Upon reading the extremely interesting 2 Maccabees, in 2 Maccabees 7:24-27, we see the mother of the 7 martyr-sons agreeing to convince her son to eat pork and defile himself (verse 26). Then in verse 27 the narrator seemingly praises her action by saying, “Leaning over her son, she fooled the cruel tyrant…” (NRSV Catholic Edition) and ends up encouraging her son to die as a righteous martyr like the rest of his brethren.
Now, there is no doubt in my mind that she didn’t falter in her faith for a moment, when her previous 6 children were being exhorted by her, only to return the next second to her senses: it’s clear that she lied. So my question is this: how is it that the author seemingly praises her? I’ve checked the original KJV translation and the translation from my Orthodox Bible, and they seem to imply that the author was just recording her joy at tricking Antiochus IV:
“Leaning over her son, she fooled the cruel tyrant by saying in her native language,” (2 Macc. 7:27a NRSV Catholic Edition)
" But shee bowing her selfe towards him, laughing the cruell tyrant to scorne…" (1611 KJV Edition)
It seems that she is praised for deriding the cruel tyrant, but does this mean the author endorsed her lying?