This is what I found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith

Historicity of Judith

It is generally accepted that the Book of Judith is ahistorical. The fictional nature “is evident from its blending of history and fiction, beginning in the very first verse, and is too prevalent thereafter to be considered as the result of mere historical mistakes.”[26]

Thus, the great villain is “Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians” (1:1), yet the historical Nebuchadnezzar II was the king of Babylonia.[26] Other details, such as fictional place names, the immense size of armies and fortifications, and the dating of events, cannot be reconciled with the historical record.[26] Judith’s village, Bethulia (literally “virginity”) is unknown and otherwise unattested to in any ancient writing.[26]

Nevertheless, there have been various attempts by both scholars and clergy to understand the characters and events in the Book as allegorical representations of actual personages and historical events. Much of this work has focused on linking Nebuchadnezzar with various conquerors of Judea from different time periods and, more recently, linking Judith herself with historical female leaders, including Queen Salome Alexandra, Judea’s only female monarch (76-67 BCE) and its last ruler to die while Judea remained an independent kingdom.[31]

 

This site has a lot more information as to this logic: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08554a.htm

Catholics  with very few exceptions accept the book of Judith as a narrative of facts, not as an allegory. Even Jahn considers that the genealogy of Judith is inexplicable on the hypothesis that the story is a mere fiction (“Introductio”, Vienna, 1814, p. 461). Why carry out the genealogy of a fictitious person through fifteen generations? The Fathers have ever looked upon the book as historical. St. Jerome, who excluded Judith from the Canon, nonetheless accepted the person of the valiant woman as historical (Ep. lxv, 1).

Against this traditional view there are, it must be confessed, very serious difficulties, due, as Calmet insists, to the doubtful and disputed condition of the text. The historical and geographical statements in the book, as we now have it, are difficult to understand: thus

  • Nabuchodonosor was apparently never King of Nineveh, for he came to the throne in 605, whereas Nineveh was destroyed certainly not later than 606, and after that the Assyriansceased to exist as a people;
  • the allusion in i, 6, to Erioch, King of the Elicians, is suspicious; we are reminded of the Arioch of Genesis 14:1. The Septuagint makes him King of the Elumaens, presumably the Elamites,
  • the character of Nabuchodonosor is hardly that portrayed for us on the monuments: in the India House Inscription, for example, his sentiments are remarkable for the modesty of their tone. On the other hand, we must remember that, as Sayce says, the “Assyrian kings were most brazen-faces liars on their monuments”;
  • the name Vagao, or the Septuagint Bagoas, for the eunuch of Holofernes is suggestive of the Bagoses, who, according to Josephus (Antiquities, XI, vii, 1), polluted the temple and to whom apparently we have a reference in the recently discovered papyri from Assuan;
  • the mixture of Babylonian, Greek, and Persian names in the book should be noted;
  • the genealogy of Judith as given in the Vulgate is a medley: that given in the three principal Greek codices is perhaps better but varies in every one. Still it is an historical genealogy, though ill-conserved;
  • a geographical puzzle is presented by the Vulgate of ii, 12-16; the Septuagint is much superior, and it should be noted that throughout this version, especially in Codex B, we have the most interesting details furnished us (cf. particularly i, 9; ii, 13, 28-9). The Septuagint also gives us information about Achior which is wanting in the Vulgate; it is apparently hinted in vi, 2, 5, that he was an Ephraimite and a mercenary hired by Moad;
  • Bethulia itself is a mystery: according to the Septuagint it was large, had streets and towers (vii, 22, 32), and withstood a long siege at the hands of a vast army. Its position, too, is stated with minuteness; it stood on the edge of the Plain of Esdrelon and guarded the pass to Jerusalem; yet no trace of the existence of such a place is to be found (unless we accept the theory of Conder, “Handbook”, 5th ed., p. 239);
  • the names, Judith (Jewess), Achior (brother of light), and Bethulia (?Bethel, i.e. ?Jerusalem, or perhaps from the Hebrew meaning “virgin” — in the shorter Hebrew version Judith is called not “the widow” but “the virgin”, i.e. Bethulia), sound rather like symbolic names than those of historical places or persons;
  • in Judith’s speech to Holofernes there is (xi, 12, 15) some apparent confusion between Bethulia and Jerusalem;
  • while the events are referred to the time of Nabuchodonosor, and therefore to the close of the Hebrew monarchy, we seem to have in v, 22, and viii, 18-19, an allusion to the time subsequent to the Restoration;
  • there is no king in Palestine (iv, 5), but only a high priest, Joachim or Eliachim; and in iv, 8; xi, 14; xv, 8 (Sept.), the Sanhedrin is apparently mentioned;
  • the book has a Persian and even a Greek colouring, as is evidenced by the recurrence of such names as Bagoas and Holofernes.

 

 

 

I kept running across people who covered themselves in sackcloth or laid on it during times of distress. 

According to https://www.gotquestions.org/sackcloth-and-ashes.html “Sackcloth was a coarse material usually made of black goat’s hair, making it quite uncomfortable to wear.”

Many other websites are unsure exactly what sackcloth was, but its meaning was quite clear. 

In the book of Tobit, it mentions the angel Raphael. He is also found the book of Enoch.

https://www.gotquestions.org/angel-Raphael.html

In the book of Tobias, Raphael identifies himself as one of seven archangels “who stand before the Lord” ( Tobit 12:15 ). Raphael also offers prayers on Tobias’ behalf, and Tobias, in turn, thanks the angel because he is “filled with all good things through him” ( Tobit 12:3 ).

John sheds some light on the religious notions in the time of Christ. “A great multitude of sick people” are sitting beside a pool in Jerusalem, waiting for “the moving of the water.” They believed that an angel would descend from heaven and stir the water, making the pool a place of healing for them. Jesus approaches a man who had been infirm for 38 years and asks him if he wants to be healed. The man’s sad, superstitious reply is that he cannot be healed, because he cannot get into the pool quickly enough. Jesus then bypasses all superstition and shows His power to immediately heal the man (John 5:3-9). 

Raphael bound Azazel under a desert called Dudael according to Enoch 10:4–6:

And again the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgment he shall be cast into the fire.

When reading the book of Tobit, I came across the demon Asmodeus and was curious about the history behind him. According to Wikipedia, he is the demon of lust and is one of the seven princes of hell.

In https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/encyclopedia-of-the-bible/Asmodeus-Asmodaeus

“According to the account he fell in love with Sarah, the only daughter of Raguel of Ecbatana, and slew her seven successive husbands on their wedding night. His power over her was broken by Tobias, who, with the help of the angel Raphael, brewed a potion which drove Asmodeus away.”

I was curious about the phrase “For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.” Genesis 47:16 

This passage below sums it up:

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/46-34.htm

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(34) For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.—This is probably a remark of the narrator, and it is confirmed by the monuments, which generally represent shepherds as unshaven and ill-dressed. Necessarily the Egyptians had sheep and cattle (Genesis 47:16-17), and even Pharaoh had herds (Genesis 47:6); but the care of them was probably left by the peasantry to the women and children, while the men busied themselves with the cultivation of their fields. We need not go far to seek for the cause of this dislike. The word “abomination,” first of all, suggests a religious ground of difference; and not only did shepherds probably kill animals worshipped in different Egyptian districts, but their religion generally was diverse from that of the fixed population. But next, men who lead a settled life always dislike wandering clans, whose cattle are too likely to prey upon their enclosed land (see Note on Genesis 4:8), and who, moving from place to place, are usually not very scrupulous as to the rights of property. Such nomades, too, are generally lower in civilisation, and more rude and rough, than men who have fixed homes. The subjugation of Egypt by the Hyksos was possibly subsequent to the era of Joseph; but we now know from Egyptian sources that there was perpetual war between Egypt and the Hittites, and probably raids were often made upon the rich fields on the banks of the Nile by other Semitic tribes dwelling upon its eastern frontier; and as all these wore regarded as shepherds, there was ground enough for the dislike of all nomades as a class, even though the Egyptians did not disdain to have cattle themselves. But as the land in the Nile Valley was arable, the cattle kept would only be such as were useful for agriculture, whereas they formed the main wealth of the Israelites.

It appears nose rings were just fashion at the time. Rebekah being offered one in Genesis by Abraham’s servant was just an offering and the nose ring itself wasn’t anything particularly significant.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-nose-rings.html

Nose rings are mentioned in the Bible as far back as the book of Genesis. When Abraham sent his servant in search of a wife for Isaac, the servant prayed that God would reveal to him the right young woman (Genesis 24:12–14). Rebekah came in answer to his prayer, and when she agreed to give him lodging in her father’s home, he gave her some gifts from his master, Abraham. Among those gifts was “a gold nose ring” (Genesis 24:22). This reveals that nose rings were in fashion during that era and they represented wealth and status when given as gifts. They were also considered female attire. The only time men wore anything through their noses was when they were taken as slaves (2 Chronicles 33:10–11).

In Ezekiel 16, God describes the affection He had showered upon Israel in terms of a man showering his bride with gifts: “I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head” (verse 12). The Lord often used figurative speech and familiar objects and customs in order to communicate unfamiliar truths to His people. The lavish adornment, including the nose ring, described in this passage was the way a wealthy, loving husband would have provided for his beloved.

In Exodus 22:29 it says 

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.g]

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

In the websitehttp://thetorah.com/giving-your-firstborn-son-to-god/ they state that it is clear in a later passage that the human son is to be redeemed:

“34:19 Every first issue of the womb is Mine, from all your livestock that drop a male as firstling, whether cattle or sheep. 34:20 But the firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a sheep; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. And you must redeem every firstborn among your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed.

This passage as well presents an analogy between the treatment of firstborn animals and humans: all belong to God.[2] But here the firstborn of an ass—an animal that may not be sacrificed—must be redeemed, or exchanged, for a sheep, and the firstborn of a human mother must likewise be redeemed. This law upholds the principle that all firstborns belong to God, while making a practical distinction between firstborns that are slaughtered on an altar (“kosher” animals) and those that are not (“non-kosher” animals and humans).[3]”

This website also has a lot of information on this topic:https://bible.org/question/what-significance-%E2%80%9Cfirstborn%E2%80%9D-bible

 In this pass in Ezra, it shows how the Israelite’s were forced to send away the wives they took from foreign nations and the children they had with them. This seemed cruel to me, and I wondered what other theologians though on the topic. 

A great write up is found here: http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/ezra-job/ezra-103-doesnt-it-seem-cruel-that-these-pagan-wives-and-children-would-be-put-away-by-these-men/

“Third, this could be a case of an irresolvable moral dilemma. Dilemmas like these occur when there is no good ethical choice; that is, both options are bad. In such circumstances, it is appropriate to choose the greater good (or the lesser of two evils).

Under Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel divided and eventually split, because Solomon’s idol-worshipping wives led him away from God. 1 Kings 11:2 states, “They [the unbelieving wives] will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon’s decision to take foreign wives led to a 500 year spiritual and moral decay in Israel, ending in child sacrifice, prostitution, and eventual judgment in the Babylonian Exile. Ezra 9-10 takes place on the eve of the Exile… and the men were instantaneously falling back into the same exact sin of King Solomon!

While divorce is immoral, having all of the men of Israel being married to idol worshippers would be even worse. Saving the nation of Israel from corporate apostasy and judgment is ethically greater than preserving several dozen marriages. Moral dilemmas like these end in poor results no matter how you pick. Either circumstance is ugly, but one is worse than the other.

Fourth, the unbelieving wives could have been given an opportunity to convert to Judaism. Nothing in OT law explicitly prohibits Jews from marrying Gentiles, as long as they converted to Judaism (e.g. Ruth and Boaz would be a key example). While Ezra 10 does not explicitly tell us the spiritual convictions of the wives, could it be that they refused to convert to Judaism in the full two months it took to decide this legal case? (Ezra 10:16-17)

Furthermore, once (or if?) these women refused to convert to Judaism, it could’ve been an ethical dilemma on what to do with the children. Presumably, these children were very young (perhaps even newborns?), and tearing the children away from their mothers would be a tragic circumstance.”

Another good site is: https://www.gotquestions.org/abandon-foreign-wives-children.html

“We know that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), and some have asked how this event is related to the issue of divorce in today’s society. A couple of relevant points can be considered. First, this event took place during a previous dispensation, in a time when God’s chosen people were to live according to the Law of Moses. Christians today should not look to this account for justification to divorce a spouse.

Also, 1 Corinthians 7:15–16 gives the related principle for today’s believers married to unbelievers. Paul wrote, “If the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” In other words, a believer is called to stay with an unbelieving spouse whenever possible. However, if the unbelieving spouse abandons the relationship, the believing spouse is not to dispute the matter.”

I kept seeing these two differences and was unsure what the differences were between Judah and Israel. 

“Israelites had a single kingdom during the reigns of Solomon and David. After the death of Solomon, the country was divided into two independent kingdoms. The southern region came to be called Judah which consisted of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah. Jerusalem was their capital. The northern region was called Israel which comprised the remaining ten tribes. They had the capital at Samaria.”

Read more: Difference Between Israel and Judah | Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/culture-miscellaneous/difference-between-israel-and-judah/#ixzz4xZxskoPM

Another interesting site on the subject: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/12-tribes-of-israel/israel-and-judah/

A neat map on the subject: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/map-gallery/i/map-israel-and-judah

Even more: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-two-kingdoms-of-israel

As I always check when I see these passages, it appears that this lamentation has not been found.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laments_for_Josiah

“Laments for Josiah is the term used in reference to 2Chronicles 35:25. The passage reads: “And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.”

This source, as described by the Chronicler, should not be confused with the canonical Book of Lamentations. The same event is retold in 1 Esdras 1:32, although it lacks any reference to writing, or the recording of the lamentation. Nevertheless, the dirges referred to in 2 Chronicles and 1 Esdras, as well as Lamentations may refer to a larger corpus of laments that once existed in the temple or palace archives of ancient Jerusalem.”