5:21. And as long as they sinned not in the sight of their God, it was well with them: for their God hateth iniquity.
5:22. And even some years ago when they had revolted from the way which God had given them to walk therein, they were destroyed in battles by many nations and very many of them were led away captive into a strange land.
5:23. But of late returning to the Lord their God, from the different places wherein they were scattered, they are come together and are gone up into all these mountains, and possess Jerusalem again, where their holies are.
5:24. Now therefore, my lord, search if there be any iniquity of theirs in the sight of their God: let us go up to them, because their God will surely deliver them to thee, and they shall be brought under the yoke of thy power:
5:25. But if there be no offence of this people in the sight of their God, we cannot resist them because their God will defend them: and we shall be a reproach to the whole earth.
5:26. And it came to pass, when Achior had ceased to speak these words, all the great men of Holofernes were angry, and they had a mind to kill him, saying to each other:
5:27. Who is this, that saith the children of Israel can resist king Nabuchodonosor, and his armies, men unarmed, and without force, and without skill in the art of war?
5:28. That Achior therefore may know that he deceiveth us, let us go up into the mountains: and when the bravest of them shall be taken, then shall he with them be stabbed with the sword,
5:29. That every nation may know that Nabuchodonosor is god of the earth, and besides him there is no other.
Judith Chapter 6
Holofernes in great rage sendeth Achior to Bethulia, there to be slain with the Israelites.
6:1. And it came to pass when they had left off speaking, that Holofernes being in a violent passion, said to Achior:
6:2. Because thou hast prophesied unto us, saying: That the nation of Israel is defended by their God, to shew thee that there is no God, but Nabuchodonosor:
6:3. When we shall slay them all as one man, then thou also shalt die with them by the sword of the Assyrians, and all Israel shall perish with thee:
6:4. And thou shalt find that Nabuchodonosor is lord of the whole earth: and then the sword of my soldiers shall pass through thy sides, and thou shalt be stabbed and fall among the wounded of Israel, and thou shalt breathe no more till thou be destroyed with them.
6:5. But if thou think thy prophecy true, let not thy countenance sink, and let the paleness that is in thy face, depart from thee, if thou imaginest these my words cannot be accomplished.
6:6. And that thou mayst know that thou shalt experience these things together with them, behold from this hour thou shalt be associated to their people, that when they shall receive the punishment they deserve from my sword, thou mayst fall under the same vengeance.
6:7. Then Holofernes commanded his servants to take Achior, and to lead him to Bethulia, and to deliver him into the hands of the children of Israel.
6:8. And the servants of Holofernes taking him, went through the plains: but when they came near the mountains, the slingers came out against them.
6:9. Then turning out of the way by the side of the mountain, they tied Achior to a tree hand and foot, and so left him bound with ropes, and returned to their master.
6:10. And the children of Israel coming down from Bethulia, came to him, and loosing him they brought him to Bethulia, and setting him in the midst of the people, asked him what was the matter that the Assyrians had left him bound.
6:11. In those days the rulers there, were Ozias the son of Micha of the tribe of Simeon, and Charmi, called also Gothoniel.
6:12. And Achior related in the midst of the ancients, and in the presence of all the people, all that he had said being asked by Holofernes: and how the people of Holofernes would have killed him for this word,
6:13. And how Holofernes himself being angry had commanded him to be delivered for this cause to the Israelites: that when he should overcome the children of Israel, then he might command Achior also himself to be put to death by diverse torments, for having said: The God of heaven is their defender.
6:14. And when Achior had declared all these things, all the people fell upon their faces, adoring the Lord, and all of them together mourning and weeping poured out their prayers with one accord to the Lord,
6:15. Saying: O Lord God of heaven and earth, behold their pride, and look on our low condition, and have regard to the face of thy saints, and shew that thou forsakest not them that trust on thee, and that thou humblest them that presume of themselves, and glory in their own strength.
6:16. So when their weeping was ended, and the people's prayer, in which they continued all the day, was concluded, they comforted Achior,
6:17. Saying: The God of our fathers, whose power thou hast set forth, will make this return to thee, that thou rather shalt see their destruction.
6:18. And when the Lord our God shall give this liberty to his servants, let God be with thee also in the midst of us: that as it shall please thee, so thou with all thine mayst converse with us.
6:19. Then Ozias, after the assembly was broken up, received him into his house, and made him a great supper.
6:20. And all the ancients were invited, and they refreshed themselves together after their fast was over.
6:21. And afterwards all the people were called together, and they prayed all the night long within the church, desiring help of the God of Israel.
The church... That is, the synagogue or place where they met for prayer.
Judith Chapter 7
Holofernes besiegeth Bethulia. The distress of the besieged.
7:1. But Holofernes on the next day gave orders to his army, to go up against Bethulia.
7:2. Now there were in his troops a hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two and twenty thousand horsemen, besides the preparations of those men who had been taken, and who had been brought away out of the provinces and cities of all the youth.
7:3. All these prepared themselves together to fight against the children of Israel, and they came by the hillside to the top, which looketh toward Dothain, from the place which is called Belma, unto Chelmon, which is over against Esdrelon.
7:4. But the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, putting ashes upon their heads, praying with one accord, that the God of Israel would shew his mercy upon his people.
7:5. And taking their arms of war, they posted themselves at the places, which by a narrow pathway lead directly between the mountains, and they guarded them all day and night.
7:6. Now Holofernes, in going round about, found that the fountain which supplied them with water, ran through an aqueduct without the city on the south side: and he commanded their aqueduct to be cut off.
7:7. Nevertheless there were springs not far from the walls, out of which they were seen secretly to draw water, to refresh themselves a little rather than to drink their fill.
7:8. But the children of Ammon and Moab came to Holofernes, saying: The children of Israel trust not in their spears, nor in their arrows, but the mountains are their defence, and the steep hills and precipices guard them.
7:9. Wherefore that thou mayst overcome them without joining battle, set guards at the springs that they may not draw water out of them, and thou shalt destroy them without sword, or at least being wearied out they will yield up their city, which they suppose, because it is situate in the mountains, to be impregnable.
7:10. And these words pleased Holofernes, and his officers, and he placed all round about a hundred men at every spring.
7:11. And when they had kept this watch for full twenty days, the cisterns, and the reserve of waters failed among all the inhabitants of Bethulia, so that there was not within the city, enough to satisfy them, no not for one day, for water was daily given out to the people by measure.
7:12. Then all the men and women, young men, and children, gathering themselves together to Ozias, all together with one voice,
7:13. Said: God be judge between us and thee, for thou hast done evil against us, in that thou wouldst not speak peaceably with the Assyrians, and for this cause God hath sold us into their hands.
7:14. And therefore there is no one to help us, while we are cast down before their eyes in thirst, and sad destruction.
7:15. And now assemble ye all that are in the city, that we may of our own accord yield ourselves all up to the people of Holofernes.