What are the beleaguered peoples going to do? They have little choice. If they do nothing, they will be mown down by his terrifyingly efficient fighting machine. So they sue for peace. A list of nations just to the north of Judah send a message of unconditional surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. Judah is not among them.
These peoples welcome Holofernes with every sign of ingratiating joy. The general is not moved. He systematically destroys their places of worship - an important part of breaking people’s spirit - and proclaims that everyone must worship Nebuchadnezzar as a god. Finally, the army halts at the very edge of Samarian territory, and there is a month’s delay while they are resupplied.
The tension has been building for three chapters. What will happen next?