The destruction of the statue (Dan 2:34-2:35)

“As you looked on,

A stone was cut out,

Not by human hands.

It struck the statue

On its feet

Of iron and clay.

It broke them

Into pieces.

Then the iron,

The clay,

The bronze,

The silver,

The gold,

Were all broken

Into pieces.

They became

Like the chaff

Of the summer threshing floors.

The wind

Carried them away.

Thus,

Not a trace of them

Could be found.

But the stone

That struck the statue

Became a great mountain.

It filled

The whole earth.”

Daniel explained that the statue of the king’s dream was destroyed. Somehow, a stone was cut out of a mountain. Then, this cut rock struck the iron and clay feet of this statue, but with no one with hands directing this rock. Thus, the feet of this statue were broken into pieces. Then the rest of the statue with its iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold also broke into pieces. These small pieces of the statue became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors, blowing in the wind. No one would ever be able to find them. However, the cut rock that struck the feet of the statue became like a big mountain covering the whole earth.

The mutilation and killing of the spokesman for the sons (2 Macc 7:3-7:6)

“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.