Visual Arts Library (London)/Alamy

A BEATING FOR THE AGES. The new Greek inscription informs our understanding of the legendary episode of Heliodoros’s attempted sacking of the Temple treasury in 2 Maccabees 3. According to that account, the Temple administrator Simon, while jockeying for power with the high priest Onias, informs a Seleucid official of the “untold sums” of treasure available to the king in the Jerusalem Temple. Hearing this news, Seleucus commands Heliodoros to confiscate the reported wealth of the Temple’s treasury. As Heliodoros arrives at the Temple with his retinue, the Jews of Jerusalem and the priests of the Temple call out for God’s help. And God responds. Upon entering the Temple, Heliodoros’s companions faint from a bewildering fear, leaving the undefended Heliodoros to be stomped and beaten mercilessly by a divinely sent horseman and two angelic youths, a scene intimately depicted in this mid-17th-century painting by Bernardo Cavallino.