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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

17

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1 And some of the spearbearers said, that when she herself was about to be seized for the purpose of being put to death, she threw herself upon the pile, rather than they should touch her person. 2 O thou mother, who together with seven children didst destroy the violence of the tyrant, and render void his wicked intentions, and exhibit the nobleness of faith! 3 For thou, as an house bravely built upon the pillar of thy children, didst bear without swaying, the shock of tortures. 4 Be of good cheer, therefore, O holy-minded mother! holding the firm [substance of the] hope of your steadfastness with God. 5 Not so gracious does the moon appear with the stars in heaven, as thou art established honourable before God, and fixed in the firmament with thy sons who thou didst illuminate with religion to the stars. 6 For thy bearing of children was after the fashion of a child of Abraham. 7 And, were it lawful for us to paint as on a tablet the religion of thy story, the spectators would not shudder at beholding the mother of seven children enduring for the sake of religion various tortures even unto death. 8 And it had been a worth thing to have inscribed upon the tomb itself these words as a memorial to those of the nation, 9 Here an aged priest, and an aged woman, and seven sons, are buried through the violence of a tyrant, who wished to destroy the polity of the Hebrews. 10 These also avenged their nation, looking unto God, and enduring torments unto death. 11 For it was truly a divine contest which was carried through by them. 12 For at that time virtue presided over the contest, approving the victory through endurance, namely, immortality, eternal life. 13 Eleazar was the first to contend: and the mother of the seven children entered the contest; and the brethren contended. 14 The tyrant was the opposite; and the world and living men were the spectators. 15 And reverence for God conquered, and crowned her own athletes. 16 Who did not admire those champions of true legislation? who were not astonied? 17 The tyrant himself, and all their council, admired their endurance; 18 through which, also, they now stand beside the divine throne, and live a blessed life. 19 For Moses saith, And all the saints are under thine hands. 20 These, therefore, having been sanctified through God, have been honoured not only with this honour, but that also by their means the enemy did not overcome our nation; 21 and that the tyrant was punished, and their country purified. 22 For they became the atnipoised to the sin of the nation; and the Divine Providence saved Israel, aforetime afflicted, by the blood of those pious ones, and the propitiatory death. 23 For the tyrant Antiochus, looking to their manly virtue, and to their endurance in torture, proclaimed that endurance as an example to his soldiers. 24 And they proved to be to him noble and brave for land battles and for sieges; and he conquered and stormed the towns of all his enemies. Ελεγον δὲ καὶ τῶν δορυφόρων τινὲς ὡς ὅτε ἔμελλε καὶ αὐτὴ συλλαμβάνεσθαι πρὸς θάνατον, ἵνα μὴ ψαύσειέ τις τοῦ σώματος ἑαυτῆς, ἑαυτὴν ἔρριψεν κατὰ τῆς πυρᾶς. 2 ὦ μήτηρ σὺν ἑπτὰ παισὶ καταλύσασα τὴν τοῦ τυράννου βίαν καὶ ἀκυρώσασα τὰς κακὰς ἐπινοίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπιδείξασα τὴν τῆς πίστεως γενναιότητα. 3 καθάπερ γὰρ σὺ στέγη ἐπὶ τοὺς στύλους τῶν παίδων γενναίως ἱδρυμένη, ἀκλινὴς ὑπήνεγκας τὸν διὰ τῶν βασάνων σεισμόν. 4 θάρρει τοιγαροῦν, ὦ μήτηρ ἱερόψυχε, τὴν ἐλπίδα τῆς ὑπομονῆς βεβαίαν ἔχουσα πρὸς τὸν Θεόν. 5 οὐχ οὕτω σελήνη κατ’ οὐρανὸν σὺν ἄστροις σεμνή καθέστηκεν, ὡς σὺ τοὺς ἰσαστέρους ἑπτὰ παῖδας φωταγωγήσασα πρὸς τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἔντιμος καθέστηκας Θεῷ καὶ ἐστήρισαι ἐν οὐρανῷ σὺν αὐτοῖς· 6 ἦν γὰρ ἡ παιδοποιΐα σου ἀπὸ ῾Αβραὰμ τοῦ πατρός. - 7 Εἰ δὲ ἐξὸν ἡμῖν ἦν, ὥσπερ ἐπί τινος πίνακος, ζωγραφῆσαι τὴν τῆς εὐσεβείας σου ἱστορίαν, οὐκ ἂν ἔφριττον οἱ θεωροῦντες μητέρα ἑπτὰ τέκνων δι’ εὐσέβειαν ποικίλας βασάνους μέχρι θανάτου ὑπομείνασαν; 8 καὶ γὰρ ἄξιον ἦν καὶ ἐπὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἐπιταφίου ἀναγράψαι καὶ ταῦτα τοῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἔθνους εἰς μνείαν λεγόμενα· 9 ἐνταῦθα γέρων ἱερεὺς καὶ γυνὴ γηραιὰ καὶ ἑπτὰ παῖδες ἐγκεκήδευται διὰ τυράννου βίαν, τὴν ῾Εβραίων πολιτείαν καταλῦσαι θέλοντος, 10 οἳ καὶ ἐξεδίκησαν τὸ ἔθνος εἰς Θεὸν ἀφορῶντες καὶ μέχρι θανάτου τὰς βασάνους ὑπομείναντες. - 11 ᾿Αληθῶς γὰρ ἦν ἀγὼν θεῖος ὁ δι’ αὐτῶν γεγενημένος. 12 ἠθλοθέτει γὰρ τότε ἀρετὴ δι’ ὑπομονῆς δοκιμάζουσα· τὸ νῖκος ἀφθαρσίᾳ ἐν ζωῇ πολυχρονίῳ. 13 ᾿Ελεάζαρ δὲ προηγωνίζετο, ἡ δὲ μήτηρ τῶν ἑπτὰ παίδων ἐνήθλει, οἱ δὲ ἀδελφοὶ ἠγωνίζοντο· 14 ὁ τύραννος ἀντηγωνίζετο, ὁ δὲ κόσμος καὶ ὁ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βίος ἐθεώρει· 15 θεοσέβεια δὲ ἐνίκα, τοὺς ἑαυτῆς ἀθλητὰς στεφανοῦσα. 16 Τίνες οὐκ ἐθαύμασαν τοὺς τῆς θείας νομοθεσίας ἀθλητάς; 17 τίνες οὐκ ἐξεπλάγησαν; - Αὐτὸς γέ τοι ὁ τύραννος καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον αὐτῶν ἐξεθαύμασαν αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπομονήν. 18 δι’ ἣν καὶ τῷ θείῳ νῦν παρεστήκασι θρόνῳ καὶ τὸν μακάριον βιοῦσιν αἰῶνα. 19 καὶ γάρ φησιν ὁ Μωσῆς· καὶ πάντες οἱ ἡγιασμένοι ὑπὸ τὰς χεῖράς σου. 20 καὶ οὗτοι οὖν οἱ ἁγιασθέντες διὰ Θεὸν τετίμηνται οὐ μόνον ταύτῃ τῇ τιμῇ ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ δι’ αὐτοὺς τοῦ ἔθνους ἡμῶν τοὺς πολεμίους μὴ ἐπικρατῆσαι 21 καὶ τὸν τύραννον τιμωρηθῆναι καὶ τὴν πατρίδα καθαρισθῆναι, 22 ὥσπερ ἀντίψυχον γεγονότας τῆς τοῦ ἔθνους ἁμαρτίας· καὶ διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τῶν εὐσεβῶν ἐκείνων καὶ τοῦ ἱλαστηρίου θανάτου αὐτῶν ἡ θεία πρόνοια τὸν ᾿Ισραὴλ προκακωθέντα διέσωσε. 23 πρὸς γὰρ τὴν ἀνδρείαν αὐτῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ ταῖς βασάνοις αὐτῶν ὑπομονὴν ὁ τύραννος ἀπιδὼν ᾿Αντίοχος, ἀνεκήρυξε τοῖς στρατιώταις αὐτοῦ εἰς ὑπόδειγμα τὴν ἐκείνων ὑπομονήν. 24 ἔσχε τε αὐτοὺς γενναίους καὶ ἀνδρείους εἰς πεζομαχίαν καὶ πολιορκίαν καὶ ἐκπορθήσας ἐνίκησε πάντας τοὺς πολεμίους.

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