De Iudith

Dublin Core

Title

De Iudith

Creator

Ælfric

Date

1002-5

Source

Angelsächsische Homilien und Heiligenleben, ed. Bruno Assmann, Bibliothek der angelsächsichen Prosa 3 (Kassel: Georg H. Wigand, 1889), 102-116

Identifier

Ælf.Idt.

Language

Old English

Subject

B1.5.15

Description

Ælfric

Publisher

BWH

Contributor

BWH

Relation

IsVersionOf Biblical Judith

Format

prose

Type

sermon

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Incipit de Iudith quomodo interfecit olofernem
We secgað nu ærest on þisum gewritum þæt twegen cyningas wæron gecweden on Leden Nabochodonosor, swiðe namcuðe begen. An wæs se Chaldeisca þe acwealde Godes folc on Iudea lande for heora geleafleaste, þa þa hi wurðodon wolice hæþengyld & deofolgyld beeodon heora drihtne on teonan. Ða towænde se cyning heora winsuman burh, Hierusalem gehaten, & þæt halige templ, ðe Salomon geworhte mid wundorlicum cræfte, & towearp hi grundlunga, & þæt Godes folc ofsloh, & þa herelafe to his lande adraf to Babiloniam, heora micclan byrig. &
hi þær wunedon on his wælhreowan þeowte, gecnæwe heora synna wið þone soþan God. Hundseofontig geara hi wunedon þær on þeowte, oðþæt Cyrus cyning hi asænde eft ongean to Iudea lande, þanon þe hi alædde wæron, & het hi eft aræran þæt ænlice templ, swa swa
se ælmihtiga God on his mod asænde, þæt he his folce mildsode æfter swa micelre yrmþe.
Nu wæs se oþær cyning þe wæs gehaten on Leden Nabochodonosor on Syrian lande, þæs Cyres sunu þe we ær foresædon, & his tonama wæs Cambises gecweden. Hwæt, þa Cambisus gecwæð to gefeohte ongean Arfaxath, þæra Meda cyning, & he hine ofsloh, & þurh þone sige hine sylfne ahof on swiðlicre modignesse, & asende his ærendracan him on ælce healfe to eallum þam leodscipum þe lagon to his rice. Wolde þæt hi ealle sceoldon him anum abugan, þæt he ana wære heora cyning. Ac ealle þa leodscipas anmodlice him wiðcwædon, & asændon his ærendracan eft sona ongean, butan ælcum wurðmynte swiðe unwurðlice.
Ða gebealh se cyning Nabochodonosor hine sylfne, & swor þurh his cynestol þæt he wolde gewrecan witodlice on him eallum þæt hi his ærendracan & hine sylfne forsawon. He gegaderode his witan ða, & wið hi ealle rædde, cwæð þæt him swa þuhte þæt he sylf wolde ealne middaneard to his anwealde gebigean, & hi him andwerdon þæt he ænlice spræce. fia sende se cyning sumne heretogan, Holofernem gehaten, mid mycelre fyrdinge, & bebead him þas word, “Ne wanda þu nan ðing, ne ara ðu nanum rice ne ænigre burhscire. Ac ælce getrymmede burh þu gebige to me!”
Ða ferde Holofernis mid ormætre fyrde, swa swa se cyning bead, & tobræc ælce burh, & þa ofsloh þe him wiðstodon, swa þæt his ege asprang ofer ealle þeoda. Hundtwelftig þusenda wigendra manna wæron on his fyrdinge, & twelf þusenda scyttena symle him ætforan. & nan folc ne mihte his fyrde wiðstandan, ac comon him to of fyrlenum landum, mid fyrhte fornumene, friðes biddende. Cwædon þæt him leofre wære, þæt hi libbende þeowdon þam mæran cyninge Nabochodonosor ðonne hi swyltende samod forwurdon. & hi swa abugan þa þam breman heretogan mid eallum heora æhtum to þæs cyninges anwealde. He ferde þa mid þrymme feohtende wið manega leodscipas, & heora land gewann, oðþæt þæt Iudeisce folc his fare geaxodon, & hi swiðe forhtodon for his fyrdinge. Hi gearcodon swaþeah hi sylfe to wige on þam heagum muntum micclum ymbtrymde, & fordytton ælc fær upp to þam muntum, & hi anmodlice ealle to Gode clypodon, biddende his fultumes þæt hi ne forwurdon. Holofernis þa siððan mid his fyrde becom to Iudea lande, þe on God belyfdon, & his fyrd endemes to gefeohte hi gearcodon ongean Israhela folc, þæt hi hi fordydon. Ac him wearð gesæd þæt hi hi sylfe gegearcodon mid wige him togeanes, & woldon him wiðstandan. Holofernis þa axode his yldestan cæmpan hwæt þæt mennisc wære, on ðam muntum wunigende, þe hine swa forsawon, & hine secan noldon, ne hine friðes biddan, him abugende. Ða cwæð sum heretoga se hatte Achior, Ammoniscre þeode, mid swiðlicum truwan, “Leof, ic þe secge soð be þisum folce. Þis cynn com iu of Chaldeiscre mægðe, & hi æfre wurþiað ænne ælmihtigne God, se þe on heofonum eardað, on hine truwigende.
“Ða þa se micela hunger ealne middaneard ofereode, þa ferdon heora fæderas þær þær hi fundon him bigleofan to Egypta lande, & þær lange wunodon feower hund geara, oþþæt ðær swa fela wæs þæs mancynnes geweaxen þæt man ne mihte hi geriman. Ða wolde Pharao, se Egiptisca cyning, hi yfele geswencan; & gesette hi on þeowte to his weallgeweorcum, þæt hi worhton his burga. Ac hi clypodon endemes to þam ælmihtigan Gode þe hi on gelyfdon þæt he hi ahredde; & he sona asende syllice wita ofer Egypta lande, oððæt hi forleton his folc of heora lande faran frige to heora earde.
“Heora God hi þa gelædde of þam lande ealle ofer þa Readan Sæ, siðigende be þam grunde, swa þæt þæt wæter astod swylce stanweallas him on ælce healfe, þær þær hi inn eodon; & Pharao se cyning ferde him æt hindan, wolde hi habban eft to his þeowte. Ac God hine adræncte on þære deopan sæ, þæt of ealre his fyrde an mann ne belaf.
“Ðæt Godes folc þa eode upp be þam grunde, herigende heora drihten þe hi swa ahredde. & hi wunedon swa on westenum feowertig wintra, þær þær nan man æreardian ne mihte, & him dæghwamlice com, þurh heora drihtnes sande, mete of heofenum eallum þam mancynne, & þa biteran wyllspringas him wurdon geswette , & eac of heardum stane hi hæfdon yrnende wæter. Hi gewunnon syððan mid sige ðysne eard, & heora God him fylste & feaht for hi; & ne mihte nan mann naht þisum folce, swa lange swa hi heoldon heora God on riht. Swa oft swa hi bugon fram his biggengum to þam hæðenum godum, hi wurdon gehergode & to hospe gewordene þurh hæðene leoda. Swa oft swa hi gecyrdon mid soðre dædbote eft to heora Gode, he gedyde hi sona mihtige & strange to wiðstandenne heora feondum. Heora God soþlice hatað unrihtwisnysse!
“Nu, for manegum gearum, þa þa misheoldon þone heofonlican God, hi wurdon gehergode, & sume ofslagene, & sume gelædde to fyrlenum landum, on hæftnede wunigende, oððæt hi wendon eft to þam heofonlican Gode þe hi on gelyfað; & hi habbað nu eft heora eard gebogod & þa burh Hierusalem, þær bið heora haligdom.
“Ic bidde þe nu, hlaford, þæt þu læte ofaxian gif ðis folc nu hæbbe ænige unrihtwisnysse oððe gylt geworhtne ongean heora God, & hi beoð underþeodde þonne þinum anwealde. Gif hi þonne nabbað nane unrihtwisnesse ne heora Gode abolgen, þonne beo we ealle to hospe gedone þurh heora drihten, þe hi bewerað, swa swa his gewuna is.”
Holofernis þa sona æfter þissere segene gebealh hine swiðe & mid gebeote cwæð, “Wite ðu nu, Achior, þæt ðu weorþan scealt mid urum swurdum ofslagen mid him, þonne we hi ealle ofsleað swa swa ænne mann, þæt þu mage tocnawan þæt ure cynehlaford Nabochodonosor is soðlice God, & he nu Israhel ealle eaðelice fordeð.”
He het hine þa gebindan & gebringan on þæt land & þam folce betæcan þæt he mid him forwurde. He wearð þa gebunden, swa swa se brema het, & to ðam lande gelæd; & forleton hine þær to anum treowe huxlice gebundenne. He wearð þa afunden fram þam folce þær, & he him eall sæde his sið be ændebyrdnesse, & þæt folc þa sona æfter his segene feollon to eorðan, mid flowendum tearum, cweðende mid heofunge, “Ðu, heofonlica drihten, geseoh heora modignesse & ure æadmodnesse & geswutela, drihten, þæt þu forseon nelt þa þe on þe truwiað mid trumum geleafan, & þu þa geeadmetst þe on heora mihte wuldriað.” Hi þa gefrefrodon þone foresædan Achior, & Ozias heora heafodmann hine hæfde mid him, & hi bædon þa ealle Godes mildheortnesse & his gescyldnesse wið þone Syriscan here. Hwæt, þa Holofernus wolde hi ut asittan, & he heora wæterscipe mid weardmannum besette twentig daga on an on æmn ðere byrig; cwædon þæt hi hopodon to þam muntum swiðor þonne to wæpnum oððe to ænigum wigge. ‹æt Israhela folc þa wearð geangsumod on mode for þære wæterleaste, & þær witodlice næs on eallum þam pyttum þe on þære byrig wæron swa mycel wæteres dæl þæt him mihte eallum to genihtsumnesse. Ac hi leton þa to ræde þæt hi woldon abugan þam breman heretogan to his mannrædene, þæt hi moston libban. Ozias ða cwæð to eallum þam folce, “Mine gebroðra, beoð eow geðyldige & mid emnum mode andbidiað gyt anum fif dagas ures drihtnes willan, & gif us þonne ne becymð nanes cynnes frofer, ne nan alysednes ure neodþearfe, þonne mote we abugan þam breman heretogan to his mannrædene, þæt us amundige.”
Ða wæs on þære byrig, on þam ylcan timan, an ænlic wimman on wudewanhade Iudith gehaten, þæra heahfædera cynnes, swiðe gelefed mann on þone lyfigendan God, hlisfull on þeawum, rihtlice lybbende æfter Moyses æ, Manases laf. Se wæs hire wer, ac he wearð ofslagen þurh þære sunnan hætan on hærfestlicre tide, ute mid his rifterum þe ripon his corn. He læfde þære wudewan unlytel on feo & on oðrum æhtum, æfter his gebyrdum mycele welan on manegum begeatum; & hi wunode on clænnysse æfter hire were on hyre upflore mid hire þinenum. Heo wæs swiðe wlitig, & wenlices hiwes, & heo fæste symle buton on freolsdagum, mid hæran gescryd to hire lice æfre, on Godes ege butan unhlisan.
Ðeos Iudith ofaxode hu Ozias gespræc, & cwæð þæt hit wære witodlice unræd þæt mann sceolde settan swylcne andagan Gode, þæt he binnan fif dagum þam folce gehulpe oððe hi woldon gesecan þone Syriscan here & þone ealdorman to his anwealde, “Ne gladiað þas word God us to miltsunge, ac hi hine gremiað to gramlicre yrsunge. We sceolon beon gemyndige his mildheortnesse, forþan ðe we nyton nænne oðerne god buton hine ænne. Uton andbidian mid eadmodnesse his anes frofres. Abraham & Isaac & ure heahfæderas wurdon afandode on heora frecednessum & on earfoðnessum. Hi wæron getrywe þam ælmihtigan Gode, þe hi æfre ahredde. Hine we sceolon biddan, þæt he us geblissige, & of þyssere earfoðnysse us generige.”
Æfter þisum wordum, & oðrum gebedum, heo awearp hire hæran & hire wudewan reaf, & hi sylfe geglængede mid golde, & mid purpuran, & mid ænlicum gyrlum, & eode hire syððan, mid anre þinene, ut of þære byrig. & bebead þam folce & þam foresædan Oziam þæt hi na ne hogodon embe hire fær, ac wunodon on gebedum & gebædon for hi; & hi ealle wundrodon hire wlites swiðe.
Heo ða, on ærne mergen, to þam weardum becom, sæde þæt heo wolde gesecan þone ealdormann & hine gewissian to his agenum willan hu he eaðelice mihte þæt manncynn berædan, butan frecednesse his agenes folces, þæt an man ne wurde of his werode amyrred. Hi ða wundrodon hire wlites swiðe, & hire wislicra worda, & mid wurðmynte hi gelæddon to heora
ealdormen into his getelde. Sona swa he beseah on hire scinendan nebbwlite, swa wearð he gegripen mid ðære galnesse his unstæððigan heortan; & heo aleat to his fotum, sæde þæt heo wiste to gewissan þinge, þæt þæt Israhela folc swa yfle wæs gehæfd mid scearpum hungre, & swiðlicum þurste, for heora synnum wið þone soðan God, þæt hi moston ealle endemes forwurðan buton hi ðe hraðor to his ræde gebugon.
Heo cwæð eft oðrum worde, “Ic wurðige minne God eac swilce mid þe, & on asettum timan ic sceal me gebiddan gebigedum cneowum to him & æt him ofaxian hwænne þu eaðelicost miht to þam folce becuman, mid ealre þinre fare, tomiddes Hierusalem, be minre wissunge, & þu hæfst hi ealle swa swa hyrdelease sceap. Forþi ic com to þe, þæt ic cydde þe þis.”
He gelyfde þa hire wordum & hire wel behet, & his þegenas sædon þæt swylc wimman nære on ealre eorðan swa fægeres wlites, & swa wis on spræce; & se ealdorman hi het gan into his maðmcleofan & þær wunian oðþæt he hyre word sende, & he het his hiredmen hire þenian of his agenum þenungum & his estmetum. Ac heo nolde swaþeah his sanda brucan for his hæðenscipe, ac heo hæfde gebroht on hire þinene fætelse hire fercunge, oðþæt heo hire modes smeagunge mid weorcum gefylde.
Iudith þa abæd æt þam ealdormen þæt heo moste be leafe, on ðam langum nihtum, gan on hyre gebedum to gebiddenne hire drihten ut of þam maðmcleofan on hire cneowgebedum, & he sealde hire leafe þæt heo swa don moste; & heo swa dyde symle on nihtum. Bæd þone ælmihtigan God þæt he hire gewissode his folce to ahreddinge on þære frecednysse.
Ða, on þam feorðan dæge, feormode se ealdorman his heahþegnas on his getelde on micelre blisse, & bebead his burðegne þæt he gebringan sceolde into his gebeorscipe þa foresædan Iudith, & he swa dyde. Heo com þa geglenged for nanre galnysse, & stod him ætforan swiðe fægres hiwes, & his mod sona swiðe wearð ontend on hire gewilnunge to his galnesse; & het hi beon bliðe on his gebeorscipe, & heo him behet þæt heo swa wolde.
Þa wearð Holofernis wundorlice bliðe ealne þone dæg, & fordræncte hine sylfne mid þam strangum wine ofer his gewunan, & ealle his þegnas eac wæron fordræncte; & hi efston on æfnunge to heora mane swiðe, & þa burþegnas gebrohton þone ealdormann on anum bedde mid þære Iudith, & na swiðe ne gymdon syððan heora hlafordes.
Iudith geseah þa, þa þa he on slæpe wæs, þæt hire wæs gerymed to hire ræde wel forð; & het hire þinene healdan þa duru, & gelæhte his agen swurd & sloh to his hneccan, & mid twam slegum forsloh him þone swuran, & bewand þæt bodig mid ðam beddclaðum. Heo nam ða þæt heafod, & his hopscytan, & eode hire ut mid hire þinene swylce on gebedum, swa swa hyre gewuna wæs, oþþæt hi buta becomon to þam burhgeate.
Iudith þa clypode & cwæð to þam weardmannum, “Undoð þas burhgatu! God sylf is mid us, se þe mihte gefremode on Israhela þeode.” & hi þa ardlice undydon þa gatu, & comon endemes mid leohte hire to, forþan þe hi wendon þæt heo ne com na ongean. Heo astah þa up to anum steapum beorge, & ætywde þæt heafod him eallum, cweðende, “Heriað, ic bidde, mid blisse urne drihten, se þe ne forlæt on hine gelefende & þa þe hihtað on his micclum truwan, & on me gefylde his mildheortnesse þa þe he behet Israheles hirede; & he ofsloh nu to niht on minum handum his folces feond!. & heo unforht cwæð, “Godes engel soðlice me gescylde wið hine, þæt ic unwemme eft becom to eow; & God self ne geþafode þæt ic gescynd wurde, ac butan besmitennysse he asende me ongean, on his sige blissigende & on eowre alysednesse.”
Hi sceawodon þa þæt heafod mid swiðlicre wafunge, & Ozias heora ealdor, & hi ealle samod, bletsodon Iudith mid þissere bletsunge, “Drihten þe gebletsode on his drihtenlican mihte, se ðe þurh þe gehwyrfde ure fynd to nahte, & se ðe nu todæg þinne naman gemærsode, swa þæt of manna muðum þin mærð ne ateorað.” Ða com Achior, Holofernes þegen, se ðe ær him gecydde Godes gecyðnesse, & him swa aeode, swa swa he him sæde, þeah þe he mid huxe hine hete gebindan, & hine þeowde to ofsleanne mid þam folce. He wearð þa afyrht æt fruman swiðe for ðære gesihþe, þa þa he sceawode þæt heafod. Ac he blissode sona, & bletsode Iudith, & gelyfde siððan on þone lyfigendan God, æfter Moyses æ, þæs mæran heretogan.
Iudith þa bebead þam burhwarum þus, “Asettað þis heafod on þam hehstan wealle, & gað eow gewæpnode, on Gode truwigende, nu on ærne mergen ut of þyssere byrig. fionne beoð eowre fynd afyrhte for eow, þonne hi heafodleasne heora ealdorman findað, þonne mage ge gewyrcan eower word on heom.”
Hi dydon þa swa, sona on dægred, & gewæpnode ut ferdon mid folclicum truman, swiðe hlydende to þam ungeleaffullum, oððæt þa Syriscan gesawon heora fær; & hi þa woldon awreccan heora ealdorman. Ac nan man ne dorste þa duru unlucan, ac hi woldon elles mid gehlyde hine awreccan. Ða þa him þæs ne speow þurh heora hludan spræce, þa asændon hi inn ænne his burðena & se afunde his hlaford licgan heafodleasne. & he þa mid wanunge wende ut ongean, secende Iudith, & sæde þam folce, “An wifman hæfð nu us ealle gescynd & urne cynehlaford! Her lið se ealdormann heafodleas on bedde mid his blode besyled!”
Hi wurdon þa afyrhte wundorlice ealle, & butan ælcum ræde bysmorlice flugon to heora lande weard, & forleton heora ðing heora feondum to handa þe him fyligdon on bæc, & hi æfre hyndon hindan mid wæpnum; & of eallum heora burgum Ozias asende him maran fultum, & afligdon hi endemes of heora earde þæt hi eft ne gecyrdon. Israhela folc þa mid ænlicum sige wendon him hamweard, & þa herelafa dældon betwux him on deorwurðum sceattum, swa þæt hi wurdon swiðe gewelegode; & hi ealle betæhton Holofernes þing Iudithe to hæbbenne, & hi heredon þa God mid swiþlicre blisse on sange & on dreame.
Ioachim wæs gehaten heora yldesta sacerd. Se com of Hierusalem mid eallum his preostum to Bethulian byrig, mid mycelre blisse, þæt he Iudith gesawe; & hi hi swiðe bletsodon ealle þisum wordum, “Þu eart wuldor soðlice ure byrig Hierusalem & Israheles bliss, ures folces arwurðness, forþan þe þu wunodest æfter þinum were wiflice on clænnysse, & God þe gestrangode for þære clænnesse, & forðan þu sylf bist gebletsod on worulde!”
Iudith þa herode þone heofonlican God swyðe mid lofsange, swa swa hit on Læden us sægð, & hi ealle offrodon heora lac Gode binnan Hierusalem bliðe for ðam sige. Iudith þa þurhwunode on hire widewanhade mærlice for Gode on micclum wurðmynte; .c. geara heo leofode, & hire lytlan heo freode, & þæt Israhela folc eall wunode on sibbe on eallum hire life, & eac lange syððan.
Nis þis nan leas spel! Hit stent on Leden þus on ðære bibliothecan. fiæt witon boceras þe þæt Leden cunnon þæt we na ne leogað. On hire wæs gefylled þæs hælendes cwyde, “Ælc þe hine ahefð sceal beon geeadmet, & se ðe hine geeadmet sceal beon ahafen.” Heo eadmod & clæne, & ofercom þone modigan, lytel & unstrang, & alede þone miclan. Forðan þe heo getacnode untweolice mid weorcum þa halgan gelaðunge þe gelyfð nu on God, þæt is Cristes cyrce on eallum Cristenum folce, his an clene bryd þe mid cenum geleafan þam ealdum deofle of forcerf þæt heafod, æfre on clænnysse Criste þeowigende. Iudith behet ærest þam wælhreowum ealdormen þæt heo wolde hine gebringan binnan to hire folce. Ac hit næs na ealles leas, þæt þæt heo him behet, þa þa heo ber his heafod binnan þam weallum & þam folce æteowde hu hire fylste God. fiam sy a wurðmynt to worulde! Amen.
Heo nolde agan, swa swa us sægð seo racu, þæs welhreowan hærereaf, þe þæt folc hire forgeaf; ac amansumode mid ealle his gyrlan, nolde hi werian, ac awearp hi hire fram.nolde þurh his hæþenscype habban ænige synne. Sume nunnan syndon þe sceandlice libbað, tellað to lytlum gylte þæt hi hi forlicgon & þæt hi leohtlice magon swa lytel gebetan. Ac heo ne bið na eft mæden, gif heo hi æne forligð; ne heo næfð þa mede þes hundfealdan wæstmes. Nimað eow bysne be þyssere Iudith, hu clænlice heo leofode ær Cristes acennednysse, & ne leogað ge na Gode on ðæs godspelles timan þa halgan clænnysse þe ge Criste beheton, forðan þe he fordemð þa dyrnan forligras & þa fulan sceandas he besengð on helle, swa swa hit on Læden stent æfter Paulus lare, “Fornicatores & adulteros iudicabit Deus.”
Ic wylle eac secgan, min swustor, þæt mægðhad & clænnys mycele mihte habbað, swa swa we gehwær rædað on martira þrowungum & on uitas patrum, swa swa Malchus...
Malchus ða eode ut of ðam scræfe mid his gemacan mycclum ablicged, & hi naman þa hors ðe hi þyder brohton, & wæron ða ridende ðe ær wæron feðende, & becomon to Syrian, þær ðær hi syþþan wunodon æfre on clænnysse Criste ðeowigende. Ðam sy wuldor & lof a to worulde! Amen.

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Citation

Ælfric, “De Iudith,” Book of Judith, accessed August 23, 2017, http://bookofjudith.lib.uconn.edu/items/show/1.