Friday, 8 September 2017

On Stabbing Elephants from Underneath

It gladdens the heart that the Church of England permits the reading of the Apocrypha ‘for example of life and instruction of manners’ (Article VI of The Thirty-nine Articles), otherwise this powerful passage from 1 Maccabees would go unruminated:

Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the animals [elephants] was taller than all the others and was equipped with royal armour. He figured that the king must be on it. . . . He ran courageously into the midst of a group of soldiers to reach it, killing men right and left so that they had to give way to him on both sides. He got under the elephant and stabbed it from underneath. He killed it, but it fell to the ground on top of him, and he died there. (1 Maccabees 6:43, 45-46).

My only question is: Is this a recommendation or a warning?

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