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Judith - Chapter 2
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1 In the eighteenth year, on the twenty-second day of the first month, a rumour ran through the palace that Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians was to have his revenge on all the countries, as he had threatened.
2 Summoning his general staff and senior officers, he held a secret conference with them, and with his own lips pronounced utter destruction on the entire area.
5 'Thus speaks the Great King, lord of the whole world, "Go; take men of proven valour, about a hundred and twenty thousand foot soldiers and a strong company of horse with twelve thousand cavalrymen;
7 Bid them have earth and water ready, because in my rage I am about to march on them; the feet of my soldiers will cover the whole face of the earth, and I shall plunder it.
10 Now go! Begin by conquering this whole region for me. If they surrender to you, hold them for me until the time comes to punish them.
12 For by my life and by the living power of my kingdom I have spoken. All this I shall do by my power.
13 And you, neglect none of your master's commands, act strictly according to my orders without further delay." '
17 He then secured vast numbers of camels, donkeys and mules to carry the baggage, and innumerable sheep, oxen and goats for food supplies.
18 Every man received full rations and a generous sum of gold and silver from the king's purse.
27 made his way down to the Damascus plain at the time of the wheat harvest, set fire to the fields, destroyed the flocks and herds, sacked the towns, laid the countryside waste and put all the young men to the sword.
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Responsorial Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
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