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Tuesday, 28 May 2024 - Santi Emilio, Felice, Priamo e Feliciano ( Letture di oggi)

Judith 16


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1Break into song for my God, to the tambourine, sing in honour of the Lord, to the cymbal, let psalm andcanticle mingle for him, extol his name, invoke it!2For the Lord is a God who breaks battle-lines; he has pitched his camp in the middle of his people todeliver me from the hands of my oppressors.3Assyria came down from the mountains of the north, came with tens of thousands of his army. Theirmultitude blocked the ravines, their horses covered the hil s.4He threatened to burn up my country, destroy my young men with the sword, dash my sucklings to theground, make prey of my little ones, carry off my maidens;5but the Lord Almighty has thwarted them by a woman's hand.6For their hero did not fall at the young men's hands, it was not the sons of Titans struck him down, noproud giants made that attack, but Judith, the daughter of Merari, who disarmed him with the beauty of her face.7She laid aside her widow's dress to raise up those who were oppressed in Israel; she anointed her facewith perfume,8bound her hair under a turban, put on a linen gown to seduce him.9Her sandal ravished his eye, her beauty took his soul prisoner and the scimitar cut through his neck!10The Persians trembled at her boldness, the Medes were daunted by her daring.11These were struck with fear when my lowly ones raised the war cry, these were seized with terrorwhen my weak ones shouted, and when they raised their voices these gave ground.12The children of mere girls ran them through, pierced them like the offspring of deserters. Theyperished in the battle of my Lord!13I shal sing a new song to my God. Lord, you are great, you are glorious, wonderful y strong,unconquerable.14May your whole creation serve you! For you spoke and things came into being, you sent your breathand they were put together, and no one can resist your voice.15Should mountains be tossed from their foundations to mingle with the waves, should rocks melt likewax before your face, to those who fear you, you would stil be merciful.16A little thing indeed is a sweetly smel ing sacrifice, stil less the fat burned for you in burnt offering; butwhoever fears the Lord is great for ever.17Woe to the nations who rise against my race! The Lord Almighty wil punish them on judgement day.He will send fire and worms in their flesh and they wil weep with pain for evermore.18When they reached Jerusalem they fel on their faces before God and, once the people had beenpurified, they presented their burnt offerings, voluntary offerings and gifts.19Al Holofernes' property given her by the people, and the canopy she herself had stripped from hisbed, Judith vowed to God as a dedicated offering.20For three months the people gave themselves up to rejoicings in front of the Temple in Jerusalem,where Judith stayed with them.21When this was over, everyone returned home. Judith went back to Bethulia and lived on her property;as long as she lived, she enjoyed a great reputation throughout the country.22She had many suitors, but al her days, from the time her husband Manasseh died and was gatheredto his people, she never gave herself to another man.23Her fame spread more and more, the older she grew in her husband's house; she lived to the age ofone hundred and five. She emancipated her maid, then died in Bethulia and was buried in the cave whereManasseh her husband lay.24The House of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before her death she had distributed her propertyamong her own relations and those of her husband Manasseh.25Never again during the lifetime of Judith, nor indeed for a long time after her death, did anyone troublethe Israelites.