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MACCABEES IV - APPENDIX / ΜΑΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Δ - ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ

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1 The tyrant Antiochus, therefore, sitting in public state with his assessors upon a certain lofty place, with his armed troops standing in a circle around him, commanded his spearbearers to seize every one of the Hebrews, and to compel them to taste swine’s flesh, and things offered to idols. 2, 3 And should any of them be unwilling to eat the accursed food, they were to be tortured on the wheel, and so killed. 4 And when many had been seized, a foremost man of the assembly, a Hebrew, by name Eleazar, a priest by family, by profession a lawyer, and advanced in years, and for this reason known to many of the king’s followers, was brought near to him. 5 And Antiochus seeing him, said, 6 I would counsel thee, old man, before thy tortures begin, to tasted the swine’s flesh, and save your life; for I feel respect for your age and hoary head, which since you have had so long, you appear to me to be no philosopher in retaining the superstition of the Jews. 7 For wherefore, since nature has conferred upon you the most excellent flesh of this animal, do you loathe it? 8 It seems senseless not to enjoy what is pleasant, yet not disgraceful; and from notions of sinfulness, to reject the boons of nature. 9 And you will be acting, I think, still more senselessly, if you follow vain conceits about the truth. 10 And you will, moreover, be despising me to your own punishment. 11 Will you not awake from your trifling philosophy? and give up the folly of your notions; and, regaining understanding worthy of your age, search into the truth of an expedient course? 12 and, reverencing my kindly admonition, have pity upon your own years? 13 For, bear in mind, that if there be any power which watches over this religion of yours, it will pardon you for all transgressions of the law which you commit through compulsion. 14 While the tyrant incited him in this manner to the unlawful eating of flesh, Eleazar begged permission to speak. 15 And having received power to speak, he began thus to deliver himself: 16 We, O Antiochus, who are persuaded that we live under a divine law, consider no compulsion to be so forcible as obedience to that law; 17 wherefore we consider that we ought not in any point to transgress the law. 18 And indeed, were our law (as you suppose) not truly divine, and if we wrongly think it divine, we should have no right even in that case to destroy our sense of religion. 19 think not eating the unclean, then, a trifling offense. 20 For transgression of the law, whether in small or great matters, is of equal moment; 21 for in either case the law is equally slighted. 22 But thou deridest our philosophy, as though we lived irrationally in it. 23 Yet it instructs us in temperance, so that we are superior to all pleasures and lusts; and it exercises us in manliness, so that we cheerfully undergo every grievance. 24 And it instructs us in justice, so that in all our dealoings we render what is due; and it teaches us piety, so that we worship the one only God becomingly. 25 Wherefore it is that we eat not the unclean; for believing that the law was established by God, we are convinced that the Creator of the world, in giving his laws, sympathises with our nature. 26 Those things which are convenient to our souls, he has directed us to eat; but those which are repugnant to them, he has interdicted. 27 But, tyrant-like, thou not only forcest us to break the law, but also to eat, that thou mayest ridicule us as we thus profanely eat: 28 but thou shalt not have this cause of laughter against me; 29 nor will I transgress the sacred oaths of my forefathers to keep the law. 30 No, not if you pluck out my eyes, and consume my entrails. 31 I am not so old, and void of manliness, but that my rational powers are youthful in defence of my religion. 32 Now then; prepare your wheels, and kindle a fiercer flame. 33 I will not so compassionate my old age, as on my account to break the law of my country. 34 I will not belie thee, O law, my instructor! or forsake thee, O beloved self-control! 35 I will not put thee to shame, O philosopher Reason; or deny thee, O honoured priesthood, and science of the law. 36 Mouth! thou shalt not pollute my old age, nor the full stature of a perfect life. 37 My fathers shall receive me pure, not having quailed before your compulsion, though unto death. 38 For over the ungodly thou shalt tyrannize; but thou shalt not lord it over my thoughts about religion, either by thine arguments, or through deeds. Προκαθίσας γέ τοι μετὰ τῶν συνέδρων ὁ τύραννος ᾿Αντίοχος ἐπί τινος ὑψηλοῦ τόπου καὶ τῶν στρατευμάτων αὐτῷ ἐνόπλων κυκλόθεν παρεστηκότων, παρεκέλευε τοῖς δορυφόροις 2 ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν ῾Εβραίων ἐπισπᾶσθαι, καὶ κρεῶν ὑείων καὶ εἰδωλοθύτων ἀναγκάζειν ἀπογεύεσθαι· 3 εἰ δέ τινες μὴ θελήσειαν μιαροφαγῆσαι, τούτους τροχισθέντας ἀναιρεθῆναι. 4 πολλῶν δὲ συναρπασθέντων εἷς πρῶτος ἐκ τῆς ἀγέλης ῾Εβραῖος ὀνόματι ᾿Ελεάζαρος, τὸ γένος ἱερεύς, τὴν ἐπιστήμην νομικός, καὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν προήκων καὶ πολλοῖς τῶν περὶ τὸν τύραννον διὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν γνώριμος, παρήχθη πλησίον αὐτοῦ. - 5 Καὶ αὐτὸν ἰδὼν ὁ ᾿Αντίοχος ἔφη· 6 ἐγὼ πρὶν ἄρξασθαι τῶν κατὰ σοῦ βασάνων, ὦ πρεσβῦτα, συμβουλεύσαιμ’ ἄν σοι ταῦτα, ὅπως ἀπογευσάμενος τῶν ὑείων σώζοιο· αἰδοῦμαι γάρ σου τὴν ἡλικίαν καὶ τὴν πολιάν, ἣν μετὰ τοσοῦτον ἔχων χρόνον οὐ μοι δοκεῖς φιλοσοφεῖν τῇ ᾿Ιουδαίων χρώμενος θρησκείᾳ. 7 διατί γὰρ τῆς φύσεως κεχαρισμένης καλλίστην τὴν τοῦδε τοῦ ζώου σαρκοφαγίαν βδελύττῃ; 8 καὶ γὰρ ἀνόητον τοῦτο δοκεῖ, τὸ μὴ ἀπολαύειν τῶν χωρὶς ὀνείδους ἡδέων, καὶ ἄδικον ἀποστρέφεσθαι τὰς τῆς φύσεως χάριτας. 9 σὺ δέ μοι καὶ ἀνοητότερον ποιήσειν δοκεῖς, εἰ κενοδοξῶν περὶ τὸ ἀληθὲς ἔτι κἀμοῦ καταφρονήσεις ἐπὶ τῇ ἰδίᾳ τιμωρίᾳ. 10 οὐκ ἐξυπνώσεις ἀπὸ τῆς φλυάρου φιλοσοφίας ὑμῶν 11 καὶ ἀποσκεδάσεις τῶν λογισμῶν σου τὸν λῆρον καὶ ἄξιον τῆς ἡλικίας ἀναλαβὼν νοῦν φιλοσοφήσεις τὴν τοῦ συμφέροντος ἀλήθειαν 12 καὶ προσκυνήσας μου τὴν φιλάνθρωπον παρηγορίαν οἰκτειρήσεις τὸ σεαυτοῦ γῆρας; 13 καὶ γὰρ ἐνθυμήθητι, ὡς εἰ καί τίς ἐστι τῆσδε τῆς ὑμῶν θρησκείας ἐποπτικὴ δύναμις, συγγνωμονήσει ἄν σοι ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ δι’ ἀνάγκην γινομένῃ παρανομίᾳ. - 14 Τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἐπὶ τὴν ἔκθεσμον σαρκοφαγίαν ἐποτρύνοντος τοῦ τυράννου, λόγον ᾔτησεν ὁ ᾿Ελεάζαρος 15 καὶ λαβὼν τοῦ λέγειν ἐξουσίαν ἤρξατο δημηγορεῖν οὕτως· 16 ἡμεῖς, ᾿Αντίοχε, θείῳ πεπεισμένοι νόμῳ πολιτεύεσθαι οὐδεμίαν ἀνάγκην βιαιοτέραν εἶναι νομίζομεν τῆς πρὸς τὸν νόμον ἡμῶν εὐπειθείας· 17 διὸ δὴ κατ’ οὐδένα τρόπον παρανομεῖν ἀξιοῦμεν. 18 καίτοι εἰ κατὰ ἀλήθειαν μὴ ἦν ὁ νόμος ἡμῶν, ὡς σὺ ὑπολαμβάνεις, θεῖος, (ἄλλως δὲ νομίζομεν αὐτὸν εἶναι θεῖον) οὐδὲ οὕτως ἐξὸν ἡμῖν ἦν τὴν ἐπὶ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ δόξαν ἀκυρῶσαι. 19 μὴ μικρὰν οὖν εἶναι νομίσῃς ταύτην, εἰ μιαροφαγήσαιμεν, ἁμαρτίαν· 20 τὸ γὰρ ἐν μικροῖς καὶ ἐν μεγάλοις παρανομεῖν ἰσοδύναμόν ἐστιν, 21 δι’ ἑκατέρου γὰρ ὡς ὁμοίως ὁ νόμος ὑπερηφανεῖται. 22 χλευάζεις δὲ ἡμῶν τὴν φιλοσοφίαν, ὥσπερ οὐ μετὰ εὐλογιστίας ἐν αὐτῇ βιούντων· 23 σωφροσύνην τε γὰρ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιδάσκει ὥστε πασῶν τῶν ἡδονῶν καὶ ἐπιθυμιῶν κρατεῖν καὶ ἀνδρείαν ἐξασκεῖν, ὥστε πάντα πόνον ἑκουσίως ὑπομένειν 24 καὶ δικαιοσύνην παιδεύει ὥστε διὰ πάντων τῶν ἠθῶν ἰσονομεῖν καὶ εὐσέβειαν ἐκδιδάσκει, ὥστε μόνον τὸν ὄντα Θεὸν σέβειν μεγαλοπρεπῶς. 25 διὸ οὐ μιαροφαγοῦμεν· πιστεύοντες γὰρ Θεοῦ καθεστάναι τὸν νόμον οἴδαμεν ὅτι κατὰ φύσιν ἡμῖν συμπαθεῖ νομοθετῶν ὁ τοῦ κόσμου κτίστης· 26 καὶ τὰ μὲν οἰκειωθησόμενα ἡμῶν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐπέτρεψεν ἐσθίειν. τὰ δὲ ἐναντιωθησόμενα ἐκώλυσε σαρκοφαγεῖν. 27 τυραννικὸν δὲ οὐ μόνον ἀναγκάζειν ἡμᾶς παρανομεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐσθίειν, ὅπως τῇ ἐχθίστῃ ἡμῶν μιαροφαγίᾳ ταύτῃ ἔτι ἐγγελάσῃς. 28 ἀλλ’ οὐ γελάσεις κατ’ ἐμοῦ τοῦτον τὸν γέλωτα, οὔτε τοὺς ἱεροὺς τῶν προγόνων περὶ τοῦ φυλάξαι τὸν νόμον ὅρκους οὐ παρήσω, 29 οὐδ’ ἂν ἐκκόψειάς μου τὰ ὄμματα καὶ τὰ σπλάγχνα μου τήξειας. 30 οὐχ οὕτως εἰμὶ γέρων ἐγὼ καὶ ἄνανδρος ὥστε μοι διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν μὴ νεάζειν τὸν λογισμόν. 31 πρὸς ταῦτα τροχοὺς εὐτρέπιζε καὶ τὸ πῦρ ἐκφύσα σφοδρότερον. 32 οὐχ οὕτως οἰκτείρομαι τὸ ἐμαυτοῦ γῆρας ὥστε με δι’ ἐμαυτοῦ τὸν πάτριον καταλῦσαι νόμον. 33 οὐ ψεύσομαί σε, παιδευτὰ νόμε, οὐδὲ φεύξομαί σε οὐδ’ ἐξομοῦμαί σε, φίλη ἐγκράτεια, 34 οὐδὲ καταισχυνῶ σε, φιλόσοφε λόγε, οὐδὲ ἐξαρνήσομαί σε, ἱερωσύνη τιμία καὶ νομοθεσίας ἐπιστήμη· 35 οὐδὲ μιανεῖς μου τὸ σεμνὸν γήρως στόμα οὐδὲ νομίμου βίου ἡλικίαν. 36 ἁγνὸν δέ με οἱ πατέρες προσδέξονται μὴ φοβηθέντα σου τὰς μέχρι θανάτου ἀνάγκας. 37 ἀσεβῶν μὲν γὰρ τυραννήσεις, τῶν δὲ ἐμῶν περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας λογισμῶν οὔτε διὰ λόγων δεσπόσεις οὔτε δι’ ἔργων.

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