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2 Maccabees 11

 
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1 με{T'} ὀλίγον δὲ παντελῶς χρονίσκον Λυσίας ἐπίτροπος τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ συγγενὴς καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων λίαν βαρέως φέρων ἐπὶ τοῖς γεγονόσι 2 συναθροίσας περὶ τὰς ὀκτὼ μυριάδας καὶ τὴν ἵππον ἅπασαν παρεγίνετο ἐπὶ τοὺς Ιουδαίους λογιζόμενος τὴν μὲν πόλιν Ἕλλησιν οἰκητήριον ποιήσειν 3 τὸ δὲ ἱερὸν ἀργυρολόγητον καθὼς τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν τεμένη πρατὴν δὲ κατὰ ἔτος τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην ποιήσειν 4 οὐδαμῶς ἐπιλογιζόμενος τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κράτος πεφρενωμένος δὲ ταῖς μυριάσιν τῶν πεζῶν καὶ ταῖς χιλιάσιν τῶν ἱππέων καὶ τοῖς ἐλέφασιν τοῖς ὀγδοήκοντα 5 εἰσελθὼν δὲ εἰς τὴν Ιουδαίαν καὶ συνεγγίσας Βαιθσουρα ὄντι μὲν ἐρυμνῷ χωρίῳ Ιεροσολύμων δὲ ἀπέχοντι ὡσεὶ σταδίους πέντε τοῦτο ἔθλιβεν 1 It was but a short respite they had; Lysias, a kinsman of Antiochus that was regent and managed his affairs for him, was not a little concerned over these happenings, 2 and he marched on Judaea at the head of eighty thousand men, with all the cavalry he could muster. Here was a city worth the capture, for Gentile folk to dwell in; 3 here was a temple that would yield a fine spoil, as temples did everywhere; a priesthood, too, that might be put up for sale year after year. 4 Of all this he bethought him, never of God’s avenging power; blindly he trusted in his foot-soldiers by the ten thousand, his horsemen by the thousand, in his elephants that numbered four score. 5 Upon marching into Judaea he first reached Bethsura,[1] that stood in a narrow pass five furlongs away from Jerusalem, and laid siege to the citadel of it. 1 Sed parvo post tempore, Lysias procurator regis et propinquus, ac negotiorum præpositus, graviter ferens de his quæ acciderant, 2 congregatis octoginta millibus, et equitatu universo, veniebat adversus Judæos, existimans se civitatem quidem captam gentibus habitaculum facturum, 3 templum vero in pecuniæ quæstum, sicut cetera delubra gentium, habiturum, et per singulos annos venale sacerdotium: 4 nusquam recogitans Dei potestatem, sed mente effrenatus in multitudine peditum, et in millibus equitum, et in octoginta elephantis confidebat. 5 Ingressus autem Judæam, et appropians Bethsuræ, quæ erat in angusto loco, ab Jerosolyma intervallo quinque stadiorum, illud præsidium expugnabat.
6 ὡς δὲ μετέλαβον οἱ περὶ τὸν Μακκαβαῖον πολιορκοῦντα αὐτὸν τὰ ὀχυρώματα μετὰ ὀδυρμῶν καὶ δακρύων ἱκέτευον σὺν τοῖς ὄχλοις τὸν κύριον ἀγαθὸν ἄγγελον ἀποστεῖλαι πρὸς σωτηρίαν τῷ Ισραηλ 7 αὐτὸς δὲ πρῶτος ὁ Μακκαβαῖος ἀναλαβὼν τὰ ὅπλα προετρέψατο τοὺς ἄλλους ἅμα αὐτῷ διακινδυνεύοντας ἐπιβοηθεῖν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς αὐτῶν ὁμοῦ δὲ καὶ προθύμως ἐξώρμησαν 8 αὐτόθι δὲ πρὸς τοῖς Ιεροσολύμοις ὄντων ἐφάνη προηγούμενος αὐτῶν ἔφιππος ἐν λευκῇ ἐσθῆτι πανοπλίαν χρυσῆν κραδαίνων 9 ὁμοῦ δὲ πάντες εὐλόγησαν τὸν ἐλεήμονα θεὸν καὶ ἐπερρώσθησαν ταῖς ψυχαῖς οὐ μόνον ἀνθρώπους θῆρας δὲ τοὺς ἀγριωτάτους καὶ σιδηρᾶ τείχη τιτρώσκειν ὄντες ἕτοιμοι 10 προῆγον ἐν διασκευῇ τὸν ἀ{P'} οὐρανοῦ σύμμαχον ἔχοντες ἐλεήσαντος αὐτοὺς τοῦ κυρίου 11 λεοντηδὸν δὲ ἐντινάξαντες εἰς τοὺς πολεμίους κατέστρωσαν αὐτῶν χιλίους πρὸς τοῖς μυρίοις ἱππεῖς δὲ ἑξακοσίους πρὸς τοῖς χιλίοις τοὺς δὲ πάντας ἠνάγκασαν φεύγειν 12 οἱ πλείονες δὲ αὐτῶν τραυματίαι γυμνοὶ διεσώθησαν καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Λυσίας αἰσχρῶς φεύγων διεσώθη 6 What did Machabaeus and his fellows, when they learned that the siege of the fortress was already begun? Most piteously they besought the Lord, amid the tears of a whole populace, a gracious angel he would send out for Israel’s deliverance. 7 Then they armed for battle, Machabaeus himself the first of all, as he summoned the rest to share with him the hour of danger, for the relief of their brethren. 8 So, in good heart, they set out together, and before they left Jerusalem a vision came to them; of a rider that went before them in white array, with armour of gold, brandishing his spear. 9 How they blessed God’s mercy, all of them, at the sight! How their courage rose, a match for all it should encounter, men or wild beast or walls of iron! 10 They marched on, ready for battle, sure now of a heavenly champion, and of the Lord’s favour; 11 and when they charged the enemy, they were very lions for valour. At their onslaught, fell eleven thousand of the foot, fell a thousand and six hundred of the horse; 12 and the whole army took to its heels, for the most part wounded and disarmed; Lysias himself, ingloriously enough, turned and fled. 6 Ut autem Machabæus et qui cum eo erant cognoverunt expugnari præsidia, cum fletu et lacrimis rogabant Dominum, et omnis turba simul, ut bonum angelum mitteret ad salutem Israël. 7 Et ipse primus Machabæus, sumptis armis, ceteros adhortatus est simul secum periculum subire, et ferre auxilium fratribus suis. 8 Cumque pariter prompto animo procederent, Jerosolymis apparuit præcedens eos eques in veste candida, armis aureis hastam vibrans. 9 Tunc omnes simul benedixerunt misericordem Dominum, et convaluerunt animis: non solum homines, sed et bestias ferocissimas, et muros ferreos parati penetrare. 10 Ibant igitur prompti, de cælo habentes adjutorem et miserantem super eos Dominum. 11 Leonum autem more impetu irruentes in hostes, prostraverunt ex eis undecim millia peditum, et equitum mille sexcentos: 12 universos autem in fugam verterunt, plures autem ex eis vulnerati nudi evaserunt. Sed et ipse Lysias turpiter fugiens evasit.
13 οὐκ ἄνους δὲ ὑπάρχων πρὸς ἑαυτὸν ἀντιβάλλων τὸ γεγονὸς περὶ αὐτὸν ἐλάττωμα καὶ συννοήσας ἀνικήτους εἶναι τοὺς Εβραίους τοῦ δυναμένου θεοῦ συμμαχοῦντος αὐτοῖς 14 προσαποστείλας ἔπεισεν συλλύεσθαι ἐπὶ πᾶσι τοῖς δικαίοις καὶ διότι καὶ τὸν βασιλέα πείσει φίλον αὐτοῖς ἀναγκάζων γενέσθαι 15 ἐπένευσεν δὲ ὁ Μακκαβαῖος ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ὁ Λυσίας παρεκάλει τοῦ συμφέροντος φροντίζων ὅσα γὰρ ὁ Μακκαβαῖος ἐπέδωκεν τῷ Λυσίᾳ διὰ γραπτῶν περὶ τῶν Ιουδαίων συνεχώρησεν ὁ βασιλεύς 13 Yet good sense he lacked not; great loss he had sustained, and, let the Hebrews continue to rely for aid upon divine Omnipotence, he saw there was no conquering them. So he wrote, 14 offering to conclude honourable terms with them, and secure them the king’s friendship. 15 As for Machabaeus, he consented to what Lysias asked, having no thought but for the common good; and the written terms he proposed to Lysias in the Jewish people’s name received the royal assent. 13 Et quia non insensatus erat, secum ipse reputans factam erga se diminutionem, et intelligens invictos esse Hebræos, omnipotentis Dei auxilio innitentes, misit ad eos: 14 promisitque se consensurum omnibus quæ justa sunt, et regem compulsurum amicum fieri. 15 Annuit autem Machabæus precibus Lysiæ, in omnibus utilitati consulens: et quæcumque Machabæus scripsit Lysiæ de Judæis, ea rex concessit.
16 ἦσαν γὰρ αἱ γεγραμμέναι τοῖς Ιουδαίοις ἐπιστολαὶ παρὰ μὲν Λυσίου περιέχουσαι τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον Λυσίας τῷ πλήθει τῶν Ιουδαίων χαίρειν 17 Ιωαννης καὶ Αβεσσαλωμ οἱ πεμφθέντες πα{R'} ὑμῶν ἐπιδόντες τὸν ὑπογεγραμμένον χρηματισμὸν ἠξίουν περὶ τῶν δ{I'} αὐτοῦ σημαινομένων 18 ὅσα μὲν οὖν ἔδει καὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ προσενεχθῆναι διεσάφησα ἃ δὲ ἦν ἐνδεχόμενα συνεχώρησεν 19 ἐὰν μὲν οὖν συντηρήσητε τὴν εἰς τὰ πράγματα εὔνοιαν καὶ εἰς τὸ λοιπὸν πειράσομαι παραίτιος ἀγαθῶν γενέσθαι 20 ὑπὲρ δὲ τούτων καὶ τῶν κατὰ μέρος ἐντέταλμαι τούτοις τε καὶ τοῖς πα{R'} ἐμοῦ διαλεχθῆναι ὑμῖν 21 ἔρρωσθε ἔτους ἑκατοστοῦ τεσσαρακοστοῦ ὀγδόου Διὸς Κορινθίου τετράδι καὶ εἰκάδι 16 The letter sent to the Jews by Lysias was after this manner: Lysias, to the people of the Jews, all health! 17 Your envoys, John and Abesalom, handed me a written petition, and desired that I would give effect to the terms of it. 18 All that needed to be known, I have made clear to the king’s grace, and he has granted what grant he could. 19 Doubt not I will be a good suitor in your cause hereafter, so you abide loyal to the king’s interest. 20 Meanwhile I have given a verbal message to your envoys and mine, which they will impart to you. 21 Farewell. Given on this twenty-fourth day of Dioscorus, in the hundred and forty-eighth year. 16 Nam erant scriptæ Judæis epistolæ a Lysia quidem hunc modum continentes: Lysias populo Judæorum salutem. 17 Joannes et Abesalom, qui missi fuerant a vobis, tradentes scripta, postulabant ut ea quæ per illos significabantur, implerem. 18 Quæcumque igitur regi potuerunt perferri, exposui: et quæ res permittebat, concessit. 19 Si igitur in negotiis fidem conservaveritis, et deinceps bonorum vobis causa esset, tentabo. 20 De ceteris autem per singula verbo mandavi et istis, et his, qui a me missi sunt, colloqui vobiscum. 21 Bene valete. Anno centesimo, quadragesimo octavo mensis Dioscori, die vigesima et quarta.
22 ἡ δὲ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιστολὴ περιεῖχεν οὕτως βασιλεὺς Ἀντίοχος τῷ ἀδελφῷ Λυσίᾳ χαίρειν 23 τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν εἰς θεοὺς μεταστάντος βουλόμενοι τοὺς ἐκ τῆς βασιλείας ἀταράχους ὄντας γενέσθαι πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἰδίων ἐπιμέλειαν 24 ἀκηκοότες τοὺς Ιουδαίους μὴ συνευδοκοῦντας τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐπὶ τὰ Ἑλληνικὰ μεταθέσει ἀλλὰ τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀγωγὴν αἱρετίζοντας ἀξιοῦντας συγχωρηθῆναι αὐτοῖς τὰ νόμιμα 25 αἱρούμενοι οὖν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔθνος ἐκτὸς ταραχῆς εἶναι κρίνομεν τό τε ἱερὸν ἀποκατασταθῆναι αὐτοῖς καὶ πολιτεύεσθαι κατὰ τὰ ἐπὶ τῶν προγόνων αὐτῶν ἔθη 26 εὖ οὖν ποιήσεις διαπεμψάμενος πρὸς αὐτοὺς καὶ δοὺς δεξιάς ὅπως εἰδότες τὴν ἡμετέραν προαίρεσιν εὔθυμοί τε ὦσιν καὶ ἡδέως διαγίνωνται πρὸς τῇ τῶν ἰδίων ἀντιλήμψει 22 And of the king’s own letter, the tenour was this: King Antiochus, to his good cousin Lysias, all health! 23 Now that our father has found his place among the gods, it is for us to see that our subjects live at peace, and go quietly about their business. 24 But of one nation, the Jews, we hear that they resisted our father’s will, who would have had them conform to the Greek way of living; to their own tradition they hold fast, and their plea is, we should grant them the enjoyment of their rights in the matter. 25 And whereas we would have this nation live peaceably like the rest, we enact and decree that their temple should be restored to them, and that they should follow the custom of their forefathers. 26 Do us the kindness, then, to send word and give them assurance of this; our will made known, let them take heart, and order their own affairs contentedly. 22 Regis autem epistola ista continebat: Rex Antiochus Lysiæ fratri salutem. 23 Patre nostro inter deos translato, nos volentes eos qui sunt in regno nostro sine tumultu agere, et rebus suis adhibere diligentiam, 24 audivimus Judæos non consensisse patri meo ut transferrentur ad ritum Græcorum, sed tenere velle suum institutum, ac propterea postulare a nobis concedi sibi legitima sua. 25 Volentes igitur hanc quoque gentem quietam esse, statuentes judicavimus templum restitui illis, ut agerent secundum suorum majorum consuetudinem. 26 Bene igitur feceris, si miseris ad eos et dexteram dederis: ut cognita nostra voluntate, bono animo sint, et utilitatibus propriis deserviant.
27 πρὸς δὲ τὸ ἔθνος ἡ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιστολὴ τοιάδε ἦν βασιλεὺς Ἀντίοχος τῇ γερουσίᾳ τῶν Ιουδαίων καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις Ιουδαίοις χαίρειν 28 εἰ ἔρρωσθε εἴη ἂν ὡς βουλόμεθα καὶ αὐτοὶ δὲ ὑγιαίνομεν 29 ἐνεφάνισεν ἡμῖν Μενέλαος βούλεσθαι κατελθόντας ὑμᾶς γίνεσθαι πρὸς τοῖς ἰδίοις 30 τοῖς οὖν καταπορευομένοις μέχρι τριακάδος Ξανθικοῦ ὑπάρξει δεξιὰ μετὰ τῆς ἀδείας 31 χρῆσθαι τοὺς Ιουδαίους τοῖς ἑαυτῶν δαπανήμασιν καὶ νόμοις καθὰ καὶ τὸ πρότερον καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν κα{T'} οὐδένα τρόπον παρενοχληθήσεται περὶ τῶν ἠγνοημένων 32 πέπομφα δὲ καὶ τὸν Μενέλαον παρακαλέσοντα ὑμᾶς 33 ἔρρωσθε ἔτους ἑκατοστοῦ τεσσαρακοστοῦ ὀγδόου Ξανθικοῦ πεντεκαιδεκάτῃ 27 To the Jews themselves the king wrote as follows: King Antiochus, to the elders and people of the Jews, all health! 28 Thrive you as well as ourselves, we are well content. 29 Menelaus has brought us word, you would fain have free intercourse with the men of your race who dwell in these parts;[2] 30 and we hereby grant safe conduct to all of you that would travel here, up to the thirtieth day of Xanthicus … 31 That the Jewish folk may eat what food they will, use what laws they will, according to their ancient custom; and if aught has been done amiss through inadvertence, none of them, for that cause, shall be molested. 32 We are sending Menelaus besides, to give a charge to you. 33 Farewell. Given on the fifteenth day of Xanthicus, in the hundred and forty-eighth year. 27 Ad Judæos vero regis epistola talis erat: Rex Antiochus senatui Judæorum, et ceteris Judæis salutem. 28 Si valetis, sic estis ut volumus: sed et ipsi bene valemus. 29 Adiit nos Menelaus, dicens velle vos descendere ad vestros, qui sunt apud nos. 30 His igitur qui commeant usque ad diem trigesimum mensis Xanthici, damus dextras securitatis, 31 ut Judæi utantur cibis et legibus suis, sicut et prius: et nemo eorum ullo modo molestiam patiatur de his quæ per ignorantiam gesta sunt. 32 Misimus autem et Menelaum, qui vos alloquatur. 33 Valete. Anno centesimo quadragesimo octavo, Xanthici mensis quintadecima die.
34 ἔπεμψαν δὲ καὶ οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἐπιστολὴν ἔχουσαν οὕτως Κόιντος Μέμμιος Τίτος Μάνιος πρεσβῦται Ῥωμαίων τῷ δήμῳ τῶν Ιουδαίων χαίρειν 35 ὑπὲρ ὧν Λυσίας ὁ συγγενὴς τοῦ βασιλέως συνεχώρησεν ὑμῖν καὶ ἡμεῖς συνευδοκοῦμεν 36 ἃ δὲ ἔκρινεν προσανενεχθῆναι τῷ βασιλεῖ πέμψατέ τινα παραχρῆμα ἐπισκεψάμενοι περὶ τούτων ἵνα ἐκθῶμεν ὡς καθήκει ὑμῖν ἡμεῖς γὰρ προσάγομεν πρὸς Ἀντιόχειαν 37 διὸ σπεύσατε καὶ πέμψατέ τινας ὅπως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐπιγνῶμεν ὁποίας ἐστὲ γνώμης 38 ὑγιαίνετε ἔτους ἑκατοστοῦ τεσσαρακοστοῦ ὀγδόου Ξανθικοῦ πεντεκαιδεκάτῃ 34 The Romans, too, wrote to them after the manner following; Quintus Memmius and Titus Manlius, envoys of Rome, to the Jewish people, all health! 35 The privileges Lysias has granted you in the name of his royal cousin, we hereby ratify. 36 Other matters he has remitted to the king’s decision; take counsel among yourselves, and let us know at once what your mind is, if you would have us order all to your liking. Even now we are on the road to Antioch; 37 write speedily, to let us know how you are minded. 38 Farewell. Given on the twenty-fifth day of Xanthicus, in the hundred and forty-eighth year. 34 Miserunt autem etiam Romani epistolam, ita se habentem: Quintus Memmius et Titus Manilius legati Romanorum, populo Judæorum salutem. 35 De his quæ Lysias cognatus regis concessit vobis, et nos concessimus. 36 De quibus autem ad regem judicavit referendum, confestim aliquem mittere, diligentius inter vos conferentes, ut decernamus, sicut congruit vobis: nos enim Antiochiam accedimus. 37 Ideoque festinate rescribere, ut nos quoque sciamus cujus estis voluntatis. 38 Bene valete. Anno centesimo quadragesimo octavo, quintadecima die mensis Xanthici.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.