Current price $34.22
Listing type Fixed Price Item
Location Commerce, CA 900** US
Quantity sold 0
Quantity available 3
Seller yourglobalmall (29254)
Seller rating 97.2% positive feedback
Format Paperback / softback, 166 pages
Recommended Age Range 12+ years
The origin of the Book of Judith has been debated for thousands of years, and is often assumed to have been written in Greek as anti-Hellenic propaganda during the Maccabean Revolt. It isn't clear why an anti-Hellenic book would have been written in Greek by an Aramaic-speaking people, however, no ancient copies of it survive in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Canaanite (Samaritan / Paleo-Hebrew). There are Hebrew translations, however, they are dated to the middle ages, 1000 years after the oldest surviving copies of the Judith found in the Septuagint. The Greek translations are remarkably consistent compared to the radically different versions of the Book of Tobit in the surviving copies of the Septuagint.The Hebrew versions of Judith are not consistent, as there are two known versions, one virtually identical to the Greek, and another shorter version. The reason the book of Judith is often considered to be anti-Greek propaganda, is derived from analysis of the Hebrew versions, in which the king has a different name from the Greek version. In the Greek version, the name of the king is Nebuchadnezzar, while in the Hebrew version his name is Antiochus, which is accepted as a reference to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the King of Seleucid Empire between 175 and 164 BC, when the Maccabean Revolt was taking place. Conversely, in the Greek version, Nebuchadnezzar is referred to as the king of Assyria, however, Assyria never had a king named Nebuchadnezzar, which is generally accepted as proof that the name Nebuchadnezzar was substituted for another name. This naturally leads to the conclusion that the name Antiochus was replaced with Nebuchadnezzar by the scribes at the library of Alexandria, in order to obscure the origin of the book as a piece of anti-Greek propaganda.There are several indicators in the book that point to the original king being Ashurbanipal, the king of Assyria between 668 and 627 BC. Ashurbanipal did fight two wars against Elam, and virtually annihilated the Elamites in the second war. Ashurbanipal also invaded Media, and during the fighting the Median king Phraortes was killed, allowing Ashurbanipal to claim victory, even though he didn't consolidate his victory and integrate Media back into the Assyrian Empire. When Ashurbanipal had launched the invasion of Media, in his 17th year, he ordered the local kings from across his empire to send troops to the war, but almost all refused, which was a general insurrection. Therefore, while committed to the war against Media, after defeating the Medians, he was eager to return to Assyria, and restore order to his empire.Even though the majority of the anachronisms can be explained by placing the story in the time of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria, there is no surviving copy of the text to prove that it was originally written with him in it. The massive number of anachronisms do make the surviving texts read as fiction in a nonsense world, which then results in the text losing any historical merit. All surviving Greek copies of Judith are essentially the same. While the Hebrew copies similar to the Greek versions, but refer to Antiochus instead of Nebuchadnezzar, however, this is equally nonsensical as it now refers to Antiochus fighting wars against kingdoms that had not existed for 500 years. Therefore two versions are included in this translation. The first is a translation of the Septuagint's Judith, including the anachronistic names, while the second is a historical restoration that used the name Ashurbanipal instead of Nebuchadnezzar, and corrects other anachronisms as much as possible. In both versions there are still references to unknown places and peoples, however, after 2700 years, it does seem likely that there would be.
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