1 O Israelite children, descendants of the seed of Abraham, obey this law and in every way be religious,
2 knowing that religious reasoning is lord of the emotions, and those not only inward but outward.
3 Therefore those people who gave up their bodies to pains for the sake of religion were not only admired by men, but were deemed worthy of a divine portion.
4 The nation through them obtained peace, and having renewed the observance of the law in their country, drove the enemy out of the land.
5 The tyrant Antiochus was both punished on earth, and is punished now that he is dead; for when he was quite unable to compel the Israelites to adopt foreign customs, and to desert the manner of life of their fathers,
6 then, departing from Jerusalem, he made war against the Persians.
7 The righteous mother of the seven children spoke also as follows to her offspring: “I was a pure virgin, and didn’t go beyond my father’s house, but I took care of the rib from which woman was made.
8 No destroyer of the desert or ravisher of the plain injured me, nor did the destructive, deceitful snake make plunder of my chaste virginity. I remained with my husband during the time of my maturity.
9 When these, my children, arrived at maturity, their father died. He was blessed! For having sought out a life of fertility in children, he was not grieved with a period of loss of children.
10 He used to teach you, when yet with you, the law and the prophets.
11 He used to read to you about the slaying of Abel by Cain, the offering up of Isaac, and the imprisonment of Joseph.
12 He used to tell you of the zealous Phinehas, and informed you of Ananias, Azarias, and Misael in the fire.
13 He used to glorify Daniel, who was in the den of lions, and pronounce him blessed.
14 He used to remind you of the scripture of Esaias, which says, “Even if you pass through the fire, it won’t burn you.”
15 He chanted to you David, the hymn writer, who says, “Many are the afflictions of the just.”
16 He declared the proverbs of Solomon, who says, “He is a tree of life to all those who do His will.”
17 He used to confirm what Ezekiel said: “Will these dry bones live?”
18 For he didn’t forget the song which Moses taught, proclaiming, “I will kill, and I will make alive.”
19 This is our life and the length of our days.
20 O that bitter, and yet not bitter, day when the bitter tyrant of the Greeks, quenching fire with fire in his cruel caldrons, brought with boiling rage the seven sons of the daughter of Abraham to the rack, and to all his torments!
21 He pierced the balls of their eyes, and cut out their tongues, and put them to death with varied tortures.
22 Therefore divine retribution pursued and will pursue the pestilent wretch.
23 But the children of Abraham, with their victorious mother, are assembled together to the choir of their father, having received pure and immortal souls from God.
24 To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.