But the priests fell to the ground, still in their sacred robes. They filled the temple with crying and tears, praying to the supreme God to help them and to change the mind of the one who was wrongly imposing himself.
Those who were left in the city were troubled and hurried out, thinking something mysterious was happening.
The young girls who had been kept secluded at home rushed out with their mothers. They sprinkled their hair with dust and began to fill the streets with weeping and groaning.
Even the young women who had just been adorned for their weddings left the bridal bedrooms that had been prepared for the marriage night. Neglecting all proper modesty, they came together in the city in a wild rush.
Mothers and nurses left newborn children here and there, some in houses, some in the streets, and crowded together into the most high temple without looking back.
The people who assembled offered all kinds of prayers on account of the evil plot of the king.
Some of the bolder citizens weren't going to put up with his intended plan or fulfill what he had in mind.
They rallied each other to attack with weapons and to die courageously for the sake of the law of their ancestors, creating a great uproar in the holy place. The old men and the elders were barely able to restrain them, but turned them at last to the same stance of prayer.
Now the crowd in front of the temple was occupied in praying,
but the elders standing near the king tried in many ways to turn his arrogant mind from the scheme that he had conceived.
But he, being made bold and ignoring all their arguments, began to make his approach, determined to carry out his plan.
So when those who were near him saw this, they turned together with the people to appeal to the one who was fully able to come to their aid and not to overlook this insolent transgression.
An immense roar went up from the intensity and passion of the crowd's concerted shouting.
Indeed it seemed that not only the people but also the walls and the entire land were echoing, because at that time all were prepared to accept death instead of making the holy place impure.