Case Western Reserve University Leaf 44
This leaf is from a German Bible made in the later fifteenth century; as Ege notes, it was made about 60 years after the invention of printing by movable type. The pages measure 41 x 28 cm, and the vellum is slightly yellowed and thick, bending easily. There is only vertical evidence of lining, which is done in red; the bulk of the text is in dark brown with red decoration. A singular feature is the significant repair to the upper inside corner of each leaf--i.e., toward the binding, not on the outer edge. See Denison University Leaf 44 for more information about this manuscript.
Text: Judith 13:12-30 (recto) and 13:31-14:17 (verso).
Case Western Reserve University Leaf 44 Recto
et gyrántes vallem, venérunt ad portam civitátis. Et dixit Judith a longe custódibus murórum: Aperíte portas, quóniam nobíscum est Deus, qui fecit virtútem in Israël. Et factum est cum audíssent viri vocem ejus, vocavérunt presbýteros civitátis. Et concurrérunt ad eam omnes, a mínimo usque ad máximum: quóniam sperábant eam jam non esse ventúram. Et accendéntes luminária, congyravérunt circa eam univérsi: illa autem ascéndens in eminentiórem locum, jussit fíeri siléntium. Cumque omnes tacuíssent, dixit Judith: Laudáte Dóminum Deum nostrum, qui non deséruit sperántes in se, et in me ancílla sua adimplévit misericórdiam suam, quam promísit dómui Israël: et interfécit in manu mea hostem pópuli sui hac nocte. Et próferens de pera caput Holoférnis, osténdit illis, dicens: Ecce caput Holoférnis príncipis milítiæ Assyriórum, et ecce conópeum illíus, in quo recumbébat in ebrietáte sua, ubi per manum féminæ percússit illum Dóminus Deus noster. Vivit autem ipse Dóminus, quóniam custodívit me ángelus ejus et hinc eúntem, et ibi commorántem, et inde huc reverténtem, et non permísit me Dóminus ancíllam suam coinquinári, sed sine pollutióne peccáti revocávit me vobis gaudéntem in victória sua, in evasióne mea, et in liberatióne vestra. Confitémini illi omnes,
quóniam bonus, quóniam in saeculum misericórdia ejus. Univérsi autem adorántes Dóminum, dixérunt ad eam: Benedíxit te Dóminus in virtúte sua, quia per te ad níhilum redégit inimícos nostros. Porro Ozías princeps pópuli Israël dixit ad eam: Benedícta es tu, fília, a Dómino Deo excélso præ ómnibus muliéribus super terram. Benedíctus Dóminus, qui creávit cælum et terram, qui te diréxit in vúlnera cápitis príncipis inimicórum nostrórum: quia hódie nomen tuum ita magnificávit, ut non recédat laus tua de ore hóminum qui mémores fúerint virtútis Dómini in ætérnum, pro quibus non pepercísti ánimæ tuæ propter angústias et tribulatiónem géneris tui, sed subvenísti ruínæ ante conspéctum Dei nostri. Et dixit omnis pópulus: Fiat, fiat. Porro Áchior vocátus venit, et dixit ei Judith: Deus Israël, cui tu testimónium dedísti quod ulciscátur se de inimícis suis, ipse caput ómnium incredulórum íncidit hac nocte in manu mea. Et ut probes quia ita est, ecce caput Holoférnis, qui in contémptu supérbiæ suæ Deum Israël contémpsit, et tibi intéritum minabátur, dicens: Cum captus fúerit pópulus Israël, gládio perforári præcípiam látera tua. Videns autem Áchior caput Holoférnis, angustiátus præ pavóre cécidit in fáciem suam super terram, et æstuávit ánima ejus. Póstea vero quam resúmpto spíritu recreátus est, prócidit ad pedes ejus, et
...and having compassed the valley, they came to the gate of the city. 13 And Judith from afar off cried to the watchmen upon the walls: Open the gates for God is with us, who hath shewn his power in Israel. 14 And it came to pass, when the men had heard her voice, that they called the ancients of the city. 15 And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest: for they now had no hopes that she would come. 16 And lighting up lights they all gathered round about her: and she went up to a higher place, and commanded silence to be made. And when all had held their peace, 17 Judith said: Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in him. 18 And by me his handmaid he hath fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel: and he hath killed the enemy of his people by my hand this night. 19 Then she brought forth the head of Holofernes out of the wallet, and shewed it them, saying: Behold the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God slew him by the hand of a woman. 20 But as the same Lord liveth, his angel hath been my keeper both going hence, and abiding there, and returning from thence hither: and the Lord hath not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but hath brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for his victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance. 21 Give all of you glory to him, because he is good, because his mercy endureth for ever. 22 And they all adored the Lord, and said to her: The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to nought. 23 And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. 24 Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. 25 Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God. 26 And all the people said: So be it, so be it. 27 And Achior being called for came, and Judith said to him: The God of Israel, to whom thou gavest testimony, that he revengeth himself of his enemies, he hath cut off the head of all the unbelievers this night by my hand. 28 And that thou mayst find that it is so, behold the head of Holofernes, who in the contempt of his pride despised the God of Israel: and threatened thee with death, saying: When the people of Israel shall be taken, I will command thy sides to be pierced with a sword. 29 Then Achior seeing the head of Holofernes, being seized with a great fear he fell on his face upon the earth, and his soul swooned away. 30 But after he had recovered his spirits he fell down at her feet, and reverenced her, and said...
Case Western Reserve University Leaf 44 Verso
adorávit eam et dixit. Benedícta tu a Deo tuo in omni tabernáculo Jacob, quóniam in omni gente quæ audíerit nomen tuum, magnificábitur super te Deus Israël.
[4 lines untranscribed.]
Dixit autem Judith ad omnem pópulum: Audíte me, fratres: suspéndite caput hoc super muros nostros: et erit, cum exíerit sol, accípiat unusquísque arma sua, et exíte cum ímpetu, non ut descendátis deórsum, sed quasi ímpetum faciéntes. Tunc exploratóres necésse erit ut fúgiant ad príncipem suum excitándum ad pugnam. Cumque duces eórum cucúrrerint ad tabernáculum Holoférnis, et invénerint eum truncum in suo sánguine volutátum, décidet super eos timor. Cumque cognovéritis fúgere eos, ite post illos secúri, quóniam Dóminus cónteret eos sub pédibus vestris. Tunc Áchior, videns virtútem quam fecit Deus Israël, relícto gentilitátis ritu, crédidit Deo, et circumcídit carnem præpútii sui, et appósitus est ad pópulum Israël, et omnis succéssio géneris ejus usque in hodiérnum diem. Mox autem ut ortus est dies, suspendérunt super muros caput Holoférnis, accepítque unusquísque vir arma sua, et egréssi sunt cum grandi strépitu et ululátu. Quod vidéntes exploratóres,
ad tabernáculum Holoférnis cucurrérunt. Porro hi qui in tabernáculo erant, veniéntes, et ante ingréssum cubículi perstrepéntes, excitándi grátia, inquietúdinem arte moliebántur, ut non ab excitántibus, sed a sonántibus Holoférnes evigiláret. Nullus enim audébat cubículum virtútis Assyriórum pulsándo aut intrándo aperíre. Sed cum veníssent ejus duces ac tribúni, et univérsi majóres exércitus regis Assyriórum, dixérunt cubiculáriis: Intráte, et excitáte illum, quóniam egréssi mures de cavérnis suis, ausi sunt provocáre nos ad praelium. Tunc ingréssus Vágao cubículum ejus, stetit ante cortínam, et plausum fecit mánibus suis: suspicabátur enim illum cum Judith dormíre. Sed cum nullum motum jacéntis sensu áurium cáperet, accéssit próximans ad cortínam, et élevans eam, vidénsque cadáver absque cápite Holoférnis in suo sánguine tabefáctum jácere super terram, exclamávit voce magna cum fletu, et scidit vestiménta sua. Et ingréssus tabernáculum Judith, non invénit eam, et exíliit foras ad pópulum, et dixit: Una múlier hebraea fecit confusiónem in domo regis Nabuchodonósor: ecce enim Holoférnes jacet in terra, et caput ejus non est in illo. Quod cum audíssent príncipes virtútis Assyriórum, scidérunt omnes vestiménta sua, et intolerábilis timor et tremor cécidit super eos, et
31 Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee.
[4 lines untranscribed.]
1 And Judith said to all the people: Hear me, my brethren, hang ye up this head upon our walls. 2 And as soon as the sun shall rise, let every man take his arms, and rush ye out, not as going down beneath, but as making an assault. 3 Then the watchmen must needs run to awake their prince for the battle. 4 And when the captains of them shall run to the tent of Holofernes, and shall find him without his head wallowing in his blood, fear shall fall upon them. 5 And when you shall know that they are fleeing, go after them securely, for the Lord will destroy them under your feet. 6 Then Achior seeing the power that the God of Israel had wrought, leaving the religion of the gentiles, he believed God, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred until this present day. 7 And immediately at break of day, they hung up the head of Holofernes upon the walls, and every man took his arms, and they went out with a great noise and shouting. 8 And the watchmen seeing this, ran to the tent of Holofernes. 9 And they that were in the tent came, and made a noise before the door of the chamber to awake him, endeavoring by art to break his rest, that Holofernes might awake, not by their calling him, but by their noise. 10 For no man durst knock, or open and go into the chamber of the general of the Assyrians. 11 But when his captains and tribunes were come, and all the chiefs of the army of the king of the Assyrians, they said to the chamberlains: 12 Go in, and awake him, for the mice, coming out of their holes, have presumed to challenge us to fight. 13 Then Vagao going into his chamber, stood before the curtain, and made a clapping with his hands: for he thought that he was sleeping with Judith. 14 But when with hearkening, he perceived no motion of one lying, he came near to the curtain, and lifting it up, and seeing the body of Holofernes, lying upon the ground, without the head, weltering in his blood, he cried out with a loud voice, with weeping, and rent his garments. 15 And he went into the tent of Judith, and not finding her, he ran out to the people, 16 And said: One Hebrew woman hath made confusion in the house of king Nabuchodonosor: for behold Holofernes lieth upon the ground, and his head is not upon him. 17 Now when the chiefs of the army of the Assyrians had heard this, they all rent their garments, and an intolerable fear and dread fell upon them, and their minds were troubled exceedingly.