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2 Maccabees 3

 
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1 τῆς ἁγίας πόλεως κατοικουμένης μετὰ πάσης εἰρήνης καὶ τῶν νόμων ὅτι κάλλιστα συντηρουμένων διὰ τὴν Ονιου τοῦ ἀρχιερέως εὐσέβειάν τε καὶ μισοπονηρίαν 2 συνέβαινεν καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς βασιλεῖς τιμᾶν τὸν τόπον καὶ τὸ ἱερὸν ἀποστολαῖς ταῖς κρατίσταις δοξάζειν 3 ὥστε καὶ Σέλευκον τὸν τῆς Ἀσίας βασιλέα χορηγεῖν ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων προσόδων πάντα τὰ πρὸς τὰς λειτουργίας τῶν θυσιῶν ἐπιβάλλοντα δαπανήματα 4 Σιμων δέ τις ἐκ τῆς Βενιαμιν φυλῆς προστάτης τοῦ ἱεροῦ καθεσταμένος διηνέχθη τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ περὶ τῆς κατὰ τὴν πόλιν ἀγορανομίας 5 καὶ νικῆσαι τὸν Ονιαν μὴ δυνάμενος ἦλθεν πρὸς Ἀπολλώνιον Θαρσεου τὸν κα{T'} ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν Κοίλης Συρίας καὶ Φοινίκης στρατηγὸν 6 καὶ προσήγγειλεν περὶ τοῦ χρημάτων ἀμυθήτων γέμειν τὸ ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις γαζοφυλάκιον ὥστε τὸ πλῆθος τῶν διαφόρων ἀναρίθμητον εἶναι καὶ μὴ προσήκειν αὐτὰ πρὸς τὸν τῶν θυσιῶν λόγον εἶναι δὲ δυνατὸν ὑπὸ τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ἐξουσίαν πεσεῖν ταῦτα 1 Time was, the holy city was a home of content; ever the laws of it were well kept; such a high priest they had, Onias, a devout man, and one that hated evil. 2 In those days, king and chieftain held the place much in reverence, and with rich gifts endowed the temple; 3 did not Seleucus, king of Asia, defray all the cost of maintaining its sacrifices? 4 Yet one citizen there was, Simon the Benjamite, the temple governor, that had lawless schemes afoot, do the high priest what he would to gainsay him. 5 And at last, when overcome Onias he might not, what did he? To Apollonius he betook himself, the son of Tharseas, that was then in charge of Coelesyria and Phoenice, 6 and gave him great news indeed; here was the treasury at Jerusalem stocked with treasures innumerable, here was vast public wealth, unclaimed by the needs of the altar, and nothing prevented but it should fall into the king’s hands. 1 Igitur cum sancta civitas habitaretur in omni pace, leges etiam adhuc optime custodirentur, propter Oniæ pontificis pietatem, et animos odio habentes mala, 2 fiebat ut et ipsi reges et principes locum summo honore dignum ducerent, et templum maximis muneribus illustrarent: 3 ita ut Seleucus Asiæ rex de redditibus suis præstaret omnes sumptus ad ministerium sacrificiorum pertinentes. 4 Simon autem de tribu Benjamin, præpositus templi constitutus, contendebat, obsistente sibi principe sacerdotum, iniquum aliquid in civitate moliri. 5 Sed cum vincere Oniam non posset, venit ad Apollonium Tharsææ filium, qui eo tempore erat dux Cœlesyriæ et Phœnicis: 6 et nuntiavit ei pecuniis innumerabilibus plenum esse ærarium Jerosolymis, et communes copias immensas esse, quæ non pertinent ad rationem sacrificiorum: esse autem possibile sub potestate regis cadere universa.
7 συμμείξας δὲ ὁ Ἀπολλώνιος τῷ βασιλεῖ περὶ τῶν μηνυθέντων αὐτῷ χρημάτων ἐνεφάνισεν ὁ δὲ προχειρισάμενος Ἡλιόδωρον τὸν ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων ἀπέστειλεν δοὺς ἐντολὰς τὴν τῶν προειρημένων χρημάτων ἐκκομιδὴν ποιήσασθαι 8 εὐθέως δὲ ὁ Ἡλιόδωρος ἐποιεῖτο τὴν πορείαν τῇ μὲν ἐμφάσει ὡς τὰς κατὰ Κοίλην Συρίαν καὶ Φοινίκην πόλεις ἐφοδεῦσαι τῷ πράγματι δὲ τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως πρόθεσιν ἐπιτελεῖν 9 παραγενηθεὶς δὲ εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ φιλοφρόνως ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τῆς πόλεως ἀποδεχθεὶς ἀνέθετο περὶ τοῦ γεγονότος ἐμφανισμοῦ καὶ τίνος ἕνεκεν πάρεστιν διεσάφησεν ἐπυνθάνετο δὲ εἰ ταῖς ἀληθείαις ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχοντα τυγχάνει 10 τοῦ δὲ ἀρχιερέως ὑποδείξαντος παρακαταθήκας εἶναι χηρῶν τε καὶ ὀρφανῶν 11 τινὰ δὲ καὶ Ὑρκανοῦ τοῦ Τωβιου σφόδρα ἀνδρὸς ἐν ὑπεροχῇ κειμένου οὕτως ἦν διαβάλλων ὁ δυσσεβὴς Σιμων τὰ δὲ πάντα ἀργυρίου τετρακόσια τάλαντα χρυσίου δὲ διακόσια 12 ἀδικηθῆναι δὲ τοὺς πεπιστευκότας τῇ τοῦ τόπου ἁγιωσύνῃ καὶ τῇ τοῦ τετιμημένου κατὰ τὸν σύμπαντα κόσμον ἱεροῦ σεμνότητι καὶ ἀσυλίᾳ παντελῶς ἀμήχανον εἶναι 13 ὁ δὲ Ἡλιόδωρος δ{I'} ἃς εἶχεν βασιλικὰς ἐντολάς πάντως ἔλεγεν εἰς τὸ βασιλικὸν ἀναλημπτέα ταῦτα εἶναι 7 No sooner did Apollonius find himself in the royal presence than he told the story of the rumoured treasure; and at that, the king sent for Heliodorus, that had charge of his affairs, and despatched him with orders to fetch the said money away. 8 This Heliodorus set out on his journey without more ado, under colour of making a progress through the towns of Coelesyria and Phoenice, but with the king’s business still in mind. 9 And when he reached Jerusalem, and there received a gracious welcome from the high priest, he made no secret of the information he possessed, or of his errand, and he would know the truth about these moneys. 10 A plain account the high priest gave him; some were moneys deposited on trust, for the maintenance of widows and orphans; 11 there were some, too, belonging to Hyrcanus son of Tobias, a man of repute. The information was maliciously laid, nor did the whole sum amount to more than four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold. 12 Men had reposed their confidence in a city and a temple renowned throughout the world, for the high opinion they had of its sanctity; and should he play them false? It was not to be thought of. 13 But Heliodorus stood upon the terms of his commission; delivered to the king the money must be, there was no other way of it. 7 Cumque retulisset ad regem Apollonius de pecuniis quæ delatæ erant, illæ accitum Heliodorum, qui erat super negotia ejus, misit, cum mandatis ut prædictam pecuniam transportaret. 8 Statimque Heliodorus iter est agressus, specie quidem quasi per Cœlesyriam et Phœnicen civitates esset peragraturus, re vera autem regis propositum perfecturus. 9 Sed cum venisset Jerosolymam, et benigne a summo sacerdote in civitate esset exceptus, narravit de dato indicio pecuniarum, et cujus rei gratia adesset, aperuit: interrogabat autem si vere hæc ita essent. 10 Tunc summus sacerdos ostendit deposita esse hæc, et victualia viduarum et pupillorum: 11 quædam vero esse Hircani Tobiæ viri valde eminentis, in his quæ detulerat impius Simon: universa autem argenti talenta esse quadringenta, et auri ducenta: 12 decipi vero eos qui credidissent loco et templo quod per universum mundum honoratur pro sui veneratione et sanctitate, omnino impossibile esse. 13 At ille pro his quæ habebat in mandatis a rege, dicebat omni genere regi ea esse deferenda.
14 ταξάμενος δὲ ἡμέραν εἰσῄει τὴν περὶ τούτων ἐπίσκεψιν οἰκονομήσων ἦν δὲ οὐ μικρὰ κα{Q'} ὅλην τὴν πόλιν ἀγωνία 15 οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς πρὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου ἐν ταῖς ἱερατικαῖς στολαῖς ῥίψαντες ἑαυτοὺς ἐπεκαλοῦντο εἰς οὐρανὸν τὸν περὶ παρακαταθήκης νομοθετήσαντα τοῖς παρακαταθεμένοις ταῦτα σῶα διαφυλάξαι 16 ἦν δὲ ὁρῶντα τὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἰδέαν τιτρώσκεσθαι τὴν διάνοιαν ἡ γὰρ ὄψις καὶ τὸ τῆς χρόας παρηλλαγμένον ἐνέφαινεν τὴν κατὰ ψυχὴν ἀγωνίαν 17 περιεκέχυτο γὰρ περὶ τὸν ἄνδρα δέος τι καὶ φρικασμὸς σώματος δ{I'} ὧν πρόδηλον ἐγίνετο τοῖς θεωροῦσιν τὸ κατὰ καρδίαν ἐνεστὸς ἄλγος 18 ἔτι δὲ ἐκ τῶν οἰκιῶν ἀγεληδὸν ἐξεπήδων ἐπὶ πάνδημον ἱκετείαν διὰ τὸ μέλλειν εἰς καταφρόνησιν ἔρχεσθαι τὸν τόπον 19 ὑπεζωσμέναι δὲ ὑπὸ τοὺς μαστοὺς αἱ γυναῖκες σάκκους κατὰ τὰς ὁδοὺς ἐπλήθυνον αἱ δὲ κατάκλειστοι τῶν παρθένων αἱ μὲν συνέτρεχον ἐπὶ τοὺς πυλῶνας αἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ τείχη τινὲς δὲ διὰ τῶν θυρίδων διεξέκυπτον 20 πᾶσαι δὲ προτείνουσαι τὰς χεῖρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐποιοῦντο τὴν λιτανείαν 21 ἐλεεῖν {D'} ἦν τὴν τοῦ πλήθους παμμιγῆ πρόπτωσιν τήν τε τοῦ μεγάλως ἀγωνιῶντος ἀρχιερέως προσδοκίαν 14 So the appointed day came, when he would visit the temple and take order in the matter; what a stir there was then in the city! 15 Priests, in their sacred vesture, cast themselves down before the altar, and cried out upon heaven; would not he, whose law enjoined safe-keeping, keep property safe for its rightful owners? 16 And for the high priest himself, the very aspect of him was heart-rending; such a change of look and colour betrayed his inward feelings; 17 grief and horror were stamped on his features, and to all that saw him he seemed a broken man. 18 Folk streamed out of their houses in droves, to make public intercession over the affront that should be put on the holy place; 19 sackcloth about their waists, the women thronged the streets, and maids that might not go abroad must yet run to the housetops, or peer out at windows, to see Onias pass. 20 Heavenward they raised their hands, each one of them, in prayer; 21 and pity it was to see how common folk about him were sharing the high priest’s agony of suspense. 14 Constituta autem die, intrabat de his Heliodorus ordinaturus. Non modica vero per universam civitatem erat trepidatio. 15 Sacerdotes autem ante altare cum stolis sacerdotalibus jactaverunt se, et invocabant de cælo eum qui de depositis legem posuit, ut his qui deposuerant ea salva custodiret. 16 Jam vero qui videbat summi sacerdotis vultum, mente vulnerabatur: facies enim et color immutatus declarabat internum animi dolorem: 17 circumfusa enim erat mœstitia quædam viro, et horror corporis, per quem manifestus aspicientibus dolor cordis ejus efficiebatur. 18 Alii etiam gregatim de domibus confluebant, publica supplicatione obsecrantes, pro eo quod in contemptum locus esset venturus. 19 Accinctæque mulieres ciliciis pectus, per plateas confluebant: sed et virgines quæ conclusæ erant, procurrebant ad Oniam, aliæ autem ad muros, quædam vero per fenestras aspiciebant: 20 universæ autem protendentes manus in cælum, deprecabantur: 21 erat enim misera commistæ multitudinis, et magni sacerdotis in agone constituti exspectatio.
22 οἱ μὲν οὖν ἐπεκαλοῦντο τὸν παγκρατῆ κύριον τὰ πεπιστευμένα τοῖς πεπιστευκόσιν σῶα διαφυλάσσειν μετὰ πάσης ἀσφαλείας 23 ὁ δὲ Ἡλιόδωρος τὸ διεγνωσμένον ἐπετέλει 24 αὐτόθι δὲ αὐτοῦ σὺν τοῖς δορυφόροις κατὰ τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον ἤδη παρόντος ὁ τῶν πνευμάτων καὶ πάσης ἐξουσίας δυνάστης ἐπιφάνειαν μεγάλην ἐποίησεν ὥστε πάντας τοὺς κατατολμήσαντας συνελθεῖν καταπλαγέντας τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ δύναμιν εἰς ἔκλυσιν καὶ δειλίαν τραπῆναι 25 ὤφθη γάρ τις ἵππος αὐτοῖς φοβερὸν ἔχων τὸν ἐπιβάτην καὶ καλλίστῃ σαγῇ διακεκοσμημένος φερόμενος δὲ ῥύδην ἐνέσεισεν τῷ Ἡλιοδώρῳ τὰς ἐμπροσθίους ὁπλάς ὁ δὲ ἐπικαθήμενος ἐφαίνετο χρυσῆν πανοπλίαν ἔχων 26 ἕτεροι δὲ δύο προσεφάνησαν αὐτῷ νεανίαι τῇ ῥώμῃ μὲν ἐκπρεπεῖς κάλλιστοι δὲ τὴν δόξαν διαπρεπεῖς δὲ τὴν περιβολήν οἳ καὶ περιστάντες ἐξ ἑκατέρου μέρους ἐμαστίγουν αὐτὸν ἀδιαλείπτως πολλὰς ἐπιρριπτοῦντες αὐτῷ πληγάς 27 ἄφνω δὲ πεσόντα πρὸς τὴν γῆν καὶ πολλῷ σκότει περιχυθέντα συναρπάσαντες καὶ εἰς φορεῖον ἐνθέντες 28 τὸν ἄρτι μετὰ πολλῆς παραδρομῆς καὶ πάσης δορυφορίας εἰς τὸ προειρημένον εἰσελθόντα γαζοφυλάκιον ἔφερον ἀβοήθητον ἑαυτῷ καθεστῶτα φανερῶς τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ δυναστείαν ἐπεγνωκότες 29 καὶ ὁ μὲν διὰ τὴν θείαν ἐνέργειαν ἄφωνος καὶ πάσης ἐστερημένος ἐλπίδος καὶ σωτηρίας ἔρριπτο 30 οἱ δὲ τὸν κύριον εὐλόγουν τὸν παραδοξάζοντα τὸν ἑαυτοῦ τόπον καὶ τὸ μικρῷ πρότερον δέους καὶ ταραχῆς γέμον ἱερὸν τοῦ παντοκράτορος ἐπιφανέντος κυρίου χαρᾶς καὶ εὐφροσύνης ἐπεπλήρωτο 22 Here, then, was a whole city praying Almighty God, no loss might befall the men who had trusted them; 23 and here was Heliodorus carrying out his design, already arrived at the treasury with his body-guard in attendance. 24 All at once the spirit of God, the omnipotent, gave signal proof of its presence; daunted by the divine power they trembled and stood irresolute, these ministers of wrong. 25 What saw they? A horse, royally caparisoned, that charged upon Heliodorus and struck him down with its fore-feet; terrible of aspect its rider was, and his armour seemed all of gold. 26 Two other warriors they saw, how strong of limb, how dazzling of mien, how bravely clad! These stood about Heliodorus and fell to scourging him, this side and that, blow after blow, without respite. 27 With the suddenness of his fall to the ground, darkness had closed about him; hastily they caught him up and carried him out in his litter; 28 a helpless burden now, that entered yonder treasury with such a rabble of tipstaves and halberdiers! Here was proof of God’s power most manifest. 29 There he lay, by heaven’s decree speechless and beyond hope of recovery; 30 and all around men were praising the Lord, for thus vindicating the honour of his sanctuary. In the temple, where all had been anxiety and turmoil until heaven showed its almighty power, all was rejoicing and contentment now. 22 Et hi quidem invocabant omnipotentem Deum, ut credita sibi his qui crediderant, cum omni integritate conservarentur. 23 Heliodorus autem, quod decreverat, perficiebat eodem loco ipse cum satellitibus circa ærarium præsens. 24 Sed spiritus omnipotentis Dei magnam fecit suæ ostensionis evidentiam, ita ut omnes qui ausi fuerant parere ei, ruentes Dei virtute, in dissolutionem et formidinem converterentur. 25 Apparuit enim illis quidam equus terribilem habens sessorem, optimis operimentis adornatus: isque cum impetu Heliodoro priores calces elisit: qui autem ei sedebat, videbatur arma habere aurea. 26 Alii etiam apparuerunt duo juvenes virtute decori, optimi gloria, speciosique amictu: qui circumsteterunt eum, et ex utraque parte flagellabant, sine intermissione multis plagis verberantes. 27 Subito autem Heliodorus concidit in terram, eumque multa caligine circumfusum rapuerunt, atque in sella gestatoria positum ejecerunt. 28 Et is, qui cum multis cursoribus et satellitibus prædictum ingressus est ærarium, portabatur nullo sibi auxilium ferente, manifesta Dei cognita virtute: 29 et ille quidem per divinam virtutem jacebat mutus, atque omni spe et salute privatus. 30 Hi autem Dominum benedicebant, quia magnificabat locum suum: et templum, quod paulo ante timore ac tumultu erat plenum, apparente omnipotente Domino, gaudio et lætitia impletum est.
31 ταχὺ δέ τινες τῶν τοῦ Ἡλιοδώρου συνήθων ἠξίουν τὸν Ονιαν ἐπικαλέσασθαι τὸν ὕψιστον καὶ τὸ ζῆν χαρίσασθαι τῷ παντελῶς ἐν ἐσχάτῃ πνοῇ κειμένῳ 32 ὕποπτος δὲ γενόμενος ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς μήποτε διάλημψιν ὁ βασιλεὺς σχῇ κακουργίαν τινὰ περὶ τὸν Ἡλιόδωρον ὑπὸ τῶν Ιουδαίων συντετελέσθαι προσήγαγεν θυσίαν ὑπὲρ τῆς τοῦ ἀνδρὸς σωτηρίας 33 ποιουμένου δὲ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τὸν ἱλασμὸν οἱ αὐτοὶ νεανίαι πάλιν ἐφάνησαν τῷ Ἡλιοδώρῳ ἐν ταῖς αὐταῖς ἐσθήσεσιν ἐστολισμένοι καὶ στάντες εἶπον πολλὰς Ονια τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ χάριτας ἔχε διὰ γὰρ αὐτόν σοι κεχάρισται τὸ ζῆν ὁ κύριος 34 σὺ δὲ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ μεμαστιγωμένος διάγγελλε πᾶσι τὸ μεγαλεῖον τοῦ θεοῦ κράτος ταῦτα δὲ εἰπόντες ἀφανεῖς ἐγένοντο 35 ὁ δὲ Ἡλιόδωρος θυσίαν ἀνενέγκας τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ εὐχὰς μεγίστας εὐξάμενος τῷ τὸ ζῆν περιποιήσαντι καὶ τὸν Ονιαν ἀποδεξάμενος ἀνεστρατοπέδευσεν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα 36 ἐξεμαρτύρει δὲ πᾶσιν ἅπερ ἦν ὑ{P'} ὄψιν τεθεαμένος ἔργα τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ 37 τοῦ δὲ βασιλέως ἐπερωτήσαντος τὸν Ἡλιόδωρον ποῖός τις εἴη ἐπιτήδειος ἔτι ἅπαξ διαπεμφθῆναι εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα ἔφησεν 38 εἴ τινα ἔχεις πολέμιον ἢ πραγμάτων ἐπίβουλον πέμψον αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ καὶ μεμαστιγωμένον αὐτὸν προσδέξῃ ἐάνπερ καὶ διασωθῇ διὰ τὸ περὶ τὸν τόπον ἀληθῶς εἶναί τινα θεοῦ δύναμιν 39 αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ τὴν κατοικίαν ἐπουράνιον ἔχων ἐπόπτης ἐστὶν καὶ βοηθὸς ἐκείνου τοῦ τόπου καὶ τοὺς παραγινομένους ἐπὶ κακώσει τύπτων ἀπολλύει 31 It was not long before friends of Heliodorus were entreating Onias to call down mercy from the most High, on one that was now at death’s door. 32 This was anxious news for the high priest; what if the king should suspect the Jews of foul play? Offer sacrifice he did for the man’s recovery, and with good effect. 33 He was yet at his prayers, when those two warriors, in the same brave attire, stood by Heliodorus again; Thanks thou owest, they said, to the high priest Onias; at his instance, the Lord grants thee life; 34 God’s scourge thou hast felt, God’s wondrous power be ever on thy lips. And with that, they were seen no more. 35 Be sure this Heliodorus offered God sacrifice; ay, and made vows a many for his preservation, and thanked Onias besides; then he marched his army back to the king. 36 Everywhere he testified how great a God was this, what strange things his own eyes had witnessed; 37 and when the king himself asked what manner of emissary he should next send to Jerusalem, 38 Why, said he, some enemy of thine, some rebel that plots against the kingdom. Escape he with his life, I warrant he will come back to thee soundly beaten. Past doubt, there is some divine influence haunts yonder place; 39 watch and ward he keeps over it, that has his dwelling in heaven, to be the plague and the undoing of all who come that way upon an errand of mischief. 31 Tunc vero ex amicis Heliodori quidam rogabant confestim Oniam, ut invocaret Altissimum ut vitam donaret ei qui in supremo spiritu erat constitutus. 32 Considerans autem summus sacerdos ne forte rex suspicaretur malitiam aliquam ex Judæis circa Heliodorum consummatum, obtulit pro salute viri hostiam salutarem. 33 Cumque summus sacerdos exoraret, iidem juvenes eisdem vestibus amicti astantes Heliodoro, dixerunt: Oniæ sacerdoti gratias age: nam propter eum Dominus tibi vitam donavit. 34 Tu autem a Deo flagellatus, nuntia omnibus magnalia Dei, et potestatem. Et his dictis, non comparuerunt. 35 Heliodorus autem, hostia Deo oblata, et votis magnis promissis ei qui vivere illi concessit, et Oniæ gratias agens, recepto exercitu, repedabat ad regem. 36 Testabatur autem omnibus ea quæ sub oculis suis viderat opera magni Dei. 37 Cum autem rex interrogasset Heliodorum, quis esset aptus adhuc semel Jerosolymam mitti, ait: 38 Si quem habes hostem, aut regni tui insidiatorem, mitte illuc, et flagellatum eum recipies, si tamen evaserit: eo quod in loco sit vere Dei quædam virtus. 39 Nam ipse, qui habet in cælis habitationem, visitator et adjutor est loci illius, et venientes ad malefaciendum percutit ac perdit.
40 καὶ τὰ μὲν κατὰ Ἡλιόδωρον καὶ τὴν τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου τήρησιν οὕτως ἐχώρησεν 40 Such is the tale of Heliodorus, and of the treasury’s preserving. 40 Igitur de Heliodoro et ærarii custodia ita res se habet.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.