Judith 3

Chapter 3

Capitulation of the West. 1 Therefore, they sent envoys to him to sue for peace in these words: 2 “We, the servants of the great king, Nebuchadnezzar, lie prostrate before you. Do with us as you wish. 3 Our dwellings, all our territory, and all our wheat fields and our flocks and herds and all our encampments are yours to do with as you please. 4 Our towns and their inhabitants are also at your service; come and deal with them as you see fit.”

5 After the envoys had been received by Holofernes and they told him all this, 6 he went down with his army to the seacoast and stationed garrisons in all the fortified towns, assigning picked men from them to serve as auxiliaries. 7 The people of these cities and all the inhabitants of the surrounding countryside welcomed him with garlands and dancing to the sound of tambourines.[a] 8 Despite this, he demolished all their sanctuaries and cut down their sacred groves, thereby carrying out his commission to destroy all the gods of the land so that all the nations would worship Nebuchadnezzar alone and that only he would be invoked as a god by people of every tongue and tribe. 9 Finally, Holofernes advanced toward Esdraelon, in the neighborhood of Dothan, facing the great ridge of Judea. 10 He encamped between Geba[b] and Scythopolis and remained there for an entire month as he replenished the necessary supplies for his forces.


  1. Judith 3:7 This was the Greek manner of celebrating a victory, which reveals an author who was contemporary with the Hellenistic domination.
  2. Judith 3:10 Geba may refer to the mountain range called “Gelboe,” which had Scythopolis (the Greek name for Beth-shean mentioned in Jos 17:11) at its eastern end.

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