General Holofernes sets the plan in action (Jdt 7:16-7:18)

“These words pleased General Holofernes and all his servants. He gave orders to do as they had said. So the army of the Ammonites moved forward, together with five thousand Assyrians. They encamped in the valley. They seized the water supply and the springs of the Israelites. The Edomites and the Ammonites went up and encamped in the hill country opposite Dothan. They sent some of their men toward the south and the east, toward Egrebeh, which is near Chusi beside the Wadi Mochmur. The rest of the Assyrian army encamped in the plain. They covered the whole face of the land. Their tents and supply trains spread out in great number. They formed a vast multitude.”

General Holofernes thought that seizing the water supply was a good idea. He gave orders to his army. The Ammonites with 5,000 Assyrian troops seized the water supply and the water springs. The Edomites and Ammonites encamped in the in the hill country opposite Dothan. Some went south and east to Egrebeh, Chusi, and Mochmur. All of these places are near Shechem, which would put this place further north in Manasseh territory. Meanwhile, the Assyrian army camped in the valley plain area so that they nearly covered the whole face of the earth. They had lots of tents and supplies spread out like a great large blanket.

 

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General Holofernes views the Israelites (Jdt 7:6-7:7)

“On the second day, General Holofernes led out all his cavalry in full view of the Israelites in Bethulia. He reconnoitered the approaches to their town. He visited the springs that supplied their water. He seized them and set guards of soldiers over them. Then he returned to his army.”

The next day, General Holofernes sent his 12,000 cavalry to show off before the Israelites. He reviewed the various approaches to their town. He also saw the spring water that supplied water to Bethulia. He had his soldiers guard the water. Then he returned to his army

Achior is sent to the Israelites (Jdt 6:10-6:13)

“Then General Holofernes ordered his slaves, who waited on him in his tent, to seize Achior. He wanted them to take him to Bethulia. There they would hand Achior over to the men of Israel. Thus the slaves took him. They led him out of the camp into the plain. From the plain, they went up into the hill country. They came to the springs below Bethulia. When the men of the town saw them, they seized their weapons. They ran out of the town to the top of the hill. All the slingers kept them from coming up by throwing stones at them. The slaves of Holofernes took shelter below the hill. They then bound Achior. They left him lying at the foot of the hill. Finally, they returned to their master.”

General Holofernes ordered his slaves to take Achior to Bethulia. Unfortunately we are unable to pinpoint where Bethulia might be since it is only mentioned in this book. It must have been fairly close to Dothan or near current day Jenin. Some have seen this as a veiled reference to Jerusalem. They left Achior at the bottom of the mountain, because the people of Bethulia came out with weapons when they saw the troops of General Holofernes coming towards them. They started slinging stones at them. The men of Holofernes then left Achior at the foot of the hill, after binding him up. They then returned to Holofernes.