Wisdom of Solomon 18:22


20 Yea, the tasting of death touched the righteous also, and there was a destruction of the multitude in the wilderness: but the wrath endured not long. 21 For then the blameless man made haste, and stood forth to defend them; and bringing the shield of his proper ministry, even prayer, and the propitiation of incense, set himself against the wrath, and so brought the calamity to an end, declaring that he was thy servant. 22 So he overcame the destroyer, not with strength of body, nor force of arms, but with a word subdued him that punished, alleging the oaths and covenants made with the fathers. 23 For when the dead were now fallen down by heaps one upon another, standing between, he stayed the wrath, and parted the way to the living. 24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the daidem of his head.

4 Maccabees 7:11


9 You, father, strengthened our loyalty to the law through your glorious endurance, and you did not abandon the holiness that you praised, but by your deeds you made your words of divine philosophy credible. 10 O aged man, more powerful than tortures; O elder, fiercer than fire; O supreme king over the passions, Eleazar! 11 For just as our father Aaron, armed with the censer, ran through the multitude of the people and conquered the fiery angel, 12 so the descendant of Aaron, Eleazar, though being consumed by the fire, remained unmoved in his reason. 13 Most amazing, indeed, though he was an old man, his body no longer tense and firm, his muscles flabby, his sinews feeble, he became young again

 Notes and References

"... Aaron was indeed highly revered in the Second Temple Period. Of all the illustrious ancestors, he receives the most space in Ben Sira’s encomium (Sirach 45:6–22) next to Simon II (Sirach 50:1–21). The specific episode recalled by the author is found in Numbers 16:41–50 and retold in Wisdom of Solomon 18:20–25. When the people grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wake of the rebellion of Korah, God sent a plague against the people in punishment. Aaron, however, taking a censer full of incense, ran into the thick of the plague and made atonement for the people, turning away God’s wrath (Numbers 16:46). The tendencies to personify the plague as “the destroyer” in Wisdom of Solomon 18:25 appear also in 4 Maccabees 7:11, as Aaron conquers “the angel” responsible for inflicting the plague. If Alexandrinus represents the more original reading (describing the angel as ἐμπυρισμòv, a reading inserted into Sinaiticus by the corrector), we could conclude that the author was deliberately shaping Aaron’s story even more fully to conform to Eleazar’s ordeal, facing the fires (6:24–26) ..."

DeSilva, David A. 4 Maccabees: Introduction and Commentary on the Greek Text in Codex Sinaiticus (p. 153) Brill, 2006

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