Judith 7

1 Forsothe in `the tother dai Holofernes comaundide hise oostis to stie ayens Bethulia.

2 Forsothe there weren sixe score thousynde `foot men of fiyteris, and twelue thousynde knyytis, `outakun the makyng redi of tho men, whiche caitifte hadde ocupied, and weren brouyt fro prouynces and citees, of alle yongthe.

3 Alle togidere maden hem redi to batel ayens the sones of Israel; and thei camen bi the side of the hil `til to the cop, that biholdith Dothaym, fro the place which is seid Belma `til to Selmon, which is ayens Esdrolon.

4 Forsothe the sones of Israel, as thei sien the multitude of hem, bowiden doun hem silf on the erthe, and senten aische on her heedis, and preiden with o wille, that God of Israel schulde schewe his merci on his puple.

5 And thei token her armuris of batel, and saten bi the places `that dressen the path of streyt weie bitwixe hilli places, and thei kepten tho places al the dai and nyyt.

6 Certis Holofernes, the while he yede aboute bi cumpas, foonde that the welle, that flowide in to the watir cundit of hem, was dressid at the south part with out the citee, and he comaundide her watir cundit to be kit.

7 Netheles wellis weren not fer fro the wallis, of whiche wellis thei weren seyn to drawe watir bi thefte, rather to refreische than to drynke.

8 But the sones of Amon and of Moab neiyiden to Holofernes, and seiden, The sones of Israel tristen not in spere and arowe, but hillis defenden hem, and litle hillis set in the rooche of stoon maken hem stronge.

9 Therfor that thou maist ouercome hem without asailyng of batel, sette thou keperis of wellis, that thei drawe not of tho; and thou schalt sle hem without swerd, ethir certis thei maad feynt schulen bitake her citee, which thei gessen `to mow not be ouercomun `in the hillis.

10 And these wordis plesiden bifor Holofernes, and bifor alle hise knyytis; and he ordeynede bi cumpas bi ech welle an hundrid men.

11 And whanne `this kepyng was fillid bi twenti daies, cisternes and gaderyngis of watris fayliden to alle men dwellynge in Bethulia, so that there was not with ynne the citee, wherof thei schulden be fillid, nameli o dai, for the watir was youun at mesure to the puplis ech dai.

12 Thanne alle men and wymmen, yonge men and elde, and litle children, weren gaderid togidere to Ozie, and alle thei seiden to gidere with o vois,

13 The Lord deme bitwixe vs and thee, for thou, not wyllynge speke pesibli with Assiriens, hast `do yuels ayenus vs, and for this thing God hath seld vs in the hondis of hem.

14 And therfor `noon is that helpith, whanne we ben cast doun in thirst, and in greet los bifor her iyen.

15 And now gadere ye togidere alle men, that ben in the citee, that alle we puplis bitake vs bi fre wille to Holofernes.

16 It is betere that we prisoneris blesse God and lyue, than that we die, and be schenschip to ech man, sithen we seen that oure wyues and oure yonge children dien bifor oure iyen.

17 We clepen in to witnessyng to dai heuene and erthe, and the God of oure fadris, that punischith vs aftir oure synnes, that nowe ye bitake the citee in to the hondis of the chyualrie of Holofernes, and oure ende be schort in the scharpnesse of swerd, which ende is maad lengere in the drynesse of thirst.

18 And whanne thei hadden seid these thingis, greet wepyng and yellyng was maad of alle men in the grete chirche, and bi many ouris thei crieden `with o vois to the Lord,

19 and seiden, We and oure fadris han synned, we han do vniustli, we diden wickidnesse.

20 Thou, for thou art mercyful, haue mercy on vs, and venge oure wickidnessis in thi scourge; and nyle thou bitake men knoulechynge thee to a puple that knowith not thee,

21 that thei seie not amonge hethene men, Where is the God of hem?

22 And whanne thei weren maad feynt with these cries, and weren maad wery with these wepyngis, and weren stille,

23 Ozie roos up, bisched with teeris, and seide, Britheren, be ye pacient, and bi these fyue daies abide we mercy of the Lord;

24 for in hap he schal kitte a wei his indignacioun, and schal yyue glorie to his name.

25 Sotheli if whanne these fyue daies ben passid, help cometh not, we schulen do these wordis whiche ye han spoke.