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 4 Maccabees 4Mace : 5Revised Standard Version

1 Προκαθίσας γέ τοι μετὰ τῶν συνέδρων ὁ τύραννος Ἀντίοχος ἐπί τινος ὑψηλοῦ τόπου καὶ τῶν στρατευμάτων αὐτῷ παρεστηκότων κυκλόθεν ἐνόπλων  The tyrant Antiochus, sitting in state with his counselors on a certain high place, and with his armed soldiers standing about him,
2 παρεκέλευεν τοῖς δορυφόροις ἕνα ἕκαστον Εβραῖον ἐπισπᾶσθαι καὶ κρεῶν ὑείων καὶ εἰδωλοθύτων ἀναγκάζειν ἀπογεύεσθαι·  ordered the guards to seize each and every Hebrew and to compel them to eat pork and food sacrificed to idols.
3 εἰ δέ τινες μὴ θέλοιεν μιαροφαγῆσαι, τούτους τροχισθέντας ἀναιρεθῆναι.  If any were not willing to eat defiling food, they were to be broken on the wheel and killed.
4 πολλῶν δὲ συναρπασθέντων εἷς πρῶτος ἐκ τῆς ἀγέλης ὀνόματι Ελεαζαρος, τὸ γένος ἱερεύς, τὴν ἐπιστήμην νομικὸς καὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν προήκων καὶ πολλοῖς τῶν περὶ τὸν τύραννον διὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν γνώριμος, παρήχθη πλησίον αὐτοῦ.  And when many persons had been rounded up, one man, Eleazar by name, leader of the flock, was brought before the king. He was a man of priestly family, learned in the law, advanced in age, and known to many in the tyrant's court because of his philosophy.
5 Καὶ αὐτὸν ἰδὼν ὁ Ἀντίοχος ἔφη  When Antiochus saw him he said,
6 Ἑγὼ πρὶν ἄρξασθαι τῶν κατὰ σοῦ βασάνων, ὦ πρεσβῦτα, συμβουλεύσαιμ ἄν σοι ταῦτα, ὅπως ἀπογευσάμενος τῶν ὑείων σῴζοιο·  "Before I begin to torture you, old man, I would advise you to save yourself by eating pork,
7 αἰδοῦμαι γάρ σου τὴν ἡλικίαν καὶ τὴν πολιάν, ἣν μετὰ τοσοῦτον ἔχων χρόνον οὔ μοι δοκεῖς φιλοσοφεῖν τῇ Ιουδαίων χρώμενος θρησκείᾳ.  for I respect your age and your gray hairs. Although you have had them for so long a time, it does not seem to me that you are a philosopher when you observe the religion of the Jews.
8 διὰ τί γὰρ τῆς φύσεως κεχαρισμένης καλλίστην τὴν τοῦδε τοῦ ζῴου σαρκοφαγίαν βδελύττῃ;  Why, when nature has granted it to us, should you abhor eating the very excellent meat of this animal?
9 καὶ γὰρ ἀνόητον τοῦτο, τὸ μὴ ἀπολαύειν τῶν χωρὶς ὀνείδους ἡδέων, καὶ ἄδικον ἀποστρέφεσθαι τὰς τῆς φύσεως χάριτας.  It is senseless not to enjoy delicious things that are not shameful, and wrong to spurn the gifts of nature.
10 σὺ δέ μοι καὶ ἀνοητότερον ποιήσειν δοκεῖς, εἰ κενοδοξῶν περὶ τὸ ἀληθὲς ἔτι κἀμοῦ καταφρονήσεις ἐπὶ τῇ ἰδίᾳ τιμωρίᾳ.  It seems to me that you will do something even more senseless if, by holding a vain opinion concerning the truth, you continue to despise me to your own hurt.
11 οὐκ ἐξυπνώσεις ἀπὸ τῆς φλυάρου φιλοσοφίας ὑμῶν καὶ ἀποσκεδάσεις τῶν λογισμῶν σου τὸν λῆρον καὶ ἄξιον τῆς ἡλικίας ἀναλαβὼν νοῦν φιλοσοφήσεις τὴν τοῦ συμφέροντος ἀλήθειαν  Will you not awaken from your foolish philosophy, dispel your futile reasonings, adopt a mind appropriate to your years, philosophize according to the truth of what is beneficial,
12 καὶ προσκυνήσας μου τὴν φιλάνθρωπον παρηγορίαν οἰκτιρήσεις τὸ σεαυτοῦ γῆρας;  and have compassion on your old age by honoring my humane advice?
13 καὶ γὰρ ἐνθυμήθητι ὡς, εἰ καί τίς ἐστιν τῆσδε τῆς θρησκείας ὑμῶν ἐποπτικὴ δύναμις, συγγνωμονήσειεν ἄν σοι ἐπὶ πάσῃ δι' ἀνάγκην παρανομίᾳ γινομένῃ.  For consider this, that if there is some power watching over this religion of yours, it will excuse you from any transgression that arises out of compulsion."
14 Τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἐπὶ τὴν ἔκθεσμον σαρκοφαγίαν ἐποτρύνοντος τοῦ τυράννου λόγον ᾔτησεν ὁ Ελεαζαρος  When the tyrant urged him in this fashion to eat meat unlawfully, Eleazar asked to have a word.
15 καὶ λαβὼν τοῦ λέγειν ἐξουσίαν ἤρξατο δημηγορεῖν οὕτως  When he had received permission to speak, he began to address the people as follows:
16 Ἡμεῖς, Ἀντίοχε, θείῳ πεπεισμένοι νόμῳ πολιτεύεσθαι οὐδεμίαν ἀνάγκην βιαιοτέραν εἶναι νομίζομεν τῆς πρὸς τὸν νόμον ἡμῶν εὐπειθείας·  "We, O Antiochus, who have been persuaded to govern our lives by the divine law, think that there is no compulsion more powerful than our obedience to the law.
17 διὸ δὴ κατ' οὐδένα τρόπον παρανομεῖν ἀξιοῦμεν.  Therefore we consider that we should not transgress it in any respect.
18 καίτοι εἰ κατὰ ἀλήθειαν μὴ ἦν ὁ νόμος ἡμῶν, ὡς ὑπολαμβάνεις, θεῖος, ἄλλως δὲ ἐνομίζομεν αὐτὸν εἶναι θεῖον, οὐδὲ οὕτως ἐξὸν ἦν ἡμῖν τὴν ἐπὶ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ δόξαν ἀκυρῶσαι.  Even if, as you suppose, our law were not truly divine and we had wrongly held it to be divine, not even so would it be right for us to invalidate our reputation for piety.
19 μὴ μικρὰν οὖν εἶναι νομίσῃς ταύτην, εἰ μιαροφαγήσαιμεν, ἁμαρτίαν·  Therefore do not suppose that it would be a petty sin if we were to eat defiling food;
20 τὸ γὰρ ἐπὶ μικροῖς καὶ μεγάλοις παρανομεῖν ἰσοδύναμόν ἐστιν,  to transgress the law in matters either small or great is of equal seriousness,
21 δι' ἑκατέρου γὰρ ὡς ὁμοίως ὁ νόμος ὑπερηφανεῖται.  for in either case the law is equally despised.
22 χλευάζεις δὲ ἡμῶν τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ὥσπερ οὐ μετὰ εὐλογιστίας ἐν αὐτῇ βιούντων·  You scoff at our philosophy as though living by it were irrational,
23 σωφροσύνην τε γὰρ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιδάσκει ὥστε πασῶν τῶν ἡδονῶν καὶ ἐπιθυμιῶν κρατεῖν καὶ ἀνδρείαν ἐξασκεῖ ὥστε πάντα πόνον ἑκουσίως ὑπομένειν  but it teaches us self-control, so that we master all pleasures and desires, and it also trains us in courage, so that we endure any suffering willingly;
24 καὶ δικαιοσύνην παιδεύει ὥστε· διὰ πάντων τῶν ἠθῶν ἰσονομεῖν καὶ εὐσέβειαν ἐκδιδάσκει ὥστε μόνον τὸν ὄντα θεὸν σέβειν μεγαλοπρεπῶς.  it instructs us in justice, so that in all our dealings we act impartially, and it teaches us piety, so that with proper reverence we worship the only real God.
25 διὸ οὐ μιαροφαγοῦμεν· πιστεύοντες γὰρ θεοῦ καθεστάναι τὸν νόμον οἴδαμεν ὅτι κατὰ φύσιν ἡμῖν συμπαθεῖ νομοθετῶν ὁ τοῦ κόσμου κτίστης·  "Therefore we do not eat defiling food; for since we believe that the law was established by God, we know that in the nature of things the Creator of the world in giving us the law has shown sympathy toward us.
26 τὰ μὲν οἰκειωθησόμενα ἡμῶν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἐπέτρεψεν ἐσθίειν, τὰ δὲ ἐναντιωθησόμενα ἐκώλυσεν σαρκοφαγεῖν.  He has permitted us to eat what will be most suitable for our lives, but he has forbidden us to eat meats that would be contrary to this.
27 τυραννικὸν δὲ οὐ μόνον ἀναγκάζειν ἡμᾶς παρανομεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐσθίειν, ὅπως τῇ ἐχθίστῃ ἡμῶν μιαροφαγίᾳ ταύτῃ ἐπεγγελάσῃς.  It would be tyrannical for you to compel us not only to transgress the law, but also to eat in such a way that you may deride us for eating defiling foods, which are most hateful to us.
28 ἀλλ' οὐ γελάσεις κατ' ἐμοῦ τοῦτον τὸν γέλωτα,  But you shall have no such occasion to laugh at me,
29 οὔτε τοὺς ἱεροὺς τῶν προγόνων περὶ τοῦ φυλάξαι τὸν νόμον ὅρκους οὐ παρήσω,  nor will I transgress the sacred oaths of my ancestors concerning the keeping of the law,
30 οὐδ' ἂν ἐκκόψειάς μου τὰ ὄμματα καὶ τὰ σπλάγχνα μου τήξειας.  not even if you gouge out my eyes and burn my entrails.
31 οὐχ οὕτως εἰμὶ γέρων ἐγὼ καὶ ἄνανδρος ὥστε μοι διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν μὴ νεάζειν τὸν λογισμόν.  I am not so old and cowardly as not to be young in reason on behalf of piety.
32 πρὸς ταῦτα τροχοὺς εὐτρέπιζε καὶ τὸ πῦρ ἐκφύσα σφοδρότερον.  Therefore get your torture wheels ready and fan the fire more vehemently!
33 οὐχ οὕτως οἰκτίρομαι τὸ ἐμαυτοῦ γῆρας ὥστε δι' ἐμαυτοῦ τὸν πάτριον καταλῦσαι νόμον.  I do not so pity my old age as to break the ancestral law by my own act.
34 οὐ ψεύσομαί σε, παιδευτὰ νόμε, οὐδὲ ἐξομοῦμαί σε, φίλη ἐγκράτεια,  I will not play false to you, O law that trained me, nor will I renounce you, beloved self-control.
35 οὐδὲ καταισχυνῶ σε, φιλόσοφε λόγε, οὐδὲ ἐξαρνήσομαί σε, ἱερωσύνη τιμία καὶ νομοθεσίας ἐπιστήμη·  I will not put you to shame, philosophical reason, nor will I reject you, honored priesthood and knowledge of the law.
36 οὐδὲ μιανεῖς μου τὸ σεμνὸν γήρως στόμα οὐδὲ νομίμου βίου ἡλικίαν.  You, O king, shall not stain the honorable mouth of my old age, nor my long life lived lawfully.
37 ἁγνόν με οἱ πατέρες εἰσδέξονται μὴ φοβηθέντα σου τὰς μέχρι θανάτου ἀνάγκας.  The fathers will receive me as pure, as one who does not fear your violence even to death.
38 ἀσεβῶν μὲν γὰρ τυραννήσεις, τῶν δὲ ἐμῶν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐσεβείας λογισμῶν οὔτε λόγοις δεσπόσεις οὔτε δι' ἔργων.  You may tyrannize the ungodly, but you shall not dominate my religious principles either by word or by deed."
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Notes: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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