Penjelasan tentang kitab Yudit secara historis

Pertanyaan:

Yth katolisitas,
Saya ingin tahu lebih banyak mengenai kitab yudit. Kitab Yudit tergolong dalam kitab sejarah. Namun, dari berbagai sumber, dikatakan bahwa kitab yudit ini memuat kesalahan-kesalahan sejarah seperti nebukadnezar yang dinyatakan sebagai raja asyur. Lalu bagaimana mindset yang benar dalam memahami kitab yudit ini?
Terima kasih – Phill

Jawaban:

Shalom Phill,

Para Bapa Gereja dan para ahli kitab suci (exegetes) sebelum Vatican II (sampai sekitar tahun 60-an) melihat Kitab Yudit sebagai kitab yang berdasarkan sejarah (historical narrative), dan menurut saya, seharusnya kitapun bersikap demikian. Mari bersama kita melihat beberapa alasannya:

1) St. Clement dari Roma (95) dalam suratnya kepada jemaat di Korintus adalah Bapa Gereja yang pertama yang mengajarkan bahwa Yudit merupakan gambaran dari Bunda Maria. Yudit, dengan kerendahan hatinya, memberikan dirinya untuk karya Tuhan mengalahkan Iblis, yang digambarkan oleh Holofernes. St. Ambrosius (374) dalam On Duties of the Clergy, juga memuji Yudit sebagai teladan kebajikan. St. Clement dari Alexandria, Origen dan Tertullian juga mengutip Kitab Yudit dalam tulisan-tulisan mereka. Tentu sangat ganjil jika Yudit yang dikatakan sebagai proto-tipe Bunda Maria ini hanya merupakan tokoh fantasi.

2) Begitu banyaknya referensi kepada data sejarah dalam kitab itu, misalnya saja nama-nama penguasa, pertempuran, genealogy Yudit yang mencakup 16 generasi (Yud 8), mengacu pada bagaimana sang penulis ingin menujukkan bahwa Yudit adalah seorang figur nyata dalam sejarah Israel.

3) Tidak ditemukannya bukti sejarah yang lengkap bukan berarti bahwa segala isi dalam Kitab Yudit tersebut sebagai ‘kiasan/ allegory’. Apalagi jika kemudian, ditemukan bukti sejarah yang kemungkinan mendukung kebenaran Kitab Yudit ini.

4) Kita harus melihat bahwa dengan data yang kita ketahui dari Kitab Yudit itu, maka para ahli Kitab Suci hanya dapat melakukan perkiraan kejadian sesungguhnya namun tidak dapat diketahui secara pasti mana yang pasti benar. Hanya tentu saja, jika bukti-bukti kemudian ditemukan, fakta akan semakin terungkap. Namun sikap exegete yang benar adalah berusaha melihat kemungkinan fakta yang terjadi sesuai dengan narasi dalam alkitab, dan bukannya langsung berkesimpulan bahwa Kitab tertentu tidak historis, hanya karena mereka belum dapat menemukan ‘benang merah’ antara fakta sejarah dan narasi Alkitab.

Walaupun demikian, mari kita melihat keberatan yang ditujukan oleh para modern exegetes, yang berpendapat bahwa Kitab Yudit bukan merupakan kitab yang berdasarkan sejarah, dan hanya mengandung pengajaran saja, sehingga sepertinya dianggap sebagai ‘edifying fantasy’. Keberatan utama yang mereka ajukan adalah karena raja Nebukadnezar yang tertera dalam Kitab itu disebut sebagai Raja Asyur di Niniwe, sedangkan melalui sejarah, raja Nebukadnezar dikenal sebagai Raja Babilon. Belum lagi beberapa keberatan seperti nama Niniwe, Bethulia, yang terdapat pada teks.

Untuk hal ini, saya pernah mengadakan studi dari beberapa sumber (ini tugas PR saya di kuliah), hanya saja, masih tertulis dalam bahasa Inggris. Karena keterbatasan waktu, saya tidak dapat menerjemahkannya. Semoga tetap berguna.

The Church Fathers and pre-Vatican II exegetes always consider the Book Judith as a historical narrative. In fact, from the profound edification found in Judith, it is unthinkable to consider the book as a mere fiction or edifying fantasy. In my opinion, to say so is almost like categorizing Judith as a pious Cinderella. This kind of thinking does not match with the teaching of the Church -that says Judith is the model of Mary, who through her Son has crushed the head of the enemy (Satan) upon her feet. In fact, it is quite absurd if we are to think that the proto-type of Mary is taken from fantasy.  Judith is a narrative of real historical events, and this is held firmly by the Church Fathers and older Catholic scholars like Athanasius Miller and Gottfried Brunner. Yet, we are aware of certain ‘problems’ that are involved in the narrative; and they deserved more attention and careful study.

There are the historical ‘problems’ alleged against the book that lead scholar to posit it to a fictional genre. First is the problem of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar is said in the beginning of the book to be a king in his 12th year of power over the Assyrians in Niniveh. Yet the historical King Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon from 605-562 BC. Moreover, Niniveh was destroyed in 612 BC (7 years before the reign of Nebuchadnezzar) and was never rebuilt. The book also mentions the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity which historically occurred in 538-458 BC and the rebuilding of the Temple which took place in 520-516BC. Achior speaks about the destruction of the Temple as a past event, thus there is a crucial contradiction at this point; since Nebuchadnezzar mentioned here cannot be the same with the one who had destroyed the Jerusalem and the Temple in 587/586 BC. Thus, who is this Nebuchadnezzar, who is described in the beginning of the Book of Judith? Also, there is no record of King Arphaxad of Media in history, likewise the campaign against him. Furthermore, the main story of Judith of killing Holofernes is also unknown in history; and the city of Bethulia can not be found in profane source.

Perhaps because of these historical difficulties, most modern scholars such as D. Harrington, Enslin and Zeitlin, and Demetrius Dumm (of the Jerome Biblical Commentary/JBC), reject the historicity of the book of Judith and categorize it as edifying fiction. Thus, they break away from the view of the Church Fathers who see Judith as the real person existed in history. By viewing the book as edifying fantasy, they invent new interpretation on Judith. The JBC and likewise the Navarre Bible consider Judith as an allegory of all Israel.

Nevertheless, we shall have the attitude like that of the Church Fathers. The problems mentioned above shall not discourage us to hold the historicity of the book of Judith. In fact, several alternatives of solution have been raised to resolve the problem of the book without abandoning its historicity, which can be described as follows:

1) The Older Catholic Solution
Nebuchadnezzar here is a pseudonym for Assurbanipal, King of Assyria (668-626). Arphaxad signifies his rebellious brother Shamashumukin king of Babylon. Historical evidence shows that Assurbanipal performed campaigns in the West. The fact that there is no record of the defeat in Bethulia does not mean that the victory never occurs, for it is logical that only victories are recorded. The fact that the leadership role is on the high priest is due to the fact that Manasseh the King of Judah had been taken to captive to Babylon.
This interpretation is valid only if we presume that the Greek text–regarding the return of the Jews from exile and the rebuilding of the temple (cf. Jdt 4:3)–is added later, for this verse is not recorded in Vulgate. (Yet, similar verses in 5.22-23 are present). The events mentioned in the verses took place in 516 BC, much later from the time of Assurbanipal.

2) Athanasius Miller’s Solution (1940)
Arguing that the leadership of the high priest is not a common practice in the pre-exilic time, and that assuming that the Greek version is the most authentic version of the original text, Miller proposes the post-exilic time (in the Persian era) for the historical time frame of the book, i.e. at the time of Artaxerxes III Ochus (359-336). Thus, Nebuchadnezzar is the pseudonym of this king. Holofernes then, refers to one of his generals, the brother of a Cappadocian king, as mentioned by the historian Diodorus Siculus. The campaign of against the west is also mentioned in this same source, and also the name of another general Bagoas. Moreover, the demand of ‘earth and water’ from the king as the symbol of subjection is present in Persian custom. Likewise, the custom of fasting and the moral value of widowhood also point to post-exilic time. The wars against Arphaxad here may refer to the war against the Persian lords.

3) Gottfried Brunner’s Solution (1959)
Like Miller, Brunner also situates the story of Judith in the Persian era. Brunner, as quoted by Claus Schedl on History of the Old Testament, based his theory on the Behistun inscription of the Persian King Darius I (522-486). From the inscription it is known about the 19 kings that had been defeated by King Darius. Two of them are named Nebuchadnezzar; one is Nebuchadnezzar III, and the other Nebuchadnezzar IV which refers to a certain ruler named Araka, who claims to be the son of Nabonidus. Brunner signifies the Nebuchadnezzar mentioned in the book of Judith with this Araka. If the claim of Araka as the son of Nabonidus is true, then it is logical if his reign is reckoned from the fall of Nabonidus who was toppled by Cyrus in 539 BC. This claim resolves the problem of Araka (Nebuchadnezzar IV) who historically was defeated by King Darius in 521 BC, yet mentioned in the Book to be defeated in Bethulia in the 18th year of his reign (Jdt 2.1). Furthermore, Araka is a contemporary of Joakim the high priest.
The second problem is about Arphaxad, whose name cannot be found in the series of kings of Media. This makes sense, for according to Schedl, Arphaxad is not a real person’s name, but a Medo-Persian title, which consists of two words, arpa and ksad, meaning ‘lord of the knights’ or ‘lord of the middle age class’. Now, Arphaxad appears two times in the Book of Judith, and historically this refers to two different persons. The first Arphaxad who had war with Nebuchadnezzar in the 12th year of his reign in Ragae, Media, refers to Bardiya, the brother of Cambyses (the successor of Cyrus) who becomes the legitimate successor of Cambyses after his death. Bardiya in Median term means the ‘Lord of the knights’; thus he is the Arphaxad. The second Arphaxad who is mentioned to be defeated in the 17th year of Nebuchadnezzar refers to a certain Fravatis, who claims to be the son of Nabonidus, as Nebuchadnezzar III. Fravatis belongs to the middle age class who was justified to claim the rule. Thus, he is the arpa- ksatria/ksadita which is the Persian word of the ‘lord of the middle class/ legitimate ruler.’
Further, we may notice that in the Behistun inscription, it is mentioned that the victor over Arphaxad was Darius, yet in the Bible it is Nebuchadnezzar. The explanation for this is that Nebuchadnezzar was an ally of Darius against the Medes, yet after the victory in Media (against Fravatis) this alliance was over. Nebuchadnezzar returns to ‘Niniveh’ for 4 months (Jdt 1.16) and enters Babylon as king. Thus, he broke his alliance with Darius and began to build his own kingdom in the 18th year (521/520 BC). The fact that the killing of Holofernes is not mentioned in the Behistun inscription does not mean that the incident did not occur.
Now, about the terms of ‘Assyrian’ and Niniveh’; we refer to the explanation from Herodotus who describes that Assyrian, Syrian and Aramaic refer to the same thing, for they share the same alphabetical script. Historically, Assyria refers to the additional territory of Babylonian Empire upon the end of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BC; and this includes the northern Mesopotamia, and Palestine. The Persian administration refers to this territory.
The explanation of ‘Niniveh’ comes from Lucan (the allies of Pompey) who mentions the city named Ninos, together with Damascus, Gaza and Sidon. This Ninos vetus was known in the 4th century as a great city. It is located between Aleppo and Carchemish, about 20 miles to the south from Carchemish along the Syrian side of Euphrates. This explanation matches the description in the Bible which mentions the marching of Holofernes from Niniveh to Bectileth in three days (Jdt 2:21), for the distance is about 100 miles. Thus, this Syrian ‘Niniveh’ is different from the Assyrian Niniveh, for two reasons: Assyrian Niniveh was completely destroyed in 612, and (even if it were not) geographically it is not possible to reach Bectileth/ the north of Upper Cilicia from the Assyrian Niniveh in three days.
Lastly, the most likely location of the city Bethulia, is at the peak of Gebel al- Asi, which is known as Beth-eked (2 Kgs 10:12). The full name in Semitic form is bet-Eqed haroim, which means ‘house of the shepherds’, thus bet-Eqed means ‘sheep-house’. In Aramaic, ‘talya’ means lamb, and ‘tilluya’ means ‘the offspring of young animals’; thus bet-tilluya means similar to ‘sheep-house.’ According to the meaning of Bet-tilluya, then it is reasonable that the important role of the spring to the city. Here we see that there is a strong possibility that Bethulia refers to bet- Eqed, which proves that Bethulia is indeed a real place.

From these three solutions (of the Older Catholic tradition, of Miller and of Brunner), it seems to me that we can agree that the story of Judith can be explained historically. However, the solution offered by the Older Tradition presupposes the Vulgate to be the authentic version of the Book. (Yet, more explanation is required on how the solution fits the similar verses, Jdt 5: 22-23, which mentions the return of Israel from exile). Compared to the Older Tradition, the solutions offered by Miller and Brunner are both more credible. Miller’s solution is plausible, if it can be proven that there was a high priest named Joakim living in the time of ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ Artaxerxes III (359-336BC), or if we presume priest Joakim was the father of Eliasihib who lived in the time of this ruler. Thus, it seems to me that Brunner’s solution is the closest to the historical facts. Although his suggested date in 521/520 BC (the 18th year of Araka) does not fit perfectly the completion of the rebuilding of the Temple in 516 BC; it coincides with the beginning of the Temple rebuilding project in 520 BC.

I would like to end by raising my hope that many more Catholics will accept the historicity of the Book of Judith. The Church Fathers put this book as part of our Canonical books (as confirmed by the Council of Hippo 393 and Carthage 397 and 419 AD) and hold this book as historical. We, too, shall embrace this conviction. After all, Judith is the model of Mary. Like Mary, Judith is called “blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth” (Jdt 13:18). Let us not assume that this special blessing is granted to a mere legend.

Salam kasih dari http://www.katolisitas.org
Ingrid Listiati.

19/12/2018

11
Tinggalkan pesan

Please Login to comment
3 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
JohanesJFIngrid Listiatiphill Recent comment authors
Johanes
Guest
Johanes

Dear Katolisitas,

1) Yudit 1:1 Nebukadnezar raja Asyur, tetapi dalam sejarah manusia dan beberapa ayat dalam Kitab Suci Perjanjian Lama menyebutkan Nebukadnezar raja Babilonia, apakah dalam teks asli Yudit juga terjadi kesalahan?

2) Yohanes 3:22 “…Ia diam disana bersama-sama mereka dan membaptis.”
Yohanes 4:2 “… meskipun Yesus sendiri tidak membaptis, melainkan murid-muridNya..
Mengapa dibab 3 disebutkan Yesus membaptis sementara di bab 4 Yesus tidak membaptis melainkan murid-muridNya ? mohon pencerahan.

Salam dalam kasih Yesus.

JF
Guest
JF

Yth Inggrid,

Apakah saya dapat memperolah daftar bibliography dari paper Inggrid mengenai kitab Judith ini? Saya sedang mengikuti program bible study selama 3 tahun yg diselenggarakan oleh Loyola Marymount University di Los Angeles, CA lewat Catholic Bible Institute. Seluruh dosen mengatakan kitab Judith fiktif, dan kita (para siswa) mendapat tugas menulis paper. Yg susahnya, para siswa tidak boleh menggunakan website/internet sebagai sumber referensi tapi harus buku-buku (dgn ISBN dll).
Saya telah memasukan hasil paper saya dgn mengutip beberapa sumber seperti haydock bible, dan juga dari katolisitas, tapi kelihatannya ditolak.

Terima kasih.
JF

phill
Guest
phill

yth katolisitas,
Saya ingin tahu lebih banyak mengenai kitab yudit. Kitab Yudit tergolong dalam kitab sejarah. Namun, dari berbagai sumber, dikatakan bahwa kitab yudit ini memuat kesalahan-kesalahan sejarah seperti nebukadnezar yang dinyatakan sebagai raja asyur. Lalu bagaimana mindset yang benar dalam memahami kitab yudit ini?
Terima kasih.

Romo pembimbing: Rm. Prof. DR. B.S. Mardiatmadja SJ. | Bidang Hukum Gereja dan Perkawinan : RD. Dr. D. Gusti Bagus Kusumawanta, Pr. | Bidang Sakramen dan Liturgi: Rm. Dr. Bernardus Boli Ujan, SVD | Bidang OMK: Rm. Yohanes Dwi Harsanto, Pr. | Bidang Keluarga : Rm. Dr. Bernardinus Realino Agung Prihartana, MSF, Maria Brownell, M.T.S. | Pembimbing teologis: Dr. Lawrence Feingold, S.T.D. | Pembimbing bidang Kitab Suci: Dr. David J. Twellman, D.Min.,Th.M.| Bidang Spiritualitas: Romo Alfonsus Widhiwiryawan, SX. STL | Bidang Pelayanan: Romo Felix Supranto, SS.CC |Staf Tetap dan Penulis: Caecilia Triastuti | Bidang Sistematik Teologi & Penanggung jawab: Stefanus Tay, M.T.S dan Ingrid Listiati Tay, M.T.S.
top
@Copyright katolisitas - 2008-2018 All rights reserved. Silakan memakai material yang ada di website ini, tapi harus mencantumkan "www.katolisitas.org", kecuali pemakaian dokumen Gereja. Tidak diperkenankan untuk memperbanyak sebagian atau seluruh tulisan dari website ini untuk kepentingan komersial Katolisitas.org adalah karya kerasulan yang berfokus dalam bidang evangelisasi dan katekese, yang memaparkan ajaran Gereja Katolik berdasarkan Kitab Suci, Tradisi Suci dan Magisterium Gereja. Situs ini dimulai tanggal 31 Mei 2008, pesta Bunda Maria mengunjungi Elizabeth. Semoga situs katolisitas dapat menyampaikan kabar gembira Kristus. 
X