And it was told Holofernes, the chief captain of the host of Asshur, that the children of Israel had prepared for war, and had shut up the passages of the hill country, and had fortified all the tops of the high hills, and had laid impediments in the plains: and he was exceeding wroth, and he called all the princes of Moab, and the captains of Ammon, and all the governors of the seacoast, and he said unto them, Tell me now, ye sons of Canaan, who is this people, that dwelleth in the hill country, and what are the cities that they inhabit, and what is the multitude of their host, and wherein is their power and their strength, and what king is set over them, to be the leader of their army; and why have they turned their backs, that they should not come and meet me, more than all that dwell in the west.
And Achior, the leader of all the children of Ammon, said unto him,
Let my lord now hear a word from the mouth of thy servant, and I will tell thee the truth concerning this people, which dwelleth in this hill country, nigh unto the place where thou dwellest: and there shall no lie come out of the mouth of thy servant. This people are descended of the Chaldeans: and they sojourned heretofore in Mesopotamia, because they were not minded to follow the gods of their fathers, who were in the land of the Chaldeans. And they departed from the way of their parents, and worshiped the God of heaven, the God whom they knew: and they cast them out from the face of their gods, and they fled into Mesopotamia, and sojourned there many days. And their God commanded them to depart from the place where they sojourned, and to go into the land of Canaan: and they dwelt there, and were increased with gold and silver, and with exceeding much cattle. 10 And they went down into Egypt, for a famine covered all the land of Canaan; and there they sojourned, until they were grown up; and they became there a great multitude, so that one could not number their nation. 11 And the king of Egypt rose up against them, and dealt craftily with them, and brought them low, making them to labor in brick, and made them slaves. 12 And they cried unto their God, and he smote all the land of Egypt with incurable plagues: and the Egyptians cast them out of their sight. 13 And God dried up the Red Sea before them, 14 and brought them into the way of Sinai, and Kadesh-barnea, and they cast out all that dwelt in the wilderness. 15 And they dwelt in the land of the Amorites, and they destroyed by their strength all them of Heshbon, and passing over Jordan they possessed all the hill country. 16 And they cast out before them the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Shechemite, and all the Girgashites, and they dwelt in that country many days. 17 And while they sinned not before their God, they prospered, because God that hateth iniquity was with them. 18 But when they departed from the way which he appointed them, they were destroyed in many battles very sore, and were led captives into a land that was not theirs, and the temple of their God was cast to the ground, and their cities were taken by their adversaries. 19 And now they are returned to their God, and are come up from the Dispersion where they were dispersed, and have possessed Jerusalem, where their sanctuary is, and are seated in the hill country: for it was desolate. 20 And now, my lord and master, if there is any error in this people, and they sin against their God, we will consider what this thing is wherein they stumble, and we will go up and overcome them. 21 But if there is no lawlessness in their nation, let my lord now pass by, lest their Lord defend them, and their God be for them, and we shall be a reproach before all the earth.
22 And it came to pass, when Achior had finished speaking these words, all the people that compassed the tent and stood round about it murmured; and the great men of Holofernes, and all that dwelt by the seaside, and in Moab, spake that he should kill him. 23 For, said they, we will not be afraid of the children of Israel: for, lo, it is a people that hath no power nor might to make the battle strong. 24 Wherefore now we will go up, and they shall be a prey to be devoured of all thine army, lord Holofernes.