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Chapter V.

From Syria, and even unto Rome, I am cast among wild beasts, by sea and by land, by night and by day, being bound between ten leopards, which are the band of soldiers, who, even when I do good to them, all the more do evil unto me. I, however, am the rather instructed by their injurious treatment;11661166    Literally, “by their injury.” but not on this account am I justified to myself. I rejoice in the beasts which are prepared for me, and I pray that they may in haste be found for me; and I will provoke them speedily to devour me, and not be as those which are afraid of some other men,11671167    Literally, “and not as that which is afraid of some other men.” So Cureton translates, but remarks that the passage is evidently corrupt. The reference plainly is to the fact that the beasts sometimes refused to attack their intended victims. See the case of Blandina, as reported by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., v. 1.). and will not approach them: even should they not be willing to approach me, I will go with violence against them. Know me from myself what is expedient for me.11681168    Cureton renders interrogatively, “What is expedient for me?” and remarks that “the meaning of the Syriac appears to be, ‘I crave your indulgence to leave the knowledge of what is expedient for me to my own conscience.’ ” Let no one11691169    Literally, “nothing.” envy me of those things which are seen and which are not seen, that I should be accounted worthy of Jesus Christ. Fire, and the cross, and the beasts that are prepared, cutting off of the limbs, and scattering of the bones, and crushing of the whole body, harsh torments of the devil—let these come upon me, but11701170    Literally, “and.” only let me be accounted worthy of Jesus Christ.

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