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4 Maccabees 12

The Torture of the Seventh Brother

12When he too, thrown into the cauldron, had died a blessed death, the seventh and youngest of all came forward. 2Even though the tyrant had been vehemently reproached by the brothers, he felt strong compassion for this child when he saw that he was already in fetters. He summoned him to come nearer and tried to persuade him, saying, 3‘You see the result of your brothers’ stupidity, for they died in torments because of their disobedience. 4You too, if you do not obey, will be miserably tortured and die before your time, 5but if you yield to persuasion you will be my friend and a leader in the government of the kingdom.’ 6When he had thus appealed to him, he sent for the boy’s mother to show compassion on her who had been bereaved of so many sons and to influence her to persuade the surviving son to obey and save himself. 7But when his mother had exhorted him in the Hebrew language, as we shall tell a little later, 8he said, ‘Let me loose, let me speak to the king and to all his friends that are with him.’ 9Extremely pleased by the boy’s declaration, they freed him at once. 10Running to the nearest of the braziers, 11he said, ‘You profane tyrant, most impious of all the wicked, since you have received good things and also your kingdom from God, were you not ashamed to murder his servants and torture on the wheel those who practise religion? 12Because of this, justice has laid up for you intense and eternal fire and tortures, and these throughout all time* will never let you go. 13As a man, were you not ashamed, you most savage beast, to cut out the tongues of men who have feelings like yours and are made of the same elements as you, and to maltreat and torture them in this way? 14Surely they by dying nobly fulfilled their service to God, but you will wail bitterly for having killed without cause the contestants for virtue.’ 15Then because he too was about to die, he said, 16‘I do not desert the excellent example* of my brothers, 17and I call on the God of our ancestors to be merciful to our nation;* 18but on you he will take vengeance both in this present life and when you are dead.’ 19After he had uttered these imprecations, he flung himself into the braziers and so ended his life.*


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14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.