Bible (Early Wycliffe)/Þe Prolog of þe foure bokis of Kyngis

Wycliffe's Bible
Þe Prolog of þe foure bokis of Kyngis

Here bigynneþ þe prolog of þe foure bokis of Kyngis.

The tunge forſoþe of Syrus, and of Caldeis, witneſſiþ to ben anentis þe Ebrewis two and twenti lettris, þe whiche of a greet parti niȝ cooſtieþ to Ebrew; for and þei two and twenti elementis han in þe ſame ſown, but in dyuerſe printis. Samarytans alſo þe fyue bokis of Moyſes wryten in as feele lettris, oonli in figuris and printis dyuerſynge; and it is certeyn Eſdras, þe ſcribe and þe doctour of þe lawe, after Jeruſalem takun, and þe reſtorynge of þe temple vndur Zorobabel, to han foundun oþer lettris, þe whiche we nowe vſen; whanne vnto þat tyme weren þe ſame printis of Samarytanys and of Ebrews. Forſoþe in þe book of Noumbris þis ſame noumbrynge vnder þe noumbre of Leuitis and preſtis miſtili is ſhewid; and þe name of þe Lord Tetragramaton in ſumme Grece volyms vnto þis day we han founden wiþ oold lettris expreſſyd. But and þe Salmys ſixe and þretti, and þe hundrid tenþe, and þe hundryd enleueþ, and þe hundrid eiȝtenþ, and þe hundrid foure and fourtiþe, albeit þat þei ben wryten wiþ dyuerſe metre, neuerþelater þei ben weuyd wiþ þe abece of þe ſame noumbre; and þe Lamentaciouns of Jeremye, and þe Preier of hym, and forſoþe þe Prouerbis of Salomon, in þe eend, fro þat place in whiche he ſeiþ, A ſtrong womman who ſhal fynde, wiþ þe ſame abicees or markyngis ben noumbrid. Forſoþe fyue dowble lettrys ben anentis þe Ebrewis, Caph, Men, Nun, Phe, Sade; forſoþe oþer wiſe þei writen bi þes þe bigynningis and þe mydils of wordis, oþer wiſe þe eendis. Wherfore and fyue bokis, Samuel, Malachym, Dabreiamyn, Eſdras, Jeremye wiþ Cynoþ, þat is, his Lamentaciouns, ben eymyd of ſum men dowble bookis. What maner wiſe þerfor two and twenti elymentis ben, bi þe whiche we wryten Ebrewly al þat we ſpeken, and mannus voyce wiþ þe bigynnyngis of hem is takun, ſo two and twenti volyms ben noumbrid, bi þe whiche as bi lettris and bigynnyngis þe tendre and þe ȝit ſowkynge childhod of þe riȝtwiſe man is tauȝt in þe doctrine of God. Þe firſt book anentis hem is clepid Breſiþ, which we Geneſis ſeyn; þe ſecounde, Elleſmoþ, þe which Exodus is clepid; þe þridde is Vagetra, þat is Leuytik; þe ferþ, Vagedaber, þe which we clepen Noumbre; þe fifþe Abdabarym, þe which is before notid Deutronomy. Þes ben þe fyue bokis of Moyſes, þe whiche þei clepen proprely Thoraþ, þat is, þe lawe. Þe ſecounde ordre of þe prophetis þei maken, and bigynnen fro Jeſu, þe ſone of Naue, þe which anentis hem is ſeid Joſue Bennun. þens þei vndurweuyden Sophym, þat is, þe book of Jugis; and into þe ſame þei putten in Ruþ, for in þe days of Jugis don is toold hir ſtorye. Þe þridde folowiþ Samuel, þe which we ſeyn þe Firſte and þe Secounde of Rewmys; þe ferþe, Malachim, þat is, of Kyngis, þe which is conteyned in þe þridde and þe ferþe volym of Rewmys; and mych betere it is to ſeye Malachym, þat is, of Kyngis, þanne Malaþot, þat is, of Rewmes; forſoþe not of many folk he diſcriueþ rewmes, but of oon Yrael puple, þat is conteyned in twelue lynagis. Þe fifþe is Yſay; þe ſixt Jeremye; þe ſeuenþe Ezechiel; þe eiȝtiþ þe book of þe twelue prophetis, þe which anentis hem is clepid Thariaſra. Þe þridde ordre weeldiþ Agiogropha, þat ben holi wryten enſaumplis. And þe firſt book bigynneþ fro Job; þe ſecounde fro Dauyd, þe which men holden in fyue dyuyſiouns, and in o volym of Pſalmys; þe þridde is of Salomon, hauynge þre bokis, Prouerbis, þat þei clepen Parablis, þat is, Maſloþ; þe ferþe Eccleſiaſten, þat is, Coelech; þe fifþe is Soonge of Songis, whom þei before noten bi title Syraſſyrym; þe ſixte is Danyel; þe ſeuenþe Dabreiamyn, þat is, þe wordis of days, þe whiche more nameli we mowen clepe þe Cronycle of al Goddis ſtory, þe which book anentis vs is wryten Paralypomynon þe Firſt and þe Secounde; þe eiȝtþe Eſdras, þe which and he lijk maner, anentis Grekis and Latyns, in two bokis is dyuydid; þe nynþe Eſter. And ſo ben maad togidre þe bokis of þe oold lawe two and twenti, þat is, of Moyſes fyue, of Prophetis eiȝte, of Agiografis, þat ben expreſſe exſaumplis to holyneſſe, nyne; al be it þat ſumme writen Ruþ and Synoþ among þe Agiographis, and þes bookis in her noumbre þei wenen to be to noumbrid, and bi þat to ben of þe oold lawe foure and twenti bookis; þe whiche vndre noumbre of foure and twenti eldris þe Apocalips of Joon bryngiþ yn, honourynge þe loomb, and offrynge her crownes, þe cheerys born doun, hem ſtondynge before þe foure beeſtis eyed before and behynde, þat is, biholdynge into þat þat is paſſid, and into þat þat is to comen, and criynge wiþ contynuel voyce, Holy, Holy, Holi, Lord God Almyȝti, þat was, and þat is, and þat is to comen! Þis prologe of Scripturis as an helmyd bigynnynge to al þe bokis þe whiche fro Ebrewe we han turned into Latyn, may acoorde, þat we mowen knowe þat what euere þing out of þes is, it is to be put among þe Apographaſe, þat is, among þo þingis whos autor is not knowun of al holi chirch. Þerfore Sapiens, þat comounli is wryten in of Salomon, and of Jeſu, þe ſone of Syrak, and þe book of Judiþ, and Toby, and Paſtor, ben not in þe canoun. I foond þe Fyrſt book of Machabeis Ebrewe; þe Secounde is Greke, þat may be proued of þat ſettynge. Þe whiche þingis whanne þei ſo han hem, þou reder, Y biſeche þee, ne eyme þou my traueyle þe repreuynge of oold men. In þe tabernacle of God ech man offreþ þat he may; oþer men gold, and ſiluer, and precious ſtones; oþer men biſe, and purpur, and cocko offren, and iacynct. Wiþ vs is wel doon, if we offren ſkynnys and heeris of ſhe geet; and neuerþelater þe Apoſtle oure more contemptible þingis ſhewiþ more nedeful. Wherfor and al þe fayrneſſe of þe tabernacle, and þe diſtinccioun of þe preſent, and of þe chirche to comen, bi eche ſpicis is couered wiþ ſkynnys, and wiþ herys; þo þat ben fowler þingis letten þe brennynge of þe ſunne, and þe harme of wederis. Þanne rede þow firſt Samuel, and myn Malachym, myn forſoþe, myn; what euere þing forſoþe ofter turnynge and in amendynge more biſili and we han lernyd, and we holden, oure is, oure is. And whanne þou vndurſtoondiſt þat bifore hoond þou knewe not, or eyme þou me a remenour, if þou art kynde, or a leeyer biſiden, if þow art vnkynde; al be it þat Y haue no conſcience to myſelf, me to haue chaungid eny þing fro Ebrews trewþ. Certeyne, if þow ert of hard bileue, rede Greke bokis and Latyns, and ley togidre wiþ þes litil werkis, þe whiche aboue we han out toold; and where euere þow ſee bitwix hemſelf to diſcorde, aſk eny of þe Ebrews, to whom more þou owiſt to ȝeue feiþ, and if oure þingis he ſtable, I trowe þat þou ſhalt not eyme hym a lyer, for in þe ſame place wiþ me lijk maner he dyuyne. But and ȝow, wymmen ſeruauntis of Criſt, Y preye, þe whiche anoynten þe heed of þe Lord, doun ſyttynge wiþ þe mooſt precyous myrre of bileue, þe whiche ſechen not þe Saueour in ſepulcre, for whom nowe Criſt haþ ſtied vp to þe fader, þat aȝens þe berkynge houndis þat aȝens me wiþ wood mouþ waxen cruel, and goon about þe cytee, and in þat demen hem ſelf wyſe, if to oþer þey bacbiten, þat ȝe aȝen putten þe targetis of ȝoure preyers. I, knowynge my lownes, of þat ſentence euere more Y ſhal recorde, I ſeyde, I ſhal kepe my weyes, þat I treſpaſſe not in my tunge; Y haue put to my mouþ warde, whanne þe ſynful ſtood aȝens me; Y bicam dowmbe, and am lowid, and heelde my pees fro good þingis.

Here endiþ þe prolog of þe foure bokis of Kyngis, and nowe bygynneþ þe firſt book.