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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

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1 For a certain man named Simon, who was in opposition to Onias, who once held the high priesthood for life, and was an honourable and good man, after that by slandering him in every way, he could not injure him with the people, went away as an exile, with the intention of betraying his country. 2 Whence coming to Apollonius, the military governor of Syria, and Phoenicia, and Cilicia, he said, 3 Having good will to the king’s affairs, I am come to inform thee that infinite private wealth is laid up in the treasuries of Jerusalem which do not belong to the temple, but pertain to king Seleucus. 4 Apollonius, acquainting himself with the particulars of this, praised Simon for his care of the king’s interests, and going up to Seleucus informed him of the treasure; 5 and getting authority about it, and quickly advancing into our country with the accursed Simon and a very heavy force, 6 he said that he came with the commands of the king that he should take the private money of the treasure. 7 And the nation, indignant at this proclamation, and replying to the effect that it was extremely unfair that those who had committed deposits to the sacred treasury should be deprived of them, resisted as well as they could. 8 But Appolonius went away with threats into the temple. 9 And the priests, with the women and children, having supplicated God to throw his shield over the holy, despised place, 10 and Appolonius going up with his armed force to the seizure of the treasure,--there appeared from heaven angels riding on horseback, all radiant in armour, filling them with much fear and trembling. 11 And Apollonius fell half dead upon the court which is open to all nations, and extended his hands to heaven, and implored the Hebrews, with tears, to pray for him, and propitiate the heavenly host. 12 For he said that he had sinned, so as to be consequently worthy of death; and that if he were saved, he would celebrate to all men the blessedness of the holy place. 13 Onias the high priest, induced by these words, although for other reasons anxious that king Seleucus should not suppose that Apollonius was slain by human device and not by Divine punishment, prayed for him; 14 and he being thus unexpectedly saved, departed to manifest to the king what had happened to him. 15 But on the death of Seleucus the king, his son Antiochus Epiphanes succeeds to the kingdom: a man of haughty pride and terrible. 16 Who having deposed Onias from the high priesthood, appointed his brother Jason to be high priest: 17 who had made a covenant, if he would give him this authority, to pay yearly three thousand six hundred and sixty talents. 18 And he committed to him the high priesthood and rulership over the nation. 19 And he both changed the manner of living of the people, and perverted their civil customs into all lawlessness. 20 So that he not only erected a gymnasium on the very citadel of our country, [but neglected] the guardianship of the temple. 21 At which Divine vengeance being grieved, instigated Antiochus himself against them. 22 For being at war with Ptolemy in Egypt, he heard that on a report of his death being spread abroad, the inhabitants of Jerusalem had exceedingly rejoiced, and he quickly marched against them. 23 And having subdued them, he established a decree that if any of them lived according to the laws of his country he should die. 24 And when he could by no means destroy by his decrees the obedience to the law of the nation, but saw all his threats and punishments without effect, 25 for even women, because they continued to circumcise their children, were flung down a precipice along with them, knowing beforehand of the punishment. 26 When, therefore, his decrees were disregarded by the people, he himself compelled by means of tortures every one of this race, by tasting forbidden meats, to abjure the Jewish religion. Σίμων γάρ τις πρὸς ᾿Ονίαν ἀντιπολιτευόμενος τόν ποτε τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην ἔχοντα διά βίου, καλὸν καὶ ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα, ἐπειδὴ πάντα τρόπον διαβάλλων ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους οὐκ ἴσχυσε κακῶσαι, φυγὰς ᾤχετο τὴν πατρίδα προδώσων. 2 ὅθεν ἥκων πρὸς ᾿Απολλώνιον, τὸν Συρίας τε καὶ Φοινίκης καὶ Κιλικίας στρατηγόν, ἔλεγεν· εὔνους ὢν τοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως πράγμασιν ἥκω 3 μηνύσων πολλὰς ἰδιωτικῶν χρημάτων μυριάδας ἐν τοῖς ῾Ιεροσολύμων γαζοφυλακίοις τεθησαυρίσθαι τοῖς ἱεροῖς μὴ ἐπικοινωνούσας, καὶ προσήκειν ταῦτα Σελεύκῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ. 4 τούτων δὲ ἕκαστα γνοὺς ὁ ᾿Απολλώνιος, τὸν μὲν Σίμωνα τῆς εἰς τὸν βασιλέα κηδεμονίας ἐπαινεῖ, πρὸς δὲ τὸν Σέλευκον ἀναβὰς κατεμήνυσε τὸν τῶν χρημάτων θησαυρόν. 5 καὶ λαβὼν τὴν περὶ αὐτὸν ἐξουσίαν ταχὺ εἰς τὴν πατρίδα ἡμῶν μετὰ τοῦ καταράτου Σίμωνος καὶ βαρυτάτου στρατοῦ ἀνέβη 6 καὶ προσελθὼν ταῖς τοῦ βασιλέως ἐντολαῖς ἥκειν ἔλεγεν, ὅπως τὰ ἰδιωτικὰ τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου λάβοι χρήματα. 7 καὶ τοῦ ἔθνους πρὸς τὸν λόγον σχετλιάζοντος ἀντιλέγοντός τε, πάνδεινον εἶναι νομίσαντες, εἰ οἱ τὰς παρακαταθήκας πιστεύσαντες τῷ ἱερῷ θησαυρῷ στερηθήσονται, ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν, ἐκώλυον. 8 μετὰ ἀπειλῶν δὲ ὁ ᾿Απολλώνιος ἀπῄει εἰς τὸ ἱερόν. 9 τῶν δέ ἱερέων μετά γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ ἱκετευσάντων τὸν Θεὸν ὑπερασπίσαι τοῦ ἱεροῦ καταφρονουμένου τόπου 10 ἀνιόντος τε μετά καθωπλισμένης τῆς στρατιᾶς τοῦ ᾿Απολλωνίου πρὸς τὴν τῶν χρημάτων ἁρπαγήν, οὐρανόθεν ἔφιπποι προὐφάνησαν ἄγγελοι περιαστράπτοντες τοῖς ὅπλοις καὶ πολὺν αὐτοῖς φόβον τε καὶ τρόμον ἐνιέντες. 11 καταπεσών γέ τοι ἡμιθανὴς ὁ ᾿Απολλώνιος ἐπὶ τὸν πάμφυλον τοῦ ἱεροῦ περίβολον τὰς χεῖρας ἐξέτεινεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, καὶ μετὰ δακρύων τοὺς ῾Εβραίους παρεκάλει, ὅπως περί αὐτοῦ εὐξάμενοι τὸν ἐπουράνιον ἐξευμενίσωνται στρατόν. 12 ἔλεγε γὰρ ἡμαρτηκὼς ὥστε καὶ ἀποθανεῖν ἄξιος ὑπάρχειν πᾶσί τε ἀνθρώποις ὑμνήσειν σωθεὶς τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ τόπου μακαριότητα. 13 τούτοις ὑπαχθεὶς τοῖς λόγοις ᾿Ονίας ὁ ἀρχιερεύς, καίπερ ἄλλως εὐλαβηθείς, μήποτε νομίσειεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Σέλευκος ἐξ ἀνθρωπίνης ἐπιβουλῆς καὶ μὴ θείας δίκης ἀνῃρῆσθαι τὸν ᾿Απολλώνιον, ηὔξατο περὶ αὐτοῦ. 14 καὶ ὁ μὲν παραδόξως διασωθεὶς ᾤχετο δηλώσων τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ συμβάντα αὐτῷ. - 15 Τελευτήσαντος δὲ Σελεύκου τοῦ βασιλέως διαδέχεται τὴν ἀρχὴν ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ᾿Αντίοχος ᾿Επιφανής, ἀνὴρ ὑπερήφανος καὶ δεινός, 16 ὃς καταλύσας τὸν ᾿Ονίαν τῆς ἀρχιερωσύνης, ᾿Ιάσονα τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ κατέστησεν ἀρχιερέα, συνθέμενον δώσειν, 17 εἰ ἐπιτρέψειεν αὐτῷ τὴν ἀρχήν, κατ’ ἐνιαυτὸν τρισχίλια ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα τάλαντα. 18 ὁ δὲ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἀρχιερᾶσθαι καὶ τοῦ ἔθνους ἀφηγεῖσθαι. 19 ὃς καὶ ἐξεδιῄτησε τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων τὸ ἔθνος καὶ ἐξεπολίτευσεν ἐπὶ πᾶσαν παρανομίαν 20 ὥστε μὴ μόνον ἐπ’ αὐτῇ τῇ ἄκρᾳ τῆς πατρίδος ἡμῶν γυμνάσιον κατασκευάσαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ καταλῦσαι τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ κηδεμονίαν. 21 ἐφ’ οἷς ἀγανακτήσασα ἡ θεία δίκη αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς τὸν ᾿Αντίοχον ἐπολέμωσεν. 22 ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πολεμῶν ἦν κατ’ Αἴγυπτον Πτολεμαίῳ, ἤκουσέ τε ὅτι φήμης διαδοθείσης περὶ τοῦ τεθνᾶναι αὐτόν, ὡς ἔνι μάλιστα χαίροιεν οἱ ῾Ιεροσολυμῖται, ταχέως ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς ἀνέζευξεν, 23 καὶ ὡς ἐπόρθησεν αὐτούς, δόγμα ἔθετο ὅπως, εἴ τινες αὐτῶν φάνοιεν τῷ πατρίῳ πολιτευόμενοι νόμῳ, θάνοιεν. 24 καὶ ἐπεὶ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ἴσχυε καταλῦσαι διὰ τῶν δογμάτων τὴν τοῦ ἔθνους εὔνοιαν, 25 ἀλλὰ πάσας τὰς ἑαυτοῦ ἀπειλὰς καὶ τιμωρίας ἑώρα καταλυομένας, ὥστε καὶ γυναῖκας, ὅτι περιέτεμον τὰ παιδία, μετὰ τῶν βρεφῶν κατακρημνισθῆναι προειδυίας ὅτι τοῦτο πείσονται· 26 ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ δόγματα αὐτοῦ κατεφρονεῖτο ὑπὸ τοῦ λαοῦ, αὐτὸς διά βασάνων ἕνα ἕκαστον τοῦ ἔθνους ἠνάγκαζε μιαρῶν ἀπογευομένους τροφῶν ἐξόμνυσθαι τὸν ᾿Ιουδαϊσμόν.

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