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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.25 no.1 Pretoria  2012


Joakim, Uzziah, and Bagoas: A literary analysis of selected secondary characters in the Book of Judith



Robin Gallaher Branch

North-West University, Potchefstroom





Secondary characters in any literary work play supporting roles. In their cameo appearances, they reinforce the importance of the primary characters, the stars. While not given top billing, they nonetheless remain crucial to the plot and contribute to its twists and turns. When a secondary character interacts with a primary character, additional traits of the primary character emerge. However in this interaction, often distinct personality traits of the secondary character likewise appear. This article looks at selected secondary characters in the Book of Judith: Joakim, the high priest and leader of the council in Jerusalem; Uzziah, the magistrate of Bethulia, the city besieged by Holofernes and the Assyrian army; and the Bagoas, Holofernes' aide de camp. Via a literary approach which sees Judith as a fictional short story, this article examines the contributions of selected characters who play supporting roles to Judith, the beautiful Bethulian, and Holofernes, the Assyrian general who ignominiously dies by her hand.



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Robin Gallaher Branch
Is Extraordinary Associate Professor with the Unit for Reformed Theology and the Development of the South African
Society with the Faculty of Theology at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. She is Professor of Biblical Studies
Victory University, 255 North Highland
Memphis, Tennessee 38111, USA

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