Buddy Ray Earl Buddy Ray Earl
Author and Humble Observer of the Human Condition
JUDITH, A Bible Story
Judith returns to Bethulia, by Botticelli
Judith Returns to Bethulia
Botticelli (Sandro Filipepi) c.1472

I’d like to recommend a short story, a whopping good read. It’s called “Judith”. It is virtually unknown, because it’s only found in the Catholic Old Testament, and everyone knows that Catholics don’t spend much time reading Bibles. Shucks, Priests get paid for that. And Protestants are so lacking in Catholic appreciation for fine art, even in scripture, that they left this Book out, sad to say. Since I doubt many of you will leap up and grab Bibles, without lots of encouragement, I’ll tell the story, in short form, from memory.

The little Jewish walled city was besieged by a mighty army. Probably Philistines, or Canaanites or somebody. The Jews, not fighters, only a scruffy lot of sheep herding subsistence farmers, and a wine merchant or two, huddled inside the walls, all hope lost. They were outnumbered hundreds to one, and their attackers were all mighty men of valor, big and bad men, every one a Jew hater. None more so than their leader, a huge man, and a fine figure of a man, never bested in battle. Something like that Russian in the Sylvester Stallone Rocky movie, I think, but in leather and brass war gear, with a heavy five foot sword. I don’t remember his title or name, so let’s call him Lord Schmuck. He deserves it. He considered Jews fit only for latrine dumping, or decorations for his spear tip. He was an excellent villain. Seven feet tall, with an evil little beard and mustache, too. Easy to dislike, unless you were a Philistine, or whatever they were. I bet his eyes were even too close together.

I warn you, there will be sex in this story. But keep in mind, sex wasn’t that important to these Jewish farmers. Adultery was on their Sin List, but someone coveting their ox, or lying about them to a judge, was way way more important to them, than a little hanky-panky. Those guys were practical, practical as all get-out.

The last sheep was eaten weeks ago, and now all the rats were gone. People prayed for rain, in hope of catching a drink. They were starting to keel over, as they prayed for deliverance. The only reason that Lord Schmuck hadn’t pillaged, raped, and killed them all, was that he was just having way to much fun to get around to it. With the provisions they’d packed in, plus all the Jew’s crops and cattle, and the barrels and barrels of wine the wine merchants hadn’t got hauled in from their vineyards yet, Lord Schmuck and his boys were having more fun than Cub Scouts at a Jamboree cook-out. With the Jewish girls they had captured, even more fun than a Cub Scout Jamboree cook-out with some-mores, artfully made by helpful little Brownie Scout girls.

The Jews had no defense, and no hope. All they had was Judith. Now, Judy was a tiny thing, but she was a drop-dead knockout. Men fainted and gasped for air for minutes after she passed by. If Bo Derrick was a ten, little Judy was a twenty, at least, and the weight she’d lost on that skimpy rat diet, had only made her even more sensational.

Judy took to putting on shows for the Philistine troops, or whatever they were, it doesn’t matter. She dressed in her finest skimpy outfits and did her cute beauty pageant walk, back and forth on the wall, while the Philistines, lets just call them that, it doesn’t matter, cheered and whistled. Now and then she grinned real big, pointed and winked, throwing in an occasional enticing tushie wiggle. Soon, Lord Schmuck was there, with his mouth hanging open, totally smitten, with sweet Judy winking and leading him on. It was True Lust, at first sight. At second, third and every other sight, too. Messages were exchanged. Love notes, probably with lots of X-es and O-es at the bottom. One evening little Judy climbed down the wall, to meet her new Sweetheart. After a meal of her father’s own lamb and his best wine, they retired to Lord Schmuck’s tent (not his real name). He posted hundreds of guards 100 feet away, all around his tent, and put out signs that read; “Do Not Disturb, Or Else”. They had a skull and crossbones on them. He wasn’t kidding. Everyone knew it. It didn’t take long for Judith and her Sweetie to be tucked into Schmuck’s big lions-fur pleasure-pallet. Now, Schmuck was a mighty man, with the stamina of ten men. But Judy Judy Judy! This little Judy “Garland plus” was a bundle of energy, one of a kind, something else, and then some.

Along about three in the morning, Lord Schmuck petered out. Totally tuckered and pooped. Completely exhausted, he dozed off. Surprisingly, little dynamo Judy was still fresh as a daisy. After he was snoring soundly, Judy slipped out of bed. It took all her strength to lift his monster sword, but she did, and, with a couple good chops, cut off his head. She stuck the head in a pillowcase, sneaked under the back of the tent, and back to town. The guards were all looking the wrong way.

The next morning, the Philistines saw a terrifying sight. Little Judy, on the wall, with a mob of scruffy, half starved, and loudly jeering Jews. And, of course, their Lord Schmuck’s head, on a pole.

Those Philistines spooked. They really freaked out. There was no way that little gal could have overcome their mightiest hero, or got through their guards, either. They’d heard some really spooky stories about Jews, about some real scary supernatural carryings on in Egypt. No telling what horrible and spooky thing might happen next. They lit out for home, fast as they could run, some of them half naked, leaving everything behind, and devil take the hindmost.

The townsfolk came out, hooting at the retreating Philistines. They stoked up the fires, cooked and feasted, in joyous celebration, sorting out their new tents, gear, and loot. Little Judith, no fool, gave their God full credit for the beheading, her sexual stamina, and everything else. I think Judy got the Lions-Fur bed, and the sword. She earned it. Maybe the head, too, I don't remember. And a gold medal reading “Judy, God's Own Hero”.

I don’t know how Cecil B. De Mille missed this story. Maybe he was a Protestant. If I ever made a movie, this would be it. This story has everything. A knockout beautiful heroine, against an evil and invincible opponent. Helpless good people, sharing each other’s suffering, and overcoming impossible odds. Sex and violence aplenty, but to a good end. I'd start the movie with Schmuck doing something really mean to Judy's little sister. And of course, I'd stretch and milk the seduction for all it was worth. I might even have Judy like Schmuck’s better qualities, and hesitate and shed one tear, before she gritted her teeth and whacked off his head. The background color scenes alone could fill hours of film entertainment. What could equal it? I’d just love to write the screenplay. It illuminates history, too. Now we know what ancient Jews did, without James Bond or Star Wars movies. They sat around telling stories about men swallowed by whales, talking snakes in fine gardens, and Moses showing up the Egyptians. And, of course, about a pretty little gal named Judith. I don’t recommend this story for spiritual enlightenment. I think the only reason it’s in the Bible at all is that it’s just way too good a tale to leave out. A bit like The Song of Solomon, but homelier, and with less fruit, and no pretty gamboling animal references. There is a real lesson in “Judith”', though. Never ever, ever mess with anyone named Judy!

If you don’t believe it, read it. It's wonderful!

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