Sunday, 14 July 2024 - San Camillo de Lellis ( Letture di oggi)

Judith 1


1It was the twelfth year of Nebuchadnezzar who reigned over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh.Arphaxad was then reigning over the Medes in Ecbatana.2He surrounded this city with walls of dressed stones three cubits thick and six cubits long, making therampart seventy cubits high and fifty cubits wide.3At the gates he placed towers one hundred cubits high and, at the foundations, sixty cubits wide,4the gates themselves being seventy cubits high and forty wide to al ow his forces to march out in a bodyand his infantry to parade freely.5About this time King Nebuchadnezzar gave battle to King Arphaxad in the great plain lying in the territoryof Ragae.6Supporting him were al the peoples from the highlands, all from the Euphrates and Tigris andHydaspes, and those from the plains who were subject to Arioch, king of the Elymaeans. Thus many nations hadmustered to take part in the battle of the Cheleoudites.7Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians sent a message to al the inhabitants of Persia, to all theinhabitants of the western countries, Cilicia, Damascus, Lebanon, Anti-Lebanon, to al those along the coast,8to the peoples of Carmel, Gilead, Upper Galilee, the great plain of Esdraelon,9to the people of Samaria and its outlying towns, to those beyond Jordan, as far away as Jerusalem,Bethany, Chelous, Kadesh, the river of Egypt, Tahpanhes, Rameses and the whole territory of Goshen,10beyond Tanis too and Memphis, and to al the inhabitants of Egypt as far as the frontiers of Ethiopia.11But the inhabitants of these countries ignored the summons of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyriansand did not ral y to him to make war. They were not afraid of him, since in their view he appeared isolated.Hence they sent his ambassadors back with nothing achieved and in disgrace.12Nebuchadnezzar was furious with al these countries. He swore by his throne and kingdom to takerevenge on al the territories of Cilicia, Damascus and Syria, of the Moabites and of the Ammonites, of Judaeaand Egypt as far as the limits of the two seas, and to ravage them with the sword.13In the seventeenth year, he gave battle with his whole army to King Arphaxad and in this battledefeated him. He routed Arphaxad's entire army and al his cavalry and chariots;14he occupied his towns and advanced on Ecbatana; he seized its towers and plundered its marketplaces, reducing its former magnificence to a mockery.15He later captured Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragae and, thrusting him through with his spears,destroyed him once and for al .16He then retired with his troops and al who had joined forces with him: a vast horde of armed men.Then he and his army gave themselves up to carefree feasting for a hundred and twenty days.