Bible (Early Wycliffe)/Judiþ
Þe JudiÞ PrologusEdit
Anentus þe Ebrues þe boc of Judiþ is rad among þoo ſcriptures, whos autour is vnknowen, whos autorite to be ſtrengþid þoo þingus þat in to ſtrijf comen laſſe couenable is demed; ner þe latere in Caldeis ſermoun writen among þe ſtories it is countid. But for þis boc Nycene ſynod in þe noumbre of holi ſcripturis is rad to han countid, I aſſentide to ȝoure aſking, ȝhe, to ȝoure ſtedefaſt aſking; and þe occupaciouns leid aſide, wiþ whiche hugeli I was artid, to þys þing o litil waking while I ȝaf, more ſence of ſence þan woord of woord tranſlatende. Of manye bokis þe moſt vicious diuerſete I kutte awei, onli þoo þingus þat wiþ parfit vnderſtondinge I myȝte finde in Caldeis woordis, in Latin I expreſſede. Takeþ Judiþ, widewe, ſaumple of chaſtyte, and declareþ in perpetewel wrſhipeful tellingus wiþ þe preiſing of victorie. Þis forſoþe not oneli to wymmen, but alſo to men, wrþi to ben folewid he ȝaf, þat, ȝeldere of hir chaſtite, ſuch a vertue ȝaf to hir, þat þe vnouercomen of alle men ſhe ouercam, and þe vnouerpaſſable ſhe ouerpaſſede.
An noÞer prolog of JudiÞEdit
Judiþ, widewe, þe doȝter of Merari, of þe linage of Symeon, ful miche gret in glorie, and of men þe parfitere; þe whiche in figure of þe churche girde of þe deuel in þe hed, ne ſhe dradde deþ for þe helþe of þe puple, ne þe kingus wodneſſe quakide; for whi þe ſlepende prince ſhe ſloȝ, and, ſaued þe chaſtite, to hir citeſeynus ſhe broȝte aȝeen þe principal victorie; forſoþe ſhe liuede an hundrid ȝer and fiue, and is biried in þe ſpelunke of hir huſbonde Manaſſe, in Betulia.
Here endiþ þe prolog of Judiþ, and now begynneþ þe book.
Here beginneþ þe bok of Judiþ.
Arfaxaþ forſoþe, king of Meedis, hadde put vnder ȝoc manie Jentilis to his empire; and he bilde vp a cite moſt myȝti, þat he clepede Egbatenys. Of ſquare ſtones and hewen he made his wallis, in heiȝte of ſeuenti cubitus, and in breede of þretti cubitus. His tourys forſoþe he ſette in heiȝte of an hundrid cubitis. Bi ſquare forſoþe of hem eiþer ſide was ſtrecchid, in ſpace of twenti feet; and he putte his ȝatis in þe heiȝte of þe touris. And he gloriede, as myȝti in myȝt of his oſt, and in glorie of his foure horſid carris. Þe twelfþe ȝer þerfore of his regne, Nabugodonoſor, king of Aſſiries, þat regnede in þe grete cite of Nynyue, faȝt aȝen Arfaxaþ, and waan hym in þe grete feld, þat is clepid Ragau, aboute Eufraten, and Tigre, and Jodaſan, in þe feld of Erioþ, king of Elikis. Þanne is enhauncid vp þe reume of Nabugodonoſor, and his herte is rerid; and he ſente to alle, þat dwelten in Cicilie, and Damaſch, and Lyban, and to þe Jentilis, þat ben in Carmel and Cedar, and to þe dwelleris in Galilee, and in þe grete feld of Eſdrelon, and to alle, þat weren in Samarie, and beȝonde Jordan flod, vnto Jeruſalem; and to al þe lond of Jeſſe, to þat me comeþ to þe hillis of Eþiope. To alle þeſe Nabugodonoſor, king of Aſſiries, ſente meſſageres; þe whiche alle wiþ o wil wiþſeiden, and þei ſenten hem aȝeen voide, and wiþ oute wrſhipe caſten awei. Þanne endeyned king Nabugodonoſor to al þat lond, ſwor bi þe rewme and his trone, þat he ſhulde defenden hym fro alle þoo regiounus.
The þrettenþe ȝer of Nabugodonoſor king, þe two and twentiþe dai of þe firſte moneþ, þer is don a woord in þe hous off Nabugodonoſor, king of Aſſiries, þat he ſhulde defenden hym. And he clepede to hym alle þe more þurȝ birþe, and alle þe dukis, his fiȝteres; and he hadde wiþ hem þe priuyte of his counſeil. And he ſeide his þenking in hym to ben, þat al þe erþe he ſhulde vnder ȝoke to his empire. Þe whiche ſawe whan it pleſide to alle men, king Nabugodonoſor clepede Olofernes, prince of his chiualrie, and ſeide to hym, Go out aȝen eche reume of þe weſt, and aȝen hem nameli, þat deſpiſeden myn empire. And þi eȝe ſpare not to any reume, and alle ſtrengþid cite þou ſhalt vnderȝoke to me. Þanne Olofernes clepyde dukis and þe maiſter domys men of þe vertue of Aſſiries, and noumbrede men in to þe ſpeding, as þe king comaundede to hym, an hundrid and twenti þouſend of fiȝtende foot men, and horſe men and archeris twelf þouſend. And al his oſt redi he made to go before in multitude of vnnoumbrable camailis, wiþ þoo þat ſhulden ſuffiſen plenteuouſli to þe oſtis, of oxen alſo droues, and flockis of ſhep, of þe whiche was no noumbre. Whete of al Cirie in his going he ordeynede to be maad redi. Myche forſoþe gold and ſiluer of þe hous of þe king he toc ful myche. And he wente forþ, he, and al þe oſt, wiþ foure horſid cartis, and horſe men, and archeris, þat couereden þe face of þe erþe, as locuſtus. And whan he hadde ouerpaſſid þe cooſtus of Aſſiries, he cam to þe grete hillis of Auge, þat ben fro þe lift ſide of Cicilie; and he ſteȝede vp alle þe caſtelis of hem, and weldede eche hold ſtrengþid. Forſoþe he brac out þe moſt riche cite Meloþi, and ſpoilide alle þe ſonus of Tarſis, and þe ſonus of Iſmael, þat weren aȝen þe face of deſert, and at þe ſouþ of þe lond of Celeon. And he paſſide ouer Eufraten, and cam in to Meſopotanee, and brac alle þe heȝe cites þat weren þere, fro þe ſtrem of Mambre vn to it be ful come to þe ſe. And he ocupiede þe termes of it fro Cicilie vn to þe cooſtus of Jafeþ, þat ben to þe ſouþ. And he broȝte alle þe ſonus of Madian, and ſpoilide alle þe richeſſis of hem; and alle wiþ ſtondende to hym he ſloȝ in þe mouþ of þe ſwerd. And after þeſe þingus he cam doun in to þe feldis of Damaſch, in þe daȝes of rep, and he brende vp alle þe ſowen þingus, and alle trees and vynes he made to ben hewen doun; and þe drede of hym fel vp alle þe dwelleris in þe lond.
Thanne þei ſenten þer legatus of alle cites and prouyncis, þe kingus and þe princis of Cirie, þat is, of Meſopotanie, and of Cirie Sobal, and of Libie, and of Cicilie. Þe whiche comende to Olofernen, ſeiden, Ceſe þin indignacioun aboute vs; betere forſoþe it is þat liuende wee ſerue to Nabugodonoſor, þe grete king, and ſoget wee be to þee, þan diende wiþ oure deþ wee vſſelf ſuffre þe harmys of oure ſeruyſe. Al oure cite, al oure poſſeſſioun, alle hillis, and litle hillis, and feldis, and droues of oxen, and flockis of ſhep, and of ſhe get, and of hors, and of camailis, and alle oure facultees and meynes in þi ſiȝte ben; alle þingus ben vndir þi lawe. Wee alſo and oure ſonus ben þy ſeruauns. Cum to vs a peſible lord, and vſe oure ſeruyſe, as it pleſeþ to þee. Þanne he cam doun fro þe hillis, wiþ horſmen in gret vertue, and weldede eche cite, and alle men dwellende in þe lond. Of alle forſoþe cites he toc to hym helperis, ſtronge men and choſen to bataile. And ſo myche drede to þat prouynce fel in, þat of alle cites þe dwelleris, princys and wrſhipeful men, togidre wiþ þe puple wenten out in to meeting to hym comende, reſceyuende hym wiþ crounus and laumpis, ledende dauncis in trumpis and timbris. And ȝit ner þe latere þeſe þingus doende þei myȝten not ſwagen þe feerſte of his breſt; for and þer cites he deſtroȝede, and þer maumet wodus he heew doun. Forſoþe king Nabugodonoſor hadde comaundid to hym, þat alle þe goddis of þe lond he ſhulde outlawen, þat is, þat he god alone were ſeid of þeſe naciouns, þat myȝten ben vnderȝokid bi þe myȝt of Olofernes. Paſſende forſoþe Cirie Sobal, and al Appanyam, and al Meſopotanye, cam to Idumes in þe lond of Gabaa; and he toc þe cites of hem, and ſat þere bi þretti daȝes, in whiche daȝes he comaundede to be gedered togidere al þe oſt of his vertue.
Thanne herende þe ſonus of Irael þeſe þingus, þat dwelten in þe lond of Juda, dredden gretli fro þe face of hym. Drede alſo and orrour aſſailede þe wittus of hem, leſt þat he ſhulde do to Jeruſalem and to þe temple of þe Lord, þat he hadde do to oþere cites and to þer templis. And þei ſenten in to al Samarie, bi enuyroun vnto Jericho, and þei ocupieden beforn alle þe coppis of hillis; and wiþ wallis þei enuyrouneden þer tounus, and gedereden whetis in to þe befor greiþing of fiȝt. Þe preſt alſo Eliachym wrot to alle, þat weren aboute Eſdrelon, þat is aȝen þe face of þe grete feld biſide Dotaym, and to alle bi whom paſſing myȝte be, þat þei welde þe ſteȝingus vp of hillis, bi whiche weie myȝte be to Jeruſalem, and þere þei ſhulden kepe, where myȝte be ſtreit weie betwen hillis. And þe ſonus of Irael diden after þat Eleachym, þe preſt of þe Lord, hadde ordeined to hem. And al þe puple criede to þe Lord wiþ gret inſtaunce, and mekeden þer ſoulis in faſtingus, þei and þer wymmen. And þe preſtus cloþiden hemſelue wiþ heiris, and þe ȝunge childer þrewen hemſelf doun befor þe face of þe temple of þe Lord, and þe auter of þe Lord þei couereden wiþ an heire. And þei crieden to þe Lord God of Irael alle togidere, leſt weren ȝyuen þer childer in to prei, and þer wyues in to deuyſeoun, and þer cites in to deſtruccioun, and þe holi þingus of hem in to pollucioun. Þanne Eleachym, þe grete preſt of þe Lord, enuyrounede al Irael, and ſpac to hem, ſeiende, Witeþ, for þe Lord haþ herd oure preȝeeris, if dwellende ȝee abijde ſtille in faſtingus and in preȝeeris in þe ſiȝte of þe Lord. Beþ myndeful of Moiſes, þe ſeruaunt of þe Lord, þat caſt doun Amalech troſtende in his vertue, and in his myȝt, and in his oſt, and in his targetis, and in his charis, and in his horſemen, not wiþ iryn fiȝtende, but wiþ holi preȝeeris preȝende; ſo ſhul ben born doun alle þe enemys of Irael, if ȝee ſtedefaſtli abijden in þis werk, þat ȝee han begunne. Þerfore at þis exhortacioun of hym þei, preȝende þe Lord, abiden ſtille in þe ſiȝte of þe Lord, ſo þat alſo þeſe, þat brent ſacrifiſes offriden to þe Lord, gird wiþ heiris offriden ſacrifiſe to þe Lord, and þer was aſkis vpon þe hed of hem. And of al þer herte alle preȝeden God, þat he ſhulde viſiten his puple Irael.
And it is told to Olofernes, prince of þe chiualrie of Aſſiries, þat þe ſonus of Irael maden hem redi to wiþſtonden, and þat þei hadden cloſid þe weies of hillis. And wiþ ful myche wodneſſe he brende out in to gret wraþe; and he clepide alle þe princis of Moab, and dukis of Amon, and ſeide to hem, Seiþ to me, who ben þiſe puple, þat þe hillis ſegen; and what maner, and hou fele ben þe cites of hem; what alſo be þe vertue of hem, or what be þe multitude of hem, or who be þe king of þe chiualrie of hem; whi beforn alle, þat dwellen in þe eſt, þeſe diſpiſiden me, and wenten not oute to meeten wiþ vs, þat þei ſhulden taken vs wiþ pes? Þanne Achior, duke of alle þe ſonus of Amon, anſwerende, ſeiþ, If þou vouche ſaaf to here, my lord, I ſhal ſei þe treuþe in þi ſiȝt of þis puple þat in þe mountaynes dwelliþ, and þer ſhal not go out a fals woord of my mouþ. Þis puple is of þe progenye of Caldeis; þis firſt in Meſopotanye dwelte; for þei wolde not folewe þe godis of þer fadris, þat weren in þe lond of Caldeis. And ſo forſakende þe cerimoynes of þer fadris, þat wiþ þe multitude of godis weren, o God of heuene þei herieden, þe whiche and comaundede to hem, þat þei ſhulden gon out þennus, and dwelle in Carram. And whan hungir hadde ouercouered al þe lond, þei wenten doun into Egipt, and þere bi foure hundrid ȝer ſo ben multiplied, þat þe oſt of hem myȝte not ben noumbrid. And whan þe king of Egipt hadde greued hem, and in bildingus of his cites in clei and tijl hadde vnderȝokid hem, þei crieden to þer God, and he ſmot al þe lond of Egipt wiþ diuerſe veniauncis. And whan Egipcyenus hadden caſt hem out fro hem, and veniaunce hadde ceſid fro hem, and eft þei wolden hem taken, and to þeir ſeruiſe aȝeen clepen, hem fleende, God of heuene openede þe ſe, ſo þat on eiþer ſide þe watris as wallis weren maad ſad, and þei drie foot þe ground of þe ſe goende paſſeden ouer. In þe whiche place whil þe vnnoumbrable oſt of Egipcienus þem ſhulde purſuen, ſo wiþ watris it is couered, þat þer lafte not ne oon, þat þe deede to after comeres ſhulde telle. Alſo, gon out þe Rede Se, þei wenten aȝen þe deſertus of þe mountus of Sina, in þe whiche neuere man myȝte dwellen, or ſone of man reſtide. Þere bitter wellis ben maad ſwete to þem to drinke; and bi fourti ȝer ȝeris frute fro heuene þei geeten. Wher euere þei wenten in, wiþ oute bowe and arwe, and wiþ oute ſheld and ſwerd þer God faȝt for hem, and ouercam. And þer was not þat ſhulde aſailen to þat puple, but whan it wente awei fro þe heriyng of þe Lord his God. As ofte ſiþes forſoþe biſide hym þer God an oþer þei herieden, þei ben ȝiuen in to prei, and in to ſwerd, and in to repref. As ofte ſiþes forſoþe þei oþoȝten þemſelf to han gon awey fro þe heriyng of þer God, God of heuene ȝaf to hem vertue of wiþſtonding. Ferþermore king Cananee, and Jebuſee, and Fereſee, and Eþee, and Euee, and Amorree, and alle þe myȝti men in Eſebon þei þrewe doun, and þe londis of hem, and þe citees of hem þei weldeden; and vnto þe time þat þei hadden ſynned in þe ſiȝte of þer God, goodis weren wiþ hem, þe God forſoþe of hem hateþ wickeneſſe. For and befor þeſe ȝerys, whan þei hadden gon awei fro þe weie þat God hadde ȝiue to þem, þat þei ſhulden gon in it, þei ben deſtroȝid wiþ manye batailis of naciouns, and manye of hem ben lad caitif in to a lond not þeris. Forſoþe not ȝore ago, turned aȝeen to þe Lord þer God, fro þe ſcatering þat þei weren ſcaterid, þei ben gedered in to oon; and þei ſteȝeden vp alle þeſe mounteynes, and eft welden Jeruſalem, wher ben þe holi þingus of halewis. Now þanne, my lord, enſerche, if þer is any wickedneſſe of hem in þe ſiȝte of þer God, and ſteȝe wee vp to hem; for takende he ſhal taken hem þer God to þee, and vnderȝokid ſhul ben vnder þe ȝoc of þi myȝt. If forſoþe þer is noon offencioun of þis puple befor þer God, wee ſhul not moun wiþſtonde to þem; for þer God ſhal defende þem, and wee ſhul ben in to repref of al erþe. And it is do, whan Achior hadde ceſid to ſpeken þeſe woordis, alle þe grete men of Olofernes ben wroþe, and þoȝten to ſlen hym, ſeiende, eiþer to oþer, Who is he þis þat ſeiþ, þe ſonus of Irael to moun wiþſtonde to king Nabugodonoſor and to his oſtus, men wiþ oute armys, and wiþ oute vertue, and wiþ oute wiſdam of þe craft of fiȝting? Þat þanne Achior knowe, for he bigileþ vs, ſteȝe wee vp in to þe mountaines; and whan þe myȝti men of hem weren taken, þanne wiþ þe ſame he ſhal ben ſmyte þurȝ wiþ ſwerd; þat alle folc knowen, for Nabugodonoſor is god vpon erþe, and biſides hym ys not an oþir.
It is do forſoþe, whan þei hadden ceſid to ſpeken, Olofernes, endeyned hugeli, ſeide to Achior, For þou haſt profecied to vs, ſeiende, þat þe folc of Irael was defendid of þer God, þat I ſhewe to þee, þat þer is no god but Nabugodonoſor; whan wee han ſmyte þem alle as o man, þanne and þiſelf wiþ hem wiþ þe ſwerd of Aſſiries ſhalt dien, and al Irael wiþ þee ſhal diſperſhen in perdicioun; and þou ſhalt preue, for Nabugodonoſor be lord of al erþe; and þanne þe ſwerd of my knyȝþod ſhal paſſe þurȝ þi ſidis, and ſtikid þou ſhalt fallen among þe woundid men of Irael, and þou ſhalt no mor take breþ, to þe time þat þou be put out of þe lond wiþ hem. But forſoþe if þi profecie ſoþ þou weene, falle not doun þi chere; and þe paleneſſe þat wiþholdeþ þi face, go awei fro þee, if þeſe my woordis þou weeneſt not to moun be fulfild. Forſoþe þat þou knowe, for togidere wiþ þem þat þou ſhalt knowe bi experienſe, lo! fro þis hour þou ſhalt be felaſhipid to þe puple of hem, and whan wrþi peynes of my ſwerd þei han taken, þiſelf ſhalt vnderlin to lic veniaunce. Þanne Olofernes comaundide to his ſeruauns, þat þei ſhulden taken Achior, and leden hym in to Betulie, and taken hym in þe hond of þe ſonus of Irael. And þe ſeruauns of Olofernes, takende hym, wenten bi þe wilde feldis, but whan þei hadden neȝhed to þe mounteynes, wenten out aȝen hem ſlingeres. Þei forſoþe, turnende aſide fro þe ſide of þe hil, bounden Achior to a tree hondus and feet, and ſo bounden of cordis þei laften hym, and ben turned aȝeen to þer lord. But þe ſonus of Irael, comende doun fro Betulie, camen to hym, whom looſende þei ladden to Betulie, and in to þe myddel of þe puple hym ſettende aſkeden hym, what of þingus it were, þat hym bounde þe Aſſiries hadden laft. In þoo daȝes weren þere princis, Oſias, þe ſone of Myca, of þe linage of Symeon, and Carmy, þe whiche and Goþonyel. And ſo in þe myddel of þe elders, and in þe ſiȝte of alle men, Achior ſeide alle þingus, þat he aſkid of Olofernes hadde ſpoken, and what maner þe puple of Olofernes wolde for þis woord ſlen hym, and what maner he Olofernes wroþ comaundede hym to be take to þe men of Irael for þis cauſe, þat whil he ſhulde ouercome þe ſonus of Irael, þanne and þat Achior he comaunde wiþ dyuers tormentus to dien, for þat þat he hadde ſeid, God of heuene is þe defendere of hem. And whan alle þingus Achior hadde expouned, al þe puple fel in to þe face, honourende þe Lord; and wiþ comun lamenting and weping alle of o wil þer preȝeeris to þe Lord helden out, ſeiende, Lord God of heuene and of erþe, ſee þe pride of hem, and beholde to oure mekneſſe, and to þe face of þi halewis tac heede, and ſhewȝ for þou forſakiſt not þat befor alle þingus taken troſt of þee, and principally takende troſt of hemſelf, and of þer vertue gloriende þou meekiſt. And ſo þe weping endid, and bi al þe dai þe oriſoun of þe puple fulfild, þei coumforteden Achior, ſeiende, God of oure fadris, whos vertue þou haſt prechid, he ȝeldere to þee þis recompenſacioun ſhal ȝiue, þat þou raþere ſee þe deþ of hem. Whan forſoþe þe Lord oure God ſhal ȝiue þis fredam to his ſeruauns, be and þe Lord wiþ þee in þe myddel of vs, þat as it ſhal pleſe to þee, ſo wiþ alle þine þou dwelle. Þanne Oſias, þe counſeil endid, toc hym in to his hous, and made a gret ſoper. And, alle þe preſtus clepid togidere, þe faſting fulfild, þei eeten. After forſoþe, al þe puple clepid togidere, þurȝ out al þe nyȝt wiþinne þe chirche þei preȝeden, aſkende helpe of þe God of Irael.
Olofernes forſoþe þat toþer dai comaundide to his oſtus, þat þei ſhulden ſteȝe vp aȝen Betulie. Þer weren forſoþe footmen of fiȝteres an hundrid and twenti þouſend, and horſe men twelue þouſend, biſide þe redi cumpanyes of þoo men, whom caitifte hadde ocupied, and weren broȝt fro prouyncis and cites, of alle ȝouþe. Alle togidere maden þemſelf redi to þe fiȝt aȝen þe ſones of Irael; and þei camen bi þe brinke of þe hil vnto þe cop, þat beholdeþ Dotaym, fro þe place þat is ſeid Belena vnto Selmon, þat is aȝen Eſdrelon. Þe ſones forſoþe of Irael, as þei ſeȝen þe multitude of hem, þei þrewen þemſelf doun vpon þe erþe, puttende aſkis vpon þer hedis, togidere of o wil preȝende, þat God of Irael his merci ſhewe vp on his puple. And takende þer armys of bataile, ſeten bi þe placis þat leden þe paþ of ſtreit weie betwe þe hilli placis, and þei weren kepende þem al dai and nyȝt. But Olofernes, whil he goþ aboute bi cumpas, fond þat a welle, þat flowide in to þe watir condute of þem, fro þe ſouþ partie out of þe cite diuerſli reulide, and comaundede to ben hewe doun þe water cundute of hem. Ner þe latere þer weren not fer from þe wallis wellis, of þe whiche þeefli þei weren ſeen to drawe water, raþere to refreſhen þan to drinken. But þe ſonus of Amon and of Moab wenten to Olofernes, ſeiende, Þe ſones of Irael not in ſpere and arewe troſten, but þe mountaynes defenden hem, and ſtrengþen hem þe litle hillis ſett in a dich broken beforn. Þanne þat wiþ oute going to fiȝt þou mowe ouercome þem, put keperis of wellis, þat þei drawe not of hem; and wiþ oute ſwerd þou ſhalt ſlen hem, or certis weried þei ſhuln take þer cite, þe whiche þei weenen in þe hillis to moun not ben ouercome. And þeſe woordis pleſeden beforn Olofernes, and beforn alle his cruel knyȝtus; and he ſette bi enuyroun hundredis bi alle þe wellis. And whan þis warde bi twenti daȝis was ful ended, faileden þe ciſternes and þe gederingis of watris to alle þe dwelleris in Betulie, ſo þat þer was not wiþ inne þe cite, wher of þei myȝten han ynowȝ or for o dai, for at meſure watir was ȝiue to þe puplis eche dai. Þanne to Oſias alle men and wymmen, and ȝunge men, and litle childer, gadered togidere, alle togidere wiþ o vois ſeiden, Þe Lord deme betwen vs and þee, for þou haſt don in to vs euelys, not willende to ſpeken peſibli wiþ þe Aſſiries, and for þat God haþ ſold vs in þe hondis of hem. And þerfore þer is not þat helpeþ, whan wee ben þrowe doun befor þe eȝen of hem in þriſt, and in gret perdicioun. And now gedereþ alle men, þat ben in þis citee, þat wilfulli wee of al þe puple taken vs to Olofernes. Betere it is þat caitif wee bliſſe God liuende, þan wee die, and be repref to alle fleſh, whan wee ſeen oure wiues and oure childer dien beforn oure eȝen. Wee taken to witneſſe to dai heuene and erþe, and God of oure fadris, þat doþ veniaunce on vs after oure ſynnes, þat now ȝee take þe cite in þe hond of þe chiualrie of Olofernes, þat oure ende be ſhort in þe mouþ of ſwerd, þat lengere is maad in droȝte of þriſt. And whan þeſe þingis þei hadden ſeid, weping and gret ȝelling is maad in a gret chirche of alle men, and bi manye houris wiþ o vois þei crieden to þe Lord, ſeiende, Wee han ſynned wiþ oure fadris, vnriȝtwiſli wee han don, wickedneſſe wee han maad. For þou art piteuous, haue merci on vs, and in þi ſcourge venge oure wickedneſſis; and wile þou not taken men knoulechende þee to þe puple þat knowiþ not þee, þat þei ſei not among Jentilis, Where is þe God of hem? And whan, trauailid wiþ þeſe cries and þeſe wepingis, þei weren weri, Oſias riſende, þe teris inſhed, ſeide, Euene inwit beþ, breþern, and þeſe fiue daȝes bijde wee of þe Lord mercy; parauenture forſoþe his indignacioun he ſhal putten awei, and ȝiue glorie to his name. If forſoþe, fiue daȝes paſſid ouer, helpe comeþ not, wee ſhul do þeſe woordis þat ȝee han ſpoken.
And it is do, whan þeſe woordis hadde herd Judit, widewe, þat was þe doȝter of Merari, ſone of Idor, ſone of Joſeph, ſone of Ozie, ſone of Elai, ſone of Jamnor, ſone of Jedeon, ſone of Rafoni, ſone of Achitob, ſone of Melchie, ſone of Euam, ſone of Maþanye, ſone of Salaþiel, ſone of Symeon, ſone of Ruben. And hir huſbonde was Manaſſes, þat diede in þe daȝes of barli rip; forſoþe he ſtod ouer þe men bindende ſheues in þe feld, and þer cam hete vp on his hed, and he diede in Betulie his cite, and is biried þere wiþ his fadris. Forſoþe Judit was þe laft widue of hym now þre ȝer and ſixe moneþis. And in þe ouere partis of hir hous ſhe made to hir a priue bed place, in whiche wiþ hir hand wymmen cloſid ſhe dwelte; and, hauende vp on hir lendis an heire, faſtide alle þe daȝes of hir lif, ſaue ſabatis, and newe mones, and þe feſtis of þe hous of Irael. Forſoþe ſhe was wiþ fair beholding ful myche, to whom hir huſbonde hadde laft myche richeſſe, and plenteuous meyne, and poſſeſſiouns ful wiþ droues of oxen, and flockis of ſhep. And þis was in alle þingus moſt famous; for ſhe dradde God gretli, ne þer was þat ſhulde ſpeken of hir euel woord. And ſo þis whan ſhe hadde herd, for Oſias hadde behoten, þat, þe fifte dai paſſid ouer, he ſhulde take þe cite, ſhe ſente to þe preſtis of Cambre and of Carmy. And þei camen to hir; and ſhe ſeide to þem, What is þis woord, in þe whiche Oſias conſentide þat he take þe cite to Aſſiries, if wiþ inne fiue daȝes þer come not helpe to vs? And who ben ȝee þat tempten þe Lord? Þis woord is not þat ſtire mercy; but raþere þat rere wraþe, and teende woodneſſe. Ȝee han ſett a time of mercy doing of þe Lord, and in ȝoure dom ȝee han ordeyned a dai to hym. But for þe Lord is pacient, in þis ſynne oþinke wee, and his forȝiueneſſe wiþ teres aſke wee; ne forſoþe as a man ſo God ſhal þreten, ne as þe ſone of man to wraþe he ſhal ben enflaumed. And þerfore meke wee to hym oure ſoulis, and in contrit ſpirit and mekid ſerue wee to hym; and ſei wee wepende to þe Lord, þat aftir his wil ſo he do wiþ vs his mercy; and as oure herte is diſturbid in þe pride of hem, ſo alſo of oure mecneſſe wee glorien. For wee han not folewid þe ſynnes of oure fadris, þat forſoken þer God, and honoureden alien godis; for þe whiche hidous gilte þei ben ȝiuen in to ſwerd, and in to rauein, and in to confuſioun to þer enemys; wee forſoþe oþer God knowen not ſaue hym. Abijde wee meke þe coumforting of hym, and he ſhal ſechen out oure blod fro þe tormentingis of oure enemys; and he ſhal meken alle Jentilis, who ſo euere rijſen aȝen vs; and he ſhal make þem wiþ oute wrſhipe, þe Lord oure God. And now, breþern, for ȝee þat ben preſtis in þe puple of God, of ȝou hangeþ þe lif of hem at ȝoure ſpeche, rereþ vp þe hertis of hem, þat myndeful ȝee be, for ȝoure fadris ben temptid, for þei ſhulden be preued, if verreli þei herieden þer God. Myndeful owen þei to ben, what maner oure fader Abraham is temptid, and, bi manye tribulaciouns preuyd, þe frend of God is maad. So Iſaac, ſo Jacob, ſo Moiſes, and alle þat pleſeden to þe Lord, bi manye tribulaciouns paſſeden feiþful. Þei forſoþe þat temptaciouns reſſeyueden not wiþ þe drede of God, and broȝten forþ þer vnpacience, and þe repref of þer grucching aȝen þe Lord, ben exilid of þe exilere, and of ſerpentis perſhiden. And wee þanne venge we not vſſelf for þeſe þingus þat wee ſuffren; but, wijtende to oure ſynnes þeſe ſame laſſe tormentis to ben, þe ſcourgis of þe Lord, as ſeruauns of þe Lord þat ben chaſtiſid, to amendement, and not to han come to oure perdicioun, wee leeuen. And Oſias and þe preſtis ſeiden to hir, Alle þingus, þat þou haſt ſpoke, ben ſoþe, and þer is not in þi woordis any repreuyng. Now þanne prei þou for vs, for þou art an holi womman, and dredende God. And Judit ſeide to þem, As þat, þat I myȝte ſpeken, ȝee knowen to ben of God, ſo þat I purpoſide to do, preueþ, if it is of God; and preȝeþ, þat God ſtedefaſt make my counſeil. Ȝee ſhul ſtonden at þe ȝate þis nyȝt, and I ſhal gon out wiþ my fre handmaiden; and preȝeþ, þat, as ȝee han ſeid, þe Lord in fiue daȝes beholde his puple Irael. Ȝou forſoþe I wile, þat ȝee ſerche my deede, and vnto þe time þat I bringe aȝeen woord to ȝou, noon oþer þing be don, but oriſoun for me to þe Lord oure God. And Oſias, þe prince of Jude, ſeide to hir, Go in pes, and þe Lord be wiþ þee in þe veniynge of oure enemys. And, turnende aȝeen, þei wenten awei.
The whiche goende awei, Judit wente in to hir oratorie, and, cloþende hir wiþ an heire, putte aſkes vp on hir hed; and, þrowende hirſelf doun to þe Lord, criede to þe Lord, ſeiende, Lord God of my fader Symeon, þat ȝeue to hym a ſwerd in to defending of alienes, þat weren defouleris in þer defouling, and nakeden þe hipe of þe maiden in to confuſioun; and þou ȝeue þe wymmen of hem in to prei, þe doȝtris of hem in to caitifte, and al þe prei in to deuiſioun to þi ſeruauns, þat looueden þi looue; help, I beſeche, Lord, to me widewe. Þou forſoþe didiſt raþere þingis, and þoo after þoo þou þoȝtiſt, and þis deede is, þat þi ſelf woldiſt. Alle forſoþe þi weies ben maad redi, and þi domes in þi prouidence þou haſt put. Beholde þe tentis of Aſſiries now, as þanne þe tentis of Egipcienus þou vouchedeſt ſaf to beholde, whan after þi ſeruauns þei runnen armed, troſtende in þer foure horſid cartis, and in þer horſing, and in þe multitude of fiȝteres. But þou beheelde vp on þe tentis of hem, and dercneſſes ouertrauaileden hem; þe ſe heeld þe feet of hem, and watris couereden hem. So, Lord, and þeſe be maad, þat troſten in þer multitude; and in þer charis, and in wepnys, and in þer arewis, and in ſperis glorien; and þei knowen not, for þou þi ſelf art oure God, þat to-tredeſt batailis fro þe bigynnyng, and Lord name is to þee. Rere vp þin arm as fro þe begynnyng, and hurtle þe vertue of hem in þi vertue; falle þe vertue of hem in þi wraþe, þat behoten þemſelf to defoule þin holi þingus, and to polluten þe tabernacle of þi name, and to þrowe doun wiþ ſwerd þe horne of þin auter. Do, Lord, þat þe pride of hem be cut awei wiþ þer owne ſwerd; be he taken wiþ þe grane of his eȝen in me; and þou ſhalt ſmyten hym of þe lippis of my charite. Ȝif to me in wil ſtedefaſtneſſe, þat I diſpiſe hym and his vertue, and I turne hym vp ſo doun. Forſoþe he ſhal be þe memorial of þi name, whan þe hondis of a womman han þrowen hym doun. Forſoþe, Lord, not in multitude is þi vertue, ne in ſtrengþys of hors þi wil; ne proude men pleſeden to þee fro þe begynnyng, but of meke men and of buxum euermor to þee pleſide þe preȝeere. God of heuenes, makere of watris, and Lord of eche creature, here me wrecche preȝende and of þi merci principali takende troſt. Haue mynde, Lord, of þi teſtament, and ȝif woord in my mouþ, and ſtrengþe þe counſeil in myn herte, þat þin hous in þin halewinge abijde ſtille; and alle Jentilis knowen, for þou art God, and þer is noon oþer biſide þee.
It is do forſoþe, whan ſhe hadde ceſid to crien to þe Lord, ſhe ros fro þe place, in whiche ſhe lai þrowe doun to þe Lord. And ſhe clepide hir fre maiden, and cam doun in to hir hous; ſhe dide awei fro hir þe heire, and cloþide hyrſelf out of þe cloþing of hir widewehed. And ſhe weſh hir bodi, and oyntide hirſelf wiþ þe beſte myrre, and ſhe platte þe her of hir hed, and putte a mytre vp on hir hed, and ſhe cloþide hir wiþ þe cloþis of hir iolite, and cloþide hirſelf gaȝe ſhon to hir feet; and ſhe toc armes onournemens, and lilies, and ere ringus, and finger ringys, and wiþ alle hir onournemens ſhe onournede hir. To whom alſo þe Lord ȝaf briȝtneſſe, for al þis compoſicioun not of luſt, but of vertue heeng; and þerfore þe Lord made more þis fairneſſe in to hir, þat ſhe aperede to þe eȝen of alle men wiþ fairneſſe vncomparable. And ſo ſhe putte on to hir fre maiden a botel of wijn, and a veſſel of oile, and potage, and dried figes, and loues, and cheſe, and wente forþ. And whan þei weren come to þe ȝate of þe cite, þei founden Oſiam abidende, and þe preſtis of þe cite. Þe whiche whan þei hadden ſeen hir, ſtoneȝende merueileden ful miche þe fairneſſe of hir. No þing ner þe latere aſkende hir laften to paſſen, ſeiende, God of oure fadris ȝiue to þee grace, and al þe counſeil of þin herte wiþ his vertue ſtrengþe, and glorie vp on þee Jeruſalem, and be þi name in þe noumbre of ſeintus and of riȝtwis men. And þeſe, þat þer weren, alle wiþ o vois ſeiden, Be it do! be it do! Þanne Judit preȝende þe Lord, paſſede þurȝ þe ȝatis, ſhe and hir fre maiden. It is do forſoþe, whan ſhe cam doun þe hil aboute ſpring of þe dai, aȝen camen to hir þe aſpies of þe Aſſiries, and heelden hir, ſeiende, Whennes comeſt þou, or whider goſt þou? Þe whiche anſwerde, A doȝter I am of Ebrues, and þerfore I fleiȝ fro þe face of hem, for to comen I knew, þat þei ſhul ben to ȝou in to prei taking, for þi þat deſpiſende ȝou wolden not freeli taken þemſelf, þat þei ſhulden finde mercy in ȝoure ſiȝte. For þis cauſe I þoȝte wiþ myſelf, ſeiende, I ſhal go to þe face off Olofernes prince, þat I ſhewe to hym þe priuites of hem, and I ſhal ſhewe to hym, bi what entre he mai wynne hem, ſo þat þer falle not oon man of his oſt. And whan þoo men hadden herd hir woordis, þei beheelden hir face, and ſhe was in þer eȝen ſtoneyng, for þei merueileden ful myche þe fairneſſe of hir. And þei ſeiden to hir, Þou haſt kept þi lif, for þi þat ſuch a counſeil þou haſt founde, þat þou come doun to oure lord. Þis forſoþe wite þou, þat, whan þou ſtondiſt in his ſiȝte, he ſhal wel do to þee, and þou ſhalt be moſt acceptid in his herte. And þei ladden hir to þe tabernacle of Olofernes, and ſhewiden hir. And whan ſhe was comen in beforn his face, anoon Olofernes is caȝt in his eȝen. And hiſe tyraunt knyȝtis ſeiden to hym, Who deſpiſede þe puple of Jewis, þat han ſo faire wymmen, þat not for hem bi riȝt aȝen hem wee owen to fiȝten? And ſo Judit ſeande Olofernes ſittende in þe canope, þat was of purper, and of gold, and of ſmaragd, and of moſt precious ſtones wiþ inne wouen, and whan in to his face ſhe hadde lokid, ſhe honourede hym, fallende hyrſelf doun vpon þe erþe; and þe ſeruauns of Olofernes rereden hir vp, þer lord comaundende.
Thanne Olofernes ſeide to hir, Euene inwit be þou, and wile þou not dreden in þin herte, for I neuere noȝede man, þat wolde ſerue to king Nabugodonoſor. Þi puple forſoþe, if it hadde not deſpiſid me, I hadde not rerid myn hond vp on it. Now forſoþe ſei to me, of what cauſe þou wentiſt awei fro þem, and it pleſide to þee þat þou haſt come to vs. And Judit ſeide, Tac þe woordis of þin hand maiden; for, if þou folewiſt þe woordis of þin hand maiden, a parfit þing þe Lord ſhal don wiþ þee. Forſoþe Nabugodonoſor liueþ, king of þe erþe, and his vertue liueþ, þat is in þee to þe chaſtiſing of alle liues errende; for not onli men ſhul ſerue to hym bi þee, but and beſtis of þe feld obeſhen to hym. Forſoþe þe redyneſſe of þin inwit is told to alle folkis; and it is open to al þe world, for þou alone good and myȝti art in al his reume; and þi diſcipline to alle prouyncis is prechid. Ne þat is vnknowen, þat Achior ſpac, ne þat is vnwiſt, þat hym þou haſt comaundid to fallen. Forſoþe it is knowen ſo oure God offendid to ſynnes, þat he haþ ſent by his profetis to þe puple, þat he ſhal taken it for þer ſynnes. And for þe ſones of Irael witen þem to han offendid þe Lord þer God, his trembling is vp on hem. Ferþermor alſo hungir haþ aſailid hem, and of þe droȝte of water now among deade men ben countid. Þerfore þis þei ordeynen, þat þer beſtis þei ſlen, and þe blod of hem þei drinken; and þe holi þingis of þer Lord, þat God comaundide not to be touchid, in whete, win, and oile, þeſe þingus þei han þoȝt to ȝiuen out, and wiln waſte þoo þingus, þat wiþ hondus þei ſhulden not touche; þanne for þeſe þingys þei don, it is certein þat in to leeſing þei ſhul be ȝiue. Þe whiche þing I, þin hand maiden, knowende, fleiȝ fro þem, and þe Lord ſente me þeſe ſame þingus to telle þee. I forſoþe, þin hand maiden, herie God, alſo now anent þee; and þin hand maiden ſhal gon out, and I ſhal preȝen God; and he ſhal ſei to me, for he ſhal ȝelde to þem þer ſynne; and comende I ſhal telle to þee, ſo þat I ſhal bringe þee bi þe myddel of Jeruſalem, and þou ſhalt han al þe puple of Irael as ſhep to whiche is no ſhepperde, and þer ſhal not berken or oon aȝen þee; for þeſe þingis to me ben ſeid bi þe prouidence of God. And for God is wroþ to þem, I am ſent þeſe ſame þingus to telle þee. Forſoþe alle þeſe woordis pleſeden beforn Olofernes, and beforn his childer; and þei merueileden at þe wiſdam of hir; and þe toþer ſeide to þe toþer, Þer is not ſuch a womman vpon erþe in ſiȝte, in fairneſſe, and in wit of woordis. And Olofernes ſeide to hir, God haþ do wel, þat ſente þee befor þe puple, þat þou ȝeue it in oure hondis; and for good is þi beheſte, if þi God do to me þeſe þingus, he ſhal ben and my God, and þou in þe hous of Nabugodonoſor ſhalt be gret, and þi name ſhal be nemned in al erþe.
Thanne he comaundede hir to gon in, wher his treſories weren leid vp, and he comaundide hir to dwelle þere; and he ordeynede, what ſhulde be ȝiue to hir of his feſte. To whom anſwerde Judit, and ſeide, Now I ſhal not moun ete of þeſe þingus, þat þou comaundiſt to me to be ȝolden, leſt þer come vp on me gilte; of þoo þingis forſoþe þat wiþ me I haue broȝt, I ſhal ete. To whom ſeiþ Olofernes, If þeſe þingis failen to þee, þat wiþ þee þou haſt broȝt, what ſhul wee do to þee? And Judit ſeide, Lord, þi ſoule liueþ, for þin hand maide ſhal not ſpende alle þeſe þingus, to þe time þat God ſhul do in myn hond þoo þingus þat I haue þoȝt. And his ſeruauns ladden hir in to þe tabernacle, wher he hadde comaundede. And ſhe aſkide, whil ſhe ſhulde gon in, þat þer ſhulde be ȝiue to hir fredam, þe nyȝt, and beforn þe liȝt, of going out to oriſoun, and of preȝing þe Lord. And he comaundede to his cubicularies, þat, as it pleſide to hir, ſhe ſhulde gon out, and comen in, to preȝen hir God bi þre daȝes. And ſhe wente out on nyȝtis in to þe valei of Betulie, and baptiſide hirſelf in to þe welle of watir. And as ſhe ſteȝede vp, ſhe preȝede þe Lord God of Irael, þat he ſhulde gouerne hir wei to þe deliueryng of hir puple. And goende in, clen ſhe dwelte in þe tabernacle, vnto þe time ſhe toc hir mete vnto euen. And it is don þe ferþe dai, Olofernes made a ſoper to his ſeruauns, and ſeide to Vagio, gelding, Go, and ſweteli moue þis Ebru, þat wilfulli ſhe ſente to dwelle wiþ me. Forſoþe a foul þing it is anent Aſſiries, if a womman ſcorne a man, doende þat ſhe paſſe fro hym wiþoute hir offis. Þanne wente in Vagio to Judit, and ſeide, Be not adrad, þou goode child maide, to gon in to my lord, þat ſhe be maad wrſhipeful beforn his face, and ete ſhe wiþ hym, and drinke win wiþ gladneſſe. To whom Judit anſwerde, What am I, þat I aȝenſeie to my lord? Alle þing, þat ſhal ben beforn his eȝen good and beſt, I ſhal do. What euere forſoþe to hym ſhulde pleſe, þat to me ſhal be beſt alle daȝes of my lif. And ſhe ros, and enournede hirſelf wiþ hir cloþis, and gon in ſhe ſtod beforn his face. Forſoþe þe herte of Olofernes is ſmyten; forſoþe he was brennende in þe luſt of hir. And Olofernes ſeide to hir, Drink now, and ſitt doun in ioȝe; for þou haſt founde grace befor me. And Judit ſeide, I ſhal drinke, lord, for my lif is magnyfied to dai beforn alle þe daȝes of my liuyng. And ſhe toc, and eet, and dranc beforn hym þoo þingis, þat hir hond maiden hadde maad redi to hir. And Olofernes is maad myrie to hir, and myche win he dranc ful myche, hou myche in o dai neuere he hadde drunken in his lyue.
As forſoþe euetid is do, his ſeruauns heȝeden to þer herbergeries; and Vagio cloſide þe dores of þe priue chaumbre, and wente. Forſoþe alle weren ouertrauailid of win; and Judit was alone in þe priue chaumbre. But Olofernes lai in þe bed, wiþ to myche drunkeneſſe aſlepe. And Judit ſeide to hir child womman, þat ſhe ſhulde ſtonde wiþ oute forþe befor þe dore of þe priue chaumbre, and waiten aboute. And Judit ſtod befor þe bed, preȝende wiþ teres, and wiþ moouyng of lippis in ſilence, ſeiende, Conferme me, Lord God of Irael, and behold in þis hour to þe werkis of myn hondis, þat þou rere vp þi cite Jeruſalem, as þou haſt behoten; and þat, þat I leeuende to moun be don bi þee þoȝte, I parforme. And whan þat ſhe hadde ſeid, ſhe wente to þe piler þat was at þe hed of his bed, and his ſwerd, þat in it bounden heeng, ſhe loſede. And whan ſhe hadde drawen it out, ſhe toc þe her of his hed, and ſeiþ, Conferme me, God of Irael, in þis hour. And ſhe ſmot twies in to his haterel, and ſhe cutte of his hed; and ſhe toc awei his canope fro þe pileris, and ſhe turnede out his body behedid. And after a litil while ſhe wente out, and toc þe hed of Olofernes to hir hand maiden, and comaundede, þat ſhe ſhulde putten it in to hir ſcrippe. And þei two wenten out after þer vſage as to preȝeere, and þei paſſeden þe tentis, and, goende aboute þe valei, camen to þe ȝate of þe cite. And Judit ſeide aferre to þe keperis of þe wallis, Openeþ þe ȝatis, for wiþ vs is God, þat dide gret vertue in Irael. And it is do, whan þe men hadden herd hir vois, þei clepeden þe preſtis of þe cite. And alle runnen aȝen hir fro þe leſte to þe moſte; for þei hopeden hir no mor to be to come. And, teendende liȝtis, alle wenten abouten hir. She forſoþe ſteȝende vp in to an heiȝere place, comaundede to be maad ſilence. And whan alle hadden holden þer pes, Judit ſeide, Preiſeþ þe Lord oure God, þat forſakeþ not men hopende in hym, and in me, his hand womman, haþ fulfild his merci, þat he behiȝte to þe hous of Irael, and haþ ſlain in myn hond þe enemy of his puple þis nyȝt. And bringende forþ of þe ſcrippe þe hed of Olofernes, ſhewide to þem, ſeiende, Lo! þe hed of Olofernes, prince of þe chiualrie of Aſſiries; and, lo! þe canope of hym, in whiche he lai in his drunkinhed, wher and bi þe hond of a womman ſmot hym þe Lord our God. Forſoþe þe Lord God liueþ, for his aungil kepte me, and hennus goende, and þere dwellende, and þennus hider turnende aȝeen; and þe Lord ſuffride not me his hand womman to be defoulid, but wiþ oute pollucioun of ſynne haþ aȝeen clepid me to ȝou, ioȝende in his victorie, in myn aſcaping, in ȝoure deliueraunce. Knoulecheþ to hym alle, for good, for in to þe world his merci. Alle forſoþe, honourende þe Lord, ſeiden to hir, Þe Lord bleſſide þee in his vertue, for bi þee to noȝt he haþ broȝt oure enemys. But Oſias, þe prince of þe puple of Irael, ſeide to hir, Bleſſid þou art, doȝter, of þe Lord, þe heȝe God, befor alle wymmen vp on erþe. Bleſſid þe Lord, þat made heuene and erþe, and þat haþ dreſſid þee in to þe woundis of þe hed of þe prince of oure enemys; for to dai ſo þi name he haþ magnefied, þat þi preiſing go not awei fro þe mouþ of men, þat weren myndeful of þe vertue of þe Lord in to wiþ oute ende; for þe whiche þingus þou ſparedeſt not to þi lif for anguyſſhis and tribulaciouns of þi kinrede, but holpediſt to þe falling befor þe ſiȝte of oure God. And al þe puple ſeide, So be it! ſo be it! Forſoþe Achior clepid cam; and Judit ſeide to hym, God of Irael, to þe whiche witneſſing þou haſt ȝiue, þat he be vengid of his enemys, he þe hed of alle myſbeleeued men haþ hewen of in þis nyȝt in myn hond. And þat þou preue for ſo it is, lo! þe hed of Olofernes, þat in þe deſpiſing of his pride God of Iſrael diſpiſide, and to þee deþ þratte, ſeiende, Whan þe puple of Irael were taken, I ſhal comaunde wiþ a ſwerd to ſtiken hym þurȝ þe ſides. Seende forſoþe Achior þe hed of Olofernes, anguyſht for inward drede, fel in to his face vpon þe erþe, and his lif quappide. After forſoþe þat, þe ſpirit taken aȝeen, he is reformed, he fel doun to hir feet, and honourede hir, and ſeide, Bleſſid be þou of þi God in al þe tabernacle of Jacob; for in alle folc, þat hereþ þi name, ſhal be magnefied vp on þee God of Irael.
Judit forſoþe ſeide to al þe puple, Hereþ, breþern; hangeþ vp þis hed vp on þe wallis. And it ſhal be, whan þe ſunne goþ out, eche man take his armes, and goþ out wiþ bure, not þat ȝee go doun beneþe, but as bure doende. Þanne it ſhal nede ben, þat þe ſpieres of þe lond flen to þer prince to be rerid vp to þe fiȝt. And whan þe dukis of hem comen to gidere to þe tabernaclis of Olofernes, and finden hym heded, in his blod wrappid, drede ſhal fal doun vpon hem. And whan ȝee knowen þem to fleen, goþ after hem ſiker, for God ſhal to-trede þem vnder ȝoure feet. Þanne Achior ſeande þe vertue þat God of Irael hadde do, laft þe cuſtum of his heþeneneſſe, leeuede to God; and circumcidede þe fleſh of his ȝerde, and is put to þe puple of Irael, and al þe ſucceſſioun of his kinrede vnto þe dai þat is now. Anon forſoþe þat ſprungen is dai, þei heengen vpon þe wallis þe hed of Olofernes; and eche toc his armes, and þei wenten out wiþ gret noiſe and ȝelling. Whiche þing ſeande, þe aſpies runnen togidere to þe tabernacle of Olofernes. Forſoþe þei, þat weren comende in þe tabernacle, and befor þe incomyng of þe priue chaumbre makende noiſe, for ende to reren hym, bi craft caſten vnreſte, þat not of þe rereres, but of þe noiſe makeris Olofernes ſhulde waken. No man forſoþe was hardi þe tabernacle of þe vertue of Aſſiries knockende or entrende to openen. But whan his dukis hadden come, and þe leders of þouſendis, and alle þe more of þe oſt of þe king of Aſſiries, þei ſeiden to þe priue chaumberleynes, Goþ, and rereþ hym; for myis gon out of þer caues ben hardi to clepen forþ vs to bataile. Þanne Vagio, gon in to his priue chaumbre, ſtod befor þe curtin, and made fawnyng wiþ his hondis; forſoþe he trowide hym wiþ Judit to ſlepen. But whan no mouyng of hym liende wiþ þe wit of eris parceiuede, he wente to neȝhende to þe curtin, and rerende it, and ſeande þe carein of Olofernes wiþouten hed to lin roten in his blod vpon þe erþe, criede out wiþ a gret vois wiþ weeping, and cutte his cloþis. And gon in to þe tabernacle of Judit, fond her not, and he out ſterte wiþ oute to þe puple, and ſeide, An Ebru womman haþ do confuſioun in þe hous of king Nabugodonoſor; lo! forſoþe Olofernes liþ in þe erþe, and his hed is not in hym. Þe whiche þing whan hadden herd þe princis of þe vertue of Aſſiries, alle cutten þer cloþis, and vntolerable drede and trembling fel vp on hem, and þer inwittis ben diſturbid gretly. And þer is maad an vntolerable cry in to þe middel tentis.
And whan al þe oſt hadde herd Olofernes of hedid, fleiȝ mynde and counſeil fro þem, and wiþ onli trembling and drede ſtirid token ſocour of fliȝt, ſo þat noon wolde ſpeke wiþ his neȝhebore; but, þe hed bowid doun, alle þingus laft, to ſcape þe Ebrues, whom armed vp on hem to come þei hadden herd, þei enforceden, fleende bi weies of feldis, and bi ſties of ful litle hillis. And ſo þe ſonus of Irael, ſeande þem fleende, folewiden, goende doun, and criende wiþ trumpis, and ȝellende after hem. And for Aſſiries not togidere in oon wenten fallende doun in to fliȝt, þe ſonus forſoþe of Irael wiþ o cumpany purſuende febleden alle, þat þei myȝten finde. And Oſias ſente meſſageres bi alle þe cites and regiouns of Irael. And ſo alle regioun and alle cite ſente a choſen ȝouþe armed after hem; and þei purſueden hem in mouþ of ſwerd, to þe time þat þei came to þe vtmoſt of þer coſtis. Þe toþere men forſoþe, þat weren in Betulia, wenten in to þe tentis of Aſſiries, and þe prei, þat Aſſiries fleende hadden laft, þei token wiþ þem, and þei ben wrſhipid gretli. Þei forſoþe þat hadden ben ouercomeres, ben turned aȝeen to Betulie, alle þingis whateuere weren of hem, þei token awei wiþ þem, ſo þat þer was no noumbre in feld beſtis, and in hous beſtis, and in alle þe mouable þingus of hem, þat fro þe leſte vnto þe myche alle weren made riche of þe prei takingus of hem. Joachym forſoþe, þe heȝe biſſhop of Jeruſalem, cam in to Betulie wiþ alle þe preſtis, þat he ſee Judit. Þe whiche whan hadde gon out to hym, alle bleſſiden hir wiþ o vois, ſeiende, Þou glorie of Jeruſalem, þou gladneſſe of Irael, þou þe wrſhipe doende of oure puple, þat didiſt manli, and þin herte is coumfortid, for þi þat chaſtite þou loouedeſt, and aftir þi man an oþer þou knewe not; and þerfore þe hond of þe Lord coumfortide þee, and þerfore þou ſhalt be bliſſid in to wiþ oute ende. And al þe puple ſeide, Be it do! be it do! Forſoþe bi þretti daȝes vnneþe ben gedered þe ſpoilis of þe Aſſiries of þe puple of Irael. But alle þe proper richeſſis of Olofernes, þat ben proued to han ben, þei ȝeue to Judit, in gold, and ſiluer, and cloþis, and iemmes, and in alle purtenaunces to houſehold; and alle þingus ben taken to hir of þe puple. And alle puplis ioȝeden, wiþ wymmen, and maidenes, and ȝunge men, in orgnys and harpis.
Thanne Judit ſong þis ſong to þe Lord, ſeiende, Begynneþ in timbris; ſingeþ to þe Lord in cimbalis; manerly ſingeþ to hym a new ſalm; ful out ioȝeþ, and inwardli clepeþ his name. Þe Lord totredende batailis, Lord name is to hym. Þat putte his tentis in þe middel off his puple, þat he deliuere vs fro þe hond of alle oure enemys. Aſſur cam fro hillis, fro þe norþ, in multitude of his ſtrengþe; whos multitude ſtoppide þe ſtremes, and þe hors of hem couereden þe valeis. And he ſeide hymſelf to brennen vp oure coſtis, and oure ȝunge men to ſlen wiþ ſwerd, my fauntis to ȝiue in to prei, and maidenes in to caitifte. Þe Lord forſoþe Almyȝti noȝede hym, and toc to þe hondis of a womman, and confoundede hym. Forſoþe þe myȝti of hem fel not of ȝunge men, ne þe ſonus of a tiraunt ſmyten hym, ne heȝe ieauntus putten hem to hym; but Judit, wydewe, þe doȝter of Merari, in þe fairneſſe of hir face vnloſide hym. Forſoþe ſhe cloþide hir fro þe cloþ of hyr widewehed, and cloþide hir in þe cloþ of gladneſſe, in ful out ioȝing to þe ſonus of Irael. She oyntide hir face wiþ an oynement, and ſhe bond togidere hir criſp heris wiþ a mitre, to deſceiuen hym. Hir gaȝe ſhon raueſheden his eȝen, hir fairneſſe made his lif caitif; ſche girde of wiþ a ſwerd his haterel. Þe Perſis griſiden hir ſtedefaſtneſſe, and Medis hir hardyneſſe. Þanne ȝelleden þe tentis of Aſſiries, whan apereden my meke, drie waxende in þriſt. Þe ſonus of child wymmen pungeden þem, and as childer fleende ſlowen hem; þei perſheden in bataile fro þe face of my Lord. A newe ympne ſinge wee to þe Lord oure God. Lord Adonai, a gret God þou art, and beforn alle cleer in þi vertue, and whom no man mai ouercome. To þee ſerue alle þi creature, for þou haſt ſeid, and þei ben maad; þou ſentiſt þi ſpirit, and þei ben formed; and þer is not þat wiþſtonde to þi comanding. Hillis fro foundemens ſhuln ben moued wiþ watris; ſtonus as wax ſhul melte befor þi face. Who forſoþe dreden þee, gret ſhul be anentis þee bi alle þingus. Wo to þe folc riſende vp on my kinrede; þe Lord forſoþe Almyȝti ſhal venge in hem, in þe dai of dom he ſhal viſite þem. Forſoþe he ſhal ȝiue fijr and wormes in þer fleſh, þat þei be brend, and lyuen, and feelen vnto euermore. And it is do after þeſe þingus, al þe puple after þe victorie cam to Jeruſalem to honoure þe Lord; and anoon as þei weren purified, alle offreden brent ſacrifiſes, and vouwis, and þer beheſtis. Forſoþe Judit alle þe armes of bataile of Olofernes, þat þe puple ȝaf to hir, and þe canope, þat ſhe hadde taken, ſhe toc in to þe curs of forȝeting. Forſoþe al þe puple was ioȝeful after þe face of ſeintis; and bi þre moneþis þe ioȝe of þis victorie is ſolempnyſid wiþ Judit. After þoo daȝes forſoþe eche wente aȝeen in to his owne; and Judit is maad gret in Betulie, and was more cler to alle men of þe lond of Irael. Forſoþe ſhe was ioyned to þe vertue of chaſtite, ſo þat ſhe knew no man alle þe daȝis of hir lif, ſiþen is dead Manaſſes, hir huſbonde. Forſoþe ſhe was in feſte daȝes forþ goende wiþ gret glorie. Forſoþe ſhe dwelte in þe hous of hir man an hundrid ȝer and fiue; and ſhe lafte hir dameſele free. And ſhe is dead, and biriede wiþ hir huſbonde in Betulie; and al þe puple weilide hir ſeuen daȝes. In al þe ſpace forſoþe of hir lif was not þat diſturbide Irael, and after hir deþ manye ȝer. Þe daȝes forſoþe of þis feſte of victorie of þe Ebrues in þe noumbre of holi daȝes is acceptid, and heried of þe Jewis fro þat time vnto þe preſent day.
Explicit liber Judiþ.