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.