the third month which is called Siban) the three and twentieth day of the month, and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, to the Jews, and to the governors, and to the deputies, and to the judges, who were rulers over the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to province and province, to people and people, according to their languages and characters, and to the Jews, according as they could read and hear.
10 And these letters which were sent in the king's name, were sealed with his ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages.
11 And the king gave orders to them, to speak to the Jews in every city, and to command them to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and to kill and destroy all their enemies with their wives and children and all their houses, and to take their spoil.
12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar.
13 And this was the content of the letter, that it should be notified in all lands and peoples that were subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were ready to be revenged of their enemies.
14 So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king's edict was hung up in Susan.
15 And Mardochai going forth out of the palace, and from the king's presence, shone in royal apparel, to wit, of violet and sky colour, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was glad.
16 But to the Jews a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing.
17 And in all peoples, cities, and provinces, whithersoever the king's commandments came, there was wonderful rejoicing, feasts and banquets, and keeping holy day: insomuch that many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread of the name of the Jews had fallen upon all.
Chapter 9
1 So on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said above is called Adar, when all the Jews were designed to be massacred, and their enemies were greedy after their blood, the case being altered, the Jews began to have the upper hand, and to revenge themselves of their adversaries.
2 And they gathered themselves together in every city, and town, and place, to lay their hands on their enemies, and their persecutors. And no one durst withstand them, for the fear of their power had gone through every people.
3 And the judges of the provinces, and the governors, and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of Mardochai:
4 For they knew him to be prince of the palace, and to have great power: and the fame of his name increased daily, and was spread abroad through all men's mouths.
5 So the Jews made a great slaughter of their enemies, and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them:
6 Insomuch that even in Susan they killed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Aman the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews: whose names are these:
7 Pharsandatha, and Delphon, and Esphatha,
8 And Phoratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9 And Phermesta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Jezatha.
10 And when they had slain them, they would not touch the spoils of their goods.
11 And presently the number of them that were killed in Susan was brought to the king.
12 And he said to the queen: The Jews have killed five hundred men in the city of Susan, besides the ten sons of Aman: how many do you think they have slain in all the provinces? What ask you more, and what will you have me to command to be done?
13 And she answered: If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews, to do to morrow in Susan as they have done to day, and that the ten sons of Aman may be hanged upon gibbets.
14 And the king commanded that it should be so done. And forthwith the edict was hung up in Susan, and the ten sons of Aman were hanged.
15 And on the fourteenth day of the month Adar the Jews gathered themselves together, and they killed in Susan three hundred men: but they took not their substance.
16 Moreover through all the provinces which were subject to the king's dominion the Jews stood for their lives, and slew their enemies and persecutors: insomuch that the number of them that were Billed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and no man took any of their goods.
17 Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with them all of the slaughter, and on the fourteenth day they left off. Which they ordained to be kept holy day, so that all times hereafter they should celebrate it with feasting, joy, and banquets.
18 But they that were killing in the city of Susan, were employed in the slaughter on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month: and on the fifteenth day they rested. And therefore they appointed that day to be a holy day of feasting and gladness.
19 But those Jews that dwelt in towns not walled and in villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for banquets and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day, and send one another portions of their banquets and meats.
20 And Mardochai wrote all these things, and sent them comprised in letters to the Jews that abode in all the king's provinces, both those that lay near and those afar off,
21 That they should receive the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, and always at the return of the year should celebrate them with solemn honour:
22 Because on those days the Jews revenged themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, and that these should be days of feasting and gladness, in which they should send one to another portions of meats; and should give gifts to the poor.
23 And the Jews undertook to observe with solemnity all they had begun to do at that time, which Mardochai by letters had commanded to be done.
24 For Aman, the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and destroy them: and had cast Phur, that is, the lot.
25 And afterwards Esther went in to the king, beseeching him that his endeavours might be made void by the king's letters: and the evil that he had intended against the Jews, might return upon his own head. And so both he and his sons were hanged upon gibbets.
26 And since that time these days are called Phurim, that is, of lots: because Phur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that were done, are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book:
27 And the things that they suffered, and that were afterwards changed, the Jews took upon themselves and their seed, and upon all that had a mind to be joined to their religion, so that it should be lawful for none to pass these days without solemnity: which the writing testifies, and certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another.
28 These are the days which shall never be forgot: and which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate throughout all generations: neither is there any city wherein the days of Phurim, that is, of lots, must not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which is bound to these ceremonies.
29 And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mardochai the Jew, wrote also a second epistle, that with all diligence this day should be established a festival for the time to come.
30 And they sent to all the Jews that were in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of king Assuerus, that they should have peace, and receive truth,
31 And observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy in their proper time: as Mardochai and Esther had appointed, and they undertook them to be observed by themselves and by their seed, fasts, and cries, and the days of lots,
32 And all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.
Chapter 10
1 And king Assuerus made all the land, and all the islands of the sea tributary.
2 And his strength and his empire, and the dignity and greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, are written in the books of the Medes, and of the Persians:
3 And how Mardochai of the race of the Jews, was next after king Assuerus: and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of his seed.
4 Then Mardochai said: God has done these things.
5 I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things: and nothing thereof has failed.
6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters, is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.
7 But the two dragons are I and Aman.
8 The nations that were assembled are they that endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.
9 And my nation is Israel, who cried to the Lord, and the Lord saved his people: and he delivered us from all evils, and has wrought great signs and wonders among the nations:
10 And he commanded that there should be two lots, one of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.
11 And both lots came to the day appointed already from that time before God to all nations:
12 And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on his inheritance.
13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar on the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same month. with all diligence, and joy of the people gathered into one assembly, throughout all the generations hereafter of the people of Israel.
Chapter 11
1 In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest, and of the Levitical race, and Ptolemy his son brought this epistle of Phurim, which they said Lysimachus the son of Ptolemy had interpreted in Jerusalem.
2 In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the great, in the first day of the month Nisan, Mardochai the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the tribe of Benjamin:
3 A Jew who dwelt in the city of Susan, a great man and among the first of the king's court, had it dream.
4 Now he was of the number of the captives, whom Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem with Jechonias king of Juda:
5 And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.
6 And behold two great dragons came forth ready to fight one against another.
7 And at their cry all nations were stirred up to fight against the nation of the just.
8 And that was a day of darkness and danger, of tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.
9 And the nation of the just was troubled fearing their own evils, and was prepared for death.
10 And they cried to God: and as they were crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded into many waters.
11 The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the glorious.
12 And when Mardochai had seen this, and arose out of his bed, he was thinking what God would do: and he kept it fixed in his mind, desirous to know what the dream should signify.
Chapter 12
1 And he abode at that time in the king's court with Bagatha and Thara the king's eunuchs, who were porters of the palace.
2 And when he understood their designs, and had diligently searched into their projects, he learned that they went about to lay violent hands on king Artaxerxes, and he told the king thereof.
3 Then the king had them both examined, and after they had confessed, commanded them to be put to death.
4 But the king made a record of what was done: and Mardochai also committed the memory of the thing to writing.
5 And the king commanded him, to abide in the court of the palace, and gave him presents for the information.
6 But Aman the son of Amadathi the Bugite was in great honour with the king, and sought to hurt Mardochai and his people, because of the two eunuchs of the king who were put to death.
Chapter 13
1 And this was the copy of the letter: Artaxerxes the great king who reigns from India to Ethiopia, to the princes and governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, that are subject to his empire, greeting.
2 Whereas I reigned over many nations, and had brought all the world under my dominion, I was not willing to abuse the greatness of my power, but to govern my subjects with clemency and lenity, that they might live quietly without any terror. and might enjoy peace, which is desired by all men.
3 But when I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, one that excelled the rest in wisdom and fidelity, and was second after the king, Aman by name,
4 Told me that there was a people scattered through the whole world, which used new laws, and acted against the customs of all nations, despised the commandments of kings, and violated by their opposition the concord of all nations.
5 Wherefore having learned this, and seeing one nation in opposition to all mankind using perverse laws, and going against our commandments, and disturbing the peace and concord of the provinces subject to us,
6 We have commanded that all whom Aman shall mark out, who is chief over all the provinces, and second after the king, and whom we honour as a father, shall be utterly destroyed by their enemies, with their wives and children, and that none shall have pity on them. on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year:
7 That these wicked men going down to hell in one day, may restore to our empire the peace which they had disturbed.
8 But Mardochai besought the Lord, remembering all his works,
9 And said: O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in your power, and there is none that can resist your will, if you determine to save Israel.
10 You have made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven.
11 You are Lord of all, and there is none that can resist your majesty.
12 You know all things, and you know that it was not out of pride and contempt, or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Aman,
13 (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet,)
14 But I feared lest I should transfer the honour of my God to a man, and lest I should adore any one except my God.
15 And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have mercy on your people, be- cause our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish your inheritance.
16 Despise not your portion, which you have redeemed for yourself out of Egypt.
17 Hear my supplication, and be merciful to your lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise your name, 0 Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to you.
18 And all Israel with like mind and supplication cried to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over their heads.
Chapter 14
1 Queen Esther also, fearing the danger that was at hand, had recourse to the Lord.
2 And when she had laid away her royal apparel, she put on garments suitable for weeping and mourning: instead of divers precious ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body with fasts: and all the places in which before she was accustomed to rejoice, she filled with her torn hair.
3 And she prayed to the Lord the God of Israel, saying: O my Lord, who alone art our king, help me a desolate woman, and who have no other helper but you.
4 My danger is in my hands.
5 I have heard of my father that you, O Lord, did take Israel from among all nations, and our fathers from all their predecessors, to possess them as an everlasting inheritance, and you have done to them as you have promised.
6 We have sinned in your sight, and therefore you have delivered us into the hands of our enemies:
7 For we have worshipped their gods. you are just, O Lord.
8 And now they are not content to oppress us with most hard bondage, but attributing the strength of their hands to the power of their idols,
9 They design to change your promises, and destroy your inheritance, and shut the mouths of them that praise you, and extinguish the glory of your temple and altar,
10 That they may open the mouths of Gentiles, and praise the strength of idols, and magnify for ever a carnal king.
11 Give not, O Lord, your sceptre to them that are not, lest they laugh at our ruin: but turn their counsel upon themselves, and destroy him that has begun to rage against us.
12 Remember, O Lord, and shew yourself to us in the time of our tribulation, and give me boldness, O Lord, king of gods, and of all power:
13 Give me a well ordered speech in my mouth in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to the hatred of our enemy, that both he himself may perish, and the rest that consent to him.
14 But deliver us by your hand, and help me, who have no other helper, but you, O Lord, who have the knowledge of all things.
15 And you know that I hate the glory of the wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of every stranger.
16 You know my necessity, that I abominate the sign of my pride and glory, which is upon my head in the days of my public appearance, and detest it as a menstruous rag, and wear it not in the days of my silence,
17 And that I have not eaten at Aman's table, nor has the king's banquet pleased me, and that I have not drunk the wine of the drink offerings:
18 And that your handmaid has never rejoiced, since I was brought hither unto this day, but in you, O Lord, the God of Abraham.
19 O God, who art mighty above all, hear the voice of them, that have no other hope, and deliver us from the hand of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.
Chapter 15
1 And he commanded her (no doubt but he was Mardochai) to go to the king, and petition for her people, and for her country.
2 Remember, (said he,) the days of your low estate, how you were brought up by my hand, because Aman the second after the king has spoken against us unto death.
3 And do you call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death.
4 And on the third day she laid away the garments she wore, and put on her glorious apparel.
5 And glittering in royal robes, after she had called upon God the ruler and Saviour of all, she took two maids with her,
6 And upon one of them she leaned, as if for delicateness and overmuch tenderness she were not able to bear up her own body.
7 And the other maid followed her lady, bearing up her train flowing on the ground.
8 But she with a rosy colour in her face, and with gracious and bright eyes, hid a mind full of anguish, and exceeding great fear.
9 So going in she passed through all the doors in order, and stood before the king, where he sat upon his royal throne, clothed with his royal robes, and glittering with gold, and precious stones, and he was terrible to behold.
10 And when he had lifted up his countenance, and with burning eyes had shewn the wrath of his heart, the queen sunk down, and her colour turned pale, and she rested her weary head upon her handmaid.
11 And God changed the king's spirit into mildness, and all in haste and in fear he leaped from his throne, and holding her up in his arms, till she came to herself, caressed her with these words:
12 What is the matter, Esther? I am your brother, fear not.
13 You shall not die: for this law is not made for you, but for all others.
14 Come near then, and touch the sceptre.
15 And as she held her peace, he took the golden sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and kissed her, and said: Why do you not speak to me?
16 She answered: I saw you, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of your majesty.
17 For you, my lord, art very admirable, and your. face is full of graces.
18 And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and was almost in a swoon.
19 But the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.
Chapter 16
1 The great king Artaxerxes, from India to Ethiopia, to the governors and princes of a hundred and twenty- seven provinces, which obey our command, sent greeting.
2 Many have abused unto pride the goodness of princes, and the honour that has been bestowed upon them:
3 And not only endeavour to oppress the king's subjects, but not bearing the glory that is given them, take in hand to practise also against them that gave it.
4 Neither are they content not to re- turn thanks for benefits received, and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they think they can also escape the justice of God who sees all things.
5 And they break out into so great madness, as to endeavour to undermine by lies such as observe diligently the offices committed to them, and do all things in such manner as to be worthy of all men's praise,
6 While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of princes that are well meaning, and judge of others by their own nature.
7 Now this is proved both from ancient histories, and by the things which are done daily, how the good designs of kings are depraved by the evil suggestions of certain men.
8 Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all provinces.
9 Neither must you think, if we command different things, that it comes of the levity of our mind, but that we give sentence according to the quality and necessity of times, as the profit of the commonwealth requires.
10 Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, I Aman the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received being a stranger by us:
11 And found our humanity so great towards him, that he was called our father, and was worshipped by all as the next man after the king:
12 But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go about to deprive us of our kingdom and life.
13 For with certain new and unheard of devices he has sought the destruction of Mardochai, by whose fidelity and good services our life was saved, and of Esther the partner of our kingdom, with all their nation:
14 Thinking that after they were slain, he might work treason against us left alone without friends, and might transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.
15 But we have found that the Jews, who were by that most wicked man appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but contrariwise, use just laws,
16 And are the children of the highest and the greatest, and the ever living God, by whose benefit the kingdom was given both to our fathers and to us, and is kept unto this day.
17 Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent in our name, are void and of no effect.
18 For which crime both he himself that devised it, and all his kindred hang on gibbets, before the gates of this city Susan: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.
19 But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws.
20 And you shall aid them that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
21 For the almighty God has turned this day of sadness and mourning into joy to them.
22 Wherefore you shall also count this day among other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may be known also in times to come,
23 That all they who faithfully obey the Persians, receive a worthy reward for their fidelity: but they that are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their wickedness.
24 And let every province and city, that will not be partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of contempt, and disobedience.