1. They therefore sent messengers to him to sue for peace in these words:
2. "We, the servants of Nebuchadnezzar the great king, lie prostrate before you; do with us as you will.
3. Our dwellings and all our wheat fields, our flocks and herds, and all our encampments are at your disposal; make use of them as you please.
4. Our cities and their inhabitants are also at your service; come and deal with them as you see fit."
5. After the spokesmen had reached Holofernes and given him this message,
6. he went down with his army to the seacoast, and stationed garrisons in the fortified cities; from them he impressed picked troops as auxiliaries.
7. The people of these cities and all the inhabitants of the countryside received him with garlands and dancing to the sound of timbrels.
8. Nevertheless, he devastated their whole territory and cut down their sacred groves, for he had been commissioned to destroy all the gods of the earth, so that every nation might worship Nebuchadnezzar alone, and every people and tribe invoke him as a god.
9. At length Holofernes reached Esdraelon in the neighborhood of Dothan, the approach to the main ridge of the Judean mountains;
10. he set up his camp between Geba and Scythopolis, and stayed there a whole month to refurbish all the equipment of his army.