So they sent messengers to Holofernes, requesting peace:
"Look, we are the servants of the Great King Nebuchadnezzar, and we present ourselves to you. Do with us whatever you think is best.
Look, here are our homes and all of our property, all the wheat fields and flocks and herds. All of our tents lie before you. Do with them as you think is best.
Our cities and the people who live there are your slaves. Come down and deal with them as you see fit."
The men brought this message to Holofernes.
Then he and his army went down to the seacoast and placed guards in strategic cities and chose men from among them to form a reserve army.
Everyone in the surrounding countryside welcomed him with wreaths, dancing, and drums.
Yet he still demolished all their shrines and cut down their sacred groves. He had been commanded to destroy all the gods of the land so that all the nations would worship only Nebuchadnezzar, and so that those of every language and tribe would call upon him as their god.
Then Holofernes approached Esdraelon near Dothan, which is opposite the great ridge of Judea,