“Do not put your trust in princes.
Do not put your trust in mortals.
There is no help from them.
When their breath departs
They return to the earth.
On that very day
Their plans perish.”
You were not to put your trust in human princes. They were no help. When they died, they returned to earth. When they stopped breathing, so did all their plans perish with them.
“Job again took up his discourse.
‘As God lives,
He has taken away my right.
The Almighty Shaddai has made my soul bitter.
As long as my breath is in me,
As long as the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
My lips will not speak falsehood.
My tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right.
Until I die,
I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast to my righteousness.
I will not let it go.
My heart does not reproach me for any of my days.”
Once again, Job proclaimed his innocence before God. This is a discourse, a very solemn statement, like an oath. He maintained that the almighty Shaddai had made his soul bitter. He seemed to be talking to the living God. He said that as long as he was breathing and the spirit of God was in his nose, he would not speak falsehood or utter deceitful things. “Far be it from me” is a kind of oath. He would maintain his integrity and righteousness until his death. This righteousness often appears to be a form of self-righteousness.
“The king fell into a rage. He gave orders to have pans and caldrons heated. These were heated immediately. He commanded that the tongue of their spokesman be cut out. They were to scalp him. Then they were to cut off his hands and feet, while the rest of the brothers and the mother looked on. When he was utterly helpless, the king ordered them to take him to the fire, still breathing, and to fry him in a pan. The smoke from the pan spread widely, but the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die nobly. They said.
‘The Lord God is watching over us.
In truth he has compassion on us.
As Moses declared in his song
That bore witness against the people to their faces,
When he said,
He will have compassion on his servants.’”
The king seems to be personally present at this torture, even though his representatives carry out the action, either in Jerusalem or Antioch. This story of the 7 sons was the principal subject of the later 4 Maccabees, but there was no mention of it 1 Maccabees. This is a particularly brutal story. First they heated up the pans. Then they cut the tongue, the scalp, the hands, and the feet of the spokesperson, while the others looked on. They then fried him on the heated pan while he was still breathing. However, the brothers encouraged each other. They knew the Lord would have compassion on them, based on the Canticle of Moses in Deuteronomy, chapter 32.