¶ Seigneurs, vous oy avetz molt sovent diverses estoyres de la Bible, que plusors
sunt de Adam, Seth, Noe, Habraham, Ysaac, e Jacob, e autres plusours de queux
ore leysyr me est de parler.
Jacob e Esau furent deus freres gemels de une porture engendrez. Esau par resoun
de nature dust primes aver issu de la ventre la mere que Jacob, e par resoun
ensement deveriot aver en la beneçoun que Jacob avoit. E pur ce que Dieu ne le
voleit mie, Jacob supplanta Esau de le un e de le autre. E pur ce est Jacob apelé
“supplaunteour.” [Compare Genesis 25:23–24, 27:36.]
Ce fa Jacob avoit dosse fitz e une file de quatre femmes, dount la premere e la
dreyne furent fraunches, e les deus meenes femmes furent aunceles.
De Lya furent engendrez Ruben, Symeon, Levy, Judas, Yzacar, Zabulon, e une fyle
De Bala auncele, il engendra Dan e Neptalym.
De Zelpha auncele, Gaad e Asser.
De [Rachel] fraunche, Josep e Benjamyn. [Compare Genesis 34:1, 35:22–26.]
Lya e Rachel furent sueres e les files Laban soun uncle, que Jacob esposa en
Aaram. [Compare Genesis 29:16–30.]
Jacob amoit Josep plus qe nul dos autres enfauntz. E Josep avoit, aprés la mort
Rachel sa mere, accosé ces freres que, quant lur plust, il avoeient dormy en lur
marastre. E pur ce les freres le hayent a la mort.
Josep sounga que ces freres e ly lyerent garbes en les champs, e lur garbes se
aclynerent e aorerent le suen, e qe le solail e la lune e unze estoilles s’enclynerent
e ly aorerent. Josep counta son pere cet avisioun. E le pere ly dit, “Bel fitz, uncore
avendra que moi e mes unze fitz obeyermus a toi. E vous serrez seigneur de nous
tous, e nous vos serfs.” E pur ce ces freres molt le plus le hayoyent. E diseyent qu’il
Jacob comaunda Josep aler en les chaunps a ces freres e qu’il portast arere noveles
de eux e de lur bestes. Quar a icel temps la gent vesquirent a poi tot de lur bestes
e de lur arment, e les pastours furent hardis e vigerous a garder lur bestes de
lyouns e autres salvagines. Josep vint en un champ e ne trova mie ces freres. Atant
un vadlet ly demaunda quei quereit, e il ly dit ces freres. Fet il, “Je oy vos freres ore
eynz dire, ‘Aloms en Dotaym,’ e la | les troverez vous.”
Quant ces freres le virent venyr de loynz, diseyent, “La vient le songeour. Ore
yparra quei ces sounges ly profiterount. Nous le ocieroms.”
Ruben, le eynsne de tous, lur dit, “Ne espaundes mie son sang, mes soit mys en
cele viele cisterne la, e la morra.” E ce disoit pur ce qu’il le voleit delyvrer de lur
maynz e le rendre vif al piere. E quant vint, le mistrent meyntenaunt en la
parfounde cisterne. E pus se assistrent a manger.
Aprés Ruben ala visiter les bestes. Ataunt vindrent marchauntz de Galaaht vers
Egipte. Donque lur dist Judas, “Aloms vendre Josep nostre frere a ces marchauntz,
que le amerront en estraunge terre ou plus jamés ne orroms de ly.” Il le vendirens
as marchaunz pur xx deners.
Ne mie gueres aprés vint Ruben a le cisterne e vodera estrere Josep. E ne le trova
mie, e ne savoit rien de la vente. E se dementa fierement, entrenchaunt ces
vestures. E ne savoit que fere.
Les freres pristrent la gonele que son piere li avoit novele fet, e la teyndrent en
sang de une beste qu’il avoient ocis. E le aporterent a le piere. E demaunderent si
ce fust la gonele Josep son fitz. E quant Jacob le vit, si dit, “Mavoise beste salvagyne
ad devoré Josep mon fitz.” E fist tiel duel que um ne poeit fere greynour. E dit
qu’il descendreit en enfern deploraunt son fitz. Nully ly poeit solacer, taunt avoit
dolour de son fitz qu’il tant ama. [Compare Genesis 37.]
Les marchauntz qe averent achaté Josep le vendirent a Putifar, le seneschal le roy
Pharaon de Egipte. E il dona, pur sa belté, a le roy pur ly servyr. E pur sa belté e
bounté, fust amez tous.
Avint que la reygne privément ly pria dormyr ov ly. E il la dit, “Dame,” fet il,
“nostre seigneur le roy me ayme taunt que quanqu’il ad est en ma garde, par soun
comandement. Estre vous, ma dame, la reyne, e te serroit grant tresoun si je
mespreise en cele manere a monseignur le roy.”
E s’enparti de la reyne, que a force detint son mauntel e comenca braier e crire. E dit
a tous que cely cerf Hebreu a force la vodra aver prise si ele ne out crié.
Quant le rei le savoit, le comaunda enprisoner. E si fust longement en la prisone.
[Compare Genesis 39.]
Josep ne manga rien des viandes des Egipcienz, que payenz furent, for soulement
de lur payn.
Les geolers taunt amerent Josep que tote avoit sa volenté de fere quanque ly plust
¶ Quynt que le mestre botiller e le mestre pestour de la court furent comandez a
meisme cele prisone pur trespas qu’il avoient fet al roy Pharaon.
Le botyler sounga que un cep vist ester devant ly, de qui treis braunches issyrent,
floryrent, e taunt se enmeurerent que grapes evissirent: “De queux grapes je fesoi
vyn issyr, e enploy un hanap pur servyr le roy.” Donque ly dit Josep, “Ce treis
braunches sunt treis jours, aprés queux vous serrez engitté de prisone e serverez
le roy en vostre office come avant feytes. E donque, pur Dieu, pensez de eyder
moy, qe si su a tort, Dieu le siet.”
¶ “Je songay,” fet le pestour, “que je portoye sur mon chief treis corboillons
pleynes de payns e autres viaundes de mon office. E les oysels de le firmament
vindrent e mangerent de celes viaundes.” Donqe li dit Josep, “Dedenz le tierz jour
serras estret de prisone, e pus pendu e decolé. E les oysels de le firmament
mangerount vostre char.” En tot issi avynt come Josep avoit dit. [Compare Genesis
Deus aunz aprés cel delyverement, sounga le roy Pharaon un songe qe nul savoit
interpreter. Donqe, primes, sovynt le botiler de Josep que longement avoit geu en
prisoun. E counta a le roy coment il e le pestour soungerent, e come Josep le
interpreta e dit a certes que lur avendreit.
Ly roi fist amener Josep devaunt ly, e dit, “Je songay l’autrer que, come je estois
pres de une eawe, je vi en une pasture molt plentyvouse. E seet vaches y pessoient
les plus grasses que je unque vi. E seet mesgres a demesure vindrent aprés, e
mangerent des herbes e devorerent les seet grasses vaches. E uncore remistrent
auxi mesgres ou plus que avant ne furent.
¶ “E je songay aprés que me fust avis qe je vy seet espies molt bien engranees
crestre, e set autres crestre de pres sauntz nul greyn aver. E si destruierent les seet
espies engranés. Ces deus avisiouns esponez, si vous savez.”
“Sire,” dit Josep, “ce deus avisiouns sunt une. Les seet grasse vaches e les espies bien
engraneez signefient seet aunz que vendrount si plentivouses de herbes, greynz, e de
tote manere viande cressaunt que unque tieles vewes ne furent si habundauntz. Les
seet mesgre vaches e les seet espies nient granez signefient seet aunz que
vendrount meyntenaunt aprés e devorrount tote la plenté qe avaunt vint. E tiele
famine serra que tot vostre pueple murra de faym si vous ne ovrez le plus sagement.”
¶ Le roy Pharaon vist que Josep fust sages e averti. E parmi soun consail qu’il
adonque avoit, fist Josep mestre de tot le realme de Egipte. E comaunda que tous ces
gentz fuissent entendamit a ly. E la garde de curres e de tous ces avers baylla a ly.
E Pharaon prist de son dey soun anel e le mist a le dey Josep, e mist a son col un
cercle oryn. E comaunda que tous se agenoillassent a ly, e ly fist estre apelé partot
“Salveour du mounde.” E tot le regne fust demené e governé par ly, e tot fust en
son bandon, salve que le roy soulement retint le noun de roy. Le roy ly maria a
Assenethe, une pucele molt gente, la file Putyfares, un grant mestre e prestre de
la ley Egipciene engendré a Helyopoleos, une riche cyté. Josep avoit passé xxx
aunz quant il fust delyvrez de prisoun.
Josep comaunda garder la quinte partie de chescun maner de greyn. E prist tot le
tresour le roi e achata blee partot le reigne. E fist gerners e le mist en bone garde.
Quant les bons aunz furent passez, les cheres aunz vindrent. E dedenz les deus aunz
premers fust tot le pays en famine. Josep vendi son blee e amassa tant de tresour que
a merveille. Il achata a le cops le roy terres, rentes, e grant seignuries partot. Josep
avoit de Deuz, les deus premers bons aunz, engendré de sa femme deus fitz:
Manassen fust le eynsnee e Effrahym le puisné. [Compare Genesis 41, 47:13-21.]
En la terre de Canaan, que molt fust loynz, de le flum Jordan, la ou Jacob maneit,
grant famyne y aveit. Jacob comanda ces dys fitz prendre or e argent, e aler en
Egipte pur akatre forment. Benjamyn remist a meson ov son piere. Les dis freres
vyndrent a Josep e s’engenulerent devant ly. E prierent qu’il lur vel fist | vendre
de soun blee. Quant Josep les vist, meyntenaunt les conust, e saveit assez bien lur
langage. Mes rien ne voleit parler ov eux si par interpretour noun. Il lur
demaunda dount erent.
Ruben le eysné ly dit que de terre Canaan, e la fust lur pere e Benjamyn lur
menour frere, molt destreint pur defaute de blee, e si furent totis dis freres de un
piere, e le unzyme a mesoun ov le pere, “e nostre dossyme frere fust perduz. Nous
ne savoms ou il devynt.”
“Je say bien,” dit Josep, “qe vous estes fortz e vigerous, e que vous estes venuz pur
espier nostre terre. E pur ce je vous retendrey en ma prisone. Mes si ce est voir que
vous me avetz dit de vostre piere e de vostre menour frere, je voil qe un de vous
aylle ov le forment qe je vous vendroy a vostre piere.”
Il ly crierent merci, e diseient que lele gent furent. Il out pieté de ces freres, e lur
dit, “Je voil que un de vous demeorge en ma prisone, e que ix allent a lur terre ov
le blee. E quant vous revendrez arere, vous me amerrez vostre menour frere. E
quant je voy que vous estes lele gent, dountz bien serra.”
Ruben dit en son langage a ces freres, “E par resoun avom nous cest tribulacioun
quar nous pecchames grantment en nostre frere. E je le vous disoy assez, e vous ne
me vodriez oyr. E ensement en nostre piere, que ne cesse uncore soun dolour
demener pur le pierte de ly.”
Symeon remist en la prisone Josep. Lur sacz par le comaundement Josep furent
emplis de forment. E Josep comaunda a un son serjaunt que quanqu’il avoient
doné pur le furment fust privément remis chescun en son sac. Il pristrent congié
e s’en alerent. Symeon remist en garde. Quant vindrent a mesoun, conterent a
Jacob tot lur affere. E il se tint tot engynez pur ce que Symeon remist en prison e
pur Benjamyn que irreit en Egipte. Il overyrent lur sacz e troverent tot le aver que
il avoient doné, dount molt s’en merveillerent.
E Jacob ne savoit que fere. Mes queique avensist, ce dit, tendrount lur lealté.
Donque dit Ruben, “Sire, j’ay deus fitz lesqueux je vous delyveroy, si vous plest,
tanque a la revenue Benjamyn.” [Compare Genesis 42.]
“Ore vous appariletz e aletz o Dieu, bels fitz. Vous remeyne a joie arere.”
¶ Quant vindrent devant Josep, se mistrent a genoils devant ly. E ly rendyrent
Benjamyn lur menour frere. Lors comaunda Josep que Symeon lur fust delyveré,
e que lur sacz fuissent emplis de forment. E tot le aver qu’il il avoient aporté fust
privément mis chescun en son sac. E en le sac Benjamyn fust mis un coupe que
Josep avoit molt chere.
Il demorerent la trois jours. E mangerent par eus meysmes pur ce que Hebreus
furent. E quanqu’il parleyent entre eux Josep le conust assez bien, e ce ne saveient
il poynt. E Josep meismes lur servi al manger. E de checun service Benjamyn avoit
plus qe autre deus, dont il s’en merveilerent e molt dotierent estre engynnez.
Ruben dit privément a le despencer. “Sire,” fet il, “le forment qe nous
achatamus autre foiz ici, quant nous venimes a meson, nous trovamus en nos
sacz tot le aver qe nous vous paymes. E de ce avioms merveille. E pur ce, sire, ore
le avoms reporté a vous.”
“N’eiez garde de ce,” fet il, “quar ce qe vous trovastes en vos sacz, vos dieus le vous
aveyent doné.” [Compare Genesis 43, 44:1-2.]
¶ Tous les freres, engonoylant, pristrent congié de Josep e s’en alerent. Ne avoient
gueres erré que deus serjantz e autres lur vindrent aprés. E les comaunderent
trestouz | arester e overyrent lur sacz. E troverent la coupe. Quant les freres ce
virent, molt s’enmayerent, e se tindrent enginez e al peryl de moryr.
Quant furent remenez devant Josep, il lur encheson a molt durement de la
coupe, e diseit que malement ly avoint rendu son bienfet que il lur fesoit.
Il ne savoient qe fere. Ovés se rendirent trestous come ces serfs a sa volenté.
Fet il, “Je vueil que vous tous an pez quitez, e vostre menour frere en qui sac ma
coupe fust trové, qu’il demeorge a ma volenté.”
Dont dit Judas, “Sire, grantz mercis. Vueillez, sire, entendre que nostre piere est
molt auncien. E si cesti fitz ly fust toleit, il morreit pur duel quar pus qu’il perdi un
fitz qu’il avoit unque pus en sa confort, ne solas ne ly purreit valer. Pur Dieu, sire,
eiez merci de nostre piere e nous, que nous ne seioms enchesoun de sa mort.”
[Compare Genesis 44.]
¶ Josep en prist grant pieté, e les lermes ly cheyerent des oils. E comaunda tote
la meyne issir la sale. E il si fyrent. [Not in the Bible.]
Dount dit Josep a haute vois, tendrement ploraunt, e parla Hebreu, “Je su Josep
vostre frere, que vous vendistes a les marchauntz que me amenerent
en Egipte. E pur vostre salu, Dieu me ordyna si. E si ay tote la seignurie
e la mestrie de tote Egipte, e tous sunt a mon comaundement. E si je avoy
fet le consail la reyne, Dieu ne me ust soffert avoir enjoyee cest honour. Ceste
chierté ad duree deus aunz e uncore durra synke. E pur ce vueil je qe nostre piere,
vos femmes, vos enfantz, e nostre perschem lignage vienge a moi. E je lur dorray
terre Gessem, ou il puissent habiter.”
Le freres molt se merveillerent. Fet il, “Ne vous en merveillez mie. Je su vostre
frere. E vous poez savoir qe je vous conois quar quant je vous assis al manger,
je vous assis chescun en son degré, primes le eysné, pus le secunde, pus le
tierce, e chescun de vous en son degré.” E les acola e les beysa e les resçust a
grant honour. Quant la meysné savoit qe ceux furent les freres Josep, molt les
honorerent. E le roi meismes comaunda qe a grant fussent resçuz, e qu’il
envoyast honorablement pur tot son lygnage.
¶ Josep charga curres, someis, e dis asnes de viaundes, robes, e tresour pur fere lur
apparayl, de amener son piere e ces proscheyziz a ly. E dona Benjamyn iijc deners
d’argent pur ly, e iijc deners d’argent pur porter al piere, e synke vestures molt
riches e cheos.
Quant vindrent a Jacob, lur ly counterent enterement coment vendirent Josep, e
entierement la verité sauntz rien celer de nulle chose.
Quant Jacob y ce oy, donque revesqui soun espyrit, e se releva come ce fust de
dormyr. [Compare Genesis 45.]
E tiele joie fesoit que ne poeit greynour fere, e dit, “Ore me sovynt de le songe
Josep moun fitz que je vous dysey, qu’il serroit mestre e seignour de nous tous. Ore
say je bien que ce que Dieu velt aver fet, nul ne le purra defere.” | Jacob fist
sacrifice a Dieu avaunt son aler en Egipte. E ly mostra Dieu qui il irreit en Egipte
e il serreit ov ly.
¶ Jacob e ces fitz e ces aliés furent resçu en Egipte a grant honour. E molt fu Josep
lee qu’il avoit veu son piere. A molt grant joie demeuerent les Hebreus quant
primes virent Josep. [Not in the Bible.]
Le roi meismes les honora. E parla ov cynk de les freres Josep molt amiablement,
e lur demaunda de quel mestier fuissent. E il dysent que pastours de lur arment
furent e ces serfs, si ly plust a sa volenté. Le roy comaunda que la terre de Gessem
lur fust delyveré, e qu’il fuissent bien herbergé.
¶ Le roy demanda Jacob de quele age estoit. “Sire,” fet il, “je su ore de la age de
cent e trent aunz.”
Jacob e les suens a grant honour remistrent en la terre Gessem. Les gentz du pais
e de les reignes entour a Josep e ly donerent or, argent, tot lur arment, terres,
rentes, e quanqu’il avoient, en eschaunche pur blee. E quant plus ne avoyent pur
blee aquatre, il devyndrent serfs a le roy Pharaon pur lur stivaunce avoyr.
¶ Josep lur comaunda semer lur terres, e il lur trovereit semayl e
quanque mestier lur fust si la qu’il avoient le premer croup engrangee.
E cel croup avereynt il quinte. E depus por tous jours, en reconoissance de
homage, il rendrent al roy la quinte partie de lur forment cressant chescun an. E
il le graunterent. E uncore dure cele rente en Egipte.
E pur ce que les proveyres de la terre ne devereynt vendre lur terres aportynauntes
a lur temples (que furent ordynez a le service de lur temple), ne serfs devenyr pur
lur sustinance avoir. E Josep lur ordina certeyn lyvereysoun des gerners le roy.
Jacob e son lygnage en la terre de Egipte furent des Egipciens apelé Israel. E Israel
est taunt a entendre come “cely qe vist Dieu,” quar is id est “vir,” ra id est “videns,”
el id est “Deum.” Et sic Israel id est “vir videns Deum.”
¶ Jacob fust en Egipte dis e seet aunz. E quant approcha la mort, si fist apeler
Josep. E ly comaunda e se fist affermer par serement que, quant il fust de vye, qu’il
le amerreit e freit ensevilyr son corps en la terre Canaan ov ces auncestres.
[Compare Genesis 47.]
¶ Quant Josep vist qe son piere ne schapereit la mort, prist ces deus enfauntz,
Effraym e Manasses, e les amena devant son piere, que donque fust de le age de
cent synkaunte sept anz. E pria le piere doner benesoun a ly e a ces enfauntz. Jacob
benefia Josep son fitz quar tendrement le amad.
Josep prist Effrem son eysné fis e mist a la destre Jacob son pere, e Manassen le
puysné a la senestre, e pria soun piere les benestre. Jacob transposa en manere de
crois ces meyns, e mist la meyn destre sur le chief Manassen le puisné e la senestre
sur le chief Effraym le eysné. “Sire,” fet Josep, “metez vostre destre a le eysné, come
resoun velt, e la senestre al puisne.” E vodra remuer les meyns son piere, e les meynz
furent si peysauntz que Josep ne les poeit mover. “Donque,” dit Jacob, “ambedeus
serrount grantz, mes le puisné serra le greindre.” [Compare Genesis 48.]
Quant Jacob fust mort, ces fitz, solum les costumes Egipcienes, demenerent lur
duel quaraunte jours. Mes avant son moriant benedist tous ces fitz, chescun par son
noun. Ces fitz a grant honour le menerent vers Canaan, e quant avoient passé le
flum Jordan, | la aresturent. E se reposerent tote une simaigne, e demenerent lur
duel e lur pleynté. E pur cel duel que la fyrent, la gent du pays apelent cel lu le
Egipciene Complegnement. Quant Jacob fust enterree en terre Canan delés
Habraham e Ysaac, Josep e les autres tous retornerent en Egipte. Ces freres le
doterent grantment, e li prierent merci, qu’il ne les grevast pur le resoun qu’il ly
aveynt trespassé e hay en sa juvente. Fet il, “Ne eyez ja gardé de ce je vous aym e
ameroi tote ma vie comes mes freres doi?”
Puis vesqui Josep longement en la pais ov ces freres e amys tant qu’il avoit acomply
cent e dis aunz. E quant il en malady fist assembler ces amis, e lur pria que, quant
il serroit mort, qu’il ly feissent estre ensevely en Egipte, e, quant il departyrent de
la terre de Egipte, qu’il amenasent ces os hors de la terre ovesque eux. Quant
aveynt tote oy sa requeste, yl la graunterent. Josep morust en grant honour. Fust
ensevely en Egipte. [Compare Genesis 49-50.]
E al temps que Jacob morust, remistrent en Egipte, de ces fitz e son lignage que
issist de ly, setaunce synke.
¶ Puis que Josep fust fyné, e le roy Pharaon son seignur fust mort, le pueple crust
e multeplia si grantment qe a merveille. E tauntz furent des Hebreus que le roi de
Egipte qe donque fust dota que eux ly e les Egipciens enchacerent de la terre. E
dit qu’il les destrent dreit taunt par grevaunce e duresse de overeygnes que eux ne
avereint volenté de fere generacioun. E come plus furent destreint, plus
multiplierent, le roi lur fesoit fere deus cités grantz.
E quant rien ne poeit esploiter par cele voie, ordyna deus dames, Suphia e Phua.
E les comanda que eles fuissent a chescun enfauntement de les femmes Hebreus
de Israel, e qu’il feissent ocire tous le madles e gardassent les femeles. Les dames
le graunterent, mes eles furent bones femes ne voleynt offendre Dieu. E ne velereit
mie, ne oseyent pur pieté, nul ocyre.
Quant le roy savoit que nul fust ocis, demanda les dames pur quoy ne aveyent fet
som comaundement. E eles ly diseyent, “Sire, les dames Hebreus de les fitz Israel
sunt plus sages qe nous ne fumes, e sovent lur temps mieux qe nous ne savoms, e
aveyent enfaunté avant qe vous venimes a eux.” Donqe ordyna le roy certeynes
justices de aler partote la terre, e les madles qe erent nés serreient neiez, e les
femmeles serreyent gardés. [Compare Exodus 1.]
¶ En icel temps une dame des Hebrus enfanta si avoit un fitz tres bel. E sa grant
belté le mussa e garda a myeux que ele poeit. Issi qe ele le garda treis mois e grant
voit que plus ne le poeit garder qu’il ne serroit aparçu, si fist un vessel auqe bel e
le fist bien peyer de dentz e dehors qe ewe ne poeit entre. E le mist suevement en
une eawe. Marie le suere l’enfaunt aloit de loynz pur vere ce qe avendreit de cele
chose. E grant duel fesoit. |
Atant vint la fille Pharaon le roy, se deduiaunt pres de cele ewe. E vist cele vessele
flotant, e demanda quei ce fust. Le vessel fut tret hors de le ewe. E la damoisele vist
qe ce fust un emfes. E dit que ele savoit bien qu’il fust Hebreu, e grant duel serreit
ocyre si bel enfes. E dit que ele le freit noryr.
Atant vint Marie la suere l’enfant, e dit, “Ma damoysele, volez vous que je vous
querge une feme Hebrewe pur norysser l’enfaunt?”
“Oil,” fet ele, “je vous pri.”
Marie vint corant a sa mere, e dit, “Mere, venez avant. La file le roi vous maund
par moy qe vous viegnez a ly. E vous averez vostre enfaunt a noryr, e en nulle
manere reconoissez qu’il est vostre.”
La mere vint a la file le roy, e resçust l’enfaunt a noryr. E si avoit bels donus e
moltz pur la noreture. E la damoisele vint sovent a la noresse, e la noresse a ly, pur
vere l’enfaunt. E pur ce qu’il fust trovez pres de l’ewe, fust apelé Moyses.
¶ E quant Moyses fust gueres de age, si fust molt bels. E la file le roy molt le ama,
e le roi le ama molt tendrement pur la resoun sa fyle.
Un jour le roy prist sa coroune entaillé de un ydre e la mist sur le chief Moyses. E
il la prist e la gitta jus a terre. E le roy se corosa. Un proveyre de lur ley ce vist e
corust sur l’enfaunt, e le vodra meyntenaunt aver ocis si sa dame ne ust esté. E dit
que par cesti serra la coroune de Egipte abatue. E aprés issi fust.
¶ Quant Moyses fust bien parcru, vint la ou les Hebreus furent, par travals e
opressiouns des overaignes, trop chargés e malmis. E vist un Egipcien feryr
ledement un Hebreu. Moyses out pieté de sa nacion. En eyde de le Hebreu, feri le
Egipcien qu’il morust meyntenant. Moyses regarda entour ly e nully ne voit, e pur
ce fust molt lié.
Un autre jour vynt Moises a les overours e vist un Egipcien ledement tenceron un
Hebreu. Donqe dit Moyses en bone manere a le Egipcien que le tort aveit, “Vous
ne fetez mie issi de tencer cely qe coupe ne ad.”
“Ha, ha,” fet le Egipcien. “Vous ne me devez mie ocyre come feytes nyagueres mon
Quant Moyses saveit qe sum pecchié fust desconeit, molt fu dolent e ne savoit qe
fere. Quant le fet fust mostré al roy, yl comaunda que, si il purreit estre pris, que
meyntenaunt fust ocis.
¶ Moyses ne savoit que fere mes s’en ala privément hors du pays. Vynt
en la terre Madyan, bien loynz de Egipte, e se assist delees un puytz ou
les pastours soleynt abeveryr lur bestes. Lors vindrent les seet
filles Raguel, que fust de le lignage as Hebreus, e abevererent lur arment. Les
pastours de la contresurvindrent pur abeveryr lur bestes devaunt eux.
¶ Moyses hardiement defendy les puceles, e fist, “Lur bestes come primes vindrent,
primes | estre enbeveris.”
Les puceles vindrent a mesone e counterent lur piere coment un home estraunge les
delyvera des pastours. E il lur demaunda purquoi ne ly aveyent amené a mesone ov
eux. E il ly di, “Seynt sire, nous ne savyoms mie vostre volenté.”
“Alez tost,” fet il, “pur ly.”
Une ala a cele fontaigne e le trova. E le mena ov ly a Raguel son piere, qe ly reçust,
e retynt ov ly par serement. E pus ly dona Sephoran sa fille, de quele il engendra
deus fitz, Eleazar e Gersan. E molt mercia Dieu que issi ly avoit delyvrés de la mayn
le roi Pharaon. Moises molt ama ces fitz, e les endocrina de amer Dieu e doter sa
poesté sur totes choses. [Compare Exodus 2.]
¶ Pharaon le roi de Egipte morust. E un autre roy Pharaon vint aprés e regna en
Egipte. E destreyneit le pueple Hebreu plus que son predecessour ne feseit a son
poer. Mes Dieu par sa poesté les delyvera bien. [Compare Exodus 1:8-10.]
Un jour garda Moyses les onewayles Raguel son sogre en la pastoure vers le mount
de Oreb. Si vist en le mount un busshon elluminé de cui merveillouse flaume
evissist, e apparust fierement ardant e ne ardeit mie.
Moyses voleit approchier le busshon. E une vois ly dist, “Moyses, esteez la, e ostez
vos sondlers, quar le lu ou vous esterez est seint. Je su Dieu, que su venuz parler ov
tey. Je ay oy en ciel le clamour de mon pueple Hebreu, que le roi destreint si
fierement en Egipte. E vous irrez a ly de par moy, e dirrez que je ly maund qu’il
seofre mon pueple issir de son realme e aler la ou vous les amerrez. E je serroi en
vostre bouche e vous aprendroi quanque vous dirrez.”
“Sire,” fet il, “je ne su mie de bone eloquence. Maundez un autre, quel que vous
E Dieu fist senblant de sei corocer, e dit, “Ore irrez, e vous encounterez Aaron
vostre frere, qe quant joie averad de vous. E vous irrez ambedeus ensemble. E il est
de bone eloquence e si sage qu’il siet bien fere mon message al roy. E je serroi en
vos bouches a quanqe vous parlerez. E ceste verge porterez en vous, e en ceste
ferrez vous mes signes.”
Moyses prist la verge, e Dieu ly dit, “Quei tenez vous?”
“Sire,” fet il, “une verge.”
“Oste la de vous.”
Il la gitta a la terre, e meyntenant devynt une colnure. E Moyses comença fuyr.
E Dieu ly dist, “Pernez la par la cowe.” E il la prist, e meyntenaunt devint verge.
Dist Dieu, “Metez vostre mayn en vostre seyn.” E il si fist.
“Ore, retrahez la meyn.” E il si fist. E donque fust la meyn feru de lepre si
hidousement qe a merveille.
“Metez la meyn en ton seyn.” E il si fist.
“Ore, la retrahez.” E il si fist. E donque fust tote seyne.
“Par cestes signez,” dist Dieu, “conoistra le pueple de Israel que vous avez parlé ov
moy. E je lur dorray terre riche e plentyvouse decoraunte de let e mel, la terre
Caney, Ethey, Amorey, Ferezey, Evey, Jebusey, Gergesey.” |
¶ Moyses ala prendre congié a Raguel soun sogre, e li counta le comaundement
Dieu. Prist Sephora sa femme e ces deus fis, e se mistrent en le chemyn vers Egipte.
Atant vint un angel. E lur fust avis qu’il volent ocyre le eynsné fitz. E Sephora le
aparçust, e prist tost un cayllon e circumsist son fitz. E le aungel donque s’en parti
de eux. L’enfaunt seigna fierement, e Sephora dist a Moyses, “Pur vous ai je
espandu le sang mon fitz, e vous estes espous de sang a mei. Si je usse pris espous
de le lignage dount je su nee, dont ne usse je meyn ensenglanté.” E pur ce qe issi
dit Moyses ne la vodra mener ov ly. E l’enfaunt fust molt fiebele. E pur ce les
remaunda Moyses arere a sojorner ov Raguel soun piere.
¶ Lors s’en ala Moyses vers Egipte e encountra Aaron son frere, que molt fust leé
de ly. Moyses ad counté coment Dieu ly avoit comaundé, e de la verge e de la meyn
e totes ces autres afferes. Vindrent al roy Pharaon e li counterent le maundement
lur Dieu, e qu’il lessast le pueple Hebreu aler a trois jornés en le desert e fere
sacrifice a ly.
Quant le roi le oy, molt despitousement lur dist, “Qui est cel Dieu? Je
n’ay cure de vostre Dieu. Mes ore sai je bien par vous que le pueple
Hebreu est trop eesé en ma terre. E pur ce sunt il le plus orgoillous.”
E comaunda que partot fuissent plus grevousement destreint qe avaunt ne
furent. [Compare Exodus 3-4, 5:1-9.]
Moyses pria Dieu ayde. E Dieu repleny la terre Pharaon de mousches, quane
grauntz anuys lur feseit partot. Mes en la terre de Gessem, la ou les Hebreus
demorerent, nulle moussche vynt.
Pharaon pria Moyses delyverer sa terre de mousches, e il lur grauntereit sacrefier
en sa terre demeyne. E ce ne velt Moyses mes a trois jornés de sa terre. Le roy ly
graunta. E quant fust delyvres de mouches, donque le roy desdit quaunque avoit
Puis maundra Dieu partot le reigne Pharaon mortalité de bestes, e uncore ne vodra
le roy granter Moyses sa requeste. Dieu comaunda Moyses e Aaron prendre le
poudre de la terre e gittre sus. E il si fyrent. E tiel torment et malade de cors vint
en Egipte que les enchateours le roi e tot le pueple furent si grevez que ne le
poeint suffryr. E uncore ne vodra le roy granter.
Dieu maunda en la terre de Egipte grisil, vent, tonayres, sondres medlés de
feu, que abati arbres, mesouns, foilles, herbes, arsist. Quant le roi vist qu’il ne le
poeit endurer, donqe granta quaunqe Moyses velsist. E quant fust delyvres, donque
tot le desdit.
Ces mesaventures e autres plusours manda Dieu sur la terre de Egipte, e la repleny
de reynes e des verms. E al dreyn fist tiele mortalité de honmes qe de chescune
mesone le eynsné fitz morust. E le fitz le roi meismes morust. E en tote Gessem unqe
anuy ne damage vint de totes cestes mesaventures. E les mortz gyseyent desevelys.
Quant le roi ce vist, donque granta le pueple Hebreu aler. Mes, principalment, dis
plages maunda Dieu en Egipte avant que le pueple poeit | aver congié de passer
hors de la terre de Egipte a trois jornés pur lur sacrifice fere, les queux plages sunt
notés par ces deus vers:
¶ Sanguis, rana, culex, musce, pecus, ulcera, grando,
Brucus, caligo, mors optinuere necando.
¶ Donque fust le nounbre de Hebreus sis cent millers, estre les muliers, enfantz, e la
menue gent. Dieu lur comaunda appariller lur eyre, e apprompter de lur veysyns de
Egipte les riche vestimentz, vessels, or e argent, e totes les richesses qu’il poeynt. E
il lur a presteyent volenters quar il entendeyent que eux se retornassent
hastivement. Quatre cent aunz e trent furent passé que les gentz de Israel primes
vindrent a Josep en Egipte. [Compare Exodus 7-12.]
Moyses prist les os Josep come eynz avoit pries a ces fitz, e s’en ala ov tot le pueple
vers la Rouge Mer. E une mie en senblaunce de un pyler passa devant eux pur lur
aprendre lur chemyn. E quant fust anuyeté, un clarté de su lur passa devant pur
ce que eux ne devereint forneyer. E se herbergerent en Etham. [Compare Exodus
E Dieu comaunda Moysen que le pueple alast avant e se herbergast entre
Magdalom e la Rouge Mer. E le pueple si fist. E dit qe, si Pharaon donque venist,
tous furent malballis quar il sunt enclos de mer e Magdalom, que fuir ne schaper
porreint, “e par aventure nous sumes amenez ici de estre ici ocis, pur aver
suffissaunce sepulcre que en Egipte aver ne purrons.”
Donque dit Moyses, “Ne vous amaez de rien ne dotez le roi de rien quar Dieu
combatera pur vous.”
Le roy assembla synt cent curres e grant host sauntz nounbre e tous les meillours
de son reygne, e sywy les Hebreus. Moyses par le comaundement Dieu leva sa
verge e ferist en la Rouge Mer. E la devynt une veie trobele, e la mer s’estut de une
part e d’autre come ce fust un mur. E le pueple Hebreu passa salvement cele mer
par cel chemyn. Le roy e son host e ces curres entrerent meisme le chemyn. Mes
quant Moyses ov son pueple fust aryvé, si fery de sa verge en la mer. E la mer
encloist le roy e tous les suens qe unque un ne eschapa, que ne furent neiez
trestous. [Compare Exodus 14.]
¶ Moyses, Aaron, e Marie lur suere esturent e virent les curres le roy e ces gentz
reversez en la mer. Molt furent leé. Marie prist son tympaigne e les autres dames,
e chauntoient devant, e les autres aprés:
¶ “Cantemus Domino gloriose” etc.
¶ Treis jours alerent par le desert e ne troverent eawe. Pus vindrent en Marach e
troverent ewe a plenté, mes ele fust si amere qe nul la poeit goter, quar mara ert
apelé, id est, “amara.”
Dieu mostra un fust a Moyses. E il le prist e mist en le ewe, e fust assez douce. E les
Hebreus burent a plenté e enbeveryrent lur bestes. De ileque tornerent en Elym,
e la troverent xii fountaignes e lxx palmers. [Compare Exodus 15.]
E demorerent en Syn, entre Synay e Elym, | en un molt delitable lu.
Le pueple fist grant grundilement a Moyses qu’il aveyent viaunde a plenté en
Egipte, mes ore sunt estre lur gree mené en le desert e apoi viverent de faym
Moises de ce parla a Dieu. E il ly dist qu’il pluereit payn de cel a eux. E comanda
qu’il le quilassent chescun jour ce que lur suffiereit, sauntz plus ou sauntz rien
estuer. E al syme jour, lur pluereit le double quar, al seme, rien ne pluereit. E a cel
sime jour quilassent pur deus jours.
Quant les Hebreus virent le payn de ciel chey entre eux, diseynt, “Manhu, manhu,”
en lur langage, en amerveillant, “quei est ce?” C’est a dire, “Manna, manna, quid est
hoc?” Manna est interjectio admirantis, e le payn est apelé manna. Puis dit fust qe le
pueple avent plus pris de cel payn que ne lur suffirreit, e qu’il l’aveit escué. Donque
Moyses se coroça grantement, e fist une mesure que fust apelé gomor. E ov cele
mesure departirent lur payn entre eux, e al sime jour le doublerent. E de tiel payn
vesquirent quaraunte aunz, tant come furent en le desert. [Compare Exodus 16.]
¶ E de Syn passa le pueple en Raphadyn. E quant ileque ewe ne troverent,
tencerent Dieu e Moyses. E Moyses se dota que il le velsist aver lapidé. E donque
comaunda Dieu a Moyses feryr sur la piere de Oreph ov sa verge. E il si fist. E
grant plenté de ewe issist de la dure piere, dount tous burent.
E Dieu prist de Hebreus vengaunce pur lur tensoun, quar Amalech le roy vint contre
eux en grant ost. E Moyses comaunda Josue ov les meillours des Hebreus issir a la
batayle contre Amalech. E les Hebreus furent bien armés. Moyses, Aaron, e Ur
monterent un terere pur vere les combataunz. Moyses ora a Dieu pur les Hebreus,
leva ces mayns vers le ciel. E tant come ces mayns furent levez, son pueple aveit la
victorie. E quant furent abcesez, le pueple Amalech aveit la mestrie. E pur ce que
Moyses meismes ne poeynt sustenir ces mayns en levant, Aron e Ur les sustindrent
sus tanque a seyr, e son puple de Ebreus avoit la mestrie. [Compare Exodus 17.]
¶ De Raphadyn se tornerent e se herbergerent en un val desouz le mount de Synay.
Donque dit Dieu a Moysen, “Va seyntefiez ma gent, e comandez qu’il tienent mon
comandement. E dites que nul ces trois jours ne aproche al pié del Mont Synay ne
a sa mulier, mes que il facent laver lur dras. E je descendrey en une mie parler ov
eux e demostrer ma glorie. E si nul de eux autrement fra, de hydouse mort morra.
¶ Aprés le tierz jour passé, tonayre e sondre furent oys en le mound Synay, en
semblance de s’en descendi Jesu en le Mound e aprist oyauntz tous ces preceptz
tenir e la parole Dieu. La gent trembloit pur peur de la parole Dieu (taunt fust
espauntable!), e veient la fumé de le mount sus mon|ter, e la busyne oyent soner.
Moyses le dit que Dieu le fet pur eux esprover, e que eux li dussent le plus amer.
[Compare Exodus 19.]
Moyses mounta le mount de Synay e parla ov Dieu. E Dieu ly comaunda parler ov
son pueple qu’il preissent or e argent, pieres preciouses, vestimentz, e autres
grauntz richesses qu’il aveyent, e feissent fere une tabernacle solum le devys e
l’ordeynement Dieu. [Compare Exodus 25-26.]
Le fesure de le covre fust comaundé a Besselehel le fitz Ury e a Uolyab, que furent
sotils de chescun maner de overaigne. Le tabernacle fust fet solum l’ordeynement
Dieu meismes, e vous poez bien saver que richement, sotilement, e noblement fust
le tabernacle fet, que Dieu meismes ordyna. E as overours science dona de le
parfere a soun devis. Plus riche chose terriene ne poeit estre vewe de oyl quant tot
fut fet. Comaunda Dieu qe les riche vestimentz, le arche de le seintuayre, urcels,
chaundelabres, basyns, lavours, tables, auter, encensers, riches, dias de or corcynes
y furent myses. Dedenz le tabernacle la rychesse que la fust je ne vous say deviser.
[Compare Exodus 31, 36-39.]
¶ En le secound an le premer meis, fust le tabernacle dressié. E Dies le covery de
une mie e de un feu de ciel. E tant come cele clarté y fust nul ni osa aprimer le
Dieu comaunda Moyses fere deus busynes d’argent pur assembler la gent, e ordina
les fitz Aaron pur soner les busynes. E pur princes assembler, il les sonereynt un
petit a basse vois. “E pur ceus devers orient, les sonerez plus longement. E fetez
soner e resoner, si tous vels assembler. E pur ceus de mydy, aver fetez deus foyz le
soun partyr. Si vous volez trestous assembler, donque longement covent soner. Si
vous volez feste tener, doucement e peisiblement devez soner. E si pur guere soner
volez, bostoysement e durement les sonez.” [Compare Numbers 10:1-10.]
Quant tous avoit Moises ensemblé, donque comanda tot le pueple en la garde
Aaron son frere e Ur. E disoit al pueple que si nul estrangerie lur survenist, qu’il
alast a Aron e Ur, e il lur dirreint quanque fere devereynt. E il meismes mountereit
le mount Synay pur parler ov Dieu. E en cel mount demora xl jours sauntz rien
manger ou beyvre. [Compare Exodus 31:12-18.]
Donque aprist Dieu a Moyses de bouche a bouche la ley qu’il aprendreit as
Hebreus. E prist deus tables, e escrit cele ley, e la bayla a Moyses. E les tables furent
Dementiers que Moyses fust en le mount, le pueple vint a Aaron, e diseyent
que Moyses lur dustre fust passé de eux. E dyseyent que certeignement il
vueillent aver un dieu pur aorer. Aron dota lur malice, e ne lur osa
contredyre. E fust en doute qu’il le velsissent lapider. E lur graunta quanque
voleyent aver. E lur comaunda porter or, anels, firmayls, e autres gyeuls plusours.
E il les prist trestous, e les ? gitta en un fornays. E quant de le fornais e de le fu
issist un veel de or, tot le pueple le honora, e dit que ce fust lur dieu en qui il
creyent e que lur amena hors de Egipte. Aaron fust drescier un auter, e fist crier que
lendemeyn serreit le solempnité de lur dieu, qu’il avoit fet d’or, celebré.
Lendemeyn le pueple prist cores, tympaignes, e autres instrumentz. Chaunterent,
carolerent, e melodie a demesure fyrent. E pur cel veel de or, oblierent Dieu, le
Creatour de ciel e de terre.
Dieu dit a Moyses, “Le pueple de Israel m’ad tot gerpy, e tote vostre apryse ad
lessé. E ad fet un veel d’or, e cel honourent, e lur dieu apelent. Soffrez que je me
venge de eux e je les destrueray trestous, e je vous froy mestre de autre gentz.”
“Sire,” fet il, “eyez merci de vostre pueple, e serez amentive de la promesse que
vous, Sire, avez promis a cel pueple. E si vous preissez ciel vengement, donque
dirreynt les Egipciens que coyntement lur dieu lur avoit amené pur ocyre en le
Dieu dit, “S’il ne fust pur vous, ne serreit cel pueple esparnié.”
¶ Moyses, descendi de le mount Synay, vint a Josue e as eynsnés que le atendoiens
en un rescouns. E oyerent le cry e les busynes e la melodie que les gentz fyrent.
Josue dit, “Je crey que le pueple combat ov lur enymis.”
“Nanil,” fet Moyses, “il n y a nul que lur asayle.”
Quant Moyses vint al pueple e vist ce qu’il avoient fet, e qu’il honorerent le veel
d’or, gitta a un roche les tables de piere en qui Dieu de son dey avoit escrit la ley
que le Hebreus devereynt tenyr. E les debrusa par corouse. E prist un bastoun e tot
de frussa le veel d’or e l’auter e quanque le pueple honoreit. E se coroça fierement,
e dit que vengement enprendra. E demanda Aaron coment ce fut.
E il ly pria merci, e ly counta de mot en autre coment il avoit fet a la requeste du
pueple, e coment le veel d’or issist de le fornais e de le fu.
E Moyses cria, e dit, “Tous ceux que sunt de Dieu, venent de cest part tot ycy.” Se
treyent ly fitz Levy. “E armes vous tost, e ociez tot cel pueple la que aorerent le veel
d’or. E nul n’esparnie — parent, frere, ami, conpaignoun, ne autre.”
A cele occisioun, grant cri e noyse fust. E la furent ocis vynt treis milers del pueple
que honora le veel d’or. E tiele vengaunce donqe fust prise pur cel pecchié.
Moyses seintefia le pueple que aveit cel occisioun fet, e molt reprist les autres de
le assent que avoient assentuz le honorer le veel e lessir Dieu lur Creatour. “Ore
irroi a Dieu e prieroi merci pur vous.” Moyses molt pitousement pria Dieu merci
pur son pueple. [Compare Exodus 32.]
“Moyses,” dit Dieu, “le pueple est de sy dur cuer que il ne me creit, ne les myracles
qu je faz ne veit. E tous que pecchent contre moi je les osteray de moun lyvre. E
envoieray un angel que destruerat Cananeum, Etheum, Amoreum, Ferezeum,
Eveum, Jebuseum, e Gergeseum. E je dorray a ton lignage le terre que je promis
a vos auncestres.”
Moyses fist descendre le tabernacle e le fist tendre en un autre lu. | Dieu descendy
en un pyler de mie devant le us de le tabernacle. E tous, de lur herberges,
s’enclynoient a ly molt parfoundement.
Moises dit a Dieu, “Sire, que ferroi je de cest pueple? Je ne os remuer de yci le
tabernacle, ne je ne pus cet pueple conduire ne amener de ycy si vous ne volez ov
nous aler. Bel Sire Dieu, eyez merci pur vostre pieté de vostre pueple, e me
grauntez, si vous plest, qe je pus vere vostre beneuré face.”
Dieu ly dit, “Je vueil pur vostre amour aver merci de le pueple. Mes grace
averez vous, e ma face ne poez vous vere. Venez demayn matyn a le mount, e je vous
dirroi ce qe vous frez. E voiez que nully beste ne autre approchie al pié de le mount.”
¶ Quant les autres furent endormy, Moyses mounta le mount ataunt vist le piler
de la mie. E Moyses l’enclyna molt parfondement, e dit, “Bel Sire Reis e Dieu
onnipotent, eiez merci de vostre pueple e moi, e donez grace a nous qe nous vous
puissoms amer, honorer, e servyr. E vyen ov nous, e nous gerpissez mie, quar bien
savez qe de dur cuer est vostre pueple.”
Dieu ly dit, “Je vous mosteray par signe que je su Dieu onnipotent e qe je vous
aym. Tenez bien moun comaundement, e je destruerai tote gent que contre vous
sount. Je destrueray Amoreum, Cananeum, Ferezeum, Etheum, Gebuseum. E
gardez qe ne eiez amisté ne compagnie a nul de lor vie. Destruez auters, temples,
simulacres. E ne honorez nul dieu si mei noun, que parole a vous. E ce apernez al
pueple. E portez ces deus tables ov vous, que je vous ay escrit. E lur apernez la ley.”
Moyses prent ces tables e descent de le mount. E aprent le pueple
la parole Dieu. E le pueple que ly veit si ad grant merveille que il
ad deus cornes en sa teste, e targa aler a ly. E Moyses dit, “Purquoi ne venez vous
a moy?” E le pueple ly dit, “Vous avez cornes que avant ne soliez aver.” Quant
Moyses le aparçust, covery sa face, e bien savoit qe ce fust de Dieu.
E tous jours la covery quant il fust hors de le tabernacle. E quant il fust leynz,
donque la descovery. [Compare Exodus 33-34.]
¶ Moises conforta le pueple e le aprist ce que Dieu ly out comaundé. [Not in the Bible.]
¶ En le secound an pusqu’il enterent en le desert, vynt Dieu e comaunda Moyses
qu’il enbrevast son pueple issi, qe ceux que furent de vynt aunz ou plus serreynt
enbrevez a bataille (les menours e autres serreint escrit a altre diverse offis e
overaignes), e qe de chescun lygnage fust fet un prince pur a mestrer le pueple,
estre de le lygnage Levy que ne serra escrit a bataille ne as overaignes. [Compare
¶ De le lygnage Ruben le eysné, furent quaraunte sys millers, estre les femmes e les
enfauntz, desqueux Elyzur la fitz Sedeur fust prince pur eux mener e lur bataille
ordyner. [Compare Numbers 1:5, 1:20-21, 2:10-11.]
¶ De lignage Symeon, synkaunte nuef myl e treis centz, estre les femmes e les
enfauntz, de queux Salamyel fust prince. [Compare Numbers 1:6, 1:22-23, 2:12-13.] |
[quire 11] ¶ De le lignage Gaad, quaraunte synk mylers sis centz e synkaunte, de
cui Elysab fust prince. [Compare Numbers 1:14, 1:24-25, 2:14-15.]
¶ De le lignage Juda le bon guerreour, seissante quatosse mylers e sys centz, de cui
Naason fitz Amynada fust prince. [Compare Numbers 1:7, 1:26-27, 2:3-4.]
¶ De le lygnage Ysacar, sinquaunte quatre myl quatre cent, de cui Nathanael le fitz
Suhar fust prynce. [Compare Numbers 1:8, 1:28-29, 2:5-6.]
¶ De le lygnage Zabulon, synquante sept myl quatre centz, de cui Elyab le fitz Elon
fust prince. [Compare Numbers 1:9, 1:30-31, 2:7-8.]
¶ De Effraym e Manasse que furent les fitz Josepe, setaunte deus myl e sept centz,
de le un lignage, Elysama, e de l’autre, Gamaliel. [Compare Numbers 1:10, 1:32-35,
¶ De le lignage Benjamyn, trent cynk myl e quatre cent, de cui Abidon fust prince.
[Compare Numbers 1:11, 1:36-37, 2:22-23.]
¶ De le lignage Daan, quaraunte deus myl e sept centz, de cui Ahiezel fust prince.
[Compare Numbers 1:12, 1:38-39, 2:25-26.]
¶ De le lignage Asser, quaraunte un myl synk cent, de cui Phezyel fust prince.
[Compare Numbers 1:13, 1:40-41, 2:27-28.]
¶ De le lignage Neptalym, synkaunte treis myl quatre cent, de cui Ahyrac fust
prince. [Compare Numbers 1:15, 1:42-43, 2:29-30.]
¶ Quant furent trestous nounbré, e ordiné, e escrit — soulement de ceux qe
aveyent vynt aunz ou plus, que serreint entendaunt a bataille — donque fust la
nounbre vjc mil iij mil v c L de bone gent, estre les fenmes e les enfauntz e les
autres menu serjauntz, e estre le lyn Levy, de cui ne avetz uncore rien oy. [Compare
Numbers 1:44-47, 2:32-33.]
¶ Dieu parla a Moysen e comaunda que le lignage Levy fust anounbree, de cui
furent vynt deus myls, estre les femmes e les enfauntz. E de yceux, vynt myl synk
centz e vintaunte furent de le age de xxx aunz ou plus. E a cel lignage, par le
comaundement Dieu, fust le tabernacle e le arche, e les riche vestimentz e
aournementz que leynz furent baylés, a servyr e garder. E pur porter le tabernacle
meismes, furent ordyné de les plus fortz de cel lyn, xliij myl. E a le arche e as
autres choses — encensers, alters, lavours, basyns — furent ordynés, come mestrer
fust. Les buefs, chamails, chyvals, e autres bestes que porterent les seintes choses
ou carierent rien apendant al tabernacle serount covertz molt estroytement de
riche dras. E les seintes choses serrount envolupes molt richement en draps e
instrumentz molt preciouses. [Compare Numbers 1:48-54, 4:1-14.]
Le premer mois de le secound an, must le pueple de le pie de le mount. E une mie
en le desert covery le tabernacle, e une mie aloit, conduaunt le pueple devaunt.
[Compare Numbers 9:1, 9:17.]
¶ Lors dit Moyses a Abab le fitz Raguel de le lyn de Israel (frere le mulier Moyses),
que vint a Moyses ov la femme e les deus fitz Moyses, Eliezel e Gersan, qu’il avoit
engendré en la terre Madyan. E Raguel meismes y vynt quant Amalech fust vencu.
E pria Moyses molt tendrement a Abab qu’il velsist aler ov eux. E il dit qu’il
retornereit a la terre Madian dont yl vynt. | Moyses ly dit que si il velsist aler ov
eux, il averoit grant mestrie sur tous quar bien savoit estre seygneur e dustre.
Donque granta Abab aler ov eux.
Donque se must tot le pueple, e la mie lur passa devant. Quant avoient
erré treis jornees, donque groundila le pueple veis Dieu e diseieit que
trop furent traveiles, e parlerent entre eux que malement avoient
erree puis qu’il vyndrent de Egipte. Dount Dieu se corasa grantment,
e maunda un feu de ciel sur cel pueple, e destrueit plusours de eux. Lors pria
Moyses pur le pueple, e Dieu fist le feu cesser. E pur cel fu, fust le lu ou le fu fust
primes espris apelé Espernement.
¶ Quant vindrent as Sepulcres de Coveytyse, ileque tendirent lur paveilons. E le
tabernacle fust tendu. Donque tensyrent le Hebreu Dieu pur ce qu’il n’avoient a
manger autre viande qe manna, e desirent aver char pur manger. Moyses oy le
groundilement de le pueple. E pria Dieu qu’il li grantast eyde de governer tant de
gent, e qu’il lur maundast de char quar forement le desirent.
Dieu descendy par la mie en le tabernacle, e comaunda Moyses qu’il amenast a le
tabernacle setaunte de les eysnes e plus sages Hebreus. E Moyses le fist. Dieu prist
de le espyrit Moyses e emply les setaunce Hebreus de cel espirit. E donque
devyndrent sages de prophecie e molt devoutz a le eyde Moyses. Dieu dist que le
pueple que desiroit aver char le avereit assez plenerement tot un mois entier.
Donqe dit Moyses, “Sire, ou averez vous taunt de bestes — buefs ou berbis — ou
char que suffysereit a taunt de pueple un meis enter?”
Dieu savoit ce qu’il veleit fere. Un vent comença venter dont tant de quailles
vindrent par les herberges e cheyrent partot si espessement que le pueple les
quyleyt e grant mounceles fesoit. E tant avoit que le pueple ne savoit quey freit de
eux. Dieu prist vengement pur lur coveytise de le pueple: manda mortalité entre
eux dount grant pueple morust. [Compare Numbers 10-11.]
¶ De ileque s’en alerent en Asserot. Donque dit Marie a Aaron, “Pur quey ne parle
Dieu a nous come fet a Moyses nostre frere? E fet Dieu ce soulement pur ly, e ne
mie pur nous e nostre desert?”
E Dieu, qe bien savoit que ele le disoit pur envye, descendi par la mie en le
tabernacle, e parla a Marie devant Moyses e Aaron, e dit, “Coment fustes vu si osee
de detrere mon serjaunt derere ly, a qui je meismes parle de bouche a bouche? E
je ly aym | e il moy, e je parle a ly e ne mie a vous ne a autre si noun par signe ou
E pur cele detraccioun Dieu fery Marye de hydouse lepre. Aaron se esmaia
grantment pur Marie sa suere, e pria Moises orer a Dieu pur ly. E Moyses si fist.
Donqe ly dit Dieu, “Aprés seet jours serra tote seyne.”
Ele fust ostee e degitté de le pueple seet jours, aprés queux ele fust tote seyne e
reprise a le pueple. [Compare Numbers 12.]
¶ Donque tot le pueple se remua de Assarot en Pharan. Donque par le
comaundement Dieu prist Moyses xij honmes de les xij lignages, c’est a savour
Samuad, Saphat, Calef le fitz Zephone, Josue, Egal, Faltye, Gediel le fitz Zoty,
Gaddy, Amyel, Stur le fitz Michael, Naaby, Guhel le fitz Machy. Ces xij furent
maundez de Pharan pur espier la terre Canan que Dieu avoit promis as Hebreus.
Ceux xij alerent de Pharan par medy vers Canaan, e envyronerent la terre
Canaan. E puis revyndrent, e diserent que la terre Canan fust molt riche e replenie
de tous biens — bele tere e delitable de bois, ewes, prees, fontaignes assez beles,
e plentivouse de totes frutz:
“Les cites sunt bien garnyes de murs. E les gentz sunt bien apris de guere. E la,
sunt geauntz de lyn Enach, fortz e vaillauntz e grauntz. Vers medy meynt Amalech.
¶ “En le mountaignes sunt Ethey, Jebuzey, Amorey. Ly Cananen sunt joste la mer
sur la ryvage de le flum Jordan. Trestous nous purront devorer, si il nous purreynt
encountrer.” [Compare Numbers 13.]
Lors Caleph e Josue vrent le Hebreus estre desconforté, diseynt, “Seignours, ne le
creez pas! Aloms. Ov le eyde de Dieu, tous sunt les nos. Nous les prendroms tous
a nostre volenté.”
Les Hebreus furent molt esbahis, e diseynt que malement lur est avenu que issi
sunt amenez de lur terre, ou il aveyent quanque mestier lur fut. E ore sunt en le
desert, e apoy meorent de feym, e serrount ocis e destruit de lur enymis. E
murmurerent a Dieu e a Moyses. E Dieu se coroça fierement e descendy par la mie
en le tabernacle, e dit qu’il destruerent tot le pueple pur lur dur cuer e maveise
conscience e creaunce.
Moyses ly pria molt tendrement e molt pitousement merci. E Dieu ly dit, “Ceux
que me ount tencé e detret e ne ount fet mon comandement ne verrount jamés
cele terre que je promis a lur auncestres. Mes a Josue e Caleph, qe me cryment, e
a lur lignage, la dorroy. E tous ceux que furent enbrevee qe aveyent passé xx aunz
taunt me ount mesfet qu’il morrount ici. E a lur enfauntz que ne furent enbrevez
de xx aunz, dorroi cele terre. E ces enfauntz demorrount ici (taun qe les peres
seient purris!), e quaraunte aunz les condueray par les desertz. E aprés lur dorray
Moyses dist as Hebreus que Dieu prendroit greve vengaunce de lur mesfet. Il
plorerent e feseynt grant duel pur lur mesprise countre Dieu, e diseyent qu’il
irreyent a la terre Canaan e destruereynt tous lur enymis que purront trover.
Moyses dit, “Vous ne irrez mie sur vos enymis, quar Dieu n’est mie en vous. E pur |
ce vous ne poez espleyter de rien, mes serrez vileynement ledis par vos enymis.”
Yl diseynt qe aler voleynt. Lendemeyn monterent un grant mont e virent lur
enymis. Si descenderent e les corerent sur. Atant vynt Amalech de une part, e ly
Cananen d’autre part, e feutre feryrent. E as Hebreus vint le pis, come Moyses lur
avoit dit, quar Dieu ov eux ne fust. E plusours Hebreus furent ocis e plusours
malmis. E issi prist Dieu vengance de lur mesfet. [Compare Numbers 14.]
¶ En la Byble troverez vous ore en cet pas grant escripture de sacrifices que payens,
judeux, e lur parenté soleyent fere de vels, aignels, e autre bestes. E ore le ount tot
lessé pur ce qu’il sunt cheytyves entre nous. E en remenbraunce de lur Creatour,
a ce qu’il dient, fount sculptures en pieres e peyntures chescun jour pur ce que il
ne ly vueillent oblier, quar peynture c’est lyvre a ceux qe ne ount conoissaunce de
lettre. Mes ore de synagoge, que fust temple as gyus, ore est ordyné eglise a
chretienz pur fere sacrifice chretiene. Al temps que cest escrit fut fet, mil aunz cent
aunz e trente furent que Jesu Crist primes fust sacrifiez pur nostre pecchié, le quel
sacrifice chescun jour entre chretienz est fet en remenbraunce de lur Creatour, e
serra tanque al fyn del mound. [Not in the Bible.]
¶ Lors deus centz e synkaunte compaignouns des Hebreus s’assemblerent.
Vindrent a Moyses e Aaron. Desqueux compaignouns, mestre Chore, Datan, e
Abyron furent principals. Donque dit Chore, “Moyses, rien n’avoms gayné parmi
le seignorie e la mestrie qe vous avetz de nous. Vous ne serrez plus cheveynteyn ne
mestre sur cet pueple. Nous ne avoms cure de vostre prelacioun. Nous sumes tot
seynt. Dieu est ov nous.”
Quant Moyses ce oy, molt fust dolent que le Deable les avoit issi desu par orgoyl
e envye e par autre lede pecchié. E dit, “Chore, vous dites que vous estes seint.
Demayn verroms nous votre seyntete. Portez demayn vostre encenser e vous —
ensement Datan e Abyron e tous vos compaignons — devant le tabernacle, e metez
le encens as charbons. E donque serra veu qui de nous Dieu clyrra.”
Datan e Abyron, que malveis e orgoillous furent, diseyent que pur ly ne porterount
encenser, e qe n’aveient afere de ly. Molt fust Moyses dolent que issi furent suppris
de le Diable.
¶ Lendemayn vindrent ov lur encensers les deus centz e sykaunte devant le
tabernacle, mes Datan e Abyron ne vindrent mie. Donque dist Dieu a Moysen e
Aaron, “Ostes vous de cele compaignie la que je me pus venger de eux fortisme.”
“Deus,” fount il, “merci! Ne lessez taunt de gent peryr pur le mesfet de un honme
ou de deus.”
Moyses par le comaundement Dieu prist gent assez des Hebreus. Vint as herberges
Datan e Abyron, e les fist hors trayre. E dit al pueple, “Seigneurs, Dieu prendra
vengement de Datan e Abyron. E si il ne prenge autre vengaunce de eux que
unque ne fist des autres, ne ly creez jamés qu’il soit verroi Dieu. E ce verrez vous |
apertement, quar a trop demesure par lor orgoil, haltesse, elacion, e inobedience
qu’il ount pecchié contre Dieu lur Creatour, qe grant honour entre vous lur fist.”
Quant Moyses avoit ce dit devaunt tot le pueple que fust assemblé pur vere ce que
Moyses freit, la terre se departy e overy, e devora e tranglota Datan e Abyron tot
vifs. E issi cheyrent cri, “Le profound put de enfern!” E rien remist de quanque lur
fust que la terre ignel pas ne devora.
Tot le pueple que ce veiet coreit sus e jus partot, e ne saveient qe fere. E tous se
tindrent peris. E crierent merci a Dieu, e prierent Moyses orer pur els. E molt se
Atant vint un feu molt horyble de ciel. E, veaunt tot le pueple, la ou les deus cent
e synkante compaignouns offryrent lur encenz, e les esprist e les mist tous en
flaume. E tiele vengance prist Dieu de ces deus cent e synkaunte compaignouns
des Hebreus pur lur trespas.
¶ Donqe comaunda Moyses par le precept Dieu qe Eleazar le fitz Aaron presist les
encencers de ceus que furent peris, e esparpilast le fu, e fesist des encensers pieces,
e les fichist as auters, quar il sunt seintefiez en les mortz des peccheours. Issi que
ce pust estre signe a les fitz de Israel que nul de eux approchie a le auter de offryr
encens si il ne soit de lygnage Aaron, si il ne veillent peryr come Chore, Datan,
Abyron, e les autres fyrent.
¶ Le secounde jour le pueple de Hebreus grundila e fyrent grant noyse a Moyses e
Aaron. E diseit le pueple que Moyses e Aaron aveient occis le pueple Dieu. E pur
doute de le pueple, Moyses e Aaron fuyrent al tabernacle. E entrent eynz, e la glorie
Dieu lur apparust. E Dieu mist arsoun desus cel pueple. E Moyses comaunda Aaron
prendre un encenser, e ester enmy le pueple, e orer pur le pueple. E il si fist. E le
arsoun cessa, mes avant la cessacioun, furent xiiijm e vijc des Hebreus peris.
[Compare Numbers 16.]
¶ Dieu comanda Moysen prendre de chescun lygnage une verge, e en celes xij
verges escrivre le noun de le prince en chascune verge, e une verge contendra les
nounz de touz lur meisgnes, e les mettre en le tabernacle “en signe qe je ay ov vous
parlé. E la verge de qy je choyseray floryra.” E Moyses fist le comaundement Dieu,
e mist les verges en le tabernacle.
Lendemeyn trova Moyses en la mesone Levy la verge Aaron burgoynant e portaunt
flours, e les foilles de cele verge ostes devyndrent alemauntz. Donque porta Moyses
a les fitz de Israel e dona a chescun sa verge, mes la verge Aaron demora en le
tabernacle en signe des rebels fitz de Israel, e que eux cessassent lur
grondylementz e pleyntes, | que eux ne muergent. [Compare Numbers 17.]
Lors dit Dieu a Aaron, “Vous e vos fitz e la mesone toun piere sustendrez les
pecchiés de les sacerdocies e porterez la iniquité de seyntuarie. E pernez vos freres
de le lyn Levy e le septre toun piere ovesque vous. E vous e vos freres garderez le
sacerdocie e quanqe a le auter apent. E si nul autre le approche, serra ocis. E je
vous doynz la garde des primices e offrendres e sacrefices, e quei que est doné ou
offert a moy pur pecchié ou trespas le vostre ert. Primices de bles, terres, vynz,
oylles seient les vos, e de ce vyverez.
“Ce que primes vient hors de la ventre de chescune — femme ou autre beste — ert
le vostre. Issi, qe pur issue de femme, receverez pris. E de chescune beste nyent
net, receverez raunçoun, le quel raunçon serra fet aprés un meys. E le raunçon
serra un cycle d’argent, c’est, xx maylles.
“Des buefs, oeilles, chevres, e tieles — bestes netz — nul raunçoun serra, mes lur
sang serra espandu desuz le auter, e vous mangerez les chars. E la greese serra
ardenz, e dorra odour a Seignour. De la terre des Hebreus rien ne averez, quar je
meismes serroi vostre terre e vostre heritage. E a les fitz Levy ay je doné tous les
dismes des fitz Israel en possession pur lur service qe eux me fount en le
tabernacle.” [Compare Numbers 18.]
¶ Moyses par le precept Dieu comaunda les fitz Israel amener une vache rouge de
entiere age qe unqe ne porta jug e que nulle tecche ne ad, e soit baylé a Eleazar le
prestre, e il fia le sacrifice de cele vache hors des chastels, veauntz tous, e mettra
son dey en le sang, e le esparpillera set foiz devant les portes de le tabernacle,
e si fra tote la char mettre en fume e flaume. E les cendres de la vache serrount
mys en un lyw bel e net en la garde de la pueple de Israel, pur ce que ele fust arsé
pur pecché. E celes cendres serrount melles de ewe pure, e esparpilé sur les fitz de
Israel en signe de purgacioun / de pecchiés. [Compare Numbers 19.]
¶ Le pueple de Israel vint en le desert Syn le premer meys. E demora en Cades. E
la morust Marie la suere Moises e Aaron. E la fust ensevely.
E le pueple avoit graunt defaute de ewe, e grondillerent vers Moysen e Aaron. E
eux vindrent a le tabernacle, e prierent Dieu qu’il donast al pueple eawe vyve. E
Dieu comanda Moysen e Arron, veiantz tous, feryr de lor verge deus foiz sur le
caylowe, e eawe issereit a plente. E yl si fyrent. Donque lur dist Moyses, “Vous de
dure creaunce entendez qe nous par la vertu de Dieu ne vous puissoms doner eawe
vyve de la dure piere. Ore veiez apertement qe si pooms. Lessez vostre
groundylement, ou Dieu prendra greve vengaunce de vos tous.” |
¶ Lors dit Dieu a Moyses e Aaron, “Pur ce qe vous creistes poynt qe vous me
seyntefiastes devant les fitz Israel, vous ne amerrez poynt cest pueple a la terre qe
je lur ay promys.”
¶ Moyses maunda messagers de Cades a le roy Edom, e ly pria que le pueple de
Israel poeit passer parmy sa terre sauntz nulle part torner hors de le chemyn, ou
rien de le suen ou de soun pueple aver ou prendre. E le roy Edom ne le velt en
nulle manere graunter. E le pueple de Israel desturna de ly. E se must de Cades,
e vint en le mount de Hor, qu’est en les synz de la terre de Edom.
Donque dist Dieu a Moysen, “Pernez Aaron e Eleazar son fitz, e les menez en le
somet de cest mount. E ostez les dras Aaron, e de celes dras vestez Eleazar son fitz.
E la morra Aaron, quar je ne vueil mie qu’il entre la Terre de Promissioun pur ce
qu’il ne me crust poynt de mey seyntefier a le Eawe de Contradiccion devant les fitz
E Moyses fist le comandement Dieu. E quant le pueple vist qe Aaron fust mort, fist
grant duel, e plora sur le cors xxx jours. [Compare Numbers 20.]
¶ Quant le roy Cananens savoit par ces espies le venue de la pueple Hebreu,
assembla grant pueple de son realme de Arad e se combaty as Hebreus. E illeque fust
le roy vencu. E les Hebreus appelerent le lyw de la bataille Horma, e c’est a dyre,
taunt come Anathema, c’est a savoyr “eschumegé.” Les Hebreus s’en partyrent dehor
par la dreyte veye vers le Rouge Mer. E voleynt envyroner le terre de Edom,
e devyndrent molt las pur lur travayl. E se corocerent vers Dieu e vers Moysen, e
dyseynt que payn lur faylleit e eawe ne aveynt, e lur alme nausea desur si legere
Dount Dieu se corouça grantment, e maunda partot le desert serpentz esprises de
feu pur ocyre e malmener le pueple que en ly ne creyt poynt ne en ces vertuz. Les
Hebreus de Israel ne poeynt mye endurer la persecucioun des serpentz, e crierent
a Moysen qu’il lur fesyst remedie.
Moyses pria a Dieu pur le pueple. E Dieu ly comaunda fere une serpente de
erraym, e mettre al somet de une launce, issi qe la gent ferue des serpentz puissent
vere cele serpente de erraym e serreynt sanez de lur entouchementz.
¶ De yleque ala le pueple en Oboch. E de yleque en Iebarym en le desert vers
Moab countre le est. E de yleque alerent a le torrent Zareht. E de yleque se
herbigerent deprés Arnon, qu’est en le desert devers les fyns d’Amoreye.
Arnon c’est le fyn de Moab, departaunt les Moabites des Amorienz.
Moyses par le comaundement Dieu assembla le pueple des Hebreus, e Dieu lur
dona une puce de eawe. E yleque chaunta Israel dyte, “Ascendat puteus” etc. | De
ileque s’en a la Israel en Mathana, e pus a Naalyel, pus en Bamoth. Bamoth est une
valeye en la region de Moab en le somet de Phasga, devers le desert.
¶ Israel maunda messagers a Seon roy de Amorienz, e pria qu’il porreit passer
parmy sa terre, e de nulle part torner ne rien de le suen aver. E le roi ne le vodera
graunter. Mes fist assembler grant ost e encountra Israel en Jasa. E la fust le roy e
son pueple vencu. E debatu fust sa terre de Arnon tanque a Jeboc. Israel prist les
cités le roy Seon, e habita en Amorei, Essebon e autres vylees. La cité de Essebon
fust al roy Seon de Amorienz, qui combaty countre le roy Moab e prist totes ces
terres desque Arnon.
Israel prist Jazer e tous ces habitatours, e se torna par la veie de Basan. E Og le roy
de Basan vint ou grant pueple countre Israel en Edray e vodera ocyre Israele. E
Nostre Sire dit a Moysen, “Ne dotez ja le roy Og ne soun grant pueple. Je les
dorroi tous en vostre meyn come je fesoy Seon roy de Amorienz.” E quant le roy
Og vint a la bataille, meintenaunt fust desconfist. [Compare Numbers 21.]
E Israel, en les champs de Moab vers la Jordan, ou Jerico est assis, prist son
¶ Lors dit Balaach le fitz Sephor a les greindres de Madyan, “Cest pueple Israel
nous devorra tous come fet le buef la herbe.” Cesti Balaach fust en icel temps roy
en Moab. E maunda par messagers a Balaham fitz Beor, le dyvynour que habitout
la flume de la terre le fitz Amon, qu’il venist a ly e veist la multitude de le pueple
Hebreu que vint de Egipte.
Issi qu’il les poeit vere e doner malessoun a cel pueple, parount cel pueple serroit
le plustost vencu, quar ce, dit il, savoit bien qe cely qe Balaham voleit maldyre
serreint maldit, e cely qu’il voleit benedyre serreit beneyt.
Les messagers vindrent a Balaham, e porterent le pris de la divinacioun. E
counterent a ly ce dont furent chargé. E il lur dit qu’il attendreint desque
lendemeyn, e il parleroit a son mestre e pus lur respoundreit. La nuit vint Dieu a
Balaham e ly demaunda quei cele gent la fyrent. Balaham ly trestut counta, de mot
en autre. E Dieu ly comanda qu’il ne alast ovesque eux, e qu’il ne maldiseit son
Lendemeyn leva Balaham, e dit as messagers qu’il alassent arere a lur
seygneur, e deissent que Dieu ly avoit defendu de aler a ly. Quant ceste responce
vynt al roy Balac le fitz Sephor, prist autre messagers que furent de greyndre
valour que les premers ne furent, e maunda a Balaham en meysme la manere qu’il
avoit avant fet. E Balaham lur pria | cele nuit demorer. E il sy fyrent.
La nuit vynt Dieu a Balaham, e dit, “Si cele gentz sunt purvous sa venuz, alez ou
eux, e rien ne facez si ce noun que je vous comaund.”
Balaham leva matyn, e prist ces deus fitz, e mounta sa asne. E chevaucha ov les
messagers vers le roy Balac. E come Balaham chyvalcha sa asne, le aungel Dieu
estut enmy la voye ov une espere trete e deneya la asne le voie. E la asne le veit
bien, e Balaham ne le poeit vere. La asne se destourna de la voye, e Balaham, que
ne savoit l’enchesoun, la batyst e defola a demesure. E s’en prist a aler par autre
voye, e le aungel vynt encontre ov l’espee trete. E la asne ne poeit avaunt. E
Balaham la defola e batist a merveille durement. Balaham assaya le tierce voie, e
le aungel vynt si pres de la asne que ele cheye a terre. E Balaham sayly sus e
comensa batre sa asne.
Donque par le ordeygnement Dieu parla cele asne a Balaham son mestre, e dit,
“Purquoi me bates tu ore la tierz foiz? Quei vous ai je mesfet? Je ne vous fesey unqe
taunt de mesprisioun, come ore ay fet, e ce n’est mie soulement par moy.”
Adonque overy Dieu les oyls Balaham, e yl vist le aungel ov le espee. E
s’enmerveilla durement de cele vewe. E chey a terre e honora le aungel.
Donque ly dist le aungel, “Je vienke sa pur ce qe je vous voderay encounterer e
ocyre, e lesser la asne vyvre.”
Donque ly dist Balaham, “Je ay pecchié, e je ne savoy qe vous y fustes. E si vous
plest qe je retourne, je le froy volenters.”
Donqe dit le aungel, “Alez ov ces princes, e rien ne parlez si noun ce qe je vous
Quant le roy Balac savoit sa venue, sy vint countre ly, e a grant honour le reçust.
¶ Lendemeyn le roy amena Balaham a un mount apelé Balal, la ou yl poeit vere le
dreyne partie de le pueple Hebreu. [Compare Numbers 22.]
Lors dit Balaham, “Apparillez issi set auters, set veans, e set owailles.” Donqe prist
Balaham e mist desuz chescun auter un veel e un owaille. E dist al roy, “Atendez
si une piece pres de le auter. Je irroi ver si je pus parler a Dieu, e donque vous
dirroi je quanqe vous demaundrez.”
Balaham parla ou Dieu. E tost revynt al roy, e dit oyauntz tous, “De Aram me
amena Balac le roy de Moabytes, de les mountz de orient, pur maldyre Jacob e
escumeger Israel. Coment purroi je maldire le pueple qe unqe Dieu ne maldist?
Come purroi je escumeger qe unqe | Dieu ne eschumega? Qui purra nounbrer la
poudre purra nounbrer la progenie Jacob, e conustre le nounbre de Israel qui
purra? Meorge ma alme en la mort de dreiturels, seient mes dreynetes fetz
semblale a eux.”
Issi prophetiza Balaham plusours choses de Israel.
Le roy Balac se coroça, e dist, “Je vous fis quere pur ce qe vous me dussez plere e
maldyre mes enymis, e vous fetes tot le contrarie.”
Donque dit Balaham, “Je disoi a vos messagers e pri a vous que ne poy rien fere
ne dyre si noun a la volenté Dieu.”
¶ Lors amena le roy Balaham en un halt mount qe um apele Phasga, la ou il poeit
vere plus de le pueple Hebreu que avant ne fist. Donque fist Balaham set auters,
e mist set veals e set owailles, e s’enloigna de le roy pur orrer. E pus revynt quant
out parlé ov Dieu. E dist al roy, oyauntz tous ces princes, “Dieu ne est pas sicome
autre gent, a quei vous menteroy je, ne sicome le fitz de honme pur estre tousjours
chaungé. Pur benesoun doner su je ament, e je ne pus benesoun deneyer. Yl n’y
ad poynt ydle en Jacob, ne simulacre en Israel. Dieu Nostre Seigneur est ov eux,
que tousjours est benet. E pur ce autre chose ne pus je doner a eux qe benesoun.”
Prophecies plusours dit Balaham de Israel.
Donque Balac le roy se coroça, e amena Balaham en le mont de Phegor pur vere
si yl poeit maldyre Israel. E fist yleque set auters, set veals, e set owailes, come avant
aveit fet, e lessa le roy e ces privés demorer ileque. E Balaham s’enloigna de eux
e vist le pueple de Israel. E savoit bien sauntz dyvynaille fere, qe la volenté de Dieu
fust benedyre Israel.
Revynt e dit al roy prophecies, e dit, “Quy benediera le pueple de Israel, yl serra
benet. E quy le maldirra serra maldit.”
Donque se corosa le roy fierement, e dit, “Je vous fis quere pur ce qe vous dussez
maldire mes enymis, e vous avetz fet ore le revers treis foiz.
¶ “Retornez a vostre mesone dount vous venistes. Je vous avoi en pensé de aver
honoré devant tous de cest realme, e vous ne le avetz deservy.”
Balaham ly dist, “Je dysoi qe je ne vous poey rien fere pur tous les bienz de
mounde si noun a la volenté Dieu Nostre Seigneur. E sa volenté est que Israel seit
beneit sur totes gentz.”
E parla Balaham plusours profecies desqueux mester n’est ore de parler. Donque
se retorna Balaham a sa mesone dont il vynt. [Compare Numbers 23-24.]
¶ En ycel temps Israel demora en Sythem, e le pueple fist fornicacioun ov les filles
Moab. E les apelerent a sacrifices e aorerent malveis dieus. Dount | se coroça Dieu,
e dit a Moysen, “Pernez tous les princes de cest pueple, e les fetes pendre countre
le solail en patibles si la que ma corouce seit torné de eux.”
Lors dit Moyses a les juges de Israel, “Chescun de vous ocie ces preomes.”
E come yl entreparlerent de cel comaundement Dieu, un des fitz Israel veauntz
Moyses e tot le pueple entra le bordel de Madyanytes. E plusours de le pueple
Israel esturent devant la porte de le tabernacle e plorerent. E quant Phynees le fitz
Eleazar (le fitz Aaron le chapeleyn) veist cely entrer le bordel, prist un dart e
tresperça parmy le honme e ensement la femme. E adonque cessa cele vengaunce
entre les fils de Israel, mes avaunt furent ocis par la vengaunce de Dieu xxiiijm des
honmes pur lur fornicaciouns.
¶ Lors dist Dieu a Phynees, “Vous avez torné ma yre de les fitz de Israel, e je say qe
vous me avez pur ce qe vous preistes vengaunce de mes enymis.” E cely qe Fynees
ocist fust apelé Zambry le fitz Salu myht. E la femme Madianyte fust apelé Cozby la
file Sur, le noble prince des Madianytes. Uncore dit Dieu a Moysen, “Ferez les
Madianytes pur ce que eux se porterent enymiablement encountre nous.”
¶ E de cel temps en avaunt fust Fynees grant mestre e seigneur entre les Hebreus,
e de Dieu privé e amé. [Compare Numbers 25.]
E de cet histoyre qui plus oyer vodra en la Byble en le lyvre de Nounbre le trovera,
e ce apoy al fyn de meysme le lyvre. E qe bon fyn avera la joie de ciel ne perdra.
¶ Lords, you have heard very often various stories from the Bible, of which many
are of Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and many others of whom
I now have leisure to speak.
Jacob and Esau were two twin brothers begot of one pregnancy. Esau by natural law
ought to have had [the birthright] of having issued from his mother’s womb before
Jacob, and by the same law he ought to have had the blessing that Jacob had. And
because God did not at all wish this, Jacob supplanted Esau of the one and the other.
And for this is Jacob called “supplanter.” [Compare Genesis 25:23–24, 27:36.]
It happened that Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter by four women, of whom
the first and the next were free, and the two common women were handmaids.
By Leah were conceived Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zabulun, and a
daughter named Dinah.
By handmaid Bilhah, he conceived Dan and Naphtali.
By handmaid Zilpah, Gad and Asher.
By free [Rachel], Joseph and Benjamin. [Compare Genesis 34:1, 35:22–26.]
Leah and Rachel were sisters and the daughters of Laban his uncle, whom Jacob
married in Haran. [Compare Genesis 29:16–30.]
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of the other children. And Joseph had, after the
death of Rachel his mother, accused his brothers that, whenever it pleased them,
they had slept with their stepmothers. And for this his brothers hated him to the
Joseph dreamed that his brothers and he bound sheaves in the fields, and their
sheaves bowed down and worshiped him, and the sun and the moon and eleven
stars bowed down and worshiped him. Joseph recounted this vision to his father.
And the father said to him, “Dear son, it will yet happen that I and my eleven sons
shall obey you. And you shall be lord of us all, and we your slaves.” And for this his
brothers hated him all the more. And they said that they would kill him.
Jacob commanded Joseph to go into the fields to his brothers and bring back news
of them and their animals. For at this time men lived close to their animals and
their herds, and shepherds were hardy and strong so as to guard their animals
from lions and other wild beasts. Joseph came to a field and could not at all find
his brothers. Thereupon a young man asked him what he was looking for, and he
said to him his brothers. He said, “Just a bit earlier I heard your brothers say, ‘Let
us go to Dothan,’ and there | you shall find them.”
When his brothers saw him coming from afar, they said, “Here comes the dream-
er. Now it will be seen how these dreams will benefit him. We will kill him.”
Reuben, the eldest of them all, said to them, “Do not in any way shed his blood,
but let him be put in that old pit, and he will die there.” And he said this because he
wished to deliver him from their hands and return him living to the father. And when
he came, they immediately put him in the deep pit. And then they sat down to eat.
Afterwards Reuben went to tend the animals. Thereupon merchants came from
Gilead toward Egypt. Then said Judah to them, “Let us sell Joseph our brother to
these merchants, who will take him to a foreign land where we will never more
hear anything of him.” They sold him to the merchants for twenty deniers.
Not long afterwards Reuben came to the pit and wished to take Joseph out. But
he did not find him at all, and knew nothing of the sale. And he lamented fiercely,
tearing his clothes. And he did not know what to do.
The brothers took the tunic that his father had newly made for him, and stained
it with the blood of an animal that they had killed. And they carried it to the
father. And they asked if this was the tunic of Joseph his son. And when Jacob saw
it, he said, “A wicked wild beast has devoured Joseph my son.” And he made such
grief that no man could make greater. And he said that he would descend to hell
weeping for his son. No one was able to console him, so great was the sorrow for
his son whom he loved so much. [Compare Genesis 37.]
The merchants who had bought Joseph sold him to Potiphar, the seneschal of
King Pharaoh of Egypt. And he gave him, on account of his beauty, to the king in
order to serve him. And for his beauty and goodness, he was loved by all.
It happened that the queen privately asked him to sleep with her. And he said to
her, “Lady,” he said, “our lord the king loves me so much that whatever he has is
in my keeping, by his command. You are, my lady, the queen, and it would do you
great treason were I to wrong in this way my lord the king.”
And he departed from the queen, who forcibly seized his cloak and began to cry
out and shout. And she said to everyone that this Hebrew slave would have taken
her by force had she not cried out.
When the king knew about this, he commanded him to be imprisoned. And he was
in prison a long time. [Compare Genesis 39.]
Joseph did not eat any of the foods of the Egyptians, who were pagans, except for
The jailers loved Joseph so much that he was entirely free to do whatever he
pleased among them.
¶ It happened that the master butler and master baker of the court were sentenced
to that same prison for misdeeds that they had done to King Pharaoh.
The butler dreamed that a vine appeared before him, from which three branches
issued, flowered, and ripened so much that grapes grew out: “From those grapes
I made wine issue, and I used a goblet to serve the king.” Then said Joseph to him,
“The three branches are three days, after which you will be released from prison
and will serve the king in your office as you did before. And then, for God’s sake,
think about helping me, who am here unjustly, as God knows.”
¶ “I dreamed,” said the baker, “that I carried on my head three baskets full of
breads and other foods of my office. And the birds of the sky came and ate those
foods.” Then said Joseph to him, “Upon the third day you will be released from
prison, and then hung and beheaded. And the birds of the sky will eat your flesh.”
And all this happened as Joseph said. [Compare Genesis 40.] |
Two years after this deliverance, King Pharaoh dreamed a dream that no one knew
how to interpret. Then, for the first time, the butler remembered Joseph who had
for a long time remained in prison. And he recounted to the king how he and the
baker dreamed, and how Joseph interpreted it and said exactly what would happen
The king had Joseph brought before him, and said, “I dreamed the other night
that, as I was near a river, I looked toward a very fertile pasture. And seven cows
there weighed the fattest that I had ever seen. And seven exceedingly thin ones
came afterwards, and ate the grass and devoured the seven fat cows. And they still
remained as thin or more than they were before.
¶ “And I dreamed afterwards that it happened that I saw grow seven ears of corn
full of kernels, and seven others grew nearby without having any kernels. And they
destroyed the seven ears with kernels. Interpret these two visions, if you know how
“Sire,” said Joseph, “these two visions are one. The seven fat cows and the ears with
many kernels signify seven years that will arrive so abundant of grasses, grains, and
all kinds of growing food that never have such sights been so bountiful. The seven
thin cows and the seven ears without kernels signify seven years that will arrive
immediately afterwards and devour all the plenty that came before. And there will
be such famine that all your people will die of hunger if you do not act very wisely.”
¶ King Pharaoh saw that Joseph was wise and perceptive. And in accord with his
advisers that he then had, he made Joseph governor of all the realm of Egypt. And
he commanded that all the people be under his direction. And custody of the
chariots and all his possessions he entrusted to him.
And Pharaoh took from his finger his ring and placed it on Joseph’s finger, and
placed around his neck a gold chain. And he commanded that all kneel down
before him, and had him called by everyone “Savior of the world.” And all the
realm was led and governed by him, and all was under his jurisdiction, except that
the king alone retained the name of king. The king married him to Asenath, a very
noble girl, the daughter of Potiphera, a great teacher and priest of the Egyptian
law born in Heliopolis, a rich city. Joseph had passed thirty years when he was
delivered from prison.
Joseph commanded that the fifth part of every kind of grain be stored. And he
took all the king’s treasure and bought grain throughout the realm. And he built
granaries and placed them under strong guard. When the good years had passed,
the scarce years came. And within the first two years all the country was in famine.
Joseph sold his grain and amassed a wondrous amount of treasure. He bought at
the king’s expense fields, rents, and great estates everywhere. Joseph had begotten
by God, in the first two good years, two sons by his wife: Manasseh was the elder
and Ephraim the younger. [Compare Genesis 41, 47:13-21.]
In the land of Canaan, which was very far away, by the river Jordan, where Jacob
lived, there was great famine. Jacob commanded his ten sons to take gold and
silver, and go to Egypt to buy wheat. Benjamin remained at home with his father.
The ten brothers came to Joseph and kneeled before him. And they asked that he
grant their wish | to sell from his grain. When Joseph saw them, he knew them at
once, and knew quite well their language. But he did not wish to speak with them
without an interpreter. He asked them from whence they came.
Reuben the eldest told him from the land of Canaan, and that their father and
Benjamin their youngest brother were there, very distressed by lack of grain, and
that they were all ten brothers of one father, and the eleventh at home with the
father, “and our twelfth brother was lost. We do not know what became of him.”
“I know well,” said Joseph, “that you are strong and vigorous, and that you have
come to spy upon our land. And for this I will hold you in my prison. But if it is
true what you have told me about your father and your youngest brother, I want
one of you to go to your father with the wheat I will sell to you.”
They cried out to him for mercy, and said that they were law-abiding people. He
had compassion on his brothers, and said to them, “I want one of you to remain
in my prison, and nine to go to their land with the grain. And when you return,
you shall bring to me your youngest brother. And when I see that you are law-
abiding people, then all will be well.”
Reuben said in his language to his brothers, “It is right that we should have this
trouble because we sinned deeply in respect to our brother. And I told you this
often, and you did not want to listen to me. And likewise regarding our father, who
still does not cease to show his sorrow for the loss of him.”
Simeon remained in Joseph’s prison. By the commandment of Joseph their sacks
were filled with wheat. And Joseph commanded his servant that whatever they had
given for the wheat be returned secretly to each in his sack. They took leave and
went away. Simeon remained under guard. When they returned home, they
recounted to Jacob their whole business. And he considered himself wholly tricked
because Simeon remained in prison and Benjamin had to go to Egypt. They
opened their sacks and found all the money that they had paid, at which they
And Jacob did not know what to do. But whatever might happen, he said, they
would tender their loyalty.
Then said Reuben, “Father, I have two sons whom I will give to you, if you
please, until the return of Benjamin.” [Compare Genesis 42.]
“Now prepare yourself and go with God, dear sons. May he lead you back in joy.”
¶ When they came before Joseph, they kneeled before him. And to him they
rendered Benjamin their youngest brother. Then Joseph commanded that Simeon
be restored to them, and that their sacks be filled with wheat. And all the money
that they had brought was secretly given to each in his sack. And in Benjamin’s
sack was placed a cup that was very dear to Joseph.
They stayed there three days. And they ate by themselves because they were
Hebrews. And whatever they spoke among themselves Joseph understood quite
well, and they did not know this at all. And Joseph himself served them food. And
at each meal Benjamin received more than two others, about which they wondered
and greatly feared that they were being tricked.
Reuben spoke privately to the server. “Sire,” he said, “regarding the wheat that we
bought here last time, when we came home, we found in our sacks all the money
that we paid you. And we wondered at this. And for this, sire, now we have
reported it to you.”
“Do not be concerned about this,” he said, “for what you found in your sacks, your
gods have thus given to you.” [Compare Genesis 43, 44:1-2.]
¶ All the brothers, kneeling, took leave of Joseph and went away. They had barely
proceeded before two servants and others came after them. And they commanded
them all | to stop and open their sacks. And they found the cup. When the
brothers saw this, they were quite dismayed, and held themselves tricked and in
danger of death.
When they were brought before Joseph, he reproached them most harshly about the
cup, and said that they had repaid him badly for the kindness he had done them.
They did not know what to do. Therewith they all offered themselves as his slaves
at his will.
He said, “I desire that you all depart in peace, and your youngest brother in whose
sack my cup was found, that he remain at my will.”
Then said Judah, “Sire, many thanks. Please, sire, understand that our father is
very old. And if this son is taken from him, he will die of grief because ever since
he lost a son whom he never afterwards had for his comfort, no solace has been
able to avail him. For God’s sake, sire, have mercy on our father and on us, that we
not be the cause of his death.” [Compare Genesis 44.]
¶ Joseph felt great compassion at this, and tears fell from his eyes. And he com
manded all his household to leave the room. And they went away. [Not in the Bible.]
Then said Joseph in a raised voice, weeping tenderly, and he spoke Hebrew, “I am
Joseph your brother, whom you sold to the merchants that brought me to Egypt.
And for your safety, God thus appointed me. And thus have I all lordship and
governance over all Egypt, and all is at my command. And had I followed the
queen’s counsel, God would not have permitted me to enjoy this honor. This
scarcity has lasted two years and will continue five more. And for this I wish that
our father, your wives, your children, and our close lineage come to me. And I will
give to them the land of Goshen, where they will be able to live.”
The brothers wondered greatly. He said, “Do not at all wonder at this. I am your
brother. And you may know that I knew you because when I seated you to eat, I seated
you each according to his rank, first the eldest, then the second, then the third,
and each of you according to his rank.” And he hugged them and kissed them and
received them with great honor. When his household knew that these were Joseph’s
brothers, they honored them greatly. And the king himself commanded that they
be received grandly, and that he should send honorably for his entire lineage.
¶ Joseph ordered chariots, pack horses, and ten asses to be equipped with food,
robes, and treasure, in order that his father and kinsman be escorted back to him.
And he gave Benjamin three hundred silver deniers for himself, and three hundred
silver deniers to bring to his father, and five very costly and choice garments.
When they came to Jacob, they told him the whole story of how they had sold
Joseph, and the whole truth without hiding anything.
When Jacob heard this, then his spirit came back to life, and he rose up as
though from sleep. [Compare Genesis 45.]
And he made such joy that he could not make greater, and said, “Now I remember
the dream of Joseph my son about which I told you, that he would be governor and
lord of us all. Now I understand well that whatever God wishes to have done, no one
can undo.” | Jacob made sacrifice to God before going to Egypt. And God showed
[Jacob] that he would go to Egypt, and that he would be with him.
¶ Jacob and his sons and his kinsmen were received in Egypt with great honor. And
Joseph was very happy that he had seen his father. And the Hebrews experienced
great joy when they first saw Joseph. [Not in the Bible.]
The king himself honored them. And he spoke with five of Joseph’s brothers very
amiably, and asked them what their trades were. And they said that they were
shepherds of their herds and his slaves, if it were pleasing to his will. The king
commanded that the land of Goshen be given to them, and that they be lodged well.
¶ The king asked Jacob how old he was. “Sire,” he said, “I am now of the age of
one hundred and thirty years.”
Jacob and his people settled with great honor in the land of Goshen. The people
of the country and of the kingdoms surrounding Joseph gave him gold, silver, all
their herds, lands, rents, and whatever they had, in exchange for grain. And when
they had no more to pay for grain, they became slaves to King Pharaoh in order
to have their sustenance.
¶ Joseph commanded them to sow their lands, and he would find seed for them
and also whatever necessity they had there until they had stored the first harvest.
And of this crop he would have the fifth. And forever afterwards, as a sign of
homage, they would render to the king the fifth part of their annual wheat harvest.
And this they granted. And this rent still exists in Egypt.
And because the priests of the land were not obligated to sell the lands belonging
to their temples (which were appointed to the service of their temple), they did not
have to become slaves to have their sustenance. And Joseph appointed to them
prescribed deliveries from the king’s granaries.
Jacob and his lineage in the land of Egypt were called Israel by the Egyptians. And
Israel is such as to say “he who sees God,” because is means “man,” ra means
“seeing,” el means “God.” And thus Israel means “a man seeing God.”
¶ Jacob was in Egypt seventeen years. And when he neared death, he called for
Joseph. And he commanded him and had him swear by oath that, when he died,
he would carry him off and have his body buried in the land of Canaan with his
ancestors. [Compare Genesis 47.]
¶ When Joseph saw that his father might not escape death, he took his two
children, Ephraim and Manasseh, and led them before his father, who then was
of the age of one hundred and fifty-seven years. And he asked his father to give his
blessing to him and his children. Jacob blessed Joseph his son because he loved
Joseph took Ephraim his elder son and placed him to the right of Jacob his father,
and Manasseh the younger to the left, and asked his father to bless them. Jacob
transposed his hands in the form of a cross, and placed his right hand on the head
of Manasseh the younger and his left on the head of Ephraim the elder. “Father,”
said Joseph, “place your right on the elder, as reason dictates, and the left on the
younger.” And he wished to move his father’s hands, but the hands were so heavy
that Joseph was not able to move them. “Therefore,” said Jacob, “both will be
great, but the younger will be the greater.” [Compare Genesis 48.]
When Jacob was dead, his sons, according to the custom of the Egyptians, observed
their mourning for forty days. But before his death he had blessed all his sons, each
by his name. His sons with great honor brought him toward Canaan, and when they
had crossed the river Jordan, | they stopped there. And they rested for a whole week,
and observed their mourning and their lamentation. And because of the mourning
that they made, the people of the country call that place the Mourning of Egypt.
When Jacob was buried in the land of Canaan alongside Abraham and Isaac, Joseph
and all the others returned to Egypt. His brothers feared him greatly, and they asked
him for mercy, that he not harm them because they had trespassed against him and
had hated him in his youth. He said, “Have you not seen that I love you and will love
you all my life as I ought my brothers?”
Then Joseph lived for a long time in the country with his brothers and kinsmen
until he had reached one hundred and ten years. And when in sickness he had
assembled his kinsmen, he asked them that, when he was dead, they bury him in
Egypt, and that, when they departed from the land of Egypt, they bring his bones
out of the country with them. When they had all heard his request, they granted
it. Joseph died in great honor. He was buried in Egypt. [Compare Genesis 49-50.]
And at the time when Jacob died, there remained in Egypt, of his sons and his
lineage that issued from him, seventy-five.
¶ When Joseph was dead, and King Pharaoh his lord was dead, the people
increased and multiplied so greatly that it was wondrous. And there were so many
Hebrews that he who then was the king of Egypt feared that they might drive him
and the Egyptians from the land. And he said that he would oppress them at once
with such great hardship and difficult labor that they would not wish to procreate.
And because the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied, the king
made them construct two great cities.
And when he was not able to accomplish anything by this method, he appointed
two ladies, Shiphrah and Puah. And he commanded that they be at every birthing
of the Hebrew women of Israel, and that they should have all the males killed and
preserve the females. The ladies consented to this, but they were good women who
did not wish to offend God. And they did not wish at all, nor dare on account of
piety, to kill any [of them].
When the king knew that none had been killed, he asked the ladies why they had not
followed his command. And they said to him, “Sire, the Hebrew ladies of the sons of
Israel are wiser than we are, and they know their times better than we know them,
and they have given birth before we come to them.” Then the king appointed
reliable justices to go throughout the land, and the males whom they found born
were to be drowned, and the females were to be preserved. [Compare Exodus 1.]
¶ At this time a Hebrew lady gave birth and had a very handsome son. And she hid
and protected his great beauty as best she could. When she had protected him for
three months and saw well that she could no longer hide him from detection, she
made a sturdy vessel and had it well sealed inside and out so that water could not
get in. And she placed it softly in a stream. Mary the baby’s sister followed from a
distance to see what would happen as a result of this. And she made great
Thereupon came the daughter of Pharaoh the king, amusing herself near this
stream. And she saw this vessel floating, and asked what it was. The vessel was
pulled from the water. And the young lady saw that it was a baby. And she said that
she knew well that he was Hebrew, and it would be a deep sadness to kill so
handsome a baby. And she said that she would have him nursed.
Thereupon came Mary the baby’s sister, and said, “My young lady, would you like
me to find for you a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby?”
“Yes,” she said, “I beg of you.”
Mary went running to her mother, and said, “Mother, come now. The king’s
daughter summons you through me that you come to her. And you will have your
baby to nurse, but in no way make known that he is yours.”
The mother went to the king’s daughter, and received the baby to nurse. And then
she had large and numerous gifts in return for the nursing. And the young lady
came often to the nurse, and the nurse to her, to see the baby. And because he was
found near the stream, he was called Moses.
¶ And when Moses was still young, he was very handsome. And the king’s daughter
loved him very much, and the king loved him very tenderly on account of his
One day the king took his crown adorned with an idol and placed it on Moses’s
head. And he took it and threw it to the ground. And the king grew angry. A priest
of their faith saw this and was angry with the baby, and would have had him killed
at once had his lady not been there. And he said that by this one would the crown
of Egypt be brought down. And afterwards thus did it happen.
¶ When Moses was fully grown, he came to where the Hebrews were, by the toils
and oppressions of their labors, overly burdened and poorly treated. And he saw
an Egyptian cruelly strike a Hebrew. Moses felt compassion for his people. In
helping the Hebrew, he struck the Egyptian so that he died instantly. Moses looked
about him and saw no one, and for this he felt very fortunate.
Another day Moses came to the workers and saw an Egyptian violently chide a
Hebrew. Then in a kind manner Moses said to the Egyptian who had done the
wrongful act, “You are not sent here to chide one who is not at fault.”
“Ha, ha,” said the Egyptian. “You dare not kill me as you previously did my
When Moses knew that his crime was discovered, he was very upset and did not
know what to do. When the deed was revealed to the king, he commanded that, if
he could be seized, he should be killed at once.
¶ Moses did not know what to do other than depart the country secretly.
He came to the land of Midian, very far from Egypt, and sat down beside a well
where the shepherds were wont to water their flocks. Then there came the seven
daughters of Reuel, who was of the Hebrew race, and they watered their herd. The
shepherds drove them away from there to water their flocks before them.
¶ Moses bravely defended the maidens, and said, “As their flocks came first, | first
shall they be watered.”
The maidens went home and told their father how a foreign man had protected
them from the shepherds. And he asked them why they had not brought him to
the house with them. And they told him, “Blessed father, we did not at all know
“Go quickly,” he said, “after him.”
One of them went to the well and found him. And she led him with her to Reuel
her father, who received him, and retained his services with an oath. And then he
gave him Zipporah his daughter, by whom he engendered two sons, Eliezer and
Gershom. And he thanked God greatly that he had freed him from the hand of
King Pharaoh. Moses greatly loved his sons, and he taught them to love God and
to fear his power above all things. [Compare Exodus 2.]
¶ Pharaoh the king of Egypt died. And another King Pharaoh came afterwards and
reigned in Egypt. And with his power he suppressed the Hebrew people more than
his predecessor had done. But God with his power freed them fully. [Compare
One day Moses watched the sheep of Reuel his father-in-law in the pasture near
Mount Horeb. He saw on the hill a burning bush from which a wondrous flame
emerged, and it appeared to burn fiercely and not to burn up at all.
Moses wished to approach the bush. And a voice said to him, “Moses, stay there,
and remove your shoes, for the place where you are is holy. I am God, who am
come to speak with you. I have heard in heaven the cry of my Hebrew people,
whom the king oppresses so cruelly in Egypt. And you shall go to him from me,
and say that I command him to permit my people to leave his realm and go there
where you shall lead them. And I shall be in your mouth and teach you whatever
you are to say.”
“Lord,” said he, “I am not eloquent at all. Send another, whomever you wish.”
And God pretended to be angered, and said, “Now go, and you shall meet Aaron
your brother, who will have great joy of you. And the two of you shall go together.
And he is very eloquent and so wise that he knows well how to convey my message
to the king. And I shall be in your mouths whenever you speak. And this rod you
shall carry with you, and therewith shall you make my signs.”
Moses took the rod, and God said to him, “What are you holding?”
“Lord,” he said, “a rod.”
“Throw it from you.”
He threw it to the ground, and instantly it became a snake. And Moses began to
And God said to him, “Take it by the tail.” And he took it, and instantly it became
Said God, “Put your hand into your bosom.” And he did so.
“Now, take out your hand.” And he did so. And then the hand was stricken with
leprosy so hideously that he was amazed.
“Put your hand into your bosom.” And he did so.
“Now, take it out.” And he did so. And then it was completely sound.
“By these signs,” said God, “the people of Israel will know that you have spoken
with me. And I shall give them a rich and bountiful land flowing with milk and
honey, the land of the Canaanite, Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite, Jebusite,
¶ Moses went to take leave of Reuel his father-in-law, and he told him the
commandment of God. He took Zipporah his wife and his two sons, and they
proceeded on the road to Egypt. Thereupon came an angel. And it seemed to
them that he wished to kill the older son. And Zipporah saw this, and she quickly
took a stone and circumcised her son. And the angel then left them. The child bled
fiercely, and Zipporah said to Moses, “For you I have shed the blood of my son,
and you are married by blood to me. If I had taken a husband of the lineage to
which I was born, I would not have bloodied my hand like this.” And for this Moses
said he did not wish to take her with him. And the child was very weak. And for this
Moses sent them back to stay with Reuel her father.
¶ Then Moses went toward Egypt and met Aaron his brother, who had much joy
of him. Moses recounted what God had commanded of him, and about the rod and
the hand and all his other affairs. They came to King Pharaoh and informed him
of the command of their God, and that he should let the Hebrew people go for
three days into the wilderness and make a sacrifice to him.
When the king heard this, he spoke very contemptuously to them, “Who is this
God? I do not care about your God. But now I know well from you that the Hebrew
people are too comfortable in my land. And for this they are excessively proud.”
And he commanded that everywhere they should be more grievously oppressed
than they were before. [Compare Exodus 3-4, 5:1-9.]
Moses asked God for help. And God filled Pharaoh’s land with flies, which caused
them great troubles everywhere. But in the land of Goshen, where the Hebrews
lived, no fly came.
Pharaoh asked Moses to rid his land of flies, and he would permit them to
sacrifice in his own land. And Moses did not wish this unless [it be] three days away
from his land. The king granted this to him. And when they were rid of the flies,
then the king revoked what he had previously granted.
Then God visited upon all of Pharaoh’s realm the death of animals, and still the
king did not want to grant Moses his request. God commanded Moses and Aaron
to take the dust of the earth and throw it upward. And they did so. And such
torment and bodily illness came to Egypt that the king’s magicians and all the
people were so distressed that they could not endure it. And still the king did not
wish to comply.
God visited upon the land of Egypt hail, wind, thunders, lightning mixed with fire,
which struck down trees, houses, arbors, grasses, in flames. When the king saw that
he could not endure it, then he granted whatever Moses wished. And when they
were delivered, then he quickly revoked it.
These misfortunes and many others God visited upon the land of Egypt, and filled
it with frogs and with maggots. And in the end he made such mortality of men that
in every house the eldest son died. And the son of the king himself died. And in
all Goshen no trouble or damage came from all these misfortunes. And the dead
When the king saw this, then he permitted the Hebrew people to go. But,
principally, God visited ten plagues upon Egypt before the people were able | to
gain leave to go out of the land of Egypt for three days to make their sacrifice, the
which plagues are indicated by these two verses:
¶ Blood, frog, gnat, flies, herd, ulcers, hail,
Locust, darkness, death seizes by killing.
¶ Then was the number of the Hebrews six hundred thousand, not counting
women, children, and servants. God commanded them to prepare for their journey
and to borrow from their Egyptian neighbors their costly garments, vessels, gold
and silver, and all the valuables that they might. And they lent them willingly to
them because they understood that they would return quickly. Four hundred and
thirty years had passed since the people of Israel first came to Joseph in Egypt.
[Compare Exodus 7-12.]
Moses took the bones of Joseph, as that one had requested of his sons, and left with
all the people toward the Red Sea. And a cloud in the form of a pillar passed
before them to show them their path. And when night fell, a brightness from above
passed before them so that they would not be led astray. And they encamped in
Etham. [Compare Exodus 13:19-22.]
And God commanded Moses that the people move forward and encamp between
Migdol and the Red Sea. And the people did this. And they said that, should
Pharaoh then come, all would be ruined because they were enclosed by the sea and
Migdol in such a way that they would not be able to flee or escape, “and perhaps
we have been led here to be killed, so that we can have the number of graves that
we were not able to have in Egypt.”
Then said Moses, “Do not be dismayed by anything nor fear the king in anything
because God will fight for you.”
The king assembled five hundred chariots and an innumerably large host and all
the best men of his realm, and followed the Hebrews. Moses at the commandment
of God raised his rod and struck upon the Red Sea. And a misty road appeared
there, and the sea stopped itself on one side and the other as though it were a wall.
And the Hebrew people passed the sea safely by that path. The king and his host
and his chariots entered the same path. But when Moses had arrived with his
people, he then struck the sea with his rod. And the sea enclosed the king and all
his people in such a way that not even one escaped, for they were all drowned.
[Compare Exodus 14.]
¶ Moses, Aaron, and Mary their sister stood and saw the king’s chariots and his
men overturned in the sea. They were very joyous. Mary took her tambourine with
other women, and they sang first, and others sang after:
¶ “Let us sing to the Lord, for gloriously” etc.
¶ For three days they traveled through the wilderness and found no water.
Then they came to Marah and found plentiful water, but it was so bitter that none
could consume it, for which reason it was called marah, that is, “bitterness.”
God showed a tree to Moses. And he took it and placed it in the water, and it was
very sweet. And the Hebrews drank plentifully and watered their animals. From
there they turned toward Elim, where they found twelve fountains and seventy
palm trees. [Compare Exodus 15.]
And they rested in Sin, between Sinai and Elim, | in a very delightful place.
The people made a great grumbling to Moses that they had had abundant food in
Egypt, but now they had been led against their will into the wilderness and scarcely
survived on account of hunger.
Moses spoke to God about this. And he said to him that he would rain bread from
the sky for them. And he commanded that they gather each day what was sufficient
for them, without [gathering] more and without storing any. And on the sixth day,
double would rain for them because, on the seventh, nothing would rain. And on
that sixth day they should gather for two days.
When the Hebrews saw the bread from the sky fall among them, they said, “Manhu,
manhu,” in their language, wondering, “what is this?” That is to say, “Manna,
manna, quid est hoc?” Manna is an interjection denoting wonder, and the bread is
called manna. Then it was said that the people had taken more of this bread than
was sufficient for them, and that it had spoiled. Then Moses grew very angry, and
he took a measure that was called a gomor. And with this measure they divided their
bread among themselves, and on the sixth day they doubled it. And upon this
bread they lived forty years, for as long as they were in the wilderness. [Compare
¶ And from Sin the people went to Rephidim. And when they found no water
there, they chided God and Moses. And Moses feared that they wished to stone
him. And then God commanded Moses to strike upon the rock of Horeb with his
rod. And he did so. And an abundance of water issued from the hard rock,
from which all drank.
And God took vengeance on the Hebrews for their chiding, for King Amalek came
against them with a large host. And Moses commanded Joshua with the best of the
Hebrews to issue forth in battle against Amalek. And the Hebrews were well armed.
Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed a hill to watch the combatants. Moses prayed to
God for the Hebrews, and raised his hands toward the sky. And as long as his
hands were raised, his people were victorious. And when they were lowered,
Amalek’s people had the advantage. And because Moses himself was not able to
keep his hands raised, Aaron and Hur held them up until evening, and his Hebrew
people had the advantage. [Compare Exodus 17.]
¶ From Rephidim they journeyed and encamped in a valley beneath Mount Sinai.
Then said God to Moses, “Go sanctify my people, and command that they keep my
commandment. And say that for three days no one should approach either the foot
of Mount Sinai or his wife, but that they should wash their clothes. And I will
descend in a cloud to speak with them and show my glory. And if any of them
behaves otherwise, he will die a hideous death.”
¶ The third day having passed, thunder and lightning were heard on Mount Sinai,
in semblance of when Jesus descended from the Mount and taught all those
listening to hold his precepts and the Word of God. The people trembled in fear
of the Word of God (so fearful was it!), and saw the smoke from the mountain
rise|up, and heard there the trumpet sound. Moses told them that God did it to
test them, and that they should love him the more. [Compare Exodus 19.]
Moses climbed Mount Sinai and spoke with God. And God commanded him to tell
his people that they should take gold and silver, precious stones, vestments, and
other costly valuables that they had, and that they should have a tabernacle built
according to the plan and ordinance of God. [Compare Exodus 25-26.]
The building of the structure was assigned to Bezalel son of Uri and to Oholiab,
who were skillful in every manner of work. The tabernacle was built according to
the specifications of God himself, and you may well know that richly, skillfully, and
nobly was the tabernacle built, as God himself ordained. And he gave the workers
the knowledge to accomplish it according to his plan. A richer earthly thing could
not be seen by eye when all was built. God commanded that the costly vestments,
the ark of the sanctuary, cups, candelabras, basins, ewers, tables, altar, censers,
valuables, and dias of twisted gold be placed there. I know not how to describe to
you the richness that was there inside the tabernacle. [Compare Exodus 31, 36-39.]
¶ In the first month of the second year, the tabernacle was erected. And God
covered it with a cloud and with a fire from the sky. And so great was this
brightness there that no one dared to approach the tabernacle.
God commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets for assembling the people,
and appointed the sons of Aaron to sound the trumpets. And to assemble the
princes, they sounded them for a short time in low tones. “And for those in the
east, you will sound them longer. And let them sound and resound if you wish
everyone to assemble. And to have those of the south, let the sound go out twice.
If you wish everyone to assemble, then it is appropriate to sound longer. If you
wish to hold a feast, you ought to sound softly and peaceably. And if you wish to
sound for war, sound them roughly and vigorously.” [Compare Numbers 10:1-10.]
When Moses had everyone together, then he commanded all the people to be
be under the rule of Aaron his brother and Hur. And he said to the people that if
anything strange should happen to them, they should go to Aaron and Hur, and
they would tell them what they ought to do. And he himself would climb Mount
Sinai in order to speak with God. And on that mountain he lived forty days without
anything to eat or drink. [Compare Exodus 31:12-18.]
Then God taught Moses from mouth to mouth the law that he should teach to the
Hebrews. And he took two tablets, and inscribed that law, and gave it to Moses.
And the tablets were made of stone.
While Moses was on the mountain, the people came to Aaron, and said
that Moses their leader had passed from them. And they said that they
certainly wished to have a god to worship. Aaron feared their hostility, and
dared not speak against them. And he was afraid that they wished to stone
him. And he granted to them whatever they wanted to have. And he
commanded them to bring gold, rings, brooches, and many other jewels.
And he took them all, and threw | them in a furn¬ace. And when from the furnace
and the fire there issued a golden calf, all the people worshiped it, and said that it
was their god in whom they believed and who had led them out of Egypt. Aaron had
an altar raised, and had it proclaimed that on the next day the ceremony of their
god, which he had made of gold, would be celebrated.
The next day the people took horns, tambourines, and other instruments. They
sang, caroled, and unrestrainedly made music. And because of this golden calf,
they forgot God, Creator of heaven and earth.
God said to Moses, “The people of Israel have entirely forsworn me, and have
abandoned all your teaching. And they have made a golden calf, and worship it,
and call it their god. Consent that I avenge myself upon them and destroy them
all, and I shall make you the ruler of another people.”
“Lord,” he said, “have mercy on your people, and remember the promise that you,
Lord, have vowed to this people. And if you take this vengeance, then the Egyptians
will say that their god has cleverly led them to be killed in the wilderness.”
God said, “Were it not for you, this people would not be spared.”
¶ Moses, having descended from Mount Sinai, came to Joshua and to the elders
who awaited him in a hidden spot. And they heard the outcry and the trumpets
and the music that the people made. Joshua said, “I think the people fight with
“Not at all,” said Moses, “there is no one who assails them.”
When Moses came to the people and saw what they had done, and that they
worshiped the golden calf, he threw down on a rock the stone tablets upon which
God with his finger had inscribed the law that the Hebrews ought to uphold. And he
shattered them in anger. And he took a stick and smashed completely the golden calf
and the altar and whatever the people worshiped. And he grew fiercely angry, and
said that he would exact vengeance. And he asked Aaron how this had happened.
And he begged him for mercy, and told him word for word how he had acted at
the request of the people, and how the golden calf had issued from the furnace and
And Moses cried out, and said, “All those who are of God, come right here from
over there.” And the sons of Levi drew near. “And arm yourselves quickly, and kill
all those people who worshiped the golden calf. And spare no one — relative,
brother, friend, companion, or other.”
Upon this killing, there was much outcry and noise. And killed there were twenty-
three thousand people who worshiped the golden calf. And such vengeance thus
was taken for this sin.
Moses sanctified the people who had done this killing, and highly reproved the
others for the assent by which they had agreed to worship the calf and abandon
God their Creator. “Now I will go to God and pray for mercy for you.” Moses very
devoutly prayed to God for mercy for his people. [Compare Exodus 32.]
“Moses,” said God, “the people are so hard-hearted that they do not believe in me,
nor do they see the miracles I perform. And all those who sin against me I will
remove from my book. And I will send an angel who will destroy the Canaanite,
Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite, Jebusite, and Girgashite. And I will give to your
lineage the land that I promised to your ancestors.”
Moses had the tabernacle taken down and had it pitched in another place. | God
descended in a pillar of cloud before the entrance of the tabernacle. And all, from
their lodgings, bowed down to him very low.
Moses said to God, “Lord, what will I do with this people? I do not dare remove
the tabernacle from here, nor may I conduct or lead this people from here if you
do not wish to go with us. Dear Lord God, show mercy in your compassion for your
people, and permit me, if it please you, that I may see your blessed face.”
God said to him, “I wish for your love to have mercy on the people. But grace you
shall have, though my face you cannot see. Come tomorrow morning to the
mountain, and I shall tell you what to do. And see to it that no animal nor any
other approach the foot of the mountain.”
¶ When the others were asleep, Moses climbed the mountain until he saw the pillar
of cloud. And Moses bowed very low before it, and said, “Dear Lord King and God
Omnipotent, have mercy on your people and me, and give grace to us so that we
shall be able to love, worship, and serve you. And come with us, and never abandon
us, for you well know that hard-hearted is your people.”
God said to him, “I will show you by a sign that I am God Omnipotent and that I
love you. Keep well my commandment, and I shall destroy all people who oppose
you. I shall destroy Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, Jebusite. And take care
that you have no friends or companions at all who are of their way of living.
Destroy altars, temples, idols. And honor no god, other than me, who speaks to
you. And teach this to the people. And carry these two tablets with you, which I
have inscribed for you. And teach them the law.”
Moses took the tablets and descended from the mountain. And he taught the
people the word of God. And the people who saw him wondered greatly that he
had two horns on his head, and hesitated to go to him. And Moses said, “Why do
you not come to me?” And the people said to him, “You have horns that you did
not have before.” When Moses perceived this, he covered his face, and knew well
that this was from God.
And he always covered it when he was outside the tabernacle. And when he was
inside, then he uncovered it. [Compare Exodus 33-34.]
¶ Moses comforted the people and taught them as God had commanded him. [Not
in the Bible.]
¶ In the second year after they had entered the wilderness, God came and
commanded Moses that he should now record his people, that those who were
twenty years old or more should be recorded in troops (the younger ones and
others were to be written down for various other offices and labors), and that from
each lineage a prince would be made to govern the people, except that the lineage
of Levi would not be written down for battle or for labor. [Compare Numbers 1:1-4.]
¶ Of the lineage of Reuben the eldest, were forty-six thousand, not counting
women and children, of whom Elizur the son of Shedeur was prince to lead them
and organize their troop. [Compare Numbers 1:5, 1:20-21, 2:10-11.]
¶ Of the lineage of Simeon, fifty-nine thousand and three hundred, not counting
women and children, of whom Shelumiel was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:6, 1:22-
23, 2:12-13.] |
[quire 11] ¶ Of the lineage of Gad, forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty, of
whom Eliasaph was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:14, 1:24-25, 2:14-15.]
¶ Of the lineage of Judah the good warrior, seventy-four thousand and six
hundred, of whom Nahshon son of Amminadab was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:7,
¶ Of the lineage of Issachar, fifty-four thousand four hundred, of whom
Nethanel the son of Zuar was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:8, 1:28-29, 2:5-6.]
¶ Of the lineage of Zabulun, fifty-seven thousand four hundred, of whom Eliab the
son of Helon was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:9, 1:30-31, 2:7-8.]
¶ Of Ephraim and Manasseh who were the sons of Joseph, seventy-two
thousand and seven hundred, from the one lineage, Elishama, and from the other,
Gamaliel. [Compare Numbers 1:10, 1:32-35, 2:18-21.]
¶ Of the lineage of Benjamin, thirty-five thousand and four hundred, of whom
Abidan was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:11, 1:36-37, 2:22-23.]
¶ Of the lineage of Dan, forty-two thousand and seven hundred, of whom Ahiezer
was prince. [Compare Numbers 1:12, 1:38-39, 2:25-26.]
¶ Of the lineage of Asher, forty-one thousand five hundred, of whom Pagiel was
prince. [Compare Numbers 1:13, 1:40-41, 2:27-28.]
¶ Of the lineage of Naphtali, fifty-three thousand four hundred, of whom Ahira was
prince. [Compare Numbers 1:15, 1:42-43, 2:29-30.]
¶ When all were counted, appointed, and written down — only of those who were
twenty years old or more, who would be engaging in battle — then the number was
six hundred and three thousand five hundred fifty good men, not counting women
and children and also common servants, and not counting the line of Levi, of
whom you have not heard anything yet. [Compare Numbers 1:44-47, 2:32-33.]
¶ God spoke to Moses and commanded that the lineage of Levi be counted, of
whom there were twenty-two thousand, not counting women and children. And of
these, twenty thousand five hundred and fifty were thirty years old or more. And to
this lineage, by the commandment of God, was entrusted the tabernacle and the
ark, and the precious vestments and ornaments that were inside, to serve and to
pro¬tect. And to carry the tabernacle itself, it was ordained to the strongest of this
line, fourteen thousand. And to the ark and other things — censers, altars, ewers,
basins — they were ordained, as was their office. The cattle, camels, horses, and
other animals that bore the holy things or carried anything pertaining to the
tabernacle were covered with well-fitted costly garments. And the holy things were
enclosed very richly in most precious cloths and vessels. [Compare Numbers 1:48-54,
In the first month of the second year, the people left the foot of the mountain. And
a cloud in the wilderness covered the tabernacle, and a cloud moved, leading the
people forward. [Compare Numbers 9:1, 9:17.]
¶ Then Moses spoke to Hobab the son of Reuel of the line of Israel (the brother of
Moses’s wife), who came to Moses with the wife and two sons of Moses, Eliezer and
Gershom, whom he had engendered in the land of Midian. And Reuel himself
came there when Amalek was conquered. And Moses asked Hobab very tenderly
if he might wish to go with them. And he said that he would return to the land of
Midian from which he came. | Moses said to him that if he wished to go with them,
he would have great authority over everyone because he knew well how to be a lord
and leader. Then Hobab consented to go with them.
Then all the people set out, and the cloud passed before them. When they had
journeyed for three days, then the people grumbled against God and said that they
were tormented too much, and they spoke among themselves that they had journeyed
with difficulty ever since they came from Egypt. Then God grew very angry,
and visited a fire from the sky on this people, and destroyed many of them. Then
Moses prayed for the people, and God had the fire end. And because of this fire,
the place where the fire first burned is called the Burning.
¶ When they came to the Graves of Covetousness, there they pitched their tents.
And the tabernacle was raised. Then the Hebrews grumbled against God because
they had no food to eat except manna, and they wanted to have meat to eat. Moses
heard the grumbling of the people. And he prayed God that he grant him
assistance in governing so many people, and that he send them meat because they
desired it intensely.
God came down in the cloud into the tabernacle, and commanded Moses to bring
to the tabernacle seventy of the oldest and wisest Hebrews. And Moses did it. God
took of the spirit of Moses and filled the seventy Hebrews with this spirit. And then
they became wise in prophecy and very devoted to assisting Moses. God said that
the people who desired to have meat would have it plentifully enough for a whole
Then said Moses, “Lord, where might you have so many animals — cattle or sheep
— or meat that would suffice for so many people a whole month?”
God knew what he wished to do. A wind began to blow in which many quail
came through the pastures and fell down everywhere so thickly that the people
gathered them and made large mounds. And there were so many that the people
did not know what to do with them. God took vengeance for the covetousness of
the people: he sent plague among them by which many people died.
[Compare Numbers 10-11.]
¶ From there they went to Hazeroth. Then said Mary to Aaron, “Why doesn’t God
speak to us as he does to Moses our brother? Does God do this only for him, and
not at all for us and our merit?”
And God, who knew well that she said this through envy, came down in the cloud
into the tabernacle, and spoke to Mary in front of Moses and Aaron, and said,
“How are you so bold as to slander my servant behind his back, to whom I myself
speak mouth to mouth? And I love him | and he me, and I speak to him and not
at all to you nor to others except by sign or by dream.”
And for this slander God struck Mary with hideous leprosy. Aaron was
greatly dismayed on account of Mary his sister, and asked Moses to pray to God for
her. And Moses did so.
Then said God to him, “After seven days she will be entirely healed.”
She was removed and separated from the people seven days, after which she was
entirely healed and returned to the people. [Compare Numbers 12.]
¶ Then all the people moved from Hazeroth to Paran. Then by the commandment
of God Moses took twelve men from the twelve lineages, namely Shammua,
Shaphat, Caleb the son of Jephunneh, Joshua, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel the son of Sodi,
Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur the son of Michael, Nahbi, Geuel the son of Machi. These
twelve were sent from Paran to spy upon the land of Canaan that God had
promised to the Hebrews.
These twelve went from Paran to the south toward Canaan, and they traversed the
land of Canaan. And then they returned, and said that the land of Canaan was very
rich and filled with all good things — a rich and delightful land with woods, waters,
meadows, very beautiful springs, and abundant with all fruits:
“The cities are well furnished with walls. And the people are very ready for war.
And there, there are giants of the line of Anak, strong and brave and large. Toward
the south dwells Amalek.
¶ “In the mountains are Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites. The Canaanites are next to the
sea on the bank of the river Jordan. They would be capable of devouring us
completely, were they to encounter us.” [Compare Numbers 13.]
When Caleb and Joshua saw the Hebrews becoming disheartened, they said,
“Lords, do not believe it! Let us go on. With the aid of God, all is ours. We shall
take all of them at our will.”
The Hebrews were greatly dismayed, and said that it worked out badly for them
that they were led here from their land, where they had had whatever they needed.
And now they are in the wilderness, and are on the brink of dying from hunger,
and will be killed and destroyed by their enemies. And they grumbled to God and
to Moses. And God grew fiercely angry, and came down in the cloud into the
tabernacle, and said that he would destroy all the people on account of their hard
hearts and bad conscience and faith.
Moses prayed him very tenderly and very reverently for mercy. And God said to
him, “Those who have chided and slandered me and have not kept my commandment
shall never see that land that I promised to their ancestors. But to
Joshua and Caleb, who feared me, and to their lineage, I shall give it. And all those
who were written down who were over twenty years old have so wronged me that
they shall die here. And to their children who were not written down as having
twenty years, I shall give this land. And these children shall live here (so very
wretched were their fathers!), and for forty years I shall lead them through the
wilderness. And afterwards I shall give them that land.”
Moses said to the Hebrews that God would take great vengeance for their
misdeeds. They wept and made great mourning for their crimes against God, and
said that they would go to the land of Canaan and destroy all their enemies that
they could find. Moses said, “You shall not go against your enemies at all, for God
is not at all with you. And for | this you will not be able to accomplish anything, but
you will be vilely abused by your enemies.”
They said that they wished to go. The next day they climbed a large mountain and
saw their enemies. Then they went down and ran against them. Thereupon Amalek
came from one side, and the Canaanites from the other side, and struck upon
them. And the Hebrews received the worst of it, as Moses had told them, for God
was not with them. And many Hebrews were killed and many hurt. And thus did
God take vengeance for their misdeeds. [Compare Numbers 14.]
¶ In the Bible you will now find at this point much writing about the sacrifices that
pagans, Jews, and their kin were wont to make of calves, lambs, and other animals.
And now they have given up all that because they are captives among us. And in
remembrance of their Creator, according to what they say, they make stone sculptures
and paintings every day because they do not want to forget him, for painting
is a book for those who do not have understanding of letters. But now regarding the
Synagogue, which was a temple for the Jews, now it is ordained a Church for Christians
to make their Christian sacrifice. At the time that this writing was made, one
thous¬and one hundred and thirty years had passed since Jesus Christ first was sacrificed
for our sins, which sacrifice each day among Christians is made in remembrance
of their Creator, and will be until the end of the world. [Not in the Bible.]
¶ Then two hundred and fifty companions of the Hebrews gathered together. They
came to Moses and Aaron. Among these companions, Lord Korah, Dathan, and
Abiram were the leaders. Then said Korah, “Moses, we have not gained anything
during the lordship and governance that you have had over us. You shall no longer
be chief or governor over this people. We have no interest in your prelacy. We are
all holy. God is with us.”
When Moses heard this, he was very saddened that the Devil had so deceived them
by pride and envy and by other ugly sins. And he said, “Korah, you say that you are
holy. Tomorrow we shall see your holiness. Bear forth tomorrow your censer and
yourself — together with Dathan and Abiram and all your companions — before
the tabernacle, and place the incense on the coals. And then it shall be seen which
of us God calls.”
Dathan and Abiram, who were wicked and proud, said that they would not carry
a censer for him, and that they would have nothing to do with him. Moses was very
saddened that they were taken by the Devil.
¶ The next day the two hundred and fifty came with their censers before the
tabernacle, but Dathan and Abiram did not come at all. Then God said to Moses
and Aaron, “Remove yourselves from that company so that I may avenge myself
upon them most mightily.”
“God,” they said, “have mercy! Do not permit so many people to perish for the
misdeeds of one or two men.”
Moses by the commandment of God took a good many Hebrews. He came to the
lodgings of Dathan and Abiram, and had them dragged outside. And he said to the
people, “Sirs, God will take vengeance upon Dathan and Abiram. And should he
not take a vengeance upon them different from what he has ever taken upon
others, do not ever believe that he is the true God. And you will see this | openly,
for too excessively in their pride, haughtiness, arrogance, and disobedience have
they sinned against God their Creator, who has granted to them great honor
When Moses had said this before all the people who were assembled to see what
Moses would do, the earth drew apart and opened, and devoured and swallowed
up Dathan and Abiram entirely alive. And they let out a cry, “The deep pit of hell!”
And nothing remained of whatever was theirs which the earth did not devour
All the people who saw this ran up and down everywhere, and did not know what
to do. And they all thought they would perish. And they cried to God for mercy,
and asked Moses to pray for them. And they thought they would be utterly
Thereupon came a most horrible fire from the sky. And, in the sight of all the
people, there where the two hundred and fifty companions offered their incense,
it seized them and entirely engulfed them in flames. And such vengeance did God
take upon these two hundred and fifty companions of the Hebrews for their
¶ Then commanded Moses by the precept of God that Eleazar the son of Aaron
take the censers of those who had perished, and scatter the fire, and fashion pieces
from the censers, and fasten them to the altars, for they are sanctified by the death
of the sinners. Thus may this be a sign to the sons of Israel that none of them
should approach the altar to offer incense if he not be of the lineage of Aaron,
should he not wish to perish as Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and the others did.
¶ The following day the Hebrew people complained and made great noise to
Moses and Aaron. And the people said that Moses and Aaron had killed the
people of God. And for fear of the people, Moses and Aaron fled to the tabernacle.
And they entered inside, and the glory of God appeared to them.
And God placed a fire above the people. And Moses commanded Aaron to take a
censer, and stand in the midst of the people, and pray for the people. And he did
so. And the fire ceased, but before the cessation, fourteen thousand and seven
hundred of the Hebrews perished. [Compare Numbers 16.]
¶ God commanded Moses to take from each lineage a rod, and upon these twelve
rods to write the name of the prince on each rod, and one rod shall contain the
names of all their households, and to put them in the tabernacle “as a sign that I
have spoken with you. And the rod of the one I choose shall flower.” And Moses
did the commandment of God, and placed the rods in the tabernacle.
The next day Moses found in the house of Levi the rod of Aaron budding and bearing
flowers, and the leaves extracted from this rod became almonds. Then Moses
carried [the rods] to the sons of Israel and gave to each his rod, but Aaron’s rod remained
in the tabernacle as a sign to the rebellious sons of Israel, and that they
should cease their grumbling and complaints, | so that they not die. [Compare
Then said God to Aaron, “You and your sons and the house of your father shall
bear the sins of the priesthood and shall carry the iniquity of the sanctuary. And
take with you your brothers of the line of Levi and the scepter of your father. And
you and your brothers will be in charge of the priesthood and all that relates to the
altar. If any other approach it, he will be killed. And I give you custody of the first
fruits of offerings and sacrifices, and whatever is given or offered to me for sins or
violations is yours. The first fruits of corn, lands, wines, and oils are yours, and you
shall live upon this.
“Whatever comes first out of the womb of each one — woman or else beast — is
yours. Thus, for the issue of a woman, you shall be given a fee. And for each unclean
beast, you shall receive a payment, which payment shall be made after a month. And
the payment shall be a silver shekel, that is, twenty halfpennies.
“For cattle, sheep, goats, and such — clean beasts — there shall be no payment,
but their blood shall be spread upon the altar, and you shall eat their flesh. And
the fat shall be burned, and the aroma shall be given to the Lord. Of the land of
the Hebrews you shall have nothing, for I myself shall be your land and your
inheritance. And to the sons of Levi I have given possession of all the tithes of the
children of Israel for the service that they perform for me in the tabernacle.”
[Compare Numbers 18.]
¶ Moses by the precept of God commanded that the children of Israel bring
a red cow of full age that had never worn a yoke and had no blemish, and that
it be given to Eleazar the priest, and that he make the sacrifice of this cow
outside the enclosure, in the sight of all, and put his finger in the blood, and
sprinkle it seven times before the doors of the tabernacle, and then have all
the flesh placed in smoke and fire. And the ashes of the cow shall be placed
in a beautiful and clean place in the keeping of the people of Israel, because it was
burned for sin. And the ashes shall be mixed with pure water, and sprinkled on all
the sons of Israel as a sign of purgation of sin. [Compare Numbers 19.]
¶ The people of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin in the first month. And they
lived in Kadesh. And there died Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron. And she was
And the people had a great dearth of water, and complained against Moses and
Aaron. And they came to the tabernacle, and asked God that he give living water
to the people. And God commanded Moses and Aaron, in the sight of all, to strike
with their rods twice on the stone, and water would issue abundantly. And they did
so. Then Moses said to them, “You of hard-hearted belief think that we by the
power of God are not able to give you living water from the hard rock. Now you
may see openly that we can. Cease your complaining, or God will take heavy
vengeance upon you all.” |
¶ Then said God to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe entirely that
you should honor me before the sons of Israel, you will never lead this people to
the land that I have promised them.”
¶ Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, and asked him that the
people of Israel might pass through his land without turning anywhere from the
path, or [without] having or taking anything belonging to him or his people. And
the king of Edom did not wish in any way to grant this. And the people of Israel
turned away from him. And they set out from Kadesh, and came to Mount Hor,
which is on the boundary of the land of Edom.
Then said God to Moses, “Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and lead them to the
top of this mountain. And remove Aaron’s garments, and with these garments
clothe Eleazar his son. And Aaron will die there, for I do not wish at all that he
enter the Promised Land because he did not believe in me so entirely as to honor
me at the Waters of Contradiction before the sons of Israel.”
And Moses did the commandment of God. And when the people saw that Aaron
was dead, they made great mourning, and wept over the corpse for thirty days.
[Compare Numbers 20.]
¶ When the king of Canaan learned through his spies of the coming of the Hebrew
people, he gathered a large people from his realm of Arad and fought with the
Hebrews. And there was the king vanquished. And the Hebrews called the place
of the battle Hormah, that is to say, something like Anathema, which means
“excommunicated.” The Hebrews left from there by the direct road toward the
Red Sea. And they wished to go around the perimeter of the land of Edom, and
they grew very weary from their labor. And they grew angry against God and
Moses, and said that they lacked bread and did not have water, and their spirits
were made sick by such meager food.
God grew very angry at this, and sent fiery serpents throughout the wilderness to
kill and mislead the people who did not believe at all in him or in his power. The
Hebrews of Israel could not endure at all the persecution of the serpents, and cried
out to Moses that he devise a cure for them.
Moses prayed to God for the people. And God commanded him to make a serpent
of brass, and place it at the tip of a spear, so that the people struck by the serpents
might behold this serpent of brass and be cured of their poisoning.
¶ From there the people went to Oboth. And from there to Iye-abarim in the
wilderness near Moab toward the east. And from there they went to the torrent
Zered. And from there they lodged near Arnon, which is in the wilderness near the
border of the Amorites.
Arnon is the border of Moab, separating the Moabites from the Amorites.
Moses by the commandment of God gathered the people of the Hebrews, and God
gave them a well of water. And then Israel sang this song, “Let the well spring up”
etc. | From there Israel went to Mattanah, and then to Nahaliel, then to Bamoth.
Bamoth is a valley in the region of Moab by the summit of Pisgah, facing the
¶ Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, and asked that it might
pass through his land, and neither turn aside anywhere nor take anything of his.
And the king did not wish to permit this. But he gathered a large host, and met
Israel in Jahaz. And there the king and his people were conquered. And his land
was fought over from Arnon to Jabbok. Israel took the towns of King Sihon, and
lived among Amorites, [in] Heshbon and other cities. The town of Heshbon
belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought against the king of Moab
and taken all his lands up to Arnon.
Israel took Jazer and all its inhabitants, and turned by the way of Bashan. And Og
the king of Bashan came with many people against Israel in Edrei and wished to kill
Israel. And Our Lord said to Moses, “Do not ever fear King Og nor his many people.
I will deliver them all into your hand as I did Sihon king of the Amorites.” And when
King Og came to battle, immediately he was defeated. [Compare Numbers 21.]
And Israel, in the fields of Moab by the Jordan, where Jericho is situated, made its
¶ Then said Balak the son of Zippor to the elders of Midian, “This people of Israel
will devour us all as the ox does the grass.” This Balak was at that time king in
Moab. And he summoned by means of envoys Balaam the son of Beor, the
soothsayer who dwelt by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, that he
come to him and see the multitude of the Hebrew people who came from Egypt.
Thus might he see and curse this people, whereby this people would be conquered
the more quickly, because, he said, he knew well that those whom Balaam wished
to curse would be cursed, and those whom he wished to bless would be blessed.
The envoys came to Balaam, and carried the fee of divination. And they explained
to him that with which they were charged. And he said to them that they should
wait until the next day, and he would speak to his master and then answer them.
That night God came to Balaam and asked him who those men were. Balaam
recounted everything to him, word for word. And God commanded that he not go
with them, and that he not curse his people.
The next day Balaam arose, and said to the envoys that they should go back to their
lord, and say that God had forbidden him to go with them. When this response came
to King Balak the son of Zippor, he took other envoys who were of higher rank than
were the first, and summoned Balaam in the same way that he had done before. And
Balaam asked them | to remain for the night. And they did so.
That night God came to Balaam, and said, “If these people have provided for your
coming, go with them, and do not do anything other than what I command you.”
Balaam arose in the morning, and took his two sons, and mounted his ass. And he
rode with the envoys toward King Balak. And as Balaam rode his ass, the angel of
God stood in the middle of the path with a drawn sword and denied the ass the path.
And the ass saw him well, but Balaam could not see him. The ass turned from the
path, and Balaam, who did not know the reason, beat and smote her immoderately.
And he began to go by another path, and the angel came against [him] with his
sword raised. And the ass could not go forward. And Balaam smote and beat her
exceedingly hard. Balaam tried the third path, and the angel came so close to the ass
that she fell down to the ground. And Balaam jumped off and began to beat his ass.
Then by the ordinance of God this ass spoke to Balaam her master, and said, “Why
do you beat me now for the third time? What have I done to you? I have never at
any time done any insults against you, as I now have done, and this is not at all by
my own doing.”
Then God opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel with the sword. And he
wondered greatly at this sight. And he fell to the ground and did honor to the angel.
Then the angel said to him, “I came here because I wished to meet and kill you,
and to permit the ass to live.”
Then said Balaam to him, “I have sinned, and I did not know you were there. And
if it pleases you that I should turn back, I will do it willingly.”
Then said the angel, “Go with these princes, and do not say anything except as I
shall command you.”
When King Balak knew of his coming, he went to meet him, and received him with
¶ The next day the king led Balaam to a mountain called Baal, where he could see
the larger part of the Hebrew people. [Compare Numbers 22.]
Then said Balaam, “Make ready here seven altars, seven calves, and seven sheep.”
Then Balaam took and placed on each altar a calf and a sheep. And he said to the
king, “Wait here awhile near the altar. I will go to see if I may speak to God, and
then I will tell you whatever you ask.”
Balaam spoke with God. And he quickly returned to the king, and said for all to
hear, “Balak king of the Moabites brought me from Aram, from the mountains of
the east, to curse Jacob and anathematize Israel. How can I curse the people that
God has never cursed? How can I anathematize what | God has never
anathematized? He who can count the dust will be able to count the progeny of
Jacob, and who can know the number of Israel? May my soul die in the death of
the righteous, and may my final fate be similar to theirs.”
Thus prophesied Balaam many things concerning Israel.
King Balak grew angry, and said, “I sent for you so that you would please me and
curse my enemies, and you do exactly the opposite.”
Then said Balaam, “I said to your envoys and affirmed to you that I cannot do or
say anything except at the will of God.”
¶ Then the king brought Balaam to a high mountain that is called Pisgah, where
he could see more of the Hebrew people than he had before been able to. Then
Balaam made seven altars, and placed [on them] seven calves and seven sheep, and
went away from the king to pray. And then he returned when he had spoken with
God. And he said to the king, for all the princes to hear, “God is not as other
people, about whom I would lie to you, nor as the son of man who is constantly
changing. I was led here to give a blessing, and I cannot withhold the blessing.
There is no idol at all in Jacob, nor any effigies in Israel. God Our Lord is with them,
who always is blessed. And for this I cannot give to them anything but a blessing.”
Many prophecies did Balaam speak regarding Israel.
Then Balak the king grew angry, and led Balaam to the mountain of Peor to see
if he would curse Israel. And there he made seven altars, seven calves, and seven
sheep, as he had done before, and left the king and his ministers to stay there. And
Balaam went away from them and saw the people of Israel. And he knew well
without divination what to do, that the will of God was to bless Israel.
He returned and spoke prophecies to the king, and said, “Whoever blesses the
people of Israel, he shall be blessed. And whoever curses them shall be cursed.”
Then the king grew extremely angry, and said, “I deliberately sought you that you
should curse my enemies, and you have now done the opposite three times.
¶ “Return to your house from which you came. I had intended to honor you above
all in this realm, and you have not earned it.”
Balaam said to him, “I said that I could do nothing for you for all the wealth of the
world except at the will of God Our Lord. And his will is that Israel be blessed over
And Balaam spoke many prophecies of which there is now no need to speak. Then
Balaam returned to his house from whence he came. [Compare Numbers 23-24.]
¶ At that time Israel dwelt in Shittim, and the people committed fornication with
the daughters of Moab. And they summoned them to sacrifices and worshiped
wicked gods. At this | God grew angry, and said to Moses, “Take all the princes of
this people, and have them hung against the sun on gibbets until my anger is
turned from them.”
Then said Moses to the judges of Israel, “Let every one of you kill his neighbors.”
And as they spoke together about this commandment of God, one of the sons of
Israel in the sight of Moses and all the people entered the brothel of the Midianites.
And many people of Israel stood before the door of the tabernacle and wept. And
when Phinehas the son of Eleazar (the son of Aaron the priest) saw this one enter the
brothel, he took a javelin and pierced through the middle the man and woman
together. And thus ended that vengeance among the sons of Israel, but first were
killed by the vengeance of God twenty-four thousand men for their fornications.
¶ Then said God to Phinehas, “You have turned my anger from the sons of Israel,
and I know that you belong to me because you took vengeance upon my enemies.”
And the one that Phinehas killed was called Zimri the son of mighty Salu. And the
Midianite woman was called Cozbi the daughter of Zur, the noble prince of the
Midianites. Again God said to Moses, “Kill the Midianites because they carry
themselves in enmity against you.”
¶ And from this time forward Phinehas was a great leader and lord among the
Hebrews, and an intimate and friend of God. [Compare Numbers 25.]
And of this history he who wishes to hear more will find it in the Bible in the book
of Numbers, and this is almost at the end of the same book. And he who has a
good end will not lose the joy of heaven.