Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What a Woman

The story of Judith shows a very different take on the ideal woman from the modern woman.

The key parts are in the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of Judith. In the twelfth chapter Judith dresses provocatively and seduces Holofernes. He gets drunk and passes out, apparently not noticing that she was not drinking. Then in the thirteenth chapter, Judith takes Holofernes own sword and cuts off his head. She then puts it inside a sack and carries it back to her besieged city where it is hung from the wall. Holofernes' men discover him dead and decapitated and the siege is lifted.

Judith is portrayed as a pious woman. But her piety does not fit well with most modern notions of a pious woman (she is much more in the model of Jael in the book of Judges), although she does fit the modern movie heroine.