In Chapter 10, Judith, in all her beauty, approaches the camp of Holofernes and gets them to bring her into Holofernes tent. It’s not even that crafty how she manages to accomplish this, it just happens. It’s possible the story is brief, but if it’s really how things went down…maybe God really did get her through the gates!
Or perhaps I have this idea in my head that after so many years of warfare by this point, I just can’t see how something so simple was over looked during this timeframe. Today, if someone from the enemy’s side approached a military camp, we wouldn’t take them to see the person in charge of the group- they would undergo a few days (minimum) of investigation by the intelligence troops. Back then, maybe the equivalent would have been that she was tied and bound to something to vet her story. And by then, the elder’s oath would have been taken up on. So either, ancient people were really this incompetent, God got her in without issues, or this story isn’t actually true and was written as a sort of novel to encourage the faith.
If it’s the latter case, that doesn’t necessarily rule it out as canon- after all many are not sold on the idea that Job was a true story. It’s believed by some that the Book of Job was written by Moses to encourage faith, and explain God. Inspired by God the same way that the Greeks believed much of art was inspired by Muses. In this form, a that encourages the faith is no different than our modern fictional stories which do much the same and/or inspire a particular morality within people.
In Chapter 11, we see that Judith is sly. It’s like she took ideas from Balaam, who stood against Israel during Moses’ life and used those to talk her way into Holofernes favor. Lying is not really forbidden by God, in fact we know that God uses a lying spirit to convince Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth Gilead (spoken of in 1 Kings 22). So Judith’s subterfuge alone doesn’t necessarily violate God’s laws. The Commandment reads “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor”, not “thou shalt not lie”. Though, by this point in the story, it’s still a curiosity whether or not she is in violation of “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain”. At the very least, she does maintain that she’s not really looking to change gods though, and she even manages to get Holofernes to admit her God is a god- which is in stark contrast to how he reacted when Achior spoke on the matter a few chapters earlier. In fact, Holofernes goes so far as to say he’ll convert if she gets God to help them out.
We’ll see what happens. I won’t pass judgement on this book until we get to the end.