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Catholic Dictionary




The leader of the powerful Assyrian army of King Nebuchadnezzar, who had the Jewish army at his mercy in Bethulia. The latter was weak in leadership and training and its water supply was exhausted. In this desperate situation Judith appeared, a beautiful, devout Jewess, who had much more confidence in God than in force of arms. She carried the battle to Holofernes, not by military prowess but by her charm and wit. He was overwhelmed by her beauty and invited her to share his tent with him for the night. At the first opportunity, she cut off his head and carried it back to the Jewish camp. In the ensuing battle the confused, leaderless Assyrians were annihilated (Judith 1-16).