Bible ~~- Apocrypha ~~- 2 Maccabees ~~- chapter 7 of 15 (42 verses.)

2 Maccabees 7Wrench

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1 Time passes. The [royal police] seize 7 [Israeli] brothers with their mother. The [Greek] king forces these [Hebrews] to violate the Law [of Moses] by tasting swine's flesh. [The king's torturers go on to] torment the [incarcerated family] with scourges and whips.
According to one tradition, the brothers' names are: Habim, Antonin, Guriah, Eleazar, Eusebon, Hadim (Halim), Marcellus, their mother Solomonia, and their teacher Eleazar.
2 One [brother] first [dares] to speak [up to the torturers]. He says, β€œWhat would you [Greeks] ask or learn of us? We [Hebrews] are ready to die, rather than to transgress the laws of our [fore]fathers.
3 Then the king flies into a rage. He commands his [servants] to superheat pans and caldrons:
4 The [servants] immediately heat the pans [red hot]. The king [screams to his executioners,] β€œThe first [Hebrew] to speak, cut out his tongue. [Then] cut out every [organ] in his body. Do it [all] while his brothers and his mother look on.”
5 The [mother and 6 brothers] watch in horror as the [royal] executioners maim the [outspoken Hebrew] brother in every part of [his body]. Somehow he clings to life. So the [Greek] king commands [the executioners] to haul the [bleeding young man] to the fire and fry him in the pan. As the misty [smoke] from [the poor Hebrew's charred body] disperses throughout the [palace], the remaining [6] brothers encourage each other and their mother. They [shout], β€œLet's die like men!
6 –[YHVH] Adonai Elohim is watching us. He takes real comfort in our [perseverance].” (They quote Moses' song, witnessing to the [executioners' stunned] faces by [singing,] β€˜[YHVH] draws comfort from the [faith] of his [persecuted] servants!’
7 The [pan-fried] brother steams, dead in the pan. The [executioners] bring a 2nd [brother in front of the courtesans and guards,] to make a laughing stock of him. They pull the skin off his head, hair and all! They ask him, β€œWill you eat [pig]? Or do you want us to punish you by [skewering] every part of your body?”
8 This [scalped brother] answers in [Hebrew,] his own language, β€œNo, [I'll never eat pig].” So he also receives the same torments, one by one, as his [pan-friend] brother [suffered]: [The executioners maim every part of his body. They throw him profusely bleeding into a giant pan. They fry him as his 5 brothers and his mothers watch.]
9 At the last gasp, the [scalped brother] yells, β€œLike a fury, you [pagans] rip us from this present life. But the King of the universe will resurrect us (who have died for his laws) to everlasting life!”
10 The [executioners similarly] make a laughing-stock out of the 3rd Hebrew brother. The guards shout, β€œStick out your tongue [so we can cut it off]!” He immediately sticks out his tongue as he bravely holds out his arms.
11 He boldly shouts, β€œI got these [body parts] from heaven. I'll lose them to [obey] [YAH's] laws! For from him I hope to receive [my body] anew!”
12 The king (and the [guards and royals] with him) marvel that this [3rd] young man's courage is so strong that he regards torture as nothing.
13 Still the executioners murder the 3rd [Hebrew brother]. Then they similarly torment and mangle the 4th [brother as his mother and 3 brothers look on, weeping].
14 The 4th brother nears death. He [groans,] β€œ[I'm] blessed to be put to death by men, to look for hope from Elohim to be resurrected by him. But as for you [Greek murderers], you'll have no resurrection to life.”
15 Then the [executioners drag] the 5th [brother] into [the torture pit]. They mangle him [as his mother and two remaining brothers watch].
16 The [5th brother] looks at the king, and [growls], β€œYou have power over men. You are corruptible. You do whatever you want. Yet never think that our [Hebrew] nation is forsaken by Elohim.
17 But wait a while, and see his great power. How he will torment you and your seed-children!”
18 After him also they brought the 6th, who being ready to die said, Don't be deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our Elohim: therefore marvelous things are done to us.
19 But think not you, that take in hand to strive against Elohim, that you'll escape unpunished.
20 But the mother was marvelous above all, and worthy of honorable memory: for when she saw her 7 sons slain within for one day, she bore it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Adonai.
21 Yes, she exhorted every one of them in her own language, filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her womanish thoughts with a manly stomach, she said to them,
22 I can't tell how you came into my womb: for I neither gave you breath nor life, neither was it I that formed the members of every one of you;
23 But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the family-tree of man, and found out the beginning of all things, will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as you now regard not your own selves for his laws’ sake.
24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, while the youngest was yet alive, did not only call him by words, but also assured him with oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs.
25 But when the young man would in no case listen to him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel the young man to save his life.
26 And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised whoever she would counsel her son.
27 But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant to scorn, spoke in her country language this way; O my son, have pity upon me who birthed you nine months in my womb, and gave you such 3 years, and nourished you, and brought you up to this age, and endured the troubles of education.
28 I urge you, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth, and everything in it, and consider that Elohim made them of things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.
29 Never fear this tormentor, but, being worthy of your brothers, take your death so I can receive you again in mercy with your brothers.
30 Whiles the [mother] speaks these words, the [7th] young [Hebrew] man [shouts to the executioners], β€œWhat are you waiting for? I won't obey [your] king's [pagan] command[s]. I only obey the commandments of the Law that Moses gave our [Hebrew] fathers.
31 And you, [Antiochus,] (author of all [recent Greek] crimes against the Hebrews) won't escape the hands of Elohim.
32 For we [Hebrews] suffer because of our sins.
33 And though [YHVH] the living Adonai gets angry with us [believers for] a little while for our discipline and correction, he soon reunites with his servants.
34 But you, O godless and most wicked man-king, stop your vain self-exaltation. Drop your inflated worthless hopes. Stop lifting up your fist against the servants of Elohim:
35 For you have not escaped the judgment of Almighty Elohim, who sees all things.
36 For our brothers, who now have suffered a short pain, [lie] dead under Elohim's covenant of everlasting life. But you, through the judgment of Elohim, will receive just punishment for your pride.
37 But I, as my brothers, offer up my body and life for the laws of our fathers, begging Elohim to speedily stoop-down [in mercy] to our nation; and that you by torments and plagues may confess, that he alone is Elohim;
38 β€”and that [after the deaths of] me and my brothers, the Almighty's fire-rage (which [He] justly brought upon our nation) may cease.
39 Then king [Antiochus], bitterly embarrassed to be mocked [by a Hebrew prisoner], [flies] into a rage. He tortures this [7th brother] worse than all the rest.
40 So this man dies un-defiled, putting his whole trust in the Adonai [YHVH].
41 Last of all, after [her 7] sons, the [brave] mother dies.
42 For now, let this be enough to have spoken concerning the [worldlings'] idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures [the Hebrews suffered for refusing to eat pagan food.]
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