Translation:Wycliffite Prologue

Wycliffite (Lollard) Prologue to the Bible (c. 1392)
attributed to John Purvey, translated from Middle English by Wikisource

Prologue to the Later edition of the Wycliffe Bible. John Wycliffe and his followers are considered proto-protestants, but they never left the Catholic Church. They were called Lollards. When the original uses roman numerals, this one uses modern numerals, and when the original writes them out, so does this one. The punctuation closely follows the original, even though the original punctuation is sometimes strange. Sometimes what one culture and time sees as poetic another will see as noisome, and the writer had only speeches and Latin to base his writing on.

2355860Wycliffite (Lollard) Prologue to the Bible — The Free Biblec/1392
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Here begins a prologue on the Bible.[1]

Chapter 1 edit

Twenty-five books of the old testament are books of faith, and fully books of holy writ; the first is Genesis, the 2nd is Exodus, the 3rd is Leviticus, the 4th is Numbers, the 5th is Deuteronomy; and these five are the books of Moses, which are called properly the law; the 6th book is Joshua, the 7th book is Judges, that encloses the story of Ruth; the 8th book, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th are the four books of Kings[2] and two books of Chronicles; the 14th book is Ezra, that encloses Nehemiah, and those two[3] are one book in the Hebrew organization,[4] as Jerome says, but in the Greek and Latin organizations[5] these are two books; and the 15th is Esther, the 16th is Job, the 17th is the Psalter; the 18th book, 19th, and 20th are the three books of Solomon; the first is Proverbs, or Parables,[6] the 2nd is Ecclesiastes, and the 3rd is the Song of Songs; the 21st book, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th are the four prophets with long books;[7] Isaiah is the first, Jeremiah is the 2nd, Ezekiel is the 3rd, and Daniel is the fourth; the 25th book is one book of 12 prophets with short works;[8] Hosea is the first, Joel is the 2nd, Amos is the 3rd, Obidiah is the 4th, Jonah is the fifth, Micah is the 6th, Nahum is the 7th, Habakkuk is the 8th, Zephaniah is the 9th, Haggai is the 10th, Zechariah is the 11th, and Malachi is the 12th; and all these 12 prophets with short works[8] are one book, and in this order. And whatever book in the old testament is outside of these twenty-five aforementioned books, shall be set among apocrypha, that is, without authority of belief; therefore the books of Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, and Tobit are not of belief. The first book of Maccabees was found written in Hebrew, and the 2nd book of Maccabees was written first in Greek. Jerome says all these things in the prologue on the first book of Samuel.[9] Also the book of Baruch and the epistle of Jeremiah are not of the authority of the bible in Hebrew,[10] nor the Prayer of Manasseh, as Jerome witnesses, and how much of the book of Esther and of Daniel is of the authority of Hebrew,[11] and in Hebrew letter, it is told in the same books by Jerome himself[12]; nevertheless Jerome, in following Hebrews, encloses all these books in 22; for Hebrews make one book of the first and 2nd book of Kings,[13] and call it Samuel,[14] and they make one book of the 3rd and 4th book of Kings,[15] and call it M'lakhim, and they enclose in one book the 2 books of Chronicles. But certainly, this reckoning is of little charge, whether the books of Kings are numbered four,[2] as the Latins do, or two, as Hebrews do.[16] Also of little charge is, whether Chronicles is departed in 2 books, as Latins use, or one book alone, as Hebrews do; and so of the first book of Ezra and of Nehemiah, little charge is, whether they are two, as Latins and Greeks use, or one alone, as Hebrews use. Nevertheless it seems, that Latins and Greeks have more reason in this reckoning than Hebrews have, but however these books are numbered, all these are of authority of belief, or of christian faith. Then if the first book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah are numbered for two, as Greeks and Latins use, and if men take Judith for a book of holy Scripture, as the general congregation of clergy did at the Nicene Council,[17] as Jerome witnesses in the prologue on Judith, then in the old testament are 27 books of belief. Also Sirach was written in Hebrew[18], and the book of Wisdom is not in the Hebrew scripture,[19] but sounds of Greek Eloquence, and some old writers affirm, that the Jew Filo made it. Therefore as the holy church reads Judith and Tobit and the books of Maccabees, but doesn't receive those among holy scriptures, so the church reads these 2 books, Sirach and Wisdom to building up of the people, not to confirm the authority of teachings of the holy church; Jerome says this plainly in the prologue on Proverbs. Also Jerome translated the first book of Ezra and Nehemiah, and bids that no man delight in the dreams of the 3rd and 4th book of Esdras[20] that are apocrypha, that is, not of authority of belief; for in the Hebrew scripture[19] the words of Ezra and Nehemiah are driven into one book; and the books of the old testament, that are not in the Hebrew scripture,[19] and are not of the number of holy writ, ought to be cast far away; Jerome says this in the prologue of Ezra. And therefore I didn't translate the third or the fourth book of Esdras,[20] that are apocrypha;[21] but only the first,[22] and of Nehemiah, that are reckoned for two books in the Greek and Latin organizations,[23] and are of authority of belief. Nevertheless apocrypha are said in two manners, as the Catholicon[24] says on this word apocrypha; a book is said apocryphal,[25] either because[26] the author is unknown, and its truth is debatable;[27] and the holy church receives such a book not for proving of faith, but to learning of virtues; and such are the books of Judith and others, which Saint Jerome numbers in the prologue on the books of Samuel and Kings;[28] or a book is said apocryphal, and the holy church doesn't receive such books; and such are the book of the young childhood of the Savior,[29] and the book of the taking up of the body of Saint Mary to heaven;[30] the Catholicon[24] says this on that word apocrypha. But truly all the books of the new testament, that is, four gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John; 12 epistles of Paul, 7 short[31] epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and Revelation are fully of authority of belief; therefore christian men and women, old and young, should study strongly in the new testament, for it is of full authority, and open to understanding of simple men, as to the points that are most needful to salvation; and the same thing is in the most hidden[32] places of holy writ, that thing is in the open places; and each place of holy writ, both open and hidden,[33] teaches meekness and charity; and therefore he that keeps meekness and charity has the true understanding and perfection of all holy writ, as Augustine proves in his sermon of the praising of charity. Therefore no man simple in wit should be unreasonably afraid[34] to study in the text of holy writ, because those are words of everlasting life, as Peter said to Christ in the 6th chapter of John; and the Holy Spirit stirred holy men to speak and write the words of holy writ for the comfort and salvation of meek christian men, as Peter in the 2nd epistle in the end, and Paul in the 15th chapter to Romans witnesses. And no clerk should be[35] proud of the true understanding of holy writ, because true understanding of holy writ without charity, that keeps God's commands, makes a man deeper damned, as James and Jesus Christ witness; and pride and greed[36] of clerks is the cause of their blindness and heresy, and proves they don't have true understanding[37] of holy writ, and makes them go living into hell, as Augustine says on the Psalter, on that word, Descendant in infernum viventes.[38][39]

Chapter 2 edit

The old testament is departed into three parts, into moral commandments, regulations,[40] and ceremonials. Moral commandments teach to hold and praise and cherish virtues, and to flee and reprove vices, and these commandments always bind, and have strength, for they are grounded in charity and reason, and in the law of kind. ¶ Regulations[40] teach judgements and pains for horrible sins, and the regulations[40] of Moses's law were fully just and profitable for men, for they were ordained by God, that may not err in his judgements, and laws, and works. Nevertheless since Christ was made man, and ordained law of mercy and charity, and doesn't want[41] the death of a sinful man, but repentance and salvation, christian men are not bound to keep the regulations of Moses's law, that was ended in the time of Christ's passion. But yet christian lords that have the sword, and are God's vicars,[42] in the 13th chapter to Romans, must punish men, that trespass openly, in payment[43] and bodily prison, and sometimes by bodily death, when the sin may not be destroyed in any other way,[44] and the community may not have peace in any other way,[45] as the four doctors and others later proved openly by holy writ and reason; but look that this is done for charity and common profit, with mercy and compassion of brothers, not for greed,[36] pride, or vengeance of a man's own wrong. ¶ Ceremonials teach figures and sacraments of the old law, that prefigured Christ and his death, and the ministries of the holy church in the law of grace; and these ceremonials ceased utterly, as to obligation, in the time of Christ's death, and are annoying and damnable to men that keep them, and for that the gospel is preached and known generally; for if those ceremonials are kept now, the keepers of the ceremonials[46] show their belief that Christ has not come yet, and has not suffered death for mankind;[47] and this open belief[48] is open heresy; because the truth and freedom of the gospel suffices for salvation without keeping of ceremonies made by God in the old law, and much more without ceremonies of sinful and ignorant men,[49] that are made in the time of the Antichrist, and of the unbinding of Satan, in the 20th chapter of Revelation. Therefore as it is open heresy to say, that the gospel with its truth and freedom isn't sufficient for[50] salvation of christian men without keeping of ceremonies of God's law given to Moses, so it seems open heresy to say, that the gospel with its truth and freedom isn't sufficient for[50] christian men without keeping of ceremonies and statutes of sinful and ignorant men,[49] that are made in the time of Satan and the Antichrist.

Chapter 3 edit

[51]Men simple in wit[52] can be well built up to heavenly living by reading and knowing of the old testament, for in the beginning of Genesis they can know, how God made heaven and earth and all creatures out of nothing,[53] and made man to his own image and likeness, and to have bliss in body and soul without end. Also men can know, how sorely God punished Adam and Eve for breaking his commandment; and how Abel pleased God by faith, meekness, and charity; and how Cain displeased him by sins, and especially by envy, hatred, and murder.[54] Also how Noah was loved by God, and all the world, except for 8 people,[55] was destroyed for sin; and how for pride and other sins God divided[56] many languages, so that no man understood another in the tower of Babel; and how faithful and obedient to God Abraham was, that he went out of his land into a strange country, and was ready to slay his own son Isaac at the will of God, and got therefore much reward of God; and how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and another three cities, for lust[57] and other sins, that they were sunk down; and the dead sea is now where those great cities were. Also how true and obedient to God Isaac and Jacob and Joseph were, and how God kept them [safe] in all perils. All this process of Genesis should stir christian men to be faithful, and to respect[58] and love God, and in all things do his will. ¶ [59]Also in Exodus men can know, how God kept his simple people in Egypt, and increased them greatly in that land, under the persecution of Pharaoh, and delivered them by many miracles, and punished Pharaoh and his people with ten strong revenges,[60] [then brought his own people through the red sea,][61] and fed them miraculously in the desert 40 years, where no men dwelt before,[62] and made them to overcome the strong people of Amalek. After this God taught them wise ruling, and gave[63] to them the ten commandments and other laws,[64] to greatly punish sinning openly horrible sins.[65] Also they were very busy making a costly tabernacle to the honor of God, by his biding and teaching, that prefigured the holy church and virtues in men's souls. At the last God took great vengeance on them for idolatry, when they forsook the faith and worshiping of God, and honored molded calves[66] by stirring of the devil. And then Moses was a true mediator between God and the sinful people, and said this to God, for great trust of his mercy and rightfulness, and for great charity to the people, "either forgive this trespass to them, or blot me out[67] of your book in which you have written me;" and for this devout prayer and great charity of Moses God spared the sinful people, and did not destroy all the people suddenly, but took them into his mercy and grace.[68] And this process of Exodus should make men trust in God's help, and to be true in his love, and eschew his offense with all their might. ¶ [69]The 3rd book called Leviticus teaches men sacrifices due to God, and for sins of the people, in the time of the old testament, and that no man unworthy should come near to the service and sacrifice of God. These sacrifices ought not to be kept now, for they prefigured the passion and death of Christ, and remission of sins by the blood and merit of Christ, in the law of grace. Also this book teaches men to abstain from marriage to near kin and relation within the 2nd degree of consanguinity and pain of death for idolatry, and wedding within the 2nd degree of consanguinity and relation. At the last this book teaches men to keep God's commands, and for to love their neighbors and to do justice to them, and works of mercy to needy men; and commands just weights and measures, and judgements; and strongly forbids idolatry and witchcraft and false conjuring; and tells of prosperity that shall come to them that keep God's commandments, and vengeance and pain to them that break God's commandments. And this process of Leviticus should make christian men afraid to break God's commandments, and joyful to keep them to life and death, for reward of God in everlasting bliss. ¶ [70]The 4th book called Numbers tells the number of people led out of Egypt, both of common men and of priests and of deacons;[71] and how God kept them long in the horrible desert, and punished them all by death, except for Caleb and Joshua, for grumbling and mistrust of God's word, and punished Mary, Moses's sister, with leprosy, for backstabbing of Moses, the mild servant of God. Also when God would have destroyed the people for grumbling against him, Moses prayed with all his heart for the people that would have stoned him to death. Also God teaches there, that he that does any sin by pride shall be dead, and that he that breaks the sabbath, yes by gathering sticks,[72] should be stoned by all the people. Also God sorely punished Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, that were rebels against Moses and Aaron, and made dissension in the people, so that the earth opened and devoured them with their tabernacles, and all their possessions,[73] and they went down living into hell. Yet when the people grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and would slay them unjustly, and God killed many thousands of the people therefore, Moses asked Aaron to pray,[74] and offer incense for the people; and so he ceased the vengeance. Also God teaches there, that priests should have the first fruits and the firstborn things, and part of sacrifices and votive offerings[75] and offerings; and deacons[71] shall have tithes from the people, and give their tithes, that is, the tenth part of tithes which they took from the people, to the high priest, and priests and deacons[71] shall hold them paid with their spiritual part of tithes and offerings, and take no possession in the land of their brothers, for God himself shall be the part and heritage of priests, in the midst of the sons of Israel. Also because[26] Moses and Aaron didn't fully believe God's word, but doubted his giving at the water of grumbling against,[76] God didn't let them[77] enter into the land of their inheritance,[78] but both were dead in the desert. Also in the book is told the dwellings of the children of Israel in the desert, and the battles which they had against heathen men; and of Balaam how he was hired to curse God's people, and how God compelled him to bless his people, and to prophesy of Christ.[79] And because[26] the people of Israel did fornication and idolatry, God told Moses to[80] hang all the princes against the sun,[81] that the strong vengeance of God was turned away from the people of Israel. And because[82] Phineas the priest killed a duke of Israel, that did fornication with a heathen woman, and did this for the fervent love of God, he got from God everlasting priesthood for him and his descendants,[83] and turned God's wrath away from the children of Israel. Also there is taught, who shall be heir of a man; and of holidays, and sacrifices, and offerings made in the holidays;[84] and which vows shall be held and which not; and of battles; and how the spoils should be divided among the people, and what should fall to the priest; and how the land of their inheritance[78] should be divided into 12 lineages; and deacons[71] should have cities to inhabit in those, and the suburbs to their sheep and livestock; and cities of refuge should be ordained for them that shed blood unintentionally, not on purpose, nor from hatred existing before; and he that is guilty of man's death shall be slain without any redemption. This process of Numbers should stir christian men for to love their enemies, and do good to them, as Moses and Aaron did, and to keep God's commands, and to not shed man's blood unjustly. ¶ [85]The fifth book called Deuteronomy is a reiteration and confirmation of all the law going before, and strongly stirs men to keep and teach God's commandments, and add nothing to them, nor take away anything from them; and first it teaches, that wise and mighty men should be made judges, and judge justly[86] the poor and the rich; afterward how the Jews overcame Sihon, the king of Heshbon, and took his land and all the goods therein into their own possession, and did in like manner to Og the king of Bashan, and to his land and goods. Furthermore God commands men to keep his commandments,[87] and add nothing to them, nor draw anything away from them, and that they respect[58] and love God with all their heart, and all their soul, and all their strength, and eschew idolatry, and serve and worship him alone; and that they teach God's commandments to their sons, and think on those commandments in house and traveling,[88] sleeping and waking. Also God commands his people to eschew weddings of heathen men and women to their children, lest they be drawn to idolatry, and gives many blessings to them and much increasing of goods, if they truly keep his commandments, and that strong vengeance and destroying shall come upon the Jews, if they do idolatry, and are disobedient to God. Also God bids them have mind, that they have the land of their inheritance,[89] not for their own righteousness and strength, but for the sins of the men that dwelt therein, and for the oath of God which he made to Abraham and to other holy men. And then God reminded them of many great sins, to make them wary that they trespass no more, but that they respect[58] God and love him in all their heart and soul, keep his commandments, and swear by his name, and love pilgrims or immigrants.[90] Then God bids them have his words in their hearts and minds,[91] and have them for a sign in their hands,[92] and between their eyes, and that they teach their sons to think on the words of God always,[93] and that they write the words of God on the posts and gates of their houses; and tells and gives his blessing to them, if they keep his commandments, and gives his curse to them, if they break his commandments, and worship foreign gods. Also they should destroy the places wherein heathen men did idolatry and destroy their altars, images, woods[94] and idols; and they should make their sacrifices, and offer their tithes, and the first fruits, and gifts, and votive offerings[75] in the place which the Lord has chosen to his name, and this was the temple of Jerusalem. Also a prophet, or a faker[95] of dreams, that will stir men to do idolatry shall be slain, and so shall a ally[96] or city that does idolatry, or stirs other men thereto. Also you shall pay tithes of all fruits that grow on earth, of wheat, of wine, and of oil, and the first born things of cattle and sheep; and in the third year you shall divide another tithe of all things that grow to you, and keep it within your gates, to sustain the deacons, pilgrims or immigrants,[90] fatherless or motherless children,[97] and widows, that are within your gates. Also in the 7th year shall be remission of debt to citizens and kinsmen, nevertheless not to a pilgrim and immigrant,[98] for he may be compelled to pay. An utterly needy man and beggar[99] shall not be among God's people; but poor man shall not fail in the land, therefore rich men shall help them with love, and help them willfully in their need. Then God teaches of three great solemnities, of Passover, of the feast of weeks or Pentecost, and of the feast of tabernacles; and that masters and judges shall be ordained in all gates or cities by each lineage, to judge the people by just judgement,[100] and take neither gifts nor people. Furthermore God teaches, that whoever is convicted by two or three witnesses, that he has done idolatry, he shall be stoned, first by the witnesses, and then by all the people. He that is proud and will not obey the commandment of the high priest, and the judgement of the judges,[101] in that that they teach God's law shall be dead. Then God teaches, what kind of king[102] the people shall make, and what shall be his office. Afterward God teaches that priests and deacons,[71] and all that are of the same lineage, shall not have part and heritage with the rest of the[103] people of Israel, for they shall eat the sacrifices of the Lord, and the offerings of him, and they shall take no other thing from the possession of their brothers; because God himself is their heritage. Furthermore God forbids idolatry and to inquire conjurers, and to keep dreams and chattering of birds;[104] and commands that they shall have neither witches nor enchanters,[105] and that men neither take the council of them that have spirits in close, nor false diviners, and not to ask the truth of dead men.[106] Also God shall raise a prophet of their brothers, that is Christ the Savior, and he that doesn't have his words shall be punished. A prophet that will speak by pride in the name of God the thing that God did not tell him,[107] or by the name of other gods, shall be slain. Also they shall have 6 cities of refuge or of freedom,[108] that he that slays a man, not by hatred but against his will, shall be saved, and he that slays a man by hatred and premeditated,[109] shall be slain without mercy or ransom. He that is convicted of saying false witnessing against his brother, shall have the same pain to which is brother should be put, if he had been guilty. Also priests shall comfort them that go into just battle, to have trust in God, and not to dread their enemies, and that fearful men, and they that have newly built a house, or newly planted a vine, or newly wedded a wife, and not gone to bed with[110] her, don't go to battle; and first warriors shall proffer peace to a city, and if the city yields itself, men therein should live under tribute, or else all men therein shall be slain; and this is understood of those cities that are not given into the possession of the people of Israel. And there is told the dividing of spoils, and what trees shall be cut down in besieging. Also God teaches what shall be done, when a man is found slain, and the slayer is unknown. A child rebel to the father and mother, and that gives himself to gluttony, lust[57] and drunkenness, shall be stoned by all the city. A man shall keep the ox or sheep of his brother, that is strayed away, and bring it again to his brother, and so of other beasts and of each thing; and if you don't know, whose they are, you shall keep them still, til your brother seeks and receives them. Whoever does adultery, shall be dead; if a man defiles a virgin, he shall wed her, and give 50 sickles of silver to her father. You shall not take a servant to his lord, that fled to you,[111] but he shall dwell with you in a place that pleases him. No whore shall be of the daughters of Israel, nor a pervert[112] of the sons of Israel. You shall not lend to your brother with interest.[113] If a man hates his wife, he shall write and give to her a bill of forsaking; but this is forbidden by Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, the 5th chapter and the 19th chapter. When a man has recently taken a wife, he shall not go to battle, nor any common office shall be put on him,[114] but one year he shall be glad with his wife, and pay attention to his house.[115] He that abducts his brother, who is a free man, and sells him, shall be slain. You shall give at night a poor man his pledge,[116] and in the same day you shall pay to a needy traveler his wage.[117] Fathers shall not be slain for the sons, nor sons for the fathers. When you reap corn in the field, and forget a handful, you shall not turn back to take it but you shall allow[118] an immigrant, fatherless child and widow to take it away; and so for the gathering of olives and for the gathering of grapes. When two men are debating, and the wife of one will deliver her husband from the hand of the stranger, and take him by the private parts, she shall lose her hand without any mercy. And there God forbids false weights and measures, more and less. Also deacons[71] shall pronounce and say with a loud[119] voice to all the men of Israel, he is cursed that does idolatry or breaks any commandment of God or does against any part of the law of God; and all the people shall say, Amen. Also God promises great prosperity to his people, if they keep his commandments, and they shall be blessed in city and in field, and the fruit of their womb and the fruit of their land shall be blessed, and all their things[120] shall be blessed, and they shall have victory over their enemies, and a lot of prosperity[121] of soul and of body shall come to them;[122] and if they don't keep God's commandments, they shall be cursed in city and field, the fruit of their womb, and all their things[120] shall be cursed; God shall send them hunger, thirst, pestilence, fever and cold, burning and heat, and corrupt air, til they perish; enemies shall have victory, and conquer them, and take them prisoner; and yet God shall punish them with huge vengeance, that all that hear are astonished. Nevertheless if when all this vengeance has fallen[123] on them, they repent truly in the heart, and turn again to God, and obey his commandments in all their heart and all their soul, the Lord shall have mercy on them, and bring them again to their land from all peoples, among which they were scattered, and God shall bless them, and make there be more of them than were of their fathers,[124] and shall turn all the curses on their enemies; and God shall give to them abundance in all the works of their hands, and in all their things.[120] Moses spoke all these words to all the people of Israel, and told them not to dread their enemies, for God shall go before his people, and overcome their enemies. And Moses ordained Joshua to be leader of the people before all the multitude of the sons of Israel. Moses wrote this law and gave it to priests, the sons of Levi, and to the elders[125] of Israel, and told them to[126] read the words of this law before all Israel, in the hearing of all men and women, little children, and immigrants,[90] or converts to the faith of Jews, that they hear and learn and respect[58] our Lord God, and keep and fill all the words of this law. Moses by God's commandment wrote a great song, and taught it to the children of Israel, that it should be for witnessing against them;[127] and Moses called together all the elders[125] and teachers, and called heaven and earth for witnessing against them; and when Moses had filled all the words of this great song, he went onto a hill, and was dead there, and God buried him, and nobody knows where his sepulcher is to this day.[128] Christian men should well read and hear and know this book of Deuteronomy that includes all the law of Moses, and disposes men for to believe in Christ, and hear and keep his words.

Chapter 4 edit

[129]The 6th book, which is called Joshua, tells in general, that Joshua brought the people into the land of their inheritance,[78] and divided it by lot to them; and first how God promised to Joshua that nobody should stand against him and his people anymore[130] for all the days of his life; and God commanded that Joshua should depart by lot to his people the land of their inheritance;[78] and God commanded him to keep all the law, and not bend[131] from it, but think on them[132] by days and nights, that he would keep and do those things that are written therein. After this Joshua sent spies to behold the land and the city of Jericho; and they entered into the house of a low[133] woman Rahab,[134] and were saved there by council and help of the woman. Then Joshua told the priests to[135] take the ark of the bond of peace with the Lord,[136] and go before the people, and they did. And when the priests came with the ark to the brink of the Jordan, the great water of the Jordan went away to the dead sea, and the higher waters stood still as a wall, so that the people passed by the dry bottom, and the priests stood on the dry ground in the midst of the Jordan. Also Joshua told 12 men of the 12 lineages of Israel to[137] take 12 large stones from the bottom of the Jordan, and set them in Gilgal, where the people set up tents in the night after the passing of the Jordan, and take 12 stones from the land, and put them in the midst of the Jordan, where the ark had stood; and bade that fathers should teach their children, how they passed by the dry bottom of the Jordan, for God dried the waters thereof, as he had done before in the red sea, and the priests and princes and all the people obeyed Joshua. Then Joshua circumcised the people that were uncircumcised 40 years in the desert, and the people made Passover on the 14th day of the month at evening; and Joshua saw an angel of the Lord, that angel was the prince of God's host. Also the strong walls of Jericho fell down at God's command,[138] when the priests brayed with 7 trumpets, and all the people cried loudly[139] on the 7th day of walking around[140] the city. And the people of Israel destroyed and burned the city and all things therein, except for Rahab and those that were in her house, and except for gold and silver, and vessels of brass and iron, which they made holy[141] into the treasury of the Lord. Also because[26] Achan did against God's bidding, and took for himself a thing reserved for God's use, he was stoned and burned, and all his goods were burned with him; and til this punishment was done to him, the people of Israel could not stand,[142] but were overcome by their enemies. After this punishing of Achan Joshua took the city of Ai, and killed the king and all the people, and destroyed and burned the city, and hung the king and put his body on display.[143] Then Joshua built an altar to God on the hill of Ebal, and offered thereon burnt sacrifice and peace offerings,[144] and wrote the Deuteronomy of Moses's law on stones. And first he blessed the people of Israel, and after these things he read all the words of blessing and of cursing, and all things that were written in the book of law; he left nothing untouched of those things that Moses had commanded, but he declared all things before all the multitude of Israel, to women and little children, and to immigrants[90] that dwelt among them. Also men of Gibeon pretended[145] to be from a far country, and by this fraud they got from Joshua and other princes peace and life; and for this fraud they and all their successors were made slaves,[146] to bring wood and water to the service of the altar and to all the multitude of Israel forever. Also Joshua by God's help overcame 5 great kings in one day, and made his princes tread on the necks of those kings, and afterward hung those kings and displayed them in 5 places,[147] and he overcame all the kings and their peoples that dwelt in the land of their inheritance,[78] that was 31 kings, and divided the land of their inheritance[78] to the 12 lineages of Israel by lot, and cities of refuge, and cities to priests and deacons[71] to dwell in, as God commanded. This process of Joshua should stir christian men to have great trust in God, and dread no man or people, as long as they truly serve Almighty God. ¶ [148]The 7th book called Judges tells that the people of Israel were ruled by judges, or men that judge,[149] after the death of Joshua, and once by a woman Deborah. When the people fell to great sins, and especially to idolatry, God sent adversaries to them that tormented the Jews very sorely, and killed many thousands of them, and held others under tribute and great domination. And when the people repented truly, and cried to God with all their hearts, he sent help to them, and raised a judge that overcame their enemies, and ruled them well in peace and in God's law. This process of Judges should stir christian man for to flee sin, and love God that does such great mercy for them that truly repent. ¶ [150]This book contains the story of Ruth, that was a heathen woman, and left her nation, and idolatry, and believed in God, and kept his law. Therefore she was wedded to a noble man of the Jews, and is set in the genealogy or kindred of our Savior. This story should stir all men to forsake their sin, and serve God truly in all their life, for reward of heavenly bliss. ¶ [151]The first book of Kings[2] tells, how the priest Eli and his sons were reproved and slain, for they evilly governed God's people, and for their sin and negligence the people did many sins,[152] and were overcome by heathen men, and the ark of God[153] was taken by heathen men, and they killed many thousands of the Jews; and how the true child Samuel was a faithful prophet of the Lord, and governed the people well in God's service and rightfulness, and didn't do any extortion, nor took gifts from any man. And when Samuel was old, he set his sons judges of Israel; and because[26] they bowed after greed,[154] and took gifts, and perverted justice, the people asked a king on them, to great indignation of God and harm of themselves. Then Saul that was poor and meek, and sought the donkeys of his father, was made king, and did well a little while, and afterward for his pride and greed[36] he was reproved by God, and pried from the realm, both he and his kin; and poor David spared Saul his enemy, that pursued him to death unjustly, and was a traitor and blasphemer of God, and not only spared him twice taken into his hands, when he might have slain him, and yet escaped harmless, but also let his men smite him, when they might have slain him, and escaped harmless. And yet the wicked tyrant Saul pursued him for envy, and sought his death in many manners, and God always[155] kept David in all perils, and gave pain to Saul for his tyranny and wickedness, and made him to be slain by heathen men. This process of the first book of Kings[2] should stir priests to not be negligent in their offices, and to not be greedy,[156] and stir secular lords to be meek and just to God and men. ¶ [157]The 2nd book of Kings[2] tells first, how David greatly mourned the death of Saul and of Jonathan, and of God's people; and David killed the man of Amalek that killed Saul utterly, after the death wound of Saul[158] and brought to David the crown and bracelet of Saul. After this the lineage of Judah crowned or anointed David in Hebron, that he should reign over the house of Judah; and then there was a long war between Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, and the house of David; David always grew more powerful,[159] and grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker[160] each day; and David reigned 7 years in Hebron, and had 6 sons.[161] Also David made much mourning[162] for the death of Abner, when Joab had killed him by treason. Also David killed Baanah and Rechab, that killed by treason Ish-bosheth his enemy. Then all Israel came to Hebron, and anointed David king of Israel, and David reigned over Judah at Hebron 7 years and a half, and reigned in Jerusalem 33 years over all Israel and Judah, and was 30 years old when he began to reign, and reigned 40 years. After this the noble king David had victory over the Philistines twice. Then David took 30 thousand chosen men of Israel to bring to his palace[163] the ark of God,[153] for reverence and devotion. David made great minstrelsy, and made himself meek[164] before the ark, and was rebuked by Michal,[165] the daughter of Saul; therefore David thought to build a house for the ark of God.[153] Then God told David that his son should build this house, and the throne of the realm of David shall be stable without end; and this is filled in Christ. Then David had victory over many lands, and made them tributary to Israel, and God kept David in all things, to which he went forth. And David did justice and rightfulness to all his people, and he did mercy and courtesy to Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. After these things David dwelt at home, when Joab and the host went to battle, and in this time David did adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and procured the death of Uriah by treason. Then God sent Nathan the prophet to reprove David for this sin, and he took his reproof meekly, and acknowledged that he sinned against God; and God forgave the sin, but the sword and persecution never went away[166] from his house, for God killed the son of Bathsheba, and one son of David killed another, and Absalom his son rose against him, and drove him out of Jerusalem, and sought with strong host to slay him. Then David went out of Jerusalem on his feet, and climbed with bare feet to the top[167] of the hill of Olives,[168] and wept, and all his people wept bitterly. And David made himself meek[164] to God, and said, "If God says to me, you don't please me, I am ready, let him do that that is good before himself." Then Shimei, that was of the kin of Saul, despised David, and called him a murderer,[169] and a man of Belial,[170] and a ravager of the realm, and he cursed David, and threw stones and dirt at[171] David, and at[172] the servants of king David; and when Abishai would slay this curser, David told him to let[173] Shimei curse him, and said, God commanded him to curse David. And the king said to Abishai and to all his servants, "Lo! my son that came out of my flesh[174] seeks my life, that is, to slay me, how much more now this son of Gemini; let him curse[175] by commandment of the Lord; if in case the Lord beholds my torment, and gives good to me for this cursing today." Afterward Absalom openly defiled his father's wives before all Israel. Then Ahitophel gave cunning and wise[176] council, to David in that night with 12 thousand man, and slay him before he was aware; but this council was destroyed by God's will, and by a wise council of Hushai, the friend of David. Then Absalom gathered all the power of Israel to make open war against his father; nevertheless David for pity and charity commanded three princes of his host to keep Absalom alive, that he might repent, and be saved. And when David knew that Absalom was slain, he made such great sorrow, that he almost was dead, and all the people were at the point of forsaking David. Then for this peril David left his mourning, and sat openly in the gate, to comfort all his host. After this the council of all Israel came to David, that they would bring him into his realm honorably;[177] and David forgave the open treason to them that they had done before, and stirred sweetly men of Judah, that were especially traitorous to him,[178] to come and bring him into his realm, and forgave their treason, and he forgave the high treason to Amasa, that was of his own kin, and was prince of the host of Absalom to slay David; and David swore to make this Amasa prince next to Joab, and forgave the sin and cursing and treason to Shimei, and swore that he should not die. Yet before that David came to Jerusalem, a new debate rose between the men of Israel and the men of Judah, for this bringing again of the king was not told first to men of Israel; and by the stirring of Sheba, a man of Belial,[170] that was of the kin of Saul,[179] all Israel was divided from David, and followed this Sheba; and in this time Joab killed by treason the noble knight Amasa. Then this Sheba passed by all the lineages of Israel til Havilah, and into Beth-maachah, and all chosen man were gathered to him. And Joab and his host besieged these cities, and would destroy the great city Havilah, and a wise woman of the city saved it by her council, and made Sheba to be slain, and all the people to be saved on both sides. Also 7 men of the kin of Saul were slain by Gibeonites, allowed by David,[180] and by council of God, for Saul killed wickedly the men of Gibeon; and for this sin of Saul hunger was made three years in the days of David; and after this vengeance done to the house of Saul, God did mercy to the land. Then is set a great song of David, which he spoke to God, when he had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies; then follows the number of strong men of David. At the last David for pride and against the law numbered the people of Israel, and therefore 70 thousand men were dead by pestilence. Then David sorely repented, and made himself meek before God,[181] and said this, "It is I,[182] that sinned, and I did wickedly; what have these men done that are sheep, that is, simple and innocent in comparison to me; I ask that your hand be turned against me, and against the house of my father." Then God sent his prophet Gad to him, and told him to[183] make an altar, and offer burnt sacrifices and peace offerings;[144] and God did mercy to the land, and the vengeance ceased in Israel. The process of this 2nd book ought to stir kings and lords to mercy and righteousness, and to always be wary[184] of idleness, that brought David to adultery and other mischief, and to always be[185] meek to God and his priests, and sorely repent from their misdeeds, and make amends to God and men, and willfully forgive wrongs done to them, and always be wary[186] of pride and extortion, lest God take vengeance on all the people, as he did on David and his people, and to always be[187] patient and merciful, as David was, to get remission of sins done before, and to get peace, and prosperity, and heavenly bliss without end.

Chapter 5 edit

[188]The third book of kings[2] tells first, how Adonijah, son of David, would have reigned, and David in his life ordained Solomon to be king, and he reigned before the death of David. Then Adonijah fled for dread to the tabernacle of God, and held the corner of the altar, til Solomon said, that if he was a good man, he should not die; else, if evil was found in him, he should die. Then David, in the time of his dying, charged Solomon to keep well God's law, and to repay to the sons of Barzillai the truth and kindness of their father, and to punish Joab for his treacherous murder[54] of Abner and Amasa in the time of peace, and to punish wisely Shimei for his worst cursing, which he did to David. After these things Solomon made Adonijah to be slain, for he tried dishonestly[189] to be king. And Solomon cast Abiathar away, so that he was not priest of the Lord, and exiled him also, for he assented to Adonijah, and was a traitor to the king. Also Solomon commanded Joab to be slain in the tabernacle at the altar, for he had unjustly slain[190] two princes in peace, without the knowledge of David; and the king ordained Zadok priest for Abiathar. Then the king commanded Shimei, that he should not go out of Jerusalem, and if he passed the stream of Kidron, he should be dead; and Shimei accepted this; and because[26] he passed these bounds, the king commanded him to be slain, and so he was slain by the commandment of the king. After these things the realm was confirmed into the hands of Solomon, and he wedded the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Then God told Solomon to[191] ask of him, what he liked, and he asked that God should give to him a wise heart, that he might judge his people, and make discretion or dividing between good and evil. And this asking pleased God very much, therefore God gave to him a wise and understanding heart,[192] so much that nobody before him was like him, nor shall rise after him. Then because[26] Solomon gave a wise sentence of judgement between two low women[193] that passed the wit of common men, they respected[194] the king, and said that God's wisdom was in him to make judgement. Then is told the honourable wealth[195] and household of Solomon. After these things Solomon built a noble house to himself, and a famous temple to God in Jerusalem. And after all that the temple was fully made, all the elders[125] and princes of lineages and dukes of common people[196] of the children of Israel were gathered to king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring the ark of God[153] from Zion into its own place in the temple. Then the king asked of God many prayers, and profits[197] for them that prayed devoutly in the temple, and God granted them. After these things God made the temple holy,[198] and certified to Solomon, that if he kept all his commandments, he should set the throne of Solomon's realm over Israel without end; and if the people of Israel and their children didn't keep God's commandments, but worshiped foreign gods, he shall take Israel away from the face of the land which he gave to them, and God shall cast away from his sight the temple which he made holy[141] to his name, and Israel shall be a proverb and fable or tale to all nations,[199] and this house shall be made into an example.[200] After this the queen of Sheba came to Solomon, and had a great array of men and of jewels, and gave many jewels to Solomon, and he back to her. Also Solomon taught her all things that she had in her heart, and she blessed God and Solomon and his servants, and went into her land. Then Solomon made many shields and bucklers of gold, and made a great throne of Ivory, and covered[201] it with fine gold. Then king Solomon was magnified above[202] all kings on earth in riches and wisdom, and all the earth desired to see his face, and to hear his wisdom, which his God had given in his heart. After all theses things Solomon, when he was old, greatly loved many heathen women, and had a thousand wives, principal and secondary, and then his heart was depraved[203] and perverted by those women, that he followed foreign gods, and worshiped them. Therefore God raised an adversary to Solomon in his life and divided his realm in the time of Rehoboam his son, and gave ten lineages to Jeroboam his servant, and kept one lineage[204] to his son for the merit of David his father. And this dividing happened mostly because[205] Rehoboam forsook the council of old and wise men, and followed the council of young men, and spoke hard words to the people. Then Rehoboam gathered proudly all the house of Judah, and the lineage of Benjamin, a 100 thousand and 8 ten thousands[206] of chosen men and warriors, that they should fight against the house of Israel, and bring back the realm to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon; but god forbade this war to Rehoboam and all his people, because this word of dividing of the realm was done by God. Then Jeroboam made 2 golden calves, and told Israel to[207] to worship them, and climb no more to Jerusalem, and said, "Israel, lo! these are your gods, that led you out of the land of Egypt;" and he made unworthy priests of the lowest[208] men of the people, that were not of the sons of Levi, and he made temples in high places. Also when Jeroboam stood on the altar and cast incense, a man of God came from Judah by the word of God, and said, "A son Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David, and he shall slay on this altar the priests of high places, that now burn incense on this altar, and he shall burn bones of men on this altar;" and the prophet gave this sign, that the altar shall be split, and the ashes therein shall be shed out. Then Jeroboam held forth his hand, and told his servants to[209] take that prophet, and his hand was withered,[210] and he could not draw it back to himself,[211] and by prayer of the prophet the hand was healed. And the sign happened to[212] the altar, as the prophet said; and because[26] that prophet ate bread in that place against God's bidding, yes by deceit of a false prophet, the true prophet of God was slain by a lion on the way home. After these words, Jeroboam didn't turn back from his worst way, but went back to[213] ordaining the lowest people priests[214] of high places, whoever wanted,[215] filled his hand,[216] and was made priest of high places; and for this cause the house of Jeroboam sinned, and was destroyed, and done away from the face of the earth. After this the prophet Ahijah, who was blind for age,[217] knew the wife of Jeroboam, that pretended[218] to be another women, and he prophesied[219] to her, that her sick son should die upon her entering into her house, and that the house of Jeroboam should be destroyed utterly for their sins; and Israel shall be driven out of its[220] land for the sins of Jeroboam, that sinned, and made Israel do sin. Also the people of Judah did idolatry; therefore the king of Egypt took away the treasures of God's house, and of the king's house, and the golden shields of Solomon, so[221] Rehoboam made shields of brass. And battle was between Rehoboam and Jeroboam in all days. Then Abijam reigned three years over Judah, and went in all the sins of his father. After him rose king Asa in Judah, and he did rightfulness before God, and did away idolatry and sodomites from the land, and his heart was perfect with God in all days. And shortly among all the kings of Israel were none faithful to God; some were good among the kings of Judah; and this prefigures, that among men of the holy church there are[222] some good, but among heretics none are fully good, as Jerome says. After many evil kings of Israel rose Ahab, worse than all before him,[223] and he wedded Jezebel, a heathen woman, the daughter of Ithobaal, king of Sidon, and Ahab did a lot of[224] Idolatry. Then rose Elijah the prophet, and said to Ahab, that for three years and a half they would have neither rain or dew.[225] After this the prophet Elijah hid himself by the stream of Cherith, by the Jordan,[226] and drank water, and was fed by ravens there, who[227] brought to him bread and meat[228] in the evening and morning, and after that the stream[229] was dried up, God told Elijah to[230] go into Sarepta in Sidon,[231] and there he was fed by a widow, and the pot of meal, and the pot of oil didn't fail the widow,[232] til God gave rain on the earth. Then Elijah raised to life the dead child of a woman, by which he was much sustained.[233] And after many days God told Elijah to[230] show to Ahab, that God would[234] give rain on the land; and Elijah did so; and great hunger was in Samaria. Then Elijah appeared first to Obadiah, that respected[194] God, and fed a 100 prophets of God, when Jezebel killed the prophets of God; and Elijah swore to Obadiah by the Lord of hosts, that he would appear on that same day[235] to Ahab. Then Ahab asked Elijah, "Are you the one, that disturbs Israel?"[236] And Elijah said, "It wasn't I that disturbed[237] Israel, but you and the house of your father, that have forsaken God's commandments, and have followed Baal, have disturbed[238] Israel." After this the prophet Elijah convicted by and open miracle 8 00 and 50 prophets of Baal of open idolatry, and killed them all with the help of the people, that believed in God because of the great miracle.[239] And after this God sent great rain, and Elijah ran before Ahab to the city of Jezreel. After these things Elijah fled for dread of Jezebel, that threatened[240] to slay him, and when he had fled into the desert by the journey of one day, he asked God to let him die;[241] and when he slept, an angel told him to[183] rise, and eat bread baked under ashes, and drink water; and he went in the strength of that food[242] 40 days and 40 nights, til he got to[243] the Horeb the hill of God;[244] and when he was hid there in a den, and said, that he was left alone a prophet of the Lord, and they sought to slay him, God told him to[183] go to Damascus, and anoint Hazael king of Syria, and anoint Jehu king of Israel, and anoint Elisha a prophet for him, and these three should do vengeance to trespassers and slay them; and God left to himself 7 thousand men in Israel, whose knees were not bowed before Baal. Then it follows how Elisha followed Elijah. After these things king Ahab had two great and marvelous victories against Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, because[26] he blasphemed God of Israel. And because[26] king Ahab did false mercy and didn't kill this blasphemer Ben-Hadad, that[245] God gave[246] into his hands, God sent a prophet to Ahab, and told this, "Because[26] you allowed[247] a man worthy of the death to go from your hand, your life shall be for his life, and your people shall be for his people." Afterward Jezebel the queen made Naboth to be stoned to death by false witness, and assent of Ahab, for he would neither change nor sell his vineyard to the king; and when Ahab went down to take possession of this vineyard, God told Elijah to[230] meet him, and say this, "You have slain and have taken possession; the Lord says these things, in this place wherein dogs licked the blood of Naboth, they shall lick also your blood." And Ahab said to Elijah, "Why have you[248] found me your enemy?" And Elijah said, "I have found, for you are sealed to do evil in God's sight, therefore God shall destroy and slay each man of the house of Ahab, and give his house as the house of Jeroboam, and as the house of Baasa, because[26] Ahab stirred[249] God to wrath, and made Israel to do sin. Also dogs shall eat Jezebel in the field of Jezreel; if Ahab dies in the city, dogs shall eat him, if he dies in the field, birds of the air shall eat him." Nobody else was like Ahab,[250] that was sealed to do evil before God; because Jezebel his wife excited him, and he did abominable idolatry. Then Ahab did very great penance, and was made meek before God[251] therefore God didn't bring in this evil in his days, but in the days of his son. In the third year after these things, about 4 00 prophets of Baal counseled Ahab to make war against the king of Syria for a city called Ramoth in Gilead,[252] and promised victory and prosperity to Ahab. But Micaiah, one prophet of God, told to Ahab in God's name, that the spirit of lies[253] deceived him by his false prophets, and that Ahab should be slain in that battle; and so it happened[254] indeed, but Micaiah was despised and beaten by the false prophets, and was imprisoned, purposed to be slain by the king, when he came back in peace; and king Jehoshaphat, a good man, was in this battle with cursed Ahab, but Ahab was slain, and dogs licked his blood, and Jehoshaphat was saved by God's help. Then rose Ochozias,[255] king of Israel, for Ahab his father, and Ochozias worshiped Baal, and stirred[249] God to ire by all things that his father had done. This process of the 3rd book of Kings[2] should stir kings and lords, to have mercy and pity for[256] their subjects that trespass against them, and in all things eschew idleness, lust,[57] treason, idolatry, and false and unwise counselors, and always[93] destroy sin, and take council from[257] holy scripture and true prophets, and distrust[258] false prophets, even if there are more than there ever were before,[259] and cry out against them, and strongly keep by you[260] one or a few true men.

Chapter 6 edit

[261]The 4th book of Kings[2] tells in general, how the realm of Israel and the realm of Judah were conquered by heathen men, for many sins which they did against God and men, and were obstinate, and didn't do fruitful penance in due time. First it tells in particular,[262] how the wicked king Ochozias sent to take council from Beelzebub, whether he might live and recover of his sickness; therefore God sent Elijah, the prophet, to tell him that he would[234] die, and not go down from his bed.[263] Then this king sent to Elijah a prince of 50 men, and 50 men with him, to call Elijah to the king; and fire came down from heaven, and devoured this prince, and 50 men that were with him, because they were scornful when they[264] called Elijah the man of God; and in like manner fire devoured another prince, and 50 men with him; the third prince and his 50 that made themselves meek[265] to God and to the prophet, were saved alive. And God told Elijah to[230] go down with them to the king, and reprove him for his sin, and tell to the king himself, that he shall die and not go down from his bed[263] After this the prophet Elijah would[234] be taken[266] away from earth, and Elisha knew this, and followed him in each place til the taking;[267] and Elijah struck[268] with his mantle the waters of the Jordan, and they were divided by that,[269] and Elijah and Elisha went over by the dry bottom thereof. Then Elijah was taken[266] in a chair of fire from Elisha, and lifted by a whirlwind into heaven; and the double of the spirit of Elijah[270] rested on Elisha, and with the mantle of Elijah Elisha struck[268] twice the waters of the Jordan, and in the second time they were divided, and Elisha passed over. Afterward Elisha dwelt in Jericho, and healed the waters from bitterness and barrenness, by putting salt in the water. Then Elisha walked to Bethel, and as he walked by the path,[271] little children went out of the city, and said to him in scorn, "Get up, you baldy!"[272] and he cursed them in the name of God, and two bears went out of the forest, and tore from them[273] 42 children. After these things Jehoram, the king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and also the third king, that was king of Edom, were in a desert, and had no water, and were at the point of perishing. These three kings came to Elisha for help, and by the spirit of prophecy he told them to[274] make ditches, and they saw neither wind nor rain, and the bottoms of the ditches were filled with water; and he prophesied[275] that God would[234] take Moab into the hands of these kings, and they would[234] destroy cities, and fields, and trees; and it was done indeed. Also Elisha multiplied a little oil, and made a poor widow fill many vessels with it,[276] and told her to[277] pay her debts with it,[278] and that she and her sons would[234] live by the residue thereof. Afterward Elisha prophesied[279] to a good woman, that harbored him freely and generously, that she would[234] conceive a son; and when Elisha knew, that this son was dead, he sent his servant Gehazi with his staff to raise him, and neither voice nor feeling was in the child. Then Elisha entered into a closet, where the child lay dead, and praised God, and lay on the child, and laid his mouth to the mouth of the child, and his hands on the child's hands, and the child gasped[280] 7 times, and opened his eyes; and Elisha took the child living to his mother. Also Elisha, when hunger was in Gilgal, healed the pot of bad[281] meat, by adding flour,[282] that no more bitterness was in the meat.[283] Then Elisha made a little bread to suffice a 100 men, and they left leftovers.[284] When the king of Syria sent letters to the king of Israel, that he should cure Naaman of his leprosy, and the king of Israel rent his clothes for sorrow, Elisha said,[285] that Naaman should be washed 7 times in the water of the Jordan, and so he would[234] be cured; and so it was done indeed.[286] Then Naaman acknowledged, that no other God is in all the earth, but only the God of Israel; and Elisha took no gift, yes freely proffered and praised by Naaman. Then Gehazi ran after Naaman, unknown by or without consent of[287] his master, and made a lie, that Elisha sent to him, that he should give a talent of silver and two changes of clothes[288] to two young men of the sons of prophets. And Naaman constrained him to take double what he asked for,[289] and ordained two children to bear before him. But therefore Elisha said, that the leprosy of Naaman would[234] stick to Gehazi and to his descendants[83] without end; and Gehazi went out from Elisha, and was struck with sores as white as snow.[290] When the sons of prophets went to the wood, to hew down wood to build places for them to dwell in, the iron of an axe[291] fell down into water; and Elisha cast down the tree, or handle,[292] and the iron floated to the surface,[293] and was taken up thereby. When the king of Syria set ambush bivouacs[294] secretly against the king of Israel, Elijah warned the king of Israel thereof; and when it was certified to the king of Syria that Elisha told his secrets to the king of Israel, the king of Syria sent a great multitude of the host to take Elisha, and when the host surrounded the city Dothan, where Elisha was, God made this host blind at the prayer of Elisha, and so he led them into the midst of Samaria, and when the king of Israel would slay them, Elisha said no, but told him to[183] make ready a feast to them, and let them go in peace to their land. And when very strong hunger was in Samaria, that women ate their own children, one woman asked judgement from the king against another woman, that would not by covenant bring forth her child to be eaten, when they had eaten the child of the first woman. Then the king, that wore the hair next to his body,[295] tore his clothes for sorrow, and swore strongly, that in that day he would cut off the head of Elisha.[296] Elisha foreknew the coming of this messenger to do this dead, and told men to[297] close the door, and don't let him enter,[298] for his lord comes right after[299] to revoke his oath and sentence. Then Elisha said in God's name, that this time tomorrow a bushel of wheat flour shall be for one stater, that is, a little quantity of money, as it were a penny,[300] and two bushels of barley for one stater, in the gate of Samaria. And Elisha said to a great duke, that didn't believe this word, "You shall see it with your eyes, and shall not eat thereof;" and thus it was indeed, for when the host of Syria fled by night, for dread that God made among them, they left all their goods, and fled naked, and desired[301] only to save their lives; and when a bushel of wheat flour was sold on the morrow for one stater, the king made that noble duke keeper at the gate, and the company tread him to death, as Elisha prophesied.[302] Also Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he made to live, and told her and her house to[303] go a pilgrimage or strange land, wherever she found convenient, for God shall bring strong hunger on the land 7 years and at the 7 year's end the king restored to her all her things, and all the rents of fields in the time of her absence. Ben-Hadad sent Hazael to Elisha to inquire whether this king might recover of his sickness; and God showed to Elisha, that Ben-Hadad would[234] die; and Elisha wept very sorely, when he saw Hazael, for God showed to him that Hazael would[234] be king of Syria, and do many evils to the children of Israel, burn their strong cities, and slay by sword the young men of them, and hurl down the little children of them, and carve women with child.[304] Joram, the son of Josaphat, did evil in God's sight, as the house of Ahab did; because[26] the daughter of Ahab was his wife; but God wouldn't destroy Judah, for David his servant, as he promised to him, to give a lantern to him and to his sons in all days. After these things Elisha told one of the sons of prophets to[305] anoint Jehu king of Israel, and say to him; "You shall destroy the house of Ahab, and God shall make it as the house of Jeroboam, and dogs shall eat Jezebel in the field of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her." And Jehu killed Joram, king of Israel, and Ochozias, king of Judah, and Jezebel the cursed queen; and dogs ate the flesh of Jezebel; and her flesh was a turd on the face of the earth. Then Jehu made 70 sons of Ahab to be slain by their keepers, and nourishers; and he killed 42 men brothers of Ochozias; and after doing this Jehu pretended[306] to worship Baal more than Ahab did, and by this pretending[307] he gathered together all the prophets, and priests, and servants of his image, and burnt it, and drove it all to dust; and destroyed the house of Baal, and made outhouses where it was;[308] and so Jehu did away Baal from Israel. Nevertheless Jehu didn't go away from the sins of Jeroboam, nor forsook golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan; but because[26] Jehu did this vengeance against the house of Ahab, God said, that his sons til the 4th generation would[234] sit on the throne of Israel. Then Athaliah, the mother of Ochozias, when her son was dead, killed all the blood of the king,[309] and reigned 6 years. But Joash, the son of Ochozias king, was kept secretly 6 years in the temple of God, and in the 7th year he was made king by the help of Joiada, the great priest,[310] and Athaliah was slain. Therefore Joiada made a bond of peace between God, and the king, and the people; and the people destroyed the altars of Baal, and broke his images, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altar. This Joash began to reign when he was 7 years old, and reigned 40 years in Jerusalem, and did righteousness before God in all the days in which Joiada the priest taught him. And Joash told priests to[311] take all the money that was offered for the price of souls, and by free will, to make repairs of the temple; and because[26] the priests were negligent in this repairing, Joash the king told the priests to[311] yield the money to repairs, and take it no more. And the chancellor of the king and the bishop[312] Joiada lifted out of the ark the money, and gave it into the hand of masters of workmen, and they spent it well in this office and necessary repairs; and made no reckoning to sovereigns,[313] but treated this money in faith, or good conscience. Because[82] Azael, king of Syria, came with his host to war against Jerusalem, Joash, king of Judah, took all things that fathers had hallowed, and which he had offered and all the silver that could[314] be found in the treasures of the temple of God, and in the palace of the king, and sent all to Azael, king of Syria; and he went away from Jerusalem. The servants of Joash swore together, and killed him, and Amaziah his son reigned for him. Jehoahaz the son of Jehu reigned on Israel, and did evil, as Jeroboam did. Therefore God let Israel be taken[315] into the hand of Azael, king of Syria, and of Ben-Hadad his son in all days, that there was nothing left to Jehoahaz of all the people of Israel but 5 hundred horsemen, and 10 chariots,[316] and 10 thousand footmen. Then Jehoahaz sought God, and he gave a savior to Israel, and Israel was delivered from the hand of the king of Syria. Then Elisha fell into great sickness, by which he was dead; and when Joash, king of Israel, came to him, and wept, Elisha told him to[183] bring a bow and arrows, and told him to[183] set his hand on the bow; and Elisha set his hands on the king's hands, and told him to[183] shoot out at the east window opened; and Elisha said, "This is the arrow of God's help[317] against Syria, and you shall strike[318] Syria, in Aphek, til you destroy[319] it." Next Elisha told Joash to[320] strike[318] the earth with a dart; and when he had struck[268] three times, and stopped,[321] and Elisha was angry with him,[322] and said, "If you had struck[268] 5 times, or 6 times, or 7 times, you would[234] have struck[268] Syria til the ending, but now you will strike[318] it three times." Elisha died, and was buried, and when a dead body was buried in the sepulcher of Elisha, and had touched the bones of Elisha,[323] the man lived again, and stood on his feet. Amaziah, king of Judah, reigned 9 years, and did righteousness in part, but not as David. He killed 10 thousand men of Edom, and for pride thereof he stirred[249] the king of Israel to war; and Amaziah was overcome in this battle, and the king of Israel took him prisoner, and broke the wall of Jerusalem by 4 00 cubits; and the king of Israel took away all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in God's house, and in the treasures of the king, and took hostages,[324] and tuned back to Samaria. At the last the men of Amaziah conspired against him, and he fled into Lachish, and they sent to there, and killed him there, and buried him in Jerusalem with his fathers; and Azariah[325] his son reigned for him in Jerusalem 50 years. He did righteousness in part, as Amaziah his father did; and God struck[268] him with leprosy til the day of his death; and Jotham his son governed the palace, and judged the people of the land, and the kings of Israel always did evil,[326] and went in the sins of Jeroboam. And in the days of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul, the king of Assyrians, took great tribute from him, to make Menahem strong in the realm. And in the days of Pekah king of Israel, that did evil in God's sight, came Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, and took many places in the land of Israel, and he took Galaad, and Galilee, and all the land of Naphtali, and moved them into Assyria. Afterward Ahaz reigned over Judah 16 years in Jerusalem, and went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and did foul idolatry. And after these things Hoshea, the king of Israel, reigned 9 years, and did evil, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. And this Hoshea was made tributary to Shalmaneser, king of Assyrians, and when this Hoshea was would've rebelled,[327] and not pay tribute[328] to Shalmaneser, he besieged Hoshea, and imprisoned him, and besieged Samaria three years, and took it in the ninth year of Hoshea, and moved Israel to Assyria. Then the scripture rehearses many great sins of the people of Israel, for which they were conquered, and driven out of their land. Then the king of Assyrians brought people from Babylon, and from many other heathen countries, and set them in the cities of Samaria, for the children of Israel; and because[26] this people didn't respect[329] god, he sent to them Lions, that killed them; therefore the king of Assyrians sent to there one priest of Israel, to teach them the law the of God of Israel, and so they worshiped God of Israel, and their heathen gods together.

Chapter 7 edit

Hezekiah, king of Judah, reigned 29 years, and did good before God by all things which his father David had done; he destroyed high places, and broke images, and hewed down woods,[94] and broke the serpent of brass; for the children burnt incense to it; and he hoped in God. Therefore of all the kings of Judah was none like him after him, but neither among the kings that were before him. And in the 14th year of Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyrians, climbed to all walled cities of Judah, and took them. Then Hezekiah gave to him all the silver that was found in God's house, and in the treasures of the king, for he would[234] go away, and not destroy Jerusalem of Judea; and because[26] Sennacherib didn't keep the covenant, Hezekiah rebelled against him, in trust of God's help. Then Sennacherib sent Rabshakeh with a strong host to Jerusalem, to blaspheme God, and make the people yield to him for dread. Then Hezekiah rent his clothes for sorrow, and was covered with a sack, and entered into God's house, and sent the high priest[330] and other old men clothed with sacks to the prophet Isaiah, that he would[234] pray to God against the blasphemy of the Assyrians. And Isaiah said, in God's name, that they should not dread of these words of the Assyrians, because[26] God shall send a spirit to Sennacherib, and he shall hear a messenger, and he shall turn back to his land; and God shall cast him down by sword in his land; and when Sennacherib went home to defend his land against the king of Ethiopia, he sent blasphemous letters to Hezekiah, and said, that his God could not[331] deliver him from his hands. Therefore God comforted Hezekiah by the prophet Isaiah, that he should not dread Sennacherib, for Sennacherib shall not enter into Jerusalem, nor send an arrow into it, nor occupy it, nor besiege it; but God shall defend and save Jerusalem, for himself, and for David his servant. And in that night the angel of God killed in the tents of Assyrians a 100 thousand and 85 thousand; and the next day[332] Sennacherib went into his land, and his own sons killed him in the temple of his God Nisroch, while he worshiped Nisroch. After this when Hezekiah was sick to the death, Isaiah said to him in God's name, "Dispose your house, for you shall die and not live." And because[26] Hezekiah wept greatly, God cured him, and made him go into the temple on the third day, and increased 15 years to his life; and in sign thereof God made the sun go backward by ten degrees. After doing this the king of Babylon sent letters, messengers, and gifts to Hezekiah, and by pride he showed all his treasures and jewels to the messengers. Therefore God said by Isaiah to him, that days shall come, and all things in your house shall be taken away into Babylon. And Hezekiah said, "The word of God is good; only peace and truth be in my days." After Hezekiah Manasseh his son reigned 55 years in Jerusalem, and did great evil in God's sight, more evil than heathen men, which God destroyed from the face of the sons of Israel. And because[26] Manasseh did these worst abominations over all things which the men of the Amorites did, and he shed very much innocent blood, til Jerusalem was filled to the brim,[333] God said, that he would bring in evils on Jerusalem and Judah, that, whoever hears, both his ears tingle; and he shall do away Jerusalem, as tables on board are usually[334] done away, but God shall leave remnants of his heritage, and let them be taken[335] into the hands of their enemies. Manasseh died, and was buried in the orchard of his house; and Amon his son reigned for him 2 years, and did evil as his father did, and forsook God and, and served uncleanness and idols, as his father did, and worshiped them. And his servants set treason against him, and killed him in his house; and the people of the land killed all men, that had conspired against the king Amon; and for him they ordained Josiah his son king over them. Josiah began to reign when he was 8 years old, and reigned 31 years in Jerusalem; and he did that that was pleasant before God, and went by all the ways of David his father. In the 18th year of Josiah he had busyness[336] that the temple of God was repaired; and when the book of law was read before the king, he rent his clothes, and sent solemn messengers to take council from God for himself and his realm; for he said, that great vengeance of God is kindled against us, for our fathers didn't hear the words of this book, to do all that is written to us. And God said by the prophetess Huldah, the wife of Shallum, "I shall bring evils on this place, and on the dwellers thereof, all the words of the law which Josiah read, for they forsook me, and made sacrifice to foreign gods; and because[26] you, Josiah, heard the words of the book, and your heart was afraid, and you were made meek[337] before me, and rent your clothes, and wept before me, therefore you shall die in peace, that your eyes won't see[338] all these evils, which I shall bring in on this place." Then Josiah gathered to him all the old men of Judah and of Jerusalem, and the king climbed into the temple of God, and all men of Judah and all men that dwelt in Jerusalem, prophets and priests, and all the people climbed with him, and he read to all men hearing all the words of the book of the covenant of the Lord, that was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood on the grass, and sealed a covenant[339] before the Lord, that they would[234] go after the Lord, and keep all his commandments, and regulations,[340] and ceremonies, in all the heart and in all the soul, and the people assented to the covenant. And the king told the bishop[312] and priests and porters to[341] cast out of God's temple all vessels that were made to Baal and to other idols; and he burnt them out of Jerusalem, in the valley of Kidron, and bore the dust of them into Bethel. And he destroyed idolators and the house of perverts[342] that were in the house of God; and he destroyed altars and high places of idols, and images, and took out bones from sepulchers, and burnt them on the altar in Bethel, that served to idolatry. Also Josiah did away all temples of high places, that were in the city of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to stir[249] to wrath; and he did to them as he had done in Bethel, and he killed the priests of high places, which priests were there over the altars, and he burnt men's bones on those altars. Also Josiah made the people make a solemn Passover, and such a Passover was not made from the days of judges, and all the kings of Israel and Judah, as was this Passover made, in the 18th year of Josiah. And he did away with spirits speaking in men's guts,[343] and false diviners, and figures of idols, and uncleanness, and abominations, that were in the land of Judah and of Jerusalem. No king before him nor after him was like him, that turned again to God in all his heart, and in all his soul, and in all his virtue,[344] by all the law of Moses. Nevertheless for the horrible sins of Judah God didn't turn away from his strong vengeance, but said, that he would take away Judah from his face, as he did away Israel, and that he would cast away the city Jerusalem which he chose. Therefore Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, killed Josiah in Megiddo, and Jehoahaz his son was made king for his father; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem, and did evil before God by all things which his fathers had done; and this Pharaoh imprisoned him in Riblah, and took tribute of the land, a 100 talents of silver, and one talent of gold; and this Pharaoh made king Eliakim, the son of Josiah, and turned his name Jehoiakim; and this Pharaoh led Jehoahaz into Egypt; and Jehoiakim did evil before God by all things which his fathers had done. And this Jehoiakim was made servant three years to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and next he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, and God sent thieves of Chaldea, and thieves of Syria, and thieves of Moab, and thieves of the sons of Ammon into Judah, that he would[234] destroy it, as he spoke by his prophets, and especially for the sins of Manasseh. This Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin[345] reigned 3 months in Jerusalem, and did evil before God, as his fathers had done. In that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar climbed to Jerusalem, and besieged it. Then Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem to overcome it, and Jehoiachin, and his mother, and his servants, and prices, and chamberlains went out to Nebuchadnezzar, and he moved Jehoiachin and his host, 10 thousand, and many craftsmen[346] into Babylon; and took all the treasures of God's house, and of the king's house, and beat together all the golden vessels, which king Solomon had made in the temple. And Nebuchadnezzar ordained Mattanyahu, the brother of Josiah,[347] to be king, and called him Zedekiah, and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem, and did evil before God by all things that Jehoiakim had done; for God was angry with[348] Jerusalem and Judah, til he cast them away from his face. And Zedekiah went away from the king of Babylon, and in the 9th year of Zedekiah Nebuchadnezzar came with all his host, and besieged Jerusalem til the 11th year of Zedekiah, and then the city was broken, and Zedekiah and his warriors fled by night, and the host of Chaldeans pursued and took him, and brought him to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah. And Nebuchadnezzar spoke judgement with Zedekiah, and killed his sons before him, and put out his eyes, and bound him with chains, and brought him into Babylon. Then Nebuzaradan, the prince of the host, burnt God's house, and the king's house, and the houses of Jerusalem, and destroyed the walls of Jerusalem around it;[349] and he moved into Babylon the rest of the[103] people of Judah, except for a few poor men, vine-tillers and ground-tillers; and he broke all the brass and metal vessels[350] in the temple, and bore the metal into Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar made Gedaliah sovereign of the people left in the land of Judah, and then all the dukes of knights came to Gedaliah in Mispah, and he made an oath to them, that it would[234] be well to them, if they would serve the king of Babylon. And Ishmael, that was of the king's blood, killed Gedaliah, and Jews, and Chaldeans that were with him, and all the people of Judah and the princes of knights fled into Egypt, for dread of Chaldeans. At the last, Evil-Merodach, king of Babylon, raised Jehoiachin from prison, and set his throne above the thrones of other kings that were with him in Babylon; and Jehoiachin always ate[351] bread in the king of Babylon's sight,[352] in all the days of his life. This process of Gedaliah and that follows is told longer in the end of Jeremiah than here in the end of Kings. This process of the 4th book of Kings[2] should stir all men, and namely kings and lords, for to hate sin, as idolatry and greed,[353] and breaking of God's commandments, for which the people of Israel and the people of Judah were punished in this way, and conquered by heathen men, and for to love virtues and keeping of God's commandments, and destroying of open sins, for which many good kings, as Hezekiah, Josiah, and many others, had great thanks[354] and succor from God in many great perils, and bliss of heaven without end. God for his mercy grant this bliss to us! Amen.

Chapter 8 edit

[355]The books of Chronicles are very necessary to understand the stories of the old testament, so much, as Jerome says, that if any man without these books will presume to have the knowledge of holy scriptures, he scorns himself, that is, deceives, or makes himself worthy to be scorned; because the stories left out in the books of Kings are touched in these books, and innumerable questions of the gospel are declared by these books. The first book of Chronicles tells in the beginning the generations from Adam to Jacob, and so forth to David, and touches shortly many stories of Saul, and of David, and of Solomon, in the end thereof; and how David ordained priests and deacons[71] in their offices, and how and by what service they should serve God. [356]The beginning of the 2nd book of Chronicles tells how Solomon asked of God wisdom to judge his people, and God gave to him wisdom, and knowledge, and riches, and glory, so that none among kings neither before nor after him was like him. Then is told how Solomon built the temple of Jerusalem, and a house to himself. After this the queen of Sheba came to Solomon, and brought many precious jewels to him, and proved his knowledge and wisdom in many things. And all the kings of the earth desired to see the face of Solomon, for to hear the wisdom of God, which he had given in his heart. After this it follows how Rehoboam divided the 10 lineages from the house of David by his pride and hard words, and by following the council of young men; and when the realm of Judah was confirmed to him, he forsook the law of God, and all Israel did the same with him. Therefore God sent the king of Egypt with innumerable people to them, and took away the treasures of God's house and of the king's house, and they served the king of Egypt, to know the diversity of God's service, and of the service of the realm of the lands. After him reigned Abijah, his son, and he made a wise treaty with the people of Israel, that they would[234] forsake their sin, and not war against God's people and the realm of Judah; and because[26] they would've proudly warred against the realm of Judah, and against this good council of Abijah, he killed of them by God's help 5 hundred thousand strong men. After this council Abijah died, and Asa his son reigned for him; and in the days of Asa the land was in rest 10 years; and Asa did that that was good and pleasant in the sight of God, and he destroyed altars of idolatry, and high places, and he broke images, and hewed down woods,[94] and commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and do his law, and keep all his commandments. He reigned in peace, and built strong cities with walls, and towers, and gates, and locks, and he had in his host three hundred thousand of Judah, men bearing shields and spears, and of Benjamin 2 00 thousand and 70 thousand men of arms, and archers. And he overcame the king of Ethiopia, that came with 10 00 thousand men and 3 00 chariots;[316] and Asa had the victory, for in trust of God's help he came against this great multitude. Then the prophet of God said to Asa and all his people, "The Lord is with you, for you were with him; if you seek him you shall find; and if you forsake him he shall forsake you; many days shall pass in Israel without true God, and without priest, and teacher, and law; and when they turn back in their anguish, and cry to God, and seek him, they shall find him. Be comforted, and your hands steadfast,[357] because your reward shall be to your work." And when Asa had heard these words, and prophecy, he was comforted, and did away all idols from all the land of Judah and of Benjamin, and from the cities which he had taken from Ephraim. And he gathered together all the people under him, and he entered into Jerusalem, to make strong the bond of peace,[358] that they should seek the Lord God of their fathers in all their heart and all their soul, and he said, "If any man does not seek the Lord God of Israel, let him die,[359] from the least to the most, from man to woman." And they swore with all their heart and with all their will, they sought God and found him, and God gave rest to them from the people around them.[360] And when the king of Israel warred against Asa, Asa sent much gold and silver to the king of Syria, to help him, and to war against the king of Israel, and he did so. Then God rebuked Asa greatly, for he trusted in the king of Syria, and not in God. "And therefore the host of the king of Syria escaped from your hand," said God, "and also battles shall rise against you in the present time." And Asa was angry with[348] the prophet, that told this to him, and put him in the stocks;[361] and God had very great indignation for this thing, and killed very many men of the people in that time. And in the end of his life Asa had very great sickness in his feet, and in his sickness he didn't seek the Lord, but trusted more in the craft of leaches.[362] And Asa died, and Jehoshaphat his son reigned for him, and was strong against Israel. And king Jehoshaphat ordained numbers of knights in all walled cities of Judah, and ordained strongholds in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, and he went in the first ways of David his father, and he didn't hope in Baal, but in God Almighty, and went in his commandments, and not by the sins of Israel. And God confirmed the realm in the hand of Jehoshaphat, and he had very many riches and much glory; and when his heart had taken trust in the ways of the Lord, he also did away high places and woods[94] from Judea, where the people made offerings outside of Jerusalem[363] against the law. And Jehoshaphat in the 3rd year of his realm sent five of his princes, that they should teach in the cities of Judah; and he sent 9 deacons[71] with them, and 2 priests with them, and they had the book of God's law, and taught the people in Judah, and they went around all the cities of Judah, and taught all the people. Therefore the respect[58] of the Lord was made on all realms of lands that were by the border of Judah, and dared not war against Jehoshaphat. And he had ready at his hand 11 00 thousand and 60 00 thousand knights, and men of arms, and archers, without the others which he had set in walled cities, and in all Judah. And Philistines and Arabs brought to Jehoshaphat gifts and tributes, and many thousands of sheep and bucks of goats. And after doing this Jehoshaphat was allied to Ahab, and went with him to battle into Ramoth in Gilead,[364] and 4 00 prophets, that were deceived by a spirit of lying, excited Ahab to this war, and promised prosperity and victory to him; but Micaiah, one true prophet of God, told to Ahab that he would[234] die in this battle, and so it was indeed; and Jehoshaphat, that was in most peril in this battle, was saved by God's help. After this battle Jehoshaphat turned back in peace to Jerusalem, and a prophet of God met him, and said, "You help the wicked man, and are joined in friendship to them that hate God, and therefore you deserve the wrath of God, but good works are found in you, for you did away woods[94] from the land of Judah, and made ready your heart to seek the Lord God of your fathers." Therefore Jehoshaphat dwelt in Jerusalem, and next he went out to the people from Beersheba to the hill of Ephraim, and called them again to the Lord God of their fathers; and he ordained judges of the land in all strong cities of Judah by each place; and he commanded this to the judges, "See, what you ought to do, for you use the judgement not of man but of the Lord, and whatever thing that you shall judge, shall turn into you; the respect[58] of the Lord be with you, and do all things with diligence; because neither wickedness, nor taking of persons, nor greed for gifts, is with your Lord God." And in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat ordained deacons[71] and priests, and princes of men of Israel, that they should judge the dwellers thereof the judgement and cause of God; and he commanded them and said, "This you will[234] do in the respect[58] of the Lord faithfully, and in a perfect heart; each cause that comes to you from your brothers that dwell in their cities, between kindred, wherever there is question or doubt of the law of commandment of ceremonies of judgements, show to them, that they do not sin against the Lord, and wrath or vengeance does not come on you, and on your brothers; therefore do this and you shall not do sin; and Amariah, your priest and bishop,[312] shall be sovereign in these things that pertain to God." After these things the sons of Ammon, and the sons of Moab, and with men of Idumea, were gathered together to war against Jehoshaphat. THen Jehoshaphat gave him all to beseech God, and preached fasting to all Judah, and all Judah was gathered to beseech the Lord; and Jehoshaphat acknowledged, that he did not have power to stand against so great a multitude of enemies. Then God comforted him and his people by a prophet, that they should not dread this great multitude of enemies, for God himself would[234] fight and overcome their enemies, without a stroke from his people; and so it was indeed. At the last, Jehoshaphat made friendship with Ahaziah, king of Israel, whose works were very evil, and they were fellows to make ships, that would[234] go to Tarshish. Therefore God by his prophet said to Jehoshaphat, "For you had bond of peace with Ahaziah, God has struck your works," and the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish. Then Jehoshaphat died, and Jehoram his son reigned for him. This Jehoram wedded the daughter of Ahab, and killed his own brothers, and went in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done; and he did idolatry, and made the dwellers of Jerusalem and also Judah to break God's law. Therefore Edom and Libnah went away from his lordship, for he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers; and therefore God raised against him Philistines and Arabs, that border Ethiopians, and they destroyed the land of Judah, and took away all the possessions[365] that were found in the house of the king, and took away his wife and sons, except for Jehoahaz the youngest. And God struck Jehoram with an incureable afflictiom of his gut[366] two years, so that he rotted on earth, and cast out his entrails, and died in worst sickness. And his son Ahaziah reigned for him, and did evil as the house of Ahab, because his mother excited him to do wickedly; and they of the house of Ahab were his councelors to his death, and he went in the council of them. And therefore Jehu, when he destroyed the house of Ahab, killed Ahaziah, and the prince of Judah, and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah. After these things Joash was made king, by the help of Jehoiada the priest, and the cursed woman Athaliah was slain. The priests and great men of the people brought out of God's house the son of the king, and set a crown on his head, and gave in his hand the law to be kept, and made him king. And Jehoiada made a covenant between him and all the people and the king, that they would[234] be the people of God, that is, forsake idolatry, and truely keep God's law. Therefore all the people went into the house of Baal, and destroyed it, and broke the altars and simulacra or images of him, and they killed before the altar Mattan, the priest of Baal. This Joash did well in the time of Jehoiada, and repaired the temple of Jerusalem, that was destroyed by Athaliah and her sons; but after the death of Jehoiada he was flattered by the princes of Judah, and they fell into idolatry, and forsook the temple of God. And the wrath of God was made against Judah and Jerusalem for his sin, and he sent prophets to them, that they should turn back to God, and they wouldn't hear these prophets. And Zechariah, the priest and son of Jehoiada, reproved them them for this sin, and they stoned him to death in the precinct of God's house, by commandment of the king. And when the year was ended the host of Syria came against him, and came into Judah and Jerusalem, and killed all the princes of the people, and sent all the spoils into Damascus to the king. And certainly when a very little number of men of Syria were come, God let them take into their hands a multitude without end, for they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers, and they used shameful judgements by Joash, and went forth, and left him in great sorrows; and his servants rose against him for vengeance of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him in his bed; and Joash was dead, and Amaziah his son reigned for him.

Chapter 9 edit

Amaziah did good in part, but not in a perfect heart, and he killed them that had slain the king his father, but he didn't kill their sons, as God said in the law. This Amaziah found in all Judah and Benjamin from 20 years and above, 30 thousand young men that went out into battle, and held spear and shield; and he hired of Israel a 100 thousand very strong men for a 100 talents of silver, to fight against the sons of Edom. And a man of God said to Amaziah, "O! you king, the host of Israel, don't have them go out with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, and with all the sons of Ephraim; that if you think that battles stand on the strength of the host, the Lord shall make you to be overcome with your enemies; for it is proper to God for to help, and for to turn into flight." Therefore Amaziah departed away the host of Israel, and trustfully led forth his people to battle; and he had the victory, and killed 40 thousand of his enemies in this battle. And after this victory Amaziah worshiped the gods of Edom, and burned incense to them; therefore God was angry with Amaziah, and sent to him a prophet, that would[234] say to him, "Why have you worshiped gods that didn't deliver their people from your hand?" When the prophet spoke these things to him, he answered to the prophet, "How are you a councilor to the king? cease, lest by chance I slay you." Therefore the prophet went away and said, "I know that the lord thought to slay you, for you have done this evil, and furthermore you didn't assent to my council:" and so it happened indeed, for by pride he stirred[249] the king of Israel to war, and wouldn't cease for helpful council of the king of Israel. Therefore the king of Israel overcame the people of Judah, and took Amaziah, and destroyed the wall of Jerusalem by 4 00 cubits, and took away all the treasure and vessels which he found in God's house, and in the king's house. And after doing this Amaziah fled out of Jerusalem into Lachish. And Azariah his son reigned for him 52 years in Jerusalem, and sought God in the days of Zechariah, understanding and seeing God, and when he sought God, he loved him in all things; and God helped him against Philistines, and against Arabs, and against Ammonites. And Ammonites paid gifts to Azariah, and his name was published to the entrance of Egypt, for often victories. He built many towers in Jerusalem, and also in wilderness, for he had many beasts, and 2 thousand and 6 00 princes of strong men, and 3 00 thousand and 7 thousand and 5 00 that were able to battle, and fought for the king against adversaries; and his name went out far, for God helped him, and made him strong. But when he was made strong, his heart was raised to his death, and he despised his Lord God, for he went into the the temple of God, and would burn incense on the altar of incense, against the law. And when the bishop[312] and many noble priests stood against him, and told the law that was against him, he was angry, and held the censer, and menaced[367] them; and right away leprosy rose in his forehead before the priests in God's house. Then the priests put him out, and he hastened to go out, for dread, and because[26] he felt right away the vengeance of God. Therefore king Azariah was leprous til the day of his death, and dwelt in a house departed. And Jotham his son governed in the king's house, and judged the people of the land. And Jotham reigned 16 years in Jerusalem, and did righteousness before God, by all things that Azariah his father had done, except for this, that he didn't enter into the temple of God; and yet the people trespassed. He built many things, and fought against the king of the sons of Ammon, and overcame him; and the sons of Ammon gave to him a 100 talents of silver, and 10 thousand cores of barley, and as many of wheat; and a core contains 30 bushels. And Jotham was made strong, for he had addressed his ways before his Lord God, and he was dead, and Ahaz his son reigned for him 16 years in Jerusalem. This Ahaz didn't do righteousness in God's sight, but went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made images to Baal, and did a lot of idolatry; and God let him be taken into the hand of the king of Syria, that king struck Ahaz, and took a great spoils from his realm into Damascus; and Ahaz was taken into the hands of the king of Israel, and was struck with a great wound. And Pekah, the son of Remaliah, killed of Judah 12 ten thousands[368] in one day, all the warriors; for they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers; and the sons of Israel took of their brothers of Judah 2 00 thousand of women, and of children, and of young women,[369] and spoils without end, and bore it into Samaria. And Oded, the prophet of God, said to the men of Israel, that they had done great cruelty, and sinned against God, and told them to lead back the prisoners of Judah, "because great vengeance of the Lord nears to you." Therefore the princes of Israel made the warriors forsake the spoils, and all things that they had taken; and the princes clothed them that were naked, and refreshed them with meat,[370] and drink, and anointing of oil, for travel,[371] and sent them home benignly. Then king Ahaz sent to the king of Assyrians, and asked help; and Idumeans came, and killed many men of Judah, and took great spoils; and Philistines took many cities of Judah, and dwelt in them. And God made low the people of Judah for Ahaz the king of Israel, for he had made him naked of help, and because[26] he had despised God. And God brought against him Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyrians, that tormented him, and destroyed, because[26] none stood against. Therefore Ahaz looted God's house, and the house of kings and of princes, and gave gifts to the king of Assyrians; and nevertheless it profited nothing to him; and Ahaz, in the time of his anguish, increased despising against God, and offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, and he said, "The gods of Syria help them, those gods I shall please with sacrifices, and they should help me," when backward they were falling to him, and to all Israel.[372] Therefore Ahaz ravished and broke all the vessels of God's house, and closed the gates of God's temple, and made to him altars in all corners of Jerusalem, and in all the cities of Judah to burn incense, and stirred[249] God to wrath. And he died, and Hezekiah his son reigned for him 29 years in Jerusalem; he did that that was pleasant to in God's sight, by all things that David his father had done. And he opened the gates of God's house, in the first year of his realm, and made priests and deacons[71] to cleanse and hallow the temple and altar of God, with all the vessels and utensils[373] of the temple; and he gathered together all the princes of the city, and climbed into God's house; and they offered 7 bulls and 7 rams, 7 lambs, and 7 bucks of goats, the sons of Aaron, that they should offer on the altar of God, and they did so. And he ordained deacons[71] in the house of God, with cymbals and psalteries[374] and harps, by the ordinance of David, and of Gad, the prophet of the king, and of Nathan the prophet; for it was the commandment of God by the hand of his prophets. And deacons[71] stood and held the organs of David, and priests held trumpets. And Hezekiah commanded that they should offer burnt sacrifices on the altar, and when burnt sacrifices were offered, they begun to sing praises to God, and to sound with trumpets and diverse organs, which David the king of Israel had made ready for to sound. And Hezekiah and the princes commanded to the deacons[71] that they should praise God with the words of David, and of Asaph the prophet. And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote epistles to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to God's house in Jerusalem, and make Passover to the Lord God of Israel. And it pleased the king and all the multitude, and they advised for to send messengers into all Israel from Beersheba to Dan, that they should come and make Passover to the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem. And couriers went out with epistles, by commandment of the king and of his princes, into all Israel and Judah, as the king had commanded, and preached, "Sons of Israel, turn back to the Lord God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, and he shall turn back to the remnants that escaped the hands of the king of Assyrians; serve the Lord God of your fathers, and the wrath of his strong vengeance shall be turned away from you; for if you turn again to the Lord, your brothers and your sons shall have mercy before their lords, that led them prisoners, and they shall turn back into this land." Therefore couriers went swiftly from city to city, by the land of Ephraim and of Manasseh to Zebulon, and they scorned and mocked the messengers; nevertheless some of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulon assented to the council, and came into Jerusalem. God's hand was made in Judah, that he gave to them one heart, and they did the word of God by commandment of the king and of princes, and many people were gathered in Jerusalem, to make the solemnity of Passover in the 2nd month; and they destroyed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they destroyed all things in which incense was offered to idols, and cast them forth into the stream of Kidron. When these things were hallowed rightly, all Israel went out, that was found in the cities of Judah, and they broke simulacra, or images, and hewed down woods,[94] and destroyed high places and altars, and not only of all Judah and Benjamin, but also of Ephraim and Manasseh, til they destroyed them utterly. And Hezekiah ordained companies of priests and of deacons,[71] by their divisions, each man in his own office, as well of priests as of deacons,[71] to burnt sacrifices and peace offerings[144] that they should minister and acknowledge and sing in the gates of the castles, or hosts, of the Lord. And Hezekiah commanded to the people to give to priests and deacons[71] their parts, that is, the first fruits and tithes, that they might give tent to the law of God. And there is told much of the paying and dealing of tithes and other holy things. Then it follows how Sennacherib blasphemed God of Israel, and how Hezekiah comforted the people against his blasphemy and pride. And Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet prayed against the blasphemy, and cried to heaven; and God sent his angel, and he killed each strong man, and warrior, and prince of the host of the king of Assyrians, and he turned back with shame into his land, and his own sons killed him by sword. And God saved Hezekiah and the dwellers of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyrians, and from the hand of all men, and gave to them rest from the nations around them.[375] After these things Hezekiah was sick to the death, and he prayed to God, and God heard him. And the heart of Hezekiah was raised to pride, and wrath was made against him, and against Judah, and against Jerusalem. And after he was made meek,[376] for his heart was raised, both he and the dwellers of Jerusalem were made meek,[376] and therefore the vengeance of God didn't come in the days of Hezekiah. And Hezekiah was very rich and noble, and in all his works he did prosperously, whatever thing he wanted. Nevertheless in the message of princes of Babylon, that were sent to him to ask of the great wonder that happened on earth, God forsook him, that he was tempted, and all things were known that were in his heart. Then Hezekiah died, and Manasseh his son reigned in Jerusalem 55 years. And Manasseh did evil before God, by abominations of heathen men, which God destroyed before the sons of Israel, and he built high places, and made altars to Baal, and did a lot of idolatry, and served witchcraft, and set idols in the temple of God; and he deceived the people of Judah and the dwellers of Jerusalem, that they did evil more than heathen men, which the Lord had destroyed from the face of the sons of Israel. And God spoke to him and to his people, and they wouldn't take heed; therefore he brought on them the princes of the host of the king of Assyrians; and they took Manasseh, and bound him with chains and fetters, and led him into Babylon; and after that he was anguished, he prayed to his Lord God, and did penance greatly before the God of his fathers, and he prayed heartily, and sought God, and God heard his prayer, and brought him back into Jerusalem, into his realm. And Manasseh knew that the Lord himself is God, and he did away foreign gods, and simulacra, or idols from God's house, and destroyed altars which he had made in the hill of God's house and in Jerusalem, and cast all out of the city, and he restored the altar of God, and offered on it sacrifices and worship, and commanded the people of Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel; and nevertheless the people offered yet in high places to their Lord God. Manasseh died, and Amon his son reigned for him 2 years in Jerusalem, and he did evil in God's sight, as Manasseh his father had done, and offered and served all idols, which Manasseh had made; and he didn't reverence the face of God, as Manasseh reverenced, and he did many great trespasses; and when his servants had conspired against him, they killed him; and the people killed them that had slain Amon, and made Josiah his son king for him, and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. Josiah did that that was rightful in God's sight, and went in the ways of David, his father, and bent neither to the right side nor to the left. In the 8th year of his realm, when he was yet a child, he began to seek the God of David, his father, and in the 12th year, after that he began, he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem from high places, and images and idols. They destroyed before him the altars of Baal, and the simulacra that were put above; he cut down, and broke woods[94] and graven images, and scattered the reliefs on the tombs[377] of them that were accustomed to offer. Furthermore he burned the bones of priests in the altars of idols, and he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all idols in the cities of Manasseh and of Ephraim and of Simon til Naphtali. In the 18th year of his realm, when the land and the temple of God was cleansed, he sent worthy men to repair God's house, and so they did indeed. And Hilkiah, the great priest,[378] gave to Shaphan, the scribe and solemn messenger, the book of God's law, and he bore it to the king, and for the rest of[379] Israel and of Judah, on all the words of the book of God's law; "because great vengeance of God has dropped on us, for our fathers didn't keep the words of God, that they did all things that are written in this book." Therefore Hilkiah, and they that were sent together by the king, went to Huldah, a prophetess, the wife of Shallum; and God said by her that he shall bring in on this place and dwellers thereof evils, and all curses that are written in this book of God's law; for they forsook God and sacrificed to foreign gods, to stir[249] him to wrath, in all the works of their hands; "but because[26] you, king of Judah, heard the words of this book, and were made meek[376] in God's sight, and wept and rent your clothes, I have heard you," says God, "and you shall be born into your sepulcher in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I shall bring in on this place, and on the dwellers thereof." And when Josiah had heard these words, he called together all the old men of Judah and of Jerusalem, and he climbed into God's house, and all men of Judah and the dwellers of Jerusalem climbed together, priests and deacons,[71] and all the people from the least to the most, and in audience of them the king read in God's house all the words of the book; and he stood on his throne, or seat of judgement, and sealed a bond of peace[380] before God, that he should go after God, and keep his commandments, and regulations, and ceremonies, in all his heart and all his soul, and do those things that are written in that book which he had read. And he charged greatly on this thing all men that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin; and the dwellers of Jerusalem did by the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers. Therefore Josiah did away all abominations from all the countries of the sons of Israel, and made all men, that were residing in Israel, to serve their Lord God; in all the days of his life they didn't go away from the Lord God of their fathers. Afterward Josiah made Passover in Jerusalem, and ordained priests in their offices, and told them to minister in God's house, and told deacons[71] to serve God and his people Israel, and make them ready by their houses and clans[381] in the dividing of each, as David, king of Israel, commanded, and told them to serve in the sanctuary, by the commoners and companies and deacons,[71] and that they be holy, and offer Passover, and make their brothers ready to offer Passover. And Josiah made such a Passover, that none was like it in Israel, from the days of Samuel the prophet, neither did any of the kings of Israel made Passover, as Josiah did, to priests, and deacons,[71] and to all Judah and Israel, and to the dwellers of Jerusalem; for he gave to all the people that were found in Jerusalem in the solemnity of Passover, 30 thousand lambs and other sheep, and 3 thousand oxen. After that Josiah had repaired the temple Necho, king of Egypt, climbed to fight in Carchemish, and Josiah went forth against him, and the king of Egypt said to Josiah, "I don't come today against you, but I fight against another house, to which God sent and made me go in haste; therefore cease, you king of Judah, today against God, which is with me, lest he slay you." Josiah wouldn't turn back, but made himself ready to battle against the king of Egypt, and didn't assent to the words of the king of Egypt, spoken by God's mouth. Therefore Josiah was slain by the king of Egypt, and the people of the land made Jehoahaz his son king in Jerusalem. He reigned 3 months in Jerusalem, and the king of Egypt put him down, and judged the land of Judah in a 100 talents of silver, and in a talent of gold, and made Eliakim his brother king for him over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name Jehoiakim. He reigned 11 years in Jerusalem, and did evil before God. Therefore Nebuchadnezzar took him, and led him bound with chains into Babylon, and bore there the vessels of God's temple; and Jehoiachin his son reigned for him 3 months and 10 days in Jerusalem, and did evil in God's sight. Then Nebuchadnezzar sent men that led him into Babylon and bore out the most precious vessels of God's house; and Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem. He reigned 11 years in Jerusalem, and did evil in God's sight, nor was he ashamed of the face of Jeremiah, the prophet, that spoke to him of God's mouth. He broke the oath made to Nebuchadnezzar; therefore Nebuchadnezzar came and took him, and led him and all the vessels and the treasures of God's house and of the king and princes into Babylon, and killed the people, and destroyed and burned Jerusalem; and the people that were left alive were led into Babylon, and served the king and his son, til the king of Persians reigned, and til 50 years were filled, by God's word said by the mouth of Jeremiah. And Cyrus, king of Persians, commanded to be preached, yes by writing in all his realm, that Jews should turn back into Judea.

Chapter 10 edit

This process of Chronicles in the 1st and 2nd books should stir christian kings and lords to destroy sin, and love virtue, and make God's law to be known and kept by their people, for here they must see, how sorely God punished evil kings, that lived evil, and drew the people to idolatry, or other great sins, and how greatly God praised, rewarded, and cherished good kings, that lived well, and governed well the people in God's law, and open reason, and good conscience. And if kings and lords never knew more of holy scripture than 3 stories in the 2nd book of Chronicles and of Kings, that is, the story of king Jehoshaphat, the story of king Hezekiah, and the story of king Josiah, they might learn sufficiently to live well and govern well their people by God's law, and eschew all pride, and idolatry, and greed, and other sins. But alas! alas! alas! where king Jehoshaphat sent his princes, and deacons,[71] and priests, to each city of his realm with the book of God's law, to teach openly God's law to the people, some christian lords send general letters to all their ministers, and liege-men or tenants, that the pardons of the bishops of Rome,[382] that are open lies, for they grant many 100s of years of pardon after doomsday, be preached generally in their realms and lordships, and if any wise man speaks against the open errors of antichrist, and teaches men to do their alms to poor needy men, to escape the pains of hell, and to win the bliss of heaven, he is imprisoned, as a man out of christian belief, and traitor of God, and of christian kings and lords. And where king Hezekiah made himself very busy to cleanse God's house, and do away all uncleanness from the sanctuary, and commanded priests to offer burnt sacrifice on God's altar and ordained deacons[71] in God's house to praise God, as David and other prophets ordained, some christian lords in name, and heathen in in conditions defiled the sanctuary of God, and brought in clerks guilty of simony,[383] full of greed, heresy, and hypocrisy, and malice, to stop God's law, that it wouldn't be known or kept, and freely preached; and yet some christian lords hold many prelates and curates in their courts and in secular offices against God's law and man's openly, and hold them back from their spiritual offices and helping of christian souls; and where king Josiah preached openly God's law in the temple to all the people, and cast away idols, and burned the bones of priests, that did idolatry, some christian lords in name not in deed, praise and magnify friars' letters,[384] full of deceit and lies, and make their tenants and commoners to swear by heart, bones, nails, and sides, and other members of Christ, and pursue very cruelly them that would teach truly and freely the law of God, and praise, maintain, and cherish them, that preach fables, lies, and sinful men's traditions, or statutes, [when they should throw them in jail,][385] and greatly let the gospel to be preached, and holy writ to be known and kept. But do these unwise lords know that Elisha the prophet, one alone had the truth of God, and king Ahab with 8 00 and 50 priests and prophets of Baal had the false part; and next Micaiah, one alone prophet of God, had the truth against 4 00 prophets of Baal, that counseled Ahab go to war to his own shame and death; so now a few poor and ignorant men, in comparison to clerks of school, may have the truth of holy scripture against many thousand prelates and religious, that are given to worldly pride and greed, simony, hypocrisy and other fleshly sins, most times these poor men desire only the truth and freedom of the holy gospel, and of holy scripture, and accept man's laws and ordinances, only in as much as they are grounded in holy scripture, or good reason, and common profit of christian people; and worldly prelates and feigned religious ground them on sinful men's statutes, that sow pride and greed, and don't let the truth and freedom of God's law to be known and kept, and bring christian people in needless thralldom and great cost. But it is for to dread very sorely if kings and lords are now in the former sins of Manasseh; God grant that they repent truly and make amends to God and men, as he did, in the end; for they set idols in God's house, and excite men to idolatry, and shed innocent blood in many manners, as Manasseh did. First they set in their heart, that should be in the temple and special chamber of God, the idol of greed, or of gluttony, or of pride, or of other great sins, for saint Paul says, that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and next he says, that greed is the service of idols, and next he says, that gluttons make their belly their God; and God says by Job, that the devil is king over all the sons of pride, and Jesus Christ says, that the devil is prince of this world, that is, as Augustine says, of false men that dwell in this world. Then they that set pride, or greed, or gluttony, or frenzies, in their heart, set idols of Baal, or of the devil, in the temple of God. Especially lords set idols in God's house, when they make unworthy prelates or curates in the church; because such unable prelates or curates are idols, as God says in the 11th chapter of Zechariah to an unable prelate, "O! you shepherd, and idol, forsaking the flock;" therefore Archdeacon[386] in his rosary, which is one of the most famous doctors, and of the pope's law, writes this, "an evil prelate is said a roaring lion, and a wolf ravishing prey;" and in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel, he is said to feed himself and not the sheep; also he is said to seek his own temporal profits, therefore he is not of God's children, as Augustine says in the 8th clause, 1st question, chapter sunt quidam,[387] and for this thing power shall be taken away from him, as witnessed in the 83rd distinction chapter nichil;[388] also for abdication of governing he is said an unchaste dog, as Augustine witnesses in the 2nd cause 7th question, chapter qui nec;[389] also he is a crow, or a raven, for the blackness of sins, as the law witnesses there, in chapter non omnis[390] also he is said spoiled salt not profitable for anything, as the law witnesses there, in chapter non omnis;[390] also he is said a hog, as the law witnesses in the 43rd distinction, in chapter in mandatis;[391] also he is said a churl of a churlish and evil life, as the law witnesses in the 47th distinction, in the beginning; also he is said a capon,[392] for he has the manner of a hen, for as a capon doesn't crow, so an evil prelate doesn't crow in preaching; also an evil prelate doesn't engender by preaching God's word, [as a capon doesn't engender,][393] nor does he fight for his subjects[, as a capon doesn't fight for the hens];[393] also as the capon doesn't call hens, so evil prelate doesn't call poor men to food; also as the capon makes himself fat; so an evil prelate makes himself fat. Therefore since he seeks plenty, meats, and riches, he shall be put into the fire of hell, as Jerome witnesses on Micah, and in the 35th distinction, chapter ecclesie principes.[394] Archdeacon[386] writes all this in the 43rd distinction, in chapter sit rector,[395] on the word multi. Also a dumb prelate is an idol, and not a true prelate; a dumb prelate is not a true prelate, since he doesn't use the office of a prelate, but he has only the likeness of a prelate, as an idol that doesn't use the office of a man is only like a man, but it is no man; therefore such dumb prelates may rightfully be said simulacra, or idols, of which it is said in the 6th chapter of Baruch, "the trees of them are made fair by a carpenter, and they are arrayed with gold and silver, and can not speak," and they that make such prelates are like them, those makers shall be damned with such prelates, by that word of David, "they that make them are made like them." But mark well, that heathen men had simulacra of these 6 kinds of evil prelates; because simulacra of clay are fleshly prelates, of which God says in the Psalter, "I shall do them away as the clay of streets;" simulacra of wood are unwise and ignorant prelates without wit, of which it is said in holy scripture, "a tree is wrapped in silver;" and these are said to be made of nothing into prelates, these are beasts called chimeras, that have a part of each beast, and such are [they who are] not [true prelates][396] but only in belief, or speech, and not in deed, nor in kind; they are simulacra of brass, that have only worldly eloquence, because brass gives great sound, in the 1st epistle to the Corinthians, the 13th chapter, "if I speak in the languages of men and of angels, and I don't have charity, I am made as brass sounding;" simulacra of stone are they, that are broken form righteousness and virtue, for temporal strength, these prelates are not the stone which is set into the head of the corner[397] but these are the stone of hurting and of tripping; simulacra of silver are they that are made by money, or riches, those prelates say, what will you give to us, and we should give Christ to you; golden simulacra are they that are made only for worldly nobility, because gold signifies nobility, and therefore the head of the image of Nebuchadnezzar was gold in the 2nd chapter of Daniel. Archdeacon[386] tells all this in the 43rd distinction, chapter sit rector,[395] on the word mutus.[398] Though this doctor of the pope's law is plain and sharp, he says truth seasonable [and reasonable,][399] for the church now accords with holy writ, and reason, and common doctors of holy scripture; for in the 11th chapter of Zechariah, God calls an evil prelate an idol, and in Ezekiel and other prophets he likens tyrants and ravishers to lions, wolves, bears, and other unreasonable beasts, to despise their sin. Here lords and other prelates may see in part, how perilous it is to ordain evil prelates or curates in the church, for as saint Gregory says, in 1 part of Pastorals,[400] the 2nd chapter, no man harms more in the church, than he that does waywardly, and holds the name of order, or of holiness;[401] and the law says de electionibus,[402] chapter nichil,[388] that nothing harms the church of God more, than that unworthy men are taken to the governorship of souls; and Grosseteste says in his sermon Premonitus a venerabili patre,[403] that to make unable prelates or curates in the church of God, is to have come to the highest degree of trespasses; also in his sermon Dominus noster Jhesus Cristus,[404] he writes this to the pope, "he that gives the cure of souls to a weak, ignorant man not willful to duly keep the souls, is guilty of all the souls, even if some escape, and are saved by God's grace, and he that gives the cure of souls to him that is openly unable to cure them, teaches to set more price by unreasonable beasts than by men, and for to love more earthly things, that pass shortly than everlasting things, and more than the death and blood of God's son; and he that gives the cure of souls to unable men in this way, is worse than Herod, that pursued Christ, and worse than the Jews and heathen men that crucified Christ."[405] Grosseteste says this plainly, and proves it openly before the pope and all his clergy; and they that procure benefices and riches to men, hates them to who he procures in this way, as if they procured them to be set in the roof of the church, in whirlwinds and great tempests. Grosseteste says this in his sermon Scriptum est de leuitis;[406] and he that is negligent to draw souls out of the pit of sin, as much as he can, by the order of the law, and he that slackens in this work, slays the souls; and he that sets more price by a fleshly sheep than a spiritual sheep, that is, man's soul, sets more price by a penny[300] than by the life of God's son, which is worth all this world. A reckless curate, and that slays subjects by evil example, and withdrawing of God's word, is worst than unreasonable beasts, and he is worse than the people who crucified[407] Christ, for he crucifies him in his members. Good councilors they are alone, that are wise men, and respect[58] God, because all greedy men are fools, and unwise men, and to be led by the council of them is to dispose of hen coops by the council of foxes, and to dispose of folds of sheep by the council of wolves. Grosseteste says this in a sermon Premonitus a venerabili patre.[403] See, you lords and prelates, that make unable curates, for fleshly affection and gifts, and especially for praying at the bier, and other unlawful favors,[408] what treason you do to God, and what harm to Christ's church and your subjects;[409] you make a horrible abomination of discomfort stand in the holy place, because[26] you make antichrist to stand at the high altar, in the stead of Christ, and treat the holy sacrament of Christ's flesh and his blood[410] very unworthily, and as Parisian[411] says, when you make a greedy priest stand at the altar, you make a mole stand there, in the stead of Christ; and when you make a foolish bishop, that doesn't know and doesn't love God's law, stand mitered at the altar, you make a horned donkey[412] stand at the altar, in the stead of Christ; and so of other unreasonable beasts, as lions, wolves, bears, apes, dragons, hogs, horses, dogs; and other vicious priests, proud, greedy, ravishers, wrathful, hypocrites, treacherous, gluttonous, lustful, envious, and backstabbers; and you transfigure Satan into an angel of light, when you make curates or prelates, that are contrary to Christ, to occupy the office of bishop, abbot, or of priest. Lords and prelates, that have set such idols in God's house, as Manasseh did, follow Manasseh in true repentance, and making amends to God and men. Also lords and prelates strongly excite men to idolatry, for they habitually swear needlessly, and often unadvisedly and false, by the members of God, of Christ, and by saints, in so much that each lord and great prelate commonly makes to him an idol of some saint, who he worships more than God; for commonly they swear by our Lady of Walsingham, saint John the Baptist, saint Edward, saint Thomas of Canterbury, and such other saints, and charge more this oath than though they swore by the Holy Trinity; and in all this they honor these saints more than they honor the Holy Trinity. Even though it is lawful to swear by saints, this is idolatry, to charge more an oath made by such saints than by God Almighty, or by the Holy Trinity; nevertheless Chrysostom witnesses on the 5th chapter of Mathew, that to swear by any creature, is to do idolatry; for as Jerome says there, and in the Decrees, in the 22nd cause, 1st question, chapter si quis per capillum,[413] and the chapter right before, and Decretals de jure jurando,[414] chapter est si Christus,[415] witnesses plainly, to swear by a creature is against God's commandment; and therefore Christ in the 5th chapter of Mathew, commands to swear, by neither heaven nor earth, and understands by heaven and earth creatures of heaven and creatures of earth; and in all the old law it is not found, where God grants to swear by any creature, but only by his own name, or by himself; and therefore the wise man says in the 23rd chapter of Sirach "a man that swears much shall be filled with wickedness, and vengeance shall not go away from his house;" and next he says, "don't let your mouth be habitually swearing, because much falling is in it; don't let the naming of God be habitually in your mouth," that is, to swear by his name in vain, or false, or for an evil end; "and don't be mixed with the names of saints," that is, to swear by saints, "for you shall not be guiltless of them."[416] Here lords and prelates may see how they do open idolatry, when they think to honor saints, and their open deeds of idolatry and blasphemy are open books of idolatry and blasphemy to their subjects; therefore, as Gregory says in the 2nd book of Pastorals the fifth chapter, prelates are worthy so many deaths, how many examples of perdition they send to subjects,[417] and in the 25th chapter of Numbers, God told Moses to hang all the princes and put them on display[418] against the sun,[419] for the people of Israel did perversion[420] and idolatry by example and allowing[421] of them. Now in England is a common protection against persecution of prelates and of some lords, if a man habitually swears needless, and false, and unadvised, by the bones, nails, and sides, and other members of Christ, and are proud and lustful, and speaking of God's law, and reproving sin around him; and abstaining from needless and unlawful oaths, and eschewing pride, and speaking honor of God and of his law, and reproving sin by way of charity, is matter and cause now why prelates and lords trick men, and call them Lollards, heretics, and raisers of debate and of treason against the king; now Manasseh sets idols openly in the temple of God, and greatly stirs men to do idolatry, and cherishes them that openly break God's commandments, and punishes sorely, as heathen men or heretics, they that busy themselves to learn, keep, and teach God's commandments; the 3rd time lords and prelates both shed innocent blood, as Manasseh did, for they wantonly waste their goods for making trouble at night, and in late-suppers and other vanities,[422] and take great and immeasurable taxes from the commoners; and lesser lords and prelates do great extortion to poor men, and take poor men's goods, and pay little or nothing and out of time for them.[423] Therefore as Micah the prophet says in the 3rd chapter, they bury poor men, and eat their flesh; and Grosseteste declares well this in his statement that begins, sint lumbi vestri precinti,[424] and in the 13th statement; and God says in the Psalter of such tyrants, "they devour my people as the food of bread." How much blood lords shed in wars, for pride and greed, by council of false prelates, confessors, and preachers, it passes man's wit to tell fully in this life; but of shedding of blood and slaying of poor men, by withdrawing of alms, and in giving it to dead sticks, or stones, or to rich clerks and feigned religious, were to speak now, if a man had the spirit of spiritual strength.[425] Now men kneel, and pray, and offer strongly to dead images, that have neither hunger not cold; and despise, beat, and slay Christian mane, made to the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity. What honor of God is this to kneel and offer to an image, made by sinful man's hands, and to despise and rob the image made by God's hands, that is, a christian man, or a christian woman. When men don't give alms to poor needy men, but to dead images, or rich clerks, they rob poor men of their due portion, and needful sustenance assigned to them by Jesus Christ, as he says in the 25th chapter of Mathew, "that, that you did to one of these least of mine, you did to me," and if they should be damned that don't give meat and drink, and other necessities to poor men, as Christ says, what should they become that rob poor men, and so Jesus Christ himself; and if these two, that don't give livelihood, and that rob poor men, should be damned so deep in hell, where should false teachers, and confessors become, that stir lords and rich men to rob in this way poor men, and to do this under the color of excellent alms and holiness? But we sorely mourn for this cursedness, and we pray to God with all our heart, that since lords and prelates follow Manasseh in these open sins, God stir them to follow Manasseh in true penance, and make amends to God and men, lest our realm be conquered by foreigners, or heathen men, for these open sins and many more.

Chapter 11 edit

[426]Ezra tells how Cyrus, king of Pesians, gave license to Jews to turn again into Jerusalem and Judea, and build the temple of God in Jerusalem, and said that other men in his realm should help in this building; and he gave the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from Jerusalem to them for that. Then is told the number of them that turned again intn Judea, under Joshua the priest, the son of Josedech, and under Zerubbabel, the duke; and how the began to build the altar and temple; and what relief they had from enemies, and what comfort from God, and from his prophets. Then is told, what sorrow Ezra made, for the princes and priests and commoners took heathen women for wives against the law; and how the princes and the people repented meekly and truly, and made amends to God and men. [427]In the book of Nehemiah, which is called the 2nd book of Esdras,[428] it is told, how Nehemiah got granted by the king to build the walls of Jerusalem, and how he and other men, both priests and other, princes and commoners, built the walls, and gates, and locks, and towers above, for defense against enemies; and how the enemies of Jews attempted with strong hand to slay Jews secretly, and destroy their work. Then half the part of young men made the work, and half the part was ready to battle; with one hand they made the work, and with the other they held the sword; and each of them that built was girded with his sword. Then it follows how Nehemiah, duke of the people, did his office generously, and took no costs assigned to the duke, and he did this for the poverty of the people. After doing this Ezra read in the book of God's law, from the morning to noon before the multitude of men and women, and deacons[71] made silence in the people to hear the law; and Ezra read in the book of God's law from the first day to the last. Then the children of Israel came together in fasting and in sacks, or hairs, and dirt was on them,[429] and the descendants of the sons of Israel were departed from each foreign son, and they stood before the Lord, and acknowledged their sins, and the wickedness of their fathers, and they rose together to stand, and they read in the book of law of their God four times in the day, and four times in the night they acknowledged and heard their Lord God; and deacons[71] cried with great voice to their Lord God, and told the people to rise and bless God. Then follows the solemn confession of Ezra, how he acknowledged first the glorious works of God, and afterward the horrible sins of all the people, and of their fathers; and then all the people made covenant, and swore to keep God's law, and not to buy on the sabbath and holy day from that brought victuals to sell; and they promised to pay the first fruits to priests, and tithes to the deacons,[71] and to bring all this to the temple of God. At the last Nehemiah didn't let Jews of strangers sell or buy on the sabbaths, not only in Jerusalem, but also in places near the walls; and he rebuked, and cursed, and beat men, and made them bald, that took foreign women to be their wives, as of Azotus, of Ammon, and of Moab; and greatly charged them in the Lord, that they should not give their daughters to the sons of heathen men, and take none of the daughters of heathen men to their own sons, and to themselves. This process of Ezra and of Nehemiah should stir us to be busy to build virtues in our soul, after turning again from the captivity of sin, and to fight against temptations, and build strong virtues, as they fought with one hand against enemies, and built with the other hand; and we should be very busy to keep the spiritual sabbath in good works and praising of God, singe they were so busy to keep the figurative sabbath. [430]Although the book of Tobit is not of belief, it is[431] a very devout story, and profitable to the simple people, to make them to keep patience and God's commandments, to do works of mercy, and teach their children well, and to take wives in the respect[58] of God, for love of children, and not all for foul lust of body, not for greed of goods of this world; and also children may learn here by young Tobit to be meek and obedient, and ready to serve father and mother in their need. Therefore among all the books of the old testament men simple in wit should read and hear often this book of Tobit, to be true to God in prosperity and adversity, and eschew idolatry, gluttony and greed, and to be patient in tribulation, and never go away from the respect[58] and love of God. [432]Though the council of clerks, or general gathering of clergy, has taken the book of Judith among the number of holy scriptures, nevertheless it is not of the cannon or faith of the bible against Hebrew, for they don't receive the authority of this book; nevertheless it was written in Chaldean language, and is numbered among stories, as Jerome witnesses on the prologue. But nevertheless this book commends[433] chastity and abstinence, penance and widowhood of Judith, and her love which she had to deliver God's people from their enemies, and to keep the faith and worshiping of God among his people. Also this book commends the faith and truth of Achior, that was converted to God's law by the myracle of slaying of Holofernes, by the hands of the widow Judith. Then Judith reproved priests for they tempted God, and consented to deliver the city to enemies, if God didn't send help to them within 5 days, and good priests took this reproof of a woman meekly; and she taught them how they should do pennance for this trespass, and comfort the people to trust in God, and abide in his mercy and help, at his own will. We don't need to excuse Judith from lies and treason to Holofernes, but we must favourably excuse her from deadly sin in doing this, for the great love she had for God's people, and to slay Holofernes, a blasphemer of God, and destroyer of his law and people; and justly God took this vengeance on Holofernes, for his sins and harms done to God's people, and which he planned to do, if he might live long. Of this process proud warriors should respect[58] God, that made proud Holofernes to be slain by a woman, and all his great host to be scattered and destroyed; and christian men should be greatly comforted, for to have full trust in God, and in his help, that so mightily delivered his people from so great an enemy and strong host, without perishing of his people. And since Judith had such great praising for her doing, that was meddled with many sins, much more praising shall they have in heaven, without end, that put themselves forth to be martyred for God's cause, with true intentions of patience and charity. [434]The book of Esther tells first, how the queen Vashti was forsaken for her pride, and was departed from marriage to king Ahasuerus, and how Esther, for her meekness, beauty, and God's grace was made queen in the stead of Vashti. Also the true Mordecai, the father in law of adoption of this woman Esther, taught her to love God, and keep his law, and she was very meek and obedient to Mordecai, yes, when she was queen, as to her father in law. Then Haman, of the kindred of Agag, conspired by subtle malice to destroy all the people of Jews, in the land of Ahasuerus, and had grant of the king, at his own will, and the day of destroying and of slaying of the Jews was published through all the realm. Then Mordecai and the Jews did great penance, and made great sorrow, and prayed God to help in that great need. And Mordecai sent to Esther, that she should do the same, and go to the king, in peril of her life, to ask grace of him, and revoking of letters and power granted to Haman, the enemy of Jews. And after much fasting, penance, and prayer, Esther took herself to God's disposition, and to peril of her death, and entered to the king, yes, against the law of the land, when she was not called, to ask mercy and help of the king, for herself and all her people. And God turned the fierceness and cruelty of he king to meekness, mercy, and benignity against Esther, and the people of Jews. And then he revoked the power granted to Haman, and commanded to hang him, as he planned to have hanged the true Mordecai, and gave general power to Jews to slay all their enemies in his empire. After these things the king lifted up Mordecai, and made him greatest next to the king, and gave great freedom and honour to the Jews. This story of Esther should stir men to be true to God and his law, and put away pride and envy, and always trust in God in all perils; and tyrants should be afraid to conspire against God's servants, lest God take vengeance on them, as he did on this man Haman, that conspired the death and general destroying of Jews. [435]The book of Job is very subtle in understanding, for Job argues against his enemies, that would bring him out of christian faith, and concludes many errors that follow from their false belief and conviction; and Job doesn't affirm that all is truth that he speaks against his adversaries, but concludes them in their false belief, that many errors follow thereof; and for I have declared in part in the gloss how the hard sentences of Job should be understood, therefore I pass over lightly now. First this book tells the kin of Job, and his riches, and holy life of him and his children; and afterward it tells what tribulation happened to Job in his possessions,[436] in his children, and in his own body, and how patiently he suffered this, and thanked God in all his diseases. Then his wife, whom the devil reserved as a special instrument to him, to deceive Job by his wife, as he deceived Adam by Eve, counseled him to blaspheme God, and thereby die; and Job reproved her folly, and said, if we have received goods from God's hand, why don't we suffer evils, that is, pains. In all these things Job didn't sin in his lips. Then follows the disputing between Job and his friends, almost till the end of the book. Job held strongly the truth of christian faith, and especially of the rising again of bodies at doomsday; and his friends said many truths, and meddled falseness, and always planned an evil end and falsified, for they held that reward is given only in this life for good works, and that no man is punished here, but for past sins, and as a man is punished more than another in this life, so he has sinned more than another man less punished; but all this is false, as Job proves, and God confirms in the end. Because reward of good deeds is much more in the life to come, than in the present life, and a virtuous man is punished here for to have reward in heaven; and commonly a just man has more tribulation in this life than a wicked man, as it is open of Christ, that suffered here much disease, and of tyrants that have prosperity in this life. And therefore Job told openly his good deeds to comfort himself against despair, to which his friends would bring him; but Job did this over much, and with some pride, and justified himself over much, that his friends believed that he blasphemed God, and proved God not rightful; and of these two points Job repented in the end. Then God forgave to him this little sin, and approved his true sentence, and damned the error of his adversaries. Then Job prayed, and made sacrifice for his adversaries, and God herd him, and did mercy to them; and god added all things double, that Job had; and he had 14 thousand sheep, and 6 thousand camels, and a thousand yokes of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys,[437] and 7 sons, and 3 daughters; and Job lived 140 years after his torment, and saw his sons, and the sons of his sons til the fourth generation. This process of Job should stir men to be just of living, and to be patient in adversities, as Job was, and to be steadfast in christian faith, and answer wisely and meekly to heretics and adversaries of our faith, as Peter and Paul teach, and always be meek and full of charity, and pray for our enemies, and look after reward in heaven, and not on earth, for our good deeds. The Psalter contains all the old and new testament, and teaches plainly the mysteries of the Trinity, and of Christ's incarnation, passion, rising again, ascending into heaven, and sending down of the Holy Spirit, and preaching of the gospel, and the coming of Antichrist, and the general judgement of Christ, and the glory of chosen men to bliss, and the pains of them that should be damned in hell; and often rehearses the stories of the old testament, and brings in the keeping of God's commandment, and love of enemies. No book in the old testament is harder for understanding to us Latins, for our letter discords much from the Hebrew, and many doctors take little heed to the letter, but all to the spiritual understanding. Well were they that could well understand the Psalter, and keep it in their living, and say it devoutly, and convince Jews thereby; for many men that say it devoutly, and live out of charity, lie foul about themselves to God, and blaspheme him, when they cry it very loud to men's ears in the church. Therefore God give grace to us to live well in charity, and say it devoutly, and understand it truly, and to teach it openly to Christian men and Jews, and bring them thereby to our Christian faith, and burning charity. The Proverbs or Parables[6] of Solomon teach men to live justly to God and man. Ecclesiastes teaches men to forsake and set at nothing goods of this world, and to respect[58] God, and keep his commandments. The Song of Songs teaches men to set all their heart in the love of God, and of neighbors, and to do all their busyness to bring men to charity and salvation, by good example, and true preaching, and willful suffering of pain and death, if need be. [438]Proverbs speak much of wisdom and keeping of God's commandments, in commending true teaching, and in reproving false teaching, and Proverbs teach much righteousness, and just judgements and governance, and of punishing of adultery and other falseness; and commends much just lords and subjects, and strongly reproves wrongful lords and rebel subjects. Also Proverbs teach subtly the mysteries of Christ, and of the holy church, and teach much wisdom and prudence, for the soul and the body. Therefore lords, and judges, and commoners also, and namely priests, should study well this book, and rule themselves thereby, to salvation of body and of soul. [439]Ecclesiastes is a very subtle book, for Solomon speaks in many persons, and concludes their intent and sentence, not in approving the sentence of fleshly men, that praise bodily goods and lusts of the body more than heavenly goods and liking of virtues, and damns many errors of worldly men, ans shows that all is vanity, til I come to the respect[58] of God, and keeping of his commandments. Therefore men must be well ware how they understand Solomon in this book, that they don't approve any error, and damn no truth, for misunderstanding of Solomon's words, and the Holy Spirit's words in this book. [440]The Song of Songs touches subtly the state of the synagogue, from the going out of Egypt to Christ's incarnation and passion; and then Songs touches the state of Christ's church, and of the synagogue in the end of the world, that Jews ordained, that no man should study it, but he was of 30 years, and had able wit to understand the spiritual secrets of this book; for some of the book seems to fleshly men to sound unclean love of lust, where it tells high spiritual love, and great secrets of Christ and of his church. Therefore men must be well ware to understand well the words of the Holy Spirit in this book ,and know when Christ speaks to the church, or to the synagogue, and when the synagogue speaks to God, and when the church speaks to Christ, and when God speaks to angels, patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles, and when these people speak to the synagogue or to the church, or back [to God].[441] [442]The book of Wisdom, though it is not a book of belief,[443] teaches much righteousness, and praises wisdom, and reproves fleshly men for their false belief and evil living, and commends much just men, steady in belief[444] and virtuous living, and touches much of Christ's incarnation, his manhood and godhood together, and greatly damns idolatry, and false worshiping of idols, and false gods. [445]Though Sirach isn't a book of belief, it[446] teaches much wisdom and prudence for soul and body, and has much of the sentence of Proverbs, and commands men to think and speak of God's commandments, and for to respect[58] God, and love him, and always have mind of death, and of the great judgement, to keep men out of sin, and in perfect love to God and man. Also it praises much alms and good prayer, and greatly reproves extortion, and wrong, and false oaths, and false measures, and false weights, and all fraud, secret and known; at the last it commends good men, and praises God, that delivers from all perils. If this book is well understood, it is profitable both to spiritual governors and bodily lords, and to justices and commoners also. The prophets have a general prologue for all, and because[26]I declared a degree of the prophets with long books,[7] and in part the prophets with short works,[8] and think soon to make an end, with God's help, of the gloss on prophets with short works,[8] I think now to pass over without any tarrying. [447]The first book of Maccabees tells how great destruction and cruelty Antiochus the noble did against the Jews, and how many thousands he killed of them, that would hold God's law, and burned the books of God's law, and defiled the temple of Jerusalem, and compelled men, for dread of death, to do idolatry, and forsake God and his law; and he took vessels and treasures in the temple, and bore them into his land, and he burned the city of Jerusalem, and destroyed the houses thereof and the walls thereof around it; and he took the high tower of David, and set men of armies therein to let men come to Jerusalem. And they did much harm to the people of Israel, and whoever held the books of God's testament and kept his law, was slain by commandment of Antiochus the king, and women that circumcised their children were slain, by commandment of Antiochus the king, and they hung children by the necks, by all the houses of men of Israel, and killed them that circumcised children. Then rose Mathias, the priest, and fled from Jerusalem into Modin, and greatly bewailed this destroying of the people, of the temple and city, and of all the land; and he stood against the king and his ministers, and killed the king's ministers, that compelled men to do idolatry, and he killed a man, that did idolatry, and destroyed the altar where idolatry was done on. Then Mathias and his sons fled into hills, and left all things which they had in the city, and many men that sought judgement and righteousness, and would keep God's law, came to him in the desert. And heathen men made war on them on sabbaths, and many died in their simpleness, for they wouldn't make battle on sabbaths. Then many Jews were gathered to him, and made a great host, and were ready to fight on sabbaths, and they killed sinners in great wrath. And Mathias and his friends surrounded and destroyed altars, and circumcised all children, which they found in the coasts of Israel, and they pursued the children of pride; and the work had prosperity in their hands, and they got the law from the hands of heathen men and of kings, and didn't give strength to the sinful man. And when Mathias was at the point of death, he comforted his sons to put their lives for the law of God, by example of Abraham and other holy men going before; and he ordained Judas Maccabeus to be duke of battle, and ordained Simon his son to be father and priest to them, for he was a man of council. Then is told many battles of Judas Maccabeus against heathen men, and of great victories by God's help. Then Judas Maccabeus made alliance with Romans, for their prudence, righteousness and power. And when Judas was dead in battle, the people ordained Jonathan, his brother, prince and duke, for to hold war against heathen men. Then is told many battles of Jonathan, and victories which he had against heathen men. Then Jonathan, after many victories, sent to renew alliance with Romans, and with Spartans, that were of the kin of Jews; and Jonathan and his sons were slain at the last, by treason of Tryphon, that was a heathen man, and mighty duke. Then Simon was made duke of the people, and in the stead of Judas Maccabeus and of Jonathan; and he did many strong battles, and had great victories against heathen men; and Jews had much rest under him; and he made strongholds and cities in Judah; and he renewed friendship with Romans and Spartans, and had much glory of his flock, and of heathen kings. At the last Simon and his two sons were slain by treason, and John, his son, was prince of priests, after his father died,[448] and did many battles against heathen men. [449]The 2nd book of Maccabees tells much the same sentence of the first book, and has a few special points, of Heliodorus, of Eleazar, and of the noble widow and her 7 sons. Heliodorus was sent by the heathen king to take away the treasures of the temple of Jerusalem, and bear them to the king, and though the treasures were kept for the livelihood of widows and fatherless children, and some were another man's goods, Heliodorus would altogether bear all to the king; but God made him and his fellows sorely afraid, and Heliodorus was beaten almost to the death, by a fearful one on a horse, that had two young men about him; and Heliodorus was cast down to the ground, and was borne out on a bier, and lay dumb. And whem the high priest offered sacrifice, and prayed for the health of Heliodorus, God granted life to him, and he thanked God, and the high priest, and went to the king and told him how it stood; and he witnessed to all men the great works of God, which he had seen with his eyes. tHen is told of the cursed deeds of Jason the priest, that came in by simony, and would bring Jews to idolatry and sodomy, and to forsake God and his law. Then is told of great cruelty of Antiochus, which he did against the Jews and the holy place of Jerusalem; and God let this happen for the sins of the people, because God didn't choose the folk for the place, but the place for the folk. Then Elezar chose to die a sharp death, rather than break God's law in a little point, to eat pork, yes, to pretend to eat pork. After this it follows how the blessed widow and her 7 sonns were martyred, for they wnuldn't break God's law, and how gloriously the blessed mother comforted them to take death with joy for the law of God. This story and process of Maccabees should stir christian men to hold God's law to life and death, and if knights should use the sword against any cursed men, they should use it against lords and priests principally, that would compell men, for dread of prison and death, to forsake the truth and freedom of Christ's gospel; but God for his great mercy give true repentance to them, that thus pursue true men, and grant patience, meekness, and charity to them that are thus pursued! Amen.

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But it is to know, that holy scripture has 4 understandings; literal, allegorick, moral, and anagogick. The literal understanding teaches the thing done in deed; and literal understanding is ground and foundation of three spiritual understandings, in so much as Augustine, in his epistle to Vincent, and other doctors says, only by the literal understanding a man may argue against an adversary. Allegoric is a spiritual understanding, that teaches what thing men ought for to believe of Christ or the holy church. Moral is a spiritual understanding, that teaches men, what virtues they ought to follow, and what vices they ought to flee. Anagogick is a spiritual understanding, that teaches men, what bliss they shall have in heaven. And these four understandings may be taken in this word Jerusalem; because to the literal understanding it signifies an earthly city, as London, or such another; to allegory it signifies a christian soul; to anagocick it signifies the holy church reigning in bliss or in heaven, and those that are therein. And these three spiritual understandings are not authentic or of belief, unless they are grounded openly in the text of holy scripture, in one place or another, or in open reason that may not be destroyed, or when the evangelists or other apostles take allegory of the old testament, and confirm it, as Paul in the epistle to Galatians, in the 4th chapter proves, that Sarah, the free and principle wife of Abraham, with Isaac her son, signify by allegory the new testament and the sons of inheritance; and Hagar, the handmaid, with her son Ishmael, signifies by allegory the old testament, and fleshly men that shall not be received into the heritage of God with the sons of inheritance, that hold the truth and freedom of Christ's gospel with endless charity. Also holy scripture has many figurative speeches, and as Augustine says in the 3rd book of Christian Teaching, that authors of holy scripture used more figures, that is, more figurative speeches, than grammarians can think, that don't read those figures in holy scripture. It is to be ware in the beginning, that we don't take to the letter a figurative speech, for then, as Paul says, the letter slays, but the spirit, that is, spiritual understanding, makes alive; for when a thing which is said figuratively is taken so as if it is said literally, I understand fleshly; and nothing is called more conveniently the death of the soul, than when understanding, that passes beasts, is made subject to the flesh in following the letter.[450] Whatever thing in God's word may not be referred literally to onset of virtues nor to the truth of faith, it is figurative speech. Onset of virtues pertains to loving God and the neighbor; truth of faith pertains to knowing God and the neighbor. Holy scripture commands nothing but charity, it rebukes nothing but greed; and in that manner it informs the virtues or good conditions of men. Holy scripture affirms nothing but christian faith by things past, present, and coming, and all these things pertain to nourishing charity, and making it strong, and overcoming and quenching greed. Also it is figurative speech, where the words make allegory, or a hidden likeness, or parable, and it is figurative speech in the 1st chapter of Jeremiah, "today I have ordained you over folks and realms, that you draw up by the root, and destroy, and build, and plant;" that is, that you draw out old sins, and destroy circumstances or causes of them, and build virtues, and plant good works and customs. All things in holy scripture, that seem to unwise men to be full of wickedness against a man himself, or against his neighbor, are figurative speeches, and the secrets, or spiritual understandings, should be sought out by us, to the feeding or keeping of charity. Such a rule shall be kept in figurative speeches, that so long as it is turned in the mind by diligent considerations, til the explaining or understanding is brought to the realm of charity; if any speech of scripture sounds literally charity, it ought not to be thought a figurative speech; and forbids wickedness, or commands profit or doing good, it is no figurative speech; if it seems to command cruelty, or wickedness, or to forbid profit, or doing good, it is a figurative speech. Christ says, "if you don't eat the flesh of man's son and don't drink his blood, you shall not have life in you." This speech seems to command wickedness or cruelty, therefore it is a figurative speech, and commands men to commune with Christ's passion, and to keep in mind sweetly and profitably, that Christ's flesh was wounded and crucified for us. Also when holy scripture says, "if your enemy hungers, feed him, if he thirsts, give drink to him," it commands benefice, or doing good; when it says, "you shall gather together coals on his head," it seems that wickedness of evil will is commanded. This is said by figurative speech, that you understand, that the coals of fire are burning wailing's, or mourning's of penance, by which the pride of him is made whole, which sorrows, that he was the enemy of a man that helps and relieves his wretchedness. Also the same word or the same thing in scripture is taken sometimes in good, and sometimes in evil, as a lion signifies sometimes Christ, and in another place it signifies the devil. Also sourdough is set sometimes in evil, where Christ says, "beware of the sourdough of Pharisees, which is hypocrisy;" sourdough is set also in good, when Christ says, "the realm of heavens is like sourdough," etc.[451] And when not one thing alone, but two, or more, are felt or understood, by the same words of scripture, though that it is hid, that he doesn't understand that that is written, that is no peril, if it may be proved by other places of holy scripture, that each of those things accord with truth. And if the author of scripture says the same thing in the same words which we will understand; and certainly the Spirit of God, that wrought these things by the author of scripture, foreknew without doubt, that the same things should come to the reader, or to the hearer, yes, the Holy Spirit proved, that the same thing, for it is grounded on truth, should come to the reader, or to the hearer, because what might be proved by God longer and more plentifully in God's speeches, than the same words are understood in many manners, which manners, or words of God, that are not of less authority, make to be proved.[452] Augustine in the 3rd book of Christian Teaching says all this and much more, in the beginning thereof. Also he whose heart is full of charity comprehends, without any error, the great abundance and largest teaching of God's scriptures, so as Paul says, "the fullness of law is charity," and in another place, "the end of the law," that is, the perfection, or filling of the law, "is charity of clean heart, and of good conscience, and of faith not pretended," and Jesus Christ says, "you shall love your Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself, for on these two commandments hangs all the law and prophets." And as the root of all evils is greed, so the root of all goods is charity. Charity, by which we love God and the neighbor, certainly holds all the greatness and largeness of God's speeches. Therefore if it is not lesser to seek all holy scriptures, to explain all the wrappings of words, to parse all the secrets of scriptures, hold charity, where all things hang, so you shall hold that that you learned there; also you shall hold that that you didn't learn, for if you know charity, you know something whereon also that hangs that you might not know; and in that that you understand in scriptures, charity is open, and in that that you don't understand, charity is hidden, therefore he that holds charity in virtues, or in good conditions, holds both that that is open and that that is hid in God's words. Augustine says all this and much more in a sermon of the praising of charity. Also 7 rules of Tyconius and of Augustine declare many secret things of holy scriptures. The first rule is of Jesus Christ, and of his holy spirit; one person of the head and of the body, that is, of Christ and of the holy church, is showed to us in this rule, for it is not said in vain to faithful men, "you are the descendants of Abraham," when there is one descendant of Abraham, that descendant is Christ. We don't doubt, when scripture goes from the head to the body, or from the body to the head, and nevertheless it doesn't go away from one and the same person, so that one person speaks in Isaiah, "he set a mitre to me as to a spouse, and he honoured me as a wife with an ornament." And nevertheless it is to understand which of these two accords to the head, that is, Christ, and which accords to the body, that is, the holy church, and a miter accords to Christ, which is the spouse, and an ornament accords to the holy church, which is the spouse of christ. The second rule, as Tyconius says, is of the body of Christ, that body is departed into two, but certainly this body of Christ ought not to be called so, for truly it is not the body of Christ, which shall not be with him without end, but it shall be said of the true body and of the melded body of Christ, of the true body and pretended body of Christ, not only without end, but also now, though they seem to be in the church of Christ. Therefore this rule may be called thus, that it was said of the melded church, that is, that contains chosen men for bliss, and also hypocrites, that shall be damned. And this rule asks a waking or dilligent reader; when it speaks of other men, it seems to speak now as to the same men to which it spoke before, or it seems to speak of the same men, when it speaks of other men; as if one body is always of either temporal melding, and for coming of sacraments. To this rule it pertains, that the church says in Songs, "I am black and fair as the tabernacles of Cedar, as the skins of Solomon;" the church said that she is always either, for temporal unity within one net of good fishes and of bad fishes; for that the tabernacles of Cedar pertain to Ishmael, that shall not be heir with the son of the free wife. The third rule is of promises and of law; this rule may be said also of the spirit and letter; it may also be said of grace and of commandment; and Tyconius erred in saying, that works are given by God to us for merit of faith, but faith itself is such from us, that it is not from God to us. The 4th rule is of all and part, when some of a thing is set for all, or vice versa all is set for a part. The 5th rule is of times, and this is by a figure called synecdoches, when a part is set for all, or all is set for one part. One evangelist says, that it was done after 8 days, when the face of Christ shone as the sun, and another evangelist said, that it was done after 6 days; always one may not be truth, that is said of the number of days, unless he that said after 8 days is understood to have set for the whole day the last part of the day, since Christ prophesied it to come, and to have set for the whole day the first part of the day, on which he shows, that the appearing of Christ's face was fully done; and that he that said after 6 days reckoned all the whole days and the middle days, and none other. By this kind of speech, by which kind all is signified by a part, the same question of Christ's rising is absolved; the last part of the day, wherein Christ suffered death, is taken of all the day with the night passed before, and the first part of Sunday, in whose morning he rose again, is taken for all Sunday and the night going before; and the Sabbath with the whole night going before is all whole day and night. If these nights and days are not taken in this way, there can not be 3 days and 3 nights, in which he prophesied, that he should be in the heart of the earth. Also this rule of times is taken for lawful numbers, as are 7 0 and 12, and such more, for often such numbers are set for all time, as this that David says, "seven times in the day I said praising, or prayers to you," is none other thing than this, "his praising is always in my mouth." Also by a 100 and 43 in Revelation is signified the university, or all the multitude, of saints. The 6th rule is of recapitulation, or retelling a thing done before, not in order, as it is set; for that some things are said such, as if they follow in the order of time, or are told by continuing of things, that is, that are joined next together, when the telling is called back hidden to the former things, that were left out; and if men don't understand such saying by this rule, they err; as in Genesis it is said, "God planted paradise in Eden, at the east, and set there the man that he formed, and God brought forth yet of the earth each fair tree," etc.; this is said by recapitulation. In like manner there "the land was of one tongue," that is, speech, it is said by recapitulation. The 7th rule is of the devil and of his body, for he is head of all wicked men, that are his body in a manner, and shall go with him into the torment of everlasting fire, as Christ is the head of the holy church, which is his body, and shall be with him in the realm and in glory everlasting. Also they that have liking to study in holy writ, should be charged, that they know the kinds and manners of speakings in holy scriptures; and they that perceive diligently and hold well in mind, how a thing is commonly said in holy scriptures. Also that is sovereign help and most needful, they pray, that God give to them the true understanding of holy scripture, for they read in those scriptures, about which they are studious, that God gives wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding of his face, that is, gift and grace. Also if their study is done with meekness, and love of christian teaching, it is of God. Augustine writes all this in the 3rd book of Christian Teaching, about the middle, and in the end. Isidore, in the 1st book of Sovereign Good, touches these rules shorter, but I don't have him now, and Lyra,[453] in the beginning of the bible, touches these rules more openly, but I don't have him now, and Ardmacan,[454] in the beginning of his book de Questionibus Armenorum,[455] gives many good grounds to understand holy scripture to the letter, and spiritual understanding also, but I don't have him now. Also nothing may seem to be wiser, nothing of more eloquence, than is holy scripture, and the authors thereof, that were inspired by God. And they ought not to speak in other manners than they did, and the prophets, and most Amos, were very eloquent, and saint Paul was very eloquent in his epistles. Also the authors of holy scripture spoke hiddenly, that the secrets thereof are hidden from unfaithful men, and good men are exercised, or occupied, and that in explaining holy scripture they have a new grace, different from the first authors. Augustine, in the beginning of the 4th book of Christian Teaching. Also, as the little riches of Jews, which they bore away from Egypt, were in comparison of riches which they had afterward in Jerusalem, in the time of Solomon, so great is the profitable knowledge of philosophers' books, if it is compared to the knowledge of holy scriptures; for that whatever thing a man learns without holy writ, if the thing learned is vain, it is damned in holy writ, if it is profitable, it is founded there. And when a man finds there all things which he learned profitably in other places, he shall find much more plentifully those things in holy scripture, which he never learned in other places, but are learned only in the wonderful highness and in the wonderful meekness of holy scriptures. Augustine says this in the end of the 2nd book of Christian Teaching. Also holy scripture contains all profitable truth, and all other sciences hiddenly in the virtue of wits, or understandings, as wines are contained in grapes, as ripe grain is contained in the seed, as boughs are contained in the roots, and as trees are contained in the seeds. Grosseteste, in a sermon Premonitus a venerabili patre.[403] Also holy scripture despises sophism's, and says, he that speaks sophisticated, or by sophism's, shall be hateful, and he shall be defrauded in each thing, as the wise man says in the 37th chapter of Sirach.[456] If philosophers, and most the disciples of Plato, said any truths, and profitable to our faith, not only those truths ought not to be dreaded, but also those shall be changed into our use, or profit, from them, as from unjust possessors. And as Jews took, by authority of God, the gold, and silver, and cloths[457] of Egyptians, so christian men ought to take the true sayings of philosophers, for to worship one God, and of teachings of virtues, which truths the philosophers didn't find, but dug out of the metals of God's purveyance, which is shed everywhere. So did Cyprian, the sweetest doctor and most blessed martyr, so did Lactantius, Victorinus, and Hillary, and Greeks without number. Augustine in the 2nd book of Christian Teaching. By these rules of Augustine and by 4 understandings of holy scripture, and by wise knowledge of figurative speeches, with good living and meekness, and studying of the bible, simple men may understand some of the text of holy writ, and educate much themselves and other men; but for God's love, you simple men, beware of pride, and vain chattering and chiding in words against proud clerks of school and vain religious, and answer meekly and prudently to enemies of God's law, and pray heartily for them, that God of his great mercy give to them true knowing of scriptures, and meekness, and charity, and always be ready, whatever man teaches any truth of God, to take that meekly, and with great thanks to God; and if any man on earth, or angel of heaven, teaches you the contrary of holy writ, or anything against reason and charity, flee from him in that, as from the foul devil of hell, and hold steadfastly to life and death the truth and freedom of the holy gospel of Jesus Christ, and take meekly men's sayings and laws, only in as much as they accord with holy writ and good conscience, and no further, for life nor for death.

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Also holy scripture is better known by likenesses and by hiddennesses; it does away annoyances, and we ought to think and believe, that the thing that is written in holy scripture, yes, though it is hidden, or not known, is better and truer than that that we can understand by ourselves; and honourably and helpfully the Holy Spirit measured so holy scriptures, that in open places he set remedy to our hunger, and in hidden places he wiped away annoyances; for almost nothing is said[458] in those hiddennesses, which is not found said very plainly in other places. Therefore before all things it is needful, that a man be converted by God's respect,[58] and be mild by pity, or christian religion; and that he doesn't argue against holy scripture, where it is understood, even if it condemns any sins of ours, or if it isn't understood, as if we may understand better, or command, or teach better. By the gift of respect[58] and of pity, I come to a degree of knowledge, for that each fruitful man of holy scriptures exercises himself in this thing, and to find none other thing in those, than for to love God for God himself, and for to love his neighbor for God. Then that respect,[58] by which he thinks on God's judgement, and that pity, by which he must needs believe and give stead to the authority of holy books, compels him to bewail himself, because this knowledge of good hope makes a man to not advance himself, but bewail himself; and by this affection, or good will, he greets with busy prayers the comfort of God's help, that he is not broken by despair; and he begins to be in the fourth degree of spiritual strength, in which he hungers and thirsts righteousness; then in the 5th degree, that is, the council of mercy, he purges the soul, that makes noise and unrestfulness of greed of earthly things; and then he despises filth's of soul, and loves God and neighbors, yes enemies; by this he climbs to the 6th degree, where he purges the eye of the soul, by which eye God may be seen, as much as he may be seen by them that die to this world, as much as they can; for in so much they see God in their soul, through faith and love, how much they die to this world; and in as much as they live to this world, they don't see God; and in this degree, wherein a man dies to the world, he neither prefers, nor makes even himself, nor his neighbor, with the truth of holy writ; therefore this holy man shall be so simple and clean of heart, that neither for pleasure of men may he be drawn away from truth, nor by cause to eschew any harms to himself, that are contrary to this life, such a child climbs to true wisdom, which is the last and the 7th, which he uses in peace and rest. Saint Augustine says all this in the beginning of the 2nd book of Christian Teaching. Here is a blessed entering by these 7 virtues to the knowledge of holy scripture in this life, to have here rest of soul, and afterward full rest of body and soul in heaven, without end. Alas! what proud and greedy wretches do at holy scripture, that seek the world and fleshly ease, and will not convert them from these cursednesses; they deceive themselves, and the people that think them wise men, when they are open fools; and make themselves deeper damned, and other men also that follow their folly, and blaspheme God. These worldly fools should know, that holy life is a lantern to bring a man to true knowledge, as Chrysostom says, and the respect[58] and love of God is the beginning and perfection of knowledge and wisdom; and when these fleshly apes and worldly moles have neither the beginning of wisdom, nor desire it, what do they do at holy scripture, to ensnaring themselves and other men? As long as pride and greed of worldly goods and honors is rooted in their heart, they make homage to Satan, and offer to him both body and soul, and all their wit and finding. Such fools should think, that wisdom shall not enter into an evil willed soul, nor shall dwell in a body subject to sins; and Jesus Christ says, that the father of heaven hides the secrets of holy scripture from wise and prudent men, that is wise and prudent men to the world, and in their own sight, and shows them to meek men; therefore worldly fools, first do penance for your sins, and forsake pride and greed, and be meek, and respect[58] God in all things, and love him over all other things, and your neighbors as yourself; and then you should profit in study of holy writ. But alas! alas! alas! the worst abomination that ever was heard among christian clerks is now proposed in England, by worldly clerks and pretended religious, and in the chief university of our realm, as many true men tell with great wailing. This horrible and devil's cursedness is proposed by Christ's enemies and traitors of all christian people, that no man shall learn divinity, nor holy writ, but he that has done his form in art, that is, that has commenced in art, and has been regent two years after; this would be 9 years or 10 before that he learns holy writ, after that he knows commonly well his grammar, though he has a good wit, and works very hard, and has good finding 9 or 10 years after his grammar.[459] This seems utterly the devil's purpose, that few men or none should learn and know God's law; but God says by Amos, on the great trespasses of Damascus and on the 4th, "I shall not convert him;" where Jerome says, the first sin is to think evils, the 2nd sin is to consent to wayward thoughts, the 3rd sin is to fill [the purpose of those wayward thoughts] in work,[460] the 4th sin is to not do penance after the sin, and to please himself in his sin; but Damascus is interpreted drinking blood, or serving blood as a drink. Lord! where Oxford drinks blood and serves blood as a drink, by slaying of living men, and by doing of sodomy, in spilling a part of man's blood, whereby a child might be formed, judge they that know; and where Oxford drinks blood of sin, and stirs other men of the land to do sin, by boldness of clerks, let them judge justly, that see it at the eye, and know by experience. Now look where Oxford is in three horrible sins and in the fourth, on which God doesn't rest til he punishes it. Once children and young men artists were devout and clean as angels, in comparison of other, now men see they are full of pride and lust, with despising oaths, needless and false, and despising of God's commandments; once civilians and canonists were devout, and so busy on their learning, that they took very little rest of bed, now men see that they are full of pride and nice clothing, envy, and greed, with lust, gluttony, and idleness; once diviners were very holy and devout, and utterly despised the world, and lived as angels in meekness, cleanness, and sovereign chastity, and charity, and truly taught God's law in work and word; now men see, they are as luxurious of their mouth and stomach, and as greedy as other worldly man, and flatter, and make lies in preaching, to eschew bodily persecution, and to get benefices. The first great sin is generally in the university, as men dread and see at eye; the 2nd horrible sin is sodomy and strong maintenance thereof, as it is known to many people of the realm, and at the last parliament. Alas! diviners, that should pass other men in cleanness and holiness, as angels of heaven pass frail men in virtues, are most tripped up by this cursed sin against kind. The 3rd horrible sin is simony, and forswearing in the assembly house, that should be a house of righteousness and holiness, where evils should be redressed; this simony with the things that come with it is much worse than bodily sodomy. Yet on these three abominations God would graciously convert clerks, if they would do true penance, and give them wholly to virtues; but on the 4th great abomination proposed now to forbid Christian men, yes priests and curates, to learn freely God's law, til they have spent 9 years or 10 at art, that contains many strong errors of heathen men against Christian belief, it seems well that God will not cease from vengeance, til it and others are sorely punished; for it seems that worldly clerks and pretended religious do this, that men simple of wit and of finding don't know God's law, to preach it generally against sins in the realm. But know, worldly clerks and pretended religious, that God both can and may, if he likes it, speed simple men out of the university, as much to know holy writ, as masters in the university; and therefore no great charge, if never any man of good will is poisoned with heathen men's errors 9 years or ten, but always live well and study holy writ, by old doctors and new, and preach truly and freely against open sins, to his death. See therefore what Jerome says on Amos, God before says evils to come, that men hear, and amend themselves, and are delivered from the peril nearing, or if they despise that, they are punished more justly; and God, that before says pains, will not punish men that sin, unless they won't be amended. Jerome says this in the end of the 1st book of Amos. God, for his great mercy, grant, that clerks hear the great vengeance threatened by God, and amend themselves truly, that God doesn't punish them; for if they don't amend themselves, they are heretics made hard in their sins; but see what Jerome says against heretics, and in commending of holy scripture; he says this on Amos, "Heretics that serve the belly and gluttony, are called rightfully fattest kind, or kind full of shame. We ought to take holy scripture on three manners; first we ought to understand it by the letter, and to do all things that are commanded to us therein; the 2nd time by allegory, that is, spiritual understanding; and in the 3rd time by bliss of things coming." Jerome says this in the 2nd book on Amos, and in the 4th chapter of Amos. Nevertheless for Lyra[453] recently came to me, see what he says of the understanding of holy scripture; he writes this on the 2nd prologue on the bible, "John says in the 5th chapter of Revelation, 'I see a book written inside and outside in the hand of the sitter on the throne;' this book is holy scripture, which is said written outside, as to the literal understanding, and inside, as to the secret and spiritual understanding;" and in the 1st prologue he declares 4 understandings of holy writ in this manner, "Holy writ has this specialty, that under one letter it contains many understandings, for the principal author of holy writ is God himself, in whose power it is, not only to use words to signify a thing as men do, but also he uses things signified by words to signify other things; therefore by the signifying by words is taken the literal understanding, or historical, of holy scripture, and by the signifying which is made by things is taken the secret, or spiritual understanding, which is three manners, allegoric, moral, or topological, and anagogick. If things signified by words are referred to signify those things that ought to be believed in the new testament, so it is taken the sense of allegoric; if things are referred to signify those things which we ought to do, so it is moral sense, or topological; if things are referred to signify those things that should be hoped in bliss coming, so it is anagogick sense. The letter teaches what is done; allegory teaches what you ought for to believe; moral teaches what you ought for to do; anagogy teaches where you ought to go; and of these 4 senses, or understandings, may be set example in this word Jerusalem; for by the literal understanding Jerusalem signifies a city, that was sometimes the chief city in the realm of Judah, and Jerusalem was founded first by Melchizedek, and afterward it was enlarged, and made strong by Solomon; by moral sense it signifies a faithful soul, by whih sense it is said in the 52nd chapter of Isaiah, 'rise, rise, get up Jerusalem;' by allegoric sense it signifies the church fighting against sins and fiends, by which sense it is said in the 21st chapter of Revelation, 'I see the holy city new Jerusalem coming down from heaven, as a spouse ornamented to her husband;' by anagogick sense it signifies the church reigning in bliss, by this sense it is said in the 4th chapter to Galatians, 'that Jerusalem, which is above, which is our mother, is free;' and as an example is set in one word, so it might be set in one reason, and as in one, so and in another." Lyra[453] says all this in the first prologue on the bible.

Chapter 14 edit

Nevertheless all spiritual understandings set before, or require, the literal understanding, as the foundation; therefore as a building bending away from the foundation is disposed to falling, so a spiritual exposition, that discords from the literal sense, ought to be stopped as unseemly and inconvenient, or less seemly, and less convenient; and therefore it is needful to them, that want to profit in the study of holy scripture, to begin at the understanding of literal sense, most since by the literal sense alone, and not by spiritual senses may be made an argument, or proof, to the proving, or declaring, of a doubt, as Augustine says in his epistle to Vincent Donatist.[461] Saint Isidore, in the first book of Sovereign Good the 20th chapter sets 7 rules to explain holy scripture, and some call these rules the keys of scripture, for by these rules the understanding of scriptures is opened in many things. The first rule is of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his spiritual body, which is the holy church, for that the knitting together of the head to the body holy scripture speaks sometimes of always either under under one reason, as under one person, and passes from one to another, in example in the 61st chapter of Isaiah it is said, "He clothed me with clothes of health, and he covered me with clothing of righteousness, as a spouse made fair with a crown, and as a wife ornamented with her brooches;" so this that is said, "as a spouse," etc. is understood of Christ, and this that follows "as a wife" etc. is understood of the holy church. Also in the 1st chapter of Songs it is said, "He kisses me with the kiss of his mouth, for your teats are better than wine;" for when it is said "He kisses me" etc., it is the word of the wife desiring to have the spouse; and this that follows, "for your teats" etc. is the word of the spouse, praising the wife; therefore in such things, knit together so by reason said before, a prudent reader ought to perceive what accords to the head, and what to the body. The 2nd rule is of the true body and of the feigned body of our Lord Jesus Christ, for that the holy church, which is the spiritual body of Christ, is a net which is not yet drawn to the bank; therefore it has evil men mixed with good men til the judgement, in which these shall be departed from them, and therefore in holy scripture evil men are are praised sometimes with good men, with which they are mixed; as in the 11th chapter of Hosea God says this, "Israel is a child, and I loved him;" and vice versa sometimes good men are rebuked with evil men, as in the 1st chapter of Isaiah, "An ox knew his lord and a donkey knew the stables of his lord, but Israel didn't know me and my people didn't understand me;" and sometimes in the same reason it is expressed what pertains to good men and what to evil men, as in the 1st chapter of Songs it is said, "I am black but fair, you daughters of Jerusalem, as the tabernacles of Cedar, as the skins of Solomon;" these are the words of the wife, which for reason of evil men contained in the church, says, "I am black," but for reason of good men it adds, "but fair;" and this that follows, as for example, "as the tabernacles of Cedar," is refered to evil men; because Cedar was the son of Ishmael, as it is said in the 25th chapter of Genesis, of who Saracens came forth, and this that is added, "as the skins of Solomon," is refered to good men. Therefore by Solomon here is understood God himself, by christian expositors and Hebrews; and therefore the skins of Solomon are said those with which the tabernacle was healed, in that tabernacle good men worship God. The 3rd rule is of the spirit and of the letter; this rule is commonly explained in this way, that the historical, or literal sense, and the mystic, or spiritual sense, are taken under the same letter, for that the truth of the shall be held, and nevertheless it shall be referred to the spiritual understanding. This rule may also be explained in another manner, that it is refered only to the literal sense, as other rules are; about which thing it is to see, that the same letter has sometimes double literal sense, in example in the first book of Chronicles, the 27th chapter, God says to Solomon, "I shall be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son;" and this to the letter is understood of Solomon, in as much as he was the son of God, by grace in youth, therefore Nathan the prophet called him, "amiable to the Lord" in the 2nd book of Samuel, the 12th chapter. Also the said before authority, "I shall be to him a father," etc. is brought in by Paul in the 1st chapter to Hebrews, as said to the letter of Christ himself, and this is open by this, that Paul brings it in to prove, that Christ is more than angels; but such proving may not be made by spiritual sense, as Augustine says against Vincent Donatist;[461] truly the said before authority was filled to the letter in Solomon, nevertheless less perfectly, for he was the son of God only by grace, but it was filled more perfectly in Christ, that was the son of God by kind; but nevertheless always either expression is literal utterly. Nevertheless the 2nd exposition, which is of Christ, is spiritual and secret in some manner, in as much as Solomon was the figure of Christ. The 4th rule is of all and of part, because scripture passes from one to the other, and back, as in the 13th chapter of Isaiah, the scripture speaks first against Babylon specifically, when it is said, "the brothers of Babylon," and then the scripture passes to understand the word generally of all the world, by this that follows, "the Lord comes from the highness of heaven, and the vessels of his strong vengeance come, that he destroys all earth;" afterwards the scripture turns back to speak specifically, when it is said, "Lo! I shall rise on you Medes, that shall not seek silver;" for that Darius Mede,[462] with Cyrus, his cousin, took Babylon, and killed Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, as it is said in the 5th chapter of Daniel. The 5th rule is of times, this rule happens in 4 manners; in one manner by a figure called synecdoches, whem a part of time is set for all the time, as it is said in gospel, that Christ lay three days in the sepulcre, and nevertheless the first day and the third were not whole days. In another manner this rule happens for small parts of time, that are numbered sometimes in scripture, and sometimes are left out, and by this the scripture that speaks of some number of years, in many places, sets sometimes more years, reckoning the before said small parts, in another place it sets fewer years, in leaving out the small parts. In the 3rd manner this rule happens, for that the reckoning of years begins in one place at the former term, and in another place at the latter term, as in the 15th chapter of Genesis, it was said to Abraham, that his descendants shall be pilgrims by 4 00 years, and in the 12th chapter of Exodus it is said of this pilgrimage, that the dwelling of the sons of Israel in the land of Egypt was of 4 00 years and 30, for the reckoning of the more number begins at the time, win which it was said to Abraham in the 12th chapter of Genesis, "go out of your land," etc., and the reckoning of the lesser number begins at the nativity of Isaac, that was 30 years after the going out of Abraham from Aram. The 4th time this rule happens, for that holy scripture speaks of a thing coming by the manner of a thing passed, as in the 9th chapter of Isaiah, "a little child was born to us," etc.; and this is to signify the certainty of prophecy, whose happening of time coming is so certain, as if it were passed now; and this is for certainty of God's foreknowledge, by which the revelation is made to the prophet. Nevertheless such manner of speech has no place, but in prophecy of predestination, of full determining of God; that prophecy is, when a thing coming is not certain to man's knowing, that foreknowledge of God beholds so without failing things coming, as things present and past. But in prophecy of menacing, such manner of speech has no place, that prophecy of menace is, when any pain worthy to be brought in on a people, or on a person, is showed to the prophet, not by that that is in the foreknowledge of God, but by the order of second causes, as by the evil deservings of men; as is the prophecy of Jonah the 3rd chapter, "Yet 40 days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed;" because the sins of that city had deserved this destroying; nevertheless because[26] such a cause is changeable, therefore sometimes the effect, that is, pain menaced, doesn't follow, as here, for Ninevites did penance, and so the Lord didn't bring in the pain menaced. The 6th rule is of recapitulation, that is, retelling of things done before, and anticipation, or before taking, that is, setting in of a thing before that it is done; for in holy scripture not always stories and deeds are written in the same order in which they are done, and therefore when later things are set before, it is said anticipation, or before taking, and when the former things are set after, it is said recapitulation, or retelling of things done before, as in the 10th chapter of Genesis it is said of the sons of Noah, "the isles of heathen folks in their countries were departed from these sons of Noah, each man by his language;" and within the same 10th chapter it is said, "these are the sons of Ham, in kindreds and languages," and afterward it is said in the 11th chapter, "the land was of one language and the same words;" it is open of this, that this is before said of the departing of languages, is said by anticipation; in like manner in the 2nd chapter of Genesis, after that Moses in the 1st chapter had described the creation, or making from nothing of heaven and of earth, and the departing and honoring of the wold, he said, "these are the generations of heaven and of earth, in the day in which they were made;" it is open of this, that this is said by recapitulation, or retelling of things done before. The 7th rule is of the devil and of his body, for as Gregory says in the 10th Homily, "Certainly the devil is head of all wicked men, and all wicked men are members of this head," and therefore for the knitting together of reason to speak of the other, as in the 14th chapter of Isaiah, where the scripture speaks of the king of Babylon, that was a member of the devil, it passes to speak of the prince of fiends, when it is said there, "Lucifer, that rode early, how you fell down from heaven;"[463] and in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel, where the scripture speaks of the prince of Tyre, it passes to speak of the devil, when it is added, "you, a signet, or a seal, of the likeness of God, were full of wisdom, and perfect in fairness, in the delicacies of paradise of God." Lyra[453] says all this in the 2nd prologue of Genesis. Here Lyra[453] rephrases the sentence of saint Augustine, and of Isidore in these rules, and declares them openly by holy scripture and reason, and doesn't counter Augustine, but declares him very much to simple men's wit; and adds more by scripture and reason, that Augustine doesn't touch. Though these rules or keys of scripture bring men to great understanding thereof, yet men must take heed, what is said of Christ by his godhood, and what by his manhood, for Christ by his manhood, is said less than the father, and by the godhood he is said even with the father; and for as much as Christ is both God and man, we grant that God is mortal, and died on the cross, not by his godhood, but by the manhood of Christ, that was joined in the oneness of person with the godhood, and we grant, as the gospel does, that man, while he was mortal on earth, was in heaven, for his godhood was there, and he also by reason thereof. Also we must grant well, that a man made heaven and earth, for Christ by his godhood, that Christ is and was man, did this. Also holy scripture tells often the thoughts of men, and often the words and deeds; and when the thoughts, and words, and deeds of men are contrary, one evangelist tells the thoughts, and another tells the words; and by this equivocation, or diverse speaking, they are accorded, yes, when they see men contrary in words; also often in the matter of stories scripture retells the common opinion of men, and doesn't affirm, that it was so indeed. In this manner the gospel says, that Joseph was the father of Christ, though he never engendered Christ; for Mary, Christ's mother, was always a clean virgin. Thus the gospel says, that at the beheading of John Baptist,[464] Herod was sorry, and yet, as doctors say, he was very glad thereof; but he pretended to be sorry for the people, and the people thought he was sorry. Also though scripture retells, how holy men lied, and commends them greatly, it doesn't approve all their deeds, for many great saints erred foul in many points; and though scripture tells the stories of evil and damned men, it doesn't therefore reprove all things which they did, for though they were themselves very cursed, they did many good deeds of kind, and sometimes by chance good deeds of virtue, if they were in grace for a time. At the last take good heed, when scripture speaks by commandment to all men, and when it gives commandment to certain people of divers states. In the first point, all men must do, as it says; in the 2nd time, the people of states specified must needs obey; when scripture speaks only by council, men may be saved, though they don't do the council, as very many men and woman may be saved, though they don't take virginity, or continence, or give all their goods to poor men, and yet these are their councils of Jesus Christ in the Gospel.

Chapter 15 edit

For as much as Christ says that the gospel shall be preached in all the world, and David says of the apostles and their preaching, "the sound of them went out into each land, and the words of them went out into the ends of the world," and next David says, "the Lord shall tell in the scriptures of peoples, and of these princes that were in it," that is, in the holy church, and as Jerome says on that verse, "holy writ is the scripture of peoples, for it is made, that all peoples should know it," and the princes of the church, that were therein, are the apostles, that had authority, and confirming of the Holy Ghost, it is holy scripture, and faith of christian men, and no man after them has this dignity, even if he's the holiest, the wisest, as Jerome witnesses on that verse. Also Christ says of the Jews that cried Hosanna to him in the temple, that if they were still, stones would cry, and by stones he understands heathen men, that worshiped stones for their gods. And we English men are come of heathen men, therefore we are understood by these stones, that would cry holy writ, and as Jews, interpreted knowing, signify clerks, that should acknowledge to God, by repentance of sins, and by voice of God's praising, so our commoners,[465] following the cornerstone Christ, may be signified by stones, that are hard and abiding in the foundation; for though greedy clerks are wooden[466] by simony, heresy, and many other sins, and despise and stop holy writ, as much as they can, yet the commoners cry after holy writ, to know it, and keep it, with great cost and peril of their lives. For these reasons and others, with common charity to save all men in our realm, which God will have saved, a simple creature has translated the bible out of Latin into English. First, this simple creature had much labor, with diverse fellows and helpers, to gather many old bibles, and other doctors, and common glosses, and to make one Latin bible very true; and then to study it anew, the text with the gloss, and other doctors, as he might get, and especially Lyra[453] on the old testament, that helped very much in this work; the third time to council with old grammarians, and old diviners, of hard words, and hard sentences, how they might best be understood and translated; the 4th time to translate as clearly as he could to the sentence, and to have many good and knowledgeable fellows at the correcting of the translation. First it is to know, that the best translating is out of Latin into English, to translate after the sentence, and not only after the words, so that the sentence is as open, or opener, in English as in Latin, and don't go far from the letter; and if the letter may not be followed in the translating, let the sentence always be whole and open, for the words ought to serve to the intent and sentence, or else the words are superfluous or false. In translating into English, many resolutions may make the sentence open, as an ablative case absolute may be resolved into these three words, with a useful verb, while, for, if, as grammarians say; as this, the master reading, I stand, may be resolved thus, while the master reads, I stand, or if the master reads, etc. or for the master, etc.; and sometimes it would accord well with the sentence to be resolved into when, or into afterward, thus, when the master read, I stood, or after the master read, I stood; and sometimes it may well be resolved into a verb of the same tense, as others are in the same reason, and into this word et, that is, and in English, as this, arescentibus hominibus præ timore, that is, and men shall wither for dread. Also a participle of a present tense, or preterite, of active voice, or passive, may be resolved into a verb of the same tense, and a copulative conjunction, as thus, dicens, that is, saying, may be resolved thus, and says, or that says; and this will, in many places, make the sentence open, where to English it after the word, would be ambiguous and doubtful. Also a relative, which may be resolved into its antecedent with a copulative conjunction, as thus, which runs, and he runs. Also when one word is once set in a reason, it may be set forth as often as it is understood, or as often as reason and need ask; and this word autem, or vero, may stand for truly, or for but, and thus I use commonly; and sometimes it may stand for and, as old grammarians say. Also when right construction is hindered by relation, I resolve it openly; thus, where this reason, Dominum formidabunt adversarij ejus, should be Englished thus by the letter, the Lord his adversaries shall dread, I English it thus by resolution, the adversaries of the Lord shall dread him; and so of other reasons that are like. At the beginning I proposed, with God's help, to make the sentence as true and open in English as it is in Latin, or more true and more open than it is in Latin; and I pray, for charity and for common profit of christian souls, that if any wise man finds any defect of the truth of translation, let him set in the true and open sentence of holy writ, but look that he truly examines his Latin bible, for no doubt he shall find very many bibles in Latin very false, if he looks at many, namely new; and the common Latin bibles have more need to be corrected, as many as I have seen in my life, than has the English bible recently translated; and where the Hebrew, by witness of Jerome, of Lyra,[453] and other expositors discords from our Latin bibles, I have set in the margin, by manner of a gloss, what the Hebrew has, and how it is understood in some place, and I did this most in the Psalter, that of all our books discords most from Hebrew; for the church doesn't read the Psalter by the last translation of Jerome out of Hebrew into Latin, but another translation of other men, that had much less knowledge and holiness than Jerome had; and in very few books the church reads the translation of Jerome, as it may be proved by the proper originals of Jerome, which he glossed. And whether I have translated as openly or more open in English as in Latin, let wise men judge that know both languages well, and know well the sentence of holy scripture. And whether I have done this, or not, don't doubt, they that know well the sentence of holy writ and English together, and will labor, with God's grace, thereabout, may make the bible as true and open, yes, and more open in English than it is in Latin. And no doubt to a simple man, with God's grace and great labor, men might explain much more open and shorter the bible in English, than the great old doctors have explained it in Latin, and much sharper and more grounded than many late commentators or expositors, have done. But God, of his great mercy, give to us grace to live well, and to say the truth in useful manners, and acceptable to God and his people, and not to spill our time, if it's short, or if it's long at God's ordinance. But some, that seem wise and holy, say this, if men now were as holy as Jerome was, they might translate out of Latin into English, as he did out of Hebrew and out of Greek into Latin, and else they should not translate now, as they think, for lack of holiness and knowledge. Though this replication seems colourable, it has no good ground, nor reason, nor charity, for that this replication is more against saint Jerome, and against the first 70 translators, and against the holy church, than against simple men, that now translate into English; for saint Jerome was not so holy as the apostles and evangelists, whose books he translated into Latin, nor did he have such high gifts of the Holy Spirit as they had; and much more the 70 translators were not so holy as Moses and the prophets, and especially David, nor did they have such great gifts of God, as Moses and the prophets had. Furthermore the holy church approves, not only the true translation of christian commoners, steadfast in christian faith, but also of open heretics, that did away many mysteries of Jesus Christ by guileful translation, as Jerome witnesses in one prologue on Job, and in the prologue of Daniel. Much more let the church of England[467] approve the true and whole translation of simple men, that would for no reward and power on earth, by writing here, put away the least truth, yes, the least letter, or title, of holy writ, that bears substance, or charge. And they shouldn't dispute the holiness of men now living in this mortal life, for they don't know about it, and it is reserved only to God's judgement. If they know any notable mistake by the translators, or helpers of them, let them rebuke the mistake by charity and mercy, and let them never damn a thing that may be done lawfully by God's law, as wearing of a good cloth for a time, or riding on a horse for a great journey, when they don't know why it is done; for such things must be done by simple men, with as great charity and virtue, as some that hold themselves great and wise, consent to ride in a gilt saddle, or use curtains and beds and clothes of gold and of silk, with other vanities of the world. God grant pity, mercy, and charity, and love of common profit, and put away such foul judgements, that are against reason and charity. Yet worldly clerks greatly ask what spirit makes commoners hardy now to translate the bible into English, since the four great doctors never dared to do this? This replication is so lewd, that it needs no answer, but stillness, or courteous scorn; for these great doctors were not English men, nor were they conversant among English men, nor in any case did they know the language of English, but they never ceased til they had holy writ in their mother tongue, of their own people. For Jerome, that was a Latin man of birth, translated the bible, both out of Hebrew and out of Greek, into Latin, and explained very much thereto; and Augustine, and many more Latins explained the bible, for many parts, in Latin, to Latin men, among which they dwelt, and Latin was a common language to their people about Rome, and beyond, and on this half, as English is the common language to our people, and yet this day the common people in Italy speak Latin corrupt, as true men say, that have been in Italy; and the number of translators out of Greek into Latin passes man's knowing, as Augustine witnesses in the 2nd book of Christian Teaching, and says this, "the translators out of Hebrew into Greek can be numbered, but Latin translators, or they that translated into Latin, can not be numbered in any manner." For in the first times of faith, each man, as a Greek book came to him, and he seemed to himself to have some knowledge of Greek and of Latin, was hardy to translate; and this thing helped more than allowed understanding, if readers are not negligent, because the beholding of many books has showed often, or declared, some unclear sentences. Augustine says this there. Therefore Grosseteste says, that it was God's will, that diverse men translated into Latin, and to great profit of Latin men; for if worldly clerks look well at their chronicles and books, they should find, that Bede translated the bible, and explained much in Saxon, that was English, or the common language of this land, in his time; and not only Bede, but also king Alfred, that founded Oxford, translated in his last days the beginning of the Psalter into Saxon, and would [have translated] more,[468] if he had lived longer. Also French men, Bohemians, and Britons have the bible, and other books of devotion and of exposition, translated in their mother language; why shouldn't English men have the same in their mother language, I can not understand, but for falseness and negligence of clerks, or for our people are not worthy to have such great grace and gift of God, in pain of their old sins. God for his mercy amend these evil causes, and make our people to have, and know, and truly keep holy writ to life and death! But in translating of words with equivocal, that is, that have many significations under one letter, may lightly be peril, for Augustine says in the 2nd book of Christian Teaching, that if equivocal words are not translated into the sense, or understanding, of the author, it is an error; as in that place of the Psalm, the feet of them are swift to shed out blood, the Greek word is equivocal to sharp and swift, and he that translated sharp feet, erred, and a book that has sharp feet, is false, and must be amended; as that sentence unkind young trees shall not give deep roots, ought to be thus, plantings of adultery shall not give deep roots. Augustine says this there. Therefore a translator has great need to study well the sentence, both before and after, and look that such equivocal words accord with the sentence, and he has need to live a clean life, and be very devout in prayers, and not have his wit occupied about worldly things, that the Holy Spirit, author of wisdom, and knowledge, and truth, address him in his work, and not let him err. Also this word ex sometimes signifies of or from, and sometimes it signifies by, as Jerome says; and this word enin signifies commonly truly, and, as Jerome says, it signifies cause thus, for that; and this word secundum is taken for after, as many men say, and commonly, but it signifies well by, or up, thus by your word, or up your word. Many such adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions are set often one for another, and at free choice of authours sometimes; and now they should be taken as it best accords to the sentence. By this manner, with good living and great labour, men may come to true and clear translating, and true understanding of holy writ, even if it seems the hardest at the beginning. God grant to us all grace to know well, and keep well holy writ, and suffer joyfully some pain for it at the last! Amen.

Footnotes edit

  1. This is what is meant, but readings in the manuscripts include "Here begins a prologue for all the books of the Bible of the old testament", "Prologue", "Prologue on the Bible", and "Here begins a rule that tells of the books of the old testament, which are of true faith, and which are not of faith. But all the books of the new testament are of faith and of belief".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 At that time, 1 and 2 Samuel were called 1 and 2 kings, and 1 and 2 kings were called 3 and 4 kings
  3. "those two"; literally "all", but that would be confusing
  4. "in the Hebrew organization"; literally "against Hebrews"
  5. "in the Greek and Latin organizations"; literally "against Greeks and Latins"
  6. 6.0 6.1 According to Saint Jerome, the Hebrew name of Proverbs is Parables, which may be why the second name is included, or it might just be used as a synonym of Proverbs
  7. 7.0 7.1 "prophets with long books"; literally "great prophets", but that would mean "more important", or "better", which it doesn't
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "prophets with short works"; literally "small/little prophets"; but that would mean "unimportant", or "physically small", which it doesn't
  9. He says "the first book of kings," but means "the first book of Samuel,". At that time, 1 and 2 Samuel were called 1 and 2 kings, and 1 and 2 kings were called 3 and 4 kings
  10. "of the authority of the bible in Hebrew"; literally "of the authority of the bible against Hebrews"
  11. "of the authority of Hebrew"; literally "of authority against Hebrews"
  12. In the Vulgate, Jerome marked which parts of those books were present in Hebrew
  13. "the first and 2nd book of Kings", that is, 1 and 2 Samuel At that time, 1 and 2 Samuel was called 1 and 2 kings, and 1 and 2 kings were called 3 and 4 kings
  14. We use the Hebrew name for the books, but have 2 books like the Greeks and Latins
  15. "3rd and 4th book of Kings"; that is 1 and 2 kings. At that time, 1 and 2 Samuel were called 1 and 2 kings, and 1 and 2 kings were called 3 and 4 kings
  16. The Hebrews had one book called Samuel that had 1 and 2 Samuel, and one book called M'lakhim that had 1 and 2 kings
  17. "Nicene Council"; literally "saying of Nicene". It is likely that the book of Judith was merely used at the council, but that use was as good as declaring it canonical to Jerome, as he said it was declared canonical in one of his prologues.
  18. It was, but it was only known in the Greek translation and translations from the Greek, and Jerome's translation until the discoveries at Qumran.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "in the Hebrew scripture"; literally "against Hebrews".
  20. 20.0 20.1 "3rd and 4th book of Esdras"; that is 1 and 2 Esdras. 1 Esdras is Ezra with the addition of the contest of the three men to find who is wiser, and the wisest asks the king to keep his promise to rebuild Jerusalem. 2 Esdras is an Apocalypse; visions of the end times.
  21. He says he didn't translate 1 and 2 Esdras(that were called 3 and 4 Esdras at that time), but he did translate 1 Esdras(3 Esdras at that time); he may have just been making a point about how non-canonical he considered the books of Esdras(as he didn't translate 2 Esdras, which follows the Hebrew less than 1 Esdras does).
  22. "the first", that is, Ezra
  23. "in the Greek and Latin organizations"; literally "against Greeks and Latins"
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Catholicon is a Latin dictionary/encyclopedia made by a monk in the late 1200s. It was one of the first books printed; it was printed around the time that the Gutenberg bible was printed
  25. "apocryphal"; literally "apocryphum"; apparently Wycliffe was borrowing "apocrypha" from the Latin, and so borrowed the Latin form "apocryphum"; rather than coining a new, English form(as was later done to make the word "apocrypha")
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 26.12 26.13 26.14 26.15 26.16 26.17 26.18 26.19 26.20 26.21 26.22 26.23 26.24 26.25 26.26 26.27 26.28 "because"; the original author used "for"
  27. "its truth is debatable"; literally in most manuscripts "the truth thereof is open"; and in some others "the truth thereof is not open". The meaning is clearly "the truth of these books is open for debate" in most manuscripts, and in the others the meaning is, "it's not clear whether these books are true"
  28. "on the books of Samuel and Kings"; the author uses the Latin name for those books, so it literally says, "on Regum"
  29. The book of the young childhood of the Savior appears to be Thomas's gospel of the infancy of Jesus Christ. It's likely that the author only knew of the existence of an apocryphal book about the childhood of Jesus, but nothing else about it.
  30. This appears to be The Book of Mary's Repose, which only survives in Ethiopic. It's likely that the author only knew of the existence of an apocryphal book about the assumption.
  31. "short"; literally "small"
  32. "most hidden"; literally "darkest"
  33. "hidden"; literally "dark".
  34. "no man simple in wit should be unreasonably afraid"; literally "no simple man of wit be afraid unmeasurably"
  35. "should be"; literally "be"
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 "greed"; literally "covetousness"
  37. "proves they don't have true understanding"; literally "proves them from true understanding"; that is, proves that they have gone from true understanding
  38. "Descendant in infernum viventes"; Latin for "Go down into hell living" or "Go living into hell"
  39. Some manuscripts add "here ends the prologue of Genesis" here
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 "regulations"; literally "judicials"
  41. "doesn't want"; literally "wills not"
  42. "vicars"; or "fighters". The spelling "vikeris" could be "vikers"(fighters[Norse borrowing]) or "vicars"(french borrowing)
  43. "payment"; literally "cattle"
  44. "destroyed in any other way"; literally "else be destroyed"
  45. "the community may not have peace in any other way"; literally "neither the community may else be established in peace"
  46. "the ceremonials"; literally "those"; but that would be confusing to modern readers
  47. "show their belief that Christ has not come yet, and has not suffered death for mankind"; literally "acknowledge that Christ is not yet come, nor suffered death for mankind"
  48. "open belief"; literally "acknowledgement"
  49. 49.0 49.1 "sinful and ignorant men"; literally "sinful men and uncunning" or "sinful men and unknowledgeable"
  50. 50.0 50.1 "isn't sufficient for"; literally "suffices not to"
  51. Some manuscripts add "This is the prologue of Genesis" here
  52. "Men simple in wit"; literally "Simple men of wit"
  53. "out of nothing"; literally "of nought"
  54. 54.0 54.1 "murder"; literally "man-quelling"; it could also refer to execution
  55. the 8 people were Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives
  56. "divided"; literally "departed"
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 "lust"; literally "lechery"
  58. 58.00 58.01 58.02 58.03 58.04 58.05 58.06 58.07 58.08 58.09 58.10 58.11 58.12 58.13 58.14 58.15 58.16 58.17 58.18 "respect"; literally "dread"
  59. Some manuscripts have "Here begins the prologue of Exodus" here
  60. "revenges"; literally "vengeances"
  61. the text in brackets is omitted in many manuscripts
  62. "no man dwelt before"; literally "no dwelling of men was before"
  63. "gave"; literally "betook"
  64. "laws"; literally "judicials"
  65. "to greatly punish sinning openly horrible sins"; literally "to punish greatly open great sins"
  66. "molded calves"; literally "poured calves"(as in "poured into a mold")
  67. "blot me out"; literally "do me out". The reading of "blot" comes from the King James Version, as "do" doesn't make much sense.
  68. "into his mercy and grace"; literally "to mercy and grace"
  69. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Leviticus and this it is" here
  70. Some manuscripts have here "Prologue." and would be interpreted as "Prolog [on Numbers]."
  71. 71.00 71.01 71.02 71.03 71.04 71.05 71.06 71.07 71.08 71.09 71.10 71.11 71.12 71.13 71.14 71.15 71.16 71.17 71.18 71.19 71.20 71.21 71.22 71.23 71.24 71.25 "deacons"; in the Catholic Church, deacons are ordained to help priests; the original author probably meant "levites"
  72. the "sticks" were probably kindling and not just any sticks that were lying around
  73. "possessions"; literally "cattle"
  74. "Moses asked Aaron to pray"; literally "Moses bade Aaron pray"
  75. 75.0 75.1 "votive offerings"; literally "vows"; they vowed to make the offerings
  76. "doubted his giving at the water of grumbling against"; literally "doubted of his behest at the water of against-saying"
  77. "didn't let them"; literally "suffered not them for to"
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 78.3 78.4 78.5 "land of their inheritance"; literally "land of behest"
  79. "prophesy of Christ"; literally "say prophecy of Christ"
  80. "told Moses to"; literally "bade Moses"
  81. "against the sun"; that is, facing it
  82. 82.0 82.1 "because"; literally "for as much as"
  83. 83.0 83.1 "descendants"; literally "seed"(which could be singular, but it wouldn't make sense for one descendant to have "everlasting" anything).
  84. "the holidays"; literally "those"
  85. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Deuteronomy" here
  86. "judge" is "deem" in the original, but changed meaning causes "judge" to be used
  87. the original word translated "commandments" was "heestis"
  88. "traveling"; literally "way"
  89. "have the land of their inheritance"; literally "wield the land of behest"
  90. 90.0 90.1 90.2 90.3 "immigrants"; literally "comelings"
  91. "minds"; literally "wits"
  92. "their hands"; literally "the hands"
  93. 93.0 93.1 "always"; literally "ever"
  94. 94.0 94.1 94.2 94.3 94.4 94.5 94.6 "woods"; some heathens worshiped woods or in woods, and those woods that the heathens worshiped in would need to be destroyed
  95. "faker"; literally "feigner"
  96. "ally"; literally "friend"
  97. "fatherless or motherless children"; literally "fatherless children or motherless"
  98. "immigrant"; literally "comeling"
  99. "An utterly needy man and beggar"; literally "Utterly a needy man and beggar"
  100. the phrase "judge the people by just judgement" was, in the original, "deem the people by just doom", but changes in the meanings of "deem" and "doom" caused the translation here to be used.
  101. "judgement of the judges" was in the original "doom of the judges", but changes in meaning of "doom" made the current translation be used
  102. "kind of king"; literally "manner king"
  103. 103.0 103.1 "rest of the"; literally "residue"
  104. dreams and chattering of birds was sometimes used to tell the future
  105. "they shall have neither witches nor enchanters"; literally "neither witch nor enchanter be"
  106. "neither take the council of them that have spirits in close, nor false diviners, and not to ask the truth of dead men"; literally "take not council at them that have spirits in close, nor at false diviners, nor ask of dead men the truth"
  107. "the thing that God did not tell him"; literally "the thing that God bade not him"
  108. "they shall have 6 cities of refuge or of freedom"; literally "6 cities of refuge or of freedom shall be"
  109. "premeditated"; literally "before deciding" or "before reckoning"
  110. "gone to bed with"; literally "used", but the connotation of "used" makes it a bad translation
  111. "that fled to you"; literally "which servant fled to you"
  112. "pervert"; literally "lecher"
  113. "with interest"; literally "for usury"
  114. "nor any common office shall be put on him"; that is, he won't be pressed into publick service
  115. "pay attention to his house"; literally "take heed to his house"
  116. His pledge; that is, the thing he gave as a promise to pay debts. This references Exodus 22:26
  117. "his wage", literally "his hire"
  118. "allow"; literally "suffer that"
  119. "a loud"; literally "high"
  120. 120.0 120.1 120.2 "all their things"; literally "all things that pertain to them"
  121. "a lot of prosperity"; literally "many prosperities"
  122. "come to them"; literally "befall to them"
  123. "all this vengeance has fallen"; literally "all these vengeances are fallen"
  124. "make there be more of them than were of their fathers"; literally "make them be of more number than there fathers were"
  125. 125.0 125.1 125.2 "elders"; literally "elder men"
  126. "told them to"; literally "bade them"
  127. "witnessing against them" if they don't keep God's law.
  128. "nobody knows where his sepulcher is to this day"; literally "man knew not his sepulcher til into this day"
  129. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Joshua" here
  130. "stand against him and his people anymore"; literally "more against-stand him and his people"
  131. "not bend"; literally "bow not"
  132. "think on them"; literally "think therein"
  133. "low"; literally "common"
  134. "low woman"; Rahab was a prostitute
  135. "told the priests to"; literally "bade the priests"
  136. "ark of the bond of peace with the Lord"; that is, the ark of the covenant
  137. "told 12 men of the 12 lineages of Israel to"; literally "bade 12 men of 12 lineages of Israel"
  138. "command"; literally "ordinance"
  139. "loudly"; literally "on high"
  140. "walking around"; literally "compassing"
  141. 141.0 141.1 "made holy"; literally "hallowed"
  142. "could not stand"; literally "might not stand"
  143. "hung the king and put his body on display"; literally "hung the king thereof in a gibbet"
  144. 144.0 144.1 144.2 "peace offerings"; literally "peaceable sacrifices"
  145. "pretended"; literally "feigned them"
  146. "slaves"; literally "bond"
  147. "hung those kings and displayed them in 5 places"; literally "hung those kings in 5 gibbets"
  148. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Judges" here
  149. "judges, or men that judge"; that is used because the word "doom" has changed in meaning. The words used are "judges, or doomsmen"
  150. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Ruth" here
  151. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the first book of Kings" here. At that time the first book of Kings would be 1 Samuel.
  152. "many sins"; literally "much sin"
  153. 153.0 153.1 153.2 153.3 "ark of God"; that is, the ark of the covenant
  154. "greed"; literally "avarice"
  155. "God always"; literally "God ever"
  156. "greedy"; literally "covetous"
  157. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the 2nd book" here
  158. "killed Saul utterly, after the death wound of Saul"; according to 2 Samuel, Saul was mortally wounded, and told his armor bearer to kill him fully so that an uncircumcised man would not be the one to kill him, but the armor bearer didn't want to, so an Amalekite killed him
  159. "always grew more powerful"; literally "increased ever"
  160. "grew weaker"; literally "decreased"
  161. "had 6 sons"; literally "begat 6 sons"
  162. "made much mourning"; literally "made much sorrow"
  163. "palace" could also be "place"
  164. 164.0 164.1 "made himself meek"; literally "meeked himself"
  165. "rebuked by Michal"; literally "suffered rebuking of Michal"
  166. "the sword and persecution never went away"; literally "sword and persecution went never away"
  167. "climbed with bare feet to the top"; literally "climbed with bare feet into the highness"
  168. "hill of Olives"; that is, the Mount of Olives
  169. "murderer"; literally "man-queller"; it could also refer to an executioner
  170. 170.0 170.1 "man of Belial"; "Belial" is a Hebrew word/name that means "worthless"
  171. "threw stones and dirt at"; literally "cast stones and earth against"
  172. "at"; literally "against"
  173. "told him to let"; literally "bade him suffer"
  174. "came out of my flesh"; literally "went out of my womb"
  175. "let him curse"; literally "suffer him to curse"
  176. "cunning and wise"; the Middle English word is "fel", which can mean wise/smart or cunning/guileful
  177. "honorably"; the word is "worshipfully"; but changes in the meaning make "worshipfully" not a good translation
  178. "especially traitorous to him"; literally "specially his traitors"
  179. "kin of Saul"; he was of the same tribe as Saul
  180. "allowed by David"; literally "by suffering of David"
  181. "made himself meek before God"; literally "meeked him to God"
  182. "It is I"; literally "I it am"
  183. 183.0 183.1 183.2 183.3 183.4 183.5 183.6 "told him to"; literally "bade him"
  184. "to always be wary"; literally "ever to be ware"
  185. "to always be"; literally "ever to be"
  186. "always be wary"; literally "ever be ware"
  187. "to always be"; literally "ever to be"
  188. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the 3rd book of Kings" here, the third book of kings being 1 Kings
  189. "tried dishonestly"; literally "purposed guilefully"
  190. "unjustly slain"; literally "slain guilefully"
  191. "told Solomon to"; literally "bade Solomon"
  192. "wise and understanding heart"; literally "wise heart and understanding
  193. "low women"; "harlots" according to the KJV; literally "common women"
  194. 194.0 194.1 "respected"; literally "dreaded"
  195. "honourable wealth"; literally "worshipful means"
  196. "and dukes of common people" some manuscripts read "the dukes of common people", "and dukes and of common people", or "the dukes and of common people"
  197. "many prayers and profits"; another, less likely reading is "many people who pray and prophets", or a combination of that reading and the current one
  198. "made the temple holy"; literally "hollowed the temple"
  199. "nations"; literally "peoples"
  200. "made into an example"; literally "into example"
  201. "covered"; literally "clothed"
  202. "above"; literally "over"
  203. "depraved"; literally "beshrewed"
  204. "one lineage"; Benjamin and Judah were counted as one lineage
  205. "happened mostly because"; literally "befell much, for"
  206. "a 100 thousand and 8 ten thousands"; literally "a 100 thousand and 4 score thousand"
  207. "told Israel to"; literally "bade Israel"
  208. "lowest"; literally "last"
  209. "told his servants to"; literally "bade"
  210. "withered"; literally "dry"
  211. "back to himself"; literally "again" or "against"
  212. "happened to"; literally "befell on"
  213. "went back to"; literally "againward"
  214. "ordaining the lowest people priests"; literally "of the last people he made priests"
  215. "whoever wanted"; literally "who ever would"
  216. "filled his hand"; probably with money
  217. "for age"; that is, because he was old
  218. "pretended"; literally "feigned her"
  219. "prophesied"; literally "before said"
  220. "its"; it could also be "his"
  221. "so"; literally "for which"
  222. "there are"; literally "be"
  223. "worse than all before him"; literally "the worst of all before him"
  224. "a lot of"; literally "manifold"
  225. "for three years and a half they would have neither rain or dew"; literally "in three years and a half neither rain nor dew shall be"
  226. "by the stream of Cherith, by the Jordan"; literally "in the strand of Cherith, against Jordan"
  227. "who"; literally "which"
  228. "meat"; literally "flesh"
  229. "stream"; literally "strand"
  230. 230.0 230.1 230.2 230.3 "told Elijah to"; literally "bade Elijah"
  231. "Sarepta in Sidon"; literally "Sarepta of Sidonites"
  232. "didn't fail the widow"; literally "failed not to the widow"
  233. "a woman, by which he was much sustained."; that is, the widow he was staying with during the drought.
  234. 234.00 234.01 234.02 234.03 234.04 234.05 234.06 234.07 234.08 234.09 234.10 234.11 234.12 234.13 234.14 234.15 234.16 234.17 234.18 234.19 234.20 234.21 234.22 234.23 234.24 "would"; literally "should"
  235. "on that same day"; literally "in that day"
  236. "Are you the one, that disturbs Israel?"; literally "Where you are he, that distroubles(disturbs/troubles) Israel?"
  237. "It wasn't I that disturbed"; literally "Not I distroubled(disturbed/troubled)"
  238. "disturbed"; literally distroubled(disturbed/troubled)
  239. "believed in God because of the great miracle"; literally "believed to God for the great miracle"
  240. "threatened"; literally "menaced" or "man-aside"
  241. "asked God to let him die"; literally "asked of God to die"
  242. "food"; literally "meat"
  243. "til he got to"; literally "til to"
  244. "Horeb the hill of God"; that is, Mount Horeb
  245. "that"; literally "whom"
  246. "gave"; literally "betook"
  247. "allowed"; literally "suffered"
  248. "Why have you"; literally "Where[for] you have"
  249. 249.0 249.1 249.2 249.3 249.4 249.5 249.6 "stirred"/"stir" could also be translated as "turned"/"turn"
  250. "Nobody else was like Ahab"; literally "None other was such as Ahab"
  251. "was made meek before God"; literally "was meeked before God"
  252. "Ramoth in Gilead"; literally "Ramoth of Gilead"
  253. "lies"; could also be translated as "loosenings", "immoralities", or "harmings"
  254. "happened"; literally "befell"
  255. "Ochozias" was an alternate name for Ahaziah
  256. "have mercy and pity for"; literally "be merciful and piteous on"
  257. "from"; literally "at"
  258. "distrust"; literally "trust not to"
  259. "even if there are more than there ever were before"; literally "be they never so many"
  260. "and cry against them, and strongly keep by you"; literally "cry fast against"; the phrase is ambiguous and could refer to either(against could also mean with and so the phrase could mean "keep people to cry with") or could be corrupt and originally read something like "cry fast against those, and cry fast on"
  261. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the 4th book" here, that meaning the 4th book of kings, which is now called 2 Kings
  262. "in particular"; literally "in special"
  263. 263.0 263.1 "not go down from his bed"; literally "go not down of/off his bed"
  264. "because they were scornful when they"; literally "for in scorn they"
  265. "made themselves meek"; literally "meeked them"
  266. 266.0 266.1 "taken"; literally "ravished"
  267. "til the taking"; literally "til to ravishing"
  268. 268.0 268.1 268.2 268.3 268.4 268.5 "struck"; literally "smote"
  269. "divided by that"; literally "departed thereby"
  270. "the double of the spirit of Elijah"; literally "double spirit of Elijah" seems to be "a spirit like Elijah's"
  271. "path"; literally "way"
  272. "Get up, you baldy!"; literally "You baldy, get up!"; the used for "Get" in the Middle English is the same one used for Elisha's walking and the "climbing" to towns(it reflects more work than a quiet stroll). "Baldy" is a literal translation of the insult "Ballard"
  273. "tore from them"; literally "to-rent of them". The prefix to- can mean towards or asunder. A literal translation of to-rent is "abducted", but a better translation of the phrase is "tore from them"
  274. "told them to"; literally "bade them"
  275. "prophesied"; literally "before said"
  276. "with it"; literally "thereof"
  277. "told her to"; literally "bade her"
  278. "with it"; literally "by the sum thereof"
  279. "prophesied"; literally "before-said"
  280. "gasped"; the Middle English word could also be translated "hiccuped", "belched","yawned", "gulped", "sobbed", or "fainted"(not all of them are on equal footing as alternate translations)
  281. "bad"; literally "noisome"
  282. "by adding flour"; literally "by sending in of meal"
  283. the "meat" that Elisha healed could also be translated as "food". The context implies that it was in a stew.
  284. the word was "reliefs", but changes in meanings make "leftovers" a better translation
  285. "said"; literally "bade"
  286. "so it was done indeed"; literally "thus it was done in deed"
  287. "unknown by or without consent of"; literally "unknowing or not consenting"
  288. "two changes of clothes"; literally "double changing clothes"
  289. "double what he asked for"; literally "the double that he asked"
  290. "struck with sores as white as snow"; literally "a measle as snow"(a measle, as in measles)
  291. "iron of an axe"; that is, the blade
  292. "tree, or handle"; could also be translated "tree, or half". It's possible it might have talked about "the iron of the axe": the blade, and "the wood": the tree they're cutting or "the wood" of the ax: the handle
  293. "floated to the surface"; or just "floated"; or, less likely, "flew"
  294. "ambush bivouacs" translates "buschmentis", which ambush cities, and are often stayed in overnight or longer. Joshua had 3000 men stay in them overnight in Joshua 8(it's spelled different, but it's the same word).
  295. "wore the hair next to his body"; that is, wore a hair shirt
  296. "cut off the head of Elisha"; a less likely translation is "gird of the head of Elisha"(or hang Elisha's head from his belt). That's less likely because a homonym of gird meant "cut", and "of" and "off" were sometimes spelled the same.
  297. "told men to"; literally "bade"
  298. "don't let him enter"; literally "suffer him not for to enter"
  299. "right after"; literally "anon after"
  300. 300.0 300.1 "penny"; at that time 1/4 of a penny could buy a loaf of bread unless there was a shortage of bread
  301. "desired"; literally "coveted"
  302. "prophesied"; literally "before-said"
  303. "told her and her house to"; literally "bade her and her house"
  304. "carve women with child"; that is, kill pregnant women with blades
  305. "told one of the sons of prophets to"; literally "bade one of the sons of prophets"
  306. "pretended"; literally "feigned him"
  307. "pretending"; literally "feigning"
  308. "made outhouses where it was"; the Middle English is ambiguous and is literally "made privies for it"; "made paths/goings for it"; or "made bells/gongs for it". The translation here comes from the "privies" and the fact that several evil people and places are made into something related to human waste. Another interpretation is "paths", or he made people walk over it as an example of what happens to idols. It's less likely but still possible that he made processions and/or rang bells to make a "funeral" for Baal so that people wouldn't want to worship him anymore and/or the priests and/or worshipers of Baal kill themselves. It could also be referencing "a privy of hell", which would mean "made it into a hell".
  309. "all the blood of the king"; that is, all the king's relatives
  310. "great priest"; that is, chief priest
  311. 311.0 311.1 "told priests to"; literally "bade priests"
  312. 312.0 312.1 312.2 312.3 when he talks about the "bishop", he seems to mean "high priest". In some christian denominations, a bishop is the head of a diocese, all the churches in a region
  313. "no reckoning to sovereigns"; that is, they didn't have to report to the king, or they didn't scheme to steal the money. At the time this was written, it was common to have the picture of the monarch on the money.
  314. "could"; literally "might"
  315. "let Israel be taken"; literally "betook Israel"
  316. 316.0 316.1 "chariots"; or "chairs", but it is "chariots" because it is military equipment
  317. "help"; many manuscripts have "health"; but "help" makes more sense
  318. 318.0 318.1 318.2 "strike"; literally "smite"
  319. "destroy"; literally "waste"
  320. "told Joash to"; literally "bade Joash"
  321. "stopped"; literally "stinted"
  322. "angry with him"; literally "wroth against him"
  323. some manuscripts omit "and had touched the bones of Elisha"
  324. "hostages"; or "pledges"; or "pegs"
  325. "Azariah" was an alternate name for Uzziah
  326. "the kings of Israel always did evil"; literally "ever the kings of Israel did evil"
  327. "would've rebelled"; literally "would be rebel"
  328. "not pay tribute"; literally "pay not tribute"
  329. "didn't respect"; literally "dreaded not"
  330. "the high priest"; some manuscripts read "the priests"
  331. "could not"; literally "might not"
  332. "the next day"; literally "in the morrow tide"
  333. "to the brim"; literally "to the mouth"
  334. "are usually"; literally "are wont" or "been wont"("been" is the word, but in this context, it definitely means "are")
  335. "let them be taken"; literally "betake them"
  336. "busyness"; or "business"; either way, it indicates that someone was made busy
  337. "you were made meek"; literally "you were meeked"
  338. "your eyes won't see"; literally "your eyes see not"
  339. "sealed a covenant"; literally "smote covenant"; the idiom is related to how someone would strike/press a seal to certify a document as authentic
  340. "regulations"; literally "witnessings"; this translation goes back to Chapter 2 when he talks about the three parts of the Old Testament and the fact that the other two items in the list are of those three
  341. "told the bishop and priests and porters to"; literally "bade the bishop and priests and porters"
  342. "perverts"; literally "lechers"
  343. "guts"; literally "wombs"
  344. "virtue"; or "power"
  345. "Jehoiachin" is an alternate name for Jeconiah
  346. "craftsmen"; literally "crafty men"
  347. "brother of Josiah" is a mistake, he was actually the SON of Josiah and the brother of the previous kings
  348. 348.0 348.1 "angry with"; literally "wroth against"
  349. "around it"; literally "in compass"
  350. "brass and metal vessels"; literally "brass vessels and of metal"
  351. "always ate"; literally "ate ever" or "eat ever"
  352. "the king of Babylon's sight"; literally "the king's sight of Babylon"
  353. "greed"; literally "covetousness"
  354. "great thanks"; the original reads "Greek thanks", which is nonsense, but "great thanks" isn't and it makes sense for somebody to accidentally write "grek" for "gret"
  355. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the first book of Chronicles" here
  356. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue." here
  357. "and your hands steadfast"; literally "and your hands be not made unsteadfast"
  358. "bond of peace"; that is, covenant
  359. "let him die"; literally "die he"
  360. "from the people around them"; literally "by compass"
  361. "the stocks" was punishment by public humiliation
  362. "the craft of leaches"; that is, doctoring
  363. "outside of Jerusalem" is omitted in some manuscripts
  364. "Ramoth in Gilead"; literally "Ramoth of Gilead"
  365. "possessions"; literally "cattle"
  366. "affliction of his gut"; the word translated "gut" could also mean "womb" or "reproductive organs", and "affliction" is literally "sorrow", but "affliction of his gut" makes the most sense, although "infertility" is another possibility
  367. "menaced"; or "man-aside"
  368. "12 ten thousands"; literally "6 score thousand"
  369. "young women"; literally damsels
  370. "meat" could also be translated "food"
  371. "travel"; or "toil" or "travail"
  372. The end of this sentence is just as clumsy in Middle English
  373. "utensils"; literally "pertinences"
  374. "psalteries"; or "minstrels"
  375. "from the nations around them"; literally "by compass"
  376. 376.0 376.1 376.2 "made meek"; literally "meeked"
  377. "tombs"; literally "burials"
  378. "great priest"; that is, high priest
  379. "rest of"; literally "residues of"
  380. "sealed a bond of peace"; literally "smote bond of peace"; that is, made a covenant
  381. "clans"; literally "kindreds"
  382. "pardons of the bishops of Rome" are most likely indulgences
  383. "clerks guilty of simony"; literally "simonous clerks"
  384. "friars' letters"; or "friar's letters"; or "friars letters"
  385. this phrase was inserted to make the sentence make sense(without it it lists evils and then says "greatly let the gospel be preached")
  386. 386.0 386.1 386.2 an Archdeacon was an important person in the church at that time(the office isn't as important nowadays, and isn't in many churches except for the Catholic Church[where it isn't very important])
  387. "sunt quidam"; Latin for "some are" or "there are some"
  388. 388.0 388.1 "nichil"; Latin for "nothing"
  389. "qui nec"; Latin for "He does not"
  390. 390.0 390.1 "non omnis"; Latin for "not all"
  391. "in mandatis"; Latin for "mandates"
  392. a capon is a castrated rooster
  393. 393.0 393.1 this is an implicit comparison, but it's one a modern reader probably wouldn't make, so it's added in brackets
  394. "ecclesie principes"; Latin for "church leaders"
  395. 395.0 395.1 "sit rector"; Latin for "a guide"
  396. the words in brackets are added to allow this part to be comprehensible
  397. "stone which is set into the head of the corner"; that is, the cornerstone, which is what Jesus means when he says that he is a stone
  398. "mutus"; Latin for "mute" or "speechless"
  399. the text in brackets is omitted from many manuscripts
  400. "Pastorals"; perhaps it should be "Pastoralis"; which is Latin for Pastoral(it is also Middle English for Pastorals)
  401. "he that does waywardly, and holds the name of order, or of holiness"; that is, someone who represents order and holiness, but is disorderly and unholy
  402. "de electionibus"; Latin for "of elections" or "of choosing"
  403. 403.0 403.1 403.2 "Permonitus a venerabili patre"; Latin for "forewarnings of the venerable father"
  404. "Dominus noster Jhesus Cristus"; Latin for "Our Lord Jesus Christ"
  405. This only refers to the SPECIFIC people that crucified Christ, and does NOT condone antisemitism
  406. "Scriptum est de leuitis"; Latin for "It is written of the Levite"
  407. "people who crucified"; literally "crucifiers of"
  408. "praying at the bier, and other unlawful favors"; some nobles would appoint clergy if they said prayers for dead relatives, or gave indulgences, &c.
  409. "your subjects"; or "your authority"; or "you're [misusing your] authority"
  410. "the holy sacrament of Christ's flesh and his blood"; that is, communion or Eucharist
  411. "Parisian"; or "Persian"; or "Parisience"(a name)
  412. "donkey"; literally "ass"; but "ass" had not yet been conflated with "arse" at that time
  413. "si quis per capillum"; Latin for "If anyone by the hair"; is a fragment of the first sentence of the chapter, which reads in English, "If anyone swears by the hair, head, or other members of God insincerely blasphemes God, and will be subject to the most severe punishment in the city."
  414. "de jure jurando"; Latin for "on oaths"
  415. "est si Christus" Latin for "It is Christ"
  416. The quotes are muddled in Middle English, too
  417. "worthy so many deaths, how many examples of perdition they send to subjects"; this is just as clumsy in Middle English and it means they deserve as many deaths as people they send down a road of sin
  418. "hang all the princes and put them on display"; literally "hang all the princes in gibbets"
  419. "against the sun"; that is, facing it
  420. "perversion"; literally "lechery"
  421. "allowing"; literally "suffering"
  422. not all of the things they do to waste their goods are clear
  423. "pay little or nothing and out of time"; probably that means that if they pay anything, they pay late, and sometimes they pay nothing
  424. "sint lumbi vestri precinti"; Latin for "Gird your loins"
  425. "spiritual strength"; literally "ghostly strength"
  426. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Ezra" here
  427. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Nehemiah" here
  428. at that time, Ezra was called 1 Esdras, Nehemiah was 2 Esdras, and 1 and 2 Esdras were 3 and 4 Esdras
  429. "in fasting and in sacks, or hairs, and dirt was on them"; this signifies a penitential state
  430. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the book of Tobit" here
  431. "Although the book of Tobit is not of belief, it is"; some manuscripts just have "The book of Tobit is"
  432. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Judith" here
  433. In one manuscript the text from "Though the council..." to here is omitted, and it reads instead, "The book of Judith commends"
  434. Some manuscripts have "Here begins the prologue of Esther" here
  435. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the book of Job" here
  436. "possessions"; literally "cattle"
  437. "donkeys"; literally "asses", but "ass" had not yet been conflated with "arse" when this was written
  438. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Proverbs" here
  439. Some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Ecclesiastes" here
  440. some manuscripts have "Here begins the prologue on the Song of Songs" here
  441. "[to God]" is added to make this make sense
  442. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the book of Wisdom" here
  443. some manuscripts omit "though it is not a book of belief"
  444. "steady in belief"; or "weary in belief"
  445. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on Sirach" here
  446. "Though Sirach isn't a book of belief, it"; some manuscripts have "The book of Sirach"
  447. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the first book of Maccabees" here
  448. "after his father died"; or "after his father's day"
  449. some manuscripts have "Here begins a prologue on the second book of Maccabees" here
  450. The literal meaning of the later part of this sentence is not quite clear, but the end result is that it kills souls to take something literally that is actually meant figuratively from the holy scripture, and this confuses faith so much that it kills your soul
  451. the "sourdough" is more often translated as "leavening", but both change the dough and bread, and both spread through the dough, so the comparison is the same
  452. This is just as repetitive and strange in Middle English
  453. 453.0 453.1 453.2 453.3 453.4 453.5 453.6 Nicholas of Lyra
  454. Ardmacan is Richard FitzRalph
  455. "de Questionibus Armenorum"; the title means "The Armenian Questions"; the book is about the investigation of the Armenian church and negotiations between that church and the pope
  456. this sentence, the people that speak sophisticated aren't those that just have good rhetoric, but those that use sophisticated speech to confuse people and lead them away from the church
  457. "cloths"; or "clothes"
  458. "said"; or "seen"
  459. "grammar" would, in this sense, normally mean Latin grammar
  460. "[the purpose of those wayward thoughts]" is there to make this make sense(It's clearly the meaning, but it isn't said)
  461. 461.0 461.1 "Vincent Donatist" was a Donatist: Donatist is not his name
  462. "Darius Mede" was the king of the Medes, his name was just Darius
  463. "how you fell down from heaven"; or "how did you fall down from heaven"
  464. "John Baptist"; that is, John the Baptist
  465. "commoners"; literally "lewed men"; but that expression signifies lower men in Modern than Middle English
  466. the Middle English translated by "wooden" can mean "wood" or "insane", which I think this wording captures nicely
  467. this refers to the catholic church in England, not the protestant Church of England that started over 100 years after this was written
  468. [have translated] is implied