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In history, 160 years before the birth of Jesus, there is the story of the Maccabean revolt in Israel. Antiochus IV, King of Syria, had conquered Jerusalem, & he decided to destroy the Jewish religion & make the Jews deny their faith in God. Among the many things he did was to order the people to sacrifice pigs upon their altars built for the worship of God. Of course this was an abomination to the Jews.

History records the story of one Jewish mother with 7 sons. The soldiers came first to the oldest son & ordered him to offer a pig upon the altar. The son refused. So they cut out his tongue. Still he refused, so they scalped him. Since he still refused, they cut off his hands & feet & threw his mangled body into a pit of fire where it was consumed.

They went to the second son & ordered him to offer a pig upon the altar. When he refused, they fried him alive in a giant skillet. The third, the fourth, the fifth, & the sixth all refused & all died after a variety of horrible tortures.

Finally they came to the baby of the family, just a boy. Even the most hardened of the soldiers didn’t want to see him die. So they went to the mother & said, “If you’ll just ask him to place the pork to his lips, that will be enough, & we’ll spare his life.”

History records that the mother took her son, her youngest, & said to him, “Son, I carried you in my womb for 9 months. I nursed you for 3 years. I raised you for a moment like this. I encourage you to stand strong in your faith & follow in the steps of your brothers. And when you die, I will die to be with you.”

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