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2 Maccabees 1

 
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1 τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς τοῖς κα{T'} Αἴγυπτον Ιουδαίοις χαίρειν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ οἱ ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις Ιουδαῖοι καὶ οἱ ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῆς Ιουδαίας εἰρήνην ἀγαθήν 2 καὶ ἀγαθοποιήσαι ὑμῖν ὁ θεὸς καὶ μνησθείη τῆς διαθήκης αὐτοῦ τῆς πρὸς Αβρααμ καὶ Ισαακ καὶ Ιακωβ τῶν δούλων αὐτοῦ τῶν πιστῶν 3 καὶ δῴη ὑμῖν καρδίαν πᾶσιν εἰς τὸ σέβεσθαι αὐτὸν καὶ ποιεῖν αὐτοῦ τὰ θελήματα καρδίᾳ μεγάλῃ καὶ ψυχῇ βουλομένῃ 4 καὶ διανοίξαι τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς προστάγμασιν καὶ εἰρήνην ποιήσαι 5 καὶ ἐπακούσαι ὑμῶν τῶν δεήσεων καὶ καταλλαγείη ὑμῖν καὶ μὴ ὑμᾶς ἐγκαταλίποι ἐν καιρῷ πονηρῷ 6 καὶ νῦν ὧδέ ἐσμεν προσευχόμενοι περὶ ὑμῶν 7 βασιλεύοντος Δημητρίου ἔτους ἑκατοστοῦ ἑξηκοστοῦ ἐνάτου ἡμεῖς οἱ Ιουδαῖοι γεγράφαμεν ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ θλίψει καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀκμῇ τῇ ἐπελθούσῃ ἡμῖν ἐν τοῖς ἔτεσιν τούτοις ἀ{F'} οὗ ἀπέστη Ἰάσων καὶ οἱ με{T'} αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ἁγίας γῆς καὶ τῆς βασιλείας 8 καὶ ἐνεπύρισαν τὸν πυλῶνα καὶ ἐξέχεαν αἷμα ἀθῶον καὶ ἐδεήθημεν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ εἰσηκούσθημεν καὶ προσηνέγκαμεν θυσίαν καὶ σεμίδαλιν καὶ ἐξήψαμεν τοὺς λύχνους καὶ προεθήκαμεν τοὺς ἄρτους 9 καὶ νῦν ἵνα ἄγητε τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς σκηνοπηγίας τοῦ Χασελευ μηνός ἔτους ἑκατοστοῦ ὀγδοηκοστοῦ καὶ ὀγδόου 10 οἱ ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις καὶ οἱ ἐν τῇ Ιουδαίᾳ καὶ ἡ γερουσία καὶ Ιουδας Ἀριστοβούλῳ διδασκάλῳ Πτολεμαίου τοῦ βασιλέως ὄντι δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ τῶν χριστῶν ἱερέων γένους καὶ τοῖς ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ Ιουδαίοις χαίρειν καὶ ὑγιαίνειν 11 ἐκ μεγάλων κινδύνων ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ σεσῳσμένοι μεγάλως εὐχαριστοῦμεν αὐτῷ ὡς ἂν πρὸς βασιλέα παρατασσόμενοι 12 αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐξέβρασεν τοὺς παραταξαμένους ἐν τῇ ἁγίᾳ πόλει 1 To their brethren, the Jews of Egypt, those of Jerusalem and Judaea send brotherly greeting and good health.[1] 2 God speed you well, the covenant he made with his true worshippers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, never forgetting; 3 reverent hearts may he give to all of you, brave and generous to perform his will; 4 with law and precept of his enlarge your thoughts, and send you happiness; 5 may he listen to your prayer, and be gracious, and in the hour of peril never forsake you! 6 Take courage, then; we in this land are praying for you. 7 Time was, in the hundred and sixty-ninth year, when Demetrius was a-reigning, we ourselves were writing to you in the midst of suffering and alarms. Much had we to undergo, when Jason would betray his own country, his own people; 8 here was the gateway burnt to the ground, here were innocent lives forfeited. Cried we upon the Lord, and all our prayers were answered; burnt-sacrifice and bloodless offering were made, lamps lighted, and loaves set forth in the temple as of old! 9 Look to it, then, you make bowers and keep holiday in this month of Casleu.[2] 10 Written in the hundred and eighty-eighth year.

The common folk of Jerusalem and Judaea,[3] their council of elders, and I, Judas, to Aristobulus, of the anointed priestly race, that was master of king Ptolemy, and to the Jews of Egypt, greeting and health. 11 Great thanks we owe to God, that from the extreme of peril has delivered us; ay, though we had such a king for our adversary, 12 as could bring in hordes of men from Persia, both us and our holy city to subdue.[4]
1 Fratribus qui sunt per Ægyptum Judæis, salutem dicunt fratres qui sunt in Jerosolymis Judæi, et qui in regione Judææ, et pacem bonam. 2 Benefaciat vobis Deus, et meminerit testamenti sui, quod locutus est ad Abraham, et Isaac, et Jacob servorum suorum fidelium: 3 et det vobis cor omnibus ut colatis eum, et faciatis ejus voluntatem, corde magno et animo volenti. 4 Adaperiat cor vestrum in lege sua, et in præceptis suis, et faciat pacem. 5 Exaudiat orationes vestras, et reconcilietur vobis, nec vos deserat in tempore malo. 6 Et nunc hic sumus orantes pro vobis. 7 Regnante Demetrio, anno centesimo sexagesimo nono, nos Judæi scripsimus vobis in tribulatione et impetu qui supervenit nobis in istis annis, ex quo recessit Jason a sancta terra, et a regno. 8 Portam succenderunt, et effuderunt sanguinem innocentem: et oravimus ad Dominum, et exauditi sumus, et obtulimus sacrificium et similaginem, et accendimus lucernas, et proposuimus panes. 9 Et nunc frequentate dies scenopegiæ mensis Casleu. 10 Anno centesimo octogesimo octavo, populus qui est Jerosolymis et in Judæa, senatusque et Judas, Aristobolo magistro Ptolemæi regis, qui est de genere christorum sacerdotum, et his qui in Ægypto sunt Judæis, salutem et sanitatem. 11 De magnis periculis a Deo liberati, magnifice gratias agimus ipsi, utpote qui adversus talem regem dimicavimus. 12 Ipse enim ebullire fecit de Perside eos qui pugnaverunt contra nos et sanctam civitatem.
13 εἰς τὴν Περσίδα γενόμενος γὰρ ὁ ἡγεμὼν καὶ ἡ περὶ αὐτὸν ἀνυπόστατος δοκοῦσα εἶναι δύναμις κατεκόπησαν ἐν τῷ τῆς Ναναίας ἱερῷ παραλογισμῷ χρησαμένων τῶν περὶ τὴν Ναναίαν ἱερέων 14 ὡς γὰρ συνοικήσων αὐτῇ παρεγένετο εἰς τὸν τόπον ὅ τε Ἀντίοχος καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ φίλοι χάριν τοῦ λαβεῖν τὰ χρήματα πλείονα εἰς φερνῆς λόγον 15 καὶ προθέντων αὐτὰ τῶν ἱερέων τοῦ Ναναίου κἀκείνου προσελθόντος με{T'} ὀλίγων εἰς τὸν περίβολον τοῦ τεμένους συγκλείσαντες τὸ ἱερόν ὡς εἰσῆλθεν Ἀντίοχος 16 ἀνοίξαντες τὴν τοῦ φατνώματος κρυπτὴν θύραν βάλλοντες πέτρους συνεκεραύνωσαν τὸν ἡγεμόνα καὶ μέλη ποιήσαντες καὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς ἀφελόντες τοῖς ἔξω παρέρριψαν 17 κατὰ πάντα εὐλογητὸς ἡμῶν ὁ θεός ὃς παρέδωκεν τοὺς ἀσεβήσαντας 18 μέλλοντες ἄγειν ἐν τῷ Χασελευ πέμπτῃ καὶ εἰκάδι τὸν καθαρισμὸν τοῦ ἱεροῦ δέον ἡγησάμεθα διασαφῆσαι ὑμῖν ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ ἄγητε σκηνοπηγίας καὶ τοῦ πυρός ὅτε Νεεμιας ὁ οἰκοδομήσας τό τε ἱερὸν καὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον ἀνήνεγκεν θυσίας 19 καὶ γὰρ ὅτε εἰς τὴν Περσικὴν ἤγοντο ἡμῶν οἱ πατέρες οἱ τότε εὐσεβεῖς ἱερεῖς λαβόντες ἀπὸ τοῦ πυρὸς τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου λαθραίως κατέκρυψαν ἐν κοιλώματι φρέατος τάξιν ἔχοντος ἄνυδρον ἐν ᾧ κατησφαλίσαντο ὥστε πᾶσιν ἄγνωστον εἶναι τὸν τόπον 20 διελθόντων δὲ ἐτῶν ἱκανῶν ὅτε ἔδοξεν τῷ θεῷ ἀποσταλεὶς Νεεμιας ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως τῆς Περσίδος τοὺς ἐκγόνους τῶν ἱερέων τῶν ἀποκρυψάντων ἔπεμψεν ἐπὶ τὸ πῦρ ὡς δὲ διεσάφησαν ἡμῖν μὴ εὑρηκέναι πῦρ ἀλλὰ ὕδωρ παχύ ἐκέλευσεν αὐτοὺς ἀποβάψαντας φέρειν 21 ὡς δὲ ἀνηνέχθη τὰ τῶν θυσιῶν ἐκέλευσεν τοὺς ἱερεῖς Νεεμιας ἐπιρρᾶναι τῷ ὕδατι τά τε ξύλα καὶ τὰ ἐπικείμενα 22 ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο τοῦτο καὶ χρόνος διῆλθεν ὅ τε ἥλιος ἀνέλαμψεν πρότερον ἐπινεφὴς ὤν ἀνήφθη πυρὰ μεγάλη ὥστε θαυμάσαι πάντας 13 What became of him, think you, the general that marched away into Persia with a countless army at his heels?[5] He met his end in the temple of Nanea, through guile of the priests that served it. 14 Thither Antiochus had come with his friends, putting it about that he would wed the goddess, and laying claim to a great part of her treasures under the title of dowry. 15 The priests, then, had the money laid out in readiness; into the precincts he came, with a meagre retinue, and they, now that Antiochus was within, shut the temple gates. 16 Thereupon, letting themselves in by their secret door, they killed the general and his company with throwing of stones, cut them limb from limb, and threw them down headless to the populace without. 17 Blessed, upon every account, be this God of ours, that denies protection to the sinner! 18 We, then, on this twenty-fifth day of Casleu, mean to solemnize the purification of the temple, and hold ourselves bound to notify you of it, so that you too may keep holiday, with making of bowers. …

… And of the fire imparted to us, when Nehemias offered sacrifice at the re-building of temple and altar.[6] 19 Long ago, when our fathers were being carried off into the Persian country, such priests of the true God as held office in those days took away the fire from the altar, and hid it down in the valley, in a pit both deep and dry, so well guarding their secret that none might know where it was to be found. 20 Years passed, and God’s will was that Nehemias should come back, holding the Persian king’s warrant. Nehemias it was that had search made for the fire, and by the grandsons of those very priests that hid it; but they made report, fire they could find none, only a puddle of water.[7] 21 And what did Nehemias? He would have some of the water drawn and fetched to him; with this water, once the sacrifice was laid on the altar, both the wood and the offerings themselves must be sprinkled. 22 Sprinkled they were, and when the sun shone out, that till now was hidden by a cloud, all at once a great fire blazed up, astonishing the beholders.
13 Nam cum in Perside esset dux ipse, et cum ipso immensus exercitus, cecidit in templo Naneæ, consilio deceptus sacerdotum Naneæ. 14 Etenim cum ea habitaturus venit ad locum Antiochus et amici ejus, et ut acciperet pecunias multas dotis nomine. 15 Cumque proposuissent eas sacerdotes Naneæ, et ipse cum paucis ingressus esset intra ambitum fani, clauserunt templum, 16 cum intrasset Antiochus: apertoque occulto aditu templi, mittentes lapides percusserunt ducem et eos qui cum eo erant: et diviserunt membratim, et capitibus amputatis foras projecerunt. 17 Per omnia benedictus Deus, qui tradidit impios. 18 Facturi igitur quinta et vigesima die mensis Casleu purificationem templi, necessarium duximus significare vobis: ut et vos quoque agatis diem scenopegiæ, et diem ignis, qui datus est quando Nehemias ædificato templo et altari obtulit sacrificia. 19 Nam cum in Persidem ducerentur patres nostri, sacerdotes qui tunc cultores Dei erant, acceptum ignem de altari occulte absconderunt in valle, ubi erat puteus altus et siccus, et in eo contutati sunt eum, ita ut omnibus ignotus esset locus. 20 Cum autem præterissent anni multi, et placuit Deo ut mitteretur Nehemias a rege Persidis, nepotes sacerdotum illorum qui absconderant, misit ad requirendum ignem: et sicut narraverunt nobis, non invenerunt ignem, sed aquam crassam. 21 Et jussit eos haurire, et afferre sibi: et sacrificia quæ imposita erant, jussit sacerdos Nehemias aspergi ipsa aqua: et ligna, et quæ erant superposita. 22 Utque hoc factum est, et tempus affuit quo sol refulsit, qui prius erat in nubilo, accensus est ignis magnus, ita ut omnes mirarentur.
23 προσευχὴν δὲ ἐποιήσαντο οἱ ἱερεῖς δαπανωμένης τῆς θυσίας οἵ τε ἱερεῖς καὶ πάντες καταρχομένου Ιωναθου τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν ἐπιφωνούντων ὡς Νεεμιου 24 ἦν δὲ ἡ προσευχὴ τὸν τρόπον ἔχουσα τοῦτον κύριε κύριε ὁ θεός ὁ πάντων κτίστης ὁ φοβερὸς καὶ ἰσχυρὸς καὶ δίκαιος καὶ ἐλεήμων ὁ μόνος βασιλεὺς καὶ χρηστός 25 ὁ μόνος χορηγός ὁ μόνος δίκαιος καὶ παντοκράτωρ καὶ αἰώνιος ὁ διασῴζων τὸν Ισραηλ ἐκ παντὸς κακοῦ ὁ ποιήσας τοὺς πατέρας ἐκλεκτοὺς καὶ ἁγιάσας αὐτούς 26 πρόσδεξαι τὴν θυσίαν ὑπὲρ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ σου Ισραηλ καὶ διαφύλαξον τὴν μερίδα σου καὶ καθαγίασον 27 ἐπισυνάγαγε τὴν διασπορὰν ἡμῶν ἐλευθέρωσον τοὺς δουλεύοντας ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους καὶ βδελυκτοὺς ἔπιδε καὶ γνώτωσαν τὰ ἔθνη ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν 28 βασάνισον τοὺς καταδυναστεύοντας καὶ ἐξυβρίζοντας ἐν ὑπερηφανίᾳ 29 καταφύτευσον τὸν λαόν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον τὸν ἅγιόν σου καθὼς εἶπεν Μωυσῆς 23 To prayer fell the priests all around, while sacrifice was done, Jonathan to lead them,[8] and the rest answering; 24 to prayer fell Nehemias, and this was the manner of his praying: Lord God, that all things madest, the terrible, the strong, the just, the merciful, King gracious as none else; 25 none else so kindly, none else so just, as thou, the almighty, the eternal! Israel from all peril thou deliverest, thou didst make choice of our fathers, and set them apart for thyself. 26 For the whole nation of Israel receive our sacrifice; all are thine; thy own domain keep inviolate. 27 Bring home the exiles; captives of the heathen conquer or set free; to the despised, the outcast grant redress; let the world know what a God is ours! 28 Crush the oppressor, the tyrant that so mishandles us, 29 and to thy own sanctuary, as Moses foretold, thy own people restore! 23 Orationem autem faciebant omnes sacerdotes, dum consummaretur sacrificium, Jonatha inchoante, ceteris autem respondentibus. 24 Et Nehemiæ erat oratio hunc habens modum: Domine Deus omnium creator, terribilis et fortis, justus et misericors, qui solus est bonus rex, 25 solus præstans, solus justus et omnipotens et æternus, qui liberas Israël de omni malo; qui fecisti patres electos, et sanctificasti eos: 26 accipe sacrificium pro universo populo tuo Israël, et custodi partem tuam, et sanctifica. 27 Congrega dispersionem nostram, libera eos qui serviunt gentibus, et contemptos et abominatos respice, ut sciant gentes quia tu es Deus noster. 28 Afflige opprimentes nos, et contumeliam facientes in superbia. 29 Constitue populum tuum in loco sancto tuo, sicut dixit Moyses.
30 οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς ἐπέψαλλον τοὺς ὕμνους 31 καθὼς δὲ ἀνηλώθη τὰ τῆς θυσίας καὶ τὸ περιλειπόμενον ὕδωρ ὁ Νεεμιας ἐκέλευσεν λίθους μείζονας καταχεῖν 32 ὡς δὲ τοῦτο ἐγενήθη φλὸξ ἀνήφθη τοῦ δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου ἀντιλάμψαντος φωτὸς ἐδαπανήθη 33 ὡς δὲ φανερὸν ἐγενήθη τὸ πρᾶγμα καὶ διηγγέλη τῷ βασιλεῖ τῶν Περσῶν ὅτι εἰς τὸν τόπον οὗ τὸ πῦρ ἔκρυψαν οἱ μεταχθέντες ἱερεῖς τὸ ὕδωρ ἐφάνη ἀ{F'} οὗ καὶ οἱ περὶ τὸν Νεεμιαν ἥγνισαν τὰ τῆς θυσίας 34 περιφράξας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἱερὸν ἐποίησεν δοκιμάσας τὸ πρᾶγμα 35 καὶ οἷς ἐχαρίζετο ὁ βασιλεύς πολλὰ διάφορα ἐλάμβανεν καὶ μετεδίδου 36 προσηγόρευσαν δὲ οἱ περὶ τὸν Νεεμιαν τοῦτο νεφθαρ ὃ διερμηνεύεται καθαρισμός καλεῖται δὲ παρὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς νεφθαι 30 Then, till the sacrifice was consumed, the priests went on with their singing of hymns; 31 and when all was finished, Nehemias would have them drench great stones with the water that was left. 32 Thereupon, a flame broke out from them, but died away when the altar fires blazed up again over yonder.[9] 33 The news travelled, till the Persian king himself was told how water appeared where exiled priests had hidden the fire, how, with this water, Nehemias and his company had bathed the sacrifice. 34 Good heed he gave to the matter, and after due examination fenced the ground in with a shrine, in witness of what befell there. 35 Largesse the priests had, and many were the gifts passed from hand to hand, when the truth of the matter was proved.[10] 36 As for the place, Nehemias himself called it Nephthar, which means Purification; but the vulgar call it Nephi. 30 Sacerdotes autem psallebant hymnos usquequo consumptum esset sacrificium. 31 Cum autem consumptum esset sacrificium, ex residua aqua Nehemias jussit lapides majores perfundi. 32 Quod ut factum est, ex eis flamma accensa est: sed ex lumine quod refulsit ab altari, consumpta est. 33 Ut vero manifestata est res, renuntiatum est regi Persarum quod in loco in quo ignem absconderent hi qui translati fuerant sacerdotes, aqua apparuit, de qua Nehemias, et qui cum eo erant, purificaverunt sacrificia. 34 Considerans autem rex, et rem diligenter examinans, fecit ei templum, ut probaret quod factum erat: 35 et cum probasset, sacerdotibus donavit multa bona, et alia atque alia munera: et accipiens manu sua, tribuebat eis. 36 Appellavit autem Nehemias hunc locum Nephthar, quod interpretatur Purificatio: vocatur autem apud plures Nephi.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.