Saturday, September 8, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Judith 14 and Hebrews 13

Judith 14 – Judith tells the men to hang the head on the battlements and to get ready. She is sure that when they wake up and find that Holofernes is not with them, they “will then be seized with panic and flee at your advance. All you and the others who live in the territory of Israel will have to do is to give chase and slaughter them as they retreat” (14:4).  

She then asks that they call Achior, the Ammonite, to come and identify the head she has brought as Holofernes’. When he sees the head, he faints and when he comes to he falls to Judith’s and praises her. She tells her people all that she did over the four to five days she was gone. Achior responds by accepting circumcision, thus incorporating himself into the people of Israel.

They hang the head of Holofernes on the ramparts and the men go out “in groups to the slopes of the mountain” to await the Assyrians.

Meanwhile at Holofernes’ camp, his majordomo goes inside Holofernes’ tent to rouse him and finds the headless body. “He gave a great shout, wept, sobbed, shrieked and rent his clothes” (14:16). When he reports this to the people, “the leaders of the Assyrian army tore their tunics in consternation, and the camp rag with their wild cries and their shouting” (14:19). 

Hebrews 13 – Continue to love each other and welcome strangers – you never know who may be an angel of the Lord sent to bring you grace. Remember those faithful who are in prison, and those were are being badly treated – you are ONE BODY. Keep marriages undefiled and do not be greedy. Be mindful of your leaders and do not “be led astray by all sorts of strange doctrines.” “Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever” (13:8).

“[T]here is no eternal city for us in this life but we look for one in the life to come. Through him, let us offer God and unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are sacrifices that please God” (13:15-16).

Seems the letter was written from Italy (13:25).

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