The second booke of the Maccabees. Chapter 7
(Original 1611 KJV Book of 2 Maccabees)
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The constancie and cruell death of seuen brethren and their mother in one day, because they would not eate swines flesh at the kings commandement.
1It came to passe also that seuen brethren with their mother were taken, and compelled by the king against the lawe to taste swines flesh, and were tormented with scourges, and whips:
2But one of them that spake first said thus: What wouldest thou aske, or learne of vs? we are ready to die, rather then to transgresse the lawes of our fathers.
3Then the king being in a rage, commanded pannes, and caldrons to be made whot.
4Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the vtmost parts of his body, the rest of his brethren, and his mother looking on.
5Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded him being yet aliue, to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the panne: and as the vapour of the panne was for a good space dispersed, they exhorted one another, with the mother, to die manfully, saying thus:
6The Lord God looketh vpon vs, and in trueth hath comfort in vs, as Moises in his song, which witnessed to their faces declared, saying, And he shall be comforted in his seruants.6
7So when the first was dead, after this maner, they brought the second to make him a mocking stocke: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the haire, they asked him, Wilt thou eate before thou bee punished throughout euery member of thy body?
8But hee answered in his owne language, and said, No. Wherefore hee also receiued the next torment in order, as the former did.
9And when hee was at the last gaspe, hee said, Thou like a fury takest vs out of this present life, but the king of the world shall raise vs vp, who haue died for his lawes, vnto euerlasting life.
10After him was the third made a mocking stocke, and when he was required, he put out his tongue, and that right soone, holding forth his hands manfully,
11And said couragiously, These I had from heauen, and for his lawes I despise them, and from him I hope to receiue them againe.
12Insomuch that the king, and they that were with him marueiled at the yong mans courage, for that he nothing regarded the paines.
13Now when this man was dead also, they tormented and mangled the fourth in like maner.
14So when he was ready to die, he said thus, It is good, being put to death by men, to looke for hope from God to be raised vp againe by him: as for thee thou shalt haue no resurrection to life.
15Afterward they brought the fift also, and mangled him.
16Then looked hee vnto the king and said, Thou hast power ouer men, thou art corruptible, thou doest what thou wilt, yet thinke not that our nation is forsaken of God.
17But abide a while, and behold his great power, how he will torment thee, and thy seed.
18After him also they brought the sixt, who being ready to die, said, Be not deceiued without cause: for we suffer these things for our selues, hauing sinned against our God. Therefore marueilous things are done (vnto vs.)
19But thinke not thou that takest in hand to striue against God, that thou shalt escape vnpunished.
20But the mother was marueilous aboue all, and worthy of honorable memorie: for when shee sawe her seuen sonnes slaine within the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in þe Lord
21Yea she exhorted euery one of them in her owne language, filled with couragious spirits, and stirring vp her womanish thoughts, with a manly stomacke, she said vnto them,
22I cannot tell how you came into my wombe: for I neither gaue you breath, nor life, neither was it I that formed the mēbers of euery one of you.
23But doubtlesse the Creator of the world, who formed the generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things, wil also of his owne mercy giue you breath, and life againe, as you now regard not your owne selues for his Lawes sake.
24Now Antiochus thinking himselfe despised, and suspecting it to be a reprochfull speach, whiles the yongest was yet aliue, did not onely exhort him by wordes, but also assured him with oathes, that he would make him both a rich, and a happy man, if hee would turne from the Lawes of his fathers, and that also he would take him for his friend, and trust him with affaires.
25But when the yong man would in no case hearken vnto him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her, that she would counsell the yong man to saue his life.
26And when hee had exhorted her with many words, she promised him that she would counsell her sonne.
27But shee bowing her selfe towards him, laughing the cruell tyrant to scorne, spake in her countrey language on this maner; O my sonne, haue pitie vpon mee that bare thee nine moneths in my wombe, and gaue thee sucke three yeeres, and nourished thee, and brought thee vp vnto this age, and endured the troubles of education.
28I beseech thee, my sonne, looke vpon the heauen, and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not, and so was mankinde made likewise;
29Feare not this tormentour, but being worthy of thy brethren, take thy death, that I may receiue thee againe in mercy with thy brethren.
30Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the yong man said, Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the kings commandement: but I will obey the commandement of the Law that was giuen vnto our fathers, by Moses.
31And thou that hast bene the authour of all mischiefe against the Hebrewes, shalt not escape the handes of God.
32For wee suffer because of our sinnes.
33And though the liuing Lord bee angrie with vs a little while for our chastening and correction, yet shall hee be at one againe, with his seruants.
34But thou, O godlesse man, and of all other most wicked, be not lifted vp without a cause, nor puffed vp with vncertaine hopes, lifting vp thy hand against the seruants of God:
35For thou hast not yet escaped the iudgement of Almightie God, who seeth all things.
36For our brethren who now haue suffered a short paine, are dead vnder Gods Couenant of euerlasting life: but thou through the iudgement of God, shalt receiue iust punishment for thy pride.
37But I, as my brethren, offer vp my body, and life for the Lawes of our fathers, beseeching God that he would speedily bee mercifull vnto our nation, and that thou by torments & plagues mayest confesse, that he alone is God;
38And that in me, and my brethren, the wrath of the Almighty, which is iustly brought vpon all our nation, may cease.
39Then the King being in a rage, handled him worse then all the rest, and took it grieuously that he was mocked.
40So this man died vndefiled, and put his whole trust in the Lord.
41Last of all after the sonnes, the mother died.
42Let this be ynough now to haue spoken cōcerning the idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.
Original 1611 KJV Sidenote References for 2 Maccabees Chapter 7
6 Deut. 32. 36.
* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania