Judith 6

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Judith 6

Achior Handed over to the Israelites

1When the disturbance made by the men outside the council died down, Holofer'nes, the commander of the Assyrian army, said to Ach'ior and all the Mo'abites in the presence of all the foreign contingents:

2"And who are you, Ach'ior, and you hirelings of E'phraim, to prophesy among us as you have done today and tell us not to make war against the people of Israel because their God will defend them? Who is God except Nebuchadnez'zar? 3He will send his forces and will destroy them from the face of the earth, and their God will not deliver them-we the king'sa servants will destroy them as one man. They cannot resist the might of our cavalry. 4We will burn them up,b and their mountains will be drunk with their blood, and their fields will be full of their dead. Theyc cannot withstand us, but will utterly perish. So says King Nebuchadnez'zar, the lord of the whole earth. For he has spoken; none of his words shall be in vain.

5"But you, Ach'ior, you Am'monite hireling, who have said these words on the day of your iniquity, you shall not see my face again from this day until I take revenge on this race that came out of Egypt. 6Then the sword of my army and the speard of my servants shall pierce your sides, and you shall fall among their wounded, when I return. 7Now my slaves are going to take you back into the hill country and put you in one of the cities beside the passes, 8and you will not die until you perish along with them. 9If you really hope in your heart that they will not be taken, do not look downcast! I have spoken and none of my words shall fail."

10Then Holofer'nes ordered his slaves, who waited on him in his tent, to seize Ach'ior and take him to Bethu'lia and hand him over to the men of Israel. 11So the slaves took him and led him out of the camp into the plain, and from the plain they went up into the hill country and came to the springs below Bethu'lia. 12When the men of the city saw them,e they caught up their weapons and ran out of the city to the top of the hill, and all the slingers kept them from coming up by casting stones at them. 13However, they got under the shelter of the hill and they bound Ach'ior and left him lying at the foot of the hill, and returned to their master.

14Then the men of Israel came down from their city and found him; and they untied him and brought him into Bethu'lia and placed him before the magistrates of their city, 15who in those days were Uzzi'ah the son of Micah, of the tribe of Sim'eon, and Chabris the son of Gothon'iel, and Charmis the son of Mel'chiel. 16They called together all the elders of the city, and all their young men and their women ran to the assembly; and they set Ach'ior in the midst of all their people, and Uzzi'ah asked him what had happened. 17He answered and told them what had taken place at the council of Holofer'nes, and all that he had said in the presence of the Assyrian leaders, and all that Holofer'nes had said so boastfully against the house of Israel. 18Then the people fell down and worshiped God, and cried out to him, and said,

19"O Lord God of heaven, behold their arrogance, and have pity on the humiliation of our people, and look this day upon the faces of those who are consecrated to thee."

20Then they consoled Ach'ior, and praised him greatly. 21And Uzzi'ah took him from the assembly to his own house and gave a banquet for the elders; and all that night they called on the God of Israel for help.