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King James Version
- The next day Holofernes commanded all his army, and all his people
which were come to take his part, that they should remove their camp
against Bethulia, to take aforehand the ascents of the hill country, and
to make war against the children of Israel.
- Then their strong men removed their camps in that day, and the army
of the men of war was an hundred and seventy thousand footmen, and twelve
thousand horsemen, beside the baggage, and other men that were afoot among
them, a very great multitude. COMMENTARY
- And they camped in the valley near unto Bethulia, by the fountain,
and they spread themselves in breadth over Dothaim even to Belmaim, and in
length from Bethulia unto Cynamon, which is over against Esdraelon.
- Now the children of Israel, when they saw the multitude of them,
were greatly troubled, and said every one to his neighbour, Now will these
men lick up the face of the earth; for neither the high mountains, nor the
valleys, nor the hills, are able to bear their weight.
- Then every man took up his weapons of war, and when they had kindled
fires upon their towers, they remained and watched all that night. COMMENTARY
- But in the second day Holofernes brought forth all his horsemen in
the sight of the children of Israel which were in Bethulia, COMMENTARY
- And viewed the passages up to the city, and came to the fountains of
their waters, and took them, and set garrisons of men of war over them,
and he himself removed toward his people.
- Then came unto him all the chief of the children of Esau, and all
the governors of the people of Moab, and the captains of the sea coast,
and said, COMMENTARY
- Let our lord now hear a word, that there be not an overthrow in
thine army. COMMENTARY
- For this people of the children of Israel do not trust in their
spears, but in the height of the mountains wherein they dwell, because it
is not easy to come up to the tops of their mountains.
- Now therefore, my lord, fight not against them in battle array, and
there shall not so much as one man of thy people perish. COMMENTARY
- Remain in thy camp, and keep all the men of thine army, and let thy
servants get into their hands the fountain of water, which issueth forth
of the foot of the mountain: COMMENTARY
- For all the inhabitants of Bethulia have their water thence; so
shall thirst kill them, and they shall give up their city, and we and our
people shall go up to the tops of the mountains that are near, and will
camp upon them, to watch that none go out of the city.
- So they and their wives and their children shall be consumed with
fire, and before the sword come against them, they shall be overthrown in
the streets where they dwell. COMMENTARY
- Thus shalt thou render them an evil reward; because they rebelled,
and met not thy person peaceably. COMMENTARY
- And these words pleased Holofernes and all his servants, and he
appointed to do as they had spoken. COMMENTARY
- So the camp of the children of Ammon departed, and with them five
thousand of the Assyrians, and they pitched in the valley, and took the
waters, and the fountains of the waters of the children of Israel. COMMENTARY
- Then the children of Esau went up with the children of Ammon, and
camped in the hill country over against Dothaim: and they sent some of
them toward the south, and toward the east over against Ekrebel, which is
near unto Chusi, that is upon the brook Mochmur; and the rest of the army
of the Assyrians camped in the plain, and covered the face of the whole
land; and their tents and carriages were pitched to a very great
- Then the children of Israel cried unto the Lord their God, because
their heart failed, for all their enemies had compassed them round about,
and there was no way to escape out from among them.
- Thus all the company of Assur remained about them, both their
footmen, chariots, and horsemen, four and thirty days, so that all their
vessels of water failed all the inhibitants of Bethulia. COMMENTARY
- And the cisterns were emptied, and they had not water to drink their
fill for one day; for they gave them drink by measure.
- Therefore their young children were out of heart, and their women
and young men fainted for thirst, and fell down in the streets of the
city, and by the passages of the gates, and there was no longer any
strength in them. COMMENTARY
- Then all the people assembled to Ozias, and to the chief of the
city, both young men, and women, and children, and cried with a loud
voice, and said before all the elders, COMMENTARY
- God be judge between us and you: for ye have done us great injury,
in that ye have not required peace of the children of Assur. COMMENTARY
- For now we have no helper: but God hath sold us into their hands,
that we should be thrown down before them with thirst and great
- Now therefore call them unto you, and deliver the whole city for a
spoil to the people of Holofernes, and to all his army. COMMENTARY
- For it is better for us to be made a spoil unto them, than to die
for thirst: for we will be his servants, that our souls may live, and not
see the death of our infants before our eyes, nor our wives nor our
children to die. COMMENTARY
- We take to witness against you the heaven and the earth, and our God
and Lord of our fathers, which punisheth us according to our sins and the
sins of our fathers, that he do not according as we have said this day.
- Then there was great weeping with one consent in the midst of the
assembly; and they cried unto the Lord God with a loud voice. COMMENTARY
- Then said Ozias to them, Brethren, be of good courage, let us yet
endure five days, in the which space the Lord our God may turn his mercy
toward us; for he will not forsake us utterly.
- And if these days pass, and there come no help unto us, I will do
according to your word. COMMENTARY
- And he dispersed the people, every one to their own charge; and they
went unto the walls and towers of their city, and sent the women and
children into their houses: and they were very low brought in the city.
- v. 3, "Belmaim":
Variously spelled in various texts. Some versions
have "Belhamon", which is interesting because
(as Luis Stadelman noted in his 1990 commentary on
Canticles) the phrase baal hamon, "lord of the holding",
occurs in the Song of Songs (8:11).
Orthodox Library, St. Philip's Day, 2007.
Have mercy, O Lord, upon Thy servants
the scribe John, the priest Peter, the Pakistani nation,
and the parishioners of the temple of Saint Andrew in Lubbock.
THE END, AND TO GOD BE THE GLORY!