4 Maccabees Chapter 08 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 243 – 247 Book 4 B.C. 167 [PDF: 293/297 of p.524]

CHAPTER 8

(i) Seven brethren, with their mother, are brought forth to the torture.

1 Through this it was, that even boys, governing their conduct by religious principle, overcame still severer torments. [BC. 167.] 2 For when the tyrant was signally defeated in his first attempt, not having been able to force the old 3 man to eat unclean meats ; then in violent anger he commanded to bring others of the grown-up[1]P. 243 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]. Hebrew captives : and, if they would eat the unclean p. 244 food, to let them go when they had eaten ; but, if they refused, to torment them with greater severity.

4 The tyrant having given these orders, there were brought forward seven brethren[2]P. 244 Foot Note b. Rufinus, in his Latin paraphrase of this hook, relates that the mother’s name was Solomona, and those of the sons, Maccabæus, Aber, Machir, Judas, Achaz, Areth, Jacob … Continue reading, together with their aged mother, handsome and modest youths, and ingenuous, and altogether graceful in appearance. Whom when the tyrant beheld 5 encircling their mother as in a dance, he was pleased with them ; and being struck with their fair and ingenuous appearance, he smiled upon them, and having called them near to him, said ; ” O young 6 men, I have an affectionate admiration of the beauty of each of you : and greatly respecting 7 so numerous a band of brothers, I not only advise you not to fall into the same madness with that old man who was recently tortured : but 8 moreover I counsel you to yield, and to enjoy my friendship : for, as I have the power[3]P. 244 Foot Note c. The same argument, we remember, was addressed by Pilate to our blessed Saviour. See St. John xix. 10. to punish those who disobey my commands, so have I also power to confer favours upon those who are obedient to me. Trust to me[4]P. 244 Foot Note d. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but a preferable various reading is Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]  “obeying.” therefore, 9 and you shall receive stations of authority[5]P. 244 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]. in my affairs, after you have renounced the ordinance of the policy of your fathers[6]P. 244 Foot Note f. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.244-4.Macca_.8-FN-f-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x18.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 327px) 100vw, 327px" /> click on image to enlarge]. : and p. 245 10 adopting the Grecian mode[7]P. 245 Foot Note g. For former accounts of this policy of Antiochus towards the Jews, see 2 Mace, i. 12—14; and 3 Mace. iii. 9—19; v. 1—11. of life, and living according to it, enjoy your youth with all its 11 delights. For, if you dispose me to anger by your disobedience, you will compel me, with dreadful punishments, to destroy every one of 12 you by tortures. Have mercy therefore on yourselves, whom even I an enemy pity on account 13 of your youthful age and your fair forms. Will you not take this into consideration, that if you disobey, there is nothing in store for you but to die in the midst of torments?”

14 And thus saying, he commanded the instruments of torture to be brought forward ; that even by terror he might persuade them to eat the 15 unclean meats. And when his guards brought out the wheels, and dislocating racks, and pullies[8]P. 245 Foot Note h. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] It is not easy to say exactly what the Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] was: the lexicons give no information whatsoever. For all … Continue reading, and catapeltæ, and caldrons, and frying-pans, and rings, and iron fetters, and wedges, and 16 materials for kindling fire: the tyrant went on, to say ; ” Young men, be afraid : and that just Deity, whom you worship, will pardon you for 17 having transgressed upon compulsion. But they, though hearing seductive words, and beholding terrible things[9]P. 245 Foot Note i. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.245-4.Macca_.8-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x11.png 300w, https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.245-4.Macca_.8-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-500x18.png 500w" sizes="(max-width: 562px) 100vw, 562px" /> click on image to enlarge] Sapient. Salomon, cap.xi. 19., not only were not afraid, but even replied to the tyrant’s arguments ; and, by the excellence of their reasoning, demolished his power.

p. 246 18 Now let us consider the matter closely. If there had been among them any who were weak-minded and void of courage, what sort of words would they have used? would they not have been these? ” O wretched and most foolish that we are ! when 19 the king exhorts and invites us to accept his kindness, shall we not obey him? Why do we 20 amuse ourselves with vain desires, and venture on a disobedience which will only bring our death? Brethren, shall we not fear these 21 implements of torture, and reflect on the threats of torment, and fly from this vain-glory and fatal ostentation? Let us have mercy on our 22 own prime of life, and compassion on our mother’s age : and let us consider, that by disobedience we shall instantly die. But Divine Justice 23 itself will pardon us, that we were afraid of the king through stern necessity.

24 Why do we withdraw ourselves from a most delightful life, and deprive ourselves of the world with its enjoyments? Let us not struggle against 25 necessity ; nor seek vain-glory in our own torments. Not even the law itself adjudges us to 26 death, for having against our wills[10]P. 246 Foot Note k. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Another re&ding is, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but the former appears far preferable. dreaded the instruments of torture. From whence has 27 so great a love of strife settled itself in us, and a fatal obstinacy delights us, when we might live unmolested[11]P. 246 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] (var. lect.) Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.246-4.Macca_.8-FN-l-02-00-20mm-h.fw_-50x20.png 50w" sizes="(max-width: 53px) 100vw, 53px" /> click on image to enlarge]. by obeying the king?”

28 But nothing of this kind did the young men say, nor even thought of it, when they were on the point of being tortured : for they were regardless[12]P. 247 Foot Note m. The Greek word is Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but it is manifest that this must be understood as if it were Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]. p. 247 of suffering, and superior to a sense of pain. 29 So that, as soon as the tyrant had ceased from advising them to eat the unclean meats, they all with one voice, as if from one mind, spake thus unto him.


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. 243 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge].
2 P. 244 Foot Note b. Rufinus, in his Latin paraphrase of this hook, relates that the mother’s name was Solomona, and those of the sons, Maccabæus, Aber, Machir, Judas, Achaz, Areth, Jacob : from their eldest brother these youths obtained commonly the appellation of ” the Maccabæan brethren.” [Ussher.].
3 P. 244 Foot Note c. The same argument, we remember, was addressed by Pilate to our blessed Saviour. See St. John xix. 10.
4 P. 244 Foot Note d. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but a preferable various reading is Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]  “obeying.”
5 P. 244 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge].
6 P. 244 Foot Note f. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.244-4.Macca_.8-FN-f-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x18.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 327px) 100vw, 327px" /> click on image to enlarge].
7 P. 245 Foot Note g. For former accounts of this policy of Antiochus towards the Jews, see 2 Mace, i. 12—14; and 3 Mace. iii. 9—19; v. 1—11.
8 P. 245 Foot Note h. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] It is not easy to say exactly what the Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] was: the lexicons give no information whatsoever. For all these implements of torture, the reader may consult
LATIN: ” Gallonius de Martyrum cruciatibus,”
 ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Gallonius Martyrs torture 8vo. 1668.
9 P. 245 Foot Note i. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.245-4.Macca_.8-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x11.png 300w, https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.245-4.Macca_.8-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-500x18.png 500w" sizes="(max-width: 562px) 100vw, 562px" /> click on image to enlarge] Sapient. Salomon, cap.xi. 19.
10 P. 246 Foot Note k. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Another re&ding is, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but the former appears far preferable.
11 P. 246 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] (var. lect.) Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.246-4.Macca_.8-FN-l-02-00-20mm-h.fw_-50x20.png 50w" sizes="(max-width: 53px) 100vw, 53px" /> click on image to enlarge].
12 P. 247 Foot Note m. The Greek word is Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] but it is manifest that this must be understood as if it were Gr. [ click on image to enlarge].

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