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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Yehudith,' יְהוּדַית , Jewess; Septuag. Ι᾿ουδίθ ), the name of two females; properly the feminine form of יְהוּדַי, Judoeus (comp. Jeremiah 36:14; Jeremiah 36:21); but in the passage of Genesis it is generally taken as the correlative of Judah. i.e. "praised."

1. The daughter of Beeri, the Hittite and one of the first two wives of Esau (Genesis 26:34). She is elsewhere more correctly called AHOLIBAMAH, the daughter of Anah the Horite (Genesis 36:2-14). (See ESAU).

2. The heroine of the apocryphal book which bears her name, who appears as an ideal type of piety (Judith 8:6), beauty (Judith 11:21), courage, and chastity (Judith 16:22 sq.). Her supposed descent from Simeon (Judith 9:2), and the manner in which she refers to his cruel deed (Genesis 34:25 sq.), mark the conception of the character, which evidently belongs to a period of stern and perilous conflict. The most unscrupulous daring (ch. 13) is combined with zealous ritualism (Judith 12:1 sq.), and faith is turned to action rather than to supplication (Judith 8:31 sq.). Clement of Rome (Ep. 1:55) assigns to Judith the epithet given to Jael'(Ι᾿οτδεὶθ μακαρία ); and Jerome sees in her exploit the image of the victory of the Church over the power of evil (Ep. 79:11, p. 508; Judith... in typo Ecclesiae diabolum capite truncavit; compare Ep. 22:21, p. 105). According to the Greek text, Judith was the rich widow of Manasses of Bethulia; to which the Vulgate adds that she was the daughter of Merari, or more properly Beari (בארי ), as the Hebrew recension has it; the latter also places her in the days of Maccabaeus, which is undoubtedly correct. (See JUDITH, BOOK OF).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Judith'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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