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3 Maccabees


What is this third book of Maccabees?

In our Catholic Bibles, we have the first and second books of the Maccabees which tell of the revolt of the Jews, in particular the Maccabean brothers, against the Seleucid empire (the Greek empire born of the conquests of Alexander the Great). However, the third book of Maccabees has nothing to do with this story and has not been retained to be part of the canon of the Scriptures, i.e. the catalog of books recognized as an expression of faith, but has been relegated to the rank of apocryphal accounts.

So why is it found in the Septuagint? The Alexandrinus codex (mid-5th c.) inserted it after two other books of Maccabees, which may explain why it was also called: Maccabees. But why was it placed after the two books of Maccabees? Perhaps there was some similarity between the martyrdom of Eleazar in the third book of Maccabees and the martyrs of the first two books, or the similarity in the persecution of the Jews.

The third book of Maccabees features Ptolemy IV Philopator, king of Egypt (221-204 BCE) who has just defeated Antiochus III the Great of Syria at the Battle of Raphia (see Raphia, noted in red, south of Jerusalem, on the map) in -217. At the invitation of the Jews, he travels to Jerusalem. He was so impressed by the temple that he wanted to enter the holy of holies, at the risk of desecrating it. Thanks to the ardent prayer of the high priest Simon, Ptolemy miraculously fell ill and returned to his home in Alexandria, Egypt. Furious with the Jews, he deprives them of their civil rights, then asks them to be taken in chains to a racecourse on the outskirts of Alexandria to be crushed to death by 500 elephants. But at the moment when it is time to throw the elephants after having intoxicated them with wine, Ptolemy falls mysteriously asleep, which obliges to postpone the event to the following day. But the next day, he forgets his order for a while before remembering it at the end of the day, postponing the event to the next day. The next day, at the prayer of Eleazar, two angels frightened the king and his troops, and the elephants turned against them. Ptolemy, completely transformed, realizes that he has been fooled by his advisors and asks not only to free all the Jews, but to prepare a seven-day celebration at his own expense. On the very place where they had been condemned to death, the Jews were able to organize a feast and give thanks for their liberation, and therefore decided to keep these days of celebration and make them an annual and perpetual feast.

As one might expect, this story has been placed in the category of historical novels: from a few facts, a fictionalized account has been created in which the Jewish faith is expressed.

Composition

In all likelihood, the third book of Maccabees was written in Greek. And it borrows from the style of the "idylls", in which the life of a historical figure is embellished, a style that became widespread during the Hellenistic period; according to this pre-established pattern, the climax is reached when the threat of death is imminent, and the hero escapes in a miraculous way.

The language reveals an author with a very fine pen, very refined. The vocabulary is rich and varied, with some neologisms. The style echoes both the common Greek and the classical poets.

When was it composed? It was probably composed around 100 BC, based on the following arguments:

  • As the work refers to the battle of Raphia of -217, it was surely composed after
  • As it refers to the temple that is still standing, it was surely composed before the year 70 of the modern era
  • The 3rd book of Maccabees refers to elephants allegedly being intoxicated, an event spoken of by Josephus (Contra Apion, 2, 5), an event linked to Ptolemy IX Physcon (146 to 117 BCE)
  • 3 M 6: 6 seems to be aware of the addition of the book of Daniel around 165 BC
  • We find expressions identical to those that appear in the letter of Aristeas, such as chairein kai errōsthai: "greetings and good health"; however, the letter of Aristeas is located around 100 BC
  • The style and content of 3 Maccabees is very similar to 2 Maccabees to the extent that it must be assumed that the two authors share the same worldview and probably wrote around the same time; 2 Maccabees was written no earlier than the end of the second century BCE.

Since the majority of the story takes place around Alexandria in Egypt, since the author's major concern is the fate of the Egyptian Jews, and since he seems to be well acquainted with life at the court of the Ptolemies, everything seems to indicate that this story was born around Alexandria.

The author seems to have a fairly good knowledge of the period surrounding Ptolemy IV, in particular the latter's love of banquets, the undue influence of his advisors on him, his dream of reconciling Jews and Greeks around the cult of his ancestor Dionysus. He also knew very well the style and format of royal letters. This being said, we are not dealing with the work of a historian, but of an orthodox and religious Jew who seeks to support the faith of his people, and to make non-Jews accept that the Jewish people constitutes a people apart from others whose particular customs must be respected.

In fact, the author appears to be a conservative Jew who does not enter into the great currents of the time, such as the apocalyptic current which emphasizes life after death and the arrival of a messiah, or the Hellenistic current which tries to integrate Greek philosophical thought with Judaism. It focuses on the traditional faith reflected in Deuteronomy where God, from now on, rewards the good and punishes the wicked, constantly looking out for his people by various wonderful means. And of course, the temple plays a central role, the temple to which he refers as "the place" just as the rigorous application of the law is important to him.

The third book of Maccabees in history

This third book of Maccabees has left little trace in history. Canon 85 of the Apostolic Constitutions (380) mentions it, but St. Jerome (347 – 420) eliminates it in his Latin translation of the Bible. For his part, Theodoret of Antioch (393 – 458), bishop of Cyrrhus in Syria, gives us a summary of this book. Moreover, the Syriac Church will devote a great interest to it and will translate it into Syriac. The Codex Alexandrinus added it to the first two books of the Maccabees, as did the Codex Venetus (8th century). In the Catholic Church, it does not appear in the list of biblical books retained in 1546 by the Council of Trent and is considered apocryphal. In the Orthodox Church, its canonicity has been established by its presence in some manuscripts of the Septuagint and in the list provided by canon 85 of the Apostolic Constitutions; it is found in any case in the official editions of Greek and Slavic Bibles. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) has retained it in the Apocrypha section.

-André Gilbert, January 2019

References :

  • H. Anderson, 3 Maccabees, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, v. 2, ed. James H. Charlesworth. Doubleday: Garden City, 1985, p. 509-229.


    Overview

    Chapter 1Learning that Antiochus III the Great of Syria, king of the Seleucid empire, had entered his territory in the region of Gaza, Ptolemy IV Philopator, king of Egypt, brings his troops to Raphia, south of Gaza. As the two armies face each other, a former commander of Ptolemy's army, Theodotus, plots to kill him in his tent to end the war. Dositheus, a non-practicing Jew, foils the plot by installing a look-alike in the tent.

    As the confrontation between the two armies begins, Arsinoe, Ptolemy's sister, encourages with great energy the Egyptian army which ends up winning. Following this victory and to show his gratitude for the salvation of Dositus, Ptolemy began to visit the Jewish cities, distributing gifts, until he reached Jerusalem. There he was impressed by the splendor of the temple and wanted to enter the holy of holies, where only the high priest enters once a year, even though Jewish law forbids it. The whole population is in an uproar, ready to take up arms to prevent him. The elders try to dissuade him, but in vain.

    Chapter 2Then the high priest Simon II, son of Onias, intervenes by making a prayer in front of the temple to the sovereign God, creator of the universe: he reminds him how in the past he annihilated the arrogant and proud people, such as the giants (Gn 6:4-7), the people of Sodom, the Pharaoh and his army, and now he asks him to listen to the prayer of his people and to prevent his holy place from being profaned by an arrogant and godless man

    At once, Ptolemy is struck by lightning and falls on the ground, inert and paralyzed. His bodyguards, seeing it as a punishment from God, drag him out of the temple. Having recovered his senses, Ptolemy returned furiously to Alexandria in Egypt, determined to attack the Jews. He issues a decree forbidding the Jews of Alexandria to practice their cult unless they first practice the cult of the city towards Dionysus, obliging them to register with the census and to be tattooed with an ivy leaf, symbol of the cult towards Dionysus, and to be reduced to the condition of slave. If a part of the Jews complied with the decree, the majority refused it.

    Chapter 3This obstinacy of the Jewish majority in Alexandria enraged Ptolemy and he therefore had the idea of gathering all the Jews of the country to put them to death. The Greek population also began to hate the Jews: even though they were good subjects loyal to the king and to the law of the land, they continued to live according to their Law, being different from others in food and worship. However, there was a minority of Greeks who believed them to be innocent and took pity on them: they protected them by offering them a hiding place and supporting them in a thousand ways.

    So the king decided to write a letter to the governors and soldiers of the country which said this: after his victory in Asia (Gaza) and after traveling through Coelesyria and Phoenicia (Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine) to offer multiple gifts to the various temples, he went to the temple in Jerusalem where, despite the good reception in words, they had the impudence to refuse him entry, a sign of their animosity; later, when the king showed his magnanimity by forgiving them this affront and offering them Alexandrian citizenship and the possibility of participating in the priestly offices, the Jews refused this offer, and even harassed their fellow-members who had shown themselves favorable; all this indicates that the Jews are enemies and traitors, and that they must be treated accordingly: all of them must be chained, with women and children, and put to death; any Greek who protects a Jew will be tortured; whistle-blowers will be rewarded; any house that serves as a refuge for a Jew will be burned.

    Chapter 4The recipients of the letter burst into joy, giving free rein to their hatred of the Jews, while the latter were dismayed. The governors went around the country and brutally deported all the Jews: old men were forced to walk faster, young women were abruptly torn from their wedding celebration, and their husbands were left with a rope around their necks. Like wild animals, people were chained and herded into boats. Some are nailed by the neck to the rowers' bench with leg irons in complete darkness, and must propel the ship to Shedia, a port on the outskirts of Alexandria.

    Everyone is parked in the racecourse, near the eastern gate of the city. Then the Jewish compatriots of Alexandria start to visit them to support them. Furious, the king decides that all Jews of the country should suffer the same fate, and so asks first his scribes to count them all. But after forty days, the work is not finished because the Jews are so numerous. When the scribes reported the situation to the king, he was angry and suspected his scribes of conspiracy, until he saw for himself that even the papyrus sheets and the writing utensils were exhausted. This sudden stop of the census is seen as a gesture of Providence.

    Chapter 5Ptolemy orders Hermon, the man in charge of the king's elephants, to get them drunk the next day so that they would be released on the Jews to trample them. The Jews all began to pray to God to save them. The next day, after having intoxicated the elephants, Hermon went to the king to inform him that he was ready. But the king was in such a deep sleep that the planned action could not take place. The Jews see this as God's intervention on their behalf. It was not until 4:30 p.m. that the king was awakened as the guests arrived for the evening banquet. The party is well underway when the king scolds Hermon for not carrying out his orders. After Hermon explained that he had indeed prepared the elephants, the king asked him to do it again for the next day.

    As soon as the cock crows, before daybreak, Hermon brings his elephants, while the crowd gathers to watch the show. Once again, the Jews began to implore God to come to their aid. On his way to the king's house to invite him to the show, Hermon was surprised to find a king who did not remember anything, who did not understand what he was talking about, and who threatened him so dangerously that he had to leave as soon as possible. Hearing this, the Jews let their praise for their savior God rise. As usual, the king returns to the banquet at the end of the day and, angrily summoning Hermon again, asks him why he has not carried out his orders to exterminate the Jews? After the king's own relatives had pointed out his inconsistency by revoking his decisions, the king began to swear to exterminate all the Jews, not only those in Egypt, but also those in Palestine, and to destroy their temple in Jerusalem.

    The next day, at dawn, after having prepared the elephants, Hermon goes to the king. The king was ready and hurried to the racecourse. Seeing the dust raised by the elephants and the crowd gathering, knowing their last hour had arrived, the Jews threw themselves into prayer.

    Chapter 6Then Eleazar, an elderly and wise priest of the Jewish temple of Onias, in Leontopolis (Egypt), intervenes and makes this prayer: he first asks God to pay attention to the unjust fate of the heirs of Abraham, and reminds him of what he once did for the Jews when he overthrew Pharaoh's chariots and swallowed them up in the sea, protecting his people with a wall of fire (Ex 15), when he repelled the army of the Assyrians who were besieging Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35), when he protected three Jews from being thrown into a fiery furnace in Babylon (Dan 3:50), when he prevented Daniel from being devoured by lions (Dan 6:24), when he allowed Jonah to come out safely from the sea monster; then, he asks him to strike terror into the Gentiles, in order to demonstrate to all nations that he has not forgotten his people.

    It was at this moment that the king and his elephants arrived at the racecourse. The Jews panicked. But immediately, two terrifying angels, visible to the pagans, invisible to the Jews, descend from heaven and sow confusion and terror, pinning everyone in place. The elephants turn against the soldiers and trample them. The king's mood changes with a shudder, he takes pity on the Jews and drops tears of remorse for what he was about to do. He begins to berate his advisors, blaming them for their cruelty and for turning the kingdom against him, and for forgetting the role of the Jewish soldiers protecting the country and the dedication of the entire Jewish people to the royalty. He orders to release immediately those who were about to be killed.

    Back in the city, the king asked his minister of finance to provide the Jews with what was needed for seven days of celebration. Thus, on the very spot where they were to die, the Jews were able to sing a hymn to their savior God. They therefore decreed that from now on and forever, they would celebrate this festival in a foreign land. The king, for his part, also assembled a large banquet to give thanks for having thus escaped a deplorable action. Afterwards, with the king's permission, the Jews took their leave.

    Chapter 7The king wrote the following letter to the governors of the country: his advisors had unfortunately persuaded him to exterminate the Jews in order to ensure the stability of the kingdom; but he was gracious to these Jews because of his magnanimous spirit, and then because their God always protects them as a father his son, and they themselves have always been devoted to the kingdom; so they were able to return each to his home, and no one must insult or harm them in any way, on pain of suffering the vengeance of their God.

    Before leaving Alexandria, the Jews asked the king for permission to slaughter their fellow Jews who had followed the custom of the pagans and had transgressed the Law by not observing the dietary rules. The king granted them permission, and the mass of Jews and their priests went with joy to kill three hundred of their fellow infidels. And it was with singing that they finally left the city.

    Arriving at Ptolemais, south of Memphis (see the map), where they had disembarked from and where the fleet had been waiting for them for seven days, they again celebrated. On a stele, they put an inscription commemorating this moment, and founded a place of prayer there. Then they returned joyfully to their homes, all their possessions having been restored to them.


Full Text

VerseGreek TextEnglish Translation (NRSV)

Chapter 1

1Ὁ δὲ Φιλοπάτωρ παρὰ τῶν ἀνακομισθέντων μαθὼν τὴν γενομένην τῶν ὑπ αὐτοῦ κρατουμένων τόπων ἀφαίρεσιν ὑπὸ Ἀντιόχου παραγγείλας ταῖς πάσαις δυνάμεσιν πεζικαῖς τε καὶ ἱππικαῖς καὶ τὴν ἀδελφὴν Ἀρσινόην συμπαραλαβὼν ἐξώρμησεν μέχρι τῶν κατὰ Ῥαφίαν τόπων, ὅπου παρεμβεβλήκεισαν οἱ περὶ Ἀντίοχον.When Philopator learned from those who returned that the regions that he had controlled had been seized by Antiochus, he gave orders to all his forces, both infantry and cavalry, took with him his sister Arsinoë, and marched out to the region near Raphia, where the army of Antiochus was encamped.
2Θεόδοτος δέ τις ἐκπληρῶσαι τὴν ἐπιβουλὴν διανοηθεὶς παραλαβὼν τῶν προυποτεταγμένων αὐτῷ ὅπλων Πτολεμαικῶν τὰ κράτιστα διεκομίσθη νύκτωρ ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ Πτολεμαίου σκηνὴν ὡς μόνος κτεῖναι αὐτὸν καὶ ἐν τούτῳ διαλῦσαι τὸν πόλεμον.But a certain Theodotus, determined to carry out the plot he had devised, took with him the best of the Ptolemaic arms that had been previously issued to him, and crossed over by night to the tent of Ptolemy, intending single-handed to kill him and thereby end the war.
3τοῦτον δὲ διαγαγὼν Δοσίθεος ὁ Δριμύλου λεγόμενος, τὸ γένος Ιουδαῖος, ὕστερον δὲ μεταβαλὼν τὰ νόμιμα καὶ τῶν πατρίων δογμάτων ἀπηλλοτριωμένος, ἄσημόν τινα κατέκλινεν ἐν τῇ σκηνῇ, ὃν συνέβη κομίσασθαι τὴν ἐκείνου κόλασιν.But Dositheus, known as the son of Drimylus, a Jew by birth who later changed his religion and apostatized from the ancestral traditions, had led the king away and arranged that a certain insignificant man should sleep in the tent; and so it turned out that this man incurred the vengeance meant for the king.
4γενομένης δὲ καρτερᾶς μάχης καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων μᾶλλον ἐρρωμένων τῷ Ἀντιόχῳ ἱκανῶς ἡ Ἀρσινόη ἐπιπορευσαμένη τὰς δυνάμεις παρεκάλει μετὰ οἴκτου καὶ δακρύων τοὺς πλοκάμους λελυμένη βοηθεῖν ἑαυτοῖς τε καὶ τοῖς τέκνοις καὶ γυναιξὶν θαρραλέως ἐπαγγελλομένη δώσειν νικήσασιν ἑκάστῳ δύο μνᾶς χρυσίου.When a bitter fight resulted, and matters were turning out rather in favor of Antiochus, Arsinoë went to the troops with wailing and tears, her locks all disheveled, and exhorted them to defend themselves and their children and wives bravely, promising to give them each two minas of gold if they won the battle.
5καὶ οὕτως συνέβη τοὺς ἀντιπάλους ἐν χειρονομίαις διαφθαρῆναι, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ δοριαλώτους συλλημφθῆναι.And so it came about that the enemy was routed in the action, and many captives also were taken.
6κατακρατήσας δὲ τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς ἔκρινεν τὰς πλησίον πόλεις ἐπελθὼν παρακαλέσαι.Now that he had foiled the plot, Ptolemy decided to visit the neighboring cities and encourage them.
7ποιήσας δὲ τοῦτο καὶ τοῖς τεμένεσι δωρεὰς ἀπονείμας εὐθαρσεῖς τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους κατέστησεν.By doing this, and by endowing their sacred enclosures with gifts, he strengthened the morale of his subjects.
8Τῶν δὲ Ιουδαίων διαπεμψαμένων πρὸς αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς γερουσίας καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων τοὺς ἀσπασομένους αὐτὸν καὶ ξένια κομιοῦντας καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς συμβεβηκόσιν χαρισομένους συνέβη μᾶλλον αὐτὸν προθυμηθῆναι ὡς τάχιστα πρὸς αὐτοὺς παραγενέσθαι.Since the Jews had sent some of their council and elders to greet him, to bring him gifts of welcome, and to congratulate him on what had happened, he was all the more eager to visit them as soon as possible.
9διακομισθεὶς δὲ εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ θύσας τῷ μεγίστῳ θεῷ καὶ χάριτας ἀποδοὺς καὶ τῶν ἑξῆς τι τῷ τόπῳ ποιήσας καὶ δὴ παραγενόμενος εἰς τὸν τόπον καὶ τῇ σπουδαιότητι καὶ εὐπρεπείᾳ καταπλαγείς,After he had arrived in Jerusalem, he offered sacrifice to the supreme God and made thank offerings and did what was fitting for the holy place. Then, upon entering the place and being impressed by its excellence and its beauty,
10θαυμάσας δὲ καὶ τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ εὐταξίαν ἐνεθυμήθη βουλεύσασθαι εἰς τὸν ναὸν εἰσελθεῖν.he marveled at the good order of the temple, and conceived a desire to enter the sanctuary.
11τῶν δὲ εἰπόντων μὴ καθήκειν γίνεσθαι τοῦτο διὰ τὸ μηδὲ τοῖς ἐκ τοῦ ἔθνους ἐξεῖναι εἰσιέναι μηδὲ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν, ἀλλ ἢ μόνῳ τῷ προηγουμένῳ πάντων ἀρχιερεῖ, καὶ τούτῳ κατ ἐνιαυτὸν ἅπαξ, ὁ δὲ οὐδαμῶς ἐπείθετο.When they said that this was not permitted, because not even members of their own nation were allowed to enter, not even all of the priests, but only the high priest who was pre-eminent over all — and he only once a year — the king was by no means persuaded.
12τοῦ τε νόμου παραναγνωσθέντος οὐδ ὧς ἀπέλιπεν προφερόμενος ἑαυτὸν δεῖν εἰσελθεῖν λέγων Καὶ εἰ ἐκεῖνοι ἐστέρηνται ταύτης τῆς τιμῆς, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ δεῖ.Even after the law had been read to him, he did not cease to maintain that he ought to enter, saying, "Even if those men are deprived of this honor, I ought not to be."
13καὶ ἐπυνθάνετο διὰ τίνα αἰτίαν εἰσερχόμενον αὐτὸν εἰς πᾶν τέμενος οὐθεὶς ἐκώλυσεν τῶν παρόντων.And he inquired why, when he entered every other temple, no one there had stopped him.
14καί τις ἀπρονοήτως ἔφη κακῶς αὐτὸ τοῦτο τερατεύεσθαι.And someone answered thoughtlessly that it was wrong to take that as a portent.
15γενομένου δέ, φησιν, τούτου διά τινα αἰτίαν, οὐχὶ πάντως εἰσελεύσεσθαι καὶ θελόντων αὐτῶν καὶ μή;"But since this has happened," the king said, "why should not I at least enter, whether they wish it or not?"
16τῶν δὲ ἱερέων ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐσθήσεσιν προσπεσόντων καὶ δεομένων τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ βοηθεῖν τοῖς ἐνεστῶσιν καὶ τὴν ὁρμὴν τοῦ κακῶς ἐπιβαλλομένου μεταθεῖναι κραυγῆς τε μετὰ δακρύων τὸ ἱερὸν ἐμπλησάντωνThen the priests in all their vestments prostrated themselves and entreated the supreme God to aid in the present situation and to avert the violence of this evil design, and they filled the temple with cries and tears;
17οἱ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν ἀπολειπόμενοι ταραχθέντες ἐξεπήδησαν ἄδηλον τιθέμενοι τὸ γινόμενον.those who remained behind in the city were agitated and hurried out, supposing that something mysterious was occurring.
18αἵ τε κατάκλειστοι παρθένοι ἐν θαλάμοις σὺν ταῖς τεκούσαις ἐξώρμησαν καὶ ἀπέδωκαν κόνει τὰς κόμας πασάμεναι γόου τε καὶ στεναγμῶν ἐνεπίμπλων τὰς πλατείας.Young women who had been secluded in their chambers rushed out with their mothers, sprinkled their hair with dust, and filled the streets with groans and lamentations.
19αἱ δὲ καὶ προσαρτίως ἐσταλμέναι τοὺς πρὸς ἀπάντησιν διατεταγμένους παστοὺς καὶ τὴν ἁρμόζουσαν αἰδὼ παραλείπουσαι δρόμον ἄτακτον ἐν τῇ πόλει συνίσταντο.Those women who had recently been arrayed for marriage abandoned the bridal chambers prepared for wedded union, and, neglecting proper modesty, in a disorderly rush flocked together in the city.
20τὰ δὲ νεογνὰ τῶν τέκνων αἱ πρὸς τούτοις μητέρες καὶ τιθηνοὶ παραλείπουσαι ἄλλως καὶ ἄλλως, αἱ μὲν κατ οἴκους, αἱ δὲ κατὰ τὰς ἀγυιάς, ἀνεπιστρέπτως εἰς τὸ πανυπέρτατον ἱερὸν ἠθροίζοντο.Mothers and nurses abandoned even newborn children here and there, some in houses and some in the streets, and without a backward look they crowded together at the most high temple.
21ποικίλη δὲ ἦν τῶν εἰς τοῦτο συλλεγέντων ἡ δέησις ἐπὶ τοῖς ἀνοσίως ὑπ ἐκείνου κατεγχειρουμένοις.Various were the supplications of those gathered there because of what the king was profanely plotting.
22σύν τε τούτοις οἱ περὶ τῶν πολιτῶν θρασυνθέντες οὐκ ἠνείχοντο τέλεον αὐτοῦ ἐπικειμένου καὶ τὸ τῆς προθέσεως ἐκπληροῦν διανοουμένου,In addition, the bolder of the citizens would not tolerate the completion of his plans or the fulfillment of his intended purpose.
23φωνήσαντες δὲ τὴν ὁρμὴν ἐπὶ τὰ ὅπλα ποιήσασθαι καὶ θαρραλέως ὑπὲρ τοῦ πατρῴου νόμου τελευτᾶν ἱκανὴν ἐποίησαν ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τραχύτητα, μόλις δὲ ὑπό τε τῶν γεραιῶν καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων ἀποτραπέντες ἐπὶ τὴν αὐτὴν τῆς δεήσεως παρῆσαν στάσιν.They shouted to their compatriots to take arms and die courageously for the ancestral law, and created a considerable disturbance in the holy place; and being barely restrained by the old men and the elders, they resorted to the same posture of supplication as the others.
24καὶ τὸ μὲν πλῆθος ὡς ἔμπροσθεν ἐν τούτοις ἀνεστρέφετο δεόμενον.Meanwhile the crowd, as before, was engaged in prayer,
25οἱ δὲ περὶ τὸν βασιλέα πρεσβύτεροι πολλαχῶς ἐπειρῶντο τὸν ἀγέρωχον αὐτοῦ νοῦν ἐξιστάνειν τῆς ἐντεθυμημένης ἐπιβουλῆς.while the elders near the king tried in various ways to change his arrogant mind from the plan that he had conceived.
26θρασυνθεὶς δὲ καὶ πάντα παραπέμψας ἤδη καὶ πρόσβασιν ἐποιεῖτο τέλος ἐπιθήσειν δοκῶν τῷ προειρημένῳ.But he, in his arrogance, took heed of nothing, and began now to approach, determined to bring the aforesaid plan to a conclusion.
27ταῦτα οὖν καὶ οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν ὄντες θεωροῦντες ἐτράπησαν εἰς τὸ σὺν τοῖς ἡμετέροις ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸν πᾶν κράτος ἔχοντα τοῖς παροῦσιν ἐπαμῦναι μὴ παριδόντα τὴν ἄνομον καὶ ὑπερήφανον πρᾶξιν.When those who were around him observed this, they turned, together with our people, to call upon him who has all power to defend them in the present trouble and not to overlook this unlawful and haughty deed.
28ἐκ δὲ τῆς πυκνοτάτης τε καὶ ἐμπόνου τῶν ὄχλων συναγομένης κραυγῆς ἀνείκαστός τις ἦν βοή·The continuous, vehement, and concerted cry of the crowds resulted in an immense uproar;
29δοκεῖν γὰρ ἦν μὴ μόνον τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ τείχη καὶ τὸ πᾶν ἔδαφος ἠχεῖν ἅτε δὴ τῶν πάντων τότε θάνατον ἀλλασσομένων ἀντὶ τῆς τοῦ τόπου βεβηλώσεως.for it seemed that not only the people but also the walls and the whole earth around echoed, because indeed all at that time preferred death to the profanation of the place.

Chapter 2

1Ὁ μὲν οὖν ἀρχιερεὺς Σιμων ἐξ ἐναντίας τοῦ ναοῦ κάμψας τὰ γόνατα καὶ τὰς χεῖρας προτείνας εὐτάκτως ἐποιήσατο τὴν δέησιν τοιαύτηνThen the high priest Simon, facing the sanctuary, bending his knees and extending his hands with calm dignity, prayed as follows:
2Κύριε κύριε, βασιλεῦ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ δέσποτα πάσης κτίσεως, ἅγιε ἐν ἁγίοις, μόναρχε, παντοκράτωρ, πρόσχες ἡμῖν καταπονουμένοις ὑπὸ ἀνοσίου καὶ βεβήλου θράσει καὶ σθένει πεφρυαγμένου."Lord, Lord, king of the heavens, and sovereign of all creation, holy among the holy ones, the only ruler, almighty, give attention to us who are suffering grievously from an impious and profane man, puffed up in his audacity and power.
3σὺ γὰρ ὁ κτίσας τὰ πάντα καὶ τῶν ὅλων ἐπικρατῶν δυνάστης δίκαιος εἶ καὶ τοὺς ὕβρει καὶ ἀγερωχίᾳ τι πράσσοντας κρίνεις.For you, the creator of all things and the governor of all, are a just Ruler, and you judge those who have done anything in insolence and arrogance.
4σὺ τοὺς ἔμπροσθεν ἀδικίαν ποιήσαντας, ἐν οἷς καὶ γίγαντες ἦσαν ῥώμῃ καὶ θράσει πεποιθότες, διέφθειρας ἐπαγαγὼν αὐτοῖς ἀμέτρητον ὕδωρ.You destroyed those who in the past committed injustice, among whom were even giants who trusted in their strength and boldness, whom you destroyed by bringing on them a boundless flood.
5σὺ τοὺς ὑπερηφανίαν ἐργαζομένους Σοδομίτας διαδήλους ταῖς κακίαις γενομένους πυρὶ καὶ θείῳ κατέφλεξας παράδειγμα τοῖς ἐπιγινομένοις καταστήσας.You consumed with fire and sulfur the people of Sodom who acted arrogantly, who were notorious for their vices; and you made them an example to those who should come afterward.
6σὺ τὸν θρασὺν Φαραω καταδουλωσάμενον τὸν λαόν σου τὸν ἅγιον Ισραηλ ποικίλαις καὶ πολλαῖς δοκιμάσας τιμωρίαις ἐγνώρισας τὴν σὴν δύναμιν, ἐφ οἷς ἐγνώρισας τὸ μέγα σου κράτος·You made known your mighty power by inflicting many and varied punishments on the audacious Pharaoh who had enslaved your holy people Israel.
7καὶ ἐπιδιώξαντα αὐτὸν σὺν ἅρμασιν καὶ ὄχλων πλήθει ἐπέκλυσας βάθει θαλάσσης, τοὺς δὲ ἐμπιστεύσαντας ἐπὶ σοὶ τῷ τῆς ἁπάσης κτίσεως δυναστεύοντι σώους διεκόμισας,And when he pursued them with chariots and a mass of troops, you overwhelmed him in the depths of the sea, but carried through safely those who had put their confidence in you, the Ruler over the whole creation.
8οἳ καὶ συνιδόντες ἔργα σῆς χειρὸς ᾔνεσάν σε τὸν παντοκράτορα.And when they had seen works of your hands, they praised you, the Almighty.
9σύ, βασιλεῦ, κτίσας τὴν ἀπέραντον καὶ ἀμέτρητον γῆν ἐξελέξω τὴν πόλιν ταύτην καὶ ἡγίασας τὸν τόπον τοῦτον εἰς ὄνομά σοι τῷ τῶν ἁπάντων ἀπροσδεεῖ καὶ παρεδόξασας ἐν ἐπιφανείᾳ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ σύστασιν ποιησάμενος αὐτοῦ πρὸς δόξαν τοῦ μεγάλου καὶ ἐντίμου ὀνόματός σου.You, O King, when you had created the boundless and immeasurable earth, chose this city and sanctified this place for your name, though you have no need of anything; and when you had glorified it by your magnificent manifestation, you made it a firm foundation for the glory of your great and honored name.
10καὶ ἀγαπῶν τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Ισραηλ ἐπηγγείλω διότι, ἐὰν γένηται ἡμῶν ἀποστροφὴ καὶ καταλάβῃ ἡμᾶς στενοχωρία καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον δεηθῶμεν, εἰσακούσῃ τῆς δεήσεως ἡμῶν.And because you love the house of Israel, you promised that if we should have reverses and tribulation should overtake us, you would listen to our petition when we come to this place and pray.
11καὶ δὴ πιστὸς εἶ καὶ ἀληθινός.And indeed you are faithful and true.
12ἐπεὶ δὲ πλεονάκις θλιβέντων τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν ἐβοήθησας αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει καὶ ἐρρύσω αὐτοὺς ἐκ μεγάλων κακῶν,And because oftentimes when our fathers were oppressed you helped them in their humiliation, and rescued them from great evils,
13ἰδοὺ δὲ νῦν, ἅγιε βασιλεῦ, διὰ τὰς πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίας καταπονούμεθα καὶ ὑπετάγημεν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς ἡμῶν καὶ παρείμεθα ἐν ἀδυναμίαις.see now, O holy King, that because of our many and great sins we are crushed with suffering, subjected to our enemies, and overtaken by helplessness.
14ἐν δὲ τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ καταπτώσει ὁ θρασὺς καὶ βέβηλος οὗτος ἐπιτηδεύει καθυβρίσαι τὸν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀναδεδειγμένον τῷ ὀνόματι τῆς δόξης σου ἅγιον τόπον.In our downfall this audacious and profane man undertakes to violate the holy place on earth dedicated to your glorious name.
15τὸ μὲν γὰρ κατοικητήριόν σου οὐρανὸς τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἀνέφικτος ἀνθρώποις ἐστίν.For your dwelling is the heaven of heavens, unapproachable by human beings.
16ἀλλὰ ἐπεὶ εὐδοκήσας τὴν δόξαν σου ἐν τῷ λαῷ σου Ισραηλ ἡγίασας τὸν τόπον τοῦτον,But because you graciously bestowed your glory on your people Israel, you sanctified this place.
17μὴ ἐκδικήσῃς ἡμᾶς ἐν τῇ τούτων ἀκαθαρσίᾳ μηδὲ εὐθύνῃς ἡμᾶς ἐν βεβηλώσει, ἵνα μὴ καυχήσωνται οἱ παράνομοι ἐν θυμῷ αὐτῶν μηδὲ ἀγαλλιάσωνται ἐν ὑπερηφανίᾳ γλώσσης αὐτῶν λέγοντεςDo not punish us for the defilement committed by these men, or call us to account for this profanation, otherwise the transgressors will boast in their wrath and exult in the arrogance of their tongue, saying,
18Ἡμεῖς κατεπατήσαμεν τὸν οἶκον τοῦ ἁγιασμοῦ, ὡς καταπατοῦνται οἱ οἶκοι τῶν προσοχθισμάτων.’We have trampled down the house of the sanctuary as the houses of the abominations are trampled down.’
19ἀπάλειψον τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν καὶ διασκέδασον τὰς ἀμβλακίας ἡμῶν καὶ ἐπίφανον τὸ ἔλεός σου κατὰ τὴν ὥραν ταύτην.Wipe away our sins and disperse our errors, and reveal your mercy at this hour.
20ταχὺ προκαταλαβέτωσαν ἡμᾶς οἱ οἰκτιρμοί σου, καὶ δὸς αἰνέσεις ἐν τῷ στόματι τῶν καταπεπτωκότων καὶ συντετριμμένων τὰς ψυχὰς ποιήσας ἡμῖν εἰρήνην.Speedily let your mercies overtake us, and put praises in the mouth of those who are downcast and broken in spirit, and give us peace."
21Ἐνταῦθα ὁ πάντων ἐπόπτης θεὸς καὶ προπάτωρ ἅγιος ἐν ἁγίοις εἰσακούσας τῆς ἐνθέσμου λιτανείας, τὸν ὕβρει καὶ θράσει μεγάλως ἐπηρμένον ἐμάστιξεν αὐτὸνThereupon God, who oversees all things, the first Father of all, holy among the holy ones, having heard the lawful supplication, scourged him who had exalted himself in insolence and audacity.
22ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν κραδάνας αὐτὸν ὡς κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου ὥστε κατ ἐδάφους ἄπρακτον, ἔτι καὶ τοῖς μέλεσιν παραλελυμένον μηδὲ φωνῆσαι δύνασθαι δικαίᾳ περιπεπληγμένον κρίσει.He shook him on this side and that as a reed is shaken by the wind, so that he lay helpless on the ground and, besides being paralyzed in his limbs, was unable even to speak, since he was smitten by a righteous judgment.
23ὅθεν οἵ τε φίλοι καὶ σωματοφύλακες ὀξεῖαν ἰδόντες τὴν καταλαβοῦσαν αὐτὸν εὔθυναν φοβούμενοι μὴ καὶ τὸ ζῆν ἐκλείπῃ, ταχέως αὐτὸν ἐξείλκυσαν ὑπερβάλλοντι καταπεπληγμένοι φόβῳ.Then both friends and bodyguards, seeing the severe punishment that had overtaken him, and fearing that he would lose his life, quickly dragged him out, panic-stricken in their exceedingly great fear.
24ἐν χρόνῳ δὲ ὕστερον ἀναλεξάμενος αὑτὸν οὐδαμῶς εἰς μετάμελον ἦλθεν ἐπιτιμηθείς, ἀπειλὰς δὲ πικρὰς θέμενος ἀνέλυσεν.After a while he recovered, and though he had been punished, he by no means repented, but went away uttering bitter threats.
25Διακομισθεὶς δὲ εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον καὶ τὰ τῆς κακίας ἐπαύξων διά τε τῶν προαποδεδειγμένων συμποτῶν καὶ ἑταίρων τοῦ παντὸς δικαίου κεχωρισμένωνWhen he arrived in Egypt, he increased in his deeds of malice, abetted by the previously mentioned drinking companions and comrades, who were strangers to everything just.
26οὐ μόνον ταῖς ἀναριθμήτοις ἀσελγείαις διηρκέσθη, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον θράσους προῆλθεν ὥστε δυσφημίας ἐν τοῖς τόποις συνίστασθαι καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν φίλων ἀτενίζοντας εἰς τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως πρόθεσιν καὶ αὐτοὺς ἕπεσθαι τῇ ἐκείνου θελήσει.He was not content with his uncounted licentious deeds, but even continued with such audacity that he framed evil reports in the various localities; and many of his friends, intently observing the king’s purpose, themselves also followed his will.
27προέθετο δημοσίᾳ κατὰ τοῦ ἔθνους διαδοῦναι ψόγον· ἐπὶ τοῦ κατὰ τὴν αὐλὴν πύργου στήλην ἀναστήσας ἐκόλαψεν γραφὴνHe proposed to inflict public disgrace on the Jewish community, and he set up a stone on the tower in the courtyard with this inscription:
28μηδένα τῶν μὴ θυόντων εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ αὐτῶν εἰσιέναι, πάντας δὲ τοὺς Ιουδαίους εἰς λαογραφίαν καὶ οἰκετικὴν διάθεσιν ἀχθῆναι, τοὺς δὲ ἀντιλέγοντας βίᾳ φερομένους τοῦ ζῆν μεταστῆσαι,"None of those who do not sacrifice shall enter their sanctuaries, and all Jews shall be subjected to a registration involving poll tax and to the status of slaves. Those who object to this are to be taken by force and put to death;
29τούς τε ἀπογραφομένους χαράσσεσθαι καὶ διὰ πυρὸς εἰς τὸ σῶμα παρασήμῳ Διονύσου κισσοφύλλῳ, οὓς καὶ καταχωρίσαι εἰς τὴν προσυνεσταλμένην αὐθεντίαν.those who are registered are also to be branded on their bodies by fire with the ivy-leaf symbol of Dionysus, and they shall also be reduced to their former limited status."
30ἵνα δὲ μὴ τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀπεχθόμενος φαίνηται, ὑπέγραψεν Ἐὰν δέ τινες ἐξ αὐτῶν προαιρῶνται ἐν τοῖς κατὰ τὰς τελετὰς μεμυημένοις ἀναστρέφεσθαι, τούτους ἰσοπολίτας Ἀλεξανδρεῦσιν εἶναι.In order that he might not appear to be an enemy of all, he inscribed below: "But if any of them prefer to join those who have been initiated into the mysteries, they shall have equal citizenship with the Alexandrians."
31Ἔνιοι μὲν οὖν ἐπιπολαίως τὰς τῆς πόλεως εὐσεβείας ἐπιβάθρας στυγοῦντες εὐχερῶς ἑαυτοὺς ἐδίδοσαν ὡς μεγάλης τινὸς κοινωνήσοντες εὐκλείας ἀπὸ τῆς ἐσομένης τῷ βασιλεῖ συναναστροφῆς.Now some, however, with an obvious abhorrence of the price to be exacted for maintaining the religion of their city, readily gave themselves up, since they expected to enhance their reputation by their future association with the king.
32οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι γενναίᾳ ψυχῇ ἐνίσχυσαν καὶ οὐ διέστησαν τῆς εὐσεβείας τά τε χρήματα περὶ τοῦ ζῆν ἀντικαταλλασσόμενοι ἀδεῶς ἐπειρῶντο ἑαυτοὺς ῥύσασθαι ἐκ τῶν ἀπογραφῶν·But the majority acted firmly with a courageous spirit and did not abandon their religion; and by paying money in exchange for life they confidently attempted to save themselves from the registration.
33εὐέλπιδές τε καθειστήκεισαν ἀντιλήμψεως τεύξασθαι καὶ τοὺς ἀποχωροῦντας ἐξ αὐτῶν ἐβδελύσσοντο καὶ ὡς πολεμίους τοῦ ἔθνους ἔκρινον καὶ τῆς κοινῆς συναναστροφῆς καὶ εὐχρηστίας ἐστέρουν.They remained resolutely hopeful of obtaining help, and they abhorred those who separated themselves from them, considering them to be enemies of the Jewish nation, and depriving them of companionship and mutual help.

Chapter 3

1Ἃ καὶ μεταλαμβάνων ὁ δυσσεβὴς ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον ἐξεχόλησεν ὥστε οὐ μόνον τοῖς κατὰ Ἀλεξάνδρειαν διοργίζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ βαρυτέρως ἐναντιωθῆναι καὶ προστάξαι σπεύσαντας συναγαγεῖν πάντας ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ χειρίστῳ μόρῳ τοῦ ζῆν μεταστῆσαι.When the impious king comprehended this situation, he became so infuriated that not only was he enraged against those Jews who lived in Alexandria, but was still more bitterly hostile toward those in the countryside; and he ordered that all should promptly be gathered into one place, and put to death by the most cruel means.
2τούτων δὲ οἰκονομουμένων φήμη δυσμενὴς ἐξηχεῖτο κατὰ τοῦ γένους ἀνθρώποις συμφρονοῦσιν εἰς κακοποίησιν ἀφορμῆς διδομένης εἰς διάθεσιν ὡς ἂν ἀπὸ τῶν νομίμων αὐτοὺς κωλυόντων.While these matters were being arranged, a hostile rumor was circulated against the Jewish nation by some who conspired to do them ill, a pretext being given by a report that they hindered others from the observance of their customs.
3οἱ δὲ Ιουδαῖοι τὴν μὲν πρὸς τοὺς βασιλεῖς εὔνοιαν καὶ πίστιν ἀδιάστροφον ἦσαν φυλάσσοντες,The Jews, however, continued to maintain goodwill and unswerving loyalty toward the dynasty;
4σεβόμενοι δὲ τὸν θεὸν καὶ τῷ τούτου νόμῳ πολιτευόμενοι χωρισμὸν ἐποίουν ἐπὶ τῷ κατὰ τὰς τροφάς, δι ἣν αἰτίαν ἐνίοις ἀπεχθεῖς ἐφαίνοντο.but because they worshiped God and conducted themselves by his law, they kept their separateness with respect to foods. For this reason they appeared hateful to some;
5τῇ δὲ τῶν δικαίων εὐπραξίᾳ κοσμοῦντες τὴν συναναστροφὴν ἅπασιν ἀνθρώποις εὐδόκιμοι καθειστήκεισαν.but since they adorned their style of life with the good deeds of upright people, they were established in good repute with everyone.
6τὴν μὲν οὖν περὶ τοῦ γένους ἐν πᾶσιν θρυλουμένην εὐπραξίαν οἱ ἀλλόφυλοι οὐδαμῶς διηριθμήσαντο,Nevertheless those of other races paid no heed to their good service to their nation, which was common talk among all;
7τὴν δὲ περὶ τῶν προσκυνήσεων καὶ τροφῶν διάστασιν ἐθρύλουν φάσκοντες μήτε τῷ βασιλεῖ μήτε ταῖς δυνάμεσιν ὁμοσπόνδους τοὺς ἀνθρώπους γίνεσθαι, δυσμενεῖς δὲ εἶναι καὶ μέγα τι τοῖς πράγμασιν ἐναντιουμένους· καὶ οὐ τῷ τυχόντι περιῆψαν ψόγῳ.instead they gossiped about the differences in worship and foods, alleging that these people were loyal neither to the king nor to his authorities, but were hostile and greatly opposed to his government. So they attached no ordinary reproach to them.
8οἱ δὲ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν Ἕλληνες οὐδὲν ἠδικημένοι ταραχὴν ἀπροσδόκητον περὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους θεωροῦντες καὶ συνδρομὰς ἀπροσκόπους γινομένας βοηθεῖν μὲν οὐκ ἔσθενον, τυραννικὴ γὰρ ἦν ἡ διάθεσις, παρεκάλουν δὲ καὶ δυσφόρως εἶχον καὶ μεταπεσεῖσθαι ταῦτα ὑπελάμβανον·The Greeks in the city, though wronged in no way, when they saw an unexpected tumult around these people and the crowds that suddenly were forming, were not strong enough to help them, for they lived under tyranny. They did try to console them, being grieved at the situation, and expected that matters would change;
9μὴ γὰρ οὕτω παροραθήσεσθαι τηλικοῦτο σύστεμα μηδὲν ἠγνοηκός.for such a great community ought not be left to its fate when it had committed no offense.
10ἤδη δὲ καί τινες γείτονές τε καὶ φίλοι καὶ συμπραγματευόμενοι μυστικῶς τινας ἐπισπώμενοι πίστεις ἐδίδουν συνασπιεῖν καὶ πᾶν ἐκτενὲς προσοίσεσθαι πρὸς ἀντίλημψιν.And already some of their neighbors and friends and business associates had taken some of them aside privately and were pledging to protect them and to exert more earnest efforts for their assistance.
11Ἐκεῖνος μὲν οὖν τῇ κατὰ τὸ παρὸν εὐημερίᾳ γεγαυρωμένος καὶ οὐ καθορῶν τὸ τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ κράτος, ὑπολαμβάνων δὲ διηνεκῶς ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ διαμενεῖν βουλῇ, ἔγραψεν κατ αὐτῶν ἐπιστολὴν τήνδεThen the king, boastful of his present good fortune, and not considering the might of the supreme God, but assuming that he would persevere constantly in his same purpose, wrote this letter against them:
12Βασιλεὺς Πτολεμαῖος Φιλοπάτωρ τοῖς κατ Αἴγυπτον καὶ κατὰ τόπον στρατηγοῖς καὶ στρατιώταις χαίρειν καὶ ἐρρῶσθαι·"King Ptolemy Philopator to his generals and soldiers in Egypt and all its districts, greetings and good health:
13ἔρρωμαι δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ πράγματα ἡμῶν."I myself and our government are faring well.
14τῆς εἰς τὴν Ἀσίαν γενομένης ἡμῖν ἐπιστρατείας, ἧς ἴστε καὶ αὐτοί, τῇ τῶν θεῶν ἀπροπτώτῳ συμμαχίᾳ κατὰ λόγον ἐπὶ τέλος ἀχθείσηςWhen our expedition took place in Asia, as you yourselves know, it was brought to conclusion, according to plan, by the gods’ deliberate alliance with us in battle,
15ἡγησάμεθα μὴ βίᾳ δόρατος, ἐπιεικείᾳ δὲ καὶ πολλῇ φιλανθρωπίᾳ τιθηνήσασθαι τὰ κατοικοῦντα Κοίλην Συρίαν καὶ Φοινίκην ἔθνη εὖ ποιῆσαί τε ἀσμένως.and we considered that we should not rule the nations inhabiting Coelesyria and Phoenicia by the power of the spear, but should cherish them with clemency and great benevolence, gladly treating them well.
16καὶ τοῖς κατὰ πόλιν ἱεροῖς ἀπονείμαντες προσόδους πλείστας προήχθημεν καὶ εἰς τὰ Ιεροσόλυμα ἀναβάντες τιμῆσαι τὸ ἱερὸν τῶν ἀλιτηρίων καὶ μηδέποτε ληγόντων τῆς ἀνοίας.And when we had granted very great revenues to the temples in the cities, we came on to Jerusalem also, and went up to honor the temple of those wicked people, who never cease from their folly.
17οἱ δὲ λόγῳ μὲν τὴν ἡμετέραν ἀποδεξάμενοι παρουσίαν, τῷ δὲ πράγματι νόθως, προθυμηθέντων ἡμῶν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὸν ναὸν αὐτῶν καὶ τοῖς ἐκπρεπέσιν καὶ καλλίστοις ἀναθήμασιν τιμῆσαιThey accepted our presence by word, but insincerely by deed, because when we proposed to enter their inner temple and honor it with magnificent and most beautiful offerings,
18τύφοις φερόμενοι παλαιοτέροις εἶρξαν ἡμᾶς τῆς εἰσόδου λειπόμενοι τῆς ἡμετέρας ἀλκῆς δι ἣν ἔχομεν πρὸς ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους φιλανθρωπίαν.they were carried away by their traditional arrogance, and excluded us from entering; but they were spared the exercise of our power because of the benevolence that we have toward all.
19τὴν δὲ αὐτῶν εἰς ἡμᾶς δυσμένειαν ἔκδηλον καθιστάντες ὡς μονώτατοι τῶν ἐθνῶν βασιλεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς ἑαυτῶν εὐεργέταις ὑψαυχενοῦντες οὐδὲν γνήσιον βούλονται φέρειν.By maintaining their manifest ill-will toward us, they become the only people among all nations who hold their heads high in defiance of kings and their own benefactors, and are unwilling to regard any action as sincere.
20ἡμεῖς δὲ τῇ τούτων ἀνοίᾳ συμπεριενεχθέντες καὶ μετὰ νίκης διακομισθέντες εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον τοῖς πᾶσιν ἔθνεσιν φιλανθρώπως ἀπαντήσαντες καθὼς ἔπρεπεν ἐποιήσαμεν,"But we, when we arrived in Egypt victorious, accommodated ourselves to their folly and did as was proper, since we treat all nations with benevolence.
21ἐν δὲ τούτοις πρὸς τοὺς ὁμοφύλους αὐτῶν ἀμνησικακίαν ἅπασιν γνωρίζοντες· διά τε τὴν συμμαχίαν καὶ τὰ πεπιστευμένα μετὰ ἁπλότητος αὐτοῖς ἀρχῆθεν μύρια πράγματα τολμήσαντες ἐξαλλοιῶσαι ἐβουλήθημεν καὶ πολιτείας αὐτοὺς Ἀλεξανδρέων καταξιῶσαι καὶ μετόχους τῶν ἀεὶ ἱερῶν καταστῆσαι.Among other things, we made known to all our amnesty toward their compatriots here, both because of their alliance with us and the myriad affairs liberally entrusted to them from the beginning; and we ventured to make a change, by deciding both to deem them worthy of Alexandrian citizenship and to make them participants in our regular religious rites.
22οἱ δὲ τοὐναντίον ἐκδεχόμενοι καὶ τῇ συμφύτῳ κακοηθείᾳ τὸ καλὸν ἀπωσάμενοι, διηνεκῶς δὲ εἰς τὸ φαῦλον ἐκνεύοντεςBut in their innate malice they took this in a contrary spirit, and disdained what is good. Since they incline constantly to evil,
23οὐ μόνον ἀπεστρέψαντο τὴν ἀτίμητον πολιτείαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ βδελύσσονται λόγῳ τε καὶ σιγῇ τοὺς ἐν αὐτοῖς ὀλίγους πρὸς ἡμᾶς γνησίως διακειμένους παρ ἕκαστα ὑφορώμενοι μετὰ τῆς δυσκλεεστάτης ἐμβιώσεως διὰ τάχους ἡμᾶς καταστρέψαι τὰ πράγματα.they not only spurn the priceless citizenship, but also both by speech and by silence they abominate those few among them who are sincerely disposed toward us; in every situation, in accordance with their infamous way of life, they secretly suspect that we may soon alter our policy.
24διὸ καὶ τεκμηρίοις καλῶς πεπεισμένοι τούτους κατὰ πάντα δυσνοεῖν ἡμῖν τρόπον καὶ προνοούμενοι μήποτε αἰφνιδίου μετέπειτα ταραχῆς ἐνστάσης ἡμῖν τοὺς δυσσεβεῖς τούτους κατὰ νώτου προδότας καὶ βαρβάρους ἔχωμεν πολεμίουςTherefore, fully convinced by these indications that they are ill-disposed toward us in every way, we have taken precautions so that, if a sudden disorder later arises against us, we shall not have these impious people behind our backs as traitors and barbarous enemies.
25προστετάχαμεν ἅμα τῷ προσπεσεῖν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν τήνδε αὐθωρὶ τοὺς ἐννεμομένους σὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ τέκνοις μετὰ ὕβρεων καὶ σκυλμῶν ἀποστεῖλαι πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἐν δεσμοῖς σιδηροῖς πάντοθεν κατακεκλεισμένους, εἰς ἀνήκεστον καὶ δυσκλεῆ πρέποντα δυσμενέσι φόνον.Therefore we have given orders that, as soon as this letter arrives, you are to send to us those who live among you, together with their wives and children, with insulting and harsh treatment, and bound securely with iron fetters, to suffer the sure and shameful death that befits enemies.
26τούτων γὰρ ὁμοῦ κολασθέντων διειλήφαμεν εἰς τὸν ἐπίλοιπον χρόνον τελείως ἡμῖν τὰ πράγματα ἐν εὐσταθείᾳ καὶ τῇ βελτίστῃ διαθέσει κατασταθήσεσθαι.For when all of these have been punished, we are sure that for the remaining time the government will be established for ourselves in good order and in the best state.
27ὃς δ ἂν σκεπάσῃ τινὰ τῶν Ιουδαίων ἀπὸ γεραιοῦ μέχρι νηπίου καὶ μέχρι τῶν ὑπομαστιδίων, αἰσχίσταις βασάνοις ἀποτυμπανισθήσεται πανοικίᾳ.But those who shelter any of the Jews, whether old people or children or even infants, will be tortured to death with the most hateful torments, together with their families.
28μηνύειν δὲ τὸν βουλόμενον, ἐφ ᾧ τὴν οὐσίαν τοῦ ἐμπίπτοντος ὑπὸ τὴν εὔθυναν λήμψεται καὶ ἐκ τοῦ βασιλικοῦ ἀργυρίου δραχμὰς δισχιλίας καὶ τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ στεφανωθήσεται.Any who are willing to give information will receive the property of those who incur the punishment, and also two thousand drachmas from the royal treasury, and will be awarded their freedom.
29πᾶς δὲ τόπος, οὗ ἐὰν φωραθῇ τὸ σύνολον σκεπαζόμενος Ιουδαῖος, ἄβατος καὶ πυριφλεγὴς γινέσθω καὶ πάσῃ θνητῇ φύσει καθ ἅπαν ἄχρηστος φανήσεται εἰς τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον.Every place detected sheltering a Jew is to be made unapproachable and burned with fire, and shall become useless for all time to any mortal creature."
30Καὶ ὁ μὲν τῆς ἐπιστολῆς τύπος οὕτως ἐγέγραπτο.The letter was written in the above form.

Chapter 4

1Πάντῃ δέ, ὅπου προσέπιπτεν τοῦτο τὸ πρόσταγμα, δημοτελὴς συνίστατο τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐωχία μετὰ ἀλαλαγμῶν καὶ χαρᾶς ὡς ἂν τῆς προκατεσκιρωμένης αὐτοῖς πάλαι κατὰ διάνοιαν μετὰ παρρησίας νῦν ἐκφαινομένης ἀπεχθείας.In every place, then, where this decree arrived, a feast at public expense was arranged for the Gentiles with shouts and gladness, for the inveterate enmity that had long ago been in their minds was now made evident and outspoken.
2τοῖς δὲ Ιουδαίοις ἄληκτον πένθος ἦν καὶ πανόδυρτος μετὰ δακρύων βοὴ στεναγμοῖς πεπυρωμένης πάντοθεν αὐτῶν τῆς καρδίας ὀλοφυρομένων τὴν ἀπροσδόκητον ἐξαίφνης αὐτοῖς ἐπικριθεῖσαν ὀλεθρίαν.But among the Jews there was incessant mourning, lamentation, and tearful cries; everywhere their hearts were burning, and they groaned because of the unexpected destruction that had suddenly been decreed for them.
3τίς νομὸς ἢ πόλις ἢ τίς τὸ σύνολον οἰκητὸς τόπος ἢ τίνες ἀγυιαὶ κοπετοῦ καὶ γόων ἐπ αὐτοῖς οὐκ ἐνεπιπλῶντο;What district or city, or what habitable place at all, or what streets were not filled with mourning and wailing for them?
4οὕτως γὰρ μετὰ πικρίας ἀνοίκτου ψυχῆς ὑπὸ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν στρατηγῶν ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐξαπεστέλλοντο ὥστε ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐξάλλοις τιμωρίαις καί τινας τῶν ἐχθρῶν λαμβάνοντας πρὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν τὸν κοινὸν ἔλεον καὶ λογιζομένους τὴν ἄδηλον τοῦ βίου καταστροφὴν δακρύειν αὐτῶν τὴν δυσάθλιον ἐξαποστολήν.For with such a harsh and ruthless spirit were they being sent off, all together, by the generals in the several cities, that at the sight of their unusual punishments, even some of their enemies, perceiving the common object of pity before their eyes, reflected on the uncertainty of life and shed tears at the most miserable expulsion of these people.
5ἤγετο γὰρ γεραιῶν πλῆθος πολιᾷ πεπυκασμένων, τὴν ἐκ τοῦ γήρως νωθρότητα ποδῶν ἐπίκυφον ἀνατροπῆς ὁρμῇ βιαίας ἁπάσης αἰδοῦς ἄνευ πρὸς ὀξεῖαν καταχρωμένων πορείαν.For a multitude of grayheaded old men, sluggish and bent with age, was being led away, forced to march at a swift pace by the violence with which they were driven in such a shameful manner.
6αἱ δὲ ἄρτι πρὸς βίου κοινωνίαν γαμικὸν ὑπεληλυθυῖαι παστὸν νεάνιδες ἀντὶ τέρψεως μεταλαβοῦσαι γόους καὶ κόνει τὴν μυροβρεχῆ πεφυρμέναι κόμην, ἀκαλύπτως δὲ ἀγόμεναι θρῆνον ἀνθ ὑμεναίων ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐξῆρχον ὡς ἐσπαραγμέναι σκυλμοῖς ἀλλοεθνέσιν·And young women who had just entered the bridal chamber to share married life exchanged joy for wailing, their myrrh-perfumed hair sprinkled with ashes, and were carried away unveiled, all together raising a lament instead of a wedding song, as they were torn by the harsh treatment of the heathen.
7δέσμιαι δὲ δημοσίᾳ μέχρι τῆς εἰς τὸ πλοῖον ἐμβολῆς εἵλκοντο μετὰ βίας.In bonds and in public view they were violently dragged along as far as the place of embarkation.
8οἵ τε τούτων συνζυγεῖς βρόχοις ἀντὶ στεφέων τοὺς αὐχένας περιπεπλεγμένοι μετὰ ἀκμαίας νεανικῆς ἡλικίας ἀντὶ εὐωχίας καὶ νεωτερικῆς ῥᾳθυμίας τὰς ἐπιλοίπους τῶν γάμων ἡμέρας ἐν θρήνοις διῆγον παρὰ πόδας ἤδη τὸν ᾅδην ὁρῶντες κείμενον.Their husbands, in the prime of youth, their necks encircled with ropes instead of garlands, spent the remaining days of their marriage festival in lamentations instead of good cheer and youthful revelry, seeing death immediately before them.
9κατήχθησαν δὲ θηρίων τρόπον ἀγόμενοι σιδηροδέσμοις ἀνάγκαις, οἱ μὲν τοῖς ζυγοῖς τῶν πλοίων προσηλωμένοι τοὺς τραχήλους, οἱ δὲ τοὺς πόδας ἀρρήκτοις κατησφαλισμένοι πέδαις,They were brought on board like wild animals, driven under the constraint of iron bonds; some were fastened by the neck to the benches of the boats, others had their feet secured by unbreakable fetters,
10ἔτι καὶ τῷ καθύπερθε πυκνῷ σανιδώματι διακειμένῳ, ὅπως πάντοθεν ἐσκοτισμένοι τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἀγωγὴν ἐπιβούλων ἐν παντὶ τῷ κατάπλῳ λαμβάνωσιν.and in addition they were confined under a solid deck, so that, with their eyes in total darkness, they would undergo treatment befitting traitors during the whole voyage.
11Τούτων δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν λεγομένην Σχεδίαν ἀχθέντων καὶ τοῦ παράπλου περανθέντος, καθὼς ἦν δεδογματισμένον τῷ βασιλεῖ, προσέταξεν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πρὸ τῆς πόλεως ἱπποδρόμῳ παρεμβαλεῖν ἀπλάτῳ καθεστῶτι περιμέτρῳ καὶ πρὸς παραδειγματισμὸν ἄγαν εὐκαιροτάτῳ καθεστῶτι πᾶσι τοῖς καταπορευομένοις εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ τοῖς ἐκ τούτων εἰς τὴν χώραν στελλομένοις πρὸς ἐκδημίαν πρὸς τὸ μηδὲ ταῖς δυνάμεσιν αὐτοῦ κοινωνεῖν μηδὲ τὸ σύνολον καταξιῶσαι περιβόλων.When these people had been brought to the place called Schedia, and the voyage was concluded as the king had decreed, he commanded that they should be enclosed in the hippodrome that had been built with a monstrous perimeter wall in front of the city, and that was well suited to make them an obvious spectacle to all coming back into the city and to those from the city going out into the country, so that they could neither communicate with the king’s forces nor in any way claim to be inside the circuit of the city.
12ὡς δὲ τοῦτο ἐγενήθη, ἀκούσας τοὺς ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὁμοεθνεῖς κρυβῇ ἐκπορευομένους πυκνότερον ἀποδύρεσθαι τὴν ἀκλεῆ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ταλαιπωρίανAnd when this had happened, the king, hearing that the Jews’ compatriots from the city frequently went out in secret to lament bitterly the ignoble misfortune of their kindred,
13διοργισθεὶς προσέταξεν καὶ τούτοις ὁμοῦ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον ἐπιμελῶς ὡς ἐκείνοις ποιῆσαι μὴ λειπομένοις κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον τῆς ἐκείνων τιμωρίας,ordered in his rage that these people be dealt with in precisely the same fashion as the others, not omitting any detail of their punishment.
14ἀπογραφῆναι δὲ πᾶν τὸ φῦλον ἐξ ὀνόματος, οὐκ εἰς τὴν ἔμπροσθεν βραχεῖ προδεδηλωμένην τῶν ἔργων κατάπονον λατρείαν, στρεβλωθέντας δὲ ταῖς παρηγγελμέναις αἰκίαις τὸ τέλος ἀφανίσαι μιᾶς ὑπὸ καιρὸν ἡμέρας.The entire race was to be registered individually, not for the hard labor that has been briefly mentioned before, but to be tortured with the outrages that he had ordered, and at the end to be destroyed in the space of a single day.
15ἐγίνετο μὲν οὖν ἡ τούτων ἀπογραφὴ μετὰ πικρᾶς σπουδῆς καὶ φιλοτίμου προσεδρείας ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου μέχρι δυσμῶν ἀνήνυτον λαμβάνουσα τὸ τέλος ἐπὶ ἡμέρας τεσσαράκοντα.The registration of these people was therefore conducted with bitter haste and zealous intensity from the rising of the sun until its setting, coming to an end after forty days but still uncompleted.
16Μεγάλως δὲ καὶ διηνεκῶς ὁ βασιλεὺς χαρᾷ πεπληρωμένος συμπόσια ἐπὶ πάντων τῶν εἰδώλων συνιστάμενος πεπλανημένῃ πόρρω τῆς ἀληθείας φρενὶ καὶ βεβήλῳ στόματι τὰ μὲν κωφὰ καὶ μὴ δυνάμενα αὐτοῖς λαλεῖν ἢ ἀρήγειν ἐπαινῶν, εἰς δὲ τὸν μέγιστον θεὸν τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα λαλῶν.The king was greatly and continually filled with joy, organizing feasts in honor of all his idols, with a mind alienated from truth and with a profane mouth, praising speechless things that are not able even to communicate or to come to one’s help, and uttering improper words against the supreme God.
17μετὰ δὲ τὸ προειρημένον τοῦ χρόνου διάστημα προσηνέγκαντο οἱ γραμματεῖς τῷ βασιλεῖ μηκέτι ἰσχύειν τὴν τῶν Ιουδαίων ἀπογραφὴν ποιεῖσθαι διὰ τὴν ἀμέτρητον αὐτῶν πληθὺνBut after the previously mentioned interval of time the scribes declared to the king that they were no longer able to take the census of the Jews because of their immense number,
18καίπερ ὄντων ἔτι κατὰ τὴν χώραν τῶν πλειόνων, τῶν μὲν κατὰ τὰς οἰκίας ἔτι συνεστηκότων, τῶν δὲ καὶ κατὰ τόπον, ὡς ἀδυνάτου καθεστῶτος πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐπ Αἴγυπτον στρατηγοῖς.though most of them were still in the country, some still residing in their homes, and some at the place; the task was impossible for all the generals in Egypt.
19ἀπειλήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῖς σκληρότερον ὡς δεδωροκοπημένοις εἰς μηχανὴν τῆς ἐκφυγῆς συνέβη σαφῶς αὐτὸν περὶ τούτου πιστωθῆναιAfter he had threatened them severely, charging that they had been bribed to contrive a means of escape, he was clearly convinced about the matter
20λεγόντων μετὰ ἀποδείξεως καὶ τὴν χαρτηρίαν ἤδη καὶ τοὺς γραφικοὺς καλάμους, ἐν οἷς ἐχρῶντο, ἐκλελοιπέναι.when they said and proved that both the paper and the pens they used for writing had already given out.
21τοῦτο δὲ ἦν ἐνέργεια τῆς τοῦ βοηθοῦντος τοῖς Ιουδαίοις ἐξ οὐρανοῦ προνοίας ἀνικήτου.But this was an act of the invincible providence of him who was aiding the Jews from heaven.

Chapter 5

1Τότε προσκαλεσάμενος Ἕρμωνα τὸν πρὸς τῇ τῶν ἐλεφάντων ἐπιμελείᾳ βαρείᾳ μεμεστωμένος ὀργῇ καὶ χόλῳ κατὰ πᾶν ἀμετάθετοςThen the king, completely inflexible, was filled with overpowering anger and wrath; so he summoned Hermon, keeper of the elephants,
2ἐκέλευσεν ὑπὸ τὴν ἐπερχομένην ἡμέραν δαψιλέσι δράκεσι λιβανωτοῦ καὶ οἴνῳ πλείονι ἀκράτῳ ἅπαντας τοὺς ἐλέφαντας ποτίσαι ὄντας τὸν ἀριθμὸν πεντακοσίους καὶ ἀγριωθέντας τῇ τοῦ πόματος ἀφθόνῳ χορηγίᾳ εἰσαγαγεῖν πρὸς συνάντησιν τοῦ μόρου τῶν Ιουδαίων.and ordered him on the following day to drug all the elephants — five hundred in number — with large handfuls of frankincense and plenty of unmixed wine, and to drive them in, maddened by the lavish abundance of drink, so that the Jews might meet their doom.
3ὁ μὲν τάδε προστάσσων ἐτρέπετο πρὸς τὴν εὐωχίαν συναγαγὼν τοὺς μάλιστα τῶν φίλων καὶ τῆς στρατιᾶς ἀπεχθῶς ἔχοντας πρὸς τοὺς Ιουδαίους.When he had given these orders he returned to his feasting, together with those of his Friends and of the army who were especially hostile toward the Jews.
4ὁ δὲ ἐλεφαντάρχης τὸ προσταγὲν ἀραρότως Ἕρμων συνετέλει.And Hermon, keeper of the elephants, proceeded faithfully to carry out the orders.
5οἵ τε πρὸς τούτοις λειτουργοὶ κατὰ τὴν ἑσπέραν ἐξιόντες τὰς τῶν ταλαιπωρούντων ἐδέσμευον χεῖρας τήν τε λοιπὴν ἐμηχανῶντο περὶ αὐτοὺς ἀσφάλειαν ἔννυχον δόξαντες ὁμοῦ λήμψεσθαι τὸ φῦλον πέρας τῆς ὀλεθρίας.The servants in charge of the Jews went out in the evening and bound the hands of the wretched people and arranged for their continued custody through the night, convinced that the whole nation would experience its final destruction.
6οἱ δὲ πάσης σκέπης ἔρημοι δοκοῦντες εἶναι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν Ιουδαῖοι διὰ τὴν πάντοθεν περιέχουσαν αὐτοὺς μετὰ δεσμῶν ἀνάγκηνFor to the Gentiles it appeared that the Jews were left without any aid,
7τὸν παντοκράτορα κύριον καὶ πάσης δυνάμεως δυναστεύοντα, ἐλεήμονα θεὸν αὐτῶν καὶ πατέρα, δυσκαταπαύστῳ βοῇ πάντες μετὰ δακρύων ἐπεκαλέσαντο δεόμενοιbecause in their bonds they were forcibly confined on every side. But with tears and a voice hard to silence they all called upon the Almighty Lord and Ruler of all power, their merciful God and Father, praying
8τὴν κατ αὐτῶν μεταστρέψαι βουλὴν ἀνοσίαν καὶ ῥύσασθαι αὐτοὺς μετὰ μεγαλομεροῦς ἐπιφανείας ἐκ τοῦ παρὰ πόδας ἐν ἑτοίμῳ μόρου.that he avert with vengeance the evil plot against them and in a glorious manifestation rescue them from the fate now prepared for them.
9τούτων μὲν οὖν ἐκτενῶς ἡ λιτανεία ἀνέβαινεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν.So their entreaty ascended fervently to heaven.
10Ὁ δὲ Ἕρμων τοὺς ἀνηλεεῖς ἐλέφαντας ποτίσας πεπληρωμένους τῆς τοῦ οἴνου πολλῆς χορηγίας καὶ τοῦ λιβάνου μεμεστωμένους ὄρθριος ἐπὶ τὴν αὐλὴν παρῆν περὶ τούτων προσαγγεῖλαι τῷ βασιλεῖ.Hermon, however, when he had drugged the pitiless elephants until they had been filled with a great abundance of wine and satiated with frankincense, presented himself at the courtyard early in the morning to report to the king about these preparations.
11τὸ δὲ ἀπ αἰῶνος χρόνου κτίσμα καλὸν ἐν νυκτὶ καὶ ἡμέρᾳ ἐπιβαλλόμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ χαριζομένου πᾶσιν, οἷς ἂν αὐτὸς θελήσῃ, ὕπνου μέρος ἀπέστειλεν εἰς τὸν βασιλέα,But the Lord sent upon the king a portion of sleep, that beneficence that from the beginning, night and day, is bestowed by him who grants it to whomever he wishes.
12καὶ ἡδίστῳ καὶ βαθεῖ κατεσχέθη τῇ ἐνεργείᾳ τοῦ δεσπότου τῆς ἀθέσμου μὲν προθέσεως πολὺ διεσφαλμένος, τοῦ δὲ ἀμεταθέτου λογισμοῦ μεγάλως διεψευσμένος.And by the action of the Lord he was overcome by so pleasant and deep a sleep that he quite failed in his lawless purpose and was completely frustrated in his inflexible plan.
13οἵ τε Ιουδαῖοι τὴν προσημανθεῖσαν ὥραν διαφυγόντες τὸν ἅγιον ᾔνουν θεὸν αὐτῶν καὶ πάλιν ἠξίουν τὸν εὐκατάλλακτον δεῖξαι μεγαλοσθενοῦς ἑαυτοῦ χειρὸς κράτος ἔθνεσιν ὑπερηφάνοις.Then the Jews, since they had escaped the appointed hour, praised their holy God and again implored him who is easily reconciled to show the might of his all-powerful hand to the arrogant Gentiles.
14μεσούσης δὲ ἤδη δεκάτης ὥρας σχεδὸν ὁ πρὸς ταῖς κλήσεσιν τεταγμένος ἀθρόους τοὺς κλητοὺς ἰδὼν ἔνυξεν προσελθὼν τὸν βασιλέα.But now, since it was nearly the middle of the tenth hour, the person who was in charge of the invitations, seeing that the guests were assembled, approached the king and nudged him.
15καὶ μόλις διεγείρας ὑπέδειξε τὸν τῆς συμποσίας καιρὸν ἤδη παρατρέχοντα τὸν περὶ τούτων λόγον ποιούμενος.And when he had with difficulty roused him, he pointed out that the hour of the banquet was already slipping by, and he gave him an account of the situation.
16ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς λογισάμενος καὶ τραπεὶς εἰς τὸν πότον ἐκέλευσεν τοὺς παραγεγονότας ἐπὶ τὴν συμποσίαν ἄντικρυς ἀνακλῖναι αὐτοῦ.The king, after considering this, returned to his drinking, and ordered those present for the banquet to recline opposite him.
17οὗ καὶ γενομένου παρῄνει εἰς εὐωχίαν δόντας ἑαυτοὺς τὸ παρὸν τῆς συμποσίας ἐπὶ πολὺ γεραιρομένους εἰς εὐφροσύνην καταθέσθαι μέρος.When this was done he urged them to give themselves over to revelry and to make the present portion of the banquet joyful by celebrating all the more.
18ἐπὶ πλεῖον δὲ προβαινούσης τῆς ὁμιλίας τὸν Ἕρμωνα προσκαλεσάμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς μετὰ πικρᾶς ἀπειλῆς ἐπυνθάνετο, τίνος ἕνεκεν αἰτίας εἰάθησαν οἱ Ιουδαῖοι τὴν περιοῦσαν ἡμέραν περιβεβιωκότες.After the party had been going on for some time, the king summoned Hermon and with sharp threats demanded to know why the Jews had been allowed to remain alive through the present day.
19τοῦ δὲ ὑποδείξαντος ἔτι νυκτὸς τὸ προσταγὲν ἐπὶ τέλος ἀγειοχέναι καὶ τῶν φίλων αὐτῷ προσμαρτυρησάντωνBut when he, with the corroboration of the king’s Friends, pointed out that while it was still night he had carried out completely the order given him,
20τὴν ὠμότητα χείρονα Φαλάριδος ἐσχηκὼς ἔφη τῷ τῆς σήμερον ὕπνῳ χάριν ἔχειν αὐτούς· ἀνυπερθέτως δὲ εἰς τὴν ἐπιτελοῦσαν ἡμέραν κατὰ τὸ ὅμοιον ἑτοίμασον τοὺς ἐλέφαντας ἐπὶ τὸν τῶν ἀθεμίτων Ιουδαίων ἀφανισμόν.the king, possessed by a savagery worse than that of Phalaris, said that the Jews were benefited by today’s sleep, "but," he added, "tomorrow without delay prepare the elephants in the same way for the destruction of the lawless Jews!"
21εἰπόντος δὲ τοῦ βασιλέως ἀσμένως πάντες μετὰ χαρᾶς οἱ παρόντες ὁμοῦ συναινέσαντες εἰς τὸν ἴδιον οἶκον ἕκαστος ἀνέλυσεν.When the king had spoken, all those present readily and joyfully with one accord gave their approval, and all went to their own homes.
22καὶ οὐχ οὕτως εἰς ὕπνον κατεχρήσαντο τὸν χρόνον τῆς νυκτός, ὡς εἰς τὸ παντοίους μηχανᾶσθαι τοῖς ταλαιπώροις δοκοῦσιν ἐμπαιγμούς.But they did not so much employ the duration of the night in sleep as in devising all sorts of insults for those they thought to be doomed.
23Ἄρτι δὲ ἀλεκτρυὼν ἐκέκραγεν ὄρθριος, καὶ τὰ θηρία καθωπλικὼς ὁ Ἕρμων ἐν τῷ μεγάλῳ περιστύλῳ διεκίνει.Then, as soon as the cock had crowed in the early morning, Hermon, having equipped the animals, began to move them along in the great colonnade.
24τὰ δὲ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν πλήθη συνήθροιστο πρὸς τὴν οἰκτροτάτην θεωρίαν προσδοκῶντα τὴν πρωίαν μετὰ σπουδῆς.The crowds of the city had been assembled for this most pitiful spectacle and they were eagerly waiting for daybreak.
25οἱ δὲ Ιουδαῖοι κατὰ τὸν ἀμερῆ ψυχουλκούμενοι χρόνον πολύδακρυν ἱκετείαν ἐν μέλεσιν γοεροῖς τείνοντες τὰς χεῖρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐδέοντο τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ πάλιν αὐτοῖς βοηθῆσαι συντόμως.But the Jews, at their last gasp — since the time had run out — stretched their hands toward heaven and with most tearful supplication and mournful dirges implored the supreme God to help them again at once.
26οὔπω δὲ ἡλίου βολαὶ κατεσπείροντο, καὶ τοῦ βασιλέως τοὺς φίλους ἐκδεχομένου ὁ Ἕρμων παραστὰς ἐκάλει πρὸς τὴν ἔξοδον ὑποδεικνύων τὸ πρόθυμον τοῦ βασιλέως ἐν ἑτοίμῳ κεῖσθαι.The rays of the sun were not yet shed abroad, and while the king was receiving his Friends, Hermon arrived and invited him to come out, indicating that what the king desired was ready for action.
27τοῦ δὲ ἀποδεξαμένου καὶ καταπλαγέντος ἐπὶ τῇ παρανόμῳ ἐξόδῳ κατὰ πᾶν ἀγνωσίᾳ κεκρατημένος ἐπυνθάνετο, τί τὸ πρᾶγμα, ἐφ οὗ τοῦτο αὐτῷ μετὰ σπουδῆς τετέλεσται·But he, on receiving the report and being struck by the unusual invitation to come out — since he had been completely overcome by incomprehension — inquired what the matter was for which this had been so zealously completed for him.
28τοῦτο δὲ ἦν ἡ ἐνέργεια τοῦ πάντα δεσποτεύοντος θεοῦ τῶν πρὶν αὐτῷ μεμηχανημένων λήθην κατὰ διάνοιαν ἐντεθεικότος.This was the act of God who rules over all things, for he had implanted in the king’s mind a forgetfulness of the things he had previously devised.
29ὑπεδείκνυεν ὁ Ἕρμων καὶ πάντες οἱ φίλοι τὰ θηρία καὶ τὰς δυνάμεις ἡτοιμάσθαι, βασιλεῦ, κατὰ τὴν σὴν ἐκτενῆ πρόθεσιν.Then Hermon and all the king’s Friends pointed out that the animals and the armed forces were ready, "O king, according to your eager purpose."
30ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τοῖς ῥηθεῖσιν πληρωθεὶς βαρεῖ χόλῳ διὰ τὸ περὶ τούτων προνοίᾳ θεοῦ διεσκεδάσθαι πᾶν αὐτοῦ τὸ νόημα ἐνατενίσας μετὰ ἀπειλῆς εἶπενBut at these words he was filled with an overpowering wrath, because by the providence of God his whole mind had been deranged concerning these matters; and with a threatening look he said,
31Ὅσοι γονεῖς παρῆσαν ἢ παίδων γόνοι, τήνδε θηρσὶν ἀγρίοις ἐσκεύασα ἂν δαψιλῆ θοῖναν ἀντὶ τῶν ἀνεγκλήτων ἐμοὶ καὶ προγόνοις ἐμοῖς ἀποδεδειγμένων ὁλοσχερῆ βεβαίαν πίστιν ἐξόχως Ιουδαίων."If your parents or children were present, I would have prepared them to be a rich feast for the savage animals instead of the Jews, who give me no ground for complaint and have exhibited to an extraordinary degree a full and firm loyalty to my ancestors.
32καίπερ εἰ μὴ διὰ τὴν τῆς συντροφίας στοργὴν καὶ τῆς χρείας, τὸ ζῆν ἀντὶ τούτων ἐστερήθης.In fact you would have been deprived of life instead of these, if it were not for an affection arising from our nurture in common and your usefulness."
33οὕτως ὁ Ἕρμων ἀπροσδόκητον ἐπικίνδυνον ὑπήνεγκεν ἀπειλὴν καὶ τῇ ὁράσει καὶ τῷ προσώπῳ συνεστάλη.So Hermon suffered an unexpected and dangerous threat, and his eyes wavered and his face fell.
34ὁ καθεῖς δὲ τῶν φίλων σκυθρωπῶς ὑπεκρέων τοὺς συνηθροισμένους ἀπέλυσαν ἕκαστον ἐπὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ἀσχολίαν.The king’s Friends one by one sullenly slipped away and dismissed the assembled people to their own occupations.
35οἵ τε Ιουδαῖοι τὰ παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως ἀκούσαντες τὸν ἐπιφανῆ θεὸν κύριον βασιλέα τῶν βασιλέων ᾔνουν καὶ τῆσδε τῆς βοηθείας αὐτοῦ τετευχότες.Then the Jews, on hearing what the king had said, praised the manifest Lord God, King of kings, since this also was his aid that they had received.
36Κατὰ δὲ τοὺς αὐτοὺς νόμους ὁ βασιλεὺς συστησάμενος πᾶν τὸ συμπόσιον εἰς εὐφροσύνην τραπῆναι παρεκάλει.The king, however, reconvened the party in the same manner and urged the guests to return to their celebrating.
37τὸν δὲ Ἕρμωνα προσκαλεσάμενος μετὰ ἀπειλῆς εἶπεν Ποσάκις δὲ δεῖ σοι περὶ τούτων αὐτῶν προστάττειν, ἀθλιώτατε;After summoning Hermon he said in a threatening tone, "How many times, you poor wretch, must I give you orders about these things?
38τοὺς ἐλέφαντας ἔτι καὶ νῦν καθόπλισον εἰς τὴν αὔριον ἐπὶ τὸν τῶν Ιουδαίων ἀφανισμόν.Equip the elephants now once more for the destruction of the Jews tomorrow!"
39οἱ δὲ συνανακείμενοι συγγενεῖς τὴν ἀσταθῆ διάνοιαν αὐτοῦ θαυμάζοντες προεφέροντο τάδεBut the officials who were at table with him, wondering at his instability of mind, remonstrated as follows:
40Βασιλεῦ, μέχρι τίνος ὡς ἀλόγους ἡμᾶς διαπειράζεις προστάσσων ἤδη τρίτον αὐτοὺς ἀφανίσαι καὶ πάλιν ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων ἐκ μεταβολῆς ἀναλύων τὰ σοὶ δεδογμένα;"O king, how long will you put us to the test, as though we are idiots, ordering now for a third time that they be destroyed, and again revoking your decree in the matter?
41ὧν χάριν ἡ πόλις διὰ τὴν προσδοκίαν ὀχλεῖ καὶ πληθύουσα συστροφαῖς ἤδη καὶ κινδυνεύει πολλάκις διαρπασθῆναι.As a result the city is in a tumult because of its expectation; it is crowded with masses of people, and also in constant danger of being plundered."
42ὅθεν ὁ κατὰ πάντα Φάλαρις βασιλεὺς ἐμπληθυνθεὶς ἀλογιστίας καὶ τὰς γινομένας πρὸς ἐπισκοπὴν τῶν Ιουδαίων ἐν αὐτῷ μεταβολὰς τῆς ψυχῆς παρ οὐδὲν ἡγούμενος ἀτελέστατον βεβαίως ὅρκον ὁρισάμενος τούτους μὲν ἀνυπερθέτως πέμψειν εἰς ᾅδην ἐν γόνασιν καὶ ποσὶν θηρίων ᾐκισμένους,At this the king, a Phalaris in everything and filled with madness, took no account of the changes of mind that had come about within him for the protection of the Jews, and he firmly swore an irrevocable oath that he would send them to death without delay, mangled by the knees and feet of the animals,
43ἐπιστρατεύσαντα δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν Ιουδαίαν ἰσόπεδον πυρὶ καὶ δόρατι θήσεσθαι διὰ τάχους καὶ τὸν ἄβατον ἡμῖν αὐτῶν ναὸν πυρὶ πρηνέα ἐν τάχει τῶν συντελούντων ἐκεῖ θυσίας ἔρημον εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον καταστήσειν.and would also march against Judea and rapidly level it to the ground with fire and spear, and by burning to the ground the temple inaccessible to him would quickly render it forever empty of those who offered sacrifices there.
44τότε περιχαρεῖς ἀναλύσαντες οἱ φίλοι καὶ συγγενεῖς μετὰ πίστεως διέτασσον τὰς δυνάμεις ἐπὶ τοὺς εὐκαιροτάτους τόπους τῆς πόλεως πρὸς τὴν τήρησιν.Then the Friends and officers departed with great joy, and they confidently posted the armed forces at the places in the city most favorable for keeping guard.
45ὁ δὲ ἐλεφαντάρχης τὰ θηρία σχεδὸν ὡς εἰπεῖν εἰς κατάστεμα μανιῶδες ἀγειοχὼς εὐωδεστάτοις πόμασιν οἴνου λελιβανωμένου φοβερῶς κεκοσμημένα κατασκευαῖςNow when the animals had been brought virtually to a state of madness, so to speak, by the very fragrant draughts of wine mixed with frankincense and had been equipped with frightful devices, the elephant keeper
46περὶ τὴν ἕω τῆς πόλεως ἤδη πλήθεσιν ἀναριθμήτοις κατὰ τοῦ ἱπποδρόμου καταμεμεστωμένης εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν ἐπὶ τὸ προκείμενον ὤτρυνε τὸν βασιλέα.entered at about dawn into the courtyard — the city now being filled with countless masses of people crowding their way into the hippodrome — and urged the king on to the matter at hand.
47ὁ δὲ ὀργῇ βαρείᾳ γεμίσας δυσσεβῆ φρένα παντὶ τῷ βάρει σὺν τοῖς θηρίοις ἐξώρμησε βουλόμενος ἀτρώτῳ καρδίᾳ καὶ κόραις ὀφθαλμῶν θεάσασθαι τὴν ἐπίπονον καὶ ταλαίπωρον τῶν προσεσημαμμένων καταστροφήν.So he, when he had filled his impious mind with a deep rage, rushed out in full force along with the animals, wishing to witness, with invulnerable heart and with his own eyes, the grievous and pitiful destruction of the aforementioned people.
48ὡς δὲ τῶν ἐλεφάντων ἐξιόντων περὶ πύλην καὶ τῆς συνεπομένης ἐνόπλου δυνάμεως τῆς τε τοῦ πλήθους πορείας κονιορτὸν ἰδόντες καὶ βαρυηχῆ θόρυβον ἀκούσαντες οἱ ΙουδαῖοιWhen the Jews saw the dust raised by the elephants going out at the gate and by the following armed forces, as well as by the trampling of the crowd, and heard the loud and tumultuous noise,
49ὑστάτην βίου ῥοπὴν αὐτοῖς ἐκείνην δόξαντες εἶναι τὸ τέλος τῆς ἀθλιωτάτης προσδοκίας εἰς οἶκτον καὶ γόους τραπέντες κατεφίλουν ἀλλήλους περιπλεκόμενοι τοῖς συγγενέσιν ἐπὶ τοὺς τραχήλους ἐπιπίπτοντες, γονεῖς παισὶν καὶ μητέρες νεάνισιν, ἕτεραι δὲ νεογνὰ πρὸς μαστοὺς ἔχουσαι βρέφη τελευταῖον ἕλκοντα γάλα.they thought that this was their last moment of life, the end of their most miserable suspense, and giving way to lamentation and groans they kissed each other, embracing relatives and falling into one another’s arms — parents and children, mothers and daughters, and others with babies at their breasts who were drawing their last milk.
50οὐ μὴν δὲ ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν γεγενημένας ἀντιλήμψεις ἐξ οὐρανοῦ συνιδόντες πρηνεῖς ὁμοθυμαδὸν ῥίψαντες ἑαυτοὺς καὶ τὰ νήπια χωρίσαντες τῶν μαστῶνNot only this, but when they considered the help that they had received before from heaven, they prostrated themselves with one accord on the ground, removing the babies from their breasts,
51ἀνεβόησαν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ σφόδρα τὸν τῆς ἁπάσης δυνάμεως δυνάστην ἱκετεύοντες οἰκτῖραι μετὰ ἐπιφανείας αὐτοὺς ἤδη πρὸς πύλαις ᾅδου καθεστῶτας.and cried out in a very loud voice, imploring the Ruler over every power to manifest himself and be merciful to them, as they stood now at the gates of death.

Chapter 6

1Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας ἱερέων, ἐν πρεσβείῳ τὴν ἡλικίαν ἤδη λελογχὼς καὶ πάσῃ τῇ κατὰ τὸν βίον ἀρετῇ κεκοσμημένος, τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν καταστείλας πρεσβυτέρους ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸν ἅγιον θεὸν προσηύξατο τάδεThen a certain Eleazar, famous among the priests of the country, who had attained a ripe old age and throughout his life had been adorned with every virtue, directed the elders around him to stop calling upon the holy God, and he prayed as follows:
2Βασιλεῦ μεγαλοκράτωρ, ὕψιστε παντοκράτωρ θεὲ τὴν πᾶσαν διακυβερνῶν ἐν οἰκτιρμοῖς κτίσιν,"King of great power, Almighty God Most High, governing all creation with mercy,
3ἔπιδε ἐπὶ Αβρααμ σπέρμα, ἐπὶ ἡγιασμένου τέκνα Ιακωβ, μερίδος ἡγιασμένης σου λαὸν ἐν ξένῃ γῇ ξένον ἀδίκως ἀπολλύμενον, πάτερ.look upon the descendants of Abraham, O Father, upon the children of the sainted Jacob, a people of your consecrated portion who are perishing as foreigners in a foreign land.
4σὺ Φαραω πληθύνοντα ἅρμασιν, τὸν πρὶν Αἰγύπτου ταύτης δυνάστην, ἐπαρθέντα ἀνόμῳ θράσει καὶ γλώσσῃ μεγαλορρήμονι, σὺν τῇ ὑπερηφάνῳ στρατιᾷ ποντοβρόχους ἀπώλεσας φέγγος ἐπιφάνας ἐλέους Ισραηλ γένει.Pharaoh with his abundance of chariots, the former ruler of this Egypt, exalted with lawless insolence and boastful tongue, you destroyed together with his arrogant army by drowning them in the sea, manifesting the light of your mercy on the nation of Israel.
5σὺ τὸν ἀναριθμήτοις δυνάμεσιν γαυρωθέντα Σενναχηριμ, βαρὺν Ἀσσυρίων βασιλέα, δόρατι τὴν πᾶσαν ὑποχείριον ἤδη λαβόντα γῆν καὶ μετεωρισθέντα ἐπὶ τὴν ἁγίαν σου πόλιν, βαρέα λαλοῦντα κόμπῳ καὶ θράσει σύ, δέσποτα, ἔθραυσας ἔκδηλον δεικνὺς ἔθνεσιν πολλοῖς τὸ σὸν κράτος.Sennacherib exulting in his countless forces, oppressive king of the Assyrians, who had already gained control of the whole world by the spear and was lifted up against your holy city, speaking grievous words with boasting and insolence, you, O Lord, broke in pieces, showing your power to many nations.
6σὺ τοὺς κατὰ τὴν Βαβυλωνίαν τρεῖς ἑταίρους πυρὶ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐθαιρέτως δεδωκότας εἰς τὸ μὴ λατρεῦσαι τοῖς κενοῖς διάπυρον δροσίσας κάμινον ἐρρύσω μέχρι τριχὸς ἀπημάντους φλόγα πᾶσιν ἐπιπέμψας τοῖς ὑπεναντίοις.The three companions in Babylon who had voluntarily surrendered their lives to the flames so as not to serve vain things, you rescued unharmed, even to a hair, moistening the fiery furnace with dew and turning the flame against all their enemies.
7σὺ τὸν διαβολαῖς φθόνου λέουσι κατὰ γῆς ῥιφέντα θηρσὶν βορὰν Δανιηλ εἰς φῶς ἀνήγαγες ἀσινῆ.Daniel, who through envious slanders was thrown down into the ground to lions as food for wild animals, you brought up to the light unharmed.
8τόν τε βυθοτρεφοῦς ἐν γαστρὶ κήτους Ιωναν τηκόμενον ἀφιδὼν ἀπήμαντον πᾶσιν οἰκείοις ἀνέδειξας, πάτερ.And Jonah, wasting away in the belly of a huge, sea-born monster, you, Father, watched over and restored unharmed to all his family.
9καὶ νῦν, μίσυβρι πολυέλεε τῶν ὅλων σκεπαστά, τὸ τάχος ἐπιφάνηθι τοῖς ἀπὸ Ισραηλ γένους ὑπὸ ἐβδελυγμένων ἀνόμων ἐθνῶν ὑβριζομένοις.And now, you who hate insolence, all-merciful and protector of all, reveal yourself quickly to those of the nation of Israel — who are being outrageously treated by the abominable and lawless Gentiles.
10εἰ δὲ ἀσεβείαις κατὰ τὴν ἀποικίαν ὁ βίος ἡμῶν ἐνέσχηται, ῥυσάμενος ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ ἐχθρῶν χειρός, ᾧ προαιρῇ, δέσποτα, ἀπόλεσον ἡμᾶς μόρῳ."Even if our lives have become entangled in impieties in our exile, rescue us from the hand of the enemy, and destroy us, Lord, by whatever fate you choose.
11μὴ τοῖς ματαίοις οἱ ματαιόφρονες εὐλογησάτωσαν ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν ἠγαπημένων σου ἀπωλείᾳ λέγοντες Οὐδὲ ὁ θεὸς αὐτῶν ἐρρύσατο αὐτούς.Let not the vain-minded praise their vanities at the destruction of your beloved people, saying, ’Not even their god has rescued them.’
12σὺ δέ, ὁ πᾶσαν ἀλκὴν καὶ δυναστείαν ἔχων ἅπασαν αἰώνιε, νῦν ἔπιδε· ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς τοὺς καθ ὕβριν ἀνόμων ἀλόγιστον ἐκ τοῦ ζῆν μεθισταμένους ἐν ἐπιβούλων τρόπῳ.But you, O Eternal One, who have all might and all power, watch over us now and have mercy on us who by the senseless insolence of the lawless are being deprived of life in the manner of traitors.
13πτηξάτω δὲ ἔθνη σὴν δύναμιν ἀνίκητον σήμερον, ἔντιμε δύναμιν ἔχων ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ Ιακωβ γένους.And let the Gentiles cower today in fear of your invincible might, O honored One, who have power to save the nation of Jacob.
14ἱκετεύει σε τὸ πᾶν πλῆθος τῶν νηπίων καὶ οἱ τούτων γονεῖς μετὰ δακρύων.The whole throng of infants and their parents entreat you with tears.
15δειχθήτω πᾶσιν ἔθνεσιν ὅτι μεθ ἡμῶν εἶ, κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπέστρεψας τὸ πρόσωπόν σου ἀφ ἡμῶν, ἀλλὰ καθὼς εἶπας ὅτι Οὐδὲ ἐν τῇ γῇ τῶν ἐχθρῶν αὐτῶν ὄντων ὑπερεῖδον αὐτούς, οὕτως ἐπιτέλεσον, κύριε.Let it be shown to all the Gentiles that you are with us, O Lord, and have not turned your face from us; but just as you have said, ’Not even when they were in the land of their enemies did I neglect them,’ so accomplish it, O Lord."
16Τοῦ δὲ Ελεαζαρου λήγοντος ἄρτι τῆς προσευχῆς ὁ βασιλεὺς σὺν τοῖς θηρίοις καὶ παντὶ τῷ τῆς δυνάμεως φρυάγματι κατὰ τὸν ἱππόδρομον παρῆγεν.Just as Eleazar was ending his prayer, the king arrived at the hippodrome with the animals and all the arrogance of his forces.
17καὶ θεωρήσαντες οἱ Ιουδαῖοι μέγα εἰς οὐρανὸν ἀνέκραξαν ὥστε καὶ τοὺς παρακειμένους αὐλῶνας συνηχήσαντας ἀκατάσχετον πτόην ποιῆσαι παντὶ τῷ στρατοπέδῳ.And when the Jews observed this they raised great cries to heaven so that even the nearby valleys resounded with them and brought an uncontrollable terror upon the army.
18τότε ὁ μεγαλόδοξος παντοκράτωρ καὶ ἀληθινὸς θεὸς ἐπιφάνας τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ πρόσωπον ἠνέῳξεν τὰς οὐρανίους πύλας, ἐξ ὧν δεδοξασμένοι δύο φοβεροειδεῖς ἄγγελοι κατέβησαν φανεροὶ πᾶσιν πλὴν τοῖς ΙουδαίοιςThen the most glorious, almighty, and true God revealed his holy face and opened the heavenly gates, from which two glorious angels of fearful aspect descended, visible to all but the Jews.
19καὶ ἀντέστησαν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῶν ὑπεναντίων ἐπλήρωσαν ταραχῆς καὶ δειλίας καὶ ἀκινήτοις ἔδησαν πέδαις.They opposed the forces of the enemy and filled them with confusion and terror, binding them with immovable shackles.
20καὶ ὑπόφρικον καὶ τὸ τοῦ βασιλέως σῶμα ἐγενήθη, καὶ λήθη τὸ θράσος αὐτοῦ τὸ βαρύθυμον ἔλαβεν.Even the king began to shudder bodily, and he forgot his sullen insolence.
21καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν τὰ θηρία ἐπὶ τὰς συνεπομένας ἐνόπλους δυνάμεις καὶ κατεπάτουν αὐτὰς καὶ ὠλέθρευον.The animals turned back upon the armed forces following them and began trampling and destroying them.
22Καὶ μετεστράφη τοῦ βασιλέως ἡ ὀργὴ εἰς οἶκτον καὶ δάκρυα ὑπὲρ τῶν ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῷ μεμηχανευμένων.Then the king’s anger was turned to pity and tears because of the things that he had devised beforehand.
23ἀκούσας γὰρ τῆς κραυγῆς καὶ συνιδὼν πρηνεῖς ἅπαντας εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν δακρύσας μετ ὀργῆς τοῖς φίλοις διηπειλεῖτο λέγωνFor when he heard the shouting and saw them all fallen headlong to destruction, he wept and angrily threatened his Friends, saying,
24Παραβασιλεύετε καὶ τυράννους ὑπερβεβήκατε ὠμότητι καὶ ἐμὲ αὐτὸν τὸν ὑμῶν εὐεργέτην ἐπιχειρεῖτε τῆς ἀρχῆς ἤδη καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος μεθιστᾶν λάθρᾳ μηχανώμενοι τὰ μὴ συμφέροντα τῇ βασιλείᾳ."You are committing treason and surpassing tyrants in cruelty; and even me, your benefactor, you are now attempting to deprive of dominion and life by secretly devising acts of no advantage to the kingdom.
25τίς τοὺς κρατήσαντας ἡμῶν ἐν πίστει τὰ τῆς χώρας ὀχυρώματα τῆς οἰκίας ἀποστήσας ἕκαστον ἀλόγως ἤθροισεν ἐνθάδε;Who has driven from their homes those who faithfully kept our country’s fortresses, and foolishly gathered every one of them here?
26τίς τοὺς ἐξ ἀρχῆς εὐνοίᾳ πρὸς ἡμᾶς κατὰ πάντα διαφέροντας πάντων ἐθνῶν καὶ τοὺς χειρίστους πλεονάκις ἀνθρώπων ἐπιδεδεγμένους κινδύνους οὕτως ἀθέσμως περιέβαλεν αἰκίαις;Who is it that has so lawlessly encompassed with outrageous treatment those who from the beginning differed from all nations in their goodwill toward us and often have accepted willingly the worst of human dangers?
27λύσατε ἐκλύσατε ἄδικα δεσμά· εἰς τὰ ἴδια μετ εἰρήνης ἐξαποστείλατε τὰ προπεπραγμένα παραιτησάμενοι.Loose and untie their unjust bonds! Send them back to their homes in peace, begging pardon for your former actions!
28ἀπολύσατε τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ παντοκράτορος ἐπουρανίου θεοῦ ζῶντος, ὃς ἀφ ἡμετέρων μέχρι τοῦ νῦν προγόνων ἀπαραπόδιστον μετὰ δόξης εὐστάθειαν παρέχει τοῖς ἡμετέροις πράγμασιν.Release the children of the almighty and living God of heaven, who from the time of our ancestors until now has granted an unimpeded and notable stability to our government."
29ὁ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα ἔλεξεν· οἱ δὲ ἐν ἀμερεῖ χρόνῳ λυθέντες τὸν ἅγιον σωτῆρα θεὸν αὐτῶν εὐλόγουν ἄρτι τὸν θάνατον ἐκπεφευγότες.These then were the things he said; and the Jews, immediately released, praised their holy God and Savior, since they now had escaped death.
30Εἶτα ὁ βασιλεὺς εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἀπαλλαγεὶς τὸν ἐπὶ τῶν προσόδων προσκαλεσάμενος ἐκέλευσεν οἴνους τε καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ πρὸς εὐωχίαν ἐπιτήδεια τοῖς Ιουδαίοις χορηγεῖν ἐπὶ ἡμέρας ἑπτὰ κρίνας αὐτοὺς ἐν ᾧ τόπῳ ἔδοξαν τὸν ὄλεθρον ἀναλαμβάνειν, ἐν τούτῳ ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ πάσῃ σωτήρια ἀγαγεῖν.Then the king, when he had returned to the city, summoned the official in charge of the revenues and ordered him to provide to the Jews both wines and everything else needed for a festival of seven days, deciding that they should celebrate their rescue with all joyfulness in that same place in which they had expected to meet their destruction.
31τότε οἱ τὸ πρὶν ἐπονείδιστοι καὶ πλησίον τοῦ ᾅδου, μᾶλλον δὲ ἐπ αὐτῷ βεβηκότες ἀντὶ πικροῦ καὶ δυσαιάκτου μόρου κώθωνα σωτήριον συστησάμενοι τὸν εἰς πτῶσιν αὐτοῖς καὶ τάφον ἡτοιμασμένον τόπον κλισίαις κατεμερίσαντο πλήρεις χαρμονῆς.Accordingly those disgracefully treated and near to death, or rather, who stood at its gates, arranged for a banquet of deliverance instead of a bitter and lamentable death, and full of joy they apportioned to celebrants the place that had been prepared for their destruction and burial.
32καταλήξαντες δὲ θρήνων πανόδυρτον μέλος ἀνέλαβον ᾠδὴν πάτριον τὸν σωτῆρα καὶ τερατοποιὸν αἰνοῦντες θεόν· οἰμωγήν τε πᾶσαν καὶ κωκυτὸν ἀπωσάμενοι χοροὺς συνίσταντο εὐφροσύνης εἰρηνικῆς σημεῖον.They stopped their chanting of dirges and took up the song of their ancestors, praising God, their Savior and worker of wonders. Putting an end to all mourning and wailing, they formed choruses as a sign of peaceful joy.
33ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς περὶ τούτων συμπόσιον βαρὺ συναγαγὼν ἀδιαλείπτως εἰς οὐρανὸν ἀνθωμολογεῖτο μεγαλομερῶς ἐπὶ τῇ παραδόξῳ γενηθείσῃ αὐτῷ σωτηρίᾳ.Likewise also the king, after convening a great banquet to celebrate these events, gave thanks to heaven unceasingly and lavishly for the unexpected rescue that he had experienced.
34οἵ τε πρὶν εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ οἰωνοβρώτους αὐτοὺς ἔσεσθαι τιθέμενοι καὶ μετὰ χαρᾶς ἀπογραψάμενοι κατεστέναξαν αἰσχύνην ἐφ ἑαυτοῖς περιβαλόμενοι καὶ τὴν πυρόπνουν τόλμαν ἀκλεῶς ἐσβεσμένοι.Those who had previously believed that the Jews would be destroyed and become food for birds, and had joyfully registered them, groaned as they themselves were overcome by disgrace, and their fire-breathing boldness was ignominiously quenched.
35οἵ τε Ιουδαῖοι, καθὼς προειρήκαμεν, συστησάμενοι τὸν προειρημένον χορὸν μετ εὐωχίας ἐν ἐξομολογήσεσιν ἱλαραῖς καὶ ψαλμοῖς διῆγον.The Jews, as we have said before, arranged the aforementioned choral group and passed the time in feasting to the accompaniment of joyous thanksgiving and psalms.
36καὶ κοινὸν ὁρισάμενοι περὶ τούτων θεσμὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν παροικίαν αὐτῶν εἰς γενεὰς τὰς προειρημένας ἡμέρας ἄγειν ἔστησαν εὐφροσύνους, οὐ πότου χάριν καὶ λιχνείας, σωτηρίας δὲ τῆς διὰ θεὸν γενομένης αὐτοῖς.And when they had ordained a public rite for these things in their whole community and for their descendants, they instituted the observance of the aforesaid days as a festival, not for drinking and gluttony, but because of the deliverance that had come to them through God.
37ἐνέτυχον δὲ τῷ βασιλεῖ τὴν ἀπόλυσιν αὐτῶν εἰς τὰ ἴδια αἰτούμενοι.Then they petitioned the king, asking for dismissal to their homes.
38ἀπογράφονται δὲ αὐτοὺς ἀπὸ πέμπτης καὶ εἰκάδος τοῦ Παχων ἕως τῆς τετάρτης τοῦ Επιφι ἐπὶ ἡμέρας τεσσαράκοντα, συνίστανται δὲ αὐτῶν τὴν ἀπώλειαν ἀπὸ πέμπτης τοῦ Επιφι ἕως ἑβδόμης ἡμέραις τρισίν,So their registration was carried out from the twenty-fifth of Pachon to the fourth of Epeiph, for forty days; and their destruction was set for the fifth to the seventh of Epeiph, the three days
39ἐν αἷς καὶ μεγαλοδόξως ἐπιφάνας τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ ὁ τῶν πάντων δυνάστης ἀπταίστους αὐτοὺς ἐρρύσατο ὁμοθυμαδόν.on which the Lord of all most gloriously revealed his mercy and rescued them all together and unharmed.
40εὐωχοῦντο δὲ πάνθ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως χορηγούμενοι μέχρι τῆς τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτης, ἐν ᾗ καὶ τὴν ἐντυχίαν ἐποιήσαντο περὶ τῆς ἀπολύσεως αὐτῶν.Then they feasted, being provided with everything by the king, until the fourteenth day, on which also they made the petition for their dismissal.
41συναινέσας δὲ αὐτοῖς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἔγραψεν αὐτοῖς τὴν ὑπογεγραμμένην ἐπιστολὴν πρὸς τοὺς κατὰ πόλιν στρατηγοὺς μεγαλοψύχως τὴν ἐκτενίαν ἔχουσανThe king granted their request at once and wrote the following letter for them to the generals in the cities, magnanimously expressing his concern:

Chapter 7

1Βασιλεὺς Πτολεμαῖος Φιλοπάτωρ τοῖς κατ Αἴγυπτον στρατηγοῖς καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς τεταγμένοις ἐπὶ πραγμάτων χαίρειν καὶ ἐρρῶσθαι·"King Ptolemy Philopator to the generals in Egypt and all in authority in his government, greetings and good health:
2ἐρρώμεθα δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν κατευθύναντος ἡμῖν τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ τὰ πράγματα, καθὼς προαιρούμεθα."We ourselves and our children are faring well, the great God guiding our affairs according to our desire.
3τῶν φίλων τινὲς κατὰ κακοήθειαν πυκνότερον ἡμῖν παρακείμενοι συνέπεισαν ἡμᾶς εἰς τὸ τοὺς ὑπὸ τὴν βασιλείαν Ιουδαίους συναθροίσαντας σύστημα κολάσασθαι ξενιζούσαις ἀποστατῶν τιμωρίαιςCertain of our friends, frequently urging us with malicious intent, persuaded us to gather together the Jews of the kingdom in a body and to punish them with barbarous penalties as traitors;
4προφερόμενοι μηδέποτε εὐσταθήσειν τὰ πράγματα ἡμῶν δι ἣν ἔχουσιν οὗτοι πρὸς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη δυσμένειαν, μέχρι ἂν συντελεσθῇ τοῦτο.for they declared that our government would never be firmly established until this was accomplished, because of the ill-will that these people had toward all nations.
5οἳ καὶ δεσμίους καταγαγόντες αὐτοὺς μετὰ σκυλμῶν ὡς ἀνδράποδα, μᾶλλον δὲ ὡς ἐπιβούλους, ἄνευ πάσης ἀνακρίσεως καὶ ἐξετάσεως ἐπεχείρησαν ἀνελεῖν νόμου Σκυθῶν ἀγριωτέραν ἐμπεπορπημένοι ὠμότητα.They also led them out with harsh treatment as slaves, or rather as traitors, and, girding themselves with a cruelty more savage than that of Scythian custom, they tried without any inquiry or examination to put them to death.
6ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐπὶ τούτοις σκληρότερον διαπειλησάμενοι καθ ἣν ἔχομεν πρὸς ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους ἐπιείκειαν μόγις τὸ ζῆν αὐτοῖς χαρισάμενοι καὶ τὸν ἐπουράνιον θεὸν ἐγνωκότες ἀσφαλῶς ὑπερησπικότα τῶν Ιουδαίων ὡς πατέρα ὑπὲρ υἱῶν διὰ παντὸς συμμαχοῦνταBut we very severely threatened them for these acts, and in accordance with the clemency that we have toward all people we barely spared their lives. Since we have come to realize that the God of heaven surely defends the Jews, always taking their part as a father does for his children,
7τήν τε τοῦ φίλου ἣν ἔχουσιν βεβαίαν πρὸς ἡμᾶς καὶ τοὺς προγόνους ἡμῶν εὔνοιαν ἀναλογισάμενοι δικαίως ἀπολελύκαμεν πάσης καθ ὁντινοῦν αἰτίας τρόπονand since we have taken into account the friendly and firm goodwill that they had toward us and our ancestors, we justly have acquitted them of every charge of whatever kind.
8καὶ προστετάχαμεν ἑκάστῳ πάντας εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἐπιστρέφειν ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ μηθενὸς αὐτοὺς τὸ σύνολον καταβλάπτοντος μήτε ὀνειδίζειν περὶ τῶν γεγενημένων παρὰ λόγον.We also have ordered all people to return to their own homes, with no one in any place doing them harm at all or reproaching them for the irrational things that have happened.
9γινώσκετε γὰρ ὅτι κατὰ τούτων ἐάν τι κακοτεχνήσωμεν πονηρὸν ἢ ἐπιλυπήσωμεν αὐτοὺς τὸ σύνολον, οὐκ ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸν πάσης δεσπόζοντα δυνάμεως θεὸν ὕψιστον ἀντικείμενον ἡμῖν ἐπ ἐκδικήσει τῶν πραγμάτων κατὰ πᾶν ἀφεύκτως διὰ παντὸς ἕξομεν. ἔρρωσθε.For you should know that if we devise any evil against them or cause them any grief at all, we always shall have not a mortal but the Ruler over every power, the Most High God, in everything and inescapably as an antagonist to avenge such acts. Farewell."
10Λαβόντες δὲ τὴν ἐπιστολὴν ταύτην οὐκ ἐσπούδασαν εὐθέως γενέσθαι περὶ τὴν ἄφοδον, ἀλλὰ τὸν βασιλέα προσηξίωσαν τοὺς ἐκ τοῦ γένους τῶν Ιουδαίων τὸν ἅγιον θεὸν αὐθαιρέτως παραβεβηκότας καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν νόμον τυχεῖν δι αὐτῶν τῆς ὀφειλομένης κολάσεωςOn receiving this letter the Jews did not immediately hurry to make their departure, but they requested of the king that at their own hands those of the Jewish nation who had willfully transgressed against the holy God and the law of God should receive the punishment they deserved.
11προφερόμενοι τοὺς γαστρὸς ἕνεκεν τὰ θεῖα παραβεβηκότας προστάγματα μηδέποτε εὐνοήσειν μηδὲ τοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως πράγμασιν.They declared that those who for the belly’s sake had transgressed the divine commandments would never be favorably disposed toward the king’s government.
12ὁ δὲ τἀληθὲς αὐτοὺς λέγειν παραδεξάμενος καὶ παραινέσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἄδειαν πάντων, ὅπως τοὺς παραβεβηκότας τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν νόμον ἐξολεθρεύσωσιν κατὰ πάντα τὸν ὑπὸ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ τόπον μετὰ παρρησίας ἄνευ πάσης βασιλικῆς ἐξουσίας καὶ ἐπισκέψεως.The king then, admitting and approving the truth of what they said, granted them a general license so that freely, and without royal authority or supervision, they might destroy those everywhere in his kingdom who had transgressed the law of God.
13τότε κατευφημήσαντες αὐτόν, ὡς πρέπον ἦν, οἱ τούτων ἱερεῖς καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἐπιφωνήσαντες τὸ αλληλουια μετὰ χαρᾶς ἀνέλυσαν.When they had applauded him in fitting manner, their priests and the whole multitude shouted the Hallelujah and joyfully departed.
14οὕτως τε τὸν ἐμπεσόντα τῶν μεμιαμμένων ὁμοεθνῆ κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἐκολάζοντο καὶ μετὰ παραδειγματισμῶν ἀνῄρουν.And so on their way they punished and put to a public and shameful death any whom they met of their compatriots who had become defiled.
15ἐκείνῃ δὲ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἀνεῖλον ὑπὲρ τοὺς τριακοσίους ἄνδρας, ἣν καὶ ἤγαγον εὐφροσύνην μετὰ χαρᾶς βεβήλους χειρωσάμενοι.In that day they put to death more than three hundred men; and they kept the day as a joyful festival, since they had destroyed the profaners.
16αὐτοὶ δὲ οἱ μέχρι θανάτου τὸν θεὸν ἐσχηκότες παντελῆ σωτηρίας ἀπόλαυσιν εἰληφότες ἀνέζευξαν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως παντοίοις εὐωδεστάτοις ἄνθεσιν κατεστεμμένοι μετ εὐφροσύνης καὶ βοῆς ἐν αἴνοις καὶ παμμελέσιν ὕμνοις εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ θεῷ τῶν πατέρων αὐτῶν αἰωνίῳ σωτῆρι τοῦ Ισραηλ.But those who had held fast to God even to death and had received the full enjoyment of deliverance began their departure from the city, crowned with all sorts of very fragrant flowers, joyfully and loudly giving thanks to the one God of their ancestors, the eternal Savior of Israel, in words of praise and all kinds of melodious songs.
17Παραγενηθέντες δὲ εἰς Πτολεμαίδα τὴν ὀνομαζομένην διὰ τὴν τοῦ τόπου ἰδιότητα ῥοδοφόρον, ἐν ᾗ προσέμεινεν αὐτοὺς ὁ στόλος κατὰ κοινὴν αὐτῶν βουλὴν ἡμέρας ἑπτά,When they had arrived at Ptolemais, called "rose-bearing" because of a characteristic of the place, the fleet waited for them, in accordance with the common desire, for seven days.
18ἐκεῖ ἐποίησαν πότον σωτήριον τοῦ βασιλέως χορηγήσαντος αὐτοῖς εὐψύχως τὰ πρὸς τὴν ἄφιξιν πάντα ἑκάστῳ ἕως εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν οἰκίαν.There they celebrated their deliverance, for the king had generously provided all things to them for their journey until all of them arrived at their own houses.
19καταχθέντες δὲ μετ εἰρήνης ἐν ταῖς πρεπούσαις ἐξομολογήσεσιν ὡσαύτως κἀκεῖ ἔστησαν καὶ ταύτας ἄγειν τὰς ἡμέρας ἐπὶ τὸν τῆς παροικίας αὐτῶν χρόνον εὐφροσύνους.And when they had all landed in peace with appropriate thanksgiving, there too in like manner they decided to observe these days as a joyous festival during the time of their stay.
20ἃς καὶ ἀνιερώσαντες ἐν στήλῃ κατὰ τὸν τῆς συμποσίας τόπον προσευχῆς καθιδρύσαντες ἀνέλυσαν ἀσινεῖς, ἐλεύθεροι, ὑπερχαρεῖς, διά τε γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης καὶ ποταμοῦ ἀνασῳζόμενοι τῇ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιταγῇ, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν,Then, after inscribing them as holy on a pillar and dedicating a place of prayer at the site of the festival, they departed unharmed, free, and overjoyed, since at the king’s command they had all of them been brought safely by land and sea and river to their own homes.
21καὶ πλείστην ἢ ἔμπροσθεν ἐν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς ἐξουσίαν ἐσχηκότες μετὰ δόξης καὶ φόβου, τὸ σύνολον ὑπὸ μηδενὸς διασεισθέντες τῶν ὑπαρχόντων.They also possessed greater prestige among their enemies, being held in honor and awe; and they were not subject at all to confiscation of their belongings by anyone.
22καὶ πάντα τὰ ἑαυτῶν πάντες ἐκομίσαντο ἐξ ἀπογραφῆς ὥστε τοὺς ἔχοντάς τι μετὰ φόβου μεγίστου ἀποδοῦναι αὐτοῖς, τὰ μεγαλεῖα τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ ποιήσαντος τελείως ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ αὐτῶν.Besides, they all recovered all of their property, in accordance with the registration, so that those who held any of it restored it to them with extreme fear. So the supreme God perfectly performed great deeds for their deliverance.
23εὐλογητὸς ὁ ῥύστης Ισραηλ εἰς τοὺς ἀεὶ χρόνους. αμην.Blessed be the Deliverer of Israel through all times! Amen.

Mediterranean in the year 222 BC

Mediterranean in the year 222 BC

(click on the map to enlarge)