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him both a rich man and a happy, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers; and also that he would count him for his friend and entrust him with affairs. And when the young man would in no case hearken unto him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel the young man to save his life. But she, laughing the cruel tyrant to scorn, spake in her native tongue after this manner: I beseech thee, my son, lift up thine eyes upon the heaven and the earth, and all things therein, and consider that God made them not of things that were: even so is the race of men. Fear not this tormentor, but prove worthy of thy brethren, and take thy death, that in the mercy of God I may receive thee again with them.
And while she was yet speaking, the young man said, Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the king's commandment, but I will obey the commandment of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. But thou, that hast devised every manner of mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hands of God. Our brethren, who now have suffered a brief-lived pain, have now drunk of everflowing life under God's covenant; but thou, through the judgement of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.
Then the king waxed wroth, and handled him worse than all the rest, being incensed that he was mocked. So this young man died pure and undefiled, putting his whole trust in the Lord. And last of all, after her sons, died the mother.
2 MACCABEES vii. (selections).
§ 1. The chapter from which this section is taken announces
the rejection of the Jews by God. It was probably
(=4 Ezra), though containing old material.
your house is desolate: Matt. xxiii. 38 =Luke xiii. 35. § 2. hell: Gehenna, Matt. v. 22, 29. 8.3. thou art not fallen alone : the doctrine of "original
sin.” Whereas Esdras traces the sin of the world to its connection with Adam, Baruch asserts individual responsibility: Thackeray, The Relation of St. Paul to Jewish Thought, pp. 35 sq.; Oesterley,
Books of Apocr., p. 275. wherein (i.e., in the fruit) is fulness : cf. Ezek. xlvii. 12 § 7. The whole burden of this touchingly beautiful peni
with its parallel, Rev. xxii. 2.
choose thee life : Deut. xxx. 19. § 4. in everlastingness : cf. Isa. lvii. 15.
whose look drieth : this clause appears in Apost.
Const. vii. 7.
melt away : Mic. i. 4. § 5. The language of this section, in which Jerusalem sends
a message of consolation to her exiled children, is modelled on that of Deutero-Isaiah (the great prophet of the Exile). In Baruch the law is identi
fied with wisdom: cf. iii. 9. § 6. Arise, O Jerusalem : Isa. li. 17, lx. 4.
as on a royal throne-viz., carried in state. Reference to the restoration of the exiles, as in Isa. xlix. 22.
Note the similarity between the second half of Baruch v. and the Psalms of Solomon xi.
tential prayer,* with its deep sense of sin, recalls in places the 51st Psalm. It is assigned by scholars to post-Maccabæan times, and is perhaps “ Pharisaic” in provenance.
Its two main ideas are (1) the compassion of God, (2) the efficacy of repent
ance. host thereof : Greek our parti tų kbouw aŭtwv, Latin cum
omni ornatu eorum. Cf. Gen. ii. 1; Deut. iv. 19. iron band : cf. especially 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11. lowest depths, of Sheol, the shadowy underworld (not
“ hell " in the medieval sense). See Oesterley,
Immortality and the Unseen World, chap. vii. § 8. This passage contains a good many references to the
story of Ahikar, for which see Charles, Apoc. and
Pseud. ii. 715-784. turn not thy face ; if thou hast abundance : these
passages are quoted in the offertory sentences of the Church of England liturgy. St. Paul seems to have been well acquainted with Tobit: Oesterley, Books
of Apocr., p. 370. § 9. he leadeth down, etc.: Wisd. xvi. 13; Deut. xxxii. 39;
1 Sam. ii. 6. who knoweth if he will accept you ? Jonah iii. 9. stones of Ophir, possibly a seaport on S.E. coast of
Arabia; but the place is not certainly identified: Driver on Gen. x. 29. Enc. Bibl., 3.V., The bright future for Israel depicted in ancient prophecy was still a future that lay within the natural order of things (Fairweather, Background of the Gospels, chap. viii.). The marvellous and transcendental element in the future belonged to the apocalyptic
hope. § 10. timbrels, tambourines; cymbals, metal discs strapped
to the hands and clashed together (in the sacred
dance). breaketh the battles : cf. Judith ix. and Exod. xv.
3 (“ he breaketh wars in pieces; the Lord is his
name”: LXX). Asshur=the Assyrians: they would come by way of
Damascus (“ from the north ”). * The full title of the piece is “ The Prayer of Manasses, King of Judah, when he was held captive in Babylon."
Persians : the author appears to have forgotten that
the invaders were Assyrians. For the Medes (the Greeks called the Persians Medes) cf. Driver on
Dan. ii. 31. runagates, fugitive slaves. sacrifice is too small : the right spirit in sacrifice is
what really counts. $ 11. The end of righteousness is immortality; but un
righteousness ends in destruction. The sinner
cannot escape, for God knows his very words. judges of the earth : the rulers of the Jewish colony
in Alexandria, the centre of the Jewish Dispersion: Fairweather, Background, chap. viii.; Oesterley,
Books of Apoc., chap. i. discipline : including the idea of instruction: cf. g 15. upholdeth all things : the Stoic idea of a world-soul: Hughes, Ethics of Jewish Apocryphal Literature,
pp. 92-99. § 12. the ungodly : possibly a reference to those Hellenized
Jews who had adopted Epicurean doctrines; or the
writer may be controverting Ecclesiastes. reason is a spark: cf. Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 19, “ Zenoni
Stoico animus ignis videtur.' This opinion was
taken over by the Stoics from Heracleitus. it is fast sealed-viz., the end is preordained. rosebuds : cf. Herrick,
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying. § 13. chastised : Heb. xii. 6.. All suffering on the part of
the righteous is remedial: cf. Judith viii. 27. It is the unbarrowed heart that bears no fruit to God”
(D. M. Panton).
reminded of Paul's words in 1 Cor. vi. 2,
(και την κρίσιν έδωκε τοις αγίοις). 8 14. his life madness, because he refused to buy " material
advantage at the price of apostasy (Holmes). Cf. Plato, Phæd. 96, “ Is there not one true coin for which all things ought to be exchanged, and that is wisdom ?”
we knew it (heeded it) not. Cf. the noble words of
Emerson: “ Punishment is a fruit that, unsuspected, ripens within the flower of the pleasure
that concealed it." § 15. For this section cf. Prov. viii.
to think upon her : for a discussion of “ contempla
tion in its relation to the true life of man, see
Dean Inge, Philosophy of Plotinus, ii. 77 sq. her truest beginning, etc.: an instance of a logical
figure known as chain-inference. A good example of this figure occurs in Plutarch (ad princ. inerud. 780Ε) δίκη νόμου τέλος εστί, νόμος δ' άρχοντος έργον, άρχων
δ' εικών θεού. § 16. effulgence, åtaúyaoua : see Westcott on Heb. i. 3.
remaining in herself: no changes in the phenomenal
world can affect the divine wisdom, which, like
God, is immutable: cf. James i. 17. friends of God : so in Plato, Laws 716, “ The wise man
is a friend of God.” § 17. presseth down the soul: cf. the old dictum owua onua
(the body is a tomb). The inherent evil of matter was an ancient doctrine: cf. the Phædo of Plato 81c. But the author of Wisdom does not hold the view that the body is the seat of evil; that which hinders the design of wisdom is moral evil (Hughes, Ethics J.A.L., p. 182; Thackeray, Relation of St. Paul to
Jewish Thought, p. 131); cf. Slav. Enoch xxiii. 5.
holy spirit-viz., Wisdom herself. § 18. A grain in the balance : cf. Isa. xl. 15.
that they should repent : God's mercy has the sinner's
change of heart (uetávola =repentance) as its object:
cf. Rom. ii. 4. abhorrest nothing : cf. the words of the collect for
Good Friday, and of Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. $ 69, “ God is creator of all things, and there is no
existing thing that he does not love." lover of men's souls : we may remember the opening
line of C. Wesley's hymn, " Jesu, lover of my soul.” $ 19. Prepare thy soul : cf. James i. 2-4, 12 (with Mayor's
nn.). constantly endure : so our Lord's words, “ He that
endureth to the end shall be saved.”