Antiochus commands the law to be abolished, sets up an idol in the temple, and persecutes the faithful. The martyrdom of Eleazar.
1 But not long after the king sent a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:
Sed non post multum temporis, misit rex senem quemdam Antiochenum, qui compelleret Judaeos ut se transferrent a patriis et Dei legibus :
2 And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Gazarim of Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.
contaminare etiam quod in Jerosolymis erat templum, et cognominare Jovis Olympii : et in Garizim, prout erant hi qui locum inhabitabant, Jovis hospitalis.
3 And very bad was this invasion of evils and grievous to all.
Pessima autem et universis gravis erat malorum incursio :
4 For the temple was full of the riot and revellings of the Gentiles: and of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.
nam templum luxuria et comessationibus gentium erat plenum, et scortantium cum meretricibus : sacratisque aedibus mulieres se ultro ingerebant, intro ferentes ea, quae non licebat.
5 The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.
Altare etiam plenum erat illicitis, quae legibus prohibebantur.
6 And neither were the sabbaths kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.
Neque autem sabbata custodiebantur, neque dies solemnes patrii servabantur, nec simpliciter Judaeum se esse quisquam confitebatur.
7 But they were led by bitter constraint on the king's birthday to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, they were compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of Bacchus.
Ducebantur autem cum amara necessitate in die natalis regis ad sacrificia : et, cum Liberi sacra celebrarentur, cogebantur hedera coronati Libero circuire.
8 And there went out a decree into the neighbouring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to sacrifice:
Decretum autem exiit in proximas gentilium civitates, suggerentibus Ptolemaeis, ut pari modo et ipsi adversus Judaeos agerent, ut sacrificarent :
9 And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.
eos autem qui nollent transire ad instituta gentium, interficerent : erat ergo videre miseriam.
10 For two women were accused to have circumcised their children: whom, when they had openly led about through the city with the infants hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls.
Duae enim mulieres delatae sunt natos suos circumcidisse : quas, infantibus ad ubera suspensis, cum publice per civitatem circumduxissent, per muros praecipitaverunt.
11 And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were burnt with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.
Alii vero, ad proximas coeuntes speluncas, et latenter sabbati diem celebrantes, cum indicati essent Philippo, flammis succensi sunt, eo quod verebantur propter religionem et observantiam, manu sibimet auxilium ferre.
12 Now I beseech those that shall read this book, that they be not shocked at these calamities, but that they consider the things that happened, not as being for the destruction, but for the correction of our nation.
Obsecro autem eos, qui hunc librum lecturi sunt, ne abhorrescant propter adversos casus, sed reputent ea quae acciderunt, non ad interitum, sed ad correptionem esse generis nostri.
13 For it is a token of great goodness when sinners are not suffered to go on in their ways for a long time, but are presently punished.
Etenim multo tempore non sinere peccatoribus ex sententia agere, sed statim ultiones adhibere, magni beneficii est indicium.
14 For, not as with other nations (whom the Lord patiently expecteth, that when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them in the fulness of their sins:)
Non enim, sicut in aliis nationibus, Dominus patienter exspectat, ut eas, cum judicii dies advenerit, in plenitudine peccatorum puniat :
15 Doth he also deal with us, so as to suffer our sins to come to their height, and then take vengeance on us.
ita et in nobis statuit, ut, peccatis nostris in finem devolutis, ita demum in nos vindicet.
16 And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy from us: but though he chastise his people with adversity, he forsaketh them not.
Propter quod numquam quidem a nobis misericordiam suam amovet : corripiens vero in adversis populum suum non dereliquit.
17 But let this suffice in a few words for a warning to the readers. And now we must come to the narration.
Sed haec nobis ad commonitionem legentium dicta sint paucis. Jam enim veniendum est ad narrationem.
18 Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine's flesh.
Igitur Eleazarus, unus de primoribus scribarum, vir aetate provectus, et vultu decorus, aperto ore hians compellebatur carnem porcinam manducare.
19 But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment.
At ille gloriosissimam mortem magis quam odibilem vitam complectens, voluntarie praeibat ad supplicium.
20 And considering in what manner he was come to it, patiently bearing, he determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life.
Intuens autem quemadmodum oporteret accedere, patienter sustinens, destinavit non admittere illicita propter vitae amorem.
21 But they that stood by, being moved with wicked pity, for the old friendship they had with the man, taking him aside, desired that flesh might be brought, which it was lawful for him to eat, that he might make as if he had eaten, as the king had commanded of the flesh of the sacrifice:
Hi autem qui astabant, iniqua miseratione commoti, propter antiquam viri amicitiam, tollentes eum secreto rogabant afferri carnes quibus vesci ei licebat, ut simularetur manducasse, sicut rex imperaverat de sacrificii carnibus :
22 That by so doing he might be delivered from death: and for the sake of their old friendship with the man they did him this courtesy.
ut, hoc facto, a morte liberaretur : et propter veterem viri amicitiam, hanc in eo faciebant humanitatem.
23 But he began to consider the dignity of his age, and his ancient years, and the inbred honour of his grey head, and his good life and conversation from a child: and he answered without delay, according to the ordinances of the holy law made by God, saying, that he would rather be sent into the other world.
At ille cogitare coepit aetatis ac senectutis suae eminentiam dignam, et ingenitae nobilitatis canitiem, atque a puero optimae conversationis actus : et secundum sanctae et a Deo conditae legis constituta, respondit cito, dicens praemitti se velle in infernum.
24 For it doth not become our age, said he, to dissemble: whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar, at the age of fourscore and ten years, was gone over to the life of the heathens:
Non enim aetati nostrae dignum est, inquit, fingere : ut multi adolescentium, arbitrantes Eleazarum nonaginta annorum transisse ad vitam alienigenarum :
25 And so they, through my dissimulation, and for a little time of a corruptible life, should be deceived, and hereby I should bring a stain and a curse upon my old age.
et ipsi propter meam simulationem, et propter modicum corruptibilis vitae tempus decipiantur, et per hoc maculam atque execrationem meae senectuti conquiram.
26 For though, for the present time, I should be delivered from the punishments of men, yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty neither alive nor dead.
Nam, etsi in praesenti tempore suppliciis hominum eripiar, sed manum Omnipotentis nec vivus, nec defunctus, effugiam.
27 Wherefore by departing manfully out of this life, I shall shew myself worthy of my old age:
Quam ob rem fortiter vita excedendo, senectute quidem dignus apparebo :
28 And I shall leave an example of fortitude to young men, if with a ready mind and constancy I suffer an honourable death, for the most venerable and most holy laws. And having spoken thus, he was forthwith carried to execution.
adolescentibus autem exemplum forte relinquam, si prompto animo, ac fortiter pro gravissimis ac sanctissimis legibus honesta morte perfungar. His dictis, confestim ad supplicium trahebatur.
29 And they that led him, and had been a little before more mild, were changed to wrath for the words he had spoken, which they thought were uttered out of arrogancy.
Hi autem, qui eum ducebant, et paulo ante fuerant mitiores, in iram conversi sunt propter sermones ab eo dictos, quos illi per arrogantiam prolatos arbitrabantur.
30 But when he was now ready to die with the stripes, he groaned, and said: O Lord, who hast the holy knowledge, thou knowest manifestly that whereas I might be delivered from death, I suffer grevious pains in body: but in soul am well content to suffer these things because I fear thee.
Sed cum plagis perimeretur, ingemuit, et dixit : Domine, qui habes sanctam scientiam, manifeste tu scis, quia cum a morte possem liberari, duros corporis sustineo dolores : secundum animam vero propter timorem tuum libenter haec patior.
31 Thus did this man die, leaving not only to young men, but also to the whole nation, the memory of his death for an example of virtue and fortitude.
Et iste quidem hoc modo vita decessit, non solum juvenibus, sed et universae genti memoriam mortis suae ad exemplum virtutis et fortitudinis derelinquens.