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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Judith

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1 Attack of Nebuchadnezzar (1:1-3:10)
  2 Prayer of Israel (4:1-15)
    3 Words of Achior (5:1-6:13)
      4 Achior handed over to the Israelites (6:14-21)
        5 Siege of Israel (7:1-32)
          6 Persuasion of Judith (8:1-36)
            7 Prayer of Judith (9:1-14)
          8 Deception of Judith (10:1-12:9)
        9 Death of Holofernes (12:10-13:9)
      10 Return of Judith (13:11-14:10)
    11 Victory of Israel (14:11-15:7)
  12 Song of Judith (15:8-16:20)
13 Life of Judith (16:21-25)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Attack of Nebuchadnezzar (1:1-3:10)
2:19 Then he and his whole army proceeded on their expedition in advance of King Nebuchadnezzar, to cover all the western region with their chariots and cavalry and regular infantry. (2:19)
Invasion of foreign country13 Life of Judith (16:21-25)
16:25 During the life of Judith and for a long time after her death, no one again disturbed the Israelites.(16:25)
2 Prayer of Israel (4:1-15)
4:8 The Israelites carried out the orders given them by Joakim, the high priest, and the senate of the whole people of Israel, which met in Jerusalem.(4:8)
The elders of Israel12 Song of Judith (15:8-16:20)
15:8 The high priest Joakim and the elders of the Israelites, who dwelt in Jerusalem, came to see for themselves the good things that the Lord had done for Israel, and to meet and congratulate Judith. (15:8)
3 Words of Achior (5:1-6:13)
5:21 But if they are not a guilty nation, then your lordship should keep his distance; otherwise their Lord and God will shield them, and we shall become the laughing stock of the whole world. (5:21)
Protection of Israel11 Victory of Israel (14:11-15:7)
15:5 On hearing this, all the Israelites, with one accord, attacked them and cut them down as far as Choba. Even those from Jerusalem and the rest of the mountain region took part in this, for they too had been notified of the happenings in the camp of their enemies. (15:5)
4 Achior handed over to the Israelites (6:14-21)
6:20 they reassured Achior and praised him highly (6:20)
Achior came to Israel10 Return of Judith (13:11-14:10)
14:10 Now Achior, seeing all that the God of Israel had done, believed firmly in him. He had the flesh of his foreskin circumcised, and he has been united with the house of Israel to the present day. (14:10)
5 Siege of Israel (7:1-32)
7:20 The whole Assyrian camp, infantry, chariots, and cavalry, kept them thus surrounded for thirty-four days. All the reservoirs of water failed the inhabitants of Bethulia, (7:20)
Thirsty / Excessive drinking9 Death of Holofernes (12:10-13:9)
12:20 Holofernes, charmed by her, drank a great quantity of wine, more than he had ever drunk on one single day in his life.(12:20)
6 Persuasion of Judith (8:1-36)
Persuasion of Judith
Words of Judith8 Deception of Judith (10:1-12:9)
Deception of Judith

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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