1 But when they had ceased speaking, it happened that Holofernes, being very indignant, said to Achior:
2 Because you have prophesied to us, saying that the people of Israel may be defended by their God, and so as to reveal to you that there is no God, except Nebuchadnezzar:
3 when we will have struck them all as one man, then you also will pass away with them by the sword of the Assyrians, and all Israel will perish into perdition with you.
4 And you will be shown that Nebuchadnezzar is the lord of the whole earth. And then, the sword of my army will pass through your sides, and, being stabbed, you will fall among the wounded of Israel, and you will breathe no longer, when you have been destroyed with them.
5 And furthermore, if you consider your prophecy to be true, do not let your countenance fall, and let the paleness that has taken hold of your face depart from you, if you claim that these my words cannot be fulfilled.
6 But so that you may know that you will experience these things together with them, behold, from this hour you will be associated with their people, so that, when they receive the punishment that they deserve from my sword, you will fall under the same vengeance.”
7 Then Holofernes instructed his servants to apprehend Achior, and to lead him through to Bethulia, and to deliver him into the hands of the sons of Israel.
8 And, taking him, the servants of Holofernes traveled through the plains. But when they approached close to the mountains, the slingers of stones went forth against them.
9 Then, diverting by the side of the mountain, they tied Achior, hands and feet, to a tree, and so they abandoned him, bound with ropes, and they returned to their lord.
10 Thereafter, the sons of Israel, descending from Bethulia, came to him. Releasing him, they brought him to Bethulia. And so, standing him in the midst of the people, they interrogated him as to what event caused the Assyrians to abandon him, bound.
11 In those days, the rulers of that place were Uzziah, the son of Micah of the tribe of Simeon, and Chabris, also called Gothoniel.
12 And so, in the midst of the elders and in the sight of everyone, Achior explained all that he had said in reply to the questioning of Holofernes, and in what manner the people of Holofernes wanted to have him killed because of this word,
13 and how Holofernes himself, being angry, had ordered him to be handed over to the Israelites, for this reason: so that when he would prevail over the sons of Israel, then he would also command Achior himself to be executed by diverse torments, because he had said that the God of heaven is their defender.
14 And when Achior had declared all these things, all the people fell on their faces, adoring the Lord, and, communing together with mourning and weeping, they poured out their prayers with one mind to the Lord,
15 saying: “O Lord, God of heaven and earth, behold their arrogance, and gaze upon our humility, and attend to the face of your holy ones, and reveal that you do not abandon those who rely on you, and that those who rely on themselves and who glory in their own strength, you humble.”
16 And so, when their weeping was ended, and the prayer of the people throughout the entire day was completed, they consoled Achior,
17 saying: “The God of our fathers, whose power you have predicted, will give to you this in return: that you, instead, will see the destruction of them.
18 Truly, when the Lord our God will give this freedom to his servants, may God also be with you in our midst, so that, just as it pleases you, everyone who is with you may keep company with us.”
19 Then Uzziah, after the council was ended, received him into his own house, and he made him a great supper.
20 And all the elders were invited; together they refreshed themselves at the completion of their fast.
21 In truth, after this, all the people were called together, and they prayed throughout the entire night within the assembly, petitioning help from the God of Israel.
1 But Holofernes, on another day, instructed his army to ascend against Bethulia.
2 Moreover, there were one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers, and twenty-two thousand horsemen, besides the contingents of those men who had been taken captive, and all the youths who had been abducted from the provinces and the cities.
3 All these prepared themselves together to fight against the sons of Israel, and they came through the foothills of the mountain, even to the apex, which looks down upon Dothain, from the place which is called Belma, up to Chelmon, which is opposite Esdrelon.
4 But the sons of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them, prostrated themselves upon the ground, scattering ashes over their heads, praying with one accord that the God of Israel would show his mercy upon his people.
5 And, taking up their arms of war, they set up positions at the places that lead along a narrow footpath between the mountains, and they guarded them all day and night.
6 Now Holofernes, while circling around, discovered that the fountain that flowed in to them, led directly through an aqueduct on the south side, beyond the city. And he instructed their aqueduct to be cut off.
7 Even so, there were springs not far from the walls, from which they were seen to draw water secretly, to refresh themselves a little rather than to drink their fill.
8 But the sons of Ammon and Moab approached Holofernes, saying: “The sons of Israel do not trust in their lances, nor in their arrows, but the mountains are their defense, and the steep hills and precipices constitute their fortifications.
9 Therefore, so that you may be able to overcome them without joining battle, set guards at the springs so that they may not draw water from them, and you will put them to death without the sword, or at least, being weary, they will hand over their city, which they suppose to be, by its position in the mountains, unable to be conquered.”
10 And these words were pleasing before Holofernes and before his attendants, and so he stationed a hundred men around every spring.
11 And when they had kept this watch through twenty full days, the cisterns and collections of waters failed among all the inhabitants of Bethulia, so that there was within the city not enough to satisfy them for even one day, because water was given out to the people daily by measure.
12 Then, all the men and women, youths and little ones, gathering together before Uzziah, all with one voice together,
13 said: “May God be judge between us and you, for you have done evil with us, in not being willing to speak peacefully with the Assyrians, and because of this, God has sold us into their hands.
14 And therefore, there is no one to help us, while we are prostrated before their eyes with thirst and great destruction.
15 And now, gather together all who are in the city, so that we may willingly deliver everyone of us to the people of Holofernes.
16 For it is better that as captives, being alive, we should bless the Lord, than that we should die and become a disgrace to all flesh, after we have seen our wives and our children die before our eyes.
17 We call to witness this day heaven and earth, and the God of our fathers, who takes vengeance upon us according to our sins, so that now you may deliver the city into the hand of the military of Holofernes. And may our end be brief, by the edge of the sword, that would be made longer by the dryness of thirst.”
18 And when they had said these things, there happened a great weeping and a loud lamentation within the assembly. From everyone and for many hours, with one voice, they cried out to God, saying:
19 We have sinned like our fathers, we have acted unjustly, we have committed iniquity.
20 May you have mercy on us, for you are pious, or with your own scourges avenge our iniquities, but do not be willing to deliver those trusting in you to a people who are ignorant of you,
21 so that they may not say among the Gentiles, ‘Where is their God?’ “
22 And when, being weary from these outcries, and tired from these weepings, they became silent,
23 Uzziah, rising up covered in tears, said: “Be steadfast in soul, brothers, and let us wait these five days for mercy from the Lord.
24 For perhaps he will break off his indignation and give glory to his own name.
25 But if, with five days passing, help does not arrive, we will accomplish the words that you have spoken.”
1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 God is a rival, and the Lord is avenging. The Lord is avenging, and one who applies wrath. The Lord is avenging with his enemies, and he becomes angry with his adversaries.
3 The Lord is patient and great in strength, and those who are not clean, he makes innocent. The Lord is in a tempest, and his way is a whirlwind, and the clouds are dust at his feet.
4 He is the one who rebukes the sea, and who dries it up, and who leads all the rivers to the desert. Basan has been weakened, and also Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon has languished.
5 The mountains have trembled before him, and the hills have become desolate, and the earth has quaked before his face, both the world and all that dwells in it.
6 Who can stand firm before the face of his indignation? And who can continue against the fury of his wrath? His indignation has broken out like a fire, and the rocks have been dissolved before him.
7 The Lord is good, and a comforter in the day of tribulation, and he knows those who hope in him.
8 And in the flood that passes over, he brings to consummation the end of his place. And darkness shall pursue his adversaries.
9 What are you thinking up against the Lord? He will accomplish the consummation. There shall not rise up a double tribulation.
10 For just as thorns entwine one another, so also, while they are feasting and drinking together, they will be consumed like stubble that is completely dry.
11 Out of you will go forth one who thinks up evil against the Lord, dragging betrayals through his mind.
12 Thus says the Lord: If they had been perfect, and many of them so, yet still they would be pruned, and it will cross through them. I have afflicted you, and I shall afflict you no more.
13 And now I will shatter his rod from your back, and I will break open your bonds.
14 And the Lord will place a commandment over you; nothing more from your name will be sown. From the house of your God, I will order destroyed the graven image and the molten image. I will prepare your grave, because you are not honorable.
15 Behold, over the mountains, the feet of the Evangelizer and the Announcer of peace. Judah, celebrate your festivals and keep your vows. For Belial will never again pass through you; he has completely passed away.
1 He ascends, who would scatter before your eyes, who would maintain the blockade. Contemplate the way, fortify your back, reinforce virtue greatly.
2 For the Lord has repaid the arrogance of Jacob, just like the arrogance of Israel. For the despoilers have scattered them, and they have corrupted their procreation.
3 The shield of his strong ones is fire, the men of war are in scarlet. The reins of the chariot are fiery in the day of his preparation, and the drivers have been drugged.
4 They have become confused on their journey. The four-horse chariots have collided in the streets. Their appearance is like torches, like lightning dashing around.
5 He will call to mind his strong ones; they will destroy along their journey. They will quickly ascend its walls, and a shelter will be prepared.
6 The gates of the rivers have been opened, and the temple has been pulled down to the ground.
7 And the foot soldier has been led away captive, and her handmaids were driven away, mourning like doves, murmuring in their hearts.
8 And Nineveh, her waters are like a fish pond. Yet truly, they have fled away: “Stand, stand!” But there is no one who will turn back.
9 Despoil the silver, despoil the gold. And there is no end to all the riches of desirable equipment.
10 She has been scattered, and cut, and torn apart. And the heart melts, and the knees buckle, and weakness is in every temperament. And the faces of them all are like a black kettle.
11 Where is the dwelling place of the lions, and the feeding ground of the young lions, to which the lion went, so as to open a way for the young lion, and so that there would be none to make them afraid?
12 The lion seized enough for his young, and killed enough for his lionesses, and he filled his caves with prey, and his den with spoils.
13 Behold, I will come to you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots even to smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. And I will exterminate your prey from the land, and the voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.
6 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and thy glory over all the earth:
7 That thy beloved may be delivered. Save with thy right hand and hear me.
8 God hath spoken in his holiness. I will rejoice, and I will divide Sichem and I will mete out the vale of tabernacles.
9 Galaad is mine, and Manasses is mine and Ephraim the protection of my head. Juda is my king:
10 Moab the pot of my hope. Over Edom I will stretch out my shoe: the aliens are become my friends.
11 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
12 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our armies?
13 O grant us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
14 Through God we shall do mightily: and he will bring our enemies to nothing.
20 For you permit it when someone guides you into servitude, even if he devours you, even if he takes from you, even if he is extolled, even if he strikes you repeatedly on the face.
21 I speak according to disgrace, as if we had been weak in this regard. In this matter, (I speak in foolishness) if anyone dares, I dare also.
22 They are Hebrews; so am I. They are Israelites; so am I. They are the offspring of Abraham; so am I.
23 They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as if I were less wise); more so am I: with many more labors, with numerous imprisonments, with wounds beyond measure, with frequent mortifications.
24 On five occasions, I received forty stripes, less one, from the Jews.
25 Three times, I was beaten with rods. One time, I was stoned. Three times, I was shipwrecked. For a night and a day, I was in the depths of the sea.
26 I have made frequent journeys, through dangerous waters, in danger of robbers, in danger from my own nation, in danger from the Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger in the sea, in danger from false brothers,
27 with hardships and difficulties, with much vigilance, in hunger and thirst, with frequent fasts, in cold and nakedness,
28 and, in addition to these things, which are external: there is my daily earnestness and solicitude for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not being burned?
30 If it is necessary to glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weaknesses.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, watched over the city of the Damascenes, so as to apprehend me.
33 And, through a window, I was let down along the wall in a basket; and so I escaped his hands.