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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

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1 The argument is exceedingly ridiculous: for reasoning does not appear to bear sway over its own affections, but over those of the body, 2 in such a way as that any one of you may not be able to root out desire, but reasoning will enable you to avoid being enslaved to it. 3 One may not be able to root out anger from the soul, but it is possible to withstand anger. 4 Any one of you may not be able to eradicate malice, but reasoning has force to work with you to prevent you yielding to malice. 5 For reasoning is not an eradicator, but an antagonist of the passions. 6 And this may be more clearly comprehended from the thirst of king David. 7 For after David had been attacking the Philistines the whole day, he with the soldiers of his nation slew many of them; 8 then when evening came, sweating and very weary, he came to the royal tent, about which the entire host of our ancestors was encamped. 9 Now all the rest of them were at supper; 10 but the king, being very much athirst, although he had numerous springs, could not by their means quench his thirst; 11 but a certain irrational longing for the water in the enemy’s camp grew stronger and fiercer upon him, and consumed him with languish. 12 Wherefore his body-guards being troubled at this longing of the king, two valiant young soldiers, reverencing the desire of the king, put on their panoplies, and taking a pitcher, got over the ramparts of the enemies: 13 and unperceived by the guardians of the gate, they went throughout the whole camp of the enemy in quest. 14 And having boldly discovered the fountain, they filled out of it the draught for the king. 15 But he, though parched with thirst, reasoned that a draught reputed of equal value to blood, would be terribly dangerous to his soul. 16 Wherefore, setting up reasoning in opposition to his desire, he poured out the draught to God. 17 For the temperate mind has power to conquer the pressure of the passions, and to quench the fires of excitement, 18 and to wrestle down the pains of the body, however excessive; and, through the excellency of reasoning, to abominate all the assaults of the passions. 19 But the occasion now invites us to give an illustration of temperate reasoning from history. 20 For at a time when our fathers were in possession of undisturbed peace through obedience to the law, and were prosperous, so that Seleucus Nicanor, the king of Asia, both assigned them money for divine service, and accepted their form of government, 21 then certain persons, bringing in new things contrary to the general unanimity, in various ways fell into calamities. Εστι δέ κομιδῆ γελοῖος ὁ λόγος· οὐ γὰρ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ παθῶν ὁ λογισμὸς ἐπικρατεῖν φαίνεται, ἀλλὰ τῶν σωματικῶν. 2 οἷον ἐπιθυμίαν τις οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι ἡμῶν, ἀλλὰ μὴ δουλωθῆναι τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ δύναται ὁ λογισμὸς παρασχέσθαι. 3 θυμόν τις οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι ἡμῶν τῆς ψυχῆς, ἀλλὰ τῷ θυμῷ δυνατὸν τὸν λογισμὸν βοηθῆσαι. 4 κακοήθειάν τις ἡμῶν οὐ δύναται ἐκκόψαι, ἀλλὰ τὸ μὴ καμφθῆναι τῇ κακοηθείᾳ δύναιτ’ ἂν ὁ λογισμὸς συμμαχῆσαι. 5 οὐ γὰρ ἐκριζωτὴς τῶν παθῶν ὁ λογισμός ἐστιν, ἀλλ’ ἀνταγωνιστής. - 6 ἔστι γοῦν τοῦτο διὰ τῆς Δαυὶδ τοῦ βασιλέως δίψης σαφέστερον ἐπιλογίσασθαι. 7 ἐπεὶ γὰρ δι’ ὅλης ἡμέρας προσβαλὼν τοῖς ἀλλοφύλοις ὁ Δαυὶδ πολλοὺς αὐτῶν ἀπέκτεινε μετὰ τῶν τοῦ ἔθνους στρατιωτῶν, 8 τότε δὲ γενομένης ἑσπέρας, ἱδρῶν καὶ σφόδρα κεκμηκώς, ἐπὶ τὴν βασίλειον σκηνὴν ἦλθε, περὶ ἣν ὁ πᾶς τῶν προγόνων στρατὸς ἐστρατοπεδεύκει. 9 οἱ μὲν οὖν ἄλλοι πάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον ἦσαν, 10 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ὡς μάλιστα διψῶν, καίπερ ἀφθόνους ἔχων πηγάς, οὐκ ἠδύνατο δι’ αὐτῶν ἰάσασθαι τὴν δίψαν, 11 ἀλλά τις αὐτῶν ἀλόγιστος ἐπιθυμία τοῦ παρὰ τοῖς πολεμίοις ὕδατος ἐπιτείνουσα συνέφρυγε καὶ λύουσα κατέφλεγεν. 12 ὅθεν τῶν ὑπασπιστῶν ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιθυμία σχετλιαζόντων, δύο νεανίσκοι στρατιῶται καρτεροὶ καταιδεσθέντες τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιθυμίαν, τὰς παντευχίας καθωπλίσαντο καὶ κάλπην λαβόντες ὑπερέβησαν τοὺς τῶν πολεμίων χάρακας, 13 καὶ λαθόντες τοὺς τῶν πυλῶν ἀκροφύλακας, διεξῄεσαν ἀνερευνώμενοι κατὰ πᾶν τὸ τῶν πολεμίων στρατόπεδον. 14 καὶ ἀνευράμενοι τὴν πηγήν, ἐξ αὐτῆς θαρραλέως ἐγέμισαν τῷ βασιλεῖ τὸ ποτόν. 15 ὁ δὲ καίπερ τῷ δίψει διαπυρούμενος, ἐλογίσατο πάνδεινον εἶναι κίνδυνον τῇ ψυχῇ λογισθὲν ἰσοδύναμον ποτὸν αἵματι· 16 ὅθεν ἀντιθεὶς τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ τὸν λογισμὸν ἔσπεισε τὸ πόμα τῷ Θεῷ, 17 δυνατὸς γὰρ ὁ σώφρων νοῦς, ὡς ἔφην, νικῆσαι τὰς τῶν παθῶν ἀνάγκας 18 καὶ σβέσαι τὰς τῶν οἴστρων φλεγμονὰς καὶ τὰς τῶν σωμάτων ἀλγηδόνας καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν οὔσας καταπαλαῖσαι καὶ τῇ καλοκαγαθίᾳ τοῦ λογισμοῦ ἀποπτύσαι πάσας τὰς τῶν παθῶν ἐπικρατείας. - 19 ῎Ηδη δὲ καὶ ὁ καιρὸς ἡμᾶς καλεῖ ἐπὶ τὴν ἀπόδειξιν τῆς θεωρίας τοῦ σώφρονος λογισμοῦ. - 20 ᾿Επειδὴ γὰρ βαθεῖαν εἰρήνην διὰ τὴν εὐνομίαν οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν εἶχον καὶ ἔπραττον καλῶς, ὥστε καὶ τὸν τῆς ᾿Ασίας βασιλέα Σέλευκον καὶ τὸν Νικάνορα καὶ χρήματα εἰς τὴν ἱερουργίαν αὐτοῖς ἀφορίσαι καὶ τὴν πολιτείαν αὐτῶν ἀποδέχεσθαι, 21 τότε δή τινες πρὸς τὴν κοινὴν νεωτερίσαντες ὁμόνοιαν πολυτρόποις ἐχρήσαντο συμφοραῖς.

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