1. When the tumult among the men standing around the tent had died down, Holofernes, general in chief of the Assyrian army, said to Achior in the presence of all the foreigners and all the people of Moab,

2. "Who are you, Achior, you and all the people bribed by Israel to prophesy against us as you have done today? Why do you counsel us not to make war on the race of Israel because their God will cover them with a shield? Who is God, if not Nebuchadnezzar. He will send out his army and wipe them off the face of the earth and their God will not save them.

3. But we, the king's servants, will crush them as though they were just one man. They will not withstand the onslaught of our horses.

4. We will burn the whole lot of them in their own homes. Their mountains will be soaked with their blood, their plains will be full of their dead. They will not be able to hold their ground before us. Most surely they will perish, as King Nebuchadnezzar, lord of all the earth, had foretold. He said it and the words he has uttered will not be in vain.

5. But you, Achior, an Ammonite mercenary who has today uttered these words to your shame, from now on you will not see my face until I avenge myself on this race who came from Egypt.

6. The sword of my soldiers and the lance of my officers will pierce your sides. When I return from battle, your body will be with all the dead of Israel.

7. My servants will lead you into the mountain region and will deposit you in one of the towns which are on the slopes,

8. so that you will share the same fate as the rest of them.

9. But if you believe that they will not be taken, then do not put on such a long face. I have spoken and not one of my words will be without effect."

10. Holofernes ordered his guards who were standing in the tent to seize Achior, take him to Bethulia and hand him over into the hands of the Israelites.

11. The servants seized him and took him outside the camp onto the plain; from the middle of the plain they took him towards the mountain country and reached the springs which were at the foot of Bethulia.

12. When the men of the town at the top of the mountain saw them coming, they took their weapons, went out of the town to the summit of the mountain, and those who were armed with catapults tried to stop their ascent by slinging stones at them.

13. The guards took shelter, tied up Achior and left him lying on the ground at the foot of the mountain. They then returned to their lord.

14. The sons of Israel descended from the town and went up to Achior, and having untied him, they led him to Bethulia, and took him to the rulers of the town,

15. who in those days were Uzziah the son of Micah of the tribe of Simeon, Chabris the son of Gothoniel, and Charmis the son of Melchiel.

16. As they called for a meeting of all the elders of the town, the young people and the women also joined the assembly. They placed Achior in the midst of the assembled people and Uzziah asked him what had happened.

17. In reply he told them about the council meeting of Holofernes and all that he himself had said to the leaders of the Assyrians. He also told them of the threatening words of Holofernes against Israel.

18. The people threw themselves down on the ground, worshiped God and called upon his help saying,

19. "Lord God of Heaven, take into consideration the insolence of the Assyrians and have pity on your humiliated people. Look this day upon those who are consecrated to you."

20. They encouraged Achior and congratulated him warmly.

21. Then Uzziah led him from the assembly into his own house and gave a meal for the elders. All through the night the people called upon the God of Israel, begging him to come to their aid.

Livros sugeridos

“Devo fazer somente a vontade de Deus e, se lhe agrado, o restante não conta.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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