2 Maccabees 3

1 {\cf2 What time as the holy citie was inhabited with all peace, and when the Lawes were very well kept, because of the godlinesse of Onias the hie Priest, and hatred of wickednesse,}

2 {\cf2 It came to passe that euen the kings did honour the place, and garnished the Temple with great gifts.}

3 {\cf2 In so much that Seleucus king of Asia of his owne rents, bare all the costes belonging to the seruice of the sacrifices.}

4 {\cf2 But one Simon of the tribe of Beniamin being appoynted ruler of the Temple, contended with the hie Priest concerning the iniquitie committed in the citie.}

5 {\cf2 And when hee coulde not ouercome Onias, he gate him to Apollonius the sonne of Thraseas, which then was gouernour of Coelosyria and Phenice,}

6 {\cf2 And tolde him that the treasurie in Ierusalem was full of innumerable money, which did not belong to the prouision of the sacrifices, and thatit were possible that these things might come into the Kings hands.}

7 {\cf2 Nowe when Apollonius came to the King, and had shewed him of the money, as it was tolde him, the King chose out Heliodorus his treasurer, and sent him with a commandement, to bring him the foresaid money.}

8 {\cf2 Immediatly Heliodorus tooke his iourney as though he would visite the cities of Coelosyria and Phenice, but in effect to fulfill the Kings purpose.}

9 {\cf2 So when he came to Ierusalem, & was courteously receiued of the hie Priest into the citie, he declared what was determined concerning the money, and shewed the cause of his comming, and asked if these things were so in deede.}

10 {\cf2 Then the hie Priest tolde him that there were such things laid vp by the widowes and fatherlesse,}

11 {\cf2 And that a certaine of it belonged vnto Hircanus the sonne of Tobias a noble man, and not as that wicked Simon had reported, and that in all, there were but foure hundreth talents of siluer, and two hundreth of gold,}

12 {\cf2 And that it were altogether vnpossible to do this wrong to them that had committed it of trust to the holinesse of the place and Temple, which is honoured thorowe the whole worlde for holinesse and integritie.}

13 {\cf2 But Heliodorus because of the Kings commandement giuen him, said that in any wise it must be brought into the Kings treasurie.}

14 {\cf2 So he appointed a day, and went in to take order for these things: then there was no small griefe throughout the whole citie.}

15 {\cf2 For the Priest fell downe before the altar in the Priestes garments, and called vnto heauen vpon him which had made a Lawe concerning things giuen to be kept, that they shoulde be safely preserued for such as had committed them to be kept.}

16 {\cf2 Then they that looked the hie Priest in the face, were wounded in their heart: for his countenance, and the changing of his colour declared the sorowe of his mind.}

17 {\cf2 The man was so wrapped in feare and trembling of the body, that it was manifest to them that looked vpon him, what sorowe he had in his heart.}

18 {\cf2 Others also came out of their houses by heapes vnto the common prayer, because the place was like to come vnto contempt.}

19 {\cf2 And the women, girt with sackcloth vnder their breastes, filled the streetes, and the virgins that were kept in, ranne some to the gates & some to the walles, and others looked out of the windowes.}

20 {\cf2 And all held vp their hands towarde heauen, and made prayer.}

21 {\cf2 It was a lamentable thing to see ye multitude that fell downe of all sortes, and the expectation of the high Priest being in such anguish.}

22 {\cf2 Therefore they called vpon the Almightie Lord, that he would keepe safe and sure the thinges, which were laide vp for those that had deliuered them.}

23 {\cf2 Neuerthelesse, the thing that Heliodorus was determined to doe, that did he performe.}

24 {\cf2 And as he and his souldiers were nowe there present by the treasurie, he that is the Lorde of the spirits, and of al power, shewed a great vision, so that all they which presumed to come with him, were astonished at the power of God, and fell into feare, and trembling.}

25 {\cf2 For there appeared vnto them an horse with a terrible man sitting vpon him, most richly barbed, and he ranne fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his fore feete, and it seemed that he that sate vpon the horse, had harnesse of gold.}

26 {\cf2 Moreouer, there appeared two yong men, notable in strength, excellent in beautie, and comely in apparell, which stood by him on either side, & scourged him continually, & gaue him many sore stripes.}

27 {\cf2 And Heliodorus fell suddenly vnto ye ground, and was couered with great darkenes: but they that were with him, tooke him vp, & put him in a litter.}

28 {\cf2 Thus he that came with so great companie, and many souldiers into the said treasurie, was borne out: for he coulde not helpe himselfe with his weapons.}

29 {\cf2 So they did knowe the power of God manifestly, but he was domme by the power of God, and lay destitute of all hope and health.}

30 {\cf2 And they praysed the Lord that had honoured his owne place: for the Temple which a litle afore was full of feare and trouble, when the almightie Lord appeared, was filled with ioy and gladnesse.}

31 {\cf2 Then streightwayes certaine of Heliodorus friends prayed Onias, that he woulde call vpon the most High to graunt him his life, which lay ready to giue vp the ghost.}

32 {\cf2 So the hie Priest, considering that the King might suspect that the Iewes had done Heliodorus some euill, he offered a sacrifice for the health of the man.}

33 {\cf2 Now when the hie Priest had made his prayer, the same yong men in the same clothing appeared, and stoode beside Heliodorus, saying, Giue Onias the hie Priest great thankes: for, for his sake hath the Lord graunted thee thy life.}

34 {\cf2 And seeing that thou hast bene scourged from heauen, declare vnto all men the mightie power of God: and when they had spoken these wordes, they appeared no more.}

35 {\cf2 So Heliodorus offered vnto the Lorde sacrifice, and made great vowes vnto him, which had graunted him his life, and thanked Onias, and went againe with his hoste to the King.}

36 {\cf2 Then testified he vnto euery man of ye great workes of God that he had seene with his eyes.}

37 {\cf2 And when the King asked Heliodorus, who were meete to be sent yet once againe to Ierusalem, he said,}

38 {\cf2 If thou hast any enemie or traitor, sende him thither, and thou shalt receiue him well scourged, if he escape with his life: for in that place, no doubt, there is a speciall power of God.}

39 {\cf2 For he that dwelleth in heauen, hath his eye on that place, and defendeth it, and he beateth and destroyeth them that come to hurt it.}

40 {\cf2 This came to passe concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasurie.}