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Judith (Detailed) (Researcher: Alexander Samely):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.1 The text refers to itself using a genre term, speech act term, verb or other term implying verbal constitution: There is a passage in direct speech which one might take to be an implied declaration of the text’s own existence and genre/purpose. In Judith 13:19 Uzziah addresses Judith with the words: “Your praise (var. hope) will never depart from the hearts of those who remember the power of God” (NRSV). Accordingly, the book which contains Judith's story could be understood here to be labelled, indirectly by the author of the book putting these words into Uzziah’s mouth, as a "remembering (Greek mnemoneuonton) of the power of God" (ischyn theou). (Cp. Tobit 12:20). There is also reference within the tale to an act of telling "all that she [Judith] had done", when Judith relates to Achior the events which the narrator has already narrated (14:8).

1.1.2 The text speaks of itself as dealing with an overall theme (subject matter) or purpose, or as consisting of coordinated parts making a whole: See 1.1.1 for a possible characterization of the purpose of the text.

1.1.3 The text uses expressions for characterizing itself as a bounded entity: the occurrence of "all" in Judith 14:8, implicitly aligning what Judith is telling Achior with what the narrator has told the addressee up to this point in the story, implies that "all" relevant events are in fact told in the text: "So Judith told (apengeilen) him in the presence of the people all that she had done (panta hosa en pepoiekuia*) from the the day she left until the moment she began speaking to them (hou elali autois)" (NRVS).

1.2 The text presents its internal sequence of sentences (or larger parts) as mirroring the objective relationships of components in the projected world (an objective order), or projects its subject matter as self-limiting (5.3.). See further under 4, 5.2–5 or 6: The narration concentrates in a fairly exclusive and exhaustive manner on a specific set of events, thereby indirectly signalling an acknowledgment of the text’s bounded existence (see 4.1). It is also rounded up by the report of the death of the heroine, followed by a “zooming out” to say that no-one threatened the Israelites for “many days after her death” (hemeras pollas) in 16:25 (see 2.5.1).

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: c. 9,500 words, obtained by copying online Greek ( into a Word document and using word count.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.1 The text does not thematize how the governing voice comes to know the text’s contents (or its right to command obedience from the addressee), but suggests that its knowledge (or authority) is unlimited. In narrative, the governing voice’s perspective tacitly is that of someone “present” at all events equally, regardless of their time, place, or nature (e.g. thoughts or private utterances of characters): The text appears to present an omniscient perspective in the narration. Certainly the governing voice does not thematize the source of knowledge, or limit the potential for knowledge/information. There is no tacit and consistent limitation of the information to one character’s point of view. Instead, the actions of characters (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar and Holophernes in Nineveh, and the inhabitants of Bethulia) are reported directly by the governing voice when they are still separated by time and place. The narrator is also present when Judith prays on her own (9:2–14), and knows what happpens long after she has died (16:25), etc.

2.1.7 The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general).

2.1.8 The governing voice speaks at no point in the first person (except for any and all persons/objects are mentioned from a third-person perspective.

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: the Temple (ho naos), mentioned as razed to the ground (Jud. 5:18, NRSV; in direct speech); Jud. 4:3 mentions the rededication of the "house" = Temple (not in the Vulgate, see Moore, pp. 147–8); the time of day when the incense is offered in the house (oikos) of God in Jerusalem (Jud. 9:1); a return from "diasporas" is mentioned (Jud. 5:19, in direct speech; in the governing voice, Jud. 4:3, see reference to Moore above), and so is Joakim "the high priest" (ho hiereus ho megas, Jud. 15:8). [for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics: there appear to be no characters whose identity is simply taken for granted without any explanation; Nebuchadnezzar (king of the “Assyrians” (!)), Arphaxad and Holofernes, for example are given brief explanations of who they are when they are mentioned for the first time in Jud. 1:1 and 2:4, respectively. The "Israelites living in Judea" (Jud. 4:1) appear to be presupposed, but see 2.4.5.] for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: God is referred to as "Lord" (e.g., Jud. 4:13, kyrios), "the Lord their God" (Jud. 7:19), simply God (Jud. 8:8) or "God of Israel" (Jud. 10:1). The use of kyrios is presupposed in creating a narrative irony through ambiguity in Judith's question to Holofernes, "Who am I to refuse my lord=Lord?", Jud. 12:13, also Jud. 11:5; see 8.3.9. In direct speech quoted from a character's speech: "God (theos) of heaven" (Jud. 5:8), "Lord God of heaven" (kyrie ho theos tou ouranou; addressing God, Jud. 6:19), "O God, my God" (NRSV: ho theos ho theos ho emos; nearly identical with Septuagint Ps. 21:2 (22:2)); "Lord God of my ancestor Simeon" (Jud. 9:2), "most high God" (Jud. 13:18), "almighty Lord" (para to pantokratori kyrio, Jud. 15:10). for locations, for example: a long list of place names is taken for granted in Jud. 1:7–10 and 1:12 (including Cilicia, Damascus, Lebanon, Antilebanon, Carmel, Gilead, Upper Galilee, the great plain of Esdraelon, Samaria, Jerusalem, Bethany, Chelous, Kadesh, Tahpanhes, Raamses, Goshen, Tanis, Memphis, Ethiopia, Ammon Moab, Judaea); a considerable number of additional locations are presupposed all throughout the text. There are "historical" problems with the geographical accuracy of a considerable number of these place names; for a possibly comical effect intended, see Wills, p. 135. for times or calendar dates (specific to a language or culture), for example: in a list of special times at which Judith interrupts her fasting, the specific meaning of “Sabbath” is taken for granted (and so is the significance of the new moon), although these are enumerated alongside (kai) the more general, and thus explanatory, category “festivals and days of rejoicing of the house of Israel” (8:6, NRSV). [for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted): The non-applicability of this point may be worth stressing. There appears to be no specific reference to Scripture or any other text, either by name or by quoted wording. Biblical motifs of various types, and biblical narrative substance, are used consistently without the narrator or the characters speaking of the biblical text.]

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Greek.

2.4.4 Special linguistic usages occur pervasively or prominently: Biblicizing language, such that the text may be assumed to project itself as having a link to texts today known as biblical (see There is much allusive use of biblical language, and also some imitation of the narrative style of the historical biblical books in the manner in which the chronology is handled. There are perhaps some aspects of a biblicizing “historiographic” style in the apparently precise localization of places, also perhaps in chronological references (but more explicit and exhaustive than most biblical narratives). There are occasional stylistic choices which are imitating biblical language (including parallelism, e.g. in 4:13, 6:4, and clearly in Judith’s hymn in ch. 16). Other special linguistic usages: "kyrios" is used as proper name for God and may have a function in the way the narrative itself is told, see and 8.3.9. In some scholars' opinion, the text shows signs of being in translational Greek; the presence of unidiomatic Greek usages appears to be explicable on the basis of Hebrew idioms and narrative syntax (e.g. repetitive paratactic kai constructions; see e.g. Moore, pp. 66 f.). There appear some Persian loanwords, e.g., Jud. 4:15, 5:2 and 13:6.

2.4.5 [The meaning of some linguistic usage or reference is addressed explicitly, marking it as not being part of the shared horizon of knowledge: While this is not done explicitly, some turns of phrases or narrative components could be seen to "educate" an ignorant reader without appearing to do so. Thus shortly after the first mention in 4:2 God is specifically “introduced” (to Holofernes and thereby also the reader) in the speech of Achior as the “God of Heaven” (5:8) and “their God” (5:12) (see further, This speech of Achior also “introduces” Israel by summarising their relevant history (the events before this narrative), in response to the character Holofernes’s question, "What people (laos) is this that lives in the hill-country?” (5:3, NRSV). This question also already singles them out as unique in its continuation, "And why have they alone, of all who live in the west, refused to come out and meet me?" (5:4, NRSV); they are also referred to as “sons of Israel” (e.g., 16:25) or "house" (oikos) of Israel (14:10).]

2.5 The text contains deictic or other expressions referring to the governing voice’s time or place, or place it after/before some key event:

2.5.1 as part of the words of the governing voice: There is at least one case of a temporal deixis pointing to the time of the governing voice, when Achior (including his descendants?) is said to have joined the house of Israel "remaining so to this day” (tes hemeras tautes, Jud. 14:10). The governing voice also places itself indirectly “many days” after the death of Judith in the final sentence of the text (16:25), whom the events as told locate specifically in a known biblical and post-exilic period just after the return from exile and the rededication of the Temple (4:3, a sentence not in the Vulgate; see Moore, 147 f.).

2.5.2 [as part of the words of a quoted character, but with probable implications also for the governing voice: Some scholars take Judith’s reference to enemies who “intend to defile your sanctuary” (Jud. 9:8, NRSV) as evidence of a post-Maccabaean composition of the book of Judith. It is doubtful whether this is meant to be part of contribute to the self-positioning of the governing voice.]

2.7 The epistemic stance, knowledge horizon, moral stance and identity of the governing voice, and of the projected addressee, do not become thematic in the text.

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4.1 The text narrates events which are strongly emplotted, making reference to interlocking happenings, characters, motivations, causes, times or locations.

4.1.2 All subordinate events are presented as preparing one crisis and its solution, or as addressing one unified timespan/location, or as telling the fate of one character or a group of characters: The text presents streamlined narrative with strong nexus of motivations and causes, locations and characters, creating an interconnected set of main characters and of interlocking events. The narrative builds up one central narrative tension as having special intrinsic interest, or unites in some other way a number of narrative strands. The narrative foregrounds a period of time as such, from the preparations for the destruction of Ectabana (which provide the background to Nebuchadnezzar’s threat to destroy the cities of the region between Syria and Egypt, 1:12) to the death of Judith. The tale spells out the interconnectedness of events. However, it also suggests that this interconnectedness is open-ended (explicitly so in the last sentence 16:25 which admits the possibility that there was later again a time when the Israelites were threatened). There is both an open-ended, or "historical" perspective on events and a biographical and person-centred perspective (see But these two aspects do not really distribute themselves to the two parts of which scholars sometimes have suggested were originally independent of each other (chs. 1–7 versus chs. 8–16), although each could be said to predominate in one part. The narrative as a whole could be seen as showing how the public and "political" (and in that sense, historical) intrudes into the life of an individual and "private" person (Judith's status as a woman reinforces her non-public status). This intrusion, and the surprising inversion of power inequalities between the two, is expressed in the sequential continuity of the two sets of chapters (cf. Will, pp. 132–3; Craven), and promotes divine might and providence to an apparently important theme of the narrative. The action pivots around one character or a small set of inter-connected characters: The tale suggests a specific set of events as having special intrinsic interest, perhaps as being astonishing (if never miraculous in a strict sense); it is in particular focused on an individual character’s actions and, to some extent, life. Judith’s life is presented as exemplary, and her actions take place at a crisis point of paradigmatic significance (with echoes of the heroes of the book of Judges, and Miriam). They are also, through the characters’ perceptions, presented as conforming to (well-deserved) divine providence: Judith did not do this on her own, although God is never depicted as acting directly. The providential meaning of narrated events is also hinted at as the reason for the existence of the text (see 1.1.1). The causation and motivation in the action is presented as "naturalistic”, while also being implicitly ascribed to divine provenance; the latter view, not expressed directly by the narrator, is amply reflected in the speech and prayers of the characters (e.g. Judith mentioning God’s “foreordained” things, or God foreseeing (prognosei), 9:6 (this and 11:19 are the only occurrences of this term in the Septuagint according to Moore, p. 192); “the Lord will deliver Israel by my hand”, Jud. 8:33.

4.1.3 The narrative provides a clear closure, or dwells on the closure: The closure is emphasized by Judith’s death being the end of the narrative, rounded up by a “zooming out” to say that no-one threatened the Israelites for “many days after her death” (hemeras pollas) in 16:25.

4.1.4 The narrative foregrounds apparently exact information on the absolute and relative timing of events: The narrative provides apparently exact information in these respects. There are many references to the relative distances of one event from another, e.g., “the next day” (7:1), “on the following day” (7:6), “on the fourth day” (12:10); “for three the end of that time” (16:20–21). Some of them provide articulation points for the text parts of the narrative (which most of the chapter divisions appear to reflect). There are also, especially before the narration zooms in on the small scale of Judith’s actions, temporal orientation points in “absolute” or public terms, including the opening “In the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar…” (1:1), “in the seventeenth year of his reign” (1:13) and “in the eighteenth year” (2:1).

4.1.5 [The narrative foregrounds quantifiable non-temporal information: For this feature the text is actually ambiguous; apparently precise information (e.g. numbers) is occasionally combined with expressions of the marvellous (words such as immense, ample, vast, Jud. 2:17, 7:2, 7:18), and together with long lists (e.g., of vanquished localities; see also 8.1.10) illustrates the overwhelming strength of Nebuchadnezzar’s forces.

4.2 The event sequence is projected as related to the sequence of text parts as follows:

4.2.1 The report sequence mirrors the projected chronological sequence of events mostly or wholly, not precluding 4.2.2–5: The sequence of event reports largely mirrors the chronological sequence of projected events as envisaged. In addition to the event sequences established as textual order through the absolute and relative time indications, there is much further linear linkage between sentences in their event sequence, with or without the use of “and” (kai) and through phrases such as “Now in those days Judith heard about these things” (8:1; similar also e.g. 10:18, 15:1), or “When Judith had stopped crying out to the God of Israel" (10:1), “When evening came” (13:1), etc. (all NRSV). There is also a conspicuous passage of explicit synchrony, when the time of the day at which Judith prays is aligned with the evening incense offering in the Jerusalem Temple (Jud. 9:1). In the first chapter, the pace of the events is measured in years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, and later this switches to a day-by-day account which is explicitly managed as such. That difference in the narrative pace between chapter 1 and the bulk of the text, is reversed again at 16:21–24, which sums up the rest of Judith’s life. These changes in pace clearly have a framing function for the main narrative whose level of detail is higher and fairly constant.

4.2.2 There is use of prolepsis or analepsis: occasionally, e.g. Jud. 4:3, Jud. 8:3–6 and Jud. 12:16 (analepsis); there appears to be no prolepsis in the narrator’s voice.

4.6 There are meta-narrative explanations occurring in the narrative (editorial comments by narrator): There are a few instances of an evaluative stance taken by the narrator and ascribed to the implied audience by referring to the “desecration” of the Temple in 4:3 (contrast with 3:8; but see 2.4.1 for transmission detail); there is also a report of Joakim standing "before the Lord” (4:14), committing the narrator to the accuracy of this way of putting things; in Jud. 8:8, Judith is said to have "feared God with great devotion" (NRSV).

4.8 The text provides scene-setting information, other than the introduction of an I-narration.

4.8.1 There is an explicit introduction of the chronological and/or spatial setting of the action: There is framing of the narration at the beginning which is however not marked as such, by the summary account of the events which led to Nebuchadnezzar’s threat to the Western countries (ch. 1).

4.8.2 There is an explicit introduction of the main character(s): There is an explicit introduction of the main character Judith which does not however take place at the beginning of the text, but at Jud. 8:1–8.

4.9 There is prominent or sustained characterization of key figures in the narrative.

4.9.1 There is editorial comment on the qualities of a character from a third-person narrator: e.g., Jud. 8:8: “No one spoke ill of her, for she feared God with great devotion" (NRSV; hoti ephobeito ton theon sphodra). The same word sphodra, "very much", is used when Achior's conversion is reported, 14:10.

4.9.3 A figure is characterized by her or his moral or religious traits. Moral/religious traits are manifestly linked to the ethnicity and/or gender of the figure: Some of Judith’s moral or religious character traits are clearly gendered (chaste, devoted to her husband as a mourning and fasting widow, does not remarry, etc.); they are also ethnically situated (she performs an act of “national” liberation), but the latter is presented in somewhat universal terms. Other character traits are not gendered, or may even have contradicted culturally prevalent gender stereotyping, including her wisdom, constancy of will, moral and physical courage – all depicted as being superior to those of the men in her environment – as well as her physical prowess (see 4.9.5). She appears not to be contrasted to other women; those hardly figure, except her maid.

4.9.4 A figure is characterized by her or his intellectual gifts or understanding: Through her actions and speech Judith is clearly shown to be of superior wisdom (sophia, 11:20), cunning (“by the deceit [apates] of my lips”, 9:10) and intelligent.

4.9.5 A figure is characterized by physical prowess or beauty, or their opposites: Judith’s physical beauty is explicitly mentioned several times by the narrator and characters, including the desire it induces in men (Jud. 12:16) which plays a plot-driving role; and physical prowess is displayed in her actions, e.g., as she "struck his neck twice with all her strength (ischys)" (Jud. 13:8) after asking God for strength in a brief prayer beforehand (krataioson me).

4.10 A character’s relations to her/his community are foregrounded, including any two-fold social environment (e.g. a diaspora setting).

4.10.1 A main character is portrayed as being integrated in one societal environment but as in conflict with a second environment: Judith is shown to be integrated into the values and practices of her Israelite community to an extent that makes her stand out (somewhat like Tobit, cp. Tob. 1), together with her wealth (also like Tobit, and Job in TJob); her exemplary fortitude, piety and resourcefulness leads to conflict with others in the community (Jud. 8:11) and to her taking charge. Together with this community, she is in conflict with an external enemy who has travelled from afar and who is also in conflict with some of Israel’s immediate neighbours; she is thus not in immediate, foregrounded, conflict with the local non-Jewish environment (although they help Holofernes, 7:18). This lack of a foregrounded conflict with the non-Israelite surroundings chimes with the figure of the Ammonite Achior who, albeit as an individual only, speaks extremely respectfully of Israel and eventually converts.

4.12 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by the occasional or regular occurrence of extended descriptions.

4.12.1 There is extended description of one or more static objects: there is a brief list of the contents of Holofernes’s tent (Jud. 15:11).

4.12.2 There is extended description of the outward appearance of persons or other animated beings: there is a fairly detailed description of Judith’s dress in Jud. 10:3–4.

4.12.3 There is extended description of the physical or architectural setting/landscape: descriptions of the geographical locations (e.g. 2:21–28) and to some extend landscape (7:1–4) in which actions takes place; a detailed description of Ectabana’s walls is made all the more prominent by coming at a point in the narrative where events are otherwise told in summary (1:2–4).

4.13 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by frequent or prominent quotation of speech, thought or text: this includes quoted monologue/prayer (Jud. 9:2–14), and quoted dialogue.

4.13.1 The quotation constitutes a plot-driving event in its own right: These occurrences of speech are mostly exceptionally well integrated into the action; there are a number of plot-driving, yet very long, speeches, e.g., Nebuchadnezzar’s speech to Holofernes, Jud. 2:5–13, Achior’s speech to Holofernes, Jud. 5:5–22; Judith’s speech to the elders, Jud. 8:11–27; her speech to Holofernes, Jud. 11:5–19. The narrative action largely or partly consists of a report on (long) speeches exchanged between characters: see 4.13.1.

4.13.2 Quoted speech/thought provides a comment on the events (4.13.1 does not apply): in addition to speeches which drive the plot, there are others which provide a kind of analysis of events: Judith’s prayer Jud. 9:2–14, and her hymn, Jud. 16:2–17 (which is placed at approximately the same point in the overall narrative structure as Tobit’s “thanksgiving” in Tobit 13).

4.13.4 The quotation differs from the surrounding text in its form (e.g. poetry), style or language: Judith’s hymn Jud. 16:2–17 contrasts with the surrounding text by its poetic form and language, with clear echoes of Miriam’s song in Ex. 15.

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.1.1 Characters correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts. Only minor character(s) of the text correspond to character(s) in a biblical text(s), whether minor or major: Nebuchadnezzar appears in Judith not as a main character, but is an important background character, often referred to in direct speech by other characters. However, there are some important tensions between the text’s account and the biblical narration. The book of Judith calls Nebuchadnezzar ruler of the Assyrians (not the Babylonians) in 1:1 and several times later; locates his residence in Nineveh, “the great city” (cp. Jonah 1:1), when Nineveh was destroyed before Nebuchadnezzar acceded (in 612 BCE); the text envisages an assault from him on Jewish settlements after the return of the exiles (Jud. 4:3), while the chronology of Jer. 32:1 puts his reign into the pre-exilic period (the year of Judith’s opening verse being BCE 593). See 7.1.2.

7.1.2 Chronology, physical setting or emplotment correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts: The text locates itself within a wider narrative-chronological (or “historical”) framework which is also found in a biblical narrative, namely the period after the return from the Babylonian exile; and it appears to occupy the same narrative space as the biblical text, with some important overlap with the biblical cast of characters, in particular Nebuchadnezzar. However, this causes tensions with biblical information, which are to some extent paralleled in the book of Tobit. Some of the inaccuracies or anachronisms (e.g. use of “Persia” in 1:7) of Judith are so fundamental that some modern scholars interpret them to be deliberate signals of the fictitious and perhaps of the ironical nature of the text (e.g. Moore, pp. 79, 124). The narrative is located at a particular point (“niche”) in a chronological-spatial framework also known from a biblical text, but there is no overlap in the narrative substance: For the wider biblical narrative, however, knowledge is presupposed by the narrator or the characters, and there are also parallels which perhaps were meant to be recognized by the addressee. There are explicit references to biblical figures (e.g., as precedents) or events (e.g., Jud. 8:26–7/9:3), such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob as examples of how God tests man, Jud. 8:27, with the exhortation to “remember” them; invocation of Simeon as ancestor and allusion to the rape of Dinah (Gen 34), in Jud. 9:3. In a sense Judith’s deed is presented as a reversal of Dinah’s violation (using Judith’s sexual attraction in the process). Her song of triumph (ch. 16:2–17) and the manner in which it is performed with other women (Jud. 15:12 ff.) recalls Miriam and the women in Ex. 15. There is a tension with the wording of Deut. 23:4 in the fact that Achior is an Ammonite (Jud. 5:5; 13:10) yet allowed to convert. (Some scholars surmise that this precluded Judith’s inclusion in the rabbinic canon of the Hebrew Bible; yet, even from a potentially much narrower rabbinic point of view, see the discussion in mYad 4:4. See S. D. J. Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness. Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties [Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999] pp. 251–2 and passim. Cf. Moore, pp. 235–6.) There are also explicit references to biblical norms or normative practices in Jud. 8:9 (list of holy days) and Jud. 11:12–13 (list of consecrated foods). Cp. with this the catalogue of priestly dues in Tob. 1:6–8.

7.1.4 The text shares features of language with the Hebrew Bible, or exhibits tacit overlap with specific biblical wording, whether narrative or not. There are pervasive biblical linguistic features (vocabulary, morphology or syntax) or a pervasive use of unspecific biblical language, such as generic biblical phrases or single words: There is some allusive use of biblical language and some expressive use of biblical wording. There is also some imitation of the narrative style of the historical biblical books in the manner in which the chronology is handled. The text contains prominently, but not necessarily frequently, the wording of specific biblical passages such as whole sentences or unique biblical phrases, used in a tacit manner. See also There are instances of expressive use of wording perhaps intended as being recognised as coming from Scripture, in direct speech of characters, i.e., the near-quotations of Psalm 22:2 (in the LXX 21:2 version) in Judith’s prayer 9:4; and of Ruth 1:16 in 11:23. Both of these and perhaps others are employed curiously out of context, or introducing a level of irony (as when Holofernes uses the words of Ruth 1:16 without awareness, as well as with ironic inversion: “Your God shall be my God”).

7.1.5 The projected persona of the governing voice of the text, whether a narrative or not, is also known from a biblical text, or the governing voice assumes an epistemic stance similar to that of a biblical text. The epistemic stance of the governing voice (narrative or not, first person or not) can be interpreted as falling into the same generic category as one of the following stances also adopted in biblical texts: The omniscient narration, as in Genesis-Joshua; or unrestricted knowledge of a described reality, similar to Genesis 1: see points under 2.1.

7.2 [Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: Although there are some narrative and thematic parallels to other non-biblical books, perhaps most notably Tobit, there appear to be no substantial features of Judith which constitute strong correspondences or overlap with specific wording with other non-biblical books.]

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.8 Reason clause: occasional, e.g. Jud. 4:7, 5:19, 8:8.

8.1.9 [The a fortiori argument: once only, in direct speech as rhetorical question, Jud. 8:14.]

8.1.10 List sentence enumerating items by words or phrases: Enumerative sentences (list sentences) with descriptive contents appear frequently; constituting a stylistic characteristic of a kind of “fact-packed” story-telling. The two adjacent lists in Jud. 1:6 and 1:7 which set the tone (after what is already a list-like structure in the description of the walls of Ectabana in 1:2–3). The lists are mostly, but not exclusively, concerned with topography; other topics are military ranks and divisions (Jud. 2:14–15), and equipment (Jud. 2:16–17, 2:19); see also 4.12.1. Enumeration can also be used in direct speech to rhetorical effect, as in Jud. 3:3 and very clearly in 4:10 as a kind of repetition.

8.1.13 [Declamatory sentence, confession, proclamation or affirmation: There is what the governing voice calls an exomologesis (confession, profession) in chapter 16, but those sentences are in the voice of Judith.]

8.1.14 [Prayer, doxology, valediction or blessing: These occur frequently, but only as one of the characters’ quoted speech, with Jud. 9:2–14 furnishing an extended example. This piece, called “calling on” (boao) by the narrator (10:1), expresses a number of key theological topics in the manner of some synagogue prayers, while specifically fitting the situation of Judith (e.g., Jud. 9:12).]

8.2 Non-narrative small literary forms that impose on their components a standard functional relationship to each other, while grammar and syntax may vary:

8.2.5 The summary exposition, in a number of sentences, of theological ideas: occasional, albeit in the mouth of the characters rather than the narrator: among them this extended passage: “For you have done these things and those that went before and those that followed. You have designed the things that are now, and those that are to come. What you had in mind has happened; the things you decided on presented themselves and said, ‘Here we are’. For all your was are prepared in advance, and your judgment is with foreknowledge” (Jud. 9:5–6, NRSV); also Jud. 9:11–12.

8.3 Forms with internal emplotment relationships, or character-centred small literary forms or motifs:

8.3.9 Use of a gap of knowledge between what a character knows and what the governing voice has already told, including one character telling a lie to another, which is transparent to the reader: There is a considerable number of ironic uses of an epistemic gap between the knowledge of a character and the knowledge of the projected addressee, in particular in the things Holofernes says (“who are prophesy among us”, Jud. 6:2) or is told by Judith (including a double meaning for kyrios, in the “my lord” of Jud. 11:5; see Moore, pp. 78–85). This also includes an “ironic” use of the projected addressee's recognition of the words by Holofernes “Your God shall be my God” (Jud. 11:23) as a biblical echo (Ruth 1:16), when Holofernes cannot be construed as being aware of that (see In her conversations with Holofernes, Judith constantly employs lies transparent to the projected addressee (and thematised as such by Judith herself, in Jud. 9:10).

8.3.10 Narrative use of humour by way of a character’s speech: The speech of the Assyrians in Jud. 10:19 is likely to be meant to have a humorous effect.

8.4 [Small poetic form:]

8.4.1 [Occurrence of a song, poetic piece, rhythmic unit: This is on the level of a character's speech only. Judith’s poetic speech is called by the narrator an exomologesis (lit. “confession”) and ainesis (“praising, praise”, also used in NT; Moore: “thanksgiving”) in 16:1 [= 15:14]); within the piece it is called a “psalm”, “praise” (ainon, tale, praise; tale of praise) and “new hymn” (hymnon kainon, 16:13); see Rakel, pp. 160 ff.).]

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11.2 The text is dominated by the reporting of emplotted events, whether or not in an overarching narrative format (4).

11.2.2 The reported events are not biblical, but are related to a biblical past/future.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: (Jewish) novel, novel with "self-mocking historisizing pretensions" (Wills, p. 134).

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Judith is part of the Septuagint; see, e.g. ed. Rahlfs; also: R. Hanhart, Text und Textgeschichte des Buches Judith (Göttingen: Vanenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979); Morton S. Enslin and S. Zeitlin, The Book of Judith (Greek text with an English translation, commentary and critical notes by Morton S. Enslin; edited with a general introduction and appendices by Solomon Zeitlin) (Leiden: E.J. Brill for Dropsie University, Philadelphia, 1972).


B. M. Metzger and R. E. Murphy (eds.), The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament. New Revised Standard Version (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991 and other modern Bible translations covering the Apocrypha; Enslin and Zeitlin above. ; B. Halpern-Amaru, "Judith", in L. H. Feldman, J. L. Kugel and L. H. Schiffman (eds.), Outside the Bible. Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society/University of Nebraska Press, 2013), pp. 2590–2630 - translation from the New Revised Standard Version.

Selected Studies and Commentaries:

C. A. Moore, The Anchor Bible: Judith. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1985); articles Amy-Jill Levine and Mark Stephen Caponigro in A. Bach (ed.), Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999); C. Rakel, Judit: Über Schönheit, Macht und Widerstand im Krieg. Eine feministsich-intertextuelle Lektüre (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2003). L. M. Wills, The Jewish Novel in the Ancient World (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995).  B. Otzen, Tobit and Judith (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002).  T. Craven, Artistry and Faith in the Book of Judith (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983). On medieval Hebrew versions, see A. Dubarle, Judith: Formes et sens des diverses Traditions (Rome: Institut biblique pontifical, 1966).

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