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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Judith

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1.1–7.32 : The Assyrian invasion.

The other nations capitulate and Jewish resistance is gradually broken.

1.1–6 : Nebuchadnezzar wages war on Arphaxad.

1 :

Nebuchadnezzar: king of the Babylonians from 605–561 B.C.E. He directed the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E.; see 2 Kgs. 25.1–9 . His father had conquered the Assyrians and destroyed Nineveh in 612 B.C.E. The historically impossible combination here of Nebuchadnezzar and the Assyrians suggests that the author wished to combine Israel's traditional enemies to create a literary confrontation between faith and secular power. Arphaxad is unknown.

2–3 :

Ecbatana was situated near present-day Hamadan in Iran. Its dimensions are exceedingly exaggerated, showing a high degree of fiction.

5 :

Ragau is modern Rai, located near Teheran.

6 :

The Hydaspes is a river near the eastern border of Persia. Arioch is unknown. The Chelodites are unknown.

1.7–12 : Persia and the western nations arouse Nebuchadnezzar's anger.

7–10 :

The nations and towns listed represent the western portion of the Fertile Crescent—modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt. Betane and Chelus are unknown. Kadesh may be in southern Palestine.

1.13–2.13 : Nebuchadnezzar defeats Arphaxad and declares war on the western nations.

14 :

The Nebuchadnezzar of history did not capture Ecbatana.

2.1 :

The eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign is 587 B.C.E., the date when he ordered the destruction of Jerusalem.

4 :

Holophernes is unknown as a famous Babylonian general; the name, indeed, is Persian and his presence adds the Persians to the artificial composite of Israel's enemies; see 1.1 n.

5 :

Nebuchadnezzar's designation of himself as lord …, without reference to the rights of God, makes this a battle between the ungodly and the God-fearing.

7 :

The offering of earth and water was a Persian expression for the provisioning of an invading and conquering army from the occupied country.

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