2 Maccabees 9:5


1 About that time, as it happened, Antiochus had retreated in disorder from the region of Persia. 2 He had entered the city called Persepolis and attempted to rob the temples and control the city. Therefore the people rushed to the rescue with arms, and Antiochus and his army were defeated, with the result that Antiochus was put to flight by the inhabitants and beat a shameful retreat. 3 While he was in Ecbatana, news came to him of what had happened to Nicanor and the forces of Timothy. 4 Transported with rage, he conceived the idea of turning upon the Jews the injury done by those who had put him to flight; so he ordered his charioteer to drive without stopping until he completed the journey. But the judgment of heaven rode with him! For in his arrogance he said, "When I get there I will make Jerusalem a cemetery of Jews." 5 But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him with an incurable and invisible blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels, for which there was no relief, and with sharp internal tortures 6 and that very justly, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions.

Acts 12:23

New Testament

20 Now Herod was having an angry quarrel with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they joined together and presented themselves before him. And after convincing Blastus, the king’s personal assistant, to help them, they asked for peace because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country. 21 On a day determined in advance, Herod put on his royal robes, sat down on the judgment seat, and made a speech to them. 22 But the crowd began to shout, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck Herod down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God kept on increasing and multiplying.

 Notes and References

"... Luke shows himself to be acquainted with some at least of the literature in which martyrdom is developed as a narrative form. His acquaintance with Daniel needs no proof. More important is the likelihood that he knew 2 Maccabees. This is evident in his description of the death of Herod in Acts 12:23. While the sudden and humiliating death of a tyrant is a widespread theme, there are particular parallels with the death of Antiochus in 2 Maccabees 9:5 ... The reading in Acts 12: 23, if not original, suggests a scribe who was aware of the parallel (2 Maccabees 9:9). It is therefore not fanciful to suggest, if parallels in Luke with earlier martyr-literature can be found, that Luke was aware of their significance ..."

Horbury, William Suffering and Martyrdom in the New Testament: Studies Presented to G. M. Styler (p. 29) Cambridge University Press, 1981

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