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Revelation
 

2 Maccabees 14

 
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1 μετὰ δὲ τριετῆ χρόνον προσέπεσεν τοῖς περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν Δημήτριον τὸν τοῦ Σελεύκου διὰ τοῦ κατὰ Τρίπολιν λιμένος εἰσπλεύσαντα μετὰ πλήθους ἰσχυροῦ καὶ στόλου 2 κεκρατηκέναι τῆς χώρας ἐπανελόμενον Ἀντίοχον καὶ τὸν τούτου ἐπίτροπον Λυσίαν 1 Three years later, came tidings to Judas and his company that Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was on the throne. This Demetrius, with a body of resolute followers and with ships to support him, had landed at Tripolis, in a part of the country well suited to his purpose, 2 and had wrested the whole kingdom from Antiochus, and from Lysias his general. 1 Sed post triennii tempus, cognovit Judas et qui cum eo erant Demetrium Seleuci cum multitudine valida et navibus per portam Tripolis ascendisse ad loca opportuna, 2 et tenuisse regiones adversus Antiochum, et ducem ejus Lysiam.
3 Ἄλκιμος δέ τις προγεγονὼς ἀρχιερεύς ἑκουσίως δὲ μεμολυσμένος ἐν τοῖς τῆς ἀμειξίας χρόνοις συννοήσας ὅτι κα{Q'} ὁντιναοῦν τρόπον οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτῷ σωτηρία οὐδὲ πρὸς τὸ ἅγιον θυσιαστήριον ἔτι πρόσοδος 4 ἧκεν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Δημήτριον ὡς πρώτῳ καὶ πεντηκοστῷ καὶ ἑκατοστῷ ἔτει προσάγων αὐτῷ στέφανον χρυσοῦν καὶ φοίνικα πρὸς δὲ τούτοις τῶν νομιζομένων θαλλῶν τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην ἡσυχίαν ἔσχεν 5 καιρὸν δὲ λαβὼν τῆς ἰδίας ἀνοίας συνεργὸν προσκληθεὶς εἰς συνέδριον ὑπὸ τοῦ Δημητρίου καὶ ἐπερωτηθείς ἐν τίνι διαθέσει καὶ βουλῇ καθέστηκαν οἱ Ιουδαῖοι πρὸς ταῦτα ἔφη 6 οἱ λεγόμενοι τῶν Ιουδαίων Ασιδαῖοι ὧν ἀφηγεῖται Ιουδας ὁ Μακκαβαῖος πολεμοτροφοῦσιν καὶ στασιάζουσιν οὐκ ἐῶντες τὴν βασιλείαν εὐσταθείας τυχεῖν 7 ὅθεν ἀφελόμενος τὴν προγονικὴν δόξαν λέγω δὴ τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην δεῦρο νῦν ἐλήλυθα 8 πρῶτον μὲν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀνηκόντων τῷ βασιλεῖ γνησίως φρονῶν δεύτερον δὲ καὶ τῶν ἰδίων πολιτῶν στοχαζόμενος τῇ μὲν γὰρ τῶν προειρημένων ἀλογιστίᾳ τὸ σύμπαν ἡμῶν γένος οὐ μικρῶς ἀκληρεῖ 9 ἕκαστα δὲ τούτων ἐπεγνωκὼς σύ βασιλεῦ καὶ τῆς χώρας καὶ τοῦ περιισταμένου γένους ἡμῶν προνοήθητι κα{Q'} ἣν ἔχεις πρὸς ἅπαντας εὐαπάντητον φιλανθρωπίαν 10 ἄχρι γὰρ Ιουδας περίεστιν ἀδύνατον εἰρήνης τυχεῖν τὰ πράγματα 3 Now turn we to one Alcimus, that had been high priest formerly, but had wilfully incurred defilement in the days when folk began consorting with the Gentiles.[1] Little hope was left him, he should live to present himself at the altar again; 4 and now he had recourse to king Demetrius, in the hundred and fiftieth year. He came with gifts, a gold crown and a palm branch, and wreaths that had been better employed in the service of the temple.[2] No word said he on the first day of his arriving; 5 but ere long opportunity was given him of carrying out his impious design. He was called into counsel by Demetrius himself, and asked what resources the Jews had, or what purposes in view, that gave them such confidence. 6 And this was his answer: It is the faction of the Assideans, with Judas Machabaeus at their head, that will ever be fanning the flames of war, and moving revolt, and destroying the peace of the realm. 7 Thou seest here a man robbed of the high priesthood, his rightful inheritance. And the cause of my coming is, 8 first, the loyalty I have to the king’s own interest, but not less, the love of my own fellow-countrymen; by the false aims of a faction the whole of our race is brought into utter misery. 9 Do but satisfy thyself, my lord king, that all is as I have said, and then, with that kindliness the world knows so well, take order concerning the country and its inhabitants. 10 No peace the commonwealth may have, while Judas lives. 3 Alcimus autem quidam, qui summus sacerdos fuerat, sed voluntarie coinquinatus est temporibus commistionis, considerans nullo modo sibi esse salutem neque accessum ad altare, 4 venit ad regem Demetrium centesimo quinquagesimo anno, offerens ei coronam auream et palmam, super hæc et thallos, qui templi esse videbantur. Et ipsa quidem die siluit. 5 Tempus autem opportunum dementiæ suæ nactus, convocatus a Demetrio ad consilium, et interrogatus quibus rebus et consiliis Judæi niterentur, 6 respondit: Ipsi qui dicuntur Assidæi Judæorum, quibus præest Judas Machabæus, bella nutriunt, et seditiones movent, nec patiuntur regnum esse quietum: 7 nam et ego defraudatus parentum gloria (dico autem summo sacerdotio) huc veni: 8 primo quidem utilitatibus regis fidem servans, secundo autem etiam civibus consulens: nam illorum pravitate universum genus nostrum non minime vexatur. 9 Sed oro his singulis, o rex, cognitis, et regioni et generi, secundum humanitatem tuam pervulgatam omnibus, prospice: 10 nam, quamdiu superest Judas, impossibile est pacem esse negotiis.
11 τοιούτων δὲ ῥηθέντων ὑπὸ τούτου θᾶττον οἱ λοιποὶ φίλοι δυσμενῶς ἔχοντες τὰ πρὸς τὸν Ιουδαν προσεπύρωσαν τὸν Δημήτριον 12 προχειρισάμενος δὲ εὐθέως Νικάνορα τὸν γενόμενον ἐλεφαντάρχην καὶ στρατηγὸν ἀναδείξας τῆς Ιουδαίας ἐξαπέστειλεν 13 δοὺς ἐντολὰς αὐτὸν μὲν τὸν Ιουδαν ἐπανελέσθαι τοὺς δὲ σὺν αὐτῷ σκορπίσαι καταστῆσαι δὲ Ἄλκιμον ἀρχιερέα τοῦ μεγίστου ἱεροῦ 14 οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς Ιουδαίας πεφυγαδευκότες τὸν Ιουδαν ἔθνη συνέμισγον ἀγεληδὸν τῷ Νικάνορι τὰς τῶν Ιουδαίων ἀτυχίας καὶ συμφορὰς ἰδίας εὐημερίας δοκοῦντες ἔσεσθαι 15 ἀκούσαντες δὲ τὴν τοῦ Νικάνορος ἔφοδον καὶ τὴν ἐπίθεσιν τῶν ἐθνῶν καταπασάμενοι γῆν ἐλιτάνευον τὸν ἄχρι αἰῶνος συστήσαντα τὸν αὑτοῦ λαόν ἀεὶ δὲ με{T'} ἐπιφανείας ἀντιλαμβανόμενον τῆς ἑαυτοῦ μερίδος 16 προστάξαντος δὲ τοῦ ἡγουμένου ἐκεῖθεν εὐθέως ἀναζεύξας συμμίσγει αὐτοῖς ἐπὶ κώμην Δεσσαου 17 Σιμων δὲ ὁ ἀδελφὸς Ιουδου συμβεβληκὼς ἦν τῷ Νικάνορι βραδέως δὲ διὰ τὴν αἰφνίδιον τῶν ἀντιπάλων ἀφασίαν ἐπταικώς 11 Such was the opinion he gave, and the courtiers, that had little love for Judas, fell to egging Demetrius on; 12 he, with all haste, despatched one of his generals to Judaea, Nicanor, that was in command of the elephants. 13 His orders were, to take Judas alive, to disperse his company, and of our glorious temple to make Alcimus high priest. 14 The Gentiles whom Judas had chased out of the country flocked, now, to Nicanor’s side, confident that the miserable ruin of the Jews would be the foundation of their own prosperity. 15 As for the Jews, when they heard Nicanor was on the march, with all this rabble of alien folk, they cast earth on their heads and betook themselves to prayer. Was it not God’s appointment, his people he should evermore preserve? Was he not wont to protect them with signal marks of his favour? 16 And now orders came to them from their leader; they must be on the march. Their mustering-place was a fortress called Dessau, 17 to which Simon, Judas’ brother, had withdrawn after a brush with the enemy, who daunted him by the suddenness of their advance.[3] 11 Talibus autem ab hoc dictis, et ceteri amici hostiliter se habentes adversus Judam, inflammaverunt Demetrium. 12 Qui statim Nicanorem præpositum elephantorum ducem misit in Judæam: 13 datis mandatis ut ipsum quidem Judam caperet: eos vero qui cum illo erant, dispergeret, et constitueret Alcimum maximi templi summum sacerdotem. 14 Tunc gentes quæ de Judæa fugerant Judam, gregatim se Nicanori miscebant, miserias et clades Judæorum prosperitates rerum suarum existimantes. 15 Audito itaque Judæi Nicanoris adventu, et conventu nationum, conspersi terra rogabant eum qui populum suum constituit, ut in æternum custodiret, quique suam portionem signis evidentibus protegit. 16 Imperante autem duce, statim inde moverunt, conveneruntque ad castellum Dessau. 17 Simon vero frater Judæ commiserat cum Nicanore: sed conterritus est repentino adventu adversariorum.
18 ὅμως δὲ ἀκούων ὁ Νικάνωρ ἣν εἶχον οἱ περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν ἀνδραγαθίαν καὶ ἐν τοῖς περὶ τῆς πατρίδος ἀγῶσιν εὐψυχίαν ὑπευλαβεῖτο τὴν κρίσιν δ{I'} αἱμάτων ποιήσασθαι 19 διόπερ ἔπεμψεν Ποσιδώνιον καὶ Θεόδοτον καὶ Ματταθιαν δοῦναι καὶ λαβεῖν δεξιάς 20 πλείονος δὲ γενομένης περὶ τούτων ἐπισκέψεως καὶ τοῦ ἡγουμένου τοῖς πλήθεσιν ἀνακοινωσαμένου καὶ φανείσης ὁμοψήφου γνώμης ἐπένευσαν ταῖς συνθήκαις 21 ἐτάξαντο δὲ ἡμέραν ἐν ᾗ κα{T'} ἰδίαν ἥξουσιν εἰς τὸ αὐτό καὶ προῆλθεν πα{R'} ἑκάστου δίφραξ ἔθεσαν δίφρους 22 διέταξεν Ιουδας ἐνόπλους ἑτοίμους ἐν τοῖς ἐπικαίροις τόποις μήποτε ἐκ τῶν πολεμίων αἰφνιδίως κακουργία γένηται τὴν ἁρμόζουσαν ἐποιήσαντο κοινολογίαν 23 διέτριβεν ὁ Νικάνωρ ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις καὶ ἔπραττεν οὐθὲν ἄτοπον τοὺς δὲ συναχθέντας ἀγελαίους ὄχλους ἀπέλυσεν 24 καὶ εἶχεν τὸν Ιουδαν διὰ παντὸς ἐν προσώπῳ ψυχικῶς τῷ ἀνδρὶ προσεκέκλιτο 25 παρεκάλεσεν αὐτὸν γῆμαι καὶ παιδοποιήσασθαι ἐγάμησεν εὐστάθησεν ἐκοινώνησεν βίου 18 But Nicanor had heard much about the valour of Judas’ men, and how nobly they fought in their country’s quarrel; no wonder if he shrank from the arbitrament of the sword, 19 and sent envoys to meet them, Posidonius, Theodotius and Matthias, with an offer of terms. 20 After a deal of negotiation, Judas referred the matter to the general voice, and all were agreed upon accepting the offer of friendship. 21 So the day was fixed for a secret conference to be held between them; thrones of honour were brought out and set ready, 22 and you may be sure Judas had armed men posted in waiting, to forestall any sudden treachery on the enemy’s part; but their parleys ended happily enough. 23 Nicanor was now lodged in Jerusalem, and did there no manner of hurt; all the rabble he had brought with him were dispersed to their homes. 24 Towards Judas he shewed unaffected friendship, such a liking he had taken for the man; 25 ay, and encouraged him to take a wife and beget children; so Judas married, and took his ease, and ever he lived on close terms with Nicanor. 18 Nicanor tamen, audiens virtutem comitum Judæ, et animi magnitudinem quam pro patriæ certaminibus habebant, sanguine judicium facere metuebat. 19 Quam ob rem præmisit Posidonium, et Theodotium, et Matthiam, ut darent dextras atque acciperent. 20 Et cum diu de his consilium ageretur, et ipse dux ad multitudinem retulisset, omnium una fuit sententia amicitiis annuere. 21 Itaque diem constituerunt, qua secreto inter se agerent: et singulis sellæ prolatæ sunt, et positæ. 22 Præcepit autem Judas armatos esse locis opportunis, ne forte ab hostibus repente mali aliquid oriretur: et congruum colloquium fecerunt. 23 Morabatur autem Nicanor Jerosolymis, nihilque inique agebat: gregesque turbarum quæ congregatæ fuerant, dimisit. 24 Habebat autem Judam semper carum ex animo, et erat viro inclinatus. 25 Rogavitque eum ducere uxorem, filiosque procreare. Nuptias fecit: quiete egit, communiterque vivebant.
26 ὁ δὲ Ἄλκιμος συνιδὼν τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους εὔνοιαν καὶ τὰς γενομένας συνθήκας λαβὼν ἧκεν πρὸς τὸν Δημήτριον καὶ ἔλεγεν τὸν Νικάνορα ἀλλότρια φρονεῖν τῶν πραγμάτων τὸν γὰρ ἐπίβουλον τῆς βασιλείας Ιουδαν αὐτοῦ διάδοχον ἀναδεῖξαι 27 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἔκθυμος γενόμενος καὶ ταῖς τοῦ παμπονήρου διαβολαῖς ἐρεθισθεὶς ἔγραψεν Νικάνορι φάσκων ὑπὲρ μὲν τῶν συνθηκῶν βαρέως φέρειν κελεύων δὲ τὸν Μακκαβαῖον δέσμιον ἐξαποστέλλειν εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν ταχέως 28 προσπεσόντων δὲ τούτων τῷ Νικάνορι συνεκέχυτο καὶ δυσφόρως ἔφερεν εἰ τὰ διεσταλμένα ἀθετήσει μηδὲν τἀνδρὸς ἠδικηκότος 29 ἐπεὶ δὲ τῷ βασιλεῖ ἀντιπράττειν οὐκ ἦν εὔκαιρον ἐτήρει στρατηγήματι τοῦ{T'} ἐπιτελέσαι 30 ὁ δὲ Μακκαβαῖος αὐστηρότερον διεξαγαγόντα συνιδὼν τὸν Νικάνορα τὰ πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν εἰθισμένην ἀπάντησιν ἀγροικότερον ἐσχηκότα νοήσας οὐκ ἀπὸ τοῦ βελτίστου τὴν αὐστηρίαν εἶναι συστρέψας οὐκ ὀλίγους τῶν περὶ αὐτὸν συνεκρύπτετο τὸν Νικάνορα 26 And what of Alcimus? Little it liked him to see all this good-will between the two of them, and their treaty-making; to Demetrius he betook him, and charged Nicanor with disaffection; was he not purposing to hand over his command to Judas, a traitor against the realm? 27 Vile accusations, that threw Demetrius into a great taking of fury; he wrote to Nicanor, he was very ill content with the peace made, and would have Machabaeus sent to Antioch in chains without more ado. 28 Here was Nicanor left in great confusion of mind; it went against the grain with him to cancel the treaty with Judas, that had nothing wronged him, 29 yet run counter to the king’s will he might not. So he began looking for an opportunity of carrying out his orders; 30 and Machabaeus, remarking that a coolness had sprung up, and their meetings were less courteous than hitherto, made sure this behaviour of his boded no good. Whereupon he gathered some of his company, and went into concealment. 26 Alcimus autem, videns caritatem illorum ad invicem et conventiones, venit ad Demetrium, et dicebat Nicanorem rebus alienis assentire, Judamque regni insidiatorem successorem sibi destinasse. 27 Itaque rex exasperatus, et pessimis hujus criminationibus irritatus, scripsit Nicanori, dicens graviter quidem se ferre de amicitiæ conventione, jubere tamen Machabæum citius vinctum mittere Antiochiam. 28 Quibus cognitis, Nicanor consternabatur, et graviter ferebat, si ea quæ convenerant irrita faceret, nihil læsus a viro: 29 sed quia regi resistere non poterat, opportunitatem observabat qua præceptum perficeret. 30 At Machabæus, videns secum austerius agere Nicanorem, et consuetum occursum ferocius exhibentem, intelligens non ex bono esse austeritatem istam, paucis suorum congregatis, occultavit se a Nicanore.
31 συγγνοὺς δὲ ὁ ἕτερος ὅτι γενναίως ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἐστρατήγηται παραγενόμενος ἐπὶ τὸ μέγιστον καὶ ἅγιον ἱερὸν τῶν ἱερέων τὰς καθηκούσας θυσίας προσαγόντων ἐκέλευσεν παραδιδόναι τὸν ἄνδρα 32 τῶν δὲ με{Q'} ὅρκων φασκόντων μὴ γινώσκειν ποῦ πο{T'} ἔστιν ὁ ζητούμενος 33 προτείνας τὴν δεξιὰν ἐπὶ τὸν νεὼ ταῦ{T'} ὤμοσεν ἐὰν μὴ δέσμιόν μοι τὸν Ιουδαν παραδῶτε τόνδε τὸν τοῦ θεοῦ σηκὸν εἰς πεδίον ποιήσω καὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον κατασκάψω καὶ ἱερὸν ἐνταῦθα τῷ Διονύσῳ ἐπιφανὲς ἀναστήσω 34 τοσαῦτα δὲ εἰπὼν ἀπῆλθεν οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς προτείναντες τὰς χεῖρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐπεκαλοῦντο τὸν διὰ παντὸς ὑπέρμαχον τοῦ ἔθνους ἡμῶν ταῦτα λέγοντες 35 σὺ κύριε τῶν ὅλων ἀπροσδεὴς ὑπάρχων ηὐδόκησας ναὸν τῆς σῆς σκηνώσεως ἐν ἡμῖν γενέσθαι 36 καὶ νῦν ἅγιε παντὸς ἁγιασμοῦ κύριε διατήρησον εἰς αἰῶνα ἀμίαντον τόνδε τὸν προσφάτως κεκαθαρισμένον οἶκον 31 So Nicanor found himself quite outwitted; and he must needs make his way into the high and holy precincts of the temple, where even then the priests were offering their accustomed sacrifice. Judas, he said, must be handed over to him; 32 and when they, upon oath, denied all knowledge of his hiding-place, what did Nicanor? He pointed to the temple, 33 and swore that if Judas were not handed over to him in chains he would raze yonder sanctuary to the ground, demolish the altar, and consecrate its precincts anew to Bacchus. 34 With that, he left them; and the priests, lifting up their hands to heaven, called upon the God that was ever the champion of their race, with such prayer as this: 35 Lord of all, that need of thy creatures hast none, thy will it was to have thy dwelling-place among us! 36 Holy thou art, and of all holy things the master; this house, that was so lately cleansed of its defilement, keep thou for ever undefiled. 31 Quod cum ille cognovit, fortiter se a viro præventum, venit ad maximum et sanctissimum templum: et sacerdotibus solitas hostias offerentibus, jussit sibi tradi virum. 32 Quibus cum juramento dicentibus nescire se ubi esset qui quærebatur, extendens manum ad templum, 33 juravit, dicens: Nisi Judam mihi vinctum tradideritis, istud Dei fanum in planitiem deducam, et altare effodiam, et templum hoc Libero patri consecrabo. 34 Et his dictis abiit. Sacerdotes autem protendentes manus in cælum, invocabant eum qui semper propugnator esset gentis ipsorum, hæc dicentes: 35 Tu, Domine universorum, qui nullius indiges, voluisti templum habitationis tuæ fieri in nobis. 36 Et nunc, Sancte sanctorum, omnium Domine, conserva in æternum impollutam domum istam, quæ nuper mundata est.
37 Ραζις δέ τις τῶν ἀπὸ Ιεροσολύμων πρεσβυτέρων ἐμηνύθη τῷ Νικάνορι ἀνὴρ φιλοπολίτης καὶ σφόδρα καλῶς ἀκούων καὶ κατὰ τὴν εὔνοιαν πατὴρ τῶν Ιουδαίων προσαγορευόμενος 38 ἦν γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ἔμπροσθεν χρόνοις τῆς ἀμειξίας κρίσιν εἰσενηνεγμένος Ιουδαϊσμοῦ καὶ σῶμα καὶ ψυχὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ιουδαϊσμοῦ παραβεβλημένος μετὰ πάσης ἐκτενίας 39 βουλόμενος δὲ Νικάνωρ πρόδηλον ποιῆσαι ἣν εἶχεν πρὸς τοὺς Ιουδαίους δυσμένειαν ἀπέστειλεν στρατιώτας ὑπὲρ τοὺς πεντακοσίους συλλαβεῖν αὐτόν 40 ἔδοξεν γὰρ ἐκεῖνον συλλαβὼν τούτοις ἐνεργάσασθαι συμφοράν 41 τῶν δὲ πληθῶν μελλόντων τὸν πύργον καταλαβέσθαι καὶ τὴν αὐλαίαν θύραν βιαζομένων καὶ κελευόντων πῦρ προσάγειν καὶ τὰς θύρας ὑφάπτειν περικατάλημπτος γενόμενος ὑπέθηκεν ἑαυτῷ τὸ ξίφος 42 εὐγενῶς θέλων ἀποθανεῖν ἤπερ τοῖς ἀλιτηρίοις ὑποχείριος γενέσθαι καὶ τῆς ἰδίας εὐγενείας ἀναξίως ὑβρισθῆναι 43 τῇ δὲ πληγῇ μὴ κατευθικτήσας διὰ τὴν τοῦ ἀγῶνος σπουδὴν καὶ τῶν ὄχλων ἔσω τῶν θυρωμάτων εἰσβαλλόντων ἀναδραμὼν γενναίως ἐπὶ τὸ τεῖχος κατεκρήμνισεν ἑαυτὸν ἀνδρωδῶς εἰς τοὺς ὄχλους 44 τῶν δὲ ταχέως ἀναποδισάντων γενομένου διαστήματος ἦλθεν κατὰ μέσον τὸν κενεῶνα 45 ἔτι δὲ ἔμπνους ὑπάρχων καὶ πεπυρωμένος τοῖς θυμοῖς ἐξαναστὰς φερομένων κρουνηδὸν τῶν αἱμάτων καὶ δυσχερῶν τῶν τραυμάτων ὄντων δρόμῳ τοὺς ὄχλους διελθὼν καὶ στὰς ἐπί τινος πέτρας ἀπορρῶγος 46 παντελῶς ἔξαιμος ἤδη γινόμενος προβαλὼν τὰ ἔντερα καὶ λαβὼν ἑκατέραις ταῖς χερσὶν ἐνέσεισε τοῖς ὄχλοις καὶ ἐπικαλεσάμενος τὸν δεσπόζοντα τῆς ζωῆς καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος ταῦτα αὐτῷ πάλιν ἀποδοῦναι τόνδε τὸν τρόπον μετήλλαξεν 37 It was this Nicanor that received information against one of the elders at Jerusalem, named Razias, a true patriot and a man of good repute; for the love he bore it, men called him the father of the Jewish people. 38 Long time this man had held to his resolve of keeping aloof from the Gentiles, ready to put life and limb in jeopardy, so he might persevere. 39 And now, as if to give public proof of hatred towards the Jews, Nicanor sent five hundred men to take him alive; 40 shrewder blow was none he could deal them, than to beguile such a man as this. 41 And when this great company set about to force an entry into his dwelling, breaking down the door and calling out for firebrands, cut off from all escape, what did Razias? He thrust a sword into his own body, 42 counting it better to die honourably than to fall into the hands of sinners, and suffer outrage unworthy of a free-born man.[4] 43 The hasty blow missed its aim; and now, with a rabble of men pouring in through the doors he made gallantly for the outer wall, and never hesitated to cast himself down, there in the heart of the crowd. 44 You may be sure they made room for his coming, and he fell on the very joints of his neck;[5] 45 yet, breathing still, he rose to his feet undaunted; blood streaming from his mortal wounds, he made his way through the press of men, 46 till he stood on a sheer rock above them. And there, for now he had no blood left in him, he laid hold of his own entrails, and with both hands cast them into the crowd beneath, calling upon the Lord, giver of life and breath, to restore these same to his body; and so died. 37 Razias autem quidam de senioribus ab Jerosolymis delatus est Nicanori, vir amator civitatis, et bene audiens: qui pro affectu pater Judæorum appellabatur. 38 Hic multis temporibus continentiæ propositum tenuit in Judaismo, corpusque et animam tradere contentus pro perseverantia. 39 Volens autem Nicanor manifestare odium quod habebat in Judæos, misit milites quingentos ut eum comprehenderent. 40 Putabat enim, si illum decepisset, se cladem Judæis maximam illaturum. 41 Turbis autem irruere in domum ejus, et januam dirumpere: atque ignem admovere cupientibus, cum jam comprehenderetur, gladio se petiit, 42 eligens nobiliter mori potius quam subditus fieri peccatoribus, et contra natales suos indignis injuriis agi. 43 Sed cum per festinationem non certo ictu plagam dedisset, et turbæ intra ostia irrumperent, recurrens audacter ad murum præcipitavit semetipsum viriliter in turbas: 44 quibus velociter locum dantibus casui ejus, venit per mediam cervicem. 45 Et cum adhuc spiraret, accensus animo, surrexit, et cum sanguis ejus magno fluxu deflueret, et gravissimis vulneribus esset saucius, cursu turbam pertransiit: 46 et stans supra quamdam petram præruptam, et jam exsanguis effectus, complexus intestina sua, utrisque manibus projecit super turbas, invocans dominatorem vitæ ac spiritus ut hæc illi iterum redderet: atque ita vita defunctus est.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.