The last words of Eleazar (2 Macc 6:28-6:30)

“When he had said this, he went at once to the rack. Those who a little before had acted toward him with good will now changed to ill will.  They believed that the words he had uttered were in their opinion sheer madness. When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned aloud and said.

‘It is clear to the Lord,

In his holy knowledge that,

Though I might have been saved from death,

I am enduring terrible sufferings

In my body

Under this beating,

But in my soul

I am glad to suffer these things because I fear him.’”

At the rack, those who liked him thought that his speech was foolishness. They now changed from being kind to him to being ill willed towards him. They began to wipe him with blows. He finally groaned his last words. He knew that the Lord understood that he could have been saved from death. He knew his body was suffering great blows. However, his soul was glad to suffer because of fear or reverence of the Lord. This was great suffering at death with an explanation of why it was happening.

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