Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Bible Study Bases Itself on AMAIC's Judith Commentary

The Evangelical Catholic Study Bible®

The Bible for the restoration of the faith and unity of all Christians
revealing the most powerful new evidence ever for the absolute historical integrity and supernatural nature of the Bible,
and for the older traditions of Biblical interpretation and a complete refutation of the multitude of serious errors
in the NAB Catholic Study Bible.
The New Amplified Douay/Rheims Version© Illuminated
and in current English
© 2005 by David J. Webster, M. Div.

The 2nd Defeat of Sennacherib’s Assyrian Army in 15-Hezekiah
The Temple in Jerusalem is still standing (9:11).

2 Kings 19:34; 2 Ch. 32:19 678 BC / 700(S)

The Book of Judith is the account of a major victory of Israel over an Assyrian army at the hands of the daring Israelite heroin Judith. The book was originally written in Hebrew soon after the events by Eliakim (Joakim), the high priest of the story. The additions about Arioch and Judith’s death were made somewhat later (16:28-30)
The Historical Setting Established: Unfortunately, several serious editing changes made later by those who thought they were correcting errors have frustrated biblical scholars in placing this very significant account of this great Israeli heroine. The California Institute for Ancient Studies, correcting these errors, allows the placing of this event a year after the invasion of Sennacherib and in the 15th year of King Hezekiah. The most significant detail of this story alone (a significant defeat of a massive Assyrian army, of which Judith’s triumph was the final phase), makes this placement the only logical one. New research also shows that this timing aligns with other details of the story and significant tie-ins to the prophets Joel, Micah, Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah, and to the life of Tobit. Further, Isaiah’s prophecy to Hezekiah of a further disturbance of the land within a year of the Jerusalem deliverance (2 Kings 19:29) and a promise of yet a further deliverance for Hezekiah and Judah (2 Kings 20:6) make any other historical setting completely out of the question. The significant evidence in Isaiah that Judith’s triumph over the Assyrian king followed shortly after Sennacherib’s defeat at Jerusalem is found in 14:25; 28:5-6; 30:29-33; 33:1, 3; 37:30 and 38:6. These are all predictive promises that only fit the Judith triumph. See also 2 Chronicles 32:26. The Song of Judith also speaks of the Medes and Persians as separate outside witnesses to this triumph, which means that it was impossible that the assaulting army was Medo-Persian (See also the note at 4:2). The Douay Version actually identifies this army camp as Assyrian (16:10). Finally, in establishing Judith’s triumph as an actual historical event, Our Lord Himself made numerous references to the heroism and faith of Judith in His day according to the revelation in The Poem (I, 485; II, 63, 186; III, 812; IV, 138, 485; V, 165, 509, 511, 876).
The California Institute for Ancient Studies, following the reading of an obscure manuscript, reveals that the errors that have so confused scholars for centuries were the very same editor’s errors that have thrown confusion and doubt on the Book of Tobit. Jerome translated his Latin edition from an Aramaic text in great haste and did not help to restore confidence in the historical authenticity of this story.
The Story: This story tells how it came to be that the massive Assyrian army, which was attempting to subdue a much weakened nation of Judah in the time of Hezekiah, was utterly defeated by the faith and courage of one woman. Assyria had obliterated the ten tribes of Israel to the north of Judea nine years before, and now they had come to obliterate Judah and finish what it failed to do a year before under Sennacherib. In a daring and brave move, Judith goes out into the enemy camp in Samaria near Dothan to meet the ruthless Assyrian general herself, which, by an elaborate deception, provides her with an occasion to kill him. The amazing and courageous feat delivers the Israelites from the Assyrian threat in an utterly humiliating defeat unknown in the annals of human warfare.
Textual notations and corrections have been based on the extensive research done by Damien Mackey of the California Institute for Ancient Studies in the document: A Historical Commentary on the Book of Judith, found on their web site: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/judith.html. It should be noted that the obscured and scrambled chronology of the Assyrian kings is far from being properly understood and interpreted.

[In the Book of Judith, alternate numberings are for the RSV and NAB]
Chapter 1
Sargon/Sennacherib the last great Assyrian monarch, and Merodach-baladan, king of old Babylonia.
[1:1] IN THE twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar [I - Sargon / Sennacherib]* who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh in the days of Arphaxad [Merodach-baladan], who ruled over the Medes[Chaldeans] in Ecbatana[Babylon for 12 years]. [The RSV]
*Nebuchadnezzar here has been shown to be Sargon/Sennacherib (also one in the same person!) who actually began to rule in Babylon (as Nebuchadnezzar) a year before he began to rule in Assyria. This would mean that Arphaxad is Merodach-baladan. See Sargon is Sennacherib at: www.specialtyinterests.net/sargon.html and Historical Commentary on the Book of Judith by Damien Mackey on the California Institute for Ancient Studies’ web site:
1:1[2] NOW Arphaxad [Merodach-baladan]* king of the Medes [Chaldeans] had brought many nations under his dominions, and he built a very strong city, which he called Ecbatana [Babylon], 2[2b] of stones squared and hewed. He made its walls seventy cubits broad and thirty cubits high, and its towers he made a hundred cubits high. But on the square of them, each side was extended the space of twenty feet. 3[3,4] And he made its gates according to the height of the towers. 4[4b] And he gloried as a mighty one in the force of his army and in the glory of his chariots. *Merodach-baladan ruled in Babylon at the time that Sargon/Sennacherib ruled over the Assyrians in Nineveh (2 Kings 20:12; Isa. 39:1).
Merodach-baladan, king of old Babylonia, is overcome by Sargon after 12 years.
12-Sargon/Sennacherib. 10-Hezekiah. 683 BC
“Merodach-baladan seems to have seized Babylon immediately after the death of Shalmaneser … and it was not until the 12th year of his reign that Sargon succeeded in ousting him.” ISBE
1:5[1] Now in the twelfth year of his reign [supported in the Assyrian records], Nebuchadnezzar[I, or Sargon / Sennacherib] king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Nineveh the great city, fought against Arphaxad [Merodach-baladan] and overcame him, 6[5b] in the great plain which is called Ragae [Esdraelon - (RSV, NAB)]. He was joined by those about the Euphrates, and the Tigris, and the Hydaspes, in the plain (where Erioch [Achior (5:5) ]* [later] ruled the Elamites [Elymoeans]). 7[6,7] Then was the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar [I / Sargon / Sennacherib] exalted [and despite his “mysterious” defeat at Jerusalem by an act of providence], and his heart was elevated and he sent to all who dwelt in Cilicia and Damascus, Lebanon, 8[8] and to the nations that are in Carmelus, Cedar, to the inhabitants of Galilee in the great plain of Esdraelon, 9[9,10] to all that were in Samaria and beyond the river Jordan even to Jerusalem, and all the land of Jesse until you come to the borders of Ethiopia. 10[0] To all these Nebuchadnezzar[I / Sargon / Sennacherib] king of the Assyrians sent messengers, 11 but they all with one mind refused and sent them back empty, rejecting them without honor. [If, as we assert Sennacherib’s massive defeat and retreat from Jerusalem in 14-Hezekiah (2 Kings 19-20) took place a year before when they were struck by the hand of God, it certainly would explain this sudden widespread resistance to Assyrian authority. The fact that the coming victory through Judith would take place in Samaria would also explain why this was not included by Jeremiah in Kings or by Ezra in the Chronicles. We must remember that it was extremely important that the focus of the Jews be continually brought to the prominence of Jerusalem and Judah.]
*Achior as we discover from 5:5 ff., is a prominent personage in this story. The Book of Tobit explains that some time after the destruction of Sennacherib’s armies, the person who had been Sennacherib’s Rabshakeh (or Cupbearer) was appointed as king over Elymais (Elam) (Tobit 1:18, 21; 2:10). He is none other than Tobit’s nephew, of the tribe of Naphtali (Tobit 1:1), and at this later time he is chief administrator and royal adviser (“keeper of the seal”) under “Esarhaddon” (Ashurbanipal), who succeeded his grandfather Sennacherib (Tobit 1:21-22; 2:10). Here in 12-Sennacherib, however, Achior is only a high officer in the army. It is certainly Achior who supplies the eyewitness account of this story to Eliakim (Joakim), the high priest.
1:12 Then King Nebuchadnezzar[I / Sargon / Sennacherib] being angry against all that land, swore by his throne and kingdom that he would revenge himself of all those countries.
Chapter 2
The council of war against the west. 18-Sargon/Sennacherib. 15-Hezekiah, the year after Sennacherib was defeated at Jerusalem (See 2 Kings 20). Map 211
2:1 IN THE thirteenth year [18th year - RSV] (678 BC / 700 BC(S) of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar[I / Sargon / Sennacherib], the twenty-second day of the first month [springtime, Mch-Apr], the word was given out in the house of Nebuchadnezzar[I / Sargon / Sennacherib] king of the Assyrians, that he would revenge himself. 2 And he called all the ruling elders, all the governors, and his officers of war, and communicated to them the secret of his counsel. 3 And he said that his thoughts were to bring all the earth under his empire. 4 And when this saying pleased them all, Nebuchadnezzar[I / Sargon / Sennacherib], the king, called Holofernes* the general of his armies.
*Holofernes: There has been much talk of this name being Persian. The origin of this name is not Persian but it was given by the Jews in derision of the Assyrian goddess of war, the Morning Star and the star of Ishtar. It has three Hebrew components. Hol is from the Hebrew word “Day Star” (Heylel). Fer (the verbal component) is from the Latin name for Day Star, Lucifer (“Light Bearer”), from the verb ferre, which means to “bring” or “to bear;” and from the Greek version of the Star’s name, Hespherus, Nes is a typical ending. The name fits perfectly with Isaiah’s oracle of the fall of the future Babylonian king in Isaiah 14:12-20. “How are you fallen from Heaven, O Day Star, son of the Dawn! (From Damien Mackey’s A Historical Commentary on the Book of Judith. See www.specialtyinterests.net/judith.html, a California Institute for Ancient Studies web site.) Mackey also effectively demonstrates that “Holofernes” was indeed Esarhaddon, son of Sennacherib and heir to the throne, and that his incredibly disgraceful death on the mountains of Israel was historically obscured in the Assyrian records. Sennacherib was thus succeeded by his grandson Ashurbanipal.
2:5[5-10] And said to him: Go out against all the kingdoms of the west, and against those especially that despised my commandment. 6[11-13] Your eye shall not spare any kingdom and all the strong cities you shall bring under my yoke.

[AMAIC comment: dates still need revision]

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book of Judith and a Revision of Mesopotamian Chronology

Damien F. Mackey

In 1985, Lester J. Mitcham had attempted to identify the point of fold in the Assyrian King List [AKL], necessary for accommodating the downward revision of history.[1] He looked to bridge a gap of 170 years by bringing the formerly C12th BC Assyrian king, Ninurta-apil-Ekur, to within closer range of his known C14th BC ancestor, Eriba-Adad I.
In the same publication, Dean Hickman had argued even more radically for a lowering, by virtually a millennium, of formerly C19th BC king Shamsi-Adad I, now to be recognised as the biblical king, Hadadezer, a Syrian foe of king David of Israel.[2] [We ourselves have accepted this adjustment].
Prior to all that, Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky had of course urged for a folding of the C14th BC Kassite king {and el-Amarna correspondent}, Burnaburiash II, with the C9th BC Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, who had conquered Babylon.[3] [We have also accepted this adjustment].
And there have been other attempts as well to bring order to Mesopotamian history and chronology; for example, Phillip Clapham’s attempt to identify the C13th Assyrian king, Tukulti-Ninurta I, with the C8th BC king, Sennacherib.[4] Clapham soon realised that, despite some initially promising similarities, these two kings could not realistically be merged.[5]
Whilst all of these attempts have some merit, other efforts were doomed right from the start because they infringed against established archaeological sequences. Thus Mitcham, again, exposed Emmet Sweeney’s defence of Professor Heinsohn’s radical revision, because of its blatant disregard, in part, for archaeological fact.[6]

Here I want briefly to propose what I think can be a most compelling fold; one that (a) does not infringe against archaeology, and that (b) harmonises approximately with previous art-historical observations of likenesses between 13th-12th centuries BC and 9th-8th centuries BC art and architecture.[7] And it also has the advantage - unlike Mitcham’s and Clapham’s efforts - of (c) folding kings with the same name.
I begin by connecting Merodach-baladan I & II (also equated by Heinsohn[8]), each of 12-13 years of reign, about whose kudurrus J. Brinkman remarked:[9]

Four kudurrus ..., taken together with evidence of his building activity in Borsippa ... show Merodach-baladan I still master in his own domain. The bricks recording the building of the temple of Eanna in Uruk ..., assigned to Merodach-baladan I by the British Museum’s A Guide to the Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities ... cannot now be readily located in the Museum for consultation; it is highly probable, however, that these bricks belong to Merodach-baladan II (see Studies Oppenheim, p. 42 ...).

My proposal here involves a C12th to C8th BC fold.
But, more strikingly, I draw attention to the succession of Shutrukid rulers of Elam of the era of Merodach-baladan I who can be equated, as a full succession, with those of the era of Merodach-baladan II. Compare:

C12th BC Shutruk-Nahhunte; Kudur-Nahhunte; and Hulteludish (or Hultelutush-Insushinak)


C8th BC Shutur-Nakhkhunte; Kutir-Nakhkhunte; and Hallushu (or Halutush-Insushinak).

This is already too striking, I think, to be accidental, and it, coupled with the Merodach-baladan pairing, may offer far more obvious promise than have previous efforts of revision.
There is also lurking within close range a powerful king Tiglath-pileser, variously I & III. Common to Tiglath-pileser I/III were a love of building (especially in honour of Assur) and hunting, and many conquests, for example: the Aramaeans, with frequent raids across the Euphrates; the Hittites (with the possibility of a common foe, Ini-Tešub); Palestine; to the Mediterranean; the central Zagros tribes; Lake Van, Nairi and Armenia (Urartu); the conquest of Babylon. Just to name a few of the many similarities. I think that historians really repeat themselves when discussing these presumably ‘two’ Assyrian ‘kings’. Consider this amazing case of repetition, as I see it, from S. Lloyd:[10]

The earliest Assyrian references to the Mushki [Phrygians] suggest that their eastward thrust into the Taurus and towards the Euphrates had already become a menace. In about 1100 BC Tiglath-Pileser I defeats a coalition of ‘five Mushkian kings’ and brings back six thousand prisoners. In the ninth century the Mushki are again defeated by Ashurnasirpal II, while Shalmaneser III finds himself in conflict with Tabal …. But when, in the following century, Tiglath-pileser III once more records a confrontation with ‘five Tabalian kings’, the spelling of their names reveals the fact that these are no sort of Phrygians [sic], but a semiindigenous Luwian-speaking people, who must have survived the fall of the Hittite Empire.

I think that we should now be on safe grounds in presuming that the ‘five Mushkian kings’ and the ‘five Tabalian kings’ referred to above by Lloyd as having been defeated
by Tiglath-pileser I/III – but presumably separated in time by more than 3 centuries - were in fact the very same five kings.

If this revised scenario is acceptable, then it would absolutely demand that the C10th BC’s two-decade plus ruler of Babylon, Nebuchednezzar I, be identified with the neo-Assyrian king of similar reign-length, Sennacherib, conqueror of Babylon, whom C. Jonsson claims was actually king of Babylon a year before his becoming king of Assyria.[11] Nebuchednezzar was a noted devotee of the Assyrian god, Adad[12]. It is thought that both Sargon II and Sennacherib (whom I have previously identified as one) had, somewhat modestly, unlike Tiglath-pileser III, not adopted the title, ‘King of Babylon’, but only shakkanaku (‘viceroy’). We well know, however, that modesty was not an Assyrian characteristic. And so lacking in this virtue was Sargon II/Sennacherib, I believe, that historians have had to create a complete Babylonian king, namely, Nebuchednezzar I, to accommodate the Assyrian’s rôle as ‘King of Babylon’.

Finally, this reconstructed scenario now explains (to my satisfaction at least), why the Book of Judith (1:1) can call an Assyrian king, a ruler of Nineveh, “Nebuchadnezzar”.

[1] ‘A New Interpretation of the Assyrian King List’, Proc. 3rd Seminar of C&AH, pp. 51-56.
[2] ‘The Dating of Hammurabi’, pp. 13-28.
[3] Ages in Chaos, Vol. I, 1952.
[4] ‘Hittites and Phrygians’, C&AH, Vol. IV, pt. 2, July, 1982, p. 111.
[5] Ibid., Addenda, p. 113.
[6] ‘Support for Heinsohn’s Chronology is Misplaced’, C&CW, 1988, 1, pp. 7-12.
[7] E.g. Lewis M. Greenberg, ‘The Lion Gate at Mycenae’, Pensee, IVR III, 1973, p. 28. Peter James, Centuries of Darkness, p. 273. E. Sweeney, Ramessides, Medes and Persians, p. 24.
[8] As noted by Mitcham, ‘Support …’. Heinsohn then goes way too far and equates Merodach-baladan with Lugalzagesi of the time of Sargon of Akkad.
[9] A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia, p. 87, footnote 456.
[10] Ancient Turkey, pp. 68-69.
[11] ‘The Foundations of Assyro-Babylonian Chronology’, C&CR, vol. ix, 1987, p. 23, n. 24.
[12] Brinkman, op. cit,, p.113.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easy Access to Damien Mackey's Thesis

See below

Society for Interdisciplinary Studies
The oldest and most up to date society for catastrophist information and research

Ancient History (revised and orthodox)
Velikovsky Revisited (vol. I) and Velikovsky Revised (vol. II) is an e-book by J. Eric Aitchison available from Mikamar Publishing (http://mikamar.biz/thunderbolts-product.htm) for downloading on your computer. This 2-vol. e-book (at US$12.00 each volume) is 'a long and in-depth study' and the author's way of reconciling 'the conventional model of ancient history with the Ages in Chaos series of Velikovsky.' Although several of Immanuel Velikovsky's synchronisms are refuted by the author, at the same time he appears to remain on board 'the Velikovsky experience'. He also acknowledges the work of several other revisionists that have contributed to his own work.

'A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah and its Background', by Damien Mackey. This is Mackey's University thesis, deposited by the University of Sydney. PDF version.
CAIS (the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies) - Many articles, including 'Cyaxares: Media's Great King in Egypt, Assyria and Iran' by Gunnar Heinsohn
Empires Lost and Found - Stratigraphy and the Search for the Great Powers of the Past - article by Gunnar Heinsohn on CAIS website
Centuries of Darkness, Peter James' website on revised chronology.
Ages ln Alignment series. A 4-volume book by Emmet Sweeney. Vol. 1: 'The Genesis of Israel and Egypt', Vol. 2: ''The Pyramid Age'; Vol. 3: 'Empire of Thebes', and Vol. 4: 'The Ramessides, Medes and Persians' (an earlier version of the latter was published as a special edition of The Velikovskian, Vol. V, no. 2). Also available from Amazon.
Lisa (Aaronson) Liel's Ancient History Pages (revision). Essays and papers on ancient biblical history - and a link to the CHRONO e-mail list.
ISIS Archive - Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum (JACF). Revised chronology (of David Rohl et al).
The Revision of Ancient History - A Perspective, an introduction by John Crowe.
Chronology at the Crossroads - The Late Bronze Age in Western Asia. Book by Dr. Bernard Newgrosh. An answer to the orthodox view that Assyrian history is fixed and cannot be downdated. Supports the 'New Chronology' model in most details.
A Test of Time - by David Rohl. One of several books containing comprehensive and far-ranging evidence for redating Egyptian and biblical history (the 'New Chronology'). See the New Chronology discussion group (membership required) for details of this and Rohl's other books: The Lost Testament; Pharaohs and Kings; From Eden to Exile; and Lords of Avaris.

Taken from:


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/5973
Title: A revised history of the era of king hezekiah of judah and its background
Authors: Mackey, Damien
Keywords: revised history chronology
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: University of Sydney.
Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
Abstract: Abstract The reason why I have called this thesis a revised history for the era of king Hezekiah, and for the background to that era, is because my reconstruction of this particular period of the history of ancient Israel and of the nations associated with it will depart quite significantly from the standard text-book versions of it. My justification for blazing this unique historical trail stems from the comments made by examiners of my 1993 MA thesis, The Sothic Star Theory of the Egyptian Calendar, to the effect that: (a) I had shown the conventional chronology of ancient Egypt - to which that of the other nations (such as Assyria, Babylonia, Israel, Ethiopia and Greece) is largely tied - to be quite unsound, and that therefore, (b) the way lies open for ‘a more acceptable alternative’. Basically, this thesis is that ‘alternative’ as I see it for the era of king Hezekiah of Judah (late C8th BC), and for the background to that era (largely commencing early C9th BC). This new thesis will be an in-depth chronological analysis and realignment of the era of Hezekiah and its background with a special focus upon trying to determine, in a revised context, who were the Judaean king’s major contemporaries and what were their origins. Though Hezekiah’s era is generally quite a well-documented one, I expect to show in this thesis that it nevertheless stands in need of a substantial renovation, due especially to the over-extended Egyptian Sothic chronology and its effect upon the current version of neo-Assyrian history with which biblical historians have attempted to align the reign of king Hezekiah. The renovation to be undertaken in this thesis will reveal the era of Hezekiah to be in fact a most complex one; a meeting place for some extremely significant events in the history of Egypt/Ethiopia, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, Greece and Mesopotamia. Introductory Section I review in Chapter 1, in a general way, the problems associated with the faulty chronology of Egypt, after having, in the Introduction, set the historical scene for Hezekiah, identifying the major nations at his time, and hinting at where the problems may lie and what sort of solutions will be proposed. A new set of chronological ‘anchors’ for the reign of king Hezekiah will be suggested. VOLUME ONE: A CHRONOLOGICAL REALIGNMENT OF KING HEZEKIAH AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES Part I: In Search of ‘A More Acceptable Alternative’ to the Conventional Background for the Era of Hezekiah In Chapter 2 I take an initial step back in time, in order to introduce a conglomerate of new peoples who appeared in the ancient Near East - ‘Indo-Europeans’ as I shall be generally calling them - amongst whom, as I shall argue, were the ancestors of some of the most important kings of Hezekiah’s day. Following on from this will be the introduction, in Chapter 3, of an early C9th BC king - arising from these immigrant peoples - whom I shall proceed to identify as a great ancestor-king, affecting major kingships contemporaneous with Hezekiah. This background analysis will continue on into Chapter 4, into the mid-late C9th BC, with the introduction of a second significant king, generally thought to have been a descendant of the first, who will be of crucial dynastic importance affecting Hezekiah’s time, especially in regard to Egypt. Part II: King Hezekiah and His Mesopotamian Contemporaries Revised In this section I consider the problems that specifically relate to the era of king Hezekiah and his connections primarily with Mesopotamia (mainly Assyria and Babylonia). In the first chapter, on Judah/Israel (Chapter 5), I examine the chronology of Hezekiah’s reign in its relation to the kingdom of Israel and the major events associated with the latter. Of special interest here will be the incident of the fall of Samaria. I shall, in regard to this incident, reconsider, and alter, the current dates for king Hezekiah himself; these, I shall argue, being based upon a faulty chronology of Assyria. Related to all of this will be Chapter 6, my lengthy revision of neo-Assyrian history, in which I shall arrive at some quite startling conclusions that will serve to shave off thirty years or more from the conventional estimate. Only as a result of these reduced dates though, shall I argue, can there be attained a proper correspondence between king Hezekiah and his Mesopotamian contemporaries, with the resulting chronological realignment becoming the very foundation stone for a new chronology of Judah/Israel. This revision will continue on into Chapter 7, with Babylonia. There I shall examine the major problems and propose solutions that I think will serve to bring a chronologico-historical harmony and alignment right across the board. Part III: King Hezekiah and His Egyptian Contemporaries Revised An even more complex task than attempting to bring into proper alignment the history of Mesopotamia for the Hezekian era will be that of grounding king Hezekiah’s Egypto-Ethiopian contemporaries. My discussion here will be dependent upon the conclusions already reached in Part I, in relation to the two seminal kings of foreign origin discussed there in detail. In Chapter 8, I shall set out in summary form all of the major Egypto-Ethiopian activity - and its agents - thought to have been concurrent with the reign of king Hezekiah. Then, in Chapter 9 and Chapter 10, respectively, I shall focus upon the influence, on the nation of Egypt, of those two seminal kings already discussed, with a view later to identifying in the fullest possible way all of Hezekiah’s major Egypto-Ethiopian contemporaries. Chapter 11 will afford me with the opportunity of bringing the revised history right to the dawn of the era of Hezekiah; whilst in Chapter 12, now fully within the Hezekian era, I shall finally be able to propose specific answers - based on my lengthy (of necessity) revision of the background Egyptian history - to what will have turned out to be two extremely difficult questions to answer: namely, Who were king Hezekiah’s main Egypto-Ethiopian contemporaries (and what were their origins)? and: To which dynasties did these particular pharaohs belong? VOLUME TWO: SENNACHERIB’S INVASIONS OF HEZEKIAH’S KINGDOM AND HIS DEFEAT Part I: Sennacherib’s Invasions of King Hezekiah’s Kingdom Having attempted to establish, in VOLUME ONE, a most comprehensive, revised alignment of king Hezekiah with all of his major contemporaries, from Egypt/Ethiopia to Mesopotamia, I now proceed to tackle vexed problems associated with the king’s reign in regard to the incursions of Assyria into the Judaean kingdom. For example: Did Sennacherib king of Assyria launch a major attack on Jerusalem once or twice? and: What actually happened to Sennacherib’s army of 185,000? My revision of neo-Assyrian history has now hopefully made it possible for me to provide a firm answer to the first question, to which I shall dedicate Chapter 1. Part II: Demise of the Assyrian Army and of Sennacherib To answer the second question, I shall be drawing also upon the pseudepigraphal Book of Judith in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. This action-packed book holds, I believe, the very key to what happened to the ill-fated Assyrian army. But I must at the same time fully integrate the Book of Judith with Kings, Chronicles and Isaiah for the era of Hezekiah so that there can be no doubt about the former’s relevance. This detailed work will simply be an extension of VOLUME ONE, in which I had sought to confirm who were king Hezekiah’s contemporaries. But it will also add a fascinating new dimension to it. The Epilogue will provide me with an opportunity to discuss the aftermath of the Assyrian defeat and what befell some of the leading characters whom we shall have encountered. It will also serve as a lead-in to my Excursus on Isaiah, whose primary purpose will be to highlight the prophet’s celebrated rôle - according to this revision - in Assyria, subsequent to Israel’s victory. A reconstructed history (chronology) needs a revised stratigraphy to underpin it all. Throughout this thesis I shall also be endeavouring to lay down a sound, basic stratigraphy for king Hezekiah and his contemporaries and for the background to Hezekiah’s era.
Description: Master of Arts
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/5973
Appears in Collections:Sydney Digital Theses

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pope St. Pius X Likened Joan of Arc to Judith

Beatification of Joan of Arc

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Joan of Arc's Beatification!

The official Beatification of Joan of Arc took place in April of 1909 when the Roman Catholic Church declared her to be Blessed. This was the second step on her path to being declared a Saint by the Church having been declared Venerable in 1904. The official pronouncement by Pope Pius X was issued on April 11, 1909, and a ceremony was held in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on April 18, 1909. Below is a translation by Dylan Schrader of the pronouncement from the official Vatican record, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, for 1909.

For everlasting memory. The name of a young maiden of Orleans, noble for all time, that has already been given over to immortality and that will be inscribed officially among the blessed in Heaven, is a witness to divine power, which "has chosen what is weak in the world to confound what is strong" (1 Cor 1:27). For when in the year of our salvation 1428, civil upheavals and internal conflicts, not briefer nor less serious than a war with the English, pointed to the widespread and swift destruction of France, and no refuge or hope of rescue for the defeated seemed possible, God, who with a unique love constantly attended to this most noble of nations, called forth a woman "to free her people and gain for herself an everlasting name" (1 Macc 4:44). The whole life of the magnanimous and most patriotic Joan of Arc, called the maid of Orleans, seems to have been a fortuitous sign. Born in the town of Domremy, within the boundaries of the diocese of Toul, Joan would tend the sheep of her father near a shady grove that was once a sanctuary for the superstition of Druidism, but in that place, this uneducated and poor farm girl who had not yet completed her fifteenth year, beholding the wide view of the valley below, used to lift up her mind to him who furnished the mountains and the forests, the fields and the thickets, with such splendid adornment that they by far surpass any luxurious pomp and any lavishness of the royal purple. The only care of this girl, ignorant of the world, was to decorate the plain altar of the Virgin with flowers that she had picked, and the uproar of so terrible a war had barely reached her ears. But, when the siege of Orleans at its overthrow sapped both the town itself and the fortune of King Charles VII - for the nobles of the province of France had already yielded to the English invasion - it was, in these dire straits, to Joan attending to her usual duties in the family orchard, that the voice of Michael, the prince of the heavenly host, was heard, even as it once sounded to Judas Machabbeus, "Take up the holy sword, which is a task given by God, with which you will slay the adversaries of my people Israel" (2 Macc 15:16). This daughter of peace was roused to the things of war. At first, the maiden was astounded and afraid, but after the voices from Heaven continued, as if the divine spirit had been breathed into her, she did not at all doubt that she ought exchange the spinning wheel for the sword, and the shepherds' pipes for the sounding of trumpets.

Neither the concern of her parents nor the danger of the long journey kept her from working for God. Wherefore with simple but sublime speech, she stood in the sight of potentates and asked to be led to the king, and despite the opposing customs, rejections, and doubts, revealed to king Charles the mandate which she regarded as divinely given to her, and, relying on heavenly signs, she promised that she would free Orleans from the siege. Then God, "who gives strength to the weak, and multiplies fortitude and power for those who are not," (Is 40:29) graced this poor farm girl, who did not even know her letters, with such wisdom, teaching, military expertise, and even knowledge of the hidden things of God, that no one could deny that in her lay the salvation of the people. A following of people of various sorts from every place broke out. Soldiers well-versed in wars, rulers, and leaders, overjoyed at their newfound hope, followed the girl with praise and rejoicing. She, bearing her maiden's body upon a horse, laden with the arms of men, girded with a sword and waving in her hand a white banner interwoven with golden lilies, charged at the English, who took pride at their repeated victories. In that noble battle, not without the present assistance of God, the enemy forces were driven back and overthrown by fear, and this victorious maiden, on May 7, 1429, recovered for the people of Orleans the walls that had previously been taken. But, before she launched an assault against the invading English, Joan urged the soldiers to hope in God, to love their country, and to keep the precepts of the holy Church. Gentle, just as she had been in the care of the flock, and heroically brave, she was fearful to the enemy, but she could scarcely hold back her tears when she saw men dying. She went into battle as a leader but slew no one with the sword, remaining pure and unstained by blood, even amid the slaughter and the licentiousness of camp. Thus, it became quite clear what faith can do! The people soon took heart anew from an unexpected source, and love for their country and restored piety toward God gave added strength in the face of egregious crimes. The girl, unconquered in such great endeavors, challenged the English in many battles and finally scattered and drove back their army near the town of Patay in that most celebrated battle. She then led her king, Charles VII, in splendid triumph to Rheims to be anointed in his solemn consecration as king in that temple where Clovis I king of the Franks was washed in the purifying waters by the holy Remigius and laid the foundation of the nation of France. Thus were the enemies of the name of France fought against by Heaven. Thus, having saved her country by divine aid, the maiden of Arc fulfilled her mission. She, who was humble of heart, wanted only to return to her sheepfold and her poor dwelling, but, already fit for Heaven, she could not possess her own will. Only a short time later, while fighting, she was captured by some enemies, who could not bear that they had been defeated by a girl, and, bound in chains, she was led after various trials to be harshly imprisoned within the enemy camp, until at last in Rouen after six months, like an expiatory victim for the redemption of France, she was condemned to fire. Yet splendidly brave and merciful even in her last trial, she beseeched God to forgive those who put her to death and to keep her country and her king safe. Put on a stake and enveloped in the consuming flames, she kept her gaze fixed on Heaven, and the venerable and sweet names of Jesus and Mary were the dying girl's last words. And so, the renowned maiden achieved immortal glory, but the tale of her sanctity and the memory of her deeds has lived on in the mouths of men, especially in the city of Orleans, even up to the secular honors that have recently been given to her, and it will live on for future generations always fresh with new praise. Indeed, the praise first given to Judith seems to fall appropriately to her also, "In every nation that hears your name, the God of Israel will be magnified on your account" (Judith 13:31).

Only in more recent times has her cause begun to be pursued under the supervision of the Sacred Congregation of Rites to declare that the honors of the blessed in Heaven belong also to the Maiden of Arc, and this indeed has come to pass by divine confirmation. For in the present time, in which the Catholic world sees and is saddened by so many great evils and in which so many who hate the name of Christian feign love for their homeland because of the ruin both of state and religion, it pleases Us to celebrate the glorious example of that most courageous Maiden, so that these might remember that "to do and to undergo powerful things is characteristically Christian." We therefore have the sure hope that this venerable servant of God, now counted among the blessed in Heaven, will pray for her homeland, for which she has excellently merited the strengthening of the ancient faith, and that she will pray for the Catholic Church, for which she was most zealous, to be comforted by the return of so many of her sons who go astray. For this reason, in the year after the decree issued 6 January, 1904, after careful examination correctly undertaken according to the law, we declared by a solemn decree that the virtues of the venerable servant of God Joan of Arc, called the Maid of Orleans, reached the heights of heroism. Investigation then began regarding the miracles, which were accomplished through her intercession and at God's command, and when everything had been carried out according to the law, We, by a decree given in the vernacular on 13 December, 1908, declared the authenticity of the three miracles with supreme apostolic authority. Once a judgment had been made regarding her virtues and the three miracles, it remained to be determined whether the venerable servant of God should rightly be counted among the blessed in Heaven. Our beloved Son Ferrata, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, the secretary for her cause, presented this in a general meeting held before Us at the Vatican on 13 January last year, and all those cardinals who oversee the regulation of the sacred Rites and all those who were present as fathers consultors responded with unanimous agreement in the affirmative. But, in a matter of such serious importance, We refrained from making known Our mind, and We deferred the final judgment to another day, so that we could first pray most fervently for heavenly light. Once we had done this without hesitation, at last on 24 January of this year, on the most joyful day of the celebration of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, after solemnly offering the eucharistic sacrifice, with Cardinal Seraphino Cretoni, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Our beloved Son Ferrata, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, the secretary for her cause, and also our venerable Brother Diomede Panici, titular Archbishop of Laodicia and secretary of the same Congregation of Rites, and the Most Reverend Father Alexandro Verde, Promoter of the holy faith, in attendance We solemnly pronounced that We could rightly proceed to the solemn beatification of the venerable servant of God Joan of Arc.

Such as things are, and moved by the opinions and votes of the Sacred Bishops of all of France and of other regions, with Our apostolic authority, by force of this letter, We grant the faculty that the venerable servant of God Joan of Arc, called the Maiden of Orleans, shall henceforth be called blessed, and that images of her should be decorated with halos. Therefore by Our same authority we grant that in her honor the Office may be recited and the Mass celebrated every year from the common of Virgins with proper prayers approved by Us. We also grant that the celebration of the Mass and the recitation of the Office may take this form in the diocese of Orleans by all the faithful, whether secular or regular, who are bound to recite the canonical hours, and, as far as the Mass is concerned, by all priests coming to churches in which the same feast occurs, in accordance with the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (3862, Urbis et Orbis), given on 9 December, 1895. And finally, we grant the faculty to celebrate the rites for the beatification of the venerable servant of God Joan of Arc in the diocese and the aforementioned churches according to the norm of the decree and instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 16 December, 1902, concerning solemn celebrations on three days within a year of the beatification, which We establish may be done on days to be designated by the Ordinary within the year, once the same rites have been celebrated in the patriarchal Vatican basilica.

Notwithstanding the constitutions and apostolic ordinances and decrees given on non-veneration, and whatever else is to the contrary.

We will that altogether the same faith should be given to the printed copies of the present letter in judicial determinations as is given to this letter as a manifestation of Our will, as long as they are undersigned by the hand of the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites and stamped with the seal of the Prefect.

Given in Rome at St Peter beneath the ring of the Fisherman, on 11 April 1909. The sixth year of Our pontificate. Pope Pius X

1The Latin modo albo is a reference to the Roman practice of issuing official decrees, lists of names, etc. on white tablets.
2The Latin tertium aetatis suae lustrum = the third set of five years.
3The Latin domestico pomasio should be domestico pomario.
4The Latin is de non cultu.

Taken from:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Joan of Arc a "Second Judith"


Damien F. Mackey

This article in our “Alpha and Omega” series of BC-AD time revision will be presented along the lines of Plutarch’s parallel lives. The ancient historian Plutarch had taken certain famous characters of antiquity, Greek and Roman, and had paired them, pointing out what he considered to be the amazing similarities between their respective lives – but without ever having argued that the two were in fact one.
There is no doubt that the Jewish heroine, Judith of Bethulia (c. 700 BC), and Joan of Arc (c. 1400 AD) make a special pair; Joan of Arc having been called a “second Judith”. But I shall reserve judgment at this stage as to whether or not this was just the one historical person, Judith, since there seems to be much extant documentation in regard to the famous trial of Joan of Arc.
However, it is to be noted that one of Joan of Arc’s famous instructing ‘voices’, St. Catherine of Alexandria - like Judith, renowned for her purity and her beauty - had her feast day removed by the Church in 1969 from the General Roman Calendar.
In some ways, the story of Joan of Arc reads like an ironical, even satirical, version of the Book of Judith.
Here we are interested in the lives of our paired heroines largely from their beginning to their great military victory, comparing and contrasting them.
Introductory Comment:
Joan ‘The Maid’: Like An Old Testament Woman
Donald Spoto in Joan. The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint (Harper, 2007) has a chapter five on Joan of Arc that he entitles “The New Deborah”. And Joan has also been described as a “second Judith”. Both Deborah and Judith were celebrated Old Testament women who had provided military assistance to Israel. Let us read of what Spoto has to say on the subject, starting with comparisons with some ancient pagan women (pp. 73-74):
Joan was not the only woman in history to inspire and to give direction to soldiers. The Greek poet Telesilla was famous for saving the city of Argos from attack by Spartan troops in the fifth century B.C. In first-century Britain, Queen Boudicca [Boadicea] led an uprising against the occupying Roman forces. In the third century Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra (latter-day Syria), declared her independence of the Roman Empire and seized Egypt and much of Asia Minor. Africa had its rebel queen Gwedit, or Yodit, in the tenth century. In the seventh appeared Sikelgaita, a Lombard princess who frequently accompanied her husband, Robert, on his Byzantine military campaigns, in which she fought in full armor, rallying Robert’s troops when they were initially repulsed by the Byzantine army. In the twelfth century Eleanor of Aquitaine took part in the Second Crusade, and in the fourteenth century Joanna, Countess of Montfort, took up arms after her husband died in order to protect the rights of her son, the Duke of Brittany. She organized resistance and dressed in full armor, led a raid of knights that successfully destroyed one of the enemy’s rear camps.
Joan [of Arc] was not a queen, a princess, a noblewoman or a respected poet with public support. She went to her task at enormous physical risk of both her virginity and her life, and at considerable risk of a loss of both reputation and influence. The English, for example, constantly referred to her as the prostitute: to them, she must have been; otherwise, why would she travel with an army of men?
Yet Joan was undeterred by peril or slander, precisely because of her confidence that God was their captain and leader. She often said that if she had been unsure of that, she would not have risked such obvious danger but would have kept to her simple, rural life in Domrémy.
[End of quote]
Some of these above-mentioned heroines, or amazons, can probably actually be identified with the famous Judith herself - gradually being transformed from an heroic Old Testament woman into an armour-bearing warrior on horseback, sometimes even suffering capture, torture and death - whose celebrated beauty and/or siege victory I have argued on many occasions was picked up in non-Hebrew ‘history’, or mythologies: e.g. the legendary Helen of Troy is probably based on Judith, at least in relation to her beauty and a famous siege, rather than to any military noüs on Helen’s part; and, in the Lindian Chronicle of the Greco-Persian wars, in a siege of the island of Hellas by admiral Darius, also involving a crucial five-day period, as in the Book of Judith, the goddess Athene takes the place of Judith in the rôle of the heroine, to oversee a successful lifting of the siege. In the name Iodit (Gwedit) above, the name Judith can, I think, be clearly recognised. And, re the possibility of Judith’s having been represented by the Greeks as a “poet” (with reference to the city-saving “Greek poet Telesilla” above), see my recent article, Judith in her increasing fame as “the Prophtess Huldah”, in which I have suggested that the mystical and musical Judith was even the model for the famous ‘Greek’ poet Sappho.
In the same article, I had proposed that the wisdom-filled Judith might even have been the model, too, for the interesting and highly intelligent and philosophically-minded Hypatia of Alexandria. Now I find in the Wikipedia article, “Catherine of Alexandria”, that (i) the latter is also likened to Hypatia, and that (ii) Hypatia is said to have lived 105 years (Judith’s very age: see Book of Judith 16:23) before Hypatia’s death:
Historians such as Harold Thayler Davis believe that Catherine ('the pure one') may not have existed and that she was more an ideal exemplary figure than a historical one.[11] She did certainly form an exemplary counterpart to the pagan philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria in the medieval mindset; and it has been suggested that she was invented specifically for that purpose. Like Hypatia, she is said to have been highly learned (in philosophy and theology), very beautiful, sexually pure, and to have been brutally murdered for publicly stating her beliefs. Catherine is placed 105 years before Hypatia's death, although the first records mentioning her are much later.
Because of the fabulous character of the account of her martyrdom and the lack of reliable documentation, the Roman Catholic Church in 1969 removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar.[12] But she continued to be commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on November 25.[13] In 2002, her feast was restored to the General Roman Calendar as an optional memorial.
Finally, as according to tradition, she not only remained a virgin by governing her passions and conquered her executioners by wearying their patience, but triumphed in science by closing the mouths of sophists, her intercession was implored by theologians, apologists, pulpit orators, and philosophers. Before studying, writing, or preaching, they besought her to illumine their minds, guide their pens, and impart eloquence to their words. This devotion to St. Catherine which assumed such vast proportions in Europe after the Crusades, received additional éclat in France in the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it was rumored that she had spoken to Joan of Arc and, together with St. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser.
[End of quote]
Now, continuing on with Spoto (p. 82):
It was not [Joan of Arc’s] military expertise that won her the enduring loyalty of her people; it was rather Joan’s utter and complete fidelity toward God that evoked reverence. Thus little time passed before poets and chroniclers compared her to Deborah, Esther and Judith, formidable women in the Hebrew Scriptures who heeded messages from God and brought relief to their people at critical times. Deborah victoriously led a coalition of tribal militias against a Canaanite army. Another threat to the Hebrew people was put down through the intervention of Esther, and Judith was a faithful widow who captivated and then decapitated the Assyrian general Holofernes. Joan did not share the bloodlust of these ancient heroines, but she was regarded as in their tradition, equally patriotic and just as effective on behalf of her nation. As early as the summer [of 1429], the Hebrew heroines appear in a famous poem about the Maid by Christine de Pisan, written and circulated in July 1429.
[End of quote]
Joan of Arc: Like An Ironical Version of the Book of Judith
Some aspects of the story of Joan of Arc read a bit like an ironical, even caricature, version of the book of Judith. Joan the Maid shows the utmost deference and respect towards the Dauphin, Charles VII, both representing the French. The Dauphin himself, though, seems to be a character most undeserving of any such respect. He is weak, vacillating, vain and treacherous. A similar opinion of the Dauphin Charles can be gauged from the New Advent site (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08409c.htm) (quoting H. Thurston (1910). St. Joan of Arc. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company):
No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate. If military force had not availed, they had prisoners like the Earl of Suffolk in their hands, for whom she could have been exchanged. Joan was sold by John of Luxembourg to the English for a sum which would amount to several hundred thousand dollars in modern money. There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic.
Moreover, they had a tool ready to their hand in Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, an unscrupulous and ambitious man who was the creature of the Burgundian party. ….
[End of quote]
But Joan was driven by her presumably Divinely-inspired task, according to which the Dauphin was marked out as being the favoured one. The Dauphin, though, is not fully on Joan’s side. He, characteristically, treats her with a mixture of curiosity, interest, contempt and betrayal.
Now, in the Book of Judith, all the deference and respect shown by the heroine towards a royal person is entirely faked, part of Judith’s ruse, because it is directed towards the enemy leader, Holofernes. He, somewhat like the Dauphin, had not yet been crowned Great King (of Assyria), because his father (according to my reconstructions), Nebuchadnezzar, was still at the helm, calling the shots. Judith in fact has nothing but contempt for Holofernes and the Assyrians (somewhat like Joan’s attitude towards the English). But she will tell Holofernes, very much in Joan of Arc fashion, but with complete irony in Judith’s case, that, after his victory (Judith 11:19): ‘Then I will lead you through Judea, until you come to Jerusalem; there I will set your throne. You will drive them like sheep that have no shepherd, and no dog will so much as growl at you’. Judith claimed before Holofernes to be a messenger from God who was now supposedly favouring the Assyrians (v. 19): ‘For this was told me to give me foreknowledge; it was announced to me and I was sent to tell you’.
In Joan’s case, the ruse was on the part of the Dauphin, not her. “To test her, the king had disguised himself, but she at once saluted him without hesitation amidst a group of attendants” (New Advent). Her opening words to him were direct and to the point just like Judith’s to Holofernes, and were substantially the same in fact (Spoto, p. 48): ‘My most eminent lord Dauphin, I have come, sent by God, to bring help to you and to the kingdom’. Spoto adds: “It was as direct and unadorned a summary as the Dauphin – and anyone else before or since – could ask. Help for him and for France: that was her message and her vocation”. But her reverence for the Dauphin was completely honest.
Judith, on the other hand, had nothing but contempt and irony in her heart when she had similarly, with all customary protocol, greeted Holofernes, who was - just like the Dauphin - assembled with his impressive entourage (Judith 10:23): “When Judith came into the presence of Holofernes and his servants, they all marvelled at the beauty of her face. She prostrated herself and did obeisance to him, but his slaves raised her up”. The pressure on the young girl at the time must have been enormous.
Spoto says of Joan that (p. 49): “Charles was fascinated by the seventeen-year old girl who stood calmly and confidently before him … after a brief but apparently intense private conversation, he seemed to one member of his court to be “radiant””. Certainly ‘fascination’ is one word that could also be used to describe Holofernes’ impression of the young Judith, though the biblical text uses “passion”, as well as “greatly pleased with her”, and it has “[being] merry” rather than being “radiant (Judith 12:16-17, 20):
Holofernes’ heart was ravished with her and his passion was aroused, for he had been waiting for an opportunity to seduce her from the day he first saw her. So Holofernes said to her, ‘Have a drink and be merry with us!’ …. Holofernes was greatly pleased with her, and drank a great quantity of wine, much more than he had ever drunk in one day since he was born.
Joan [Jehanne], as we read, was regarded by the enemy, the English, as a “prostitute”. And Holofernes likewise presumed Judith [Jehudith], in a camp full of men, to be fair game, saying to his chief eunuch, Bagoas (Judith 12:12): “ … it would be a disgrace if we let such a woman go without having intercourse with her. If we do not seduce her, she will laugh at us’. This Bagoas had summoned Judith to the tent of his master, Holofernes, with the words (12:13): ‘Let this pretty girl not hesitate to come to my lord to be honoured in his presence …’ . Similarly had Jean de Metz first addressed Joan (Spoto, p. 37), “M’amie [“Sweetheart” or “Honey”] …”.
Whilst Joan will eventually attend the coronation of Charles (New Advent): “…on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard, for — as she explained — "as it had shared in the toil, it was just that it should share in the victory”," Judith will not have to suffer the humiliating indignity of attending a victorious Holofernes’ being crowned in Jerusalem.
Her Reputation
Though the English, who did not know her, regarded Joan as a “prostitute”, a “witch”, and a “heretic”, those who had known her from her early days considered her always to have been a most exemplary girl (New Advent)”
Her Childhood
All the witnesses in the process of rehabilitation spoke of her as a singularly pious child, grave beyond her years, who often knelt in the church absorbed in prayer, and loved the poor tenderly.
Great attempts were made at Joan's trial to connect her with some superstitious practices supposed to have been performed round a certain tree, popularly known as the "Fairy Tree" (l'Arbre des Dames), but the sincerity of her answers baffled her judges. She had sung and danced there with the other children, and had woven wreaths for Our Lady's statue, but since she was twelve years old she had held aloof from such diversions.
[End of quote]
Rousing praise of Judith even from her childhood is likewise expressed by Uzziah, the chief magistrate of Bethulia (whom I have identified with Isaiah himself) (Judith 8:28-29):
Then Uzziah sad to her, ‘All that you have said was spoken out of a true heart, and there is no one who can deny your words. Today is not the first time your wisdom has been shown, but from the beginning of your life all people have recognized your understanding, for your heart’s disposition is right’.
Judith, too, had danced and sung and had led the women of Israel in a dance, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and being crowned with olive wreaths (15:12-14:16:1-17). But this was not in Judith’s childhood, but after the victory over the Assyrians. It was Judith, a type of Our Lady, who was thus crowned.
Her ‘Voices’
We read of this fascinating attribution to Joan of Arc in the New Advent article:
Her Mysticism: the “Voices”
It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation, whose supernatural character it would now be rash to question, which she afterwards came to call her "voices" or her "counsel." It was at first simply a voice, as if someone had spoken quite close to her, but it seems also clear that a blaze of light accompanied it, and that later on she clearly discerned in some way the appearance of those who spoke to her, recognizing them individually as St. Michael (who was accompanied by other angels), St. Margaret, St. Catherine, and others. Joan was always reluctant to speak of her voices. She said nothing about them to her confessor, and constantly refused, at her trial, to be inveigled into descriptions of the appearance of the saints and to explain how she recognized them. None the less, she told her judges: "I saw them with these very eyes, as well as I see you."
Great efforts have been made by rationalistic historians, such as M. Anatole France, to explain these voices as the result of a condition of religious and hysterical exaltation which had been fostered in Joan by priestly influence, combined with certain prophecies current in the countryside of a maiden from the bois chesnu (oak wood), near which the Fairy Tree was situated, who was to save France by a miracle. ….
[End of quote]
Re Judith’s undoubted mysticism, I wrote this in my university thesis (A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah and its Background, Vol. 2, ch. 3, p. 68):
T. Craven (Artistry and Faith in the Book of Judith, Society of Biblical Literature, Dissertation Series No. 70, Scholars Press, Atlanta, 1983), following Dancy’s view that the theology presented in Judith’s words to the town officials rivals the theology of the Book of Job … will go on to make this comment: …“Judith plays out her whole story with the kind of faith described in the Prologue of Job (esp. 1:21 and 2:9). Her faith is like that of Job after his experience of God in the whirlwind (cf. 42:1-6), yet in the story she has no special theophanic experience. We can only imagine what happened on her housetop where she was habitually a woman of regular prayer”. ….
[End of quote]
Her Virginity
Judith, like Joanna, Countess of Montfort above, became military involved on behalf of her people only after her husband had died. But she, a widow, may also have been a virgin. In the shorter Hebrew version of the Book of Judith, the heroine Judith is called, not “the widow”, but “the virgin” [Interestingly, regarding one of Joan’s ‘voices’, the beautiful Catherine of Alexandria: “Both Christine de Pizan and Geoffrey de la Tour Landry point to Catherine as a paradigm for young women, emphasizing her model of virginity and "wifely chastity."[10], “Catherine of Alexandria”, Wikipedia. Emphasis added].
. “… Joan began to identify herself as “la Pucelle” – the maid, the Virgin” (Spoto, p. 33). Spoto adds on p. 57: “To confirm that Joan was no liar when she called herself la Pucelle, “The Maid”, a group of women, under the supervision of the king’s mother-in-law, was asked to confirm that Joan was indeed a virgin. The examination was performed; she was a virgin”.
Joan’s armor was seen as a defence against any potential attempts on her chastity.
Certainly the guardianship of her chastity (virginity?) is also a strong theme in the Book of Judith. In fact Judith makes a point of telling her townspeople, upon producing the head of Holofernes from her food bag, that (Judith 13:16): ‘…I swear … that he committed no sin with me, to defile and shame me’. Judith, despite her long life, never married again (16:22): “Many desired to marry her, but she gave herself to no man all the days of her life after her husband Manasseh died and was gathered to his people”.
Joan, for her part, had actually been engaged to be married. Her decision on this was equally unusual for her time as was Judith’s, for hers. Spoto tells of it (p. 30):
Regarding her engagement, the little that survived on the record is so unusual as to be shocking for its time: she repudiated her parents’ wishes and declined the deal they had made with the boy and his family. Because the agreement to marry was a legal covenant, Joan was sued for breach of contract. Canon law, however, requires a free assent of the will in order to validate a marriage, and because that was lacking, the sacrament of matrimony could not be performed. The local bishop dismissed the case in Joan’s favor, and the rejected suitor receded into the mists of oblivion whence he had briefly emerged. This was, Joan later said, the only time she disobeyed her parents.
[End of quote]
Neither Judith nor Joan was in any way intimidated by men. Spoto (ibid., p. 31): “[Joan] was, in other words, not intimidated by men, whether they were soldiers or bishops”. Cf. Judith 8:10-36; 10:9-10, 11; 10:11-13:11.
Her Garments and Her Mission
What the heroine wears is a major theme in both stories.
Judith, who customarily “put sackcloth round her waist and dressed in widow’s clothing” (Judith 8:5), undergoes a complete ‘makeover’ in order to captivate the Assyrians. The description of her elaborate washing and dressing with the aid of her maid can be read in Judith 10:2-8. Judith will use all her feminine beauty and appeal to carry through her Divinely-inspired mission. Her beautiful appearance was her passport into the camp of the Assyrians
Joan, by contrast, will become almost man-like in order to fulfil her mission. Her much-discussed wearing of male attire (“the monstrous dress, difformitate habitus”), will, by contrast to Judith, in many ways complicate matters for her. Thus New Advent:
Finally [Joan] was suffered to seek the king at Chinon, and she made her way there with a slender escort of three men-at-arms, she being attired, at her own request, in male costume — undoubtedly as a protection to her modesty in the rough life of the camp. She always slept fully dressed, and all those who were intimate with her declared that there was something about her which repressed every unseemly thought in her regard. ….
And again from the article, “Joan of Arc”:
Joan of Arc wore men's clothing between her departure from Vaucouleurs and her abjuration at Rouen.[52] This raised theological questions in her own era and raised other questions in the twentieth century. The technical reason for her execution was a biblical clothing law.[53] The nullification trial reversed the conviction in part because the condemnation proceeding had failed to consider the doctrinal exceptions to that stricture.
Doctrinally speaking, she was safe to disguise herself as a page during a journey through enemy territory and she was safe to wear armor during battle. The Chronique de la Pucelle states that it deterred molestation while she was camped in the field. Clergy who testified at her rehabilitation trial affirmed that she continued to wear male clothing in prison to deter molestation and rape.[54] Preservation of chastity was another justifiable reason for crossdressing: her apparel would have slowed an assailant, and men would be less likely to think of her as a sex object in any case.[55]
She referred the court to the Poitiers inquiry when questioned on the matter during her condemnation trial. The Poitiers record no longer survives but circumstances indicate the Poitiers clerics approved her practice. In other words, she had a mission to do a man's work so it was fitting that she dress the part.[56] She also kept her hair cut short through her military campaigns and while in prison. Her supporters, such as the theologian Jean Gerson, defended her hairstyle, as did Inquisitor Brehal during the Rehabilitation trial.[57]
There is a constant tension in the tale of Joan about her wearing male attire or reverting back to women’s clothing:
Moreover, as one of the points upon which she had been condemned was the wearing of male apparel, a resumption of that attire would alone constitute a relapse into heresy, and this within a few days happened, owing, it was afterwards alleged, to a trap deliberately laid by her jailers with the connivance of Cauchon. Joan, either to defend her modesty from outrage, or because her women's garments were taken from her, or, perhaps, simply because she was weary of the struggle and was convinced that her enemies were determined to have her blood upon some pretext, once more put on the man's dress which had been purposely left in her way.
Neither Judith nor her ever faithful maid carried any sort of weapon into the Assyrian camp. But Judith does in the end, like Joan, get to wield a sword. It is the sword of Holofernes by which Judith will decapitate the Assyrian commander-in-chief (13:6-8); just as David had used the sword of Goliath to kill the giant.
The sword of Joan of Arc had mystical value (New Advent):
Returning to Chinon, Joan made her preparations for the campaign. Instead of the sword the king offered her, she begged that search might be made for an ancient sword buried, as she averred, behind the altar in the chapel of Ste-Catherine-de-Fierbois. It was found in the very spot her voices indicated. There was made for her at the same time a standard bearing the words Jesus, Maria, with a picture of God the Father, and kneeling angels presenting a fleur-de-lis.
Both Joan and Judith sharply divide opinion as to their character and personality. In the case of Joan, for instance, we read (“Joan of Arc”):
Documents from her own era and historians prior to the twentieth century generally assume that she was both healthy and sane. A number of more recent scholars attempted to explain her visions in psychiatric or neurological terms. Potential diagnoses have included epilepsy, migraine, tuberculosis, and schizophrenia.[60] None of the putative diagnoses have gained consensus support because, although hallucination and religious enthusiasm can be symptomatic of various syndromes, other characteristic symptoms conflict with other known facts of Joan's life. Two experts who analyze a temporal lobe tuberculoma hypothesis in the medical journal Neuropsychobiology express their misgivings this way:
"It is difficult to draw final conclusions, but it would seem unlikely that widespread tuberculosis, a serious disease, was present in this 'patient' whose life-style and activities would surely have been impossible had such a serious disease been present."[61]
In response to another such theory alleging that she suffered from bovine tuberculosis as a result of drinking unpasteurized milk, historian Régine Pernoud wrote that if drinking unpasteurized milk could produce such potential benefits for the nation, then the French government should stop mandating the pasteurization of milk.[62] Ralph Hoffman, professor of psychology at Yale University, points out that visionary and creative states including "hearing voices" are not necessarily signs of mental illness and names her religious inspiration as a possible exception although he offers no speculation as to alternative causes.[63]
Among the specific challenges that potential diagnoses such as schizophrenia face is the slim likelihood that any person with such a disorder could gain favor in the court of King Charles VII. His own father, Charles VI, was popularly known as "Charles the Mad," and much of the political and military decline that France had suffered during his reign could be attributed to the power vacuum that his episodes of insanity had produced. The previous king had believed he was made of glass, a delusion no courtier had mistaken for a religious awakening. Fears that King Charles VII would manifest the same insanity may have factored into the attempt to disinherit him at Troyes. This stigma was so persistent that contemporaries of the next generation would attribute to inherited madness the breakdown that England's King Henry VI was to suffer in 1453: Henry VI was nephew to Charles VII and grandson to Charles VI. Upon her arrival at Chinon the royal counselor Jacques Gélu cautioned,
“One should not lightly alter any policy because of conversation with a girl, a peasant... so susceptible to illusions; one should not make oneself ridiculous in the sight of foreign nations.... ”
Contrary to modern stereotypes about the Middle Ages, the court of Charles VII was shrewd and skeptical on the subject of mental health.[64][65]
Besides the physical rigor of her military career, which would seem to exclude many medical hypotheses, Joan of Arc displayed none of the cognitive impairment that can accompany some major mental illnesses when symptoms are present. She remained astute to the end of her life and rehabilitation trial testimony frequently marvels at her astuteness:
“Often they [the judges] turned from one question to another, changing about, but, notwithstanding this, she answered prudently, and evinced a wonderful memory.[66]
Her subtle replies under interrogation even forced the court to stop holding public sessions.[42] If her visions had some medical or psychiatric origin then she would have been an exceptional case.
In the case of Judith, M. Stocker (Judith Sexual Warrior. Women and Power in Western Culture, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998), for instance, who in her comprehensive treatment of the Judith character and her actions, will compare the heroine to, amongst others, the Old Testament’s Jael – a common comparison given that the woman, Jael, had driven a tent peg through the temple of Sisera, an enemy of Israel (Judges 4:17-22) – Joan of Arc, and Charlotte Corday, who had, during the French Revolution, slain the likewise unsuspecting Marat, will allow for this quite grim picture of Judith (pp. 13-15): “If viewed negatively – from an irreligious perspective, for instance, Judith’s isolation, chastity, widowhood, childlessness, and murderousness would epitomize all that is morbid, nihilistic and abortive”.
This, though, is not how her fellow Bethulians, and fellow Israelites, were to consider Judith, as we learn from their rapturous praise of her and her lasting fame (Judith 15:8-10 & 16).
Craven (op. cit., p. 95), with reference to Ruskin, writes: “Judith, the slayer of Holofernes; Jael, the slayer of Sisera; and Tomyris, the slayer of Cyrus are counted in art as the female “types” who prefigure the Virgin Mary’s triumph over Satan”.
Judith will not take with her any weapon, but will end up killing her enemy with his sword; Joan will take up and wield the sword, but will not kill anyone.
The Siege and the Heroine’s Leadership
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc):
The historian Kelly DeVries describes the period preceding her appearance with, "If anything could have discouraged her, the state of France in 1429 should have." The Hundred Years' War had begun in 1337 as a succession dispute to the French throne with intermittent periods of relative peace. Nearly all the fighting had taken place in France, and the English use of chevauchée (similar to scorched earth) tactics had devastated the economy.
Historian Stephen W. Richey explains her attraction as the only source of hope for a regime that was near collapse (ibid.):
“After years of one humiliating defeat after another, both the military and civil leadership of France were demoralized and discredited. When the Dauphin Charles granted Joan’s urgent request to be equipped for war and placed at the head of his army, his decision must have been based in large part on the knowledge that every orthodox, every rational, option had been tried and had failed. Only a regime in the final straits of desperation would pay any heed to an illiterate farm girl who claimed that the voice of God was instructing her to take charge of her country’s army and lead it to victory.[20]
Similarly Israel, by the time of Judith’s intervention, has suffered from decades of successive invasions and defeats by the Assyrians.
Both Orleans (France) and Bethulia (Israel) were strategically placed in the north, so that their fall would mean the eventual loss of the capital city. Thus the strategic importance that New Advent claims for the fort of Orleans:
The English had laid siege to Orléans, which was the only remaining loyal French city north of the Loire. Its strategic location along the river made it the last obstacle to an assault on the remainder of the French heartland. In the words of one modern historian, "On the fate of Orléans hung that of the entire kingdom."[10] No one was optimistic that the city could long withstand the siege[11]
is just like that which Judith will claim to her fellow citizens for Bethulia (8:24): ‘Therefore my brothers, let us set an example for our kindred, for their lives depend upon us, and the sanctuary – both the Temple and the altar – rests upon us’.
“Note the importance of Bethulia”, wrote R. Charles. “It was the key of the whole situation”. (The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English: with Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 1, “Apocrypha”, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1913, p. 254, n 4).
Both Judith and Joan are represented as having completely taken over from a failed male leadership up to that point, and being stunningly successful due to their total dependence on the power of God. Judith bursts on to the scene with: ‘Listen to me, rulers of Bethulia. What you have said to the people today is not right …’ (Judith 8:11). She will now advise them where they have gone wrong, and she will plan a new strategy, and then carry it right the way through, in the end giving the Israelite militia orders as to how they are to proceed tactically. This is all exactly in harmony with Joan (“Joan of Arc”):
She defied the cautious strategy that had characterized French leadership. During the five months of siege before her arrival, the defenders of Orléans had attempted only one aggressive move and that had ended in disaster. On 4 May the French attacked and captured the outlying fortress of Saint Loup, which she followed on 5 May with a march to a second fortress called Saint Jean le Blanc. Finding it deserted, this became a bloodless victory. The next day she opposed Jean d'Orleans at a war council where she demanded another assault on the enemy. D'Orleans ordered the city gates locked to prevent another battle, but she summoned the townsmen and common soldiers and forced the mayor to unlock a gate. With the aid of only one captain she rode out and captured the fortress of Saint Augustins. That evening she learned she had been excluded from a war council where the leaders had decided to wait for reinforcements before acting again. Disregarding this decision, she insisted on assaulting the main English stronghold called "les Tourelles" on 7 May.[26] Contemporaries acknowledged her as the heroine of the engagement after she sustained an arrow wound to her neck but returned wounded to lead the final charge.[27]
"...the Maiden lets you know that here, in eight days, she has chased the English out of all the places they held on the river Loire by attack or other means: they are dead or prisoners or discouraged in battle. Believe what you have heard about the earl of Suffolk, the lord la Pole and his brother, the lord Talbot, the lord Scales, and Sir Fastolf; many more knights and captains than these are defeated."
Her Letter to the citizens of Tournai, 25 June 1429; Quicherat V, pp. 125–126, trans. Wikipedia.
Even the opening of the city’s gates is what Judith also had ordered, so that she and her maid could descend into the valley and on into the camp of the Assyrians. The town magistrate, Uzziah, and Jean D’Orleans, now, for a time, become secondary figures in the drama, full of admiration for Judith, for Joan. The force is irresistible.
"The people who came after [Joan] in the five centuries since her death tried to make everything of her: demonic fanatic, spiritual mystic, naive and tragically ill-used tool of the powerful, creator and icon of modern popular nationalism, adored heroine, saint. She insisted, even when threatened with torture and faced with death by fire, that she was guided by voices from God. Voices or no voices, her achievements leave anyone who knows her story shaking his head in amazed wonder."[19]
Similarly I wrote of Judith in my thesis (ibid., p 53):
Judith’s heroic act on behalf of her people, for which she received the greatest praise and adulation from the high priest and other officials – and from the people of Israel in general – is virtually unprecedented as a single act of patriotism and enormous courage.
And this by one whom the [Book of Judith] text calls a “young girl”! It can take its place It can take its place amongst the most heroic moments throughout the entire history of the human race.
Not to us, but to God give the Glory
From beginning to end, Judith recognises herself as a creature and an instrument of an almighty and utterly powerful God. There is never any hesitation or vacillation on her part. In other versions of the Israelite triumph over Assyria (e.g. 2 Kings 19:35), the victory is attributed to an angel of God, which does not contradict the Book of Judith. Indeed, according to the Douay version of Judith, she will say (13:20): ‘But as the same Lord liveth his angel hath been my keeper both going hence [into the camp of the Assyrians], and abiding there, and returning from thence hither’. That angel may have been Michael the Archangel himself, one of Joan’s supposed ‘voices’, thought to be the protector of the Jewish people (Daniel 10:21).
Joan, too, puts all her trust in God and the same St. Michael. Though she, unlike Judith, sometimes lapses into phases of seeming uncertainty and confusion, often under extreme duress of course; an aspect of Joan of Arc that is exploited in modern film versions of her life. New Advent speaks of both the angel and the sometime confusion of the heroine:
Joan, pressed about the secret sign given to the king, declared that an angel brought him a golden crown, but on further questioning she seems to have grown confused and to have contradicted herself. Most authorities (like, e.g., M. Petit de Julleville and Mr. Andrew Lang) are agreed that she was trying to guard the king's secret behind an allegory, she herself being the angel; but others — for instance P. Ayroles and Canon Dunand — insinuate that the accuracy of the procès-verbal cannot be trusted. On another point she was prejudiced by her lack of education. The judges asked her to submit herself to "the Church Militant." Joan clearly did not understand the phrase and, though willing and anxious to appeal to the pope, grew puzzled and confused. It was asserted later that Joan's reluctance to pledge herself to a simple acceptance of the Church's decisions was due to some insidious advice treacherously imparted to her to work her ruin. But the accounts of this alleged perfidy are contradictory and improbable.
Her courage for once failed her. She consented to sign some sort of retraction, but what the precise terms of that retraction were will never be known. In the official record of the process a form of retraction is in inserted which is most humiliating in every particular. It is a long document which would have taken half an hour to read. What was read aloud to Joan and was signed by her must have been something quite different, for five witnesses at the rehabilitation trial, including Jean Massieu, the official who had himself read it aloud, declared that it was only a matter of a few lines. Even so, the poor victim did not sign unconditionally, but plainly declared that she only retracted in so far as it was God's will. However, in virtue of this concession, Joan was not then burned, but conducted back to prison.
(“Joan of Arc” article):
Joan of Arc became a semi-legendary figure for the next four centuries. The main sources of information about her were chronicles. Five original manuscripts of her condemnation trial surfaced in old archives during the 19th century. Soon historians also located the complete records of her rehabilitation trial, which contained sworn testimony from 115 witnesses, and the original French notes for the Latin condemnation trial transcript. Various contemporary letters also emerged, three of which carry the signature "Jehanne" in the unsteady hand of a person learning to write.[69] This unusual wealth of primary source material is one reason DeVries declares, "No person of the Middle Ages, male or female, has been the subject of more study".[70]
And I have shown now in many articles how the triumphant victory of Judith has doninated both BC and AD literature.

Other articles in this “Alpha and Omega” series at AMAIC sites:

The Chronology of the Alpha and the Omega.
Who Was the Roman Imperial Persecutor of St. John the Evangelist?
Could Charlemagne even be the Biblical King Solomon?
Filling in all the details for the Great Prophet Jeremiah.
The Genesis of the Prophet Mohammed.
Were the Templars, or the Enemies of the Jews, Arrested on the 13th Day of the Month?
Were the Ayyubids Really “A Sunni Muslim Dynasty of Kurdish Origin”?
King Alfred Really Takes The Cake.