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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



2 MACHABEES 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  After, A. 3837. --- Old, or senator.  Gr. "Atheneus," or "an Athenian senator."

 

Ver. 2.  Olympius.  They thought this idol agreed best with the idea of the God of heaven, changing the names of the deities, where they had dominion.  Other nations made no resistance: but the Jews knew better.  C. --- Garizim; viz. the temple of the Samaritans.  And as they were originally strangers, the name of Hospitalis (which signifies of or belonging to strangers) was applicable to the idol set up in their temple.  Ch. --- The Samaritans in time of danger, denied that they had anything to do with the Jews, pretending to be of Sidonian extraction.  They even requested that their temple might be dedicated to the Greek Jupiter.  Jos. Ant. xii. 7. --- Yet Epiphanes chose "the Hospitaller."  C. --- Sannaballat procured this temple to be erected in the days of Alexander; and Ananias built another in Egypt, under Philometor.  Both were schismatical.  Jos. Ant. xi. 8. and xv. 6.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Lewd.  Priests on duty were not even allowed to approach to their wives, and the most pure women had no right to go into the interior of the temple.  C. --- And.  Gr. "in the courts, and also bringing in improper things."  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Jew.  None did this except he were legally questioned.  It would have unnecessarily brought on a persecution.  H. --- The very name was become criminal, as that of Christian was afterwards.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Sacrifices.  Gr. "each month, to the sacrifice (and feast) of entrails," (H.) which  were given back to him who presented the victim.  Grot. --- The eastern kings celebrated their birth-days; Epiphanes did it every month.  1 B. i. 61.  Mat. xiv. 6. --- About.  Gr. "to follow the march;" pompeuein.  C. --- Prot. "to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy."  Ward (Err. p. 114) reads pompaduein, and refers the reader to the lexicon to see if there be anything in it like the Catholic processions, or whether it signify so much as "to go about," as other Prot. Bibles translate it.  These interpreters frequently use Catholic terms, where they might render them odious.  Id.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Ptolemeans, who resided at Ptolemais.  C. --- Most Gr. copies have Ptolemee.  C. iv. 45.  H. --- We find that many of the neighbouring nations invaded the Jews, but were repressed by Judas.  1 B. v. 15.

 

Ver. 10.  Women.  See 1 Mac. i. 64. &c.  C. --- Besides the former massacres, (C. v.) four great martyrdoms are here recorded: first, of two women, with the children; second, of others keeping the sabbath; third, of Eleazar, ninety years old; and fourthly, of the seven brethren, with their mother.  C. vii.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Philip, the governor of Jerusalem.  Ch. --- C. v. 22.  H. --- See 1 B. ii. 31.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Now.  A necessary caution for the weak in times of persecution.  W. --- See C. vii. 32.  Judith viii. 22. and 1 B. ii. 52.

 

Ver. 13.  Punished, lest they should become incorrigible.  When God neglects to do this, his anger is most terrible.  Ezec. xvi. 42.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Sins.  God seems at present to take no notice of the crimes of the Gentiles, or he exterminates them at once, as he did the Chanaanites, Sodom, &c.  But the Jews he corrects for their amendment and trial.  The sages of paganism never inculcated such excellent maxims.

 

Ver. 18.  Scribes; a priest.  S. Amb. --- He suffered at Antioch, before the king.  C. vii. 1.  Joseph.  l. 2. --- The Fathers highly extol his fortitude and virtue, styling him the father of the seven brothers, and the protomartyr of the old law.  C. --- Yet we find others unnamed suffering before him.  v. 10.  H. --- Eleazar was learned in the Scriptures, and in all divine and human knowledge.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Hateful.  Gr. "criminal life, and went first of his own accord to be bastinaded;" tumpanizesqai.  H. --- S. Paul probably alluded to this torment, Heb. xi. 35.  It was used among the Jews.  C. Diss.

 

Ver. 20.  Life.  He would not eat swine's flesh to save it.  Gr. "But spitting it out, (as those ought to come forward who expect to be tortured; or avenged. amunesqai) of which things it is not lawful to taste through love of life."  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Wicked pity.  Their pity was wicked, in as much as it suggested that wicked proposal of saving his life by dissimulation.  Ch. --- To feign or make outward shew of consenting to a false religion, is never lawful.  W. --- Gr. "They were set over that wicked feast or sacrifice," splagcnismw, (H.) in which the entrails were eaten.  C. --- In this sense the term is used v. 7 and 8 by the Vulg.  Here Pity is preferred, as the man seemed to be actuated by it.  H. --- This generous martyr would not scandalize the weak, by doing a thing in itself lawful, which would have  been deemed a prevarication.  He was guided by those excellent maxims which Christ, S. Paul, and S. Saba (Mart. Ap. xii.) have inculcated and practised.  Mat. xviii. 7.  Rom. xiv. 14. and 1 Cor. viii. 4. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  The other.  Lit. "hell," or the grave.  H. --- Under the old law the saints could not enter heaven, but at their departure were detained in limbo.  W. --- Some holy doctors have declared that they would rather go to hell than commit a sin.  S. Ans. --- They understand by hell the torments of that place, but not the opposition to God's will, which is found in the damned, and constitutes one of the greatest of their pains.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Age.  "Old age ought to be the haven, not the shipwreck, of a former life."  S. Amb. de Jacob.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Dead.  Nothing could be more express for the torments after death.  As the time of the Messias drew near, these truths were more developed.  C. vii. 9.  Wisd. v. 16.  Ps. i. 6.  C.  Grot.  Ma t. xii. 32.

 

Ver. 30.  Pains.  Some of the martyrs seem not to have felt their torments.  God made them suffer no more than they could bear.  H.

 

 








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