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2 Macabees 3


1 Now when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws were kept very well, because of the godliness of Onias the high priest, and his hatred of wickedness,

2 It came to pass that even the kings themselves did honour the place, and magnify the temple with their best gifts;

3 Insomuch that Seleucus of Asia of his own revenues bare all the costs belonging to the service of the sacrifices.

4 But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was made governor of the temple, fell out with the high priest about disorder in the city.

5 And when he could not overcome Onias, he gat him to Apollonius the son of Thraseas, who then was governor of Celosyria and Phenice,

6 And told him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of infinite sums of money, so that the multitude of their riches, which did not pertain to the account of the sacrifices, was innumerable, and that it was possible to bring all into the king's hand.

7 Now when Apollonius came to the king, and had shewed him of the money whereof he was told, the king chose out Heliodorus his treasurer, and sent him with a commandment to bring him the foresaid money.

8 So forthwith Heliodorus took his journey; under a colour of visiting the cities of Celosyria and Phenice, but indeed to fulfil the king's purpose.

9 And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been courteously received of the high priest of the city, he told him what intelligence was given of the money, and declared wherefore he came, and asked if these things were so indeed.

10 Then the high priest told him that there was such money laid up for the relief of widows and fatherless children:

11 And that some of it belonged to Hircanus son of Tobias, a man of great dignity, and not as that wicked Simon had misinformed: the sum whereof in all was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold:

12 And that it was altogether impossible that such wrongs should be done unto them, that had committed it to the holiness of the place, and to the majesty and inviolable sanctity of the temple, honoured over all the world.

13 But Heliodorus, because of the king's commandment given him, said, That in any wise it must be brought into the king's treasury.

14 So at the day which he appointed he entered in to order this matter: wherefore there was no small agony throughout the whole city.

15 But the priests, prostrating themselves before the altar in their priests' vestments, called unto heaven upon him that made a law concerning things given to he kept, that they should safely be preserved for such as had committed them to be kept.

16 Then whoso had looked the high priest in the face, it would have wounded his heart: for his countenance and the changing of his colour declared the inward agony of his mind.

17 For the man was so compassed with fear and horror of the body, that it was manifest to them that looked upon him, what sorrow he had now in his heart.

18 Others ran flocking out of their houses to the general supplication, because the place was like to come into contempt.

19 And the women, girt with sackcloth under their breasts, abounded in the streets, and the virgins that were kept in ran, some to the gates, and some to the walls, and others looked out of the windows.

20 And all, holding their hands toward heaven, made supplication.

21 Then it would have pitied a man to see the falling down of the multitude of all sorts, and the fear of the high priest being in such an agony.

22 They then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep the things committed of trust safe and sure for those that had committed them.

23 Nevertheless Heliodorus executed that which was decreed.

24 Now as he was there present himself with his guard about the treasury, the Lord of spirits, and the Prince of all power, caused a great apparition, so that all that presumed to come in with him were astonished at the power of God, and fainted, and were sore afraid.

25 For there appeared unto them an horse with a terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering, and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet, and it seemed that he that sat upon the horse had complete harness of gold.

26 Moreover two other young men appeared before him, notable in strength, excellent in beauty, and comely in apparel, who stood by him on either side; and scourged him continually, and gave him many sore stripes.

27 And Heliodorus fell suddenly unto the ground, and was compassed with great darkness: but they that were with him took him up, and put him into a litter.

28 Thus him, that lately came with a great train and with all his guard into the said treasury, they carried out, being unable to help himself with his weapons: and manifestly they acknowledged the power of God.

29 For he by the hand of God was cast down, and lay speechless without all hope of life.

30 But they praised the Lord, that had miraculously honoured his own place: for the temple; which a little afore was full of fear and trouble, when the Almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.

31 Then straightways certain of Heliodorus' friends prayed Onias, that he would call upon the most High to grant him his life, who lay ready to give up the ghost.

32 So the high priest, suspecting lest the king should misconceive that some treachery had been done to Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the health of the man.

33 Now as the high priest was making an atonement, the same young men in the same clothing appeared and stood beside Heliodorus, saying, Give Onias the high priest great thanks, insomuch as for his sake the Lord hath granted thee life:

34 And seeing that thou hast been scourged from heaven, declare unto all men the mighty power of God. And when they had spoken these words, they appeared no more.

35 So Heliodorus, after he had offered sacrifice unto the Lord, and made great vows unto him that had saved his life, and saluted Onias, returned with his host to the king.

36 Then testified he to all men the works of the great God, which he had seen with his eyes.

37 And when the king Heliodorus, who might be a fit man to be sent yet once again to Jerusalem, he said,

38 If thou hast any enemy or traitor, send him thither, and thou shalt receive him well scourged, if he escape with his life: for in that place, no doubt; there is an especial power of God.

39 For he that dwelleth in heaven hath his eye on that place, and defendeth it; and he beateth and destroyeth them that come to hurt it.

40 And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasury, fell out on this sort.


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 κατ᾽ 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

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 δι᾽ ἃς εἶχεν βασιλικὰς ἐντολάς πάντως ἔλεγεν εἰς τὸ βασιλικὸν ἀναλημπτέα ταῦτα εἶναι

14 ταξάμενος δὲ ἡμέραν εἰσῄει τὴν περὶ τούτων ἐπίσκεψιν οἰκονομήσων ἦν δὲ οὐ μικρὰ καθ᾽ 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 δι᾽ 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 δ᾽ ἦν τὴν τοῦ πλήθους παμμιγῆ πρόπτωσιν τήν τε τοῦ μεγάλως ἀγωνιῶντος ἀρχιερέως προσδοκίαν

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

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 ὑπ᾽ 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

40 καὶ τὰ μὲν κατὰ Ἡλιόδωρον καὶ τὴν τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου τήρησιν οὕτως ἐχώρησεν


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 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 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 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 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 Igitur de Heliodoro et ærarii custodia ita res se habet.

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