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2 Macabees 15


1 But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company were in the strong places about Samaria, resolved without any danger to set upon them on the sabbath day.

2 Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go with him said, O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but give honour to that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath honoured with holiness above all other days.

3 Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there were a Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.

4 And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:

5 Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon earth, and I command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Yet he obtained not to have his wicked will done.

6 So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness determined to set up a publick monument of his victory over Judas and them that were with him.

7 But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the Lord would help him:

8 Wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the heathen against them, but to remember the help which in former times they had received from heaven, and now to expect the victory and aid, which should come unto them from the Almighty.

9 And so comforting them out of the law and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles that they won afore, he made them more cheerful.

10 And when he had stirred up their minds, he gave them their charge, shewing them therewithall the falsehood of the heathen, and the breach of oaths.

11 Thus he armed every one of them, not so much with defence of shields and spears, as with comfortable and good words: and beside that, he told them a dream worthy to be believed, as if it had been so indeed, which did not a little rejoice them.

12 And this was his vision: That Onias, who had been high priest, a virtuous and a good man, reverend in conversation, gentle in condition, well spoken also, and exercised from a child in all points of virtue, holding up his hands prayed for the whole body of the Jews.

13 This done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray hairs, and exceeding glorious, who was of a wonderful and excellent majesty.

14 Then Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of the brethren, who prayeth much for the people, and for the holy city, to wit, Jeremias the prophet of God.

15 Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand gave to Judas a sword of gold, and in giving it spake thus,

16 Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with the which thou shalt wound the adversaries.

17 Thus being well comforted by the words of Judas, which were very good, and able to stir them up to valour, and to encourage the hearts of the young men, they determined not to pitch camp, but courageously to set upon them, and manfully to try the matter by conflict, because the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger.

18 For the care that they took for their wives, and their children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account with them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy temple.

19 Also they that were in the city took not the least care, being troubled for the conflict abroad.

20 And now, when as all looked what should be the trial, and the enemies were already come near, and the army was set in array, and the beasts conveniently placed, and the horsemen set in wings,

21 Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms, but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are worthy:

22 Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord, thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand:

23 Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel before us for a fear and dread unto them;

24 And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he ended thus.

25 Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs.

26 But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with invocation and prayer.

27 So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.

28 Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.

29 Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the Almighty in their own language.

30 And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of the citizens both in body and mind, and who continued his love toward his countrymen all his life, commanded to strike off Nicanor's head, and his hand with his shoulder, and bring them to Jerusalem.

31 So when he was there, and called them of his nation together, and set the priests before the altar, he sent for them that were of the tower,

32 And shewed them vile Nicanor's head, and the hand of that blasphemer, which with proud brags he had stretched out against the holy temple of the Almighty.

33 And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls, and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.

34 So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord, saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.

35 He hanged also Nicanor's head upon the tower, an evident and manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.

36 And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirtieth day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called Adar, the day before Mardocheus' day.

37 Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time forth the Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an end.

38 And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired: but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto.

39 For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste: even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that read the story. And here shall be an end.


1 ὁ δὲ Νικάνωρ μεταλαβὼν τοὺς περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν ὄντας ἐν τοῖς κατὰ Σαμάρειαν τόποις ἐβουλεύσατο τῇ τῆς καταπαύσεως ἡμέρᾳ μετὰ πάσης ἀσφαλείας αὐτοῖς ἐπιβαλεῖν

2 τῶν δὲ κατὰ ἀνάγκην συνεπομένων αὐτῷ Ιουδαίων λεγόντων μηδαμῶς οὕτως ἀγρίως καὶ βαρβάρως ἀπολέσῃς δόξαν δὲ ἀπομέρισον τῇ προτετιμημένῃ ὑπὸ τοῦ πάντα ἐφορῶντος μεθ᾽ ἁγιότητος ἡμέρᾳ

3 ὁ δὲ τρισαλιτήριος ἐπηρώτησεν εἰ ἔστιν ἐν οὐρανῷ δυνάστης ὁ προστεταχὼς ἄγειν τὴν τῶν σαββάτων ἡμέραν

4 τῶν δ᾽ ἀποφηναμένων ἔστιν ὁ κύριος ζῶν αὐτὸς ἐν οὐρανῷ δυνάστης ὁ κελεύσας ἀσκεῖν τὴν ἑβδομάδα

5 ὁ δὲ ἕτερος κἀγώ φησιν δυνάστης ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὁ προστάσσων αἴρειν ὅπλα καὶ τὰς βασιλικὰς χρείας ἐπιτελεῖν ὅμως οὐ κατέσχεν ἐπιτελέσαι τὸ σχέτλιον αὐτοῦ βούλημα

6 καὶ ὁ μὲν Νικάνωρ μετὰ πάσης ἀλαζονείας ὑψαυχενῶν διεγνώκει κοινὸν τῶν περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν συστήσασθαι τρόπαιον

7 ὁ δὲ Μακκαβαῖος ἦν ἀδιαλείπτως πεποιθὼς μετὰ πάσης ἐλπίδος ἀντιλήμψεως τεύξασθαι παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου

8 καὶ παρεκάλει τοὺς σὺν αὐτῷ μὴ δειλιᾶν τὴν τῶν ἐθνῶν ἔφοδον ἔχοντας δὲ κατὰ νοῦν τὰ προγεγονότα αὐτοῖς ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ βοηθήματα καὶ τὰ νῦν προσδοκᾶν τὴν παρὰ τοῦ παντοκράτορος ἐσομένην αὐτοῖς νίκην

9 καὶ παραμυθούμενος αὐτοὺς ἐκ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν προσυπομνήσας δὲ αὐτοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας οὓς ἦσαν ἐκτετελεκότες προθυμοτέρους αὐτοὺς κατέστησεν

10 καὶ τοῖς θυμοῖς διεγείρας αὐτοὺς παρήγγειλεν ἅμα παρεπιδεικνὺς τὴν τῶν ἐθνῶν ἀθεσίαν καὶ τὴν τῶν ὅρκων παράβασιν

11 ἕκαστον δὲ αὐτῶν καθοπλίσας οὐ τὴν ἀσπίδων καὶ λογχῶν ἀσφάλειαν ὡς τὴν ἐν τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς λόγοις παράκλησιν καὶ προσεξηγησάμενος ὄνειρον ἀξιόπιστον ὕπαρ τι πάντας ηὔφρανεν

12 ἦν δὲ ἡ τούτου θεωρία τοιάδε Ονιαν τὸν γενόμενον ἀρχιερέα ἄνδρα καλὸν καὶ ἀγαθόν αἰδήμονα μὲν τὴν ἀπάντησιν πρᾶον δὲ τὸν τρόπον καὶ λαλιὰν προϊέμενον πρεπόντως καὶ ἐκ παιδὸς ἐκμεμελετηκότα πάντα τὰ τῆς ἀρετῆς οἰκεῖα τοῦτον τὰς χεῖρας προτείναντα κατεύχεσθαι τῷ παντὶ τῶν Ιουδαίων συστήματι

13 εἶθ᾽ οὕτως ἐπιφανῆναι ἄνδρα πολιᾷ καὶ δόξῃ διαφέροντα θαυμαστὴν δέ τινα καὶ μεγαλοπρεπεστάτην εἶναι τὴν περὶ αὐτὸν ὑπεροχήν

14 ἀποκριθέντα δὲ τὸν Ονιαν εἰπεῖν ὁ φιλάδελφος οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ πολλὰ προσευχόμενος περὶ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ τῆς ἁγίας πόλεως Ιερεμιας ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ προφήτης

15 προτείναντα δὲ Ιερεμιαν τὴν δεξιὰν παραδοῦναι τῷ Ιουδα ῥομφαίαν χρυσῆν διδόντα δὲ προσφωνῆσαι τάδε

16 λαβὲ τὴν ἁγίαν ῥομφαίαν δῶρον παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ δι᾽ ἧς θραύσεις τοὺς ὑπεναντίους

17 παρακληθέντες δὲ τοῖς Ιουδου λόγοις πάνυ καλοῖς καὶ δυναμένοις ἐπ᾽ ἀρετὴν παρορμῆσαι καὶ ψυχὰς νέων ἐπανδρῶσαι διέγνωσαν μὴ στρατεύεσθαι γενναίως δὲ ἐμφέρεσθαι καὶ μετὰ πάσης εὐανδρίας ἐμπλακέντες κρῖναι τὰ πράγματα διὰ τὸ καὶ τὴν πόλιν καὶ τὰ ἅγια καὶ τὸ ἱερὸν κινδυνεύειν

18 ἦν γὰρ ὁ περὶ γυναικῶν καὶ τέκνων ἔτι δὲ ἀδελφῶν καὶ συγγενῶν ἐν ἥττονι μέρει κείμενος αὐτοῖς μέγιστος δὲ καὶ πρῶτος ὁ περὶ τοῦ καθηγιασμένου ναοῦ φόβος

19 ἦν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἐν τῇ πόλει κατειλημμένοις οὐ πάρεργος ἀγωνία ταρασσομένοις τῆς ἐν ὑπαίθρῳ προσβολῆς

20 καὶ πάντων ἤδη προσδοκώντων τὴν ἐσομένην κρίσιν καὶ ἤδη προσμειξάντων τῶν πολεμίων καὶ τῆς στρατιᾶς ἐκταγείσης καὶ τῶν θηρίων ἐπὶ μέρος εὔκαιρον ἀποκατασταθέντων τῆς τε ἵππου κατὰ κέρας τεταγμένης

21 συνιδὼν ὁ Μακκαβαῖος τὴν τῶν πληθῶν παρουσίαν καὶ τῶν ὅπλων τὴν ποικίλην παρασκευὴν τήν τε τῶν θηρίων ἀγριότητα ἀνατείνας τὰς χεῖρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐπεκαλέσατο τὸν τερατοποιὸν κύριον γινώσκων ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν δι᾽ ὅπλων καθὼς δὲ ἐὰν αὐτῷ κριθῇ τοῖς ἀξίοις περιποιεῖται τὴν νίκην

22 ἔλεγεν δὲ ἐπικαλούμενος τόνδε τὸν τρόπον σύ δέσποτα ἀπέστειλας τὸν ἄγγελόν σου ἐπὶ Εζεκιου τοῦ βασιλέως τῆς Ιουδαίας καὶ ἀνεῖλεν ἐκ τῆς παρεμβολῆς Σενναχηριμ εἰς ἑκατὸν ὀγδοήκοντα πέντε χιλιάδας

23 καὶ νῦν δυνάστα τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀπόστειλον ἄγγελον ἀγαθὸν ἔμπροσθεν ἡμῶν εἰς δέος καὶ τρόμον

24 μεγέθει βραχίονός σου καταπλαγείησαν οἱ μετὰ βλασφημίας παραγινόμενοι ἐπὶ τὸν ἅγιόν σου λαόν καὶ οὗτος μὲν ἐν τούτοις ἔληξεν

25 οἱ δὲ περὶ τὸν Νικάνορα μετὰ σαλπίγγων καὶ παιάνων προσῆγον

26 οἱ δὲ περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν μετὰ ἐπικλήσεως καὶ εὐχῶν συνέμειξαν τοῖς πολεμίοις

27 καὶ ταῖς μὲν χερσὶν ἀγωνιζόμενοι ταῖς δὲ καρδίαις πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐχόμενοι κατέστρωσαν οὐδὲν ἧττον μυριάδων τριῶν καὶ πεντακισχιλίων τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ μεγάλως εὐφρανθέντες ἐπιφανείᾳ

28 γενόμενοι δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς χρείας καὶ μετὰ χαρᾶς ἀναλύοντες ἐπέγνωσαν προπεπτωκότα Νικάνορα σὺν τῇ πανοπλίᾳ

29 γενομένης δὲ κραυγῆς καὶ ταραχῆς εὐλόγουν τὸν δυνάστην τῇ πατρίῳ φωνῇ

30 καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ καθ᾽ ἅπαν σώματι καὶ ψυχῇ πρωταγωνιστὴς ὑπὲρ τῶν πολιτῶν ὁ τὴν τῆς ἡλικίας εὔνοιαν εἰς ὁμοεθνεῖς διαφυλάξας τὴν τοῦ Νικάνορος κεφαλὴν ἀποτεμόντας καὶ τὴν χεῖρα σὺν τῷ ὤμῳ φέρειν εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα

31 παραγενόμενος δὲ ἐκεῖ καὶ συγκαλέσας τοὺς ὁμοεθνεῖς καὶ τοὺς ἱερεῖς πρὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου στήσας μετεπέμψατο τοὺς ἐκ τῆς ἄκρας

32 καὶ ἐπιδειξάμενος τὴν τοῦ μιαροῦ Νικάνορος κεφαλὴν καὶ τὴν χεῖρα τοῦ δυσφήμου ἣν ἐκτείνας ἐπὶ τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ παντοκράτορος οἶκον ἐμεγαλαύχησεν

33 καὶ τὴν γλῶσσαν τοῦ δυσσεβοῦς Νικάνορος ἐκτεμὼν ἔφη κατὰ μέρος δώσειν τοῖς ὀρνέοις τὰ δ᾽ ἐπίχειρα τῆς ἀνοίας κατέναντι τοῦ ναοῦ κρεμάσαι

34 οἱ δὲ πάντες εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησαν τὸν ἐπιφανῆ κύριον λέγοντες εὐλογητὸς ὁ διατηρήσας τὸν ἑαυτοῦ τόπον ἀμίαντον

35 ἐξέδησεν δὲ τὴν τοῦ Νικάνορος προτομὴν ἐκ τῆς ἄκρας ἐπίδηλον πᾶσιν καὶ φανερὸν τῆς τοῦ κυρίου βοηθείας σημεῖον

36 ἐδογμάτισαν δὲ πάντες μετὰ κοινοῦ ψηφίσματος μηδαμῶς ἐᾶσαι ἀπαρασήμαντον τήνδε τὴν ἡμέραν ἔχειν δὲ ἐπίσημον τὴν τρισκαιδεκάτην τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς Αδαρ λέγεται τῇ Συριακῇ φωνῇ πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας τῆς Μαρδοχαϊκῆς ἡμέρας

37 τῶν οὖν κατὰ Νικάνορα χωρησάντων οὕτως καὶ ἀπ᾽ ἐκείνων τῶν καιρῶν κρατηθείσης τῆς πόλεως ὑπὸ τῶν Εβραίων καὶ αὐτὸς αὐτόθι τὸν λόγον καταπαύσω

38 καὶ εἰ μὲν καλῶς εὐθίκτως τῇ συντάξει τοῦτο καὶ αὐτὸς ἤθελον εἰ δὲ εὐτελῶς καὶ μετρίως τοῦτο ἐφικτὸν ἦν μοι

39 καθάπερ γὰρ οἶνον κατὰ μόνας πίνειν ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ὕδωρ πάλιν πολέμιον ὃν δὲ τρόπον οἶνος ὕδατι συγκερασθεὶς ἡδὺς καὶ ἐπιτερπῆ τὴν χάριν ἀποτελεῖ οὕτως καὶ τὸ τῆς κατασκευῆς τοῦ λόγου τέρπει τὰς ἀκοὰς τῶν ἐντυγχανόντων τῇ συντάξει ἐνταῦθα δὲ ἔσται ἡ τελευτή


1 Nicanor autem, ut comperit Judam esse in locis Samariæ, cogitavit cum omni impetu die sabbati committere bellum.

2 Judæis vero qui illum per necessitatem sequebantur, dicentibus: Ne ita ferociter et barbare feceris, sed honorem tribue diei sanctificationis, et honora eum qui universa conspicit:

3 ille infelix interrogavit si est potens in cælo, qui imperavit agi diem sabbatorum.

4 Et respondentibus illis: Est Dominus vivus ipse in cælo potens, qui jussit agi septimam diem:

5 at ille ait: Et ego potens sum super terram qui impero sumi arma, et negotia regis impleri. Tamen non obtinuit ut consilium perficeret.

6 Et Nicanor quidem cum summa superbia erectus, cogitaverat commune trophæum statuere de Juda.

7 Machabæus autem semper confidebat cum omni spe auxilium sibi a Deo affuturum:

8 et hortabatur suos ne formidarent ad adventum nationum, sed in mente haberent adjutoria sibi facta de cælo, et nunc sperarent ab Omnipotente sibi affuturam victoriam.

9 Et allocutus eos de lege et prophetis, admonens etiam certamina quæ fecerant prius, promptiores constituit eos:

10 et ita animis eorum erectis simul ostendebat gentium fallaciam, et juramentorum prævaricationem.

11 Singulos autem illorum armavit, non clypei et hastæ munitione, sed sermonibus optimis et exhortationibus, exposito digno fide somnio, per quod universos lætificavit.

12 Erat autem hujuscemodi visus: Oniam, qui fuerat summus sacerdos, virum bonum et benignum, verecundum visu, modestum moribus, et eloquio decorum, et qui a puero in virtutibus exercitatus sit, manus protendentem orare pro omni populo Judæorum.

13 Post hoc apparuisse et alium virum ætate et gloria mirabilem, et magni decoris habitudine circa illum.

14 Respondentem vero Oniam dixisse: Hic est fratrum amator, et populi Israël: hic est qui multum orat pro populo et universa sancta civitate, Jeremias propheta Dei.

15 Extendisse autem Jeremiam dextram, et dedisse Judæ gladium aureum, dicentem:

16 Accipe sanctum gladium munus a Deo, in quo dejicies adversarios populi mei Israël.

17 Exhortati itaque Judæ sermonibus bonis valde, de quibus extolli posset impetus, et animi juvenum confortari, statuerunt dimicare et confligere fortiter: ut virtus de negotiis judicaret, eo quod civitas sancta et templum periclitarentur.

18 Erat enim pro uxoribus et filiis, itemque pro fratribus et cognatis, minor sollicitudo: maximus vero et primus pro sanctitate timor erat templi.

19 Sed et eos qui in civitate erant, non minima sollicitudo habebat pro his qui congressuri erant.

20 Et cum jam omnes sperarent judicium futurum, hostesque adessent atque exercitus esset ordinatus, bestiæ equitesque opportuno in loco compositi,

21 considerans Machabæus adventum multitudinis, et apparatum varium armorum, et ferocitatem bestiarum, extendens manus in cælum, prodigia facientem Dominum invocavit, qui non secundum armorum potentiam, sed prout ipsi placet, dat dignis victoriam.

22 Dixit autem invocans hoc modo: Tu Domine, qui misisti angelum tuum sub Ezechia rege Juda, et interfecisti de castris Sennacherib centum octoginta quinque millia:

23 et nunc, dominator cælorum, mitte angelum tuum bonum ante nos in timore et tremore magnitudinis brachii tui,

24 ut metuant qui cum blasphemia veniunt adversus sanctum populum tuum. Et hic quidem ita peroravit.

25 Nicanor autem et qui cum ipso erant, cum tubis et canticis admovebant.

26 Judas vero et qui cum eo erant, invocato Deo, per orationes congressi sunt:

27 manu quidem pugnantes, sed Dominum cordibus orantes, prostraverunt non minus triginta quinque millia, præsentia Dei magnifice delectati.

28 Cumque cessassent, et cum gaudio redirent, cognoverunt Nicanorem ruisse cum armis suis.

29 Facto itaque clamore, et perturbatione excitata, patria voce omnipotentem Dominum benedicebant.

30 Præcepit autem Judas, qui per omnia corpore et animo mori pro civibus paratus erat, caput Nicanoris, et manum cum humero abscissam, Jerosolymam perferri.

31 Quo cum pervenisset, convocatis contribulibus et sacerdotibus ad altare, accersiit et eos qui in arce erant.

32 Et ostenso capite Nicanoris, et manu nefaria quam extendens contra domum sanctam omnipotentis Dei magnifice gloriatus est.

33 Linguam etiam impii Nicanoris præcisam jussit particulatim avibus dari: manum autem dementis contra templum suspendi.

34 Omnes igitur cæli benedixerunt Dominum, dicentes: Benedictus qui locum suum incontaminatum servavit.

35 Suspendit autem Nicanoris caput in summa arce, ut evidens esset, et manifestum signum auxilii Dei.

36 Itaque omnes communi consilio decreverunt nullo modo diem istum absque celebritate præterire:

37 habere autem celebritatem tertiadecima die mensis Adar, quod dicitur voce syriaca, pridie Mardochæi diei.

38 Igitur his erga Nicanorem gestis, et ex illis temporibus ab Hebræis civitate possessa, ego quoque in his faciam finem sermonis.

39 Et si quidem bene, et ut historiæ competit, hoc et ipse velim: sin autem minus digne, concedendum est mihi.

40 Sicut enim vinum semper bibere, aut semper aquam, contrarium est; alternis autem uti, delectabile: ita legentibus si semper exactus sit sermo, non erit gratus. Hic ergo erit consummatus.

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