Judith Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 Then, upon hearing these things, the sons of Israel, who dwelt in the land of Judah, were very afraid before his face.
2 Trembling and horror invaded their senses, lest he should do the same thing to Jerusalem and to the temple of the Lord that he had done to other cities and their temples.
3 And they sent into all of Samaria, and by an indirect route even to Jericho, and they seized in advance all the tops of the mountains.
4 And they surrounded their villages with walls, and they gathered together grain in preparation for the fight.
5 And then Eliachim the priest wrote to all who were opposite Esdrelon, which is opposite the face of the great plain near Dothain, and to all whom he would be able to reach through a passable way:
6 that they should hold the ascents of the mountains, through which there might be any passage able to reach Jerusalem, and that they should keep watch where the passage was narrow, wherever possible, between the mountains.
7 And the sons of Israel did just as Eliachim, the priest of the Lord, had appointed them.
8 And all the people cried out to the Lord with great urgency, and they humbled their souls with fastings, and prayers, both they and their wives.
9 And the priests clothed themselves with haircloths, and they prostrated the little children opposite the face of the temple of the Lord, and they covered the altar of the Lord with haircloth.
10 And they cried out to the Lord God of Israel with one accord, lest their children should be given over as prey, and their wives into distribution, and their cities into extermination, and their holy things into defilement, and so that they might not become the disgrace of the Gentiles.
11 Then Eliachim, the high priest of the Lord, traveled all around Israel, and he was talking to them,
12 saying: “Know that the Lord will heed your prayers, if you continue to persevere in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord.
13 Recall that Moses, the servant of the Lord, overcame Amalek, who trusted in his own strength, and in his power, and in his army, and in his bronze shields, and in his swift chariots, and in his horsemen. He overcame him, not by fighting with iron, but by pleading with holy prayers.
14 So will it be with all the enemies of Israel, if you persevere in this work that you have begun.”
15 Therefore, by this exhortation and his prayer to the Lord, they continued in the sight of the Lord,
16 so that even those who offered holocausts to the Lord, offered the sacrifices to the Lord girded with haircloths, and there were ashes upon their heads.
17 And they all begged God with their whole heart, that he would visit his people Israel.