2 Maccabees, 7
1. And it happened also that seven brothers, united with their mother, were apprehended and compelled by the king to eat the flesh of swine against divine law, being tormented with scourges and whips.
2. But one of them, who was first, spoke in this way: “What would you ask, or what would you want to learn from us? We are ready to die, rather than to betray the laws that our fathers received from God.”
3. And so the king, being angry, ordered frying pans and bronze caldrons to be heated. When these were presently heated,
4. he ordered the tongue of him who had spoken first to be cut off, and, once the skin of his head had been pulled off, likewise his hands and feet to be cut off at the top, while the rest of his brothers and his mother were watching.
5. And when now he had been made helpless in all parts, he commanded him to be moved to the fire, and, while still breathing, to be fried in the frying pan. As he was suffering long torments therein, the rest, united with the mother, exhorted one another to die with fortitude,
6. saying: “The Lord God will perceive the truth, and he will be consoled in us, in the way that Moses declared in the profession of the canticle: ‘And in his servants, he will be consoled.’ ”
7. And so, when the first had died in this way, they led in the next one, so as to ridicule him. And when the skin of his head was pulled off with the hair, they asked him if he would eat, instead of being punished throughout the whole body in every limb.
8. But responding in the language of his fathers, he said, “I will not do it.” Because of this, he also, in the next place, received the torments of the first.
9. And when he had reached his last breath, he spoke in this way: “You, indeed, O most wicked man, are destroying us in this present life. But the King of the world will raise us up, in eternal life at the resurrection, for we die on behalf of his laws.”
10. After this one, the third was ridiculed, and when he was asked, he quickly offered up his tongue, and he resolutely extended his hands.
11. And he said with confidence, “I possess these from heaven, but, because of the laws of God, I now despise them, for I hope to receive them again from him.”
12. So then, the king and those who were with him, wondered at the soul of this youth, because he considered the torments as if they were nothing.
13. And after he had died in this way, they afflicted the fourth with similar tortures.
14. And when he was about to die, he spoke in this way: “It is preferable, being put to death by men, to wait for hope from God, so as to be revived again by him. But the resurrection to life will not be for you.
15. And when they had brought the fifth, they afflicted him. But he, gazing at him,
16. said: “Having power among men, though you are corruptible, you do what you want, but do not think that our nation has been abandoned by God.
17. And so, wait patiently for a while, and you will see his great power, by the manner in which he will torture you and your offspring.”
18. After this one, they brought the sixth, and he, being about to die, spoke in this way: “Do not go astray in vain. For we suffer because of ourselves, having sinned against our God, yet things worthy of admiration have been accomplished in us.
19. But do not consider that you will be without punishment, for you have attempted to fight against God.”
20. Now the mother was wonderful beyond measure, and a worthy memorial of the good, for she watched her seven sons perish within the time of one day, and she bore it with a good soul, because of the hope that she had in God.
21. And, with fortitude, she exhorted every one of them, in the language of the fathers, being filled with wisdom. And, joining masculine courage with feminine thinking,
22. she said to them: “I do not know how you were formed in my womb. For I did not give you spirit, nor soul, nor life; neither did I construct each of your limbs.
23. Nevertheless, the Creator of the world, who formed the nativity of man, and who founded the origins of all, will restore both spirit and life to you again, with his mercy, just as you now despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.”
24. But Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and at the same time also despising the voice of the reproacher, when only the youngest was still left, not only exhorted him with words, but also assured him with an oath, that he would make him wealthy and happy, and, if he would convert from the laws of his fathers, he would have him as a friend, and he would provide him with necessary things.
25. But, when the youth was not swayed by these things, the king called the mother and persuaded her to act toward the youth to save him.
26. And so, when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised that she would counsel her son.
27. Then, leaning towards him and mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in the language of the fathers: “My son, take pity on me, for I carried you for nine months in my womb, and I gave you milk for three years, and I nourished you and led you through to this stage of life.
28. I ask you, child, gaze upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and understand that God made them, and the family of man, out of nothing.
29. So shall it be that you will not fear this executioner, but, participating worthily with your brothers, you shall accept death, so that, by this mercy, I shall receive you again with your brothers.”
30. While she was still saying these things, the youth said: “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the precepts of the king, but the precepts of the law, which was given to us through Moses.
31. In truth, you, who have been the inventor of all malice against the Hebrews, will not escape the hand of God.
32. For we suffer these things because of our sins.
33. And if, for the sake of our chastisement and correction, the Lord our God is angry with us for a little while, yet still he will be reconciled again to his servants.
34. But as for you, O wicked and most disgraceful of all men, do be not be extolled over nothing, with vain hopes, while you are inflamed against his servants.
35. For you have not yet escaped the judgment of Almighty God, who examines all things.
36. Therefore, my brothers, having now sustained brief sorrow, have been brought under the covenant of eternal life. But, in truth, you, by the judgment of God, will be released into just punishment for your arrogance.
37. But I, like my brothers, deliver up my soul and my body for the sake of the laws of the fathers, calling upon God so as to bring forgiveness upon our nation sooner, and so that you, with torments and lashings, may confess that he alone is God.
38. Truly, in me and in my brothers, the wrath of the Almighty, which has been led over all our people justly, shall cease.”
39. Then the king, burning with anger, raged against this one with cruelty beyond all the rest, bearing it indignantly that he himself was derided.
40. And so this one also died in purity, trusting in the Lord through all things.
41. Then, last of all, after the sons, the mother also was consumed.
42. Therefore, about the sacrifices and about the exceedingly great cruelties, enough has been said.