Judith, CHAPTER 3
Submission of the Vassal Nations.
So they sent messengers to him to sue for peace in these words:
“We, the servants of Nebuchadnezzar the great king, lie prostrate before you; do with us as you will.
See, our dwellings and all our land and every wheat field, our flocks and herds, and all our encampments are at your disposal; make use of them as you please.
Our cities and their inhabitants are also at your service; come and deal with them as you see fit.”
After the spokesmen had reached Holofernes and given him this message,
he went down with his forces to the seacoast, stationed garrisons in the fortified cities, and took selected men from them as auxiliaries.
The people of these cities and all the inhabitants of the countryside received him with garlands and dancing to the sound of timbrels.
But he devastated their whole territory and cut down their sacred groves, for he was allowed to destroy all the gods of the land, so that every nation might worship only Nebuchadnezzar, and all their tongues and tribes should invoke him as a god.
At length Holofernes reached Esdraelon in the neighborhood of Dothan, the approach to the main ridge of the Judean mountains;
he set up his camp between Geba and Scythopolis, and stayed there a whole month to replenish all the supplies of his forces.