1 Now the children of Yisra’ĕl who dwelt in Yahuḏah, heard all that Holophernĕs the chief captain of Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar sovereign of Ashshur had done to the nations, and how he had plundered all their temples, and brought them to nought.
2 Therefore they were exceedingly afraid of him, and were troubled for Yerushalayim, and for the Hĕyḵal of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 their Elohim;
3 for they had recently returned from the captivity, and all the people of Yahuḏah were recently gathered together; and the utensils and the altar and the House were qadosh after they were defiled.
4 So they sent to all the coast of Shomeron, and Qonah and to Bĕyth Ḥoron, and Ba’al Mayim, and Yeriḥo, and to Hoḇaḥ, and Ḥatsor, and to the valley of Shalĕm;
5 and took possession beforehand of all the tops of the high mountains, and strengthened the cities that were in them, and laid up food for the supply of battle; for their fields were recently reaped.
6 Also Yoyaqim the kohĕn ha’gadol, who was in Yerushalayim in those days, wrote to those who dwelt in Bĕyth Yulia, and Bĕyth Hornasthayim, which is opposite Yizre’ĕl toward the open country, near to Dothan,
7 commanding them to guard the passages of the hill country; for through them there was an entrance into Yahuḏah, and it was easy to stop those who would come up, because the passage was narrow – for two men at the most.
8 And the children of Yisra’ĕl did as Yoyaqim the kohĕn ha’gadol had commanded them, with the elders of all the people of Yisra’ĕl who dwelt at Yerushalayim.
9 Then every man of Yisra’ĕl cried to Elohim with great ardour, and they humbled their beings with great fervency;
10 both they and their wives and their children and their cattle and every stranger and hired man and their servants bought with money, and put sackcloth upon their loins.
11 So every man and woman and the little children and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, fell before the Hĕyḵal, and threw ashes upon their heads, and spread out their sackcloth before the face of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄; they also put sackcloth around the altar,
12 and cried to the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl all with one accord earnestly, that He would not give their children as prey and their wives as spoil and the cities of their inheritance to destruction and the Qodesh Place to defilement and reproach, and for the nations to rejoice at.
13 So Elohim heard their prayers and looked upon their afflictions; for the people fasted many days in all Yahuḏah and Yerushalayim before the Qodesh Place of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 Elohim.
14 And Yoyaqim the kohĕn ha’gadol, and all the kohenim that stood before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and those who served before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, had their loins girded with sackcloth and offered the daily burnt offerings with the vowed and voluntary offerings of the people,
15 and had ashes on their turbans, and cried unto 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 with all their strength, that He would look upon all the house of Yisra’el with favour.