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4 Maccabees 10Common English Bible (CEB)

The third brother’s torture and response

10 When the second brother had also endured a heroic death, the third brother was brought forward. Many people urged him again and again to taste the pork in order to save himself. He shouted out in response: “Don’t you know that I come from the same father as those who have just died, that the same mother gave birth to me, and that I was raised with the same teaching? I won’t deny these dignified family ties!”[a] The guards were furious at his bold speech. They used their instruments to pull his hands and feet out of joint, and dislocated his arms and legs. Then they broke his fingers, arms, legs, and elbows. In spite of this, they weren’t strong enough to break his will, so they put away their tools and tore off his scalp the way the Scythians do it—they used their fingernails. Then they dragged him to the wheel. As they were pulling his spine apart, he saw his own flesh falling off his bones and his blood pouring out. When he was on the edge of death, he said, 10 “You bloodstained tyrant, we are suffering these things because of our godly training and moral character. 11 But you will endure endless torture because of your lack of respect for God and your cruel thirst for blood!”

The fourth brother’s torture and response

12 After he died like a true brother, they dragged the fourth one forward. They said, 13 “Don’t show the same craziness as your brothers. Obey the king and save yourself!”

14 He replied, “You don’t have a fire hot enough to turn me into a coward. 15 I swear by the privileged deaths my brothers have suffered, by the eternal curse that will come on the tyrant, and by the everlasting life of those who love God: I will not deny my ties with my dignified brothers! 16 Think up some new tortures, you tyrant, so that you can learn that I am a brother of those you have already tortured!”

17 When Antiochus heard this, the blood-sucking, murderous, and completely disgusting man ordered them to cut out the man’s tongue.

18 But he said, “Tear out my tongue! God still hears those who are silent. 19 See? Here’s my tongue! Cut it off. You won’t make my mind quiet by doing that! 20 For God’s sake we gladly allow our bodies to be cut to pieces. 21 God will quickly hunt you down for this, because you are cutting out a tongue that has been musical when it praised God with hymns!”

Footnotes:

  1. 4 Maccabees 10:3 Some manuscripts add 10:4 Apply whatever torture devices you have to my body; you can’t reach my will, no matter how much you wish.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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