World English Bible
1And in the eighteenth year, on the twenty-second day of the first month, there was talk in the house of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians that he should, as he had said, avenge himself upon all the earth.
2So he called all his officers to him, and all his nobles, and discussed with them his secret plan, and, with his own mouth, he ensured the scourging of the whole earth.
3Then they decreed the destruction of all flesh, of all who did not obey the commandment of his mouth.
4And when he had ended his counsel, Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians called Holofernes the chief captain of his army, who was next to him, and said to him:
5Thus says the great king, the lord of the whole earth, 'Behold, you will go forth from my presence and take with you men who trust in their own strength, one hundred twenty thousand foot soldiers; and the number of horses with their riders, twelve thousand.
6And you will go against all the west country, because they disobeyed my commandment.
7And you will declare to them that they should prepare for me earth and water, for I will go forth in my wrath against them and will cover the whole face of the earth with the feet of my army, and I will give them as prey to them,
8so that their slain will fill their valleys, and brooks and the river will be filled with their dead until it overflows,
9and I will lead them as captives to the utmost parts of all the earth.
10You therefore will go forth and capture for me beforehand all their coasts; and if they will yield themselves to you, you will reserve them for me until the day of their punishment.
11But concerning those who rebel, do not allow your eyes to pity them, but slaughter them and plunder them wherever you go.
12For as I live, and by the power of my kingdom, whatsoever I have spoken, I will do by my own hand.
13And take heed that you transgress none of the commandments of your lord, but accomplish them fully, as I have commanded you, and do not defer to them.' "
14Then Holofernes went forth from the presence of his lord, and called all the governors and captains, and the officers of the army of Assur.
15And he mustered the chosen men for the battle, as his lord had commanded him, to a force of one hundred twenty thousand, plus twelve thousand archers on horseback;
16and he arrayed them just as a great army is ordered for war.
17And he took camels and asses for their carriages, a very great number; and sheep and oxen and goats without number for their provision,
18and plenty of rations for every man of the army, and very much gold and silver from the king's house.
19Then he went forth with all his power to precede king Nebuchadnezzar on the journey, and to cover all the face of the earth westward with their chariots and horsemen, and their chosen foot soldiers.
20Also a great number of diverse countries came with them, like locusts and like the sand of the earth, for their multitude was without number.
21And they went forth from Nineveh for three days' journey toward the plain of Bectileth, and pitched camp outside Bectileth, near the mountain which is at the left hand of upper Cilicia.
22Then he took all his army, his foot soldiers, and horsemen and chariots, and went from there into the hill country;
23and he destroyed Phud and Lud, and pillaged all the children of Rasses, and the children of Israel who were toward the wilderness at the south of the land of the Chellians.
24Then he went over the Euphrates, and went through Mesopotamia, and destroyed all the high cities along the river Arbonai, all the way to the sea.
25And he captured the borders of Cilicia, and killed all who resisted him, and came to the borders of Japheth, toward the south, opposite Arabia.
26He also encircled all the children of Madian, and burned up their tabernacles, and plundered their sheep pens.
27Then he went down into the plain of Damascus, at the time of the wheat harvest, and burnt up all their fields, and destroyed their flocks and herds; he also pillaged their cities, and utterly laid waste to their countries, and struck down all their young men with the edge of the sword.
28Therefore the fear and dread of him fell upon all the inhabitants of the sea coasts, who were in Sidon and Tyrus, and those who lived in Sur and Ocina, and all who lived in Jemnaan. And those who lived in Azotus and Ascalon feared him greatly.