1 Then it was declared to Holophernĕs, the chief captain of the army of Ashshur, that the children of Yisra’ĕl had prepared for battle and had shut up the passages of the hill country and had fortified all the tops of the high hills and had laid obstructions in the plains,
2 with which he was very wroth, and called all the princes of Mo’aḇ and the captains of Ammon, and all the governors of the seacoast;
3 and he said to them, “Tell me now you sons of Kena’an, who these people are that dwell in the hill country; and what are the cities that they inhabit and what is the number of their army and in what is their power and strength and what sovereign is appointed over them or captain of their army,
4 and why have they determined not to come and meet me, more than all the inhabitants of the west?”
5 Then Aḵior, the captain of all the sons of Ammon said, “Let my master now hear a word from the mouth of your servant, and I shall declare to you the truth concerning these people who dwell near you and inhabit the hill countries; and no lie shall come out of the mouth of your servant.
6 “These people are descended from the Kasdim,
7 and they sojourned before in Aram Naharayim, because they would not follow the mighty ones of their fathers, who were in the land of Kasdim.
8 “For they left the way of their ancestors and worshipped the Elohim of the shamayim, the Elohim whom they knew. So they cast them out from the face of their mighty ones, and they fled into Aram Naharayim, and sojourned there many days.
9 “Then their Elohim commanded them to depart from the place where they sojourned, and to go into the land of Kena’an; where they dwelt, and increased in gold and silver and with very much cattle.
10 “But when a famine covered all the land of Kena’an, they went down into Mitsrayim, and sojourned there, while they were provided for, and became a great multitude there, so that none could number their nation.
11 “Therefore the sovereign of Mitsrayim rose up against them, and dealt cunningly with them, and brought them low in making bricks, and made them slaves.
12 “Then they cried out to their Elohim, and He smote all the land of Mitsrayim with incurable plagues; so the Mitsrites cast them out of their sight.
13 “And Elohim dried the Sea of Reeds before them,
14 and brought them to Mount Sinai, and Qaḏĕsh Barnĕa, and cast out all who dwelt in the wilderness.
15 “So they dwelt in the land of the Amorites, and they destroyed all those of Ḥeshbon by their strength, and passing over the Yardĕn they took possession of all the hill country.
16 “And they cast out before them the Kena’anites, the Perizzites, the Yeḇusites and the Sheḵemites and all the Girgashites, and they dwelt in that land many days.
17 “And while they did not sin before their Elohim, they prospered, because the Elohim who hates wickedness was with them.
18 “But when they departed from the Way which He appointed them, they were destroyed in many heavy battles, and were led captives into a land that was not theirs, and the Hĕyḵal of their Elohim was cast down to the ground, and their cities were taken by their enemies.
19 “But now they have returned to their Elohim and have come up from the places where they were scattered and have possessed Yerushalayim where their Qodesh Place is; and have settled in the hill country, for it was isolated.
20 “Now therefore my master and governor, if there is any mistake against this people, and they sin against their Elohim, let us consider that this shall be their ruin, and let us go up, and we shall overcome them.
21 “But if there is no wickedness in their nation, let my master now pass by, lest their Aḏon defend them, and their Elohim be for them, and we become a reproach before all the world.”
22 And when Aḵior had finished these words, all the people standing around the tent murmured, and the heads of Holophernĕs and all who dwelt by the seacoast and in Mo’aḇ, said that he should kill him.
23 For they said, “We are not afraid of the face of the children of Yisra’ĕl! For see, they are a people who have no strength nor power for a mighty battle.
24 “Now therefore master Holophernĕs, we shall go up and they shall be a prey to be devoured by your entire army!