4 Maccabees 12 (The death of the seventh son)

4 Maccabees Chapter 12

The death of the seventh son
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1 When he, too, had undergone blessed martyrdom, and diedin the caldron into which he had been thrown, the seventh, the youngest of all, came forward: 2 whom the tyrant pitying, though he had been dreadfully reproached by his brethren, 3 seeing him already encompassed with chains, had him brought nearer, and endeavoured to counsel him, saying,

4 Thou seest the end of the madness of thy brethren: for they have died in torture through disobedience; and you, if disobedient, having been miserably tormented, will yourself perish prematurely. 5 But if you obey, you shall be my friend, and have a charge over the affairs of the kingdom.

6 And having thus exhorted him, he sent for the mother of the boy; that, by condoling with her for the loss of so many sons, he might incline her, through the hope of safety, to render the survivor obedient. 7 And he, after his mother had urged him on in the Hebrew tongue, (as we shall soon relate) says, 9 Release me, that I may speak to the king and all his friends. 9 And they, rejoicing exceedingly at the promise of the youth, quickly let him go.

10 And he running up to the pans, said, 11 Impious tyrant, and most blasphemous man, wert thou not ashamed, having received prosperity and a kingdom from God, to slay his servants, and to rack the doers of godliness? 12 Wherefore the divine vengeance is reserving you for eternal fire and torments, which shall cling to you for all time.

13 Wert thou not ashamed, man as thou art, yet most savage, to cut out the tongues of men of like feeling and origin, and having thus abused to torture them? 14 But they, bravely dying, fulfilled their religion towards God. 15 But thou shalt groan according to thy deserts for having slain without cause the champions of virtue.

16 Wherefore, he continued, I myself, being about to die, 17 will not forsake the testimony of my brethren. 18 And I call upon the God of my fathers to be merciful to my race. 19 But thee, both living and dead, he will punish. 20 Thus having prayed, he hurled himself into the pans; and so expired.

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