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4 Maccabees 12Common English Bible (CEB)

The seventh brother’s response and death

12 When the sixth brother also died a privileged death after being thrown into a burning-hot kettle, the seventh and youngest of all came forward. When he saw that the boy was already in chains, the tyrant felt pity for him, despite the verbal abuse he had endured from the boy’s brothers. He called the boy closer and tried to encourage him, saying, “You see the result of your brothers’ lack of sense. They died in terrible pain because they disobeyed. If you don’t obey me, you too will experience horrible torture and die long before your time. But if you listen to me, you will be my friend, and you will be put in charge over the affairs of the kingdom.” After giving his advice, Antiochus sent for the boy’s mother to take pity on her after she had lost so many sons and so she could persuade her remaining son to obey and save himself.

After his mother encouraged him in Hebrew (as we will discuss later), he said, “Let me go. I want to speak to the king and all his friends.” They were very happy with the boy’s announcement, so they quickly let him go. 10 He ran to the nearest container of burning coal 11 and said, “You unholy tyrant! Of all evil people, you are the farthest from God! You received your kingdom and all good things from God. So why have you felt no shame for murdering God’s servants and torturing the champions of the godly way of life? 12 For these actions, justice is waiting for you with a stronger and everlasting fire and torture, from which you will never, ever be released! 13 As a human being weren’t you ashamed? You are a wild animal! You cut out the tongues and abuse and torture people who have feelings just like you and who are made of the same flesh and blood as you. 14 By dying honorably, they fulfilled their religious duty to God. You, however, will howl bitterly for killing without reason these champions of the godly way of life.” 15 Then, since he also was about to die, he said, 16 “I’m not going to desert the good example of my brothers. 17 I call on the God of our ancestors to show mercy to our nation. 18 On you, however, he will take revenge both now while you are alive and after you are dead.” 19 After praying against the tyrant, he threw himself into the container of burning coal and so gave back his life.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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