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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Chapter 2

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1In the eighteenth year, on the twenty-second day of the first month, there was talk in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, about carrying out his revenge on the whole region, just as he had said. 2He summoned all his ministers and all his nobles and set before them his secret plan and recounted fully, with his own lips, all the wickedness of the region. c Meaning of Gk uncertain 3They decided that every one who had not obeyed his command should be destroyed.

4When he had completed his plan, Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, called Holofernes, the chief general of his army, second only to himself, and said to him, 5“Thus says the Great King, the lord of the whole earth: Leave my presence and take with you men confident in their strength, one hundred twenty thousand foot soldiers and twelve thousand cavalry. 6March out against all the land to the west, because they disobeyed my orders. 7Tell them to prepare earth and water, for I am coming against them in my anger, and will cover the whole face of the earth with the feet of my troops, to whom I will hand them over to be plundered. 8Their wounded shall fill their ravines and gullies, and the swelling river shall be filled with their dead. 9I will lead them away captive to the ends of the whole earth. 10You shall go and seize all their territory for me in advance. They must yield themselves to you, and you shall hold them for me until the day of their punishment. 11But to those who resist show no mercy, but hand them over to slaughter and plunder throughout your whole region. 12For as I live, and by the power of my kingdom, what I have spoken I will accomplish by my own hand. 13And you—take care not to transgress any of your lord's commands, but carry them out exactly as I have ordered you; do it without delay.”

14So Holofernes left the presence of his lord, and summoned all the commanders, generals, and officers of the Assyrian army. 15He mustered the picked troops by divisions as his lord had ordered him to do, one hundred twenty thousand of them, together with twelve thousand archers on horseback, 16and he organized them as a great army is marshaled for a campaign. 17He took along a vast number of camels and donkeys and mules for transport, and innumerable sheep and oxen and goats for food; 18also ample rations for everyone, and a huge amount of gold and silver from the royal palace.

19Then he set out with his whole army, to go ahead of King Nebuchadnezzar and to cover the whole face of the earth to the west with their chariots and cavalry and picked foot soldiers. 20Along with them went a mixed crowd like a swarm of locusts, like the dust a Gk sand of the earth—a multitude that could not be counted.

21They marched for three days from Nineveh to the plain of Bectileth, and camped opposite Bectileth near the mountain that is to the north of Upper Cilicia. 22From there Holofernes b Gk he took his whole army, the infantry, cavalry, and chariots, and went up into the hill country. 23He ravaged Put and Lud, and plundered all the Rassisites and the Ishmaelites on the border of the desert, south of the country of the Chelleans. 24Then he followed c Or crossed the Euphrates and passed through Mesopotamia and destroyed all the fortified towns along the brook Abron, as far as the sea. 25He also seized the territory of Cilicia, and killed everyone who resisted him. Then he came to the southern borders of Japheth, facing Arabia. 26He surrounded all the Midianites, and burned their tents and plundered their sheepfolds. 27Then he went down into the plain of Damascus during the wheat harvest, and burned all their fields and destroyed their flocks and herds and sacked their towns and ravaged their lands and put all their young men to the sword.

28So fear and dread of him fell upon all the people who lived along the seacoast, at Sidon and Tyre, and those who lived in Sur and Ocina and all who lived in Jamnia.

Chart Structure of the narrative * of Judith

First half
A Campaign against disobedient nations; the people surrender ( 2.14–3.10 )
B Israel is “greatly terrified”; Joakim prepares for war ( 4.1–15 )
C Holofernes talks with Achior; Achior is expelled ( 5.1–6.13 )
C′ Achior is received in Bethulia; Achior talks with the people ( 6.14–21 )
B′ Holofernes prepares for war; Israel is “greatly terrified” ( 7.1–5 )
A′ Campaign against Bethulia; the people want to surrender ( 7.6–32 )
Second half
A Introduction of Judith ( 8.1–8 )
B Judith plans to save Israel ( 8.9–10.8 )
C Judith and her maid leave Bethulia ( 10.9–10 )
D Judith overcomes Holofernes ( 10.11–13.10a )
C′ Judith and her maid return to Bethulia ( 13.10b–11 )
B′ Judith plans to destroy Israel's enemy ( 13.12–16.20 )
A′ Conclusion about Judith ( 16.21–25 )
Those who lived in Azotus and Ascalon feared him greatly.

Notes:

c Meaning of Gk uncertain

a Gk sand

b Gk he

c Or crossed

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