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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

16

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1 If, then, even a woman, and that an aged one, and the mother of seven children, endured to see her children’s torments even unto death, confessedly religious reasoning is master even of the passions. 2 I have proved, then, that not only men have obtained the mastery of their passions, but also that a woman despised the greatest torments. 3 And not so fierce were the lions round Daniel, nor the furnace of Misael burning with most vehement fires as that natural love of children burned within her, when she beheld her seven sons tortured. 4 But with the reasoning of religion the mother quenched passions so great and powerful. 5 For we must consider also this: that, had the woman been faint hearted, as being their other, she would have lamented over them; and perhaps might have spoken thus: 6 Ah! wretched I, and many times miserable; who having born seven sons, have become the mother of none. 7 O seven useless childbirths, and seven profitless periods of labour, and fruitless givings of suck, and miserable nursings at the breast. 8 Vainly, for your sakes, O sons, have I endured many pangs, and the more difficult anxieties of rearing. 9 Alas, of my children, some of you unmarried, and some who have married to no profit, I shall not see your children, nor be felicitated as a grandmother. 10 Ah, that I who had many and fair children, should be a lone widow full of sorrows! 11 Nor, should I die, shall I have a son to bury me. But with such a lament is this the holy and God-fearing mother bewailed none of them. 12 Nor did she divert any of them from death, nor grieve for them as for the dead. 13 But as one possessed with an adamantine mind, and as one bringing forth again her full number of sons to immortality, she rather with supplication exhorted them to death in behalf of religion. 14 O woman, soldier of God for religion, thou, aged and a female, hast conquered through endurance even a tyrant; and though but weak, hast been found more powerful in deeds and words. 15 For when thou wast seized along with thy children, thou stoodest looking upon Eleazar in torments, and saidst to thy sons in the Hebrew tongue, 16 O sons, noble is the contest; to which you being called as a witness for the nation, strive zealously for the laws of your country. 17 For it were disgraceful that this old man should endure pains for the sake of righteousness, and that you who are younger should be afraid of the tortures. 18 Remember that through God ye obtained existence, and have enjoyed it. 19 And on this second account ye ought to bear every affliction because of God. 20 For whom also our father Abraham was forward to sacrifice Isaac our progenitor, and shuddered not at the sight of his own paternal hand descending down with the sword upon him. 21 And the righteous Daniel was cast unto the lions; and Ananias, and Azarias, and Misael, were slung out into a furnace of fire; yet they endured through God. 22 You, then, having the same faith towards God, be not troubled. 23 For it is unreasonable that they who know religion should not stand up against troubles. 24 With these arguments, the mother of seven, exhorting each of her sons, over-persuaded them from transgressing the commandment of God. 25 And they saw this, too, that they who die for God, live to God; as Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the patriarchs. Εἰ δὲ τοίνυν καὶ γυνὴ καὶ γηραιὰ καὶ ἑπτὰ παίδων μήτηρ ὑπέμεινε τὰς μέχρι θανάτου βασάνους ὁρῶσα τῶν τέκνων, ὁμολογουμένως αὐτοκράτωρ ἐστὶ τῶν παθῶν ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμός. 2 ἀπέδειξα οὖν ὅτι οὐ μόνον τῶν παθῶν ἄνδρες ἐπεκράτησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ γυνὴ τῶν μεγίστων βασάνων ὑπερεφρόνησε. 3 καὶ οὐχ οὕτως οἱ περὶ τὸν Δανιὴλ λέοντες ἦσαν ἄγριοι, οὐδὲ ἡ κατὰ τὸν Μισαὴλ ἐκφλεγομένη κάμινος λαβροτάτῳ πυρί, ὡς ἡ τῆς φιλοτεκνίας περιέκαιεν ἐκείνην φύσις, ὁρῶσαν αὐτῆς οὕτως ποικίλως τοὺς ἑπτὰ υἱοὺς βασανιζομένους. 4 ἀλλὰ τῷ λογισμῷ τῆς εὐσεβείας κατέσβεσε τοσαῦτα καὶ τηλικαῦτα πάθη ἡ μήτηρ. 5 καὶ γὰρ τοῦτο ἐπιλογίσασθε, ὅτι εἰ δειλόψυχος ἦν ἡ γυνή, καίπερ μήτηρ οὖσα, ὠλοφύρετο ἂν ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἴσως ἂν ταῦτα οὕτως εἶπεν· 6 ὦ μελέα ἔγωγε καὶ πολλάκις τρισαθλία ἥτις ἑπτὰ παῖδας τεκοῦσα οὐδενὸς μήτηρ γεγένημαι. 7 ὦ μάταιοι ἑπτὰ κυοφορίαι, καὶ ἀνόνητοι ἑπτὰ δεκάμηνοι καὶ ἄκαρποι τιθηνίαι καὶ ταλαίπωροι γαλακτοτροφίαι. 8 μάτην ἐφ’ ὑμῖν, ὦ παῖδες, πολλὰς ὑπέμεινα ὠδῖνας καὶ χαλεπωτέρας φροντίδας ἀνατροφῆς. 9 ὦ τῶν ἐμῶν παίδων, οἱ μὲν ἄγαμοι, οἱ δὲ γήμαντες ἀνόνητοι· οὐκ ὄψομαι ὑμῶν τέκνα, οὐδὲ μάμμη κληθεῖσα μακαρισθήσομαι. 10 ὦ ἡ πολύπαις καὶ καλλίπαις ἐγὼ γυνὴ χήρα καὶ μόνη πολύθρηνος· 11 οὐδ’ ἂν ἀποθάνω, θάψοντα τῶν υἱῶν ἕξω τινά. - ᾿Αλλὰ τούτῳ τῷ θρήνῳ οὐδένα ὠλοφύρετο ἡ ἱερὰ καὶ θεοσεβὴς μήτηρ, 12 οὐδ’ ἵνα μὴ ἀποθάνωσιν ἀπέτρεπεν αὐτῶν τινα οὐδ ὡς ἀποθνῃσκόντων ἐλυπήθη· 13 ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ ἀδαμάντινον ἔχουσα τὸν νοῦν καὶ εἰς ἀθανασίαν ἀνατίκτουσα τὸν τῶν υἱῶν ἀριθμόν, μᾶλλον ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας ἐπὶ τὸν θάνατον αὐτοὺς προετρέπετο ἱκετεύουσα. 14 ὦ μῆτερ δι’ εὐσέβειαν Θεοῦ στρατιῶτι, πρεσβῦτι, καὶ γύναι, διὰ καρτερίαν καὶ τύραννον ἐνίκησας καὶ ἔργοις δυνατωτέρα καὶ λόγοις εὑρέθης ἀνδρός. 15 καὶ γὰρ ὅτε συνελήφθης μετὰ τῶν παίδων, εἱστήκεις τὸν ᾿Ελεάζαρον ὁρῶσα βασανιζόμενον καὶ ἔλεγες τοῖς παισὶν ἐν τῇ ἑβραΐδι φωνῇ. 16 ὦ παῖδες, γενναῖος ὁ ἀγών, ἐφ’ ὃν κληθέντες ὑπὲρ τῆς διαμαρτυρίας τοῦ ἔθνους, ἐναγωνίσασθε προθύμως ὑπὲρ τοῦ πατρίου νόμου. 17 καὶ γὰρ αἰσχρὸν τὸν μὲν γέροντα τοῦτον ὑπομένειν τὰς διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἀλγηδόνας, ὑμᾶς δὲ τοὺς νεανίσκους καταπλαγῆναι τὰς βασάνους. 18 ἀναμνήσθητε ὅτι διὰ τὸν Θεὸν τοῦ κόσμου μετελάβετε, καὶ τοῦ βίου ἀπελαύσατε, 19 καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὀφείλετε πάντα πόνον ὑπομένειν διὰ τὸν Θεόν, 20 δι’ ὃν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν ῾Αβραὰμ ἔσπευδε τὸν ἐθνοπάτορα υἱὸν σφαγιάσαι ᾿Ισαάκ. καὶ τὴν πατρῴαν χεῖρα ξιφηφόρον καταφερομένην ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὁρῶν ὁ ᾿Ισαὰκ οὐκ ἔπτυξεν. 21 καὶ Δανιὴλ ὁ δίκαιος εἰς λέοντας ἐβλήθη, καὶ ᾿Ανανίας καὶ ᾿Αζαρίας καὶ Μισαὴλ εἰς κάμινον πυρὸς ἀπεσφενδονήθησαν καὶ ὑπέμειναν διὰ τὸν Θεόν. 22 καὶ ἡμεῖς οὖν τὴν αὐτὴν πίστιν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν ἔχοντες μὴ χαλεπαίνητε. 23 ἀλόγιστον γὰρ εἰδότας εὐσέβειαν μὴ ἀνθίστασθαι τοῖς πόνοις. - 24 Διὰ τούτων τῶν λόγων ἡ ἑπταμήτωρ ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν υἱῶν παρακαλοῦσα, ἀποθανεῖν ἔπεισε μᾶλλον ἢ παραβῆναι τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ. 25 ἔτι δὲ καὶ ταῦτα εἰδότες ὅτι οἱ διὰ τὸν Θεὸν ἀποθανόντες ζῶσι τῷ Θεῷ, ὥσπερ ῾Αβραὰμ καὶ ᾿Ισαὰκ καὶ ᾿Ιακὼβ καὶ πάντες οἱ πατριάρχαι.

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