Monday, November 30, 2009

New story to my ears

"A remarkable case of deliverance from persecution, and of punishment
coming upon the persecutors, is recorded of the Jewish colony at Alexandria
Ptolemy Philopator (B.C. 217), being incensed at the refusal of the high-priest
to admit him into the temple at Jerusalem, returned to Egypt and
cast into prison all the Jews upon whom he could lay his hands. Those of
Alexandria were confined in the Hippodrome, a vast amphitheater used for
gladiatorial shows and public games. The king ordered that they should be
trampled to death by elephants, made furious by wine and stimulating drugs.
For two days the execution was delayed by the drunken carousals of the
king. This interval was spent by the prisoners in ceaseless prayer to God
for deliverance. On the third day the savage beasts, were driven into the
arena and urged upon the prisoners. But, instead of attacking them, they
turned upon the guards and spectators, many of whom were killed, the rest
fleeing in terror. Ptolemy was so impressed by this manifestation of the
Divine power that he ordered the prisoners to be released, restored their
privileges, and, as in the days of Esther and Ahasuerus, gave them permission
to kill their enemies."

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