2 Maccabees 6

1 But not aftir myche tyme the king sente an elde man of Antiochie, which schulde constreyne Jewis, that thei schulden translate hem silf fro lawis of fadris and of God;

2 also he schulde defoule the temple, `that was in Jerusalem, and schulde clepe it of Jouis Olympij, and in Garisym, as thei weren, that enhabitiden the place, of Jouis hospital.

3 Forsothe the fallyng in of yuels was worste and greuouse to alle;

4 for whi the temple was ful of letcherie and glotenye of hethene men, and of men doynge letcherie with horis, aud wymmen baren in hem silf to halewid housis, at her owne wille, berynge with ynne tho thingis whiche it was not leueful.

5 Also the auter was ful of vnleueful thingis, whiche weren forbodun bi lawis.

6 Sotheli nether sabatis weren kept, nether solempne daies of fadris weren kept, nether sympli, `ether opynli, ony man knoulechide hym a Jew.

7 Forsothe thei weren led with bittir nede in the dai of the kyngis birthe to sacrifices. And whanne hooli thingis of Liber, `that is, Bacus, `ether a false god, which hethene men clepiden god of wyn, weren maad solempli, thei weren crownyd with yuy, and weren constreyned for to go aboute with Liber.

8 Sotheli the doom wente out in to the nexte citees of hethene men, bi Tolomeis procurynge, that in lijk maner also thei schulden do ayens Jewis, that thei schulden do sacrifice;

9 sotheli that thei schulden sle hem, that wolden not passe to ordynaunces of hethene men. Therfor it was to se wretchidnesse.

10 For whi twei wymmen weren accusid, that thei hadden circumcidid her children; and whanne thei hadden ledde hem aboute opynli bi the citee, with infauntis hangid at brestis, thei castiden doun bi the wallis.

11 Forsothe othere men yeden togidere to the nexte dennes, and halewiden pryueli the dai of sabat, whanne thei weren schewid to Filip, thei weren brent in flawmes, for thei dredden for religioun and obseruaunce, for to bere help to hem silf with hond.

12 Therfore Y biseche hem, that schulen rede this book, that thei `drede not for aduersitees; but arette thei tho thingis that bifellen to be not to perischyng, but to amendyng of oure kyn.

13 For whi for to not suffre bi myche tyme synneris for to do of sentence, but anoon for to yyue veniaunces, is the schewing of greet benefice.

14 For whi, not as in othere naciouns, the Lord abidith pacientli, that whanne the dai of dom schal come, he punysche hem in plente of synnes,

15 so and in vs he ordeyneth, that whanne oure synnes ben turned aboute in to ende, so at the laste he venge on vs.

16 For which thing sotheli he neuer remoueth his merci fro vs; but he chastisith his puple, and forsakith not in aduersitees.

17 But these thingis ben seid of vs in fewe wordis to the monestyng of men redynge; now forsothe it is to come to the tellyng.

18 Therfor Eleasarus, oon of the formere of scribis, a man wexun in age, and `fair in cheer, was compellid, `yanynge with open mouth, for to ete swynes fleisch.

19 And he `biclippide, ether chees, more glorious deth, than hateful lijf, and wilfuli wente bifore to turment.

20 Forsothe he bihelde hou it bihofte for to go, and suffride pacientli, and ordeynede for to not do vnleueful thingis for the loue of lijf.

21 Sotheli these that stoden nyy, weren mouyd to gidere bi wickid merci, for eld frenschip of the man, and thei token hym priueli, and preiede that fleischis schulden be brouyt, whiche it was leueful to hym for to ete, that he were feyned to haue etun, as the kyng comaundide, of the fleischis of sacrifice;

22 that bi this dede he schulde be delyuered fro deth; and for eld frenschip of the man, thei dide this curtesie in hym.

23 And he bigan for to thenke the worthi excellence of age, and of his elde, and `fre borun horenesse of noblei, and of best lyuyng fro child; and bi the ordynaunces of holi lawe, and maad of God, he answeride soone, seiynge, that he wolde be sent bifore in to helle.

24 For he seide, It is not worthi to oure age for to feyne, that many yonge men deme, that Eleasarus of foure score yeer and ten, hath passid to the lijf of aliens,

25 and that thei ben disseyued for my feynyng, and for litil tyme of corruptible lijf, and that bi this Y gete spotte and cursidnesse to myn eelde.

26 For whi thouy in present tyme Y be delyuered fro turmentis of men, but nether quyk nether deed Y schal ascape the hond of Almyyti.

27 Wherfor in passynge the lijf strongli, sotheli Y schal appere worthi of age;

28 forsothe Y schal leue stronge ensaumple to yonge men, if Y vse perfitli onest deth with redi wille, and strongli for the worthieste and holieste lawis. Whanne these thingis weren seid, anoon he was drawun to turment.

29 Forsothe these that ledden hym, and a litil bifore weren myldere, weren turned in to wraththe, for the wordis seid of hym, whiche thei demyden brouyt forth bi pride of herte.

30 But whanne he schulde be slayn with woundis, he sorewide inwardli, and seide, Lord, that hast hooli kunnyng, openli thou woost, that whanne Y myyte be delyuered fro deth, Y suffre hard sorewis of bodi; forsothe bi soule wilfuli Y suffre these thingis for thi drede.

31 And sotheli this man on this maner departide fro lijf; not oneli leuynge the mynde of his deth to yonge men, but and to al the folc, to ensaumple of vertu and strengthe.