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Hebrew Tales

The Story of Judith

Chapter 3 (Full Text)

Peoples under assault send declarations of surrender to Holofernes. He demands the destruction of their local gods.

[1] So they sent ambassadors to him to entreat him for peace, saying,

[2] “Behold, we, the servants of Nebuchadnezzar the great king, lie before you; use us as it seems good in your sight. [3] Behold, our houses and all our places, and all our fields of wheat, and flocks and herds, and all the lodges of our tents lie before your face; use them as it pleases you. [4] Behold, even our cities and their inhabitants are your servants; come and deal with them as it seems good to you.”

[5] So the men came to Holofernes and made declaration before him in this way.

[6] Then he came down toward the sea coast, both he and his army, and set garrisons in the high cities, and took out of them chosen men to assist them. [7] So they and all the surrounding country received them with garlands, with dances, and with timbrels. [8] Yet he cast down their barriers and cut down their sacred groves; for he had decreed the destruction of all the gods of the land, so that all nations should worship Nebuchadnezzar only, and so that all tongues and tribes should call upon him as god.

[9] He also came across Esdraelon near Dothaim, across the great strait of Judea. [10] And he pitched camp between Geba and Scythopolis, and he delayed there a whole month, so that he could gather together all the carriages of his army.

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This text has been reproduced from:

The World English Bible, a copyright-free modern English rendering of a 1901 translation that has now passed into the public domain.