Fourth Maccabees Chapters
1 And when he had died, disfigured in his torments, the fifth leapt forward, and said,
2 I intend not, O tyrant, to get excused from the torment which is in behalf of virtue.
3 But I have come of my own accord, that by the death of me, you may owe heavenly vengeance a punishment for more crimes.
4 O you hater of virtue and of men, what have we done that you thus revel in our blood?
5 Does it seem evil to you that we worship the Founder of all things, and live according to his surpassing law?
6 But this is worthy of honours, not torments;
7 had you been capable of the higher feelings of men, and possessed the hope of salvation from God.
8 Behold now, being alien from God, you make war against those who are religious towards God.
9 As he said this, the spearbearers bound him, and drew him to the catapelt:
10 to which binding him at his knees, and fastening them with iron fetters, they bent down his loins upon the wedge of the wheel; and his body was then dismembered, scorpion-fashion.
11 With his breath thus confined, and his body strangled, he said,
12 A great favour you bestow upon us, O tyrant, by enabling us to manifest our adherence to the law by means of nobler sufferings.
13 He also being dead, the sixth, quite a youth, was brought out; and on the tyrant asking him whether he would eat and be delivered, he said,
14 I am indeed younger than my brothers, but in understanding I am as old;
15 for having been born and reared to the same end, we are bound to die also in behalf of the same cause.
16 So that if you° think proper to torment us for not eating the unclean, then torment!
17 As he said this, they brought him to the wheel.
18 Extended upon which, with limbs racked and dislocated, he was gradually roasted from beneath.
19 And having heated sharp spits, they approached them to his back; and having transfixed his sides, they burnt away his entrails.
20 And he, while tormented, said, O period good and holy, in which, for the sake of religion, we kindred have been called to the contest of pain, and have not been conquered.
21 For religious understanding, O tyrant, is unconquered.
22 Armed with upright virtue, I also shall depart with my kindred.
23 I, too, bearing with me a great avenger, O inventor of tortures, and enemy of the truly pious.
24 We six youths have destroyed your tyranny.
25 For is not your inability to overrule our reasoning, and to compel us to eat the unclean, your destruction?
26 Your fire is cold to us, your catapelts are painless, and your violence harmless.
27 For the guards not of a tyrant but of a divine law are our defenders: through this we keep our reasoning unconquered.
Third Maccabees Second Esdras Daniel Greek
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