“Then all the people, the young men, the women, and the children, gathered around Uzziah and the rulers of the town. They cried out with a loud voice. They said before all the elders.
‘Let God judge between you and us!
You have done us a great injury,
In not making peace with the Assyrians.
Now we have no one to help us.
God has sold us into their hands,
To be strewn before them in thirst and exhaustion.
Now summon them!
Surrender the whole city as booty,
To the army of General Holofernes and to all his forces.
It would be better for us to be captured by them.
We shall indeed become slaves,
But our lives will be spared.
We shall not witness our little ones dying before our eyes,
Our wives and children drawing their last breath.
We call to witness against you heaven and earth,
Our God, the Lord of our ancestors,
He punishes us for our sins,
And the sins of our ancestors.
Do today the things that we have described!’
Then great and general lamentation arose throughout the assembly. They cried out to the Lord God with a loud voice.”
The Israelites wanted to surrender and live as slaves. They cried out to God in front of all the leaders. They were blaming the leaders for not making peace with the Assyrians. They felt that God had sold them out by letting them die of thirst. They would rather be living slaves, giving up their belongings than watch their children die of thirst with their last breath. They realized that they were being punished for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They wanted the leaders to surrender so that they could live. They lamented all that had happened. They cried to God with a loud noise.