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馬加伯下 2 Maccabees
1不久以後,王派遣一位年老的雅典人,來強迫猶太人背棄祖傳的規誡,不得按照天主的法律生活,1After a while, the king sent an older Athenian to force the Jews to abandon their ancestral laws and no longer live according to the laws of God.
2並且褻瀆耶路撒冷的聖殿,將聖殿轉獻與奧林比亞則烏斯神,又將革黎斤山上的殿宇,依當地居民的要求,獻與克色尼則烏斯神。2And to have them also profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to the Olympian god. In the same way, he wanted them to dedicate the temple in Mount Gerizim to the hospitable god, according to the wishes of the inhabitants of the place.
3這種種邪惡的侵入,實在令人難以忍受。3This worsened the evil and made it difficult and unbearable for all.
4因為聖殿內充滿了外邦人的放蕩和縱飲,他們與娼妓淫歡,甚至在聖殿的圍牆內與女人私通,將犯禁的東西帶入殿內。4The Temple was profaned by the orgies of the pagans who went there to have a good time with prostitutes, and had intercourse in the sacred enclosures. And besides, they brought into the Temple things not permitted by the Law;
5祭壇上充滿了法律所禁止的不潔之物,5the altar was laden with unclean victims prohibited by the law.
6並且不准遵守安息日,不准舉行祖傳的慶節,連承認自己是猶太人也不許可。6It was no longer allowed to celebrate the sabbath or observe the customs of our fathers, or even to declare oneself a Jew.
7每月遇到國王誕生的那一天,他們都被脅迫參與祭祀;一到彫尼索節,應頭戴長春藤冠,參與慶祝彫尼索的遊行。7But, on the contrary, they were led by bitter necessity to celebrate the king's birthday with a monthly sacrifice. And when the feast of Dionysus came, they were also forced to follow the Dionysus procession and wear floral wreaths.
8且因仆托肋買城內居民的唆使,王又向附近受到希臘文化影響的城邑,頒發一道命令,令人以同樣的方式對待猶太人,迫使他們分食祭品。8At the suggestion of the inhabit-ants of Ptolemy, a decree was sent to the neighboring Greek cities ordering them to treat the Jews who lived there in the same way and oblige them to participate in the sacrifices.
9誰若決意不採用希臘風俗,依法處以死刑。從此可知大難已臨頭了。9Those who would not adopt the Greek customs were to be killed. So it was easy to foresee the fatal outcome.
10有兩個婦人,因為給孩子割損,就被逮捕受審,令人將孩子掛在她們胸前,遊街示眾,然後將她們由城牆高處扔下去。10Two women were charged of having performed the rite of circumcision on their sons. They publicly paraded the women throughout the city with their babies hung at their breasts. Then they hurled them down from the city wall.
11此外還有些人在附近的山洞裡聚集,暗地裡舉行安息日;有人報告給斐理伯,他便下令把他們活活燒死,因他們寧願遵守聖日,不願自衛。11Others who had assembled in nearby caves to celebrate the sabbath were denounced to Philip and they allowed themselves to be burned. Because of the holiness of the sabbath day, they had scruples about defending themselves.
12至此,我勸告本書的讀者,不要因了這些不幸而灰心喪志,反該相信這些災禍並不是為消滅,而只是為懲戒我們的民族罷了。12I now ask the readers of this book not to be shocked by these calamities. Bear in mind that this did not happen for the destruction of our race, but rather for our education.
13因為作惡的人不得長久放縱,反而即刻遭受懲罰,這實是大恩的明證。13God is showing his kindness when he does not let sinners continue on their way for a long time, but punishes them at once.
14對於其他的民族,上主盡量含忍,待他們罪惡滿盈,即施以懲罰;對於我們,他卻不是這樣:14As for the other nations, the patient Lord doesn't punish them until they reach the full measure of their sins. But he deals with us in a different manner:
15他不等我們的罪惡到達頂點,就責罰我們。15he does not wait until we have reached the full measure in order to punish us.
16因此,他的憐憫總不離棄我們:雖然用患難來懲戒自己的百姓,卻不放棄他們。16Therefore he never withdraws his mercy from us, and does not abandon his people, even when he punishes us with some adversity.
17上面所說的,只是叫你們注意。說完這些話,就該言歸正傳。17After reminding our readers of these truths, let us continue the story.
18厄肋阿匝爾是一位傑出的經師,又是年已古稀,儀表莊嚴的人。有人用力拉開了他的口,強迫他吃豬肉;18Eleazar, one of the prominent teachers of the Law, already old and of noble appearance, was forced to open his mouth to eat the flesh of a pig.
19但他寧願光榮捨命,不願受辱而偷生,遂自動走上刑架,19But he preferred to die honorably than to live in disgrace, and voluntarily came to the place where they beat him to death. He spit out bravely the piece of meat,
20且把肉吐出。其實,凡決意拒絕吃違法食物的人,都該如此,雖死不辭。20as should be done by those who do not want to do things prohibited by the Law, even to save their life.
21那些監督這違法祭餐的人,因為與他有多年的交情,便把他叫到一邊,再三勸他帶著自己預備而合法可吃的肉,假裝吃王命的祭肉;21Those in charge of this impious banquet took him aside, since they had known him for a long time, and tried to convince him to pretend to be eating the meat, but in reality, to eat something allowed by the Law and prepared by himself.
22如此,就可免一死,而且因他與他們多年的交情,還可獲得優待。22In this way, he could escape death, and be treated with humanity for the sake of their long-time friendship.
23但他立即作了一豪爽的決斷,這決斷相稱他的高齡和聲望,相稱他因積勞而生的白髮,和自幼至今的善行,更符合於天主所立的神聖法律。因此他說明自己的意見,告訴人快把他送到陰府裡去,說:23But he preferred to make a noble decision worthy of his age, of his noble years, of his shining white hair, and of the irreproachable life he had led from childhood. Above all, showing respect for the holy laws established by God, he answered that he would rather be sent to the place of the dead. And he added,
24「像我這樣年齡的人,決不宜作偽,免得許多青年,想年高九十的厄肋阿匝爾也接受了外教禮俗,24"It would be unworthy to pretend at our age, and to lead many young people to suppose that I, at ninety years, have gone over to the pagan customs.
25因我的作偽和貪戀殘生,他們也都因我的緣故而誤入歧途;如此,不免在我的高齡上塗上一層污點和恥辱!25If I led them astray for the sake of this short life I would bring disgrace to my old age.
26況且,即使目前我能逃避人的刑罰;可是,或生或死,我總逃不出全能者的手。26Even if I could now be saved from men, I cannot - whether living or dead - escape from the hands of the Almighty.
27所以現在,我若是勇敢捨生,我不愧有此高齡,27I prefer to bravely sacrifice my life now, as befits my old age.
28因為我已給青年留下了一個為可敬的神聖法律,甘心慷慨犧牲的高尚榜樣。」說完這話,就立刻走上刑架。28So I shall leave an excellent example to the young, dying voluntarily and valiantly for the sacred and holy laws." Having said this, he gave himself over to death.
29方才和顏悅色勸說他的人,一聽他說出這樣的話,以為他瘋了,遂改變為仇視的態度。29Those who escorted him considered his words foolishness, so their previous gentleness turned into harshness.
30當他受重刑快要斷氣的時候,呻吟著說:「具有聖智的上主,明知我能逃脫死亡,但是,為了敬畏他,我的肉身在痛打之下,雖受到很大的疼痛,但我的心靈卻喜樂忍受這一切。」30When he was almost at the point of death, he said groaning, "The Holy Lord, who sees all, knows that though I could have saved myself from death, I now endure terrible sufferings in my body. But in my soul, I suffer gladly because of the respect I have for him."
31他便這樣死了。他的死,不但給青年人,而且也給全國的人民,留下了剛勇的模範,和大德不凡的記錄。31In his death, he left a noble example and a memorial of virtue and strength, not only to the young but to the whole nation.
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