The negative response of the Judean refugees (Jer 44:15-44:16)

“Then all the men

Who were aware

That their wives

Had been making offerings

To other gods,

Stood by

With their women.

This was a great assembly.

All the people

Who lived in Pathros

In the land of Egypt,

Answered Jeremiah.

‘As for the word

That you have spoken

To us

In the name of Yahweh,

We are not going

To listen to you.’”

There is an admission at the beginning of this response to Jeremiah that the wives of these men had been offering sacrifices to other gods. There is no attempt to hide this fact. All the people tried to respond, which is a euphemism for a spokesman, at least. They are quite concise and to the point. They are not going to listen to Jeremiah and his oracles about Yahweh. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that these are the people who live in Parthos, the southern part of Egypt, near Nubia, not the northern area around Memphis and the upper Nile of Tahpanhes, where the first refugees stopped at. This might indicate that there were other Israelites or Judeans in Egypt.

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The arrest of the seven brothers with their mother (2 Macc 7:1-7:2)

“It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested. They were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and thongs, to partake of unlawful swine’s flesh. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said.

“What do you intend to ask and learn from us?

We are ready to die

Rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.’”

There were 7 brothers with their mother who were arrested. They were being compelled to eat swine flesh that was unlawful for the Jews, much like Eleazar. They would be tortured if they did not eat it. Their response by one of them was that they would rather die than transgress the law of their ancestors. It is clear that eating the unclean pork had become one of the key laws of the Jewish life.