Bible (Wycliffe)/Wisdom

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Chapter 1


1 Ye that demen the erthe, loue riytfulnesse; feele ye of the Lord in goodnesse, and seke ye hym in the symplenesse of herte.

2 For he is foundun of hem, that tempten not hym; forsothe he apperith to hem, that han feith in to hym.

3 For whi weiward thouytis departen fro God; but preued vertu repreueth vnwise men.

4 For whi wisdom schal not entre in to an yuel willid soule; nethir schal dwelle in a bodi suget to synnes.

5 Forsothe the Hooli Goost of wisdom schal fle awei fro `a feyned man, and he schal take awei hym silf fro thouytis, that ben with out vnderstondyng; and the man schal be punyschid of wyckidnesse comynge aboue.

6 For the spirit of wisdom is benyngne, and he schal not delyuere a cursid man fro hise lippis; for whi God is witnesse of hise reynes, and the serchere of his herte is trewe, and the herere of his tunge.

7 For whi the Spirit of the Lord hath fillid the world; and this thing, that conteyneth alle thingis, hath the kunnyng of vois.

8 For this he that spekith wickid thingis, may not be hid; and doom punyschynge schal not passe hym.

9 For whi axyng schal be in the thouytis of a wickid man.

10 Forsothe the heryng of hise wordis schal come to God, and to the punyschyng of hise wickidnessis; for the eere of feruent loue herith alle thingis, and the noise of grutchyngis schal not be hyd.

11 Therfor kepe ye you fro grutchyng, that profitith no thing, and fro bacbityng spare ye the tunge; for a derk word schal not go in to veyn; forsothe the mouth that lieth, sleeth the soule.

12 Nyle ye coueyte deth, in the errour of youre lijf, nether gete ye perdicioun in the werkis of youre hondis; for God made not deth,

13 nether is glad in the perdicioun of lyuynge men.

14 For whi God made of nouyt alle thingis, that tho schulden be; and he made the naciouns of the world able to be heelid. Forwhi medecyn of distriyng is not in tho men, nether the rewme of hellis is in erthe.

15 For riytfulnesse is euerlastynge, and vndeedli; but vnriytfulnesse is getyng of deeth.

16 Forsothe wickid men clepiden that vnriytfulnesse bi hondis and wordis, and thei gessiden it a frendesse, and fletiden awei, and thei puttiden biheestis to it; for thei ben worthi the deth, that ben of the part therof.

Chapter 2


1 Forsothe wickid men seiden, thenkynge anentis hem silf not riytfuli, The tyme of oure lijf is litil, and with anoye; no refreisching is in the ende of a man, and noon is, that is knowun, that turnede ayen fro hellis.

2 For we weren borun of nouyt, and aftir this tyme we schulen be, as if we hadden not be; forwhi smoke is blowun out in oure nose thirlis, and a word of sparcle to stire oure herte.

3 For oure bodi schal be quenchid aische, and the spirit schal be scaterid abrood as soft eir; and oure lijf schal passe as the step of a cloude, and it schal be departid as a myst, which is dryuun awey of the beemys of the sunne, and is greued of the heete therof.

4 And oure name schal take foryeting bi tyme; and no man schal haue mynde of oure werkis.

5 Forwhi oure tyme is the passyng of a schadewe, and no turnyng ayen of oure ende is; for it is aseelid, and no man turneth ayen.

6 Therfor come ye, and vse we the goodis that ben, and vse we a creature, as in yongthe, swiftli.

7 Fille we vs with preciouse wyn and oynementis; and the flour of tyme passe not vs.

8 Corowne we vs with roosis, bifor that tho welewen; no medewe be, `bi which oure letcherie passe not.

9 No man of vs be with out part of oure letcherie; euery where leeue we the signes of gladnesse; for this is oure part, and this is oure eritage.

10 Oppresse we a pore iust man, and spare we not a widewe, nether reuerence we hoor heeris of an old man of myche tyme.

11 But oure strengthe be the lawe of riytfulnesse; forwhi that that is feble, is foundun vnprofitable.

12 Therfor disseyue we a iust man, for he is vnprofitable to vs, and he is contrarie to oure werkis; and he vpbreidith to vs the synnes of lawe, and he defameth on vs the synnes of oure techyng.

13 He biheetith that he hath the kunnyng of God, and he nemeth hym silf the sone of God.

14 He is maad to us in to schewyng of oure thouytis.

15 He is greuouse to vs, yhe, to se; forwhi his lyf is vnlijk to other men, and hise weies ben chaungid.

16 We ben gessid of hym to be triffleris, and he absteyneth hym silf fro oure weies, as fro vnclenessis; and he bifore settith the laste thingis of iust men, and he hath glorie, that he hath God a fadir.

17 Therfor se we, if hise wordis ben trewe; and asaie we, what thingis schulen come to hym; and we schulen wite, what schulen be the laste thingis of hym.

18 For if he is the very sone of God, he schal vp take hym, and schal delyuere hym fro the hondis of hem that ben contrarie.

19 Axe we hym bi dispisyng and turment, that we knowe his reuerence, and that we preue his pacience.

20 Bi fouleste deth condempne we hym; for whi biholdyng schal be of hise wordis.

21 Thei thouyten these thingis, and thei erriden; for whi her malice blyndide hem.

22 And thei knewen not the sacramentis of God, nethir thei hopiden the meede of riytfulnesse, nether thei demyden the onour of hooli soulis.

23 For whi God made man vnable to be distried, and God made man to the ymage of his licnesse.

24 But bi enuye of the deuel deth entride in to the world;

25 for sothe thei suen hym, that ben of his part.

Chapter 3


1 Forsothe the soulis of iust men ben in the hond of God; and the turment of deth schal not touche hem.

2 Thei semyden to the iyen of vnwise men to die; and turment was demed the outgoyng of hem.

3 And fro iust weie thei yeden in to distriyng, and that that is of vs the weie of distriyng; but thei ben in pees.

4 Thouy thei sufriden turmentis bifore men, the hope of hem is ful of vndeedlynesse.

5 Thei weren trauelid in a fewe thingis, and thei schulen be disposid wel in many thingis; for whi God asaiede hem, and foond hem worthi to hym silf.

6 He preuede hem as gold in a furneis, and he took hem as the offryng of brent sacrifice; and the biholdyng of hem schal be in tyme of yelding.

7 Iust men schulen schyne, and schulen renne aboute as sparclis in a place of rehed.

8 Thei schulen deme naciouns, and schulen be lordis of puplis; and the Lord of hem schal regne with outen ende.

9 Thei that trusten on hym, schulen vnderstonde treuthe; and feithful men in loue schulen assente to hym; for whi yifte and pees is to hise chosun men.

10 But wickid men, bi tho thingis that thei thouyten, schulen haue punyschyng; whiche dispisiden iust thing, and yeden awei fro the Lord.

11 For he that castith awei wisdom and lore, is cursid; and the hope of wickid men is voide, and her trauels ben without fruyt, and her werkis ben vnhabitable, and vnprofitable.

12 The wymmen of hem ben vnwitti, and the sones of hem ben ful weiward.

13 The creature of hem is cursid; for whi a womman bareyn and vndefoulid is blessid, that `knew not bed in trespas; sche schal haue fruyt in the biholdyng of holy soulis.

14 And a man vnmyyti to gendre is blessid, that `wrouyte not wickidnesse bi hise hondis, nether thouyte moost weiward thingis ayens the Lord; for whi a chosun yifte of feith schal be youun to hym, and a most acceptable eritage in the temple of God.

15 For whi the fruyt of good trauels is gloriouse, and the roote of wisdom that fallith not doun.

16 But the sones of avowtreris schulen be in distriyng, and the seed of a wickid bed schal be destried.

17 And sotheli thouy thei schulen be of long lijf, thei schulen be arettid in to nouyt; and the laste eelde of hem schal be withouten onour.

18 And if thei ben deed swiftliere, thei schulen not haue hope, nether alowyng in the dai of knowyng.

19 Forsothe wickide naciouns ben of hard ending.

Chapter 4


1 A! hou fair is chast generacioun with clerenesse; for the mynde therof is vndeedli, for it is knowun, both anentis God, and anentis men.

2 Whanne it is present, thei suen it; and thei desiren it, whanne it hath led out it silf, and it ouercomyng getith bi victorie the mede of batels vndefoulid, and is corouned with outen ende.

3 But the many fold gendrid multitude of wickid men schal not be profitable; and plauntyngis of auoutrie schulen not yyue deepe rootis, nether schulen sette stable stidfastnesse.

4 Thouy thei buriounen in bowis in time, thei set vnstidfastli schulen be moued of the wynd, and schulen be drawun out bi the roote of the greetnesse of wyndys.

5 For whi bowis vnperfit schulen be brokun togidere; and the fruytis of hem ben vnprofitable, and soure to ete, and couenable to no thing.

6 For whi alle sones, that ben borun of wickid men, ben witnessis of wickidnesse ayens fadirs and modris, in her axyng.

7 But a iust man, thouy he be bifore ocupied bi deth, schal be in refreischyng.

8 For whi worschipful eelde is not of long tyme, nether is rikened bi the noumbre of yeeris; the wittis of a man ben hoore,

9 and the age of eelde is lijf withouten wem.

10 He pleside God, and was maad dereworth, and he lyuynge among synneris was `borun ouer; he was rauyschid,

11 lest malice schulde chaunge his vnderstondyng, ethir lest feynyng schulde disseyue his soule.

12 For whi disseyuyng of trifelyng makith derk goode thingis, and the vnstablenesse of coueitise turneth ouer the wit without malice.

13 He was endid in schort tyme, and fillide many tymes;

14 for whi his soule was plesant to God; for this thing God hastide to lede hym out fro the myddis of wickidnesses; but puplis sien and vndurstoden not, nether settiden siche thingis in `the inwardnesses.

15 For whi the grace and merci of God is on hise seyntis, and biholdyng of `Goddis coumfort is on hise chosun men.

16 Forsothe a iust man deed condempneth quyke wickid men; and yongthe endid swiftliere condempneth long lijf of an vniust man.

17 For thei schulen se the ende of a wise man, and thei schulen not vndurstonde, what thing God thouyte of hym, and whi the Lord made hym lesse.

18 For thei schulen se, and schulen dispise hym; but the Lord schal scorne hem.

19 And aftir these thingis thei schulen be fallynge doun withouten onour, and in dispisyng among deed men with outen ende. For he schal al to-breke hem bolnyd with out vois, and he schal moue hem fro the foundementis; and thei schulen be desolat til to the laste thing. And thei schulen be weilynge, and the mynde of hem schal perische.

20 Thei schulen come ferdful in the thouyt of her synnes; and her wickidnessis on the contrarie side schulen lede hem ouer.

Chapter 5


1 Thanne iust men schulen stonde in greet stidfastnesse ayens hem that angwischiden `iust men, and whiche token awei her trauelis.

2 Thei schulen se, and schulen be disturblyd with orrible drede, and thei schulen wondre in the sudeynte of heelthe vnhopid; and thei schulen weile for angwisch of spirit,

3 and thei schulen seie, doynge penaunce withynne hem silf, and weilyng for the angwysch of spirit, These men it ben, whiche we hadden sum tyme in to scorn, and in to licnesse of vpbreidyng.

4 We woode men gessiden her lijf woodnesse, and the ende of hem with oute onour;

5 hou therfor ben thei rekened among the sones of God, and her part is among seyntis?

6 Therfor we erriden fro the weie of treuthe, and the liyt of riytfulnesse schynede not to us, and the sunne of vndurstondyng roos not vp to us.

7 We weren maad weri in the weie of wickidnesse and of perdicioun; and we yeden hard weies.

8 But we knewen not the weie of the Lord; what profitide pride to vs, ethir what brouyte the boost of richessis to vs?

9 All tho thingis passiden as schadewe, and as a messanger bifore rennynge.

10 And as a schip, that passith thorou the flowynge watir, of which whanne it hath passid, it is not to fynde a step, nethir the path of the botme therof in wawys.

11 Ethir as a bryd, that flieth ouer in the eir, of which no preef is foundun of the weie therof, but oneli the sown of wengis betynge liyt wynde, and keruynge the eir by the myyt of weie, and with wyngis moued togidere it flei ouer, and aftir this no signe is foundun of the weie therof.

12 Ethir as an arowe shot out in to a place ordeyned, the eir is departid, and is closid ayen anoon, that the passyng therof be not knowun.

13 `So and we borun ceessiden anoon to be, and sotheli we myyten schewe no signe of vertu; but we weren wastid in oure malice.

14 Thei that synneden, seiden siche thingis in helle.

15 For the hope of a wickid man is as the flour of a brere which is takun awei of the wynd, and as smal froth which is scaterid of a tempest, and as smoke which is spred abrood of wynd, and as the mynde of `an herborid man of o dai, that passith forth.

16 But iust men schulen lyue withouten ende, and the meede of hem is anentis the Lord; and the thouyt of hem is anentis the hiyeste.

17 Therfor thei schulen take of the hond of the Lord the rewme of fairnesse, and the diademe of comelynesse; for he schal gouerne hem with his riythond, and he schal defende hem with his hooli arm.

18 And his feruent loue schal take armure, and he schal arme the creature to the venieaunce of enemyes.

19 He schal clothe riytfulnesse for an haburioun, and he schal take certeyn doom for a basynet;

20 he schal take a scheeld that may not be ouercomun, equyte;

21 forsothe he schal whette hard wraththe in to a spere, and the world schal fiyte with him ayens vnwitti men.

22 Streiyte sendyngis out of leytis schulen go, and as the sidis of a reynbouwe, whanne the bouwe of cloudis is crokid, thei schulen be destried; and thei schulen skippe in to a certeyn place.

23 And fulle hailstones schulen be sent fro a stony wreththe, and the watir of the see schal wexe whijt ayens hem, and floodis schulen renne togider harde.

24 The spirit of vertu schal stonde ayens hem, and as the whirlyng of wind it schal departe hem; and the wickidnesse of hem schal brynge al the lond to desert, and malice schal distrye the seetis of myyti men.

Chapter 6


1 Wisdom is beter than strengthis, and a prudent man doith more than a strong man.

2 Therfor, ye kyngis, here, and vndurstonde; and ye iugis of the coostis of erthe, lerne.

3 Ye that holden togidere multitudis, and plesen you in the cumpenyes of naciouns, yyue eeris;

4 forwhi power is youun of the Lord to you, and vertu is youun of the hiyeste, that schal axe youre werkis, and schal serche thouytis.

5 For whanne ye weren mynystris of his rewme, ye demeden not riytfuli, nether ye kepten the lawe of riytfulnesse, nether ye yeden bi the wille of God.

6 Hidousli and soone he schal appere to you; forwhi hardeste doom schal be maad in hem, that ben souereyns.

7 Forsothe merci is grauntid to a litil man; but miyti men schulen suffre turmentis miytili.

8 For the Lord, which is lord of alle thingis, schal not withdrawe the persoone of ony man, nether he schal drede the greetnesse of ony man; for he made the litil man and the greet man, and charge is to hym euenli of alle men.

9 But strongere turment neiyeth to strongere men.

10 Therfor, ye kyngis, these my wordis ben to you, that ye lerne wisdom, and that ye falle not doun.

11 For thei that kepen riytfulnesse, schulen be deemed riytfuli; and thei, that lernen iust thingis, schulen fynde, what thei schulen answere.

12 Therfor coueite ye my wordis, and loue ye tho; and ye schulen haue techyng.

13 Wisdom is cleer, and that schal neuer fade; and it is seyn liytli of hem that louen it, and it is foundun of hem that seken it.

14 It bifore ocupieth hem that coueyten it, that it schewe it silf the formere to hem.

15 He that wakith bi liyt to it, schal not trauele; forsothe he schal fynde it sittynge nyy hise yatis.

16 Therfor to thenke on wisdom is parfit wit, and he that wakith for it, schal soone be sikir.

17 For whi it goith aboute, and sekith men worthi to it; and in her weies it schal schewe it silf gladli to hem, and in al puruyaunce it schal meete hem.

18 For whi the bigynnyng of wisdom is the verieste coueytise of lernyng.

19 Therfor the bisynesse of lernyng is loue; and loue is the kepyng of lawis therof. Sotheli the kepyng of lawis is perfeccioun of vncorrupcioun;

20 forsothe vncorrupcioun makith to be next to God.

21 Therfor the coueitise of wisdom schal brynge to euerlastynge rewme.

22 Therfor if ye, kyngis of the puple, deliten in seetis, and in kyngis yerdis, `ether regaltees, loue ye wisdom, that ye regne with outen ende.

23 Alle ye, that ben souereyns to puplis, loue the liyt of wisdom.

24 Sotheli what is wisdom, and hou it is maad, Y schal telle; and Y schal not hide fro you the sacramentis of God; but fro the bigynnyng of birthe Y schal seke, and Y schal sette in to the liyt the kunnyng therof, and Y schal not passe treuthe.

25 And Y schal not haue weye with enuye wexynge rotun; for siche a man schal not be parcener of wisdom.

26 Forsothe the multitude of wise men is the helthe of the world; and a wijs kyng is the stablischyng of the puple.

27 Therfor take ye techyng bi my wordis, and it schal profite to you.

Chapter 7


1 Forsothe and Y am a deedli man, lijk men, and of erthli kynde of hym that was maad first, and in the wombe of the modir Y was fourmed fleische.

2 In the time of ten monethis Y was cruddid togidere in blood, of the seed of man, and bi acordynge delit of sleep.

3 And Y was borun, and took comyn eir, and in lijk maner Y felle doun in to the erthe maad; and Y wepynge sente out the firste vois, lijk alle men.

4 Y was nurschid in wrappyngis, and in greet bisynesses;

5 for whi no man of kyngis hadde othere bigynnyng of birthe.

6 Therfor oon entryng to lijf is to alle men, and lijk goyng out.

7 Herfor Y desiride, and wit was youun to me; and Y inwardli clepide, and the spirit of wisdom cam in to me.

8 And Y settide wisdom bifore rewmes, and seetis; and Y seide, that richessis ben nouyt in comparisoun therof,

9 and Y comparisonede not a preciouse stoon to it; forwhi al gold in comparisoun therof is a litil grauel, and siluer schal be arettid as cley in the siyt therof.

10 Y louyde wisdom more than helthe and fairnesse; and Y purposide to haue it for liyt, for the liyt therof may not be quenchid.

11 Forsothe alle goodis camen togidere to me with it; and vnnoumbrable oneste is by the werkys therof.

12 And Y was glad in alle thingis; for this wisdom yede bifore me, and Y knew not, for it is the modir of alle goodis.

13 Which wisdom Y lernyde with out feynyng, and Y comyne without enuye; and Y hide not the oneste therof.

14 For it is tresour with out noumbre to men, and thei, that vsiden that tresour, weren maad parceneris of Goddis frenschip, and weren preisid for the yiftis of kunnyng.

15 Forsothe God yaf to me to seie of sentence, and to bifore take worthi thingis of these thingis that ben youun to me; for he is the ledere of wisdom, and amendere of wise men.

16 For whi bothe we, and oure wordis, and al wisdom, and lernyng of kunnyng of werkis ben in his hond.

17 Forsothe he yaf to me the veri kunnyng of these thingis that ben, that Y knowe the disposicioun of the world, and the vertues of elementis;

18 the bigynnyng, and the endyng, and the myddil of tymes; the chaungyngis of whilis, and the endyngis of tymes; the chaungyngis of maneres, and departyngis of tymes; the coursis of the yeer,

19 and the disposiciouns of sterris;

20 the kyndis of beestis, and the wraththis of wielde beestis; the strengthe of wyndis, and the thouytis of men; the differences of trees, and the vertues of rootis.

21 And Y lernede what euer thingis ben hid and vnpurueyed; for whi wisdom, the crafti maker of alle thingis, tauyte me.

22 For in that wisdom vnmaad is the spirit of vndurstonding, hooli, many fold, oon aloone, sutil, temperat, wijs, mouable, vndefoulid, certeyn, swete, louynge a good dede, which spirit forbedith no thing to do wel;

23 curteis, benynge, stable, sikur, hauynge al vertu, biholdynge alle thingis, and which takith alle spiritis able to vndurstonde, and he is clene, and sutil.

24 For whi wisdom is more mouable than alle mouable thingis; forsothe it stretchith forth euery where, for his clennesse.

25 For it is a brething of Goddis vertu, and it is sum cleene comyngforth of the clerenesse of Almiyti God;

26 and therfor no defoulid thing renneth in to it. For it is briytnesse of euerlastynge liyt, and it is a myrrour with out wem of Goddis maieste, and it is an ymage of his goodnesse.

27 And whanne it is oon, it may alle thingis; and it dwellith in it silf, and renulith alle thingis, and bi naciouns it berith ouer it silf in to hooli soulis; it makith the frendis of God and profetis.

28 For God loueth no man, no but hym that dwellith with wisdom.

29 Forwhi this wisdom is fairere than the sunne, and is aboue al the disposicioun of sterris; wisdom comparisound to liyt, is foundun the formere.

30 Forwhi niyt cometh aftir that liyt; but wysdom ouercometh malice.

Chapter 8


1 Therfor wisdom stretchith forth fro the ende til to the ende strongli, and disposith alle thingis swetly.

2 I louede this wisdom maad, and Y souyte it out fro my yongthe; and Y souyte to take it a spousesse to me, and Y am maad a louyere of the fairnesse therof.

3 He that hath the felouschip of God, glorifieth the gentilnesse therof; but also the Lord of alle thingis louede it.

4 For it is the techeresse of the lernyng of God, and cheseresse of hise werkis.

5 And if richessis ben coueitid in lijf, what is richere than wisdom, that worchith alle thingis?

6 Sotheli if wit worchith, who is a crafti maker more than wisdom, of these thingis that ben?

7 And if a man loueth riytfulnesse, the trauels of this wisdom han grete vertues; for it techith sobrenesse, and prudence, and riytfulnesse, and vertu; and no thing is profitablere than these in lijf to men.

8 And if a man desirith multitude of kunnyng, wisdom knowith thingis passid, and gessith of thingis to comynge; it kan the felnessis of wordis, and asoilyngis of argumentis; it kan signes and schewyngis of thingis to comynge, bifore that tho ben maad; and the bifallyngis of tymes and of worldus.

9 Therfor Y purposide to brynge to me this wisdom, to lyue togidere; witynge that it schal comyne with me of goodis, and spekyng togidere of my thouyt, and of myn anoi schal be.

10 For this wisdom Y schal haue clerenesse at cumpenyes, and onour at eldre men;

11 Y schal be foundun yong and scharp in doom, and in the siyt of myyti men Y schal be wondurful, and the faces of princes schulen worschipe me.

12 Thei schulen abide me, beynge stille, and thei schulen biholde me, spekynge; and the while I speke many thingis, thei schulen sette hondis on her mouth.

13 Ferthermore bi this wisdom Y schal haue vndedlynesse; and Y schal leeue euerlastynge mynde to hem, that schulen come aftir me.

14 I schal dispose puplis; and naciouns schulen be suget to me.

15 Hidouse kyngis herynge me schulen drede; and in multitude Y schal be seyn good, and strong in batel.

16 Y schal entre in to myn hous, and Y schal reste with wisdom; for the conuersacioun therof hath no bitternesse, and the dwellynge togidere therof hath noon anoye, but gladnesse and ioye.

17 Y thouyte these thingis at me, and Y remembride in myn herte; forwhi wisdom is vndeedli in thouyt,

18 and good delityng is in the frendschipe therof; and onestee without defaute is in the werkis of hondis therof; and wisdom is in the strijf of speche therof; and greet clerenesse is in the comyning of wordis therof; Y yede aboute, sekinge to take wisdom to me.

19 Forsothe Y was a witti child, and Y gat a good soule.

20 And whanne Y was more good, Y cam to a bodi vndefoulid.

21 And as Y knew, that ellis Y mai not be chaste, no but God yyue, and this same thing was wisdom, to wite whos this yifte was; Y yede to the Lord, and Y bisouyte hym, and Y seide, of alle myn entralis.

Chapter 9


1 God of my fadris, and Lord of merci, that madist alle thingis bi thi word,

2 and ordeynedist man bi thi wisdom, that he schulde be lord of creature, which is maad of thee,

3 that he dispose the world in equite and riytfulnesse, and deme doom in riyt reulyng of herte;

4 yyue thou to me wisdom, that stondith nyy thi seetis; and nyle thou repreue me fro thi children.

5 For Y am thi seruaunt, and the sone of thin hand mayde; Y am a sijk man, and of litil tyme, and lesse to the vndurstondyng of doom and of lawis.

6 And if ony man is perfit among the sones of men, if thi wisdom fleeth awei fro hym, he schal be rikenyd in to nouyt.

7 Forsothe thou hast chose me kyng to thi puple, and a iuge of thi sones and douytris;

8 and thou seidist, that Y schulde bilde a temple in thin holi hil, and an auter in the citee of thi dwellyng place; the licnesse of thin hooli tabernacle, which thou madist redi at the bigynnyng.

9 And thi wisdom is with thee, that knowith thi werkis, which also was present thanne, whanne thou madist the world, and wiste what was plesaunt to thin iyen, and what was dressid in thi comaundementis.

10 Sende thou that wisdom fro thin hooli heuenes, and fro the seete of thi greetnesse, that it be with me, and trauele with me; and that Y wyte what is acceptable anentis thee.

11 Forwhi thilke wisdom knowith and vndirstondith alle thingis; and it schal lede me forth in my werkis sobrely, and it schal kepe me in his power.

12 And my werkis schulen be acceptable, and Y schal dispose thi puple iustli, and Y schal be worthi of the seetis of my fadir.

13 For who of men mai knowe the counsel of God? ether who mai thenke, what wole God?

14 For whi the thouytis of deedli men ben dreedful, and oure puruyaunces ben vncerteyn.

15 For whi the bodi that is corrupt, greueth the soule; and ertheli dwellyng pressith doun the wit, thenkynge many thingis.

16 And of hard we gessen tho thingis, that ben in erthe; and we fynden with trauel tho thingis, that ben in biholdyng.

17 But who schal serche tho thingis, that ben in heuenes? But who schal knowe thi wit, `no but thou yyue wisdom, and sende thin Hooli Spirit fro hiyeste thingis?

18 And if the pathis of hem, that ben in londis, ben amendid, and if men han lernyd tho thingis, that plesen thee.

19 For whi, Lord, whiche euer plesiden thee fro the bigynnyng, weren maad hool bi wisdom.

Chapter 10


1 This wisdom `of God kepte hym, that was formed first of God, the fadir of the world, whanne he aloone was maad of nouyt.

2 And `this wisdom ledde hym out of his trespas, and ledde hym out of the sliym of erthe, and yaf to hym vertu to holde togider alle thingis.

3 As the vnjust man in his ire yede awei fro this wisdom, brotherhed perischide bi the ire of manquellyng.

4 For which thing whanne watir dide awei the erthe, wisdom heelide eft; gouernynge a iust man bi a dispisable tre.

5 This wisdom also in the consent of pride, whanne naciouns hadden reisid hem silf, knew a iust man, and kept with out playnt to God; and this wisdom kepte strong merci in sones.

6 `This wisdom deliuerede a iust man fleynge fro wickid men perischinge, whanne fier cam doun in to the place of fyue cytees.

7 For whiche wickid men the lond smokynge is maad deseert, in to witnessyng of weiwardnesse, and trees hauynge fruytis in vncerteyn tyme; and the mynde of an vnbileueful soule stondynge an ymage of salt.

8 For whi men passynge wisdom, not oneli fellen in this, that thei knewen not goodis, but also thei leften to men the mynde of her vnwisdom, that in these synnes, whiche thei diden, thei miyten not be hid.

9 Forsothe wisdom delyuerede hem fro sorewis, that kepen it.

10 Sotheli this wisdom ledde forth a iust man bi riytful weies, that fledde fro the ire of his brother; and it schewide to hym the rewme of God, and yaf to hym the kunnyng of seyntis; it made hym onest in trauels, and fillide hise trauelis.

11 It helpide hym in the fraude of disseyueris, and made hym onest.

12 It kepte hym fro enemyes and defendide hym fro disseyueris; and it yaf to him a strong batel, that he shulde ouercome, and wite, that wisdom is the myytieste of alle.

13 This wisdom forsook not a iust man seeld, but delyuerede hym fro synneris;

14 and it yede doun with hym in to a diche; and it forsook not hym in boondis, til it brouyte to hym the ceptre of the rewme, and power ayens hem that oppressiden hym; and it schewide hem lieris, that defouliden hym, and it yaf to hym euerlastynge clerenesse.

15 This wisdom delyuerede a iust puple, and hooli without pleynt, fro naciouns that oppressiden it.

16 Wisdom entride in to the soule of Goddis seruaunt, and he stood ayens hidouse kyngis, in grete wondris and myraclis.

17 And it yeldide to iust men the meede of her trauelis, and ledde hem forth in a wondurful weie; and it was to hem in hilyng of the dai, and in the liyt of sterris bi nyyt.

18 And it `ledde ouer hem thorouy the reede see; and bar hem ouer thoruy ful myche watir.

19 But it drenchide doun the enemyes of hem in to the see; and ledde hem out fro the depthe of hellis. Therfor iust men taken awei the spuylis of wickid men;

20 and, Lord, thei magnefieden in song thin hooli name, and preyseden togidere thin hond ouercomer.

21 Forwhi wisdom openyde the mouth of doumbe men, and made the tungis of yonge children not spekynge to be wise.

Chapter 11


1 He dresside the werkis of hem, in the hondis of an hooli profete.

2 Thei maden iourney bi desertis, that weren not enhabitid; and thei maden litle housis in desert places.

3 Thei stoden ayens kyngis, and vengiden hem of enemyes.

4 Thei thirstiden, and thei inwardli clepiden thee; and watir of a ful hiy stoon was youun to hem, and reste of thirst was youun to hem of an hard stoon.

5 For bi whiche thingis the enemyes of hem suffriden peynes, for defaute of her drink, and the sones of Israel weren glad, whanne thei hadden plentee;

6 bi these thingis, whanne these failiden to tho enemyes, it was don wel with hem.

7 For sotheli for the welle of euerlastynge flood, thou yauest mannus blood to vniust men.

8 And whanne thei weren maad lesse, in the leding awei of yonge children slayn, thou yauest sudeynli plenteuouse watir to hem; and schewidist bi the thirst,

9 that was thanne, hou thou woldist enhaunse thi seruauntis, and woldist sle the aduersaries of hem.

10 For whanne thei weren asaied, sotheli thei token chastisyng with merci; thei wisten, hou wickid men demed with ire, schulden suffre turmentis.

11 Sotheli thou amonestynge as a fadir, preuedist these men; but thou as an hard kyng axynge condempnedist hem.

12 For whi men absent and men present weren turmentid in lijk maner.

13 For whi double anoye hadde take hem, and weilyng with the mynde of thingis passid.

14 Sotheli whanne thei herden, that it was don wel with hem silf bi her turmentis, thei bithouyten on the Lord, and wondriden on the ende of the out goyng.

15 For at the ende of the bifallyng, thei worschipiden him, whom thei scorneden cast out in schrewid puttyng forth; and thou didist not in lijk maner to iust men.

16 Forsothe for vnwise thouytis the wickidnessis of hem weren punyschid; for summen errynge worschipiden doumbe serpentis, and superflu beestis, thou sentist in to hem a multitude of doumbe beestis, in to veniaunce; that thei schulden wite,

17 that bi what thingis a man synneth, he is turmentid also bi these thingis.

18 For whi thin hond almyyti, that made the world of mater vnseyn, was not vnmyyti to sende in to hem a multitude of beeris, ether hardi liouns,

19 ether beestis of newe kynde ful of ire, and vnknowun beestis, ether beestis frothinge heete of firis, ethir bryngynge forth the odour of smoke, ethir sendynge out fro the iyen hidouse sparclis;

20 of whiche beestis not oneli the hirtyng myyte distrie hem, but also the siyt myyte sle bi drede.

21 For whi and with oute these beestis thei myyten be slayn bi o spirit, and suffre persecucioun of tho her owne dedis, and be scaterid by the spirit of thi vertu. But and thou hast disposid alle thingis in mesure, and in noumbre, and in weiyte;

22 for it was left euere to thee aloone to mow do myche; and who schal ayenstonde the vertu of thin arm?

23 For as the tunge of a balaunce, so is the world bifore thee; and as a drope of dew rysynge bifore the liyt, that cometh doun in to erthe.

24 And thou hast merci of alle thingis, for thou maist alle thingis; and thou dissymelist the synnes of men, for penaunce.

25 For thou louest alle thingis that ben, and thou hatist no thing of tho, that thou madist; for thou not hatynge ony thing ordeynedist, ether madist.

26 But hou myyte ony thing dwelle, `no but thou woldist? ether hou schulde a thing be kept, that were not clepid of thee?

27 But, Lord, that louest soulis, thou sparist alle thingis; for tho thingis ben thine.

Chapter 12


1 Lord, hou good, and hou swete is thi Spirit in alle thingis;

2 and therfor thou chastisist bi partis these men that erren; and thou monestist; of whiche thingis thei synnen, and thou spekist to hem, that whanne thei han forsake malice, thei bileue in thee, Lord.

3 For thou woldist leese thilke elde dwelleris of thin hooli lond, whiche thou wlatidist;

4 for thei diden werkis hateful to thee, bi medicynes, and vniust sacrifices;

5 and the slears of her sones, with out merci, and eteris of entrailis of men,

6 and deuowreris of blood; and bi the hondis of oure fadris thou woldist leese fro thi myddil sacrament fadris and modris, autours of soulis vnhelpid;

7 that oure fadris schulden take the worthi pilgrymage of Goddis children, which is to thee the derewortheste lond of alle.

8 But also thou sparidist these as men, and thou sentist waspis, the bifore goeris of thin oost, that tho schulden destrie hem litil and litil.

9 Not for thou were vnmyyti to make wickid men suget to iust men in batel;

10 but thou demydist bi partis, and yauest place to penaunce, and wistist, that the nacioun of hem was weiward, and her malice was kyndli, and that her thouyt myyte not be chaungid with outen ende.

11 For it was a cursid seed at the bigynnyng. And thou not dredynge ony man, yauest foryyuenesse to the synnes of hem.

12 For whi who schal seie to thee, What hast thou do? ether who schal stonde ayens thi doom? ethir who schal come in thi siyt, to be auengere of wickid men? ether who schal arette to thee, if naciouns perischen, whiche thou madist?

13 For whi noon other than thou is God, to whom is charge of alle thingis, that thou schewe, that thou demest doom not vniustli.

14 Nether king nether tiraunt in thi siyt schulen enquere of these men, whiche thou hast lost.

15 Therfor sithen thou art iust, thou disposist iustli alle thingis; also, fadir, thou condempnest hym, that owith not to be punyschid, and thou gessist hym a straunger fro thi vertu.

16 For whi thi vertu is the bigynnyng of riytfulnesse; and for this, that thou art lord of alle men, thou makist thee to spare alle men.

17 For thou, that art not bileued to be perfit in vertu, schewist vertu; and thou ledist ouer these men, that knowen not thee, in hardynesse.

18 But thou, lord of vertu, demest with pesiblenesse, and disposist vs with greet reuerence; for it is suget to thee to mow, whanne thou wolt.

19 Forsothe thou hast tauyt thi puple bi siche werkis, that it bihoueth a iuge to be iust, and benygne; and thou madist thi sones of good hope, for thou demest, and yyuest place to penaunce in synnes.

20 For if thou turmentidist the enemyes of thi seruauntis, and men due to deth with so greet perseyuyng, and delyueridist, and yauest tyme and place, bi which thei myyten be chaungid fro malice;

21 with hou greet diligence demest thou thi sones, to whos fadris thou yauest othis and couenauntis of good biheestis?

22 Therfor whanne thou yyuest chastisyng to vs, thou betist many fold oure enemyes, that we demynge thenke thi goodnesse; and whanne it is demyd of vs, that we hope thi merci.

23 Wherfor and to hem, that lyueden vnwiseli, and vniustli in her lijf, thou yauest souereyn turmentis, bi these thingis whiche thei worschipiden.

24 For thei erriden ful longe in the weie of errour, and gessiden goddis these thingis that ben superflu in beestis, and lyueden bi custom of yonge children vnwitti.

25 For this thing thou yauest doom, in to scorn, as to children vnwitti;

26 but thei, that weren not amendid bi scornyngis and blamyngis, feeliden the worthi doom of God.

27 For thei baren heuyli in these thingis, whiche thei suffriden, in whiche thingis thei suffrynge hadden indignacioun; thei seynge hym, whom thei denyeden sum tyme hem to knowe, knewen hym veri God, bi these thingis whiche thei gessiden goddis among hem, whanne tho weren destried; for which thing and the ende of her condempnacioun schal come on hem.

Chapter 13


1 Forsothe alle men ben veyn, in whiche the kunnyng of God is not; and of these thingis that ben seyn goode, thei myyten not vndurstonde him, that is, and thei perseyuynge the werkis knewen not, who was the worchere;

2 but thei gessiden goddis gouernours of the world, ethir the fier, ether the wynd, ethir the eir maad swift, ether the cumpas of sterris, ether ful myche watir, ethir the sunne and moone;

3 and if thei delitiden in the fairnesse of tho thingis, and gessiden tho goddis, wite thei, hou myche the lord of tho is fairere than tho; for whi the gendrere of fairnesse made alle these thingis.

4 Ethir if thei wondriden on the vertu and werkis of tho thingis, vndurstonde thei of tho, that he that made these thingis, is strongere than tho;

5 for bi the greetnesse of fairnesse and of creature the creatour of these thingis myyte be seyn knowyngli.

6 But netheles yit in these men is lesse playnt; for thei erren, in hap sekynge God, and willynge to fynde.

7 For whanne thei lyuen in hise werkis, thei seken, and holden for a soth, that tho thingis ben goode, that ben seyn.

8 Eft sotheli it owith not to be foryouun to these men.

9 For if thei miyten wite so myche, that thei miyten gesse the world, hou founden thei not liytliere the lord therof?

10 forsothe thei ben cursid, and the hope of hem is among deed men, that clepiden goddis the werkis of mennus hondis, gold, and siluer, the fyndyng of craft, and licnessis of beestis, ether a stoon vnprofitable, the werk of an eld hond.

11 Ethir if ony crafti man, a carpenter, hewith doun of the wode a streiyt tre, and rasith awei perfitli al the riynde therof, and vsith his craft diligentli, and makith a vessel ful profitable in to conuersacioun of lijf;

12 sotheli he vsith the relifs of this werk to the makyng redi of mete; and the residue of these thingis,

13 which he makith to no werk, a crokid tre, and ful of knottis, he graueth diligentli bi his voidnesse, and bi the kunnyng of his craft he figurith it, and licneth it to the ymage of a man,

14 ether makith it lijk to sum of beestis, and anoyntith with reed colour, and makith the colour therof rodi with peynture, and anoyntith eche spotte which is in it,

15 and makith to it a worthi dwellyng place, and settith it in the wal, and he fastneth it with irun,

16 lest perauenture it falle doun; and he purueyeth for it, and woot, that it may not helpe it silf; for it is an ymage, and help is nedeful therto.

17 And he makith auowe, and enquerith of his catel, and of hise sones, and of weddyngis; he is not aschamed to speke with hym, that is with out soule;

18 and sotheli for helthe he bisechith a thing vnmyyti, and for lijf he preieth a thing with out lijf, and he clepith an vnprofitable thing in to help.

19 And for iourney he axith of that thing, that mai not go; and of getyng, and of worchyng, and of bifallyng of alle thingis he axith of hym, which is vnprofitable in alle thingis.

Chapter 14


1 Eft an other man thenkynge to seile in schip, and bigynnynge to make iournei thorouy ferse wawis, inwardli clepith a tre frelere than the tre that berith hym.

2 For whi couetise to gete money foond that idol; and a crafti man made it bi his wisdom.

3 But thou, fadir, gouernest bi puruyaunce, for thou yauest weie in the see, and a most stidfast path among wawis;

4 schewynge that thou art miyti to make hool of alle thingis, yhe, if a man goith to the see with out schip;

5 but that the werkis of thi wisdom schulden not be voide, for this thing men bitaken her lyues, yhe, to a litil tre, and thei passen the see, and ben delyuered bi a schip.

6 But at the bigynnyng, whanne proude giauntis perischiden, the hope of the world fledde to a schip, and sente efte seed of birthe to the world, which was gouerned bi thin hond.

7 For whi blessid is the tree, bi which riytfulnesse was maad.

8 But the idol which is maad bi hond is cursid, bothe it, and he that made it, for sotheli he wrouyte grete trespas; sotheli that idol, whanne it was freel, was nemyd God.

9 Forsothe in lijk maner the wickid man and his wickidnesse ben hateful to God.

10 For whi that that is maad schal suffre turmentis, with hym that made it.

11 For this thing and to the idols of naciouns schal not be biholdyng; for the creaturis of God ben maad in to hatrede, and in to temptacioun to the soule of men, and in to a trappe to the feet of vnwise men.

12 For the bigynnyng of fornycacioun is the sekyng out of idols, and the fynding of tho idols is the corrupcioun of lijf.

13 Forsothe tho weren not at the bigynnyng, nethir tho schulen be with out ende.

14 For whi the voidnesse of men foond these idols in to the world; and therfor the ende of tho is foundun schort.

15 For whi the fadir makinge sorewe with bittir morenyng, made soone to hym an ymage of the sone `that was rauyschid; and bigan to worschipe hym now as a god, that was deed thanne as a man; and he ordeynede hooli thingis and sacrifices among hise seruauntis.

16 Aftirward in tyme comynge bitwixe, whanne the wickid custom was strong, this errour was kept as a lawe, and ymagis weren worschipid bi lordschip of tirauntis.

17 The figure of hem was brouyt fro fer, whiche the men miyten not onoure in opyn, for thei weren fer; and thei maden an opyn ymage of the kyng, whom thei wolden onoure; that bi her bisynesse thei schulden worschipe hym as present, that was absent.

18 Forsothe the noble diligence of a crafti man brouyte in also hem, that knewen not, to the worschipyng of thes kyngis.

19 For he willynge more to plese that kyng, that took hym, trauelide perfitli bi his craft, to make a licnesse in to betere.

20 Sotheli the multitude of men, disseyued bi the fairnesse of werk, gessiden hym now a god, that was onourid as a man bifore that tyme.

21 And this was the disseit of mannys lijf; for whi men seruynge greetli, ethir to affeccioun, ethir to kyngis, puttiden to stoonys and trees the name that mai not be comynyd.

22 And it suffiside not, that thei erriden aboute the kunnyng of God; but also thei lyuynge in greet batel of vnkunnyng, clepen so many and so grete yuels pees.

23 For ethir thei sleynge her sones in sacrifice, ethir makynge derk sacrifices, ethir hauynge wakyngis ful of woodnesse,

24 kepen now nether cleene lijf, nether cleene weddyngis; but also o man sleeth another man bi enuye, ethir doynge auowtrie makith sory his neiybore.

25 And alle thingis ben medlid togidere, blood, mansleyng, thefte, and feynyng, corrupcioun, vnfeithfulnesse, disturblyng, and forsweryng,

26 noise, foryetyng of goodis of the Lord, defoulyng of soulis, chaungyng of birthe, vnstidfastnesse of weddyngis, vnordeyning of letcherie and of vnchastite.

27 For whi the worschipyng of cursid idols is the cause, and the bigynnyng, and the ende of al yuel.

28 For whi ethir thei wexen woode, while thei ben glad; ether certis thei profecien false thingis, ethir thei lyuen vniustli, ethir thei forsweren soone.

29 For the while thei tristen in idols, that ben with out soule, thei sweren yuele, and hopen not, that thei schulen be anoyed.

30 Therfor euer eithir schulen come to hem worthili; for thei demeden yuele of God, and yauen tent to idols, and thei sworen vniustli in an idol, and thei dispisiden riytfulnesse.

31 For whi an ooth is not vertu, but the peyne of synneris goith forth euere, in to the breking of iust thingis.

Chapter 15


1 Forsothe thou, oure God, art swete, and trewe, and pacient, and disposist alle thingis in merci.

2 For if we synnen, we ben thin, and knowen thi greetnesse; and if we synnen not, we witen, that we ben acountid at thee.

3 For whi to knowe thee, is parfit riytfulnesse; and to kunne thi riytfulnesse and vertu, is the root of vndedlynesse.

4 Forsothe the thenkyng out of yuel craft of men brouyte not vs in to errour, nether the schadewe of peynture trauel without fruyt, an ymage gravun bi dyuerse colours;

5 whos biholdyng yyueth coueytise to an vnwise man, and he loueth the licnesse of a deed ymage with out soule.

6 The louyers of yuels ben worthi the deeth, that han hope in siche; and thei that maken tho, and thei that louen, and thei that worschipen ben worthi the deth.

7 But also a pottere, thristynge neische erthe, bi greet trauel makith ech vessel to oure vsis; and of the same clei he makith vessels that ben clene to vss, and in lijk maner tho that ben contrarie to these; forsothe what vss is of these vessels, the pottere is iuge.

8 And he that was maad of erthe a litil bifore, makith a god of the same clei with veyn trauel; and the pottere, axid to yelde the dette of soule which he hadde, ledith hym silf aftir a litil tyme to the erthe, fro whennus he was takun.

9 But he hath care, not for he schal trauele, nether for his lijf is schort, but he stryueth with gold smythis and siluer smythis; but also he sueth worcheris of bras, and settith bifore glorie; for he makith superflu thingis.

10 For the herte of hym is aische, and superflu erthe is his hope, and his lijf is vilere than clei.

11 For he knew not God, that made him, and that enspiride a soule to hym; and he loueth tho thingis whiche he hath wrouyt; and he knew not God, that blowide in hym a spirit of lijf.

12 But thei gessiden fleischli delityng to be oure lijf, and the conuersacioun of lijf to be maad to wynnyng, and that it bihoueth to gete on ech side, yhe, of yuel.

13 Forsothe this man that makith freele vessels, and grauun ymagis of the mater of erthe, woot that he trespassith aboue alle men.

14 Forsothe, Lord, alle vnwise men and cursid ben proude ouer the mesure of her soule, and ben enemyes of thi puple, and vpbreyden it;

15 for thei gessiden alle the idols of naciouns to be goddis, that han nethir siyt of iyen to se, nethir nose thirlis to perseyue a spirit, ethir wynd, nether eeris to here, nethir fyngris of hondis to touche, but also her feet ben slowe to go.

16 For whi a man made tho, and he that borewide a spirit, made tho; forwhi no man mai make a god lijk hym silf.

17 For sithen he is deedli, bi wickid hondis he makith a deed idol; for he is betere than these goddis, whiche he worschipith; for sotheli he liuyde, whanne he was deedli, but thei lyueden neuere.

18 But also moost wretchid men worschipen beestis; for whi vnresonable beestis, comparisound to these men, ben worse than thei.

19 But nether bi siyt ony man mai of these beestis biholde goodis; forsothe thei han dryue awei the heriyng of God, and his blessyng.

Chapter 16


1 For these thingis, and thingis lijk these, thei suffriden turmentis worthili, and thei weren destried bi multitude of beestis.

2 For whiche turmentis thou disposidist wel thi puple, to whiche thou yauest coueitise of her delityng a new sauour, makynge redi mete to hem a curlew.

3 That sotheli thei coueitynge mete, weren turned awei, yhe, fro nedeful coueityng, for tho thingis that weren schewid, and sent to hem; but these men maad pore in schort tyme, tastiden newe mete.

4 For sotheli it bihofte perischyng to come on hem with outen excusyng, vsynge tirauntri; but to schewe oneli to these Ebries, hou her enemyes weren destried.

5 Forsothe whanne the feers ire of beestis cam on hem, thei weren destried bi the bityngis of weiward serpentis.

6 But, Lord, thin ire dwellide not with outen ende; but thei weren troblid in schort time to amendyng, and hadden a signe of helthe, to remembryng of the comaundement of thi lawe.

7 For he that was conuertid, was heelid not bi that he siy, but bi thee, sauyour of alle men.

8 Forsothe in this thou schewidist to oure enemyes, that thou it art, that delyuerist fro al yuel.

9 Forsothe the bityngis of locustis and of flies killiden hem, and heelthe of her lijf was not foundun; for thei weren worthi to be destried of siche thingis.

10 But nether the teeth of dragouns, nethir of venemouse beestis ouercamen thi children; for whi thi merci cam, and heelide hem.

11 For thei weren turmentid in mynde of thi wordis, and thei weren heelid swiftli; lest thei fallynge in to deep foryetyng of God, miyten not vse thin help.

12 For nethir eerbe, nethir plastere heelide hem; but, Lord, thi word, that heelith alle thingis.

13 Lord, thou art, that hast power of lijf and of deth; and ledist forth to the yatis of deth, and ledist ayen.

14 But sotheli a man sleeth his soule bi malice; and whanne the spirit is goen out, it schal not turne ayen, nether the bodi schal ayen clepe the soule, which is resseyued;

15 but it is vnpossible to ascape thin hond.

16 Forwhi wickid men, denying to knowe thee, weren turmentid bi strengthe of thin arm; thei suffriden persecusioun bi newe watris, and hailis, and reines, and weren wastid bi fier.

17 For whi that was wondurful, the fier hadde more miyt in the watir, that quenchith alle thingis; for whi the world was veniere of iust men.

18 For whi sum tyme the fier was mylde, lest the beestis schulden be brent, that weren sent to wickid men; but that thei seynge schulden wite, that thei suffren persecucioun bi the doom of God.

19 And sum tyme the fier brente an hiy on ech side in the water, aboue the vertu of fier, to destrie the wickid nacioun of the lond.

20 For whiche thingis thou nurischidist thi puple with mete of aungels, and thou yauest fro heuene breed maad redi to hem, with out trauel; hauynge al delityng in it silf, and the swetnesse of al sauour.

21 For thou schewidist thi catel, and thi swetnesse, which thou hast, to sones; and the breed seruynge to the wille of eche man, was turned to that, that ech man wolde.

22 Forsothe snow and iys suffriden the miyt of fier, and meltiden not; that thei schulden wite, that fier brennynge, in hail and reyn leytynge, destryede the fruytis of enemyes.

23 Sotheli eft this was wondirful, also fier foryat his vertu, that iust men schulden be nurschid.

24 For whi the creature seruynge to thee the makere, wexith whijt in to turment ayens vniust men, and is maad liytere to do wel, for hem that tristen in thee.

25 For this thing and alle thingis transfigurid thanne seruyden to thi grace, nurischere of alle thingis, to the wille of hem, that ben desirid of thee;

26 that, Lord, thi sones schulden wite, whiche thou louedist, that not the fruytis of birthe feeden men, but thi word kepeth hem, that bileuen in thee.

27 For whi that that miyte not be distried of fier, meltide anoon as it was maad hoot of a litil beem of the sunne;

28 that it were knowun to alle men, that it bihoueth to come bifore the sunne to thi blessing, and to worschipe thee at the risyng of the liyt.

29 Forsothe the hope of an vnkynde man schal melte awei as iys of wyntir, and schal perische as superflu watir.

Chapter 17


1 Forsothe, Lord, thi domes ben greet, and thi wordis moun not be fulli teld out; vnlerned soulis erriden for these.

2 For the while wickid men holden for stidfast, that thei moun be lordis of hooli nacioun, thei weren feterid with boondis of derknessis, and of long niyt, and weren closid vndur rooues; and thei fugityues weren suget to euerlastinge puruyaunce.

3 And the while thei gessen hem to be hid in derk synnes, thei weren scaterid bi derk hidyng of foryetyng, dredynge hidousli, and disturblid with ful greet wondryng.

4 For the denne that withhelde hem, kepte not with out drede; for whi sown comynge doun disturblide hem, and soreuful persoones apperynge to hem, yauen drede to hem.

5 And sotheli no myyt of fier myyte yyue liyt to hem, and the cleer flawmes of sterris myyten not liytne that hidouse nyyt.

6 Sotheli sodeyn fier ful of drede apperide to hem; and thei weren smytun with the drede of that face, that was not seyn, and gessiden tho thingis to be worse, that weren seyn.

7 And scornes of whitche craft weren leid to, and the glorie of wisdom was chastisyng with dispisyng.

8 For thei, that bihiyten hem silf to putte awei dredis and disturblyngis fro a sijk soule, weren ful with scorn, and weren sijk for drede.

9 For whi thouy no thing of the wondris ayens kynde disturblide hem, thei weren mouyd bi the passyng of beestis, and bi the hissyng of eddris, and trembliden, and perischiden; and denyeden, that thei sien the eyr, which a man myyte not ascape bi ony resoun; for whi worste thingis bifore ocupien ofte, while the conscience repreueth.

10 For sithen wickidnesse is dreedful, it is youun in to condempnacioun of alle men; for whi a conscience disturblid presumeth euere wickid thingis.

11 For whi drede is no thing, no but help of presumpcioun, and schewyng of thouyt of helpis.

12 And the while lesse abydyng is fro with ynne, it gessith gretter power of that cause, of which it yyueth turment.

13 Forsothe thei, that camen in to a myyti niyt, and comynge aboue fro loweste thingis, and fro hiyeste thingis, thei slepynge the same sleep,

14 weren hurlid sum tyme bi drede of wondris ayens kynde, sum tyme the soulis failiden bi ledyng ouer; for why sudeyn drede and vnhopid, cam on hem.

15 Afterward if ony of hem hadde fel doun, he was kept closid in prisoun, with out yrun;

16 for if ony cheerl was, ethir scheepherd, ethir a werk man of feeldis, and was bifore ocupied, he suffride nede that miyte not be ascapid.

17 For whi alle men weren boundun togidere bi o chayne of derknessis; ether a wynd hissynge, ether swete sown of briddis bitwixe the thicke bowis of trees, ethir the feersnesse of watir rennynge doun greetli,

18 ethir a strong soun of stoonys cast doun, ethir the rennyng vnseyn of beestis pleiynge, ethir the strong vois of beestis lowynge, ethir ecco sownynge ayen fro hiyeste hillis, maden hem failynge for drede.

19 Forsothe al the world was liytned with cleer liyt, and was not withholdun in werkis lettid.

20 But a greuouse niyt, the ymage of derknessis, that was to comyng on hem, was set on hem aloone; therfor thei weren greuousere to hem silf than the derknessis.

Chapter 18


1 But ful greet liyt was to thin hooli seruauntis, and sotheli enemyes herden the vois of hem, but thei sien not the figure, ethir schap; and for also thei suffriden not bi the same thingis, thei magnefieden thee.

2 And for thei weren hirt bifore, thei diden thankyngis to thee, for thei weren not hirt; and that difference schulde be bitwixe hem and Egipcians, thei axiden thee, God.

3 For which thing thei hadden a brennynge piler of fier, the ledere of vnknowun weie; and thou yauest the sunne, with out hirtyng of good herbore.

4 Forsothe thei weren worthi to wante liyt, and to suffre the prisoun of derknessis, whiche helden thi sones enclosid; bi whiche sones the vncorrupt lijt of lawe bigan to be youun to the world.

5 Whanne thei thouyten to sle the yonge children of iust men; and whanne o sone was put forth, and delyuered, thou tokist awei the multitude of sones, for the ledyng ouer of hem, and thou lostist hem togidere in strong watir.

6 Forsothe thilke nyyt was knowun bifore of oure fadris, that thei witynge verili to whiche othis thei bileuyden, schulden be more paciente.

7 Forsothe helthe of iust men was resseyued verili of thi puple, `and also distriyng of vniust men.

8 For as thou hirtidist oure aduersaries, so thou excitidist also vs, and magnefiedist vs.

9 For whi iust children of goode men maden sacrifice priueli, and disposiden the lawe of riytfulnesse in to acordyng; thei disposiden iust men to resseyue goodis and yuels in lijk maner, and sungen heriyngis to the fadir of alle men.

10 But vnsemeli vois of enemyes sownede, and wepeful weilyng of biweperis of yonge children was herd.

11 Forsothe the seruaunt was turmentid bi lijk peyne with the lord; and a man of the puple suffride thingis lijk the kyng.

12 Therfor in lijk maner alle men bi o name of deth hadden deed men vnnoumbrable, for nether quyke men suffiseden to birie; for whi the nacioun of hem, that was clerere than othere, was destried in o moment.

13 Forsothe of alle Egipcians men not bileuynge for benefices, bihiyten hem thanne to be Goddis puple, whanne the distriyng of the firste gendryd thingis was first.

14 Forsothe whanne alle thingis helden restful silence, and the nyyt hadde the myddil weie in his cours,

15 Lord, thi word almyyti comynge swiftli fro heuene, cam fro the kyngis seetis;

16 a scharp swerd berynge thi comaundement not feyned, cam forth, ouercomere in to the myddil of the lond of destriyng; and it stood, and fillide alle thingis with deeth, and it stood in erthe, and stretchide forth til to heuene.

17 Thanne anoon the siytis of yuel dremes disturbliden hem, and dredis not hopid camen aboue.

18 And another man cast forth half quyk in an other place, schewide for what cause of deth he diede.

19 For whi siytis that disturbliden hem, bifore warneden these thingis, that thei schulden perische not vnwityngli, why thei suffriden yuels.

20 Forsothe temptacioun of deth touchide thanne also iust men, and mouyng togidere of multitude was maad in desert; but thin ire dwellide not longe.

21 For a man without pleynt hastide to biseche for puplis, and he brouyte forth preier the scheld of his seruyce, and he aleggide preier bi encence, and ayen stood ire; and he settide an ende to the nede, and schewide that he was thi seruaunt.

22 Forsothe he ouercam cumpenyes, not bi vertu of bodi, nether bi armure of power; but he remembride the othis, and the testament of fadris, and bi word he made hym suget, that trauelide hym silf.

23 For whanne deed men fellen doun bi heepis, ech on other, he stood bitwixe `deed men and lyuynge, and kittide awei the feersnesse of brennyng, and departide that weie, that ledde to quyke men.

24 For whi al the world was in the cloth lastynge to the heelis, which he hadde; and the grete thingis of fadris weren grauun in foure ordris of stoonys; and, Lord, thi magnyficence was writun in the diademe of his heed.

25 Forsothe he that distriede, yaf stide to these thingis, and dredde these thingis; for whi the temptacioun aloone was sufficient to ire.

Chapter 19


1 Forsothe ire with out merci cam on wickid men til in to the laste; forwhi God bifore knew also the thingis to comynge of hem.

2 For whanne thei weren turned, and hadden suffrid, that thei schulden lede out hem, and hadden bifor sent hem with greet bysynesse, the dedis of repentyng sueden hem.

3 For thei hauynge yit morenyng bitwixe the hondis, and thei biwepynge at the sepulcris of deed men, token to hem anothir thouyt of vnkunnyng; and thei pursueden tho Ebreis, as fleeris awei, whiche thei preiynge hadden sent forth.

4 For whi worthi nede ledde hem to this ende, and thei losten remembryng of these thingis, that hadden bifeld, that punyschyng schulde fille tho thingis, that failiden of turmentis,

5 and that sotheli thi puple schulde passe wondurfuli; forsothe that thei schulden fynde a newe deth.

6 For whi ech creature seruynge to thin heestis, was refourmed to his kynde at the bigynnyng, that thi children schulden be kept vnhirt.

7 For whi a cloude bischadewide the castels of hem, and drie erthe apperide in watir that was bifore; and a weie with out letting apperide in the reed see, and a feeld buriownynge fro ful greet depthe; bi which feeld al the nacioun passide,

8 that was hilid with thin hond; forsothe thei sien thi merueilis and wondris.

9 For thei as horsis deuouriden mete, and as lambren thei maden ful out ioye, magnefiynge thee, Lord, that delyueredist hem.

10 For thei weren myndeful yit of tho thingis, that weren don in the dwellyng of hem among Egipcians; hou the lond brouyte forth flies, for the nacioun of beestis, and the flood brouyte forth multitude of paddokis, for fischis.

11 Forsothe at the last thei sien a newe creature of briddis, whanne thei weren led bi coueitise, and axiden metis of feeste.

12 For in the spekynge to of her desir, a curlew stiede to hem fro the see; and diseesis camen on synneris, and not with out preuyngis of tho thingis, that weren don bifor bi the feersnesse of floodis. For thei suffriden iustli, bi her wickidnessis;

13 for thei ordeyneden more abhomynable vnospitalite. Sotheli summe resseyueden not vnknowun comelyngis; sotheli othere token good men herborid in to thraldom.

14 And not oneli thei diden these thingis, but sotheli also another biholding of hem was, that thei ayens her wille resseyueden straungeris.

15 Forsothe thei that vsiden the same ordynaunces, turmentiden with cruelest sorewis hem, that resseyueden with gladnesse.

16 Forsothe thei weren smytun with blyndnesse, as thei in the yatis of the iust man, whanne thei weren hilid with sudeyne derknessis; ech man souyte the passyng of his dore.

17 Forsothe while elementis ben turned in to hem silf, as the sown of maner is chaungid in orgun, and alle thingis kepen her sown; wherfor it mai be gessid of that certeyn siyt.

18 Beestis of the feeld weren turned in to beestis of watir; what euer weren swymmynge thingis, yeden in the lond.

19 Fier in watir hadde power aboue his vertu; and water foryat the kynde quenchynge.

20 Ayenward flawmes of corruptible beestis disesiden not the fleischis of Ebreis goynge togidere; nethir departiden that good mete, that was departid liytly as iys. Forsothe, Lord, thou magnefiedist thi puple in alle thingis, and onouridist; and dispisidist not, and helpidist hem in ech tyme and in ech place.