1 When the uproar of those crowding round the council had subsided, Holofernes, general-in-chief of the Assyrian army, reprimanded Achior in front of the whole crowd of foreigners and Ammonites.
2 'Achior, who do you think you are, you and the Ephraimite mercenaries, playing the prophet like this with us today, and trying to dissuade us from making war on the people of Israel? You claim their God will protect them. And who is God if not Nebuchadnezzar? He himself will display his power and wipe them off the face of the earth, and their God will certainly not save them.
3 But we, his servants, shall destroy them as easily as a single individual. They can never resist the strength of our cavalry.
4 We shall burn them all. Their mountains will be drunk with their blood and their plains filled with their corpses. Far from being able to resist us, every one of them will die; thus says King Nebuchadnezzar, lord of the whole world. For he has spoken, and his words will not prove empty.
5 As for you, Achior, you Ammonite mercenary, who in a rash moment said these words, you will not see my face again until the day when I have taken my revenge on this brood from Egypt.
6 And then the swords of my soldiers and the spears of my officers will pierce your sides. You will fall among their wounded, the moment I turn on Israel.
7 My servants will now take you into the hill-country and leave you near one of the towns in the passes;
8 you will not die, until you share their ruin.
9 No need to look so sad if you cherish the secret hope that they will not be captured! I have spoken; none of my words will prove idle.'
10 Holofernes having commanded his tent-orderlies to seize Achior, to take him to Bethulia and to hand him over to the Israelites,
11 the orderlies took him, escorted him out of the camp and across the plain, and then, making for the hill-country, reached the springs below Bethulia.
12 As soon as the men of the town sighted them, they snatched up their weapons, left the town and made for the mountain tops, while all the slingers pelted them with stones to prevent them from coming up.
13 However, they managed to take cover at the foot of the slope, where they bound Achior and left him lying at the bottom of the mountain and returned to their master.
14 The Israelites then came down from their town, stopped by him, unbound him and took him to Bethulia, where they brought him before the chief men of the town,
15 who at that time were Uzziah son of Micah of the tribe of Simeon, Chabris son of Gothoniel and Charmis son of Melchiel.
16 These summoned all the elders of the town. The young men and the women also hurried to the assembly. Achior was made to stand with all the people surrounding him, and Uzziah questioned him about what had happened.
17 He answered by telling them what had been said at Holofernes' council, and what he himself had said in the presence of the Assyrian leaders, and how Holofernes had bragged of what he would do to the House of Israel.
18 At this the people fell to the ground and worshipped God.
19 'Lord God of heaven,' they cried, 'take notice of their arrogance and have pity on the humiliation of our race. Look kindly today on those who are consecrated to you.'
20 They then spoke reassuringly to Achior and praised him warmly.
21 After the assembly Uzziah took him home and gave a banquet for the elders; all that night they called on the God of Israel for help.