After defeating the median king Arphaxad, the Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled in Nineveh, sent his captain Holofernes to conquer the country from Persia in the East to Sidon and tyre in the West, to punish the tribes living to the West of Assyria, the Nations because of disobedience; among them were Israelis.
Holofernes ravaged Mesopotamia, Cilicia and other lands, began to approach the "coastal country" (Phoenicia) and Judea. Upon learning of the approach of the Assyrians, the Israelites began to build the fortifications, causing the wrath of Holofernes. When Holofernes reached Estellenchs (Jezreel) valley, was that by the order of the priests at Jerusalem the narrow passage that led to Judah and to Jerusalem, the Jews blocked the nearby fortified cities of Vetulia and Betomestham.
Cristofano As Judith with the head of Holofernes. 1613
The leader of the Ammonites Achior tried to dissuade him from his punitive expedition into Judea, promising him lose, if the Israelis will continue to be faithful to God alone — as long as the Jews remain faithful to God, they are invincible. Holofernes, who believed the only God of Nebuchadnezzar, ordered to tie ahiara and "to betray into the hands of the sons of Israel"; he was taken in the mountain town of vetalog, where he was freed from the shackles of local residents and spoke about his meeting with the Assyrians.
Artemesia Gentileschi, Judith slaying Holofernes, 1612
Holofernes, on the advice of the Edomites and of the Moabites and besieged the city and blocked residents Weilai access to water, dooming them to slow death. Residents of mountain strongholds require from the elders passing it on to the Assyrians, if within 5 days no help comes from God. Judith accuses the elders that they want to put God to the test, and says:
Caravaggio, Judith slaying Holofernes, 1598
Meanwhile, a young widow, Judith, in an effort to save his hometown, put on beautiful clothes and went along with the maid (which carries a big bag of kosher food) in the camp of the Assyrians. She prays to God, asks Him to help carry out his plan, washes, umasahita incense, wearing a festive dress, decorate themselves "to deceive men's eyes that will see it" (Judith.10:4).
Artemesia Gentileschi, Judith and maidservant. 1613
Stopped her soldiers in the enemy camp, Judith declares herself a prophetess and said that he was going to include their commander easy way to capture weilue. Came to the tent of Holofernes, she told him that if the Israelites broke the commandments of God, and thus deprived himself of Its protection and is doomed to failure.
Emphasizing their piety, she promised oloferne to help punish apostates and to conduct his army to Jerusalem. For that Holofernes, captivated by her beauty and wisdom, allowed Judith to live in his camp. There she spends 3 days at night it is with the maid in the valley veteli, bathes there in the source, and the net returns to the camp.
Giorgio Vasari's Judith cuts off the head of oloferne
On the fourth day Holofernes made a feast to which he commanded to invite Judith, because "wanted to meet with her and sought to seduce her from the day I saw her." But, admiring the beauty, Holofernes was drunk herself to death, wine and fell asleep. When the servants were gone from the tent, the sleeping Judith beheaded Holofernes with his own sword and gave the severed head of her maid, hiding it in the bag with victuals. Then the mother returned to the city, showed the head of the citizens with the words:
Lucas Cranach the Elder Judith with head of Holofernes 1530
The head hang on the wall. Judith ordered the soldiers weilue to speak out against the Assyrian troops, subordinate to Holofernes went for his captain, and finding him murdered, I was horrified. The Assyrians were routed and defeated by the Israelites, departing for Damascus.
Sandro Botticelli, the Discovery of the body of Holofernes, 1472
Judith returned to weiluo, where he settled in his estate. Many wanted to see her his wife, but she refused to enter into a second marriage. She had lived 105 years, and earning everyone's respect. Judith was buried in a cave in veteli, where was the burial of her husband Manasseh.
Peter Paul Rubens Judith with the head of Holofernes gg 1620-22
Francesco Solimena, Judith with the head of Holofernes 1728-33
Antal Hoch, Judith and Holofernes 1853
Paul Drank, Judith 1888
Anatoly Voronkov, Judith 1992
Alexander Nedzvetskaya, Judith
Oleg Dozortsev, Judith
Sergey Kurakin, Judith 2004
Tatyana Kolesnik, Judith 2005
Alexander Gidulyanov, Judith with the head of Holofernes, 2007