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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

14

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1 And more that this, they even urged them on to this ill-treatment; so that they not only despised pains themselves, but they even got the better of their affections of brotherly love. 2 O reasonings more royal than a king, and freer than freemen! 3 Sacred and harmonius concert of the seven brethern as concerning piety! 4 None of the seven youths turned cowardly, or shrank back from death. 5 But all of them, as though running the road to immortality, hastened on to death through tortures. 6 For just as hands and feet are moved sympathetically with the directions of the soul, so those holy youths agreed unto death for religion’s sake, as through the immortal soul of religion. 7 O holy seven of harmonious brethren! for as the seven days of creation, about religion, 8 so the youths, circling around the number seven, annulled the fear of torments. 9 We now shudder at the recital of the affliction of those young men; but they not only beheld, and not only heard the immediate execution of the threat, but undergoing it, persevered; and that through the pains of fire. 10 And what could be more painful? for the power of fire, being sharp and quick, speedily dissolved their bodies. 11 And think it not wonderful that reasoning bore rule over those men in their torments, when even a woman’s mind despised more manifold pains. 12 For the mother of those seven youths endured the rackings of each of her children. 13 And consider how comprehensive is the love of offspring, which draws every one to sympathy of affection, 14 where irrational animals possess a similar sympathy and love for their offspring with men. 15 The tame birds frequenting the roofs of our houses, defend their fledglings. 16 Others build their nests, and hatch their young, in the tops of mountains and in the precipices of valleys, and the holes and tops of trees, and keep off the intruder. 17 And if not able to do this, they fly circling round them in agony of affection, calling out in their own note, and save their offspring in whatever manner they are able. 18 But why should we point attention to the sympathy toward children shewn by irrational animals? 19 The very bees, at the season of honey-making, attack all who approach; and pierce with their sting, as with a sword, those who draw near their hive, and repel them even unto death. 20 But sympathy with her children did not turn aside the mother of the young men, who had a spirit kindred with that of Abraham. Προσέτι καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν αἰκισμὸν ἐποτρύνοντες, ὡς μὴ μόνον τῶν ἀλγηδόνων περιφρονῆσαι αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν τῆς τῶν ἀδελφῶν φιλαδελφίας παθῶν κρατῆσαι. 2 ὦ βασιλέως λογισμοὶ βασιλικώτεροι καὶ ἐλευθέρων ἐλευθερώτεροι. 3 ὦ ἱερᾶς καὶ εὐαρμόστου περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφῶν συμφωνίας. 4 οὐδεὶς ἐκ τῶν ἑπτὰ μειρακίων ἐδειλίασεν οὐδὲ πρὸς τὸν θάνατον ὤκνησεν, 5 ἀλλὰ πάντες ὥσπερ ἐπ’ ἀθανασίας ὁδὸν τρέχοντες, ἐπὶ τὸν διὰ τῶν βασάνων θάνατον ἔσπευδον. 6 καθάπερ γὰρ χεῖρες καὶ πόδες συμφώνως τοῖς τῆς ψυχῆς ἀφηγήμασιν κινοῦνται, οὕτως οἱ ἱεροὶ μείρακες ἐκεῖνοι ὡς ὑπὸ ψυχῆς μιᾶς τῆς ἀθανάτου τῆς εὐσεβείας κινούμενοι πρὸς τὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς συνεφώνησαν θάνατον. 7 ὦ πανάγιε συμφώνων ἀδελφῶν ἑβδομάς· καθάπερ γὰρ ἑπτὰ τῆς κοσμοποιΐας ἡμέραι περὶ τὴν εὐσέβειαν, 8 οὕτως περὶ τὴν ἑβδομάδα χορεύοντες οἱ μείρακες ἐκύκλουν τὸν τῶν βασάνων φόβον καταλύοντες. 9 νῦν ἡμεῖς ἀκούοντες τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν νεανιῶν ἐκείνων φρίττομεν· οἱ δὲ οὐ μόνον ὁρῶντες, ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ μόνον ἀκούοντες τὸν παραχρῆμα ἀπειλῆς λόγον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσχοντες ἐνεκαρτέρουν, καὶ τοῦτο ταῖς διὰ πυρὸς ὀδύναις· 10 ὧν τί ἂν γένοιτο ἐπαλγέστερον; ὀξεῖα γὰρ καὶ σύντομος ἡ τοῦ πυρὸς οὖσα δύναμις ταχέως διέλυε τά σώματα. - 11 Καὶ μὴ θαυμαστὸν ἡγεῖσθε, εἰ ὁ λογισμὸς περιεκράτησε τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων ἐν ταῖς βασάνοις, ὅπου γε καὶ γυναικὸς νοῦς πολυτροπωτέρων ὑπερεφρόνησεν ἀλγηδόνων· 12 ἡ μήτηρ γὰρ τῶν ἑπτὰ νεανίσκων ἐκείνων ὑπήνεγκε τὰς ἐφ’ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν τέκνων στρέβλας. 13 θεωρεῖτε δὲ πῶς πολύπλοκός ἐστιν ἡ τῆς φιλοτεκνίας στοργὴ ἕλκουσα πάντα πρὸς τὴν τῶν σπλάγχνων συμπάθειαν, 14 ὅπου γε καὶ τὰ ἄλογα ζῷα ὁμοίαν τὴν εἰς τὰ ἐξ αὐτῶν γεννώμενα συμπάθειαν καὶ στοργὴν ἔχει τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. 15 καὶ γὰρ τῶν πετεινῶν τὰ μὲν ἥμερα κατὰ τὰς οἰκίας ὀροφοιτοῦντα προασπίζει τῶν νεοσσῶν, 16 τὰ δὲ κατὰ τὰς κορυφὰς ὀρέων καὶ φαράγγων ἀπορρῶγας καὶ δένδρων ὀπὰς καὶ τὰς τούτων ἄκρας ἐννοσσοποιησάμενα ἀποτίκτει καὶ τὸν προσιόντα κωλύει· 17 εἰ δὲ καὶ μὴ δύναιντο κωλύειν, περιϊπτάμενα κυκλόθεν αὐτῶν ἀλγοῦντα τῇ στοργῇ, ἀνακαλούμενα τῇ ἰδίᾳ φωνῇ, καθ’ ὃν δύναται τρόπον βοηθεῖ τοῖς τέκνοις. 18 καὶ τί δεῖ τὴν διὰ τῶν ἀλόγων ζῴων ἐπιδεικνύναι τὴν πρὸς τὰ τέκνα συμπάθειαν; 19 ὅπου γε καὶ μέλισσαι περὶ τὸν τῆς κηρογονίας καιρὸν ἐπαμύνονται τοὺς προσιόντας καὶ καθάπερ σιδήρῳ τῷ κέντρῳ πλήσσουσι τοὺς προσιόντας τῇ νοσσιᾷ αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπαμύνουσιν ἕως θανάτου; 20 ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ τὴν τοῦ ῾Αβραὰμ ὁμόψυχον τῶν νεανιῶν μητέρα μετεκίνησε συμπάθεια τῶν τέκνων.

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