1 Maccabees Chapter 04 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 {End of Book I.}| 08 | 09  | 10  | 11  | 12  | 13  | 14  | 15  | 16  |


P. 18 – 21 Book 1 B.C. 210. [PDF: 68/71 of p.524]

CHAPTER IV.

(i) The king’s edict is executed with great severity.

1 Now wheresoever this decree came to hand, there was made a general festival among the heathen, with shouting and joy: that hatred, which had been hardened over[1]P. 18 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click image to enlarge] literally signifying, ” covered by a callus.” in their mind of old, now shewing itself outwardly in open discourse. But among the Jews there was intolerable 2 lamentation, and a most doleful cry with tears ; as if their hearts were set on fire on every side with their groans : while they bewailed that unexpected destruction which was suddenly decreed against them. What district[2]P. 18 Foot Note b. Gr. [  click image to enlarge] the proper appellation of the prefectures or districts of Egypt. or city, or indeed what habitable 3 place or what streets were there, which were not filled with lamentations and mourning over them ? For they were sent away unanimously with such 4 bitter and merciless feeling by the commanders in every city, that at their extraordinary[3]P. 18 Foot Note c. Gr. [ click image to enlarge] So in the Septuagint version of 2 Sam. vi. 14, David is said to be  [ click image to enlarge] though our English translators do not thus render … Continue reading punishment some of their very enemies, having common pity before their eyes, and considering the uncertain catastrophe of human life, wept at their most miserable expulsion. 

5 For there was led along a multitude of aged men decked with hoary heads, stooping by reason p. 19 of the slowness of their feet[4]P. 19 Foot Note d. Or, “While they (viz. the king’s officers and soldiers) forced the sluggishness of their crippled feet to a quick pace, without any regard to shame, through the … Continue reading, through old age and the hurry of a forcible removal, obliged, without any regard to shame, to walk at a quick pace. 6 Nay, the young women, who had lately entered into the marriage-chamber in order to enjoy matrimonial society, were made to partake of groans instead of pleasure ; and being defiled with dust sprinkled on their hair, which was moist with ointment, and led along unveiled, with one accord they sang lamentations instead of wedding-songs, as being torn to pieces with vexations unknown[5]P. 19 Foot Note e.  Gr. [ click image to enlarge] a kindred phrase to that which appears above, at ver. 4, [ click image to enlarge] . 7 in the country. And, like public captives[6]P. 19 Foot Note f. Or, ” like captives they were publicly dragged.”, they were dragged by force to an embarkation on board ship.

8 Their husbands also, wearing halters, instead of garlands, about their necks, in their flourishing and youthful vigour, instead of feasting and juvenile relaxation, passed the rest of their nuptial days in lamentations, as seeing the grave lying 9 open immediately beneath their feet. And they were conveyed like beasts, led in the confinement of iron bonds : some of them fastened by the neck to the benches of the ships ; others having their 10 feet made fast in indissoluble fetters. And besides all this, they were shut out from the light by the thick planks[7]P. 19 Foot Note g. It appears that they were thrust down into the lowest part (the hold) of the vessel; p. 20 so us to be deprived as much as possible both of light and fresh air. which lay above them; that their p. 20 eyes might be wholly in the dark ; and that they might receive the treatment of traitors during their whole voyage.

11 When these men therefore had been carried thus unto the port called Schedia[8]P. 20 Foot Note h. A place in Lower Egypt possessing a harbour, distant about thirty miles from Alexandria., and the journey by water was ended, according to the king’s former decree; he gave further orders to put them into the Hippodrome[9]P. 20 Foot Note i. See a description of this building in Strabo, b. XVII., which was before the city, a place of vast circuit, and very fit for exposing them to the view of all who entered into the city, or who went out thence into the country to sojourn : that they might hold no communication with his forces, nor might have the favour of walls[10]P. 20 Foot Note j. That is, ” might not be honoured so far as to be admitted within the city walls.” to enclose them.

12 But as soon as this was done, the king, hearing that those of their nation who lived in the city went out privately and frequently to bewail that opprobrious misery of their brethren,—fell into a 13 passion ; and gave command to treat those also exactly in the same way as the others ; and not at all to abate to them the punishment which the others suffered. And that the entire race should 14 be enrolled by name : not now with a view of forcing them to that painful way of worship which we briefly explained before[11]P. 20 Foot Note k. Namely, at ch. ii. 29. : but in order to have them tortured miserably according to his edict, and at last to destroy them utterly in the space of p. 21 15 one day. The registering of them therefore was made with bitter diligence and zealous perseverance from sun-rising to sun-setting, not being 16 completely ended[12]P. 21 Foot Note l. The sense appears to be, that the registering continued during forty days, and even then was not finished. See vv. 18, 19. for forty days. But the king was greatly and continually filled with joy ; ordaining festivals in the temples of all his idols ; with a mind far erring from the truth, and a profane mouth, praising such gods as were deaf, and could neither speak to nor assist them ; and uttering unbecoming expressions against the Most High God.

17 Now after the aforesaid space of time, the scribes addressed themselves to the king, informing him that they could no longer make the enrolment of the Jews by reason of their immense number ; 18 there being still a great number throughout the country, some of them abiding quietly at home, others being scattered here and there ; so that the business was impracticable, even for all the 19 commanders in Egypt. But after he had threatened them severely as having been bribed in order to procure their escape, it turned out that he became 20 fully satisfied on that point: when they said, and proved, that both the paper[13]P. 21 Foot Note m. The Greek word here used is  [ click image to enlarge] manifestly adopted from the Latin tongue; several instances of which usage we have in the New Testament, familiar to … Continue reading  and pens which they used had failed them. This was the powerful operation of that invincible Providence which gave help to the Jews from heaven.


Original Source: Transcribed from PDF copy of Book "The Five Books of Maccabees in English. With Notes and Illustrations", by HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.(Sir) Archdeacon of Cashel, and Late Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Publication date 1832 | PDF


References

1 P. 18 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click image to enlarge] literally signifying, ” covered by a callus.”
2 P. 18 Foot Note b. Gr. [  click image to enlarge] the proper appellation of the prefectures or districts of Egypt.
3 P. 18 Foot Note c. Gr. [ click image to enlarge] So in the Septuagint version of 2 Sam. vi. 14, David is said to be  [ click image to enlarge] though our English translators do not thus render the Hebrew. Compare chap. vii. 3. and 3 Mace. ix. G. Thucydides also, in book III. chap. 82, uses a similar expression, [ click image to enlarge].
4 P. 19 Foot Note d. Or, “While they (viz. the king’s officers and soldiers) forced the sluggishness of their crippled feet to a quick pace, without any regard to shame, through the hurry of a forcible removal.” The Greek text is somewhat obscure.
5 P. 19 Foot Note e.  Gr. [ click image to enlarge] a kindred phrase to that which appears above, at ver. 4, [ click image to enlarge] .
6 P. 19 Foot Note f. Or, ” like captives they were publicly dragged.”
7 P. 19 Foot Note g. It appears that they were thrust down into the lowest part (the hold) of the vessel; p. 20 so us to be deprived as much as possible both of light and fresh air.
8 P. 20 Foot Note h. A place in Lower Egypt possessing a harbour, distant about thirty miles from Alexandria.
9 P. 20 Foot Note i. See a description of this building in Strabo, b. XVII.
10 P. 20 Foot Note j. That is, ” might not be honoured so far as to be admitted within the city walls.”
11 P. 20 Foot Note k. Namely, at ch. ii. 29.
12 P. 21 Foot Note l. The sense appears to be, that the registering continued during forty days, and even then was not finished. See vv. 18, 19.
13 P. 21 Foot Note m. The Greek word here used is  [ click image to enlarge] manifestly adopted from the Latin tongue; several instances of which usage we have in the New Testament, familiar to every scholar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *