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Topical Scripture [W9b]

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And now you are planning to make the children of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves and bondwomen. Are not you yourselves, therefore, guilty of a crime against the LORD, your God? [2CHRON 28:10]

Jeremiah also composed a lamentation over Josiah, which is recited to this day by all the male and female singers in their lamentations over Josiah. These have been made obligatory for Israel, and can be found written in the Lamentations. [2CHRON 35:25]

While Ezra prayed and acknowledged their guilt, weeping and prostrate before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites gathered about him, men, women, and children; and the people wept profusely. Then Shecaniah, the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, made this appeal to Ezra: "We have indeed betrayed our God by taking as wives foreign women of the peoples of the land. Yet even now there remains a hope for Israel. Let us therefore enter into a covenant before our God to dismiss all our foreign wives and the children born of them, in keeping with what you, my lord, advise, and those who fear the commandments of our God. Let the law be observed! Rise, then, for this is your duty! We will stand by you, so have courage and take action!" Ezra rose to his feet and demanded an oath from the chiefs of the priests, from the Levites and from all Israel that they would do as had been proposed; and they swore it. Then Ezra retired from his place before the house of God and entered the chamber of Johanan, son of Eliashib, where he spent the night neither eating food nor drinking water, for he was in mourning over the betrayal by the exiles. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should gather together in Jerusalem, and that whoever failed to appear within three days would, according to the judgment of the leaders and elders, suffer the confiscation of all his possessions, and himself be excluded from the assembly of the exiles. All the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered together in Jerusalem within the three-day period: it was in the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people, standing in the open place before the house of God, were trembling both over the matter at hand and because it was raining. Then Ezra, the priest, stood up and said to them: "Your unfaithfulness in taking foreign women as wives has added to Israel's guilt. But now, give praise to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will: separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from these foreign women." In answer, the whole assembly cried out with a loud voice: "Yes, it is our duty to do as you say!" [EZRA 10:1-12] 

Now when the seventh month came, the whole people gathered as one man in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the LORD prescribed for Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, therefore, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law. [NEH 8:1-3]

Also in those days I saw Jews who had married Ashdodite, Ammonite, or Moabite wives. Of their children, half spoke Ashdodite, and none of them knew how to speak Jewish; and so it was in regard to the languages of the various other peoples. I took them to task and cursed them; I had some of them beaten and their hair pulled out; and I adjured them by God: "You shall not marry your daughters to their sons nor take any of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves! Did not Solomon, the king of Israel, sin because of them? Though among the many nations there was no king like him, and though he was beloved of his God and God had made him king over all Israel, yet even he was made to sin by foreign women. Must it also be heard of you that you have done this same very great evil, betraying our God by marrying foreign women?" One of the sons of Joiada, son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite! I drove him from my presence. Remember against them, O my God, how they defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites! Thus I cleansed them of all foreign contamination. I established the various functions for the priests and Levites, so that each had his appointed task. [NEH 13:23-30]

When I reached manhood, I married Anna, a woman of our own lineage. By her I had a son whom I named Tobiah. [TOBIT 1:9]

At that time my wife Anna worked for hire at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do. [TOBIT 2:11]

"Be on your guard, son, against every form of immorality, and above all, marry a woman of the lineage of your forefathers. Do not marry a stranger who is not of your father's tribe, because we are sons of the prophets. My boy, keep in mind Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers from of old: all of them took wives from among their own kinsmen and were blessed in their children. Remember that their posterity shall inherit the land. Therefore, my son, love your kinsmen. Do not be so proudhearted toward your kinsmen, the sons and daughters of your people, as to refuse to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in such arrogance there is ruin and great disorder. Likewise, in worthlessness there is decay and dire poverty, for worthlessness is the mother of famine." [TOBIT 4:12-13]

Tobiah objected, however: "Brother Azariah, I have heard that this woman has already been married seven times, and that her husbands died in their bridal chambers. On the very night they approached her, they dropped dead. And I have heard it said that it was a demon who killed them. So now I too am afraid of this demon. Because he loves her, he does not harm her; but he does slay any man who wishes to come close to her. I am my father's only child. If I should die, I would bring my father and mother down to their grave in sorrow over me. And they have no other son to bury them!" Raphael said to him: "Do you not remember your father's orders? He commanded you to marry a woman from your own family. So now listen to me, brother; do not give another thought to this demon, but marry Sarah. I know that tonight you shall have her for your wife!" [TOBIT 6:14-16]

"I have given her in marriage to seven men, all of whom were kinsmen of ours, and all died on the very night they approached her. But now, son, eat and drink. I am sure the Lord will look after you both." Tobiah answered, "I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me." Raguel said to him: "I will do it. She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses. Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven! Take your kinswoman; from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved. She is yours today and ever after. And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace." [TOBIT 7:11]

All the men of Israel cried to God with great fervor and did penance - they, along with their wives, and children, and domestic animals. All their resident aliens, hired laborers, and slaves also girded themselves with sackcloth. And all the Israelite men, women and children who lived in Jerusalem prostrated themselves in front of the temple building, with ashes strewn on their heads, displaying their sackcloth covering before the Lord. The altar, too, they draped in sackcloth; and with one accord they cried out fervently to the God of Israel not to allow their children to be seized, their wives to be taken captive, the cities of their inheritance to be ruined, or the sanctuary to be profaned and mocked for the nations to gloat over. The Lord heard their cry and had regard for their distress. For the people observed a fast of many days' duration throughout Judea, and before the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty in Jerusalem. [JDTH 4:9-13]

When the men of the city saw them, they seized their weapons and ran out of the city to the crest of the ridge; and all the slingers blocked the ascent of Holofernes' servants by hurling stones upon them. So they took cover below the mountain, where they bound Achior and left him lying at the foot of the mountain; then they returned to their lord. The Israelites came down to him from their city, loosed him, and brought him into Bethulia. They haled him before the rulers of the city, who in those days were Uzziah, son of Micah of the tribe of Simeon, Chabris, son of Gothoniel, and Charmis, son of Melchiel. They then convened all the elders of the city; and all their young men, as well as the women, gathered in haste at the place of assembly. They placed Achior in the center of the throng, and Uzziah questioned him about what had happened. [JDTH 6:12-16]

The Israelites cried to the Lord, their God, for they were disheartened, since all their enemies had them surrounded, and there was no way of slipping through their lines. The whole Assyrian camp, infantry, chariots, and cavalry, kept them thus surrounded for thirty-four days. All the reservoirs of water failed the inhabitants of Bethulia, and the cisterns ran dry, so that on no day did they have enough to drink, but their drinking water was rationed. Their children fainted away, and the women and youths were consumed with thirst and were collapsing in the streets and gateways of the city, with no strength left in them. All the people, therefore, including youths, women, and children, went in a crowd to Uzziah and the rulers of the city. They set up a great clamor and said before the elders: "God judge between you and us! You have done us grave injustice in not making peace with the Assyrians. There is no help for us now! Instead, God has sold us into their power by laying us prostrate before them in thirst and utter exhaustion. Therefore, summon them and deliver the whole city as booty to the troops of Holofernes and to all his forces; we would be better off to become their prey. We should indeed be made slaves, but at least we should live, and not have to behold our little ones dying before our eyes and our wives and children breathing out their souls. We adjure you by heaven and earth, and by our God, the Lord of our forefathers, who is punishing us for our sins and those of our forefathers, to do as we have proposed, this very day." All in the assembly with one accord broke into shrill wailing and loud cries to the Lord their God. But Uzziah said to them, "Courage, my brothers! Let us wait five days more for the Lord our God, to show his mercy toward us; he will not utterly forsake us. But if those days pass without help coming to us, I will do as you say." Then he dispersed the men to their posts, and they returned to the walls and towers of the city; the women and children he sent to their homes. Throughout the city they were in great misery. [JDTH 7:19-32]

The widowed Judith remained three years and four months at home, where she set up a tent for herself on the roof of her house. She put sackcloth about her loins and wore widow's weeds. She fasted all the days of her widowhood, except sabbath eves and sabbaths, new moon eves and new moons, feast days and holidays of the house of Israel. She was beautifully formed and lovely to behold. Her husband, Manasseh, had left her gold and silver, servants and maids, livestock and fields, which she was maintaining. No one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God-fearing woman. When Judith, therefore, heard of the harsh words which the people, discouraged by their lack of water, had spoken against their ruler, and of all that Uzziah had said to them in reply, swearing that he would hand over the city to the Assyrians at the end of five days, she sent the maid who was in charge of all her things to ask Uzziah, Chabris, and Charmis, the elders of the city, to visit her. When they came, she said to them: "Listen to me, you rulers of the people of Bethulia. What you said to the people today is not proper. When you promised to hand over the city to our enemies at the end of five days unless within that time the Lord comes to our aid, you interposed between God and yourselves this oath which you took. Who are you, then, that you should have put God to the test this day, setting yourselves in the place of God in human affairs? It is the Lord Almighty for whom you are laying down conditions; will you never understand anything? You cannot plumb the depths of the human heart or grasp the workings of the human mind; how then can you fathom God, who has made all these things, discern his mind, and understand his plan? No, my brothers, do not anger the Lord our God. For if he does not wish to come to our aid within the five days, he has it equally within his power to protect us at such time as he pleases, or to destroy us in the face of our enemies. It is not for you to make the Lord our God give surety for his plans. God is not man that he should be moved by threats, nor human, that he may be given an ultimatum. So while we wait for the salvation that comes from him, let us call upon him to help us, and he will hear our cry if it is his good pleasure." [JDTH 8:4-17]

Then Uzziah said to her: "All that you have said was spoken with good sense, and no one can gainsay your words. Not today only is your wisdom made evident, but from your earliest years all the people have recognized your prudence, which corresponds to the worthy dispositions of your heart. The people, however, were so tortured with thirst that they forced us to speak to them as we did, and to bind ourselves by an oath that we cannot break. But now, God-fearing woman that you are, pray for us that the Lord may send rain to fill up our cisterns, lest we be weakened still further." Then Judith said to them: "Listen to me! I will do something that will go down from generation to generation among the descendants of our race. Stand at the gate tonight to let me pass through with my maid; and within the days you have specified before you will surrender the city to our enemies, the Lord will rescue Israel by my hand. You must not inquire into what I am doing, for I will not tell you until my plan has been accomplished." Uzziah and the rulers said to her, "Go in peace, and may the Lord God go before you to take vengeance upon our enemies!" Then they withdrew from the tent and returned to their posts. [JDTH 8:28-36]

"You, the Lord, crush warfare; Lord is your name. Shatter their strength in your might, and crush their force in your wrath; for they have resolved to profane your sanctuary, to defile the tent where your glorious name resides, and to overthrow with iron the horns of your altar. See their pride, and send forth your wrath upon their heads. Give me, a widow, the strong hand to execute my plan. With the guile of my lips, smite the slave together with the ruler, the ruler together with his servant; crush their pride by the hand of a woman. Your strength is not in numbers, nor does your power depend upon stalwart men; but you are the God of the lowly, the helper of the oppressed, the supporter of the weak, the protector of the forsaken, the savior of those without hope. Please, please, God of my forefather, God of the heritage of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all you have created, hear my prayer! Let my guileful speech bring wound and wale on those who have planned dire things against your covenant, your holy temple, Mount Zion, and the homes your children have inherited. Let your whole nation and all the tribes know clearly that you are the god of all power and might, and that there is no other who protects the people of Israel but you alone." [JDTH 9:8-14]

When the news of her arrival spread among the tents, a crowd gathered in the camp. They came and stood around her as she waited outside the tent of Holofernes, while he was being informed about her. They marveled at her beauty, regarding the Israelites with wonder because of her, and they said to one another, "Who can despise this people that has such women among them? It is not wise to leave one man of them alive, for if any were to be spared they could beguile the whole world." [JDTH 10:18-19]

"As soon as I, your handmaid, learned all this, I fled from them. God has sent me to perform with you such deeds that people throughout the world will be astonished on hearing of them. Your handmaid is, indeed, a God-fearing woman, serving the God of heaven night and day. Now I will remain with you, my lord; but each night your handmaid will go out to the ravine and pray to God. He will tell me when the Israelites have committed their crimes. Then I will come and let you know, so that you may go out with your whole force, and not one of them will be able to withstand you. I will lead you through Judea, till you come to Jerusalem, and there I will set up your judgment seat. You will drive them like sheep that have no shepherd, and not even a dog will growl at you. This was told me, and announced to me in advance, and I in turn have been sent to tell you." Her words pleased Holofernes and all his servants; they marveled at her wisdom and exclaimed, "No other woman from one end of the world to the other looks so beautiful and speaks so wisely!" Then Holofernes said to her: "God has done well in sending you ahead of your people, to bring victory to our arms, and destruction to those who have despised my lord." [JDTH 11:16-22]

On the fourth day Holofernes gave a banquet for his servants alone, to which he did not invite any of the officers. And he said to Bagoas, the eunuch in charge of his household: "Go and persuade this Hebrew woman in your care to come and to eat and drink with us. It would be a disgrace for us to have such a woman with us without enjoying her company. If we do not entice her, she will laugh us to scorn." So Bagoas left the presence of Holofernes, and came to Judith and said, "So fair a maiden should not be reluctant to come to my lord to be honored by him, to enjoy drinking wine with us, and to be like one of the Assyrian women who live in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar." She replied, "Who am I to refuse my lord? Whatever is pleasing to him I will promptly do. This will be a joy for me till the day of my death." Thereupon she proceeded to put on her festive garments and all her feminine adornments. Meanwhile her maid went ahead and spread out on the ground for her in front of Holofernes the fleece Bagoas had furnished for her daily use in reclining at her dinner. Then Judith came in and reclined on it. The heart of Holofernes was in rapture over her, and his spirit was shaken. He was burning with the desire to possess her, for he had been biding his time to seduce her from the day he saw her. Holofernes said to her, "Drink and be merry with us!" Judith replied, "I will gladly drink, my lord, for at no time since I was born have I ever enjoyed life as much as I do today." She then took the things her maid had prepared, and ate and drank in his presence. Holofernes, charmed by her, drank a great quantity of wine, more than he had ever drunk on one single day in his life. [JDTH 12:10-20]

All the people, from the least to the greatest, hurriedly assembled, for her return seemed unbelievable. They opened the gate and welcomed the two women. They made a fire for light; and when they gathered around the two, Judith urged them with a loud voice: "Praise God, praise him! Praise God, who has not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israel, but has shattered our enemies by my hand this very night... The Lord struck him down by the hand of a woman. As the Lord lives, who has protected me in the path I have followed, I swear that it was my face that seduced Holofernes to his ruin, and that he did not sin with me to my defilement or disgrace." All the people were greatly astonished. They bowed down and worshiped God, saying with one accord, "Blessed are you, our God, who today have brought to nought the enemies of your people." Then Uzziah said to her: "Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies. Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God." [Taken from JDTH 13:13-19]

For thirty days the whole populace plundered the camp, giving Judith the tent of Holofernes, with all his silver, his couches, his dishes, and all his furniture, which she accepted. She harnessed her mules, hitched her wagons to them, and loaded these things on them. All the women of Israel gathered to see her; and they blessed her and performed a dance in her honor. She took branches in her hands and distributed them to the women around her, and she and the other women crowned themselves with garlands of olive leaves. At the head of all the people, she led the women in the dance, while the men of Israel followed in their armor, wearing garlands and singing hymns. [JDTH 15:11-13]

Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women inside the royal palace of King Ahasuerus. On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he instructed Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti into his presence wearing the royal crown, that he might display her beauty to the populace and the officials, for she was lovely to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the royal order issued through the eunuchs. At this the king's wrath flared up, and he burned with fury. He conferred with the wise men versed in the law, because the king's business was conducted in general consultation with lawyers and jurists. He summoned Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven Persian and Median officials who were in the king's personal service and held first rank in the realm, and asked them, "What is to be done by law with Queen Vashti for disobeying the order of King Ahasuerus issued through the eunuchs?" In the presence of the king and of the officials, Memucan answered: "Queen Vashti has not wronged the king alone, but all the officials and the populace throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and they will look with disdain upon their husbands when it is reported, "King Ahasuerus commanded that Queen Vashti be ushered into his presence, but she would not come." This very day the Persian and Median ladies who hear of the queen's conduct will rebel against all the royal officials, with corresponding disdain and rancor. If it please the king, let an irrevocable royal decree be issued by him and inscribed among the laws of the Persians and Medes, forbidding Vashti to come into the presence of King Ahasuerus and authorizing the king to give her royal dignity to one more worthy than she. Thus, when the decree which the king will issue is published throughout his realm, vast as it is, all wives will honor their husbands, from the greatest to the least." This proposal found acceptance with the king and the officials, and the king acted on the advice of Memucan. He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, to the effect that every man should be lord in his own home. [ESTH 1:9-22]

When the king's order and decree had been obeyed and many maidens brought together to the stronghold of Susa under the care of Hegai, Esther also was brought in to the royal palace under the care of Hegai, custodian of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favor. So he promptly furnished her with cosmetics and provisions. Then picking out seven maids for her from the royal palace, he transferred both her and her maids to the best place in the harem. Esther did not reveal her nationality or family, for Mordecai had commanded her not to do so. Day by day Mordecai would walk about in front of the court of the harem, to learn how Esther was faring and what was to become of her. Each girl went in turn to visit King Ahasuerus after the twelve months' preparation decreed for the women. Of this period of beautifying treatment, six months were spent with oil of myrrh, and the other six months with perfumes and cosmetics. Then, when the girl was to visit the king, she was allowed to take with her from the harem to the royal palace whatever she chose. She would go in the evening and return in the morning to a second harem under the care of the royal eunuch Shaashgaz, custodian of the concubines. She could not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and had her summoned by name. As for Esther, daughter of Abihail and adopted daughter of his nephew Mordecai, when her turn came to visit the king, she did not ask for anything but what the royal eunuch Hegai, custodian of the women, suggested. Yet she won the admiration of all who saw her. Esther was led to King Ahasuerus in his palace in the tenth month, Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. The king loved Esther more than all other women, and of all the virgins she won his favor and benevolence. So he placed the royal diadem on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti. [ESTH 2:8-17]

Then Esther replied to Hathach and gave him this message for Mordecai: "All the servants of the king and the people of his provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king in the inner court without being summoned, suffers the automatic penalty of death, unless the king extends to him the golden scepter, thus sparing his life. Now as for me, I have not been summoned to the king for thirty days." [ESTH 4:10-11]

After Antiochus had defeated Egypt in the year one hundred and forty-three, he returned and went up to Israel and to Jerusalem with a strong force. He insolently invaded the sanctuary and took away the golden altar, the lampstand for the light with all its fixtures, the offering table, the cups and the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the golden ornament on the facade of the temple. He stripped off everything, and took away the gold and silver and the precious vessels; he also took all the hidden treasures he could find. Taking all this, he went back to his own country, after he had spoken with great arrogance and shed much blood. And there was great mourning for Israel, in every place where they dwelt, and the rulers and the elders groaned. Virgins and young men languished, and the beauty of the women was disfigured. Every bridegroom took up lamentation, she who sat in the bridal chamber mourned, And the land was shaken on account of its inhabitants, and all the house of Jacob was covered with shame. Two years later, the king sent the Mysian commander to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong force. He spoke to them deceitfully in peaceful terms, and won their trust. Then he attacked the city suddenly, in a great onslaught, and destroyed many of the people in Israel. He plundered the city and set fire to it, demolished its houses and its surrounding walls, took captive the women and children, and seized the cattle. [1MACC 1:20-32]

Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death, in keeping with the decree [Taken from 1MACC 1:60]

Priests prostrated themselves in their priestly robes before the altar, and loudly begged him in heaven who had given the law about deposits to keep the deposits safe for those who had made them. Whoever saw the appearance of the high priest was pierced to the heart, for the changed color of his face manifested the anguish of his soul. The terror and bodily trembling that had come over the man clearly showed those who saw him the pain that lodged in his heart. People rushed out of their houses in crowds to make public supplication, because the Place was in danger of being profaned. Women, girded with sackcloth below their breasts, filled the streets; maidens secluded indoors ran together, some to the gates, some to the walls, others peered through the windows, all of them with hands raised toward heaven, making supplication. It was pitiful to see the populace variously prostrated in prayer and the high priest full of dread and anguish. [2MACC 3:15-21]

Antiochus carried off eighteen hundred talents from the temple, and hurried back to Antioch. In his arrogance he planned to make the land navigable and the sea passable on foot, so carried away was he with pride. But he left governors to harass the nation: at Jerusalem, Philip, a Phrygian by birth, and in character more cruel than the man who appointed him; at Mount Gerizim, Andronicus; and besides these, Menelaus, who lorded it over his fellow citizens worse than the others did. Out of hatred for the Jewish citizens, the king sent Appollonius, commander of the Mysians, at the head of an army of twenty-two thousand men, with orders to kill all the grown men and sell the women and young men into slavery. [2MACC 5:21-24]

Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested. This intensified the evil in an intolerable and utterly disgusting way. The Gentiles filled the temple with debauchery and revelry; they amused themselves with prostitutes and had intercourse with women even in the sacred court. They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. [2MACC 6:1-5]

Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage, she exhorted each of them in the language of their forefathers with these words: "I do not know how you came into existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is composed. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shapes each man's beginning, as he brings about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law." Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words, thought he was being ridiculed. As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him, not with mere words, but with promises on oath, to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs: he would make him his Friend and entrust him with high office. When the youth paid no attention to him at all, the king appealed to the mother, urging her to advise her boy to save his life. After he had urged her for a long time, she went through the motions of persuading her son. In derision of the cruel tyrant, she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language: "Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you up, educated and supported you to your present age. I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them." She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command. I obey the command of the law given to our forefathers through Moses." [2MACC 7:20-30]

When Timothy learned of the approach of Judas, he sent on ahead of him the women and children, as well as the baggage, to a place called Karnion, which was hard to besiege and even hard to reach because of the difficult terrain of that region. [2MACC 12:21]

And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, faultless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil? He still holds fast to his innocence although you incited me against him to ruin him without cause." And Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has will he give for his life. But now put forth your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "He is in your power; only spare his life." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with severe boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself, as he sat among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, "Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do? We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?" Through all this, Job said nothing sinful. [JOB 2:3-10]

Man born of woman is short-lived and full of trouble, Like a flower that springs up and fades, swift as a shadow that does not abide. [JOB 14:1-2]

What is a man that he should be blameless, one born of woman that he should be righteous? [JOB 15:14]

How can a man be just in God's sight, or how can any woman's child be innocent? [JOB 25:4]

Thus the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his earlier ones. For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. And he had seven sons and three daughters, of whom he called the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no other women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren. [JOB 42:12-16]

See! The kings assembled, together they invaded. When they looked they were astounded; terrified, they were put to flight! Trembling seized them there, anguish, like a woman's labor, As when the east wind wrecks the ships of Tarshish! [PS 48:5-8]

God heard and grew angry; he rejected Israel completely. He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt with humans. He gave up his might into captivity, his glorious ark into the hands of the foe. God abandoned his people to the sword; he was enraged against his heritage. Fire consumed their young men; their young women heard no wedding songs. Their priests fell by the sword; their widows made no lamentation. [PS 78:59-64]

You mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; You animals wild and tame, you creatures that crawl and fly; You kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all who govern on earth; Young men and women too, old and young alike. Let them all praise the LORD'S name, for his name alone is exalted, majestic above earth and heaven. [PS 148:9-13]

Lust not in your heart after her beauty, let her not captivate you with her glance! For the price of a loose woman may be scarcely a loaf of bread, But if she is married, she is a trap for your precious life. [PROV 6:25-26]

And lo! the woman comes to meet him, robed like a harlot, with secret designs - She is fickle and unruly, in her home her feet cannot rest [Taken from PROV 7:10-11]

The woman Folly is fickle, she is inane, and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house upon a seat on the city heights, Calling to passers-by as they go on their straight way: "Let whoever is simple turn in here, or who lacks understanding; for to him I say, Stolen water is sweet, and bread gotten secretly is pleasing!" Little he knows that the shades are there, that in the depths of the nether world are her guests! [PROV 9:13-18]

A gracious woman wins esteem, but she who hates virtue is covered with shame. [Taken from PROV 11:16]

Like a golden ring in a swine's snout is a beautiful woman with a rebellious disposition. [PROV 11:22]

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than in a roomy house with a quarrelsome woman. [PROV 21:9]

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than in a roomy house with a quarrelsome woman. [PROV 25:24]

For a persistent leak on a rainy day the match is a quarrelsome woman. [PROV 27:15]

Such is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats, wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wrong." [PROV 30:20]

Under three things the earth trembles, yes, under four it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is glutted with food; Under an odious woman when she is wed, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress. [PROV 30:21-23]

Give not your vigor to women, nor your strength to those who ruin kings. [PROV 31:3]

When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms. She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed. She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: "Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. [PROV 31:10-30]

I acquired male and female slaves, and slaves were born in my house. I also had growing herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, more than all who had been before me in Jerusalem. I amassed for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings and provinces. I got for myself male and female singers and all human luxuries. I became great, and I stored up more than all others before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom, too, stayed with me. Nothing that my eyes desired did I deny them, nor did I deprive myself of any joy, but my heart rejoiced in the fruit of all my toil. This was my share for all my toil. But when I turned to all the works that my hands had wrought, and to the toil at which I had taken such pains, behold! all was vanity and a chase after wind, with nothing gained under the sun. [ECCL 2:7-11]

Behold, this have I found, says Qoheleth, adding one thing to another that I might discover the answer which my soul still seeks and has not found: One man out of a thousand have I come upon, but a woman among them all I have not found. [ECCL 7:27-28]

Tell me, you whom my heart loves, where you pasture your flock, where you give them rest at midday, Lest I be found wandering after the flocks of your companions. If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, Follow the tracks of the flock and pasture the young ones near the shepherds' camps. [SONG 1:7-8]

I am a flower of Sharon, a lily of the valley. As a lily among thorns, so is my beloved among women. [SONG 2:1-2]

How does your lover differ from any other, O most beautiful among women? How does your lover differ from any other, that you adjure us so? [SONG 5:9]

Where has your lover gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your lover gone that we may seek him with you? My lover has come down to his garden, to the beds of spice, To browse in the garden and to gather lilies. My lover belongs to me and I to him; he browses among the lilies. [SONG 6:1-3]

Before I knew it, my heart had made me the blessed one of my kinswomen. [SONG 6:12]

Give no woman power over you to trample upon your dignity. [SIRACH 9:2]

Be not intimate with a strange woman, lest you fall into her snares. [SIRACH 9:3]

Avert your eyes from a comely woman; gaze not upon the beauty of another's wife - Through woman's beauty many perish, for lust for it burns like fire. [SIRACH 9:8]

With a married woman dine not, recline not at table to drink by her side, Lest your heart be drawn to her and you go down in blood to the grave. [SIRACH 9:9]

Insolence is not allotted to a man, nor stubborn anger to one born of woman. [SIRACH 10:18]

Wine and women make the mind giddy, and the companion of harlots becomes reckless. [SIRACH 19:2]

Let anything you hear die within you; be assured it will not make you burst. When a fool hears something, he is in labor, like a woman giving birth to a child. Like an arrow lodged in a man's thigh is gossip in the breast of a fool. [SIRACH 19:9-11]

And the man who dishonors his marriage bed and says to himself "Who can see me? Darkness surrounds me, walls hide me; no one sees me; why should I fear to sin?" Of the Most High he is not mindful, fearing only the eyes of men; He does not understand that the eyes of the LORD, ten thousand times brighter than the sun, Observe every step a man takes and peer into hidden corners. He who knows all things before they exist still knows them all after they are made. Such a man will be punished in the streets of the city; when he least expects it, he will be apprehended. So also with the woman who is unfaithful to her husband and offers as heir her son by a stranger. First, she has disobeyed the law of the Most High; secondly, she has wronged her husband; Thirdly, in her wanton adultery she has borne children by another man. Such a woman will be dragged before the assembly, and her punishment will extend to her children; Her children will not take root; her branches will not bring forth fruit. She will leave an accursed memory; her disgrace will never be blotted out. Thus all who dwell on the earth shall know, and all who inhabit the world shall understand, That nothing is better than the fear of the LORD, nothing more salutary than to obey his commandments. [SIRACH 23:18-27]

Worst of all wounds is that of the heart, worst of all evils is that of a woman. [SIRACH 25:12]

No poison worse than that of a serpent, no venom greater than that of a woman. With a dragon or a lion I would rather dwell than live with an evil woman. Wickedness changes a woman's looks, and makes her sullen as a female bear. When her husband sits among his neighbors, a bitter sigh escapes him unawares. There is scarce any evil like that in a woman; may she fall to the lot of the sinner! [SIRACH 25:14-18]

Stumble not through woman's beauty, nor be greedy for her wealth; The man is a slave, in disgrace and shame, when a wife supports her husband. [SIRACH 25:20-21]

Depressed mind, saddened face, broken heart - this from an evil wife. Feeble hands and quaking knees - from a wife who brings no happiness to her husband. In woman was sin's beginning, and because of her we all die. Allow water no outlet, and be not indulgent to an erring wife. If she walks not by your side, cut her away from you. [SIRACH 25:22-25]

A meddlesome tongue can drive virtuous women from their homes and rob them of the fruit of their toil; Whoever heeds it has no rest, nor can he dwell in peace. [SIRACH 28:15-16]

A woman's beauty makes her husband's face light up, for it surpasses all else that charms the eye; And if, besides, her speech is kindly, his lot is beyond that of mortal men. [SIRACH 36:22-23]

Speak not to a woman about her rival, nor to a coward about war, to a merchant about business, to a buyer about value, to a miser about generosity, to a cruel man about mercy, to a lazy man about work, to a seasonal laborer about the harvest, to an idle slave about a great task: pay no attention to any advice they give. [SIRACH 37:11]

My children, heed my instruction about shame; judge of disgrace only according to my rules, For it is not always well to be ashamed, nor is it always the proper thing to blush: Before father and mother be ashamed of immorality, before master and mistress, of falsehood; Before prince and ruler, of flattery; before the public assembly, of crime; Before friend and companion, of disloyalty, and of breaking an oath or agreement. Be ashamed of theft from the people where you settle, and of stretching out your elbow when you dine; Of refusing to give when asked, of defrauding another of his appointed share, Of failing to return a greeting, and of rebuffing a friend; Of gazing at a married woman, and of entertaining thoughts about another's wife; Of trifling with a servant girl you have, and of violating her couch; Of using harsh words with friends, and of following up your gifts with insults; Of repeating what you hear, and of betraying secrets - These are the things you should rightly avoid as shameful if you would be looked upon by everyone with favor. [SIRACH 41:14-24]

Keep a close watch on your daughter, lest she make you the sport of your enemies, A byword in the city, a reproach among the people, an object of derision in public gatherings. See that there is no lattice in her room, no place that overlooks the approaches to the house. Let her not parade her charms before men, or spend her time with married women; For just as moths come from garments, so harm to women comes from women: Better a man's harshness than a woman's indulgence, and a frightened daughter than any disgrace. [SIRACH 42:11-14]

Solomon reigned during an era of peace, for God made tranquil all his borders. He built a house to the name of God, and established a lasting sanctuary. How wise you were when you were young, overflowing with instruction, like the Nile in flood! Your understanding covered the whole earth, and, like a sea, filled it with knowledge. Your fame reached distant coasts, and their peoples came to hear you; With song and story and riddle, and with your answers, you astounded the nations. You were called by that glorious name which was conferred upon Israel. Gold you gathered like so much iron, you heaped up silver as though it were lead; But you abandoned yourself to women and gave them dominion over your body. You brought dishonor upon your reputation, shame upon your marriage, Wrath upon your descendants, and groaning upon your domain; Thus two governments came into being, when in Ephraim kingship was usurped. But God does not withdraw his mercy, nor permit even one of his promises to fail. He does not uproot the posterity of his chosen one, nor destroy the offspring of his friend. So he gave to Jacob a remnant, to David a root from his own family. [SIRACH 47:13-22]

Happy the just, for it will be well with them, the fruit of their works they will eat. Woe to the wicked man! All goes ill, with the work of his hands he will be repaid. My people - a babe in arms will be their tyrant, and women will rule them! O my people, your leaders mislead, they destroy the paths you should follow. [ISA 3:10-12]

Seven women will take hold of one man on that day, saying: "We will eat our own food and wear our own clothing; Only let your name be given us, put an end to our disgrace!" [ISA 4:1]

Howl, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it comes. Therefore all hands fall helpless, the bows of the young men fall from their hands. Every man's heart melts in terror. Pangs and sorrows take hold of them, like a woman in labor they writhe; They look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. Lo, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and burning anger; To lay waste the land and destroy the sinners within it! [ISA 13:6-9]

When the LORD has pity on Jacob and again chooses Israel and settles them on their own soil, the aliens will join them and be counted with the house of Jacob. The house of Israel will take them and bring them along to its place, and possess them as male and female slaves on the Lord's soil, making captives of its captors and ruling over its oppressors. On the day the LORD relieves you of sorrow and unrest and the hard service in which you have been enslaved, you will take up this taunt-song against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has reached his end! how the turmoil is stilled! [ISA 14:1-4]

On that day the Egyptians shall be like women, trembling with fear, because of the LORD of hosts shaking his fist at them. [ISA 19:16]

Therefore my loins are filled with anguish, pangs have seized me like those of a woman in labor; I am too bewildered to hear, too dismayed to look. [ISA 21:3]

O LORD, oppressed by your punishment, we cried out in anguish under your chastising. As a woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so were we in your presence, O LORD. [ISA 26:16-17]

For the fortified city shall be desolate, an abandoned pasture, a forsaken wilderness, where calves shall browse and lie. Its boughs shall be destroyed, its branches shall wither and be broken off, and women shall come to build a fire with them. This is not an understanding people; therefore their maker shall not spare them, nor shall he who formed them have mercy on them. [ISA 27:10-11]

O complacent ladies, rise up and hear my voice, overconfident women, give heed to my words. In a little more than a year you overconfident ones will be shaken; The vintage will fail, there will be no harvest. [ISA 32:9-10]

The LORD goes forth like a hero, like a warrior he stirs up his ardor; He shouts out his battle cry, against his enemies he shows his might: I have looked away, and kept silence, I have said nothing, holding myself in; But now, I cry out as a woman in labor, gasping and panting. I will lay waste mountains and hills, all their herbage I will dry up; I will turn the rivers into marshes, and the marshes I will dry up. [ISA 42:13-15]

Woe to him who contends with his Maker; a potsherd among potsherds of the earth! Dare the clay say to its modeler, "What are you doing?" or, "What you are making has no hands"? Woe to him who asks a father, "What are you begetting?" or a woman, "What are you giving birth to?" Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, his maker: You question me about my children, or prescribe the work of my hands for me! [ISA 45:9-11]

I had thought: How I should like to treat you as sons, And give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful among the nations! You would call me, "My Father," I thought, and never cease following me. But like a woman faithless to her lover, even so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD. A cry is heard on the heights! the plaintive weeping of Israel's children, Because they have perverted their ways and forgotten the LORD, their God. Return, rebellious children, and I will cure you of your rebelling. [Taken from JER 3:19-22]

You now who are doomed, what do you mean by putting on purple, bedecking yourself with gold, Shading your eyes with cosmetics, beautifying yourself in vain? Your lovers spurn you, they seek your life. Yes, I hear the moaning, as of a woman in travail, like the anguish of a mother with her first child- The cry of daughter Zion gasping, as she stretches forth her hands: "Ah, woe is me! I sink exhausted before the slayers!" [JER 4:30-31]

You, now, do not intercede for this people; raise not in their behalf a pleading prayer! Do not urge me, for I will not listen to you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, while libations are poured out to strange gods in order to hurt me. Is it I whom they hurt, says the LORD; is it not rather themselves, to their own confusion? [JER 7:16-19]

The LORD answered: Because they have abandoned my law, which I set before them, and have not followed it or listened to my voice, but followed rather the hardness of their hearts and the Baals, as their fathers had taught them; therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: See now, I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink. I will scatter them among nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; I will send the sword to pursue them until I have completely destroyed them. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Attention! tell the wailing women to come, summon the best of them; Let them come quickly and intone a dirge for us, That our eyes may be wet with weeping, our cheeks run with tears. The dirge is heard from Zion: Ruined we are, and greatly ashamed; We must leave the land, give up our homes! Hear, you women, the word of the LORD, let your ears receive his message. Teach your daughters this dirge, and each other this lament. [JER 9:12-19]

Lift up your eyes and see men coming from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, the sheep that were your glory? What will you say when they place as rulers over you those whom you taught to be your lovers? Will not pangs seize you like those of a woman giving birth? [JER 13:20-21]

These are the words which the LORD spoke to Israel and to Judah: thus says the LORD: A cry of dismay we hear; fear reigns, not peace. Inquire, and see: since when do men bear children? Why, then, do I see all these men, with their hands on their loins like women in childbirth? Why have all their faces turned deathly pale? How mighty is that day - none like it! A time of distress for Jacob, though he shall be saved from it. [JER 30:4-7]

Set up road markers, put up guideposts; Turn your attention to the highway, the road by which you went. Turn back, O virgin Israel, turn back to these your cities. How long will you continue to stray, rebellious daughter? The LORD has created a new thing upon the earth: the woman must encompass the man with devotion. [JER 31:21-22]

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem to issue an edict of emancipation. Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold a man of Judah, his brother, in slavery. All the princes and the others who entered the agreement consented to set free their male and female servants, so that they should be slaves no longer. But though they agreed and freed them, afterward they took back their male and female slaves whom they had set free and again forced them into service. [JER 34:8-11]

But then you changed your mind and profaned my name by taking back your male and female slaves to whom you had given their freedom; you forced them once more into slavery. Therefore, thus says the LORD: You did not obey me by proclaiming your neighbors and kinsmen free. I now proclaim you free, says the LORD, for the sword, famine, and pestilence. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. [JER 34:16-17]

King Zedekiah, however, said to Jeremiah, "I am afraid of the men of Judah who have deserted to the Chaldeans; I may be handed over to them, and they will mistreat me." You will not be handed over, Jeremiah answered. Please obey the voice of the LORD and do as I tell you; then it shall go well with you, and your life will be spared. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD shows me: All the women left in the house of Judah's king shall be brought out to the princes of Babylon's king, and they shall taunt you thus: "They betrayed you, outdid you, your good friends! Now that your feet are stuck in the mud, they slink away." All your wives and sons shall be led forth to the Chaldeans, and you shall not escape their hands; you shall be handed over to the king of Babylon, and this city shall be destroyed with fire. [JER 38:19-23]

When the army leaders who were still in the field with all their men heard that the king of Babylon had given Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, charge of the land, of men, women, and children, and of those poor who had not been led captive to Babylon, they came with their men to Gedaliah in Mizpah: Ishmael, son of Nethaniah; Johanan, son of Kareah; Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth; the sons of Ephai of Netophah; and Jezaniah of Beth-maacah. [JER 40:7-8]

All of those whom Ishmael had brought away from Mizpah went over to Johanan, son of Kareah. But Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, escaped from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites with eight men. Then Johanan, son of Kareah, and all his army leaders took charge of the remnant of the people, both the soldiers and the women and children with their guardians, whom Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had brought away from Mizpah after he killed Gedaliah, son of Ahikim. From Gibeon, they retreated to the lodging place of Chimham near Bethlehem, where they stopped, intending to flee into Egypt. They were afraid of the Chaldeans, because Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, had slain Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made ruler in the land of Judah. [JER 41:14-18]

From all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to strange gods, from all the women who were present in the immense crowd, and from all the people who lived in Lower and Upper Egypt, Jeremiah received this answer: "We will not listen to what you say in the name of the LORD. Rather will we continue doing what we had proposed; we will burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we and our fathers, our kings and princes have done in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Then we had enough food to eat and we were well off; we suffered no misfortune. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we are in need of everything and are being destroyed by the sword and by hunger. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out libations to her, was it without our husbands' consent that we baked for her cakes in her image and poured out libations to her?" To all the people, men and women, who gave him this answer, Jeremiah said: Was it not this that the LORD remembered and brought to mind, that you burned incense in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem: you, your fathers, your kings and princes, and the people generally? The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds, the horrible things which you were doing; and so your land became a waste, a desert, a thing accursed and without inhabitants, as it is today. Because you burned incense and sinned against the LORD, not obeying the voice of the LORD, not living by his law, his statutes, and his decrees, this evil has befallen you at the present day. Jeremiah said further to all the people, including the women: Hear the word of the LORD, all you Judeans in the land of Egypt: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have stated your intentions, and kept them in fact: "We will continue to fulfill the vows we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her." Very well! keep your vows, carry out your resolutions! But listen then to the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who live in Egypt; I swear by my own great name, says the LORD, in the whole land of Egypt no man of Judah shall henceforth pronounce my name, saying, "As the Lord GOD lives." I am watching over them to do evil, not good. All the men of Judah in Egypt shall perish by the sword or famine until they are utterly destroyed. [JER 44:15-27]

Come down from glory, sit on the ground, you that dwell in Dibon; Moab's ravager has come up against you, he has ruined your strongholds. Stand by the wayside, watch closely, you that dwell in Aroer; Ask the man who flees, the woman who tries to escape: say to them, "What has happened?" Moab is disgraced, yes, destroyed, howl and cry out; Publish it at the Arnon, Moab is ruined! [JER 48:18-20]

For thus says the LORD: Behold, like an eagle he soars, spreads his wings over Moab. Cities are taken, strongholds seized: On that day the hearts of Moab's heroes are like the heart of a woman in travail. Moab shall be destroyed, no more a people, because he boasted against the LORD. [JER 48:40-42]

A sword upon the soothsayers, that they may become fools! A sword upon her warriors, that they may tremble; A sword upon her motley throng, that they may become women! A sword upon her treasures, that they may be plundered; A sword upon her waters, that they may dry up! For it is a land of idols, and they shall be made frantic by fearful things. [JER 50:36-38]

The earth quakes and writhes, the LORD'S plan against Babylon is carried out, Turning the land of Babylon into a desert where no one lives. Babylon's warriors have ceased to fight, they remain in their strongholds; Dried up is their strength, they have become women. Burned are their homes, and broken their bars. [JER 51:29-30]

How can they be called gods? For women bring the offerings to these gods of silver and gold and wood; and in their temples the priests squat with torn tunic and with shaven hair and beard, and with their heads uncovered. They shout and wail before their gods as others do at a funeral banquet. The priests take some of their clothing and put it on their wives and children. Whether they are treated well or ill by anyone, they cannot requite it; they can neither set up a king nor remove him. Similarly, they cannot give anyone riches or coppers; if one fails to fulfill a vow to them, they cannot exact it of him. They neither save a man from death, nor deliver the weak from the strong. To no blind man do they restore his sight, nor do they save any man in an emergency. They neither pity the widow nor benefit the orphan. These gilded and silvered wooden statues are like stones from the mountains; and their worshipers will be put to shame. How then can it be thought or claimed that they are gods? Even the Chaldeans themselves have no respect for them; for when they see a deaf mute, incapable of speech, they bring forward Bel and ask the god to make noise, as though the man could understand; and they are themselves unable to reflect and abandon these gods, for they have no sense. And their women, girt with cords, sit by the roads, burning chaff for incense; and whenever one of them is drawn aside by some passer-by who lies with her, she mocks her neighbor who has not been dignified as she has, and has not had her cord broken. All that takes place around these gods is a fraud: how then can it be thought or claimed that they are gods? They are produced by woodworkers and goldsmiths, and they are nothing else than what these craftsmen wish them to be. Even those who produce them are not long-lived; how then can what they have produced be gods? They have left frauds and opprobrium to their successors. [BARUCH 6:29-47]

He continued: You shall see still greater abominations that they are practicing. Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the temple, and I saw sitting there the women who were weeping for Tammuz. Then he said to me: Do you see this, son of man? You shall see other abominations, greater than these! [EZEK 8:13-15]

Then he cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer's case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer's case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children - wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men (the elders) who were in front of the temple. [EZEK 9:1-6]

Thus in your harlotry you were different from all other women. No one sought you out for prostitution. Since you gave payment instead of receiving it, how different you were! Therefore, harlot, hear the word of the LORD! [EZEK 16:34-35]

They shall burn your apartments with fire and inflict punishments on you while many women look on. Thus I will put an end to your harlotry, and you shall never again give payment. [EZEK 16:41]

They exposed her nakedness, her sons and daughters they took away, and herself they slew with the sword. Thus she became a byword for women, for they punished her grievously. [EZEK 23:10]

You sat on a couch prepared for them, with a table spread before it, on which you had set my incense and oil. Then was heard the shout of a carefree mob in the city, and these were men brought in from the desert, who put bracelets on the women's arms and splendid diadems on their heads. So I said: "Oh, this woman jaded with adulteries! Now they will commit whoredom with her, and as for her..." And indeed they did come to her as men come to a harlot. Thus they came to Oholah and Oholibah, the lewd women. But just men shall punish them with the sentence meted out to adulteresses and murderesses, for they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. [EZEK 23:41-45]

Thus I will put an end to lewdness in the land, and all the women will be warned not to imitate your lewdness. They shall inflict on you the penalty of your lewdness, and you shall pay for your sins of idolatry. Thus you shall know that I am the LORD. [EZEK 23:48-49]

In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim, who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah; her pious parents had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses. [DAN 13:1-3]

As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel, and he cried aloud: "I will have no part in the death of this woman." All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?" He stood in their midst and continued, "Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence? Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her." Then all the people returned in haste. To Daniel the elders said, "Come, sit with us and inform us, since God has given you the prestige of old age." But he replied, "Separate these two far from one another that I may examine them." After they were separated one from the other, he called one of them and said: "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term: passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says, "The innocent and the just you shall not put to death." Now, then, if you were a witness, tell me under what tree you saw them together." "Under a mastic tree," he answered. "Your fine lie has cost you your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him and split you in two." Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought. "Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah," Daniel said to him, "beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience. This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel, and in their fear they yielded to you; but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness. Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together." "Under an oak," he said. "Your fine lie has cost you also your head," said Daniel; "for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to make an end of you both." The whole assembly cried aloud, blessing God who saves those that hope in him. They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor: they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day. [DAN 13:45-62]

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