“Then all the chieftains of the Edomites and all the leaders of the Moabites along with the commanders of the coastland came to General Holofernes and said.
‘Listen to what we have to say, my lord.
Your army will suffer no losses.
This people, the Israelites,
Do not rely on their spears
But on the height of the mountains where they live.
It is not easy to reach the tops of their mountains.
Therefore, my lord,
Do not fight against them in regular formation.
Not a man of your army will fall.
Remain in your camp!
Keep all the men in your forces with you.
Let your servants take possession of the spring of water
That flows from the foot of the mountain,
Which is where all the people of Bethulia get their water.
So thirst will destroy them.
They will surrender their town.
Meanwhile, we and our people
Will go up to the tops of the nearby mountains.
We will camp there to keep watch to see
That no one gets out of the town.
They and their wives and children will waste away with famine.
Before the sword reaches them
They will be strewn about in the streets where they live.
Thus you will pay them back with evil,
Because they rebelled and did not receive you peaceably.’”
The local groups of Edomites, Moabites, and coastal people had a proposal for General Holofernes. They came up with the idea where the Assyrians would lose no men in battle because the mountains were hard to climb. This is the only occasion where mountains seem to favor the Israelites. In all other cases the battles seemed to be around towns and in valleys. They proposed that the water supply be shut down. Somehow the water springs were at the bottom of the mountain. It seems like there might be water at the top of the mountain. The Israelites would suffer from a great thirst. Eventually, they would surrender their towns as they would waste away with famine. This is somewhat similar to the idea of trying to cause a famine in Samaria under the Israelite King Jehoram (852-841 BCE) in 2 Kings, chapter 6, when he was attacked by the king of the Arameans. This would be an easy way to conquer these rebellious men of Judah and Benjamin, since theoretically Israel had already been conquered the previous century.