Holofernes chastises Achior (Jdt 6:1-6:4)

“When the disturbance made by the people outside the council died down, Holofernes, the commander of the Assyrian army, said to Achior in the presence of all the foreign contingents.

‘Who are you, Achior?

You are a mercenary of Ephraim.

How can you prophesy among us as you have done today?

How can you tell us not to make war against the people of Israel?

As their God will defend them.

What god is there except Nebuchadnezzar?

He will send his forces and destroy them from the face of the earth.

Their God will not deliver them.

We the king’s servants will destroy them as one man.

They cannot resist the might of our cavalry.

We will overwhelm them.

Their mountains will be drunk with their blood.

Their fields will be full of their dead.

Not even their footprints will survive our attack.

They will utterly perish.

So says King Nebuchadnezzar, lord of the whole earth.

He has spoken.

None of his words shall be in vain.’”

Holofernes was not pleased with the presentation of Achior. He turned on him. Who did he think he was? Achior was just an Ephraim mercenary. Who made him a prophet? There was only one great god, King Nebuchadnezzar. He was sending his forces to destroy the whole earth. The Israelite God could not help the Israelites against this great king. The Assyrians were going to overwhelm the Israelites. In very colorful language, he said that the mountains would get drunk from the Israelite blood. The fields would be fertilized with their bodies. Their footprints would even disappear. The Israelites would be wiped out. King Nebuchadnezzar was the lord of all the earth. Holofernes’ own words would not be in vain. This is a long diatribe against Achior and the Israelites.