The strength of Eleazar inspired the entire population of Jerusalem and beyond.
When his life was about to end from the beating, he groaned, “It is clear to the Lord with his sacred knowledge that, although I could have been saved from death, I endure in my body harsh pain from this beating, yet in my soul I cheerfully suffer these things because I respect him.”2 Maccabees 6:30
The tortuous treatment is hard to listen to. We want to turn our heads and tune it out. Many people did. The next miracle that we visit is, again, an account of the wickedness of the Anti-christ Antiochus.
He was brought to judge 7 brothers and their mom. These brothers are not even named, but they will always be remembered.
I hesitate to list the tortures that were ordered and fulfilled. But, we often need to be shaken. If we don’t acknowledge the evil among us, we give it shelter and food. Eventually this beast will overtake the house, so to speak. If we avoid naming the beast, it is too easy to let it sneak up.
If you are reading this out loud to minors, you may want to skip or so your own special editing to these following terms.
7 sons, 7 deaths
Keep in mind each son endured these things.
- Tongue cut out.
- Hands cut off.
- Feet cut off.
Keep in mind, these quotes are from the young men, AFTER the torture was enacted upon each one. Each was forced to see the others suffer. The youngest brother was also offered great wealth and prominence.
“The Lord God truly watches over us and will come to our aid. Moses testified to this in his song against them, saying, ‘God will have compassion on his servants.'”2 Maccabees 7:6
“You, who are marked out for vengeance, may take our present life, but the king of the universe, for whose laws we die, will resurrect us again to eternal life.”2 Maccabees 7:9
“I have received these limbs from heaven, and I give them up for the sake of God’s laws. But I hope to recover them from God again.”2 Maccabees 7:11
“Death at the hands of humans is preferable, since we look forward to the hope that God gives of being raised by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life.”2 Maccabees 7:14
“You, though human, have power among human beings and do what you want. But don’t think that God has abandoned our people.Just wait and observe his great strength, when God will torture you and your children.”2 Maccabees 7:16-17
“Don’t deceive yourself in vain. We suffer these things because of our own sins against our God. Things worthy of wonder have happened. But don’t think you will escape unpunished after trying to fight against God.”2 Maccabees 7:18-19
There was a little break, as Antiochus appealed to the mother to save her one remaining son. At first, it appeared that she was just so tired that she was giving in. She leaned over to “convince” her youngest son to take the bargain of riches rather than torture. She whispered in his ear:
“…look at heaven and earth. See everything that is in them and know that God made these things from nothing, and created humankind in the same way. Don’t fear this killer… Accept death, so that in God’s mercy, I should recover you with your brothers.”2 Maccabees 7:28-29
By this time, we see that the King is powerless over these common people. Brother seven makes such an inspired sermon to the most powerful man in the world. If you fast forward the story, you would discover that Brother Seven’s words were likely a deciding factor in the final humbling of Antiochus. His prophecy would come true. The miracle of bravery and endurance is aided by the strong faith and assurance that God brings eternal life to His children.
You have been blessed in this way
As you read this proclamation, I encourage you to use it as a tool. Speak to your enemies. Take the authority given in the name of Yeshua Messiah and boldly proclaim your victory over your present mess. Reject and rebuke seeing yourself as a victim and see yourself with the signet ring of the King. The words of the real King reign and rule over the false kings and judges of this world. Just as the brothers were comforted in the truth of the resurrection, you can be equally confident. Here the words. Speak the words in shalom as you also know the end of the book.
“What are you all waiting for? I don’t intend to obey the king’s order, but I hear the command of the Law given to our ancestors through Moses. But you, King, who have invented all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will by no means escape God’s power. We are suffering because of our own sins. If our living Lord is angry for a short time in order to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants. But you, unholy man, the most bloodstained of all people, don’t be so proud without having cause. Bloated by futile hope, you raise up your hand against the children of heaven. You haven’t at all escaped the judgment of the almighty God, who oversees all. Now our brothers, who endured pain for a short time, have been given eternal life under God’s covenant, but you will suffer the penalty of your arrogance by the righteous judgment of God. Just like my brothers, I give up both body and life for the ancestral laws. I call upon God to be merciful to the nation without delay, and to make you confess, after you suffer trials and diseases, that only he is God. Also I hope through me and my brothers to stop the anger of the almighty, who is justly punishing our entire nation.”2 Maccabees 7:30-38
Brother Seven, as you know, your death was not in vain. You inspired the run-around.