2 Maccabees 7Good News Translation (GNT)
A Mother and Her Sons Die for Their Faith
7 On another occasion a Jewish mother and her seven sons were arrested. The king was having them beaten to force them to eat pork. 2 Then one of the young men said,
What do you hope to gain by doing this? We would rather die than abandon the traditions of our ancestors.
3 This made the king so furious that he gave orders for huge pans and kettles to be heated red hot, 4 and it was done immediately. Then he told his men to cut off the tongue of the one who had spoken and to scalp him and chop off his hands and feet, while his mother and six brothers looked on. 5 After the young man had been reduced to a helpless mass of breathing flesh, the king gave orders for him to be carried over and thrown into one of the pans. As a cloud of smoke streamed up from the pan, the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die bravely, saying, 6
The Lord God is looking on and understands our suffering. Moses made this clear when he wrote a song condemning those who had abandoned the Lord. He said,
7 After the first brother had died in this way, the soldiers started amusing themselves with the second one by tearing the hair and skin from his head. Then they asked him,
8 He replied in his native language,
10 The soldiers began entertaining themselves with the third brother. When he was ordered to stick out his tongue, he quickly did so. Then he bravely held out his hands 11 and courageously said,
God gave these to me. But his laws mean more to me than my hands, and I know God will give them back to me again. 12 The king and those with him were amazed at his courage and at his willingness to suffer.
13 After he had died, the soldiers tortured the fourth one in the same cruel way, 14 but his final words were,
I am glad to die at your hands, because we have the assurance that God will raise us from death. But there will be no resurrection to life for you, Antiochus!
15 When the soldiers took the fifth boy and began torturing him, 16 he looked the king squarely in the eye and said,
You have the power to do whatever you want with us, even though you also are mortal. But do not think that God has abandoned our people. 17 Just wait. God will use his great power to torture you and your descendants.
18 Then the soldiers took the sixth boy, and just before he died he said,
20 The mother was the most amazing one of them all, and she deserves a special place in our memory. Although she saw her seven sons die in a single day, she endured it with great courage because she trusted in the Lord. 21 She combined womanly emotion with manly courage and spoke words of encouragement to each of her sons in their native language.
22 I do not know how your life began in my womb, she would say,
24 Antiochus was sure that the mother was making fun of him, so he did his best to convince her youngest son to abandon the traditions of his ancestors. He promised not only to make the boy rich and famous, but to place him in a position of authority and to give him the title
30 Before she could finish speaking, the boy said,
39 These words of ridicule made Antiochus so furious that he had the boy tortured even more cruelly than his brothers. 40 And so the boy died, with absolute trust in the Lord, never unfaithful for a minute.
41 Last of all, the mother was put to death.
42 But I have said enough about the Jews being tortured and being forced to eat the intestines of sacrificial animals.
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