The Bible in Its Traditions

Judith 3:1–10


Then the kings as well as the princes of the provinces sent their emissaries from all of the cities: from Syria, particularly Mesopotamia, and Syria Sobal, and Libya as well as Cilicia. These, upon coming to Holofernes, said

So they sent ambassadors unto him to treat of peace, saying,

“Let your indignation concerning us cease. For it is better for us to live in service to Nebuchadnezzar, the great king, and to become subject to you, rather than to die, even though we may have to suffer our condemnation into the annihilation of slavery.

Behold, we the servants of Nabuchodonosor the great king lie before thee; use us as shall be good in thy sight.

All our cities and all our possessions, all mountains, and hills, and fields, and herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep, and goats, and horses, and camels, and all our resources and families are in your sight.

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 thy face; use them as it pleaseth thee.

Let all that we have be subject to your law.

Behold, even our cities and the inhabitants thereof are thy servants; come and deal with them as seemeth good unto thee.

We, and our sons, are your servants.

So the men came to Holofernes, and declared unto him after this manner.


Come to us as a peaceful lord, and use our service, just as it pleases you.”


Then he descended from the mountains with horsemen, in great power, and he took charge of every city and of every inhabitant of the land.

Then came he down toward the sea coast, both he and his army, and set garrisons in the high cities, and took out of them chosen men for aid.


And, from all the cities, he took for himself auxiliaries: strong men and well-chosen for war.

And such a dread lay upon those provinces, that the leading and honored inhabitants of all the cities, together with the people, went out to meet him at his arrival.


10  They received him with garlands and lamps; they were led by choirs with timbrels and flutes.

10  So they and all the country round about received them with garlands, with dances, and with timbrels.