“As for Achior’s speech in your council,
We have heard his words.
The people of Bethulia spared him.
He told them all he had said to you.
Therefore, lord and master, do not disregard what he said.
Keep it in your mind.
It is true.
Indeed, our nation cannot be punished.
The sword cannot prevail against them,
Unless they sin against their God.
Now, in order that my lord may not be defeated
That his purpose may not be frustrated,
Death will fall upon them.
A sin has overtaken them,
By which they are about to provoke their God to anger,
When they do what is wrong.
Since their food supply is exhausted,
Their water has almost given out,
They have planned to kill their livestock.
They have determined to use all
That God by his laws has forbidden them to eat.
They have decided to consume
The first fruits of the grain,
The tithes of the wine and oil,
That they had consecrated.
They had set aside for the priests
Who minister in the presence of our God in Jerusalem.
These are things not lawful for any of the people,
Even to touch with their hands.
Since even the people in Jerusalem have been doing this,
They have sent messengers there,
To bring back permission from the council of the elders.
When the response reaches them
They will act upon it.
On that very day,
They will be handed over to you to be destroyed.”
Judith revealed that the people of Bethulia knew everything that Achior had said to him. What he said was true. Only God can defeat them if they sin. However, because of the famine and thirst, they are about to sin. They were going to eat the forbidden foods. They are going to take the first fruits and tithes of wine and oil that had been set aside for the priests, and consume it. They are going to break the law of God. It was forbidden to even touch these things. Now they have sent messengers to Jerusalem to get permission from the elders there. As soon as their response reaches them, they will act on it and destroy themselves.