“As long as they did not sin against their God they prospered.
The God who hates iniquity is with them.
But when they departed from the way
That he had prescribed for them,
They were utterly defeated in many battles.
They were led away captive to a foreign country.
The temple of their God was razed to the ground.
Their towns were captured by their enemies.
But now they have returned to their God.
They have come back from the places where they were scattered.
They have occupied Jerusalem, where their sanctuary is.
They have settled in the hill country, because it was uninhabited.
So now, my master and lord,
If there is any oversight in this people and they sin against their God, And we find out their offense,
Then we will go up and defeat them.
But if they are not a guilty nation,
Then let my lord pass them by.
Their Lord and God will defend them.
We shall then become the laughing stock of the whole world.”
The most controversial part of the story of the Achior story is that God is on the Israelite side. When they followed God, they were protected. When they failed to follow his prescriptions, they were defeated. They were sent away to captivity. Here is where we have a problem. Holofernes is supposedly the general of King Nebuchadnezzar who will bring them into captivity. He is the one who destroyed the Temple. The setting is clearly post-exilic as these are good Israelites who returned and built the temple in Jerusalem. Achior then posses the problem, if these people have sinned, then they should be easy to defeat. However, if they have not sinned, their God will protect them. Then it is best to leave them alone. If we lose, we will be the laughing stock of the whole world, obviously the Mideast world of that time.