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Discovering Your Perception of Judith
Biblical Heritage: The Culture of Judith

Your Judith

Every artisan and reader constructs their own view of Judith:
now it's your turn.
The actual text of Judith may be found under some questions. (Some questions have no suggestions.) To read the "invisible ink", highlight/ select the text with your cursor.
Explore the "Artisans and Images" section to see how artisans have defined and sometimes completely ignored the text of Judith.

Judith uses Holofernes' sword to cut off his own head.
Is the sword too big for her, or just right?
Does she leave the sword with the body or take it with her?
"She went up to the bedpost near Holofernes' head, and took down the sword that hung there...Then she struck his neck twice with all her might, and cut off his head." (Judith 13: 6 & 8)
What is Judith's physical build? Is she a weight lifter with bulging muscles? Is she lean but strong? Is she a skinny supermodel?
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She has dressed up in her best.
Does she do anything to protect her clothes and jewelry before she cuts off Holofernes' head?
Does she roll up her sleeves before getting down to business?
What have you dressed her in? Hebrew clothing from 100 BC? A velvet Italian Renaissance gown? A prom dress? Blue jeans?
"She combed her hair, put on a tiara, and dressed herself in the festive attire she used to wear while her husband Manasseh was living. She put sandals on her feet, and put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and all her other jewelry. Thus she made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all the men who might see her." (Judith 10:3-4)
Is Judith prepared to bring Holofernes' head with her?
Does she bring a bag or a basket to put it in?
"Next she rolled his body off the bed and pulled down the canopy from the posts. Soon afterward she went out and gave Holofernes' head to her maid, who placed it in her food bag." (Judith 13:9-10)
Does Judith or her maidservant carry the head?
"Then [Judith] pulled the head out of the bag and showed it to them..." (Judith 13:15)
Is her maidservant young and beautiful like Judith or older like a mother or grandmother?
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What expression does Judith have on her face when she cuts off Holofernes' head? Is she satisfied at her revenge? Is she disgusted with this dirty act?
"Judith had told her maid to stand outside...and no one...was left in the bedchamber....She came close to his bed, took hold of the hair of his head, and said, 'Give me strength today'...Then she struck his neck twice with all her might, and cut off his head. Next she rolled his body off the bed..." (Judith 13:3,4,7,8,9)
When she escapes from Holofernes' camp, what is her facial expression? Is she relieved? Happy? Worried they will be caught or followed? Guilty? Tired?
"Then the two of them went out together, as they were accustomed to do for prayer." (Judith 13:10)