An arrogant pompous Nebuchadnezzar tried to put himself above God Almighty to try to dominate the whole world and taunted nations. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Assyrians sent messengers to Persia, and to west, Cilicia, Damascus, Lebanon, Antilebanon seacoast nations, Carmel, Gilead, Upper Galilee and great plain of Esdraelon, Samaria, Jordan, Jerusalem, Bethany, Chelous, Kadesh, Egypt Valley, Tahpanhes, Raamses, Goshen, Tanis, Memphis, borders of Ethiopia. They all rejected an order of Nebuchadnezzar to join him in war, not afraid of him as he is only one man. All sent the messengers back empty-handed. Nebuchadnezzar angry, swore by his throne and kingdom he will take revenge on all inhabitants, land of Moab, people of Ammon, Judea, Egypt, two seas coasts. He attacks King Arphaxad in battle, defeated his army, cavalry, chariots, took towns, Ecbatana, captured towers, plundered markets. In mountains of Ragau struck Axpharxes with his spears and returned to Nineveh to rest, feasts one hundred twenty days. Nebuchadnezzar told Holofernes, chief general of his army, “he is the great king lord of the whole earth so he must take strong confident men about a hundred twenty thousand foot soldiers, twelve thousand cavalry to attack surrounding nations. To match into all the land west because they refused to become vassal states. To prepare their land and water as coming in anger to attack them and to cover whole face of earth with the feet of his troops to plunder the nations. To wound and fill ravines, gullies, and swelling river with their dead, or taken captives to the ends of the whole earth. To seize territory for Nebuchadnezzar in advance. They must yield themselves and hold on till the day of punishment. All who resist show no mercy, slaughter and plunder whole region by power of his kingdom. To do so by his authority as commanded to carry out order given without delay. Nebuchadnezzar’s army attacked and plundered and planned next move but warned by Achior not to attack Israel. Holofernes left and took commanders, generals and officers of Assyrian army. One hundred twenty thousand, twelve thousand archers on horseback a great army for a campaign. A vast number of camels and donkeys, mules transport, sheep, oxen, goats for food, and huge amount of gold and silver from royal palace. Set out with whole army ahead of Nebuchadnezzar to cover whole face of earth west with chariots, cavalry, foot soldiers, mixed crowd like swarm of locusts, like dust of earth with countless multitude marched in three days from Nineveh to plain of Bectileth. Camped opposite Bectileth near mountain north of Upper Cilicia. Holofernes and army, ravaged Put, Lud plundered Rassisites, Ishmaelites on border desert south of Chelleans. They follow the Euphrates river through to Mesopotamia and destroyed all fortified towns along brook Abron near the sea. Seized territory of Cilicia, to southern borders of Japheth by Arabia. Surround Midianites, burnt their tents, plundered their sheepfolds. To plain of Damascus during their wheat harvest and burnt fields destroyed flocks, herds, ransacked towns, ravaged lands and young men to sword. Achior is tied to tree for warning Holofernes not to attack Israel is saved. Fear and dread fell on the other people along seacoast of Sidon and Tyre, Sur, Ocina, Jamnia, Azotus and Ascalon who feared Holofernes greatly. The seacoast people and all countryside welcomed him with garlands, dances, tambourines but he demolished all shrines, cut down sacred groves; for he was commissioned to destroy gods of the land so all nations should worship Nebuchadnezzar alone, and all nations and all tribes should call him their god. So he went to Esdraelon, near the Dothan great ridge of Judea to camp between Geba and Scythopolis for a whole month to collect all supplies for his army. Israelites in Judea heard of Holofernes, and greatly terrified at his approach alarmed for Jerusalem and Temple of the LORD God. They recently returned from exile, gathered together the sacred vessels, altar and the temple consecrated after profanation. So they sent word to districts Samaria, to Kona, Beth-horon, Belmain, Jericho, Choba, Aesora, and valley of Salem. They seized all high hilltops and fortified villages on them and stored food in preparation for war since fields were harvested. Then the high priest Joakim in Jerusalem at the time wrote to people of Bethulia and Betomesthaim, near Esdraelon opposite plain near Dothan to seize the mountain passes, since Judea could be invaded.Immediately it was easy to stop anyone who tried to enter, for space too narrow and only two can pass. The Israelites did as ordered by high priest Joakim and the senate of Israel in Jerusalem. Every one Israel cried out to God, humbled themselves with fasting to God. Their wives, children, cattle all resident put sackcloth and prostrated themselves before the temple. They put ashes on their heads, spread sackcloth before the LORD. They draped altar with sackcloth and cried out, praying to God of Israel not to let infants be carried off and their wives taken booty or towns inherited be destroyed, and sanctuary profaned and desecrated by malicious Gentiles. The Lord heard their prayers so had regard for their distress. People fasted so many days in Judea and Jerusalem before the Sanctuary of the LORD Almighty. The high priest Joakim and the priests stood before the Lord and ministered to the LORD in sackcloth, offered burnt, votive or freewill offerings of the people. With ashes on heads cried out to the LORD to have mercy on whole house of Israel. And reports went to Holofernes about Israel fasting and praying to God to be saved from their attacks. Achior the Ammonite said Israel descended from Chaldeans from Mesopotamia because they did not wish to follow the gods of ancestors in Chaldea. So abandoned the ways of their ancestors and worshiped the God of heaven their ancestors drove them from gods so fled to Mesopotamia, and lived there for a long time. God told them to go to the land of Canaan. They settled and grew prosperous in gold and silver and livestock. Famine in the land of Canaan led them to Egypt and a great multitude their race couldn’t be counted so the king of Egypt hostile to them; and exploited and forced them made bricks. They cried to God who afflicted whole Egypt with plagues so Egyptians drove them out. God dried the Red Sea before them and led them by the way of Sinai and Kadesh-barnea. Drove out people of the desert and resided in the land of the Amorites, destroyed all inhabitants of Heshbon; crossed Jordan and possessed all the hill country of Canaanites, the Perizzites, Jebusites, Shechemites, the Gergesites and lived there long time. As long as Israel did not sin against God they prospered for God hates iniquity so us with them. When they departed from Godsway prescribed for them they were defeated in battles and led captives to a foreign land. So temple of their God was razed to the ground, the towns occupied by their enemies. Now they returned to God from those places scattered back to Jerusalem their sanctuary and settled in the hill country uninhabited. So now my master and lord if there is any oversight in this people and they sin against their God and we find out their offense, then we can go up and defeat them. But if not a guilty nation let my lord pass them by; for their LORD their God defends them so we shall become laughingstock of the whole world. Achior’s prophesy not to fight against Israel because God defends them against god of Nebuchadnezzar is ignored, send his forces to destroy them from the face of the earth. Boasted God will not save them as the king’s servants will destroy them as one man. They will not resist the might of their cavalry. So will overwhelm them in the mountains drunk with their blood and fields full of their dead. Their footprints will perish because Nebuchadnezzar is lord of the whole earth. For he has spoken so none of his words will be in vain. Achior, thrown out to hill country and into the town by passes to perish along with Israel. Holofernes spoke that none of his words will fail to come true. Tied Achior to a tree buy saved by Israelites told Israel about plans if their enemies. The people fell down and worshipped God and cried, O Lord God of heaven, see their arrogance, and have pity on our people in humility and look kindly on faces of those who are consecrated to you. They reassured Achior and praised him highly. Uzziah took him from the assembly to his own house and gave a banquet for the elders and all night they called on the God of Israel for help. All the people, young men and women, and children, gathered around Uzziah and rulers of the town cried out with a loud voice, You did great injury not making peace with the Assyrians. We have none to help us; God sold us into their hands, to be thirsty and exhausted. Summon them and surrender the whole town as booty to the army of Holofernes and to all his forces. It is better to be captured slaves, our lives spared, and not witness our little ones dying before our eyes or our wives and children dying. We call heaven, earth and God to our LORD God so prefer to be slaves not defeated. The great lamentation in the assembly and cries to the LORD God with a loud voice, Uzziah said, “Courage, brothers and sisters let us wait five days if LORD God will turn His mercy to us again for He will not forsake us. If these days pass with no help I will do as you say. All the men went up on the walls and towers of their town. Women and children he sent home in great misery.
And when Judith heard it, called rulers of the people said its not right; you swore an oath between God and you to surrender the town to enemies if the LORD does not help in so many days. Who are you to put God to test to set time for God in human affairs do not make LORD our God angry. If he does not choose to help within five days, He has power to protect as He pleases, or destroy in presence of enemies. Don’t try to control purposes of LORD God not like humans won over by pleading. Wait for His deliverance let us call upon Him to help us, and He will hear our voice, if it pleases Him. Tribes that worship God know no other god but Him, so we trust He will not deny our nation. If captured all Judea and sanctuary plundered pays for desecration by blood of slaughtered kindred, land desolate of inheritance He will bring Gentiles to serve as slaves but the Lord God will honour us. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all tested. In Syrian Mesopotamia, tending the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother Jacob overcame. God didn’t try us with fire as he did to them to search their hearts, nor taken vengeance on us; but the LORD scourges all those close to Him in order to refine them. Uzziah said “All you said is true the people so thirsty compelled us to do what we promised by oath we cannot break. Since you are a God-fearing woman, pray for us, so the LORD to send rain to fill our cisterns so we no longer feel faint from thirst. So Judith said, “I will do something that will go down through all generations of our descendants. Stand at the town gate tonight so I may go out with my maid; within days you promised to surrender the town to our enemies, the LORD will deliver Israel by my hand. Do not try to find out what I will do for I will not tell you until I finish what I am going to do. And Judith prostrated herself, put ashes on her head, uncovered sackcloth she was wearing. At the very time when the evening incense was being offered in the house of God in Jerusalem. Judith cried out to the LORD with a loud voice and said, LORD God take revenge on strangers who tore virgin’s clothing to defile, expose to shame, pollute their womb to disgrace. You gave rulers to be killed and their beds shamed by deceits practiced stain with blood, struck slaves and princes on thrones. You gave their wives, daughters into captivity and all booty divided. Your beloved children call on you for help O God hear widow. Only you know your ways in advance. Assyrians increase force, proud of their horses, riders, boast in strength of their foot soldiers, trust in shield and spear, bow and sling. They do not know you are the LORD God who crushes wars the LORD God Jehovah Almighty is your Name. Break their strength by your MIGHT and bring down their power in your anger, they defile sanctuary and pollute tabernacle of your Glory, break off horns of altar by sword look at their pride send your wrath on their heads. Give to me a widow, strong hand to do what I plan. By deceit of my lips strike them down and crush their arrogance by hand of woman. Your Strength does not depend on numbers your MIGHT is Powerful. You are the God of the lowly, helper of oppressed, upholder of weak, protector of forsaken, saviour of those without hope. Please, God of my father, God of Israel, LORD of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all creation hear prayers. Bruise those who plan evil things against your Covenant, and your Sacred House Mount Zion to save your Children and whole nation. Let tribes know and understand you are God of all Power and might and there is no other God who Protects the people of Israel but you Alone. Judith embarks on her secret seductive mission to destroy the plans of Holofernes. Judith gets him too drunk for intimacy decapitates head to defeat Nebuchadnezzar army. Judith is celebrated as a Jewish woman who saved her people from the tyranny of Holofernes. Achior becomes proselyte in the house of Israel because of his true testimony of God and he risked his life to save Israel. So God let Achior into the house of Israel used by God to stop the destruction of Israel by Holofernes. A pagan Ammonite and chief leaders of all the Ammonites had wisdom and knowledge so understands the authority and power of Jehovah. He narrated the history of Israel and their victory won through Almighty God. So a vassal state citizen is used here to warn Holofernes who rejected good advise. It is God who decides those worthy of His salvation among the Gentiles. Achior is converted in the light of God as other righteous Gentiles of the bible. Achior is a genuine convert who witnessed the miracle power of God’s Divine move to save Israel through Judith a God fearing widow. God allows time of the Gentile to precede Israelites to provoke them to jealousy. Achior is symbolic invitation to all nations to convert for all the gentiles are included in the grand scheme plans of God to come to faith in God of Israel.