All these nations sent a peace delegation to King Nebuchadnezzar with this message:
"We remain loyal to you, great King Nebuchadnezzar; we are ready to serve you and obey any command that you may wish to give us.
Our buildings, all our land, our wheat fields, our livestock, and our tents are at your disposal; use them in any way you wish.
Our people will be your slaves, and you may use our towns as you please."
After the peace delegation had brought this message,
Holofernes led Nebuchadnezzar's army down to the Mediterranean coast. He stationed guards in all the walled towns and selected certain local men in each of the towns as reserve troops.
The people in the towns and in the surrounding countryside welcomed Holofernes by wearing wreaths of flowers and dancing to the beat of drums.
But Holofernes destroyed all their places of worship and cut down their sacred trees. He had been ordered to destroy all the gods of the land so that all the nations and tribes would worship only Nebuchadnezzar and pray to him as a god.
Then Holofernes passed through Jezreel Valley near Dothan, which faces the main ridge of the mountains of Judah,
and set up camp between Geba and Scythopolis. He stayed there for a month in order to get supplies for his army.