First Book Of Kings (1 Samuel)

FIRST BOOK OF KINGS (1 SAMUEL): EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; CM: Cursor mundi; CT: Chau­cer, Canterbury Tales; DBTEL: A Dic­tionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, ed. Jeffrey; HS: Peter Comes­tor, Historia Scholastica, cited by book and chapter, followed by Patrologia Latina column in paren­theses; K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NOAB: New Oxford Annotated Bible; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OFP: Old French Paraphrase, British Library, MS Egerton 2710, cited by folio and column; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Pro­verbial Phrases; York: York Plays, ed. Beadle. For other abbreviations, see Textual Notes.

4669 bred and wyne. The Bible and HS relate only that the family brought sacrifices to the Temple at Shiloh (not the Temple at Jerusalem, which had yet to be built). That such a sacrifice would consist of bread and wine, the food and drink of the Mass, would certainly seem fitting in a Christian exegetical tradition, though no expansion on the point is made here.

4673–74 He parted then Anna to pyne, / for unto hyr he gaf bot one. The single portion agrees with the Vulgate, but stands against some translations of 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 3:4–5, where Hannah is given a double portion — twice as much as Peninnah — because of Elkanah’s strong love and pity for her (thus, e.g., NRSV). The Septuagint can be translated as “prime portion.”

4681–92 Hannah appears to have set herself within a kind of psychological prison built of her anxiety about her failure to have children, a kind of interior devastation that is akin to the dread of purposelessness that Chaucer’s Parson describes as leaving its victims in a self-inflicted darkness, a “lond of misese” (CT X[I]185). Hannah’s place in this perpetual darkness is here exemplified in her lamenting sleeplessness (withoutyn rest, line 4681), which grows so profound that the high priest, Eli, thinks her mad (wode, line 4688). His advice to her accords well both with the Parson’s dictum that remembrance of the good that one has left to do can provide a way out of overwhelming despair and with Boethius’ therapeutic ideas of self-governance: having lost her sense of self-purpose she acts improperly, forgetful of self-watchfulness as if she were drunk. Worse, the projection of her anguish on the world reflects poorly on her, as it threatens to greve God (line 4692) in a kind of transference of psychological condition to external surrounds that would be familiar from many religious writings. See, for instance, the fourteenth-century lyric “In a Valley of This Restless Mind,” where the soul’s disunity from God affects a kind of psychological topography of despair (in Fein, Moral Love Songs and Laments, pp. 68–71), or Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy 1, where the narrator displaces his condition of imprisonment on Lady Philosophy (trans. Chaucer, Boece 1.pr.3.11–12).

4690–91 thou takes no kepe / All yf thou dronkyn be. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 1:13–14 relates that due to the silent fervency of her prayer, Eli accuses Hannah of being drunk. But the accusation here is not just one of excess drinking: it is the lack of self-governance that such a condition would imply that is of concern to Eli (see note to lines 4681–92, above).

4692 Go slepe. Eli’s advice reverberates not only with his thinking that she might be literally drunk and thus need to “sleep it off” (see note to lines 4690–91), but also with the possibility that her anxiety has divorced her from having any rest, leaving her sleepless in her despondency (see note to lines 4681–92, above). As Hannah will note, however, Eli misunderstands her ministrations before God (see note to line 4695).

4695 To God is that I cry and pray. In response to the priest’s concern over her mental state and the way that it threatens to directly aggrieve God (see note to lines 4681–92), Hannah concedes that she intends to do just that, the implication being that a just and loving God should indeed grieve for the griefs of His Creation. When Eli learns that Hannah intends to make what offering she can as part of her prayer for an audience — that her child, should she conceive one, will be God’s servant — he agrees to join her plea (lines 4699–4700).

4707–08 a sun heyght Samuell, / as scho full oft cane aftur crave. The point being that the child was named Samuel because of her prayers that God provide her with just such a child: in Hebrew Samuel means “God has appointed.”

4719–24 K notes (1:clxxxvi–clxxxvii) that Samuel’s early start on prophecy, here given as well established by age twelve, derives from HS 1 Reg. 4 (1298): “Rediit Elcana in domum suam, et Samuel ministrabat anti Heli, et dicit eum Josephus anno duodecimo pleno prophetasse.” The passage in Josephus which Comestor refers to is Jewish Antiquities 5.10.4. Ohlander observes that the detail is also given in OFP 36a (“Old French Parallels,” p. 214). The age might have been considered particularly appropriate to Christian exegetes since Luke 2:42 gives it as the age at which Jesus first began to teach at the Temple.

4733 lechery. In the biblical account, Eli’s sons are primarily noted for their stealing of sacrifices at the Temple (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 2:12–17); only later is it recorded “how they lay with the women that waited at the door of the tabernacle” (2:22). Here, however, the poet has reversed the order of their sins and thereby the emphasis upon them, choosing to highlight their sexual immorality and to background their sacrificial improprieties — presumably due to the fact that the specifics of the latter acts would be too far foreign for the intended audience. That the two sons are priests is not directly stated here, but it is implied in the sermonlike aside that follows (see note to lines 4741–52).

4741–52 The poet uses the improper behavior of Eli’s sons to make a comment about the proper behavior of all priests at all times — though we might surmise that his attack on those who soil hallowed things and do not dress in a mat-ter fitting of their station is aimed specifically at circumstances in his own personal surrounds since these were among the accusations made by the Lollards against the contemporary priesthood.

4748 for dowt of Hym that all sall deme. That is, for fear of Jesus, who was traditionally figured to be the arbiter of final judgment on the Day of Doom. As noted in the introduction, direct reference to Christ is rare in this “literal” text. Even oblique references, such as this here, are remarkably infrequent.

4753 rede and reherse. It is possible that the direction could be taken literally to indicate the oral means by which the Paraphrase was intended to be delivered: the text would be read out loud and subsequently rehearsed by its listeners, effectively allowing them to memorize parts of the text.

4761–62 wyll ye oght, / I com yow forto kepe. While the Bible has Samuel say only “Here am I: for thou didst call me” (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 3:5), the poet expands his words to point out Eli’s inability to comprehend fully the words that he hears. One understanding of young Samuel’s statement is, as I have glossed it, that if Eli wants something Samuel will go fetch it for him. But Samuel, as we have been told, is also a prophet. At that level of understanding, he tells the old priest that what Eli ought to be doing — the proper rites and directives of God — he (Samuel) will do. This does, indeed, prove true.

4764 go slepe. Eli instructs the boy, just as he had his mother Hannah, to go to sleep. But, as before, Eli misunderstands the situation. Hannah did intend to grieve God with her pleas, and Samuel has, indeed, been called by his master.

4777 He sleped in his howse at hame. The Paraphrase seems to suggest here that Samuel leaves the Temple and goes to rest in another location; this would appear to stand against the Bible, which says only that he goes to sleep “in his place” ("in loco suo", 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 3:9) — his previous place of rest being given in 3:3 as “in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.” So, too, HS. If this change in location is intentional, it could either be a subtle means of undercutting the authority either of the Temple (and thus of any Jewish privilege that might be associated with it) or of the Church’s claims about the necessity of a medi-ating priesthood in general.

4783–84 All Jacob suns sall suffer schame / for wekyd dedes that thei have wroyght. That is, the whole of Israel (all of its twelve tribes) will suffer for its wicked deeds. While God does pronounce direct action against Eli and his family in 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 3:11–14, He says nothing there of action against Israel at large, only that what He will do to Eli will be heard throughout that land. This change may go some way toward emphasizing the possible undercutting of the Jews noted for line 4777, above.

4822 ten thowssand, says the Boke. The Bible reports a death count of four thousand (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 4:2), a detail number followed in HS 1 Reg. 7 (1300).

4859–62 K (1:clxxxvii) terms this account of a plague of mice that eat the Philistines as extrabiblical, not appearing at this point in the narrative and only subsequently being alluded to at 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 6:4–5. The lines are parallel to HS 1 Reg. 8 (1301) and, as Ohlander observes, OFP 36d (“Old French Parallels,” p. 214). But while the account does not appear in the now-standard copies of the Vulgate, it is indeed found in a great many copies of that text as an extension of 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 5:6. Thus it ap-pears, for instance, in both the Douay-Rheims and NRSV translations.

4897–4920 That two oxen pull the Ark to Beth-shemesh stands against the Bible (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 6:7) and HS (1 Reg. 8 [1301]) which describe them as two milch cows. The Paraphrase here agrees with OFP 37a (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 214).

4929–30 Vengiance com sone unsoyght / apon sexty thowssand. The Paraphrase-poet has rounded off the number of curious onlookers slaughtered by God; HS 1 Reg. 8 (1302) follows 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 6:19, which reads: “seventy men, and fifty thousand of the common people.” Despite the fact that the fifty thousand are in the Hebrew, many trans-lations disregard it and only report the death of seventy men (e.g., NRSV), which accords with Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.1.4.

5017 In Masphat sojournd Samuel. That Samuel goes to Mizpah to mourn for Israel before he seeks out its king is found neither in the biblical narrative nor in HS. The detail apparently derives from the earlier incidents at Mizpah (not narrated here) in which Samuel leads Israel in confessing their sins against God, an act that leads directly to a defeat of the Philistines and in honor of which Samuel dedicates a shrine at Eben-ezer, between Mizpah and Jeshanah (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 7:2–14). The Paraphrase-poet seems to consider this shrine to be that to which Samuel is making his way when he meets Saul (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 9:14). Since Mizpah is also the location where Samuel will proclaim Saul king before the people (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 10:17–27), the poet is thus able to condense the geography of his story considerably.

5111 Thre loyvys sall thei gyf thee. According to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 10:4, Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 6.4.2), and HS 1 Reg. 11 (1304), Saul will be offered two loaves.

5213 Ther settes he gybcrokes and engyns. The siege of Jabesh-gilead is presented as a medieval siege, complete with all the implements thereof, sights that perhaps would have been familiar to the poet’s audience from wars in France or elsewhere. Aside from creating a more familiar and thus more historically plausible atmosphere for his contemporaries, the poet’s “medievalizing” of the narrative through these details further underscores the romance nature of his work: the resulting text is thus a generic hybrid in much the same way as another popular text of the period: Siege of Jerusalem.

5272–74 sex hunderth thowsand men myghty, / And of Juda als fell ther fell, / the nowmers ar not forto dyscrye. HS 1 Reg. 12 (1305), following 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 11:8, puts the number of Israelite warriors at 300,000, with the men of Judah being 30,000 more; Josephus’ numbers are 700,000 and 70,000 (Jewish Antiquities 6.5.3).

5301–06 Kyng Saul slogh that day / a hunderth with his handes, / And wan wrschepe. . . . This was fyrst chaunce of chevalry / that Kyng Saul fell in this case. After expanding his account of the siege of Jabesh-gilead in terms of a medieval battle (both in its fictional and historical qualities, see note to line 5213), the poet concludes the sequence by making Saul into a type of the medieval knight familiar to medieval romance, his deeds turning him into a chivalric leader whose doughty deeds win him glory and honor to hym and all his landes (line 5304).

5331–32 He wyll that we forgyf gladly / all tho that to us have trespast. The poet here has Samuel echo Matthew 6:12, part of the Lord’s Prayer.

5353–64 The mention that Saul came to rule over “kynredes twelve / that Jacob suns was cald” (lines 5351–52) leads the poet into a short, seemingly personal (n.b. the first-person pronoun in line 5354) digression on the different terms used to refer to the Jews. Regardless of the word used to collect them, he says, they are the same people, one loved by God as long as they followed His rule. It may well be that the poet intends a subtle comment on the contemporary place of Jews in his world: while they once were His people, they have been replaced in God’s sight by virtue of their denial of Him in Christ.

5443–48 That sexty thowsand sone had thei / of knyghtes . . . thrytty thowsand els . . . And mo that no man tels / on futte full wyght in were. The numbers here are not quite in agreement with 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 13:5 (or HS 1 Reg. 13 [1306]), which records 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and an uncountable number of men: “like the sand on the seashore.” Josephus concurs, though he specifies the number of footmen as 300,000 (Jewish Antiquities 6.6.1). Here the horsemen have become knights and have increased tenfold, while the charioteers have become the additional category of fighters.

5505–08 For he had messege sent . . . Or he com in present / to make no sacrafyce. In the biblical account Samuel had made no such earlier pronouncement to Saul. Rather, it is simply implied that Saul has done ill in overstepping the implicit bounds of his kingship (his duty — see line 5496) by taking on priestly duties. This issue of proper and improper areas of influence would have been a familiar one to the poet and his audience, as the imposition of the State on the Church was an active source of both condemnation and glorification in the late Middle Ages, seen in texts as diverse as the popular Siege of Jerusalem and Gower’s formal In Praise of Peace.

5513–14 Bycawse thou hath done this owtrage, / that suld not passe bot be presthed. In this extrabiblical statement, Samuel here emphasizes that Saul’s misdeed was in taking on duties reserved for the priesthood. Not only does this have political ramifications to the Paraphrase-poet’s contemporary surrounds (see note to lines 5505–08, above) but it also reflects the very serious issue of Lollardy, and the question of whether or not the laity can effectively replace the ordained officials of the Church. The poet’s answer, if we can presume to allow the prophet to speak for him, is that they cannot: the priesthood must be maintained if for no other reason than that they alone can properly conduct the rites sacred to God and man.

5515 God hath ordand a lytyll page. I.e., David, who is here defined as a page in accordance with late medieval structures of knighthood. In 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 13:14 (and HS 1 Reg. 13 [1307]) Samuel is far less specific, saying God will appoint “a man.”

5559–64 On of them wyst well who yt wase . . . soyne ware thei feld that myght not flee. In the biblical account of this incident (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 14:1–15), the sign of God’s favor that Jonathan looks for is whether or not he and his armor-bearer are invited up to engage against the Philistines. Once invited up, the two of them make a direct assault on the enemy that, when it proves successful, causes the ensuing chaos. Here, however, the sign is whether or not they recognize Jonathan; and their awareness of his presence alone puts them into flight. The alteration seems intended mainly to add dimension to Jonathan’s character, presenting him as such a well-known, stalwart knight that his name itself strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies.

5610 Achyas heyght he, os we rede. The priest is unnamed here in 1 Kings (1 Samuel), though the name Ahijah for Saul’s primary priest is found earlier at 14:3 and 9. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.6.5, does name the priest at this point, as does HS 1 Reg. 14 (1308).

5663 Sexty thowsand ware slayn. This summary of the total number of Philistines killed in the war, which here acts to close off the account of it, is not biblical in origin, nor can it be found in HS. It does, however, appear in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.6.6.

5718 sexty thowsand at a syght. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 15:4 and HS 1 Reg. 15 (1309) place the total number of men at 200,000 Israelites and 10,000 men of Judah. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.7.2, gives the numbers as 400,000 and 30,000. The source for the number given here is unknown.

5731–48 Of knyghtes kene and princes of price . . . in ways withowtyn heuyd. The detail of the pageantry of the armies has a clear “medieval” feel to it, as knights sally forth with pennons and banners above their gleaming arms. The poet deftly turns away from the glory of this earthly finery, however, in presenting the simple image of the bloody aftermath of the battles being undertaken: riderless horses walking aimlessly amid the headless corpses on the field.

5817–18 Sone fro that pepyll he past / ryght way to Ramatha. That is, Samuel started to make his way toward Ramah, not that he actually went there. According to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 15:34 and HS 1 Reg. 15 (1310), and as is shown here in lines 5853–54, Samuel actually makes his way to Ramah after the tearing of his cloak and the slaughter of Agag (15:27–33). The biblical encounter between the two men described here, rather, takes place at Gilgal (see 15:12).

5889 Sex suns ware sett on raw. There were, according to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 16:10 (which is followed by HS 1 Reg. 16 [1310] and CM, line 7350), a total of seven sons of Jesse that God rejects before settling on the youngest, David, who is at first away, tending to the sheep. Thus Jesse, as stated clearly in 17:12, had a total of eight sons. The alteration on the part of the Paraphrase-poet surely originates in his awareness that in 1 Chronicles 2:13–15 David is named as the seventh and last son of Jesse. This discrepancy has led to much speculation aimed at resolution, including the possibilities that one of the sons who passed before Samuel was adopted and thus not counted in the later enumeration, or that one of them died shortly afterwards, so that it could be said with equal accuracy that Jesse had seven or eight sons. The Paraphrase-poet takes instead the apparently unique position of simply altering the Kings text so that no discrepancy occurs, though one wonders why he would do so given the fact that Chronicles is not incorporated in his poem. It is possible, then, that an added benefit in the alteration is in making David a seventh son (as opposed to an eighth), seven being a number of totality.

5894 the eldyst two. Unnamed here, the two sons singled out in 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 16:8–9 are Abinadab and Shammah, though the names of the eldest sons in 1 Chronicles 2:13–15 are Eliab and Abinadab. See note to line 5889, above.

5909–24 The prophett hym in armys hentt . . . grett lordschep sal be thee lentt. This long sequence regarding Samuel’s recognition of David and bestowal of honors upon him prior to the anointing is extrabiblical and, with details such as the deyse (“dais,” line 5917) upon which David is set, somewhat anachronistic. It does, however, derive much of its power from that very anachronism, showing an acknowledgment of power relationships in very feudal terms, with further ritualized presentations like Samuel’s public embrace of the boy and the dinner at which individuals are arranged according to ther degree (line 5915).

5923–24 To warn thee of His wyll allway: / grett lordschep sal be thee lentt. Samuel’s reminder that lordship over men is only a temporary state of affairs, and that this lordship is dependent on God’s grace, finds echo in the writings of Gower, especially in his In Praise of Peace, itself an extended elaboration of these themes written in warning to a new king (Henry IV). Gower’s advice in that poem opens by underscoring the observation, noting time and again “that Henry is not himself responsible for having attained the crown. He is not a conqueror by right of martial arms but a passive tool in the active hand of God” (In Praise of Peace, ed. Livingston, p. 119).

5931 The gud gast, that in Saul was. I have glossed this “good spirit,” though it is tempting to read here something more like “Holy Spirit,” thus paralleling the line with the imagery of the later Acts of the Apostles, where the Holy Spirit comes down to rest in believers. HS 1 Reg 16 (1310) makes just such a parallel, though it is only partially picked up in CM, lines 7405–06.

5941–52 This extrabiblical stanza, in which Samuel gives the young David advice on how to rule himself and thus his kingdom, again has parallels with Gower’s work. See the explanatory note to lines 5923–24.

5965–76 K notes (1:clxxxvii) that the advice of Saul’s physicians and clerks, that only music can drive away the evil spirit plaguing him (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 16:16 puts the matter less directly and in the mouth of servants), comes from HS 1 Reg. 16 (1310). Ohlander points out that similar advice is given in OFP 44b, though Comestor specifically mentions “servi,” “physici,” and “mathematici” as those giving advice (“Old French Parallels,” p. 214).

6027–30 Under a banke, wher thei abyde . . . Kyng Saul on the other syde, / the hyll betwen, was on a grett heght. The geography is difficult to construe here, as it seems to indicate that the two forces are arrayed on opposite sides of a single mountain. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 17:3 is more clear: “the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.”

6049–60 Goliath’s armor as described here does not conform to the description given in the Bible (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 17:5–7), but it does correspond to that found in OFP 44d (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 215). Ohlander also notes that the Paraphrase-poet, though willing to spend time with the details of this extrabiblical description, omits the famous physical description of Goliath’s height: “six cubits and a span” (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 17:4). Goliath’s remarkable height is picked up, however, in CM, line 7451.

6068 yond warlaw. The epithet appears to have been borrowed from CM, line 7478, which in several versions has Saul attaching the term to Goliath when he decries his inability to find a man to match the Philistine’s challenge (e.g., “yon warlau” in the Cotton). Note that warlaw here means simply a “monstrous or hideous creature” (MED warlou n.3) or, as I have glossed it here, an “infidel” (n.1b). The term does not indicate, as it does in most modern parlance, someone who “practices occult arts” (n.1c) — though the latter meaning is that which is used in line 11130 of the present poem, where it is applied to the unknown power sought by Ahab, whom the king believes to have caused a great drought; Ahab finds, instead, Elijah (3 Kings [1 Kings] 18:2–6).

6101–08 David and Goliath’s exchange of words across the field before they engage in battle is more brief here than it is in the Bible or in CM, for instance. The brevity, however, presents us with a chance for increased characterization on the part of David who, rather than presenting a drawn-out speech about God’s influence in battle, is a straightforward man of action, whose return of Goliath’s mockery is a true one-liner (line 6104) that cuts directly to the heart of their coming fight. David, it seems, does not have time for more speech. Thus it is not surprising to find that his response to Goliath’s subsequent insult — that David is infantlike (line 6106) — is to ignore it: in determined silence David simply whirls his sling into action and strikes him down with one shot to the brain.

6129 Thryty milia war slayn. Ohlander notes that neither 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 17:52 nor HS give a specific number to the slain Philistines. OFP 45c reads “Treis mile,” while another copy of that poem, Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS 36, fol. 92a, meets the Paraphrase precisely: “Trente mil” (“Old French Parallels,” p. 215).

6141–43 Tho wyfes sang . . . The madyns sang. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 18:7 simply says that women sang of Saul’s slaying his thousands and David his ten thousands. The Paraphrase-poet adds a romance twist as the maidens answer the wives, who praise Saul, with laughter and adoration of the young hero, the idea being repeated in lines 6146–48. The girls have a soft spot for David from the get-go, which anticipates Michal’s attraction to him, which is so strong that she withers at a mere frown (see lines 6197–6200).

6184 he bare the flour. That is, he achieved victory. The phrase is a chivalric one, once more marking David as part of a late medieval culture of knighthood.

6197–6214 Mycoll . . . hyr fayrnes fast can fale. The poet takes nearly two stanzas expanding on a few words from 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 18:20 (“Michol, the other daughter of Saul, loved David”), further blending the elements of romance into his narrative.

6225–26 Heydes of Phylesteyns / two hunderth suld he bryng. 1 Kings (Samuel) 18:25–27 puts Saul’s demand as one hundred foreskins, and says that David produces two hundred. HS agrees with the Bible, while OFP 46d gives the command to bring “mil chefs,” a charge that David fulfills to the letter as opposed to doubling (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 215). Here he is charged to produce two hundred hides of Philistines, but he brings in five hundred hides instead, which he presumably flays (line 6240).

6285–88 That Michal saves her husband from Saul’s spear, as K notes (1:cxciv), has no known source. It is not in the biblical account, nor in HS or CM. Ohlander does not find it in OFP, either (“Old French Parallels, p. 215). Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.11.3–4 may be of note here, as it adds a detail that David was able to avoid Saul’s spear because he “was aware of it before it came,” alluding to the possibility that he had been warned. Since the immediately following event is Michal’s warning David about her father’s intention of killing him in the morning (and her aiding his escape), one might see that the Josephan tradition is the first step in a conflation of the events, by which Michal becomes the one to warn him. It makes sense that Michal would be attending her father, but also that she likes to hear David play.

6317 Scho layd a dry stoke in his bed. According to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 19:13 it is the image (Vulgate statuam; so, too, HS) of one of the household gods that Michal places in the bed. The alteration to a log is in keeping with the folkloristic conventions and avoids the affiliation of images with idols.

6325 K notes a close parallel line in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 226: “Gladly I wolde se þat segg in syght.”

6335–36 Again we find a ten-line stanza. The “missing” lines may never have been written, but I have maintained the line count of earlier editors and scholarship on the poem.

6349–60 The poet greatly condenses the narrative here, omitting the account of Samuel’s supernatural ability to put David’s pursuers, ultimately including Saul, into a “prophetic frenzy” that rendered them naked at his feet (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 19:19–24).

6380 or ever I ette. The Paraphrase reduces the elaborate arrangement for notifying David of the results of Jonathan’s questioning (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 20:12– 23), noting instead that the sign will be Jonathan’s refusal to eat, which in the Bible is a result of his recognition of his father’s anger, but one independent of his communications with David (20:34).

6388 sothly. A line-filler here, but perhaps a subtle point, too, in that Jonathan questions his father in honest need to understand the truth of what is happening in the court, and that he does so without lying himself, something he is guilty of in the biblical account of this exchange (see note to lines 6388–6402).

6389–6402 Jonathan’s speech about David’s worth, and his question about why, there-fore, he is not at the feast, is extrabiblical; 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 20:24–29 has instead Saul asking the question regarding David’s absence and Jonathan telling a lie about it in an effort to sound out his father (on Jonathan’s truthfulness here, see the note to line 6388). The alteration allows the poet to once more emphasize David’s excellence, which culminates in speaking of his comeliness as a knyght (line 6401).

6457 Myn armour gart thei me forgete. David initially asks only for food in 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 21:3, but his request for armor here is certainly in fitting with the chivalric presentation of him as a knight, now temporarily divested of his position at court.

6496 Sephyn. Ziph, though it is not so named until much later in the biblical narrative: 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23:15.

6497–6504 Thore come men to hym . . . of cosyns and of other kyn. . . . owtlayd or exyld . . . fawre hunderth folke in fere. 1 Kings (1Samuel) 22:2 describes David’s band of brothers thus: “And all that were in distress, and oppressed with debt, and under affliction of mind, gathered themselves unto him: and he became their prince, and there were with him about four hundred men.” To the notion that David’s army is made up of the dispossessed and downtrodden the Paraphrase-poet has introduced the further characteristic of outlawry, a designation enwrapped in specifically medieval notions of both justice and romance. David thereby stands in the place of Robin Hood for the poet. Or, perhaps more accurately, Robin Hood can stand in the place of David.

6501–02 bede hym forto be / his men. In addition to presenting David as captain of a band of outlaws (see note to lines 6497–6504), the poet also reveals his relationship with his subjects to be one of proper feudal oaths, as the men swear to be his men in all things. This formal reciprocative structure stands in marked contrast to Saul’s court, where the king’s jealousy of the success of one of his sworn and loyal lieutenants (David) is cause for anxiety and strife.

6505–6708 These two stories, David’s rescue of the city of Keilah (lines 6506–6624) and the betrayal of Doeg the Edomite (lines 6625–6708), appear in reverse order from the Bible, where they are in 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 23 and 22, respectively. Ohlander notes that both HS and OFP follow biblical order (“Old French Parallels,” p. 216). The reversal here in Paraphrase emphasizes David’s romantic role as an outlaw captain, righting the wrongs of the establishment and protecting the common people.

6650 popelard. The word, meaning “hypocrite” or “traitor,” derives from OF papelart, with K querying whether the spelling of the term here shows influence by pope (5:69). If this possibility were true, it would certainly be a strong piece of evidence in debates about whether this text reveals Wycliffite tendencies (or at least reformist ones) — though one wonders how much weight such a minor point of orthography can stand in a text of this length. More likely to be the case here, however, is that the spelling is a result of regional variation, especially since it occurs, too, in the Chester Plays (15.362, 17.157, and in the H-variant of 5.233), which can hardly bear the blanket accusation of Lollardy. In addition, the word here is from Saul, describing Ahimelech, a character that is utterly blameless from any other perspective — including that of Saul’s own men, most of whom will refuse to kill “Goddes byschop blyst” (line 6678).

6769–92 He saw David was well arayd . . . he wyst no bettur wone. The Paraphrase-poet presents an ulterior motive to Saul’s actions in En-gedi. In the biblical account Saul’s decision to exchange oaths with David is depicted as one of genuine remorse, as he weeps (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 24:16) and declares himself in the wrong. Here, however, Saul’s decision is an act not of contrition but of self-preservation: he sees that David has the advantage of superior numbers and thus cuts a deal to escape (even though David has not threatened him with harm). The poet illustrates the separation between Saul’s words and his intent by pointing out that on leaving David once more had to go to his outlaw encampment, nothing better being offered to him.

6803–04 he lyfed not by the law / of Moyses and Josue. Nabal’s status as a nonobservant Jew appears to be original to the Paraphrase.

6879–80 In gud garmentes scho made hyr gay / with pelure and with pyrre fyne. While the story of Abigail is omitted in CM and Peter Riga’s Aurora, and only briefly told in HS, the Paraphrase-poet utilizes the story further to incorporate romantic conceits with the Scriptures, something clearly seen in his unique description of Abigail’s singular beauty and finery — especially her expensive clothes, furred and inwoven with precious stones — that signify her nobility rather than her vanity.

6928 weded hyr unto his wyfe. David’s marriage to Abigail was seen as a tribute to her worship and wisdom. She is regularly cited in the Christian marriage service, along with Rebecca, Judith, and Esther, as wise women and counselors. E.g., see Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee (CT VII[B2]1096–1102) and Merchant’s Tale (CT IV[E]1362–74).

6933-34 Another he wan also / thrugh dughty dedes he dyde. The third wife, unnamed here (and omitted, too, in HS), is Ahinoam of Jezreel. That he won her hand through his brave deeds is nowhere directly described in the Bible, with most translations reading 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:43 simply as a statement of marriage: “Moreover David took also Achinoam of Jezrahel” (Douay), or “David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel” (NRSV). The Latin of the Vulgate, however, is more flexible than this: “Ahinoem accepit David de Iezrahel,” which could be translated “David took Ahinoam out of Jezreel.” It is the implication of action in this latter reading that seems the origin of the Paraphrase here; interestingly, the same reading appears strongly in the Greek Septuagint. A fourth wife, Bathsheba (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 11), appears later in the David story.

6964 Abyathar. According to 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 26:6, this must be Ahimelech the Hittite, though the spelling here would appear to have confused him with Abiathar the priest, a confusion I have found nowhere else.

6965 Thoo three ther gatte. That all three men enter Saul’s encampment stands against the Bible, where David asks Ahimelech and Abishai which of them will accompany him, and it is only Abishai who is chosen. Similarly, in HS 1 Reg. 25 (1319) and CM, line 7717, only the presence of Abishai is remarked.

6977–78 a grett coupe of gold full gud / and als the kynges chefe chasyng spere. These proofs are not those retrieved by David in 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 26:11–16 and HS 1 Reg. 25 (1319–20), where David takes the spear and a jug of water. Ohlander notes that the Paraphrase is in accordance with OFP 53c (“Old French Parallels,” p. 216).

7065–66 Achys noyght understud / what Phylesteyns can fele. Assuming a lack of knowledge about the geography of the ancient Holy Land, one wonders how much the audience of the Paraphrase might sympathize with Achish. The rather subtle point here is that the Amalekites and the Geshurites (along with David’s other victims during this period) are subjects of Achish. On each raid, “David wasted all the land, and left neither man nor woman alive” (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 27:9) to tell the truth of his deeds; he would then lie to Achish, claiming that his booty was had from among the lands of the Jews.

7110 wyche. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:7 has Saul request “a woman that hath a divining spirit” (“mulierem habentem pythonem” — compare HS 1 Reg. 26 [1320–21]). In his Friar’s Tale Chaucer calls this same female conjuror a “phitonesse” (CT III[D]1510), a term derived from the Latin of the Vulgate here, and one that Chaucer earlier associated plainly with witches in House of Fame, lines 1261–63: “phitonesses, charmeresses, / Olde wicches, sorceresses, / That use exorsisaciouns.” Gower and Lydgate, too, call the medium of Endor a “phitonesse” in CA 6.2387 and Fall of Princes 2.434, respectively. Though many scholars have claimed that the identification of the medium with the term witch derives from the King James translation of the Bible, which uses the designation “Witch of Endor” as a heading for this chapter (see, e.g., DBTEL, pp. 840–41), we see here in Paraphrase evidence going back much further than that. Since the story is untold in CM, one wonders where the poet derived his terminology. One intriguing possibility in this regard is a short passage in Anglo-Saxon affiliated with a few manuscripts of Ælfric’s De Auguriis, which utilizes the story of Saul and the medium as an exemplum against the trickeries of the Devil. In this passage, which may or may not be by Ælfric himself, she is consistently termed a “wicce” (Ælfric, Homilies of Ælfric: Supplementary, 2:786–98).

7115 with your lefe. I have glossed and punctuated this phrase on the assumption that it is Saul’s advisor asking leave to speak, rather than a reference to the witch living in En-dor through Saul’s permission. 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:9 makes clear that Saul had, in fact, rid Israel of such mediums and that the witch thus operates in fear of his reprisals.

7155–56 This is the same / that maydyns made of in ther sang. A reference back to lines 6147–48, where the women praised Saul for killing thousands but David for killing tens of thousands.

7250 and chefe of all his chevalry. The same phrase occurs in The Alliterative Morte Arthure, where the description is of Arthur’s knights of the Round Table “That chef were of chivalry” (line 18).

7254 lawles. Perhaps one ought to produce the word as Law-less, since the “law” in question is not about secular legal systems but about the Law of Moses, the Torah. This point is made again a few lines later when it is repeated that Saul would rather die than live with “folke of fals lyvyng” (line 7258), meaning “people of false belief systems.”

7261–68 The death of Saul is here given in accordance with 2 Kings (2 Samuel) 1:6–10 rather than 1 Kings (1 Samuel) 31:4, where Saul kills himself without the aid of the young man. The later story of Saul’s death, in addition to being fitted into this earlier account, is also told in full in lines 7327–56. The Paraphrase parallels OFP 55d–56a and 56d in both accounts, whereas HS matches the biblical account (Ohlander, “Old French Parallels,” p. 216).


FIRST BOOK OF KINGS (1 SAMUEL): TEXTUAL NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS: L: MS Longleat 257; H: Heuser edition (partial); K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; O: Ohlander’s corrigenda to K; P: Peck edition (partial); S: MS Selden Supra 52 (base text for this edition).

4633, 35 Lines indented to leave space for an initial capital; first letter of line 4633 written in the middle of the space.

4641 prophetes. So L, K. S: prophet.

4642 banere. So L, O. S, K: private.

4649 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 44v): no heading.

4666 wyfes. So L, K. S: wyfe.
chylder. So L, K. S: chyld.

4669 Thei. So L, K. S: he.

4681 withoutyn. So S, L. K: withowtyn.

4688 wode. S: inserted below the line.

4691 yf. So L, K. S: of.

4698 he. So L, K. S: I.

4699 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 45r): no heading.

4711 to. S: blotted.

4721 The. So L, K. S: he.

4724 well. S: inserted above the line.

4730 both. So L, K. S: bot.

4741 ys. So L, K. S: hys.

4743 Be. So L, K. S: Bot.

4744 beyryng. S: inserted above 6 canceled letters (byrnyg?).

4748 dowt. So L, K. S: dow.

4749 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 45v): no heading.

4753 ryght. So L, K. S omits.

4758 sithes Ser. So L, K. S: s.

4759 wyght. So L, O. S, K: wygh.

4767 certayn. So L, K. S omits.

4780 he. So L, K. S omits.
servaunt. So S. L, K: seruant.

4798 sew. S: be sew.

4801 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 46r): no heading.

4815 Trowghowt. S: t inserted above the line.

4839 Felesteyns. S: e3 inserted above the line.

4844 for. So L, K. S: or.

4855 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 46v): no heading.

4877 fyve. L, K: V. S: VII.

4884 arke. S: l arke.

4891 clenely. So L, K. S: clene.

4909 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 47r): no heading.

4919 jewells. So L, K. S: jews.

4922 were. S: were so nere.

4944 nothyng. S: no no.

4952 mare. S: mare.

4953 Fro. So L, O. S, K: ffor.

4954 fold. So L, K. S: sold.

4961 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 47v): liber primus Samuel.

4996–97 So L, K. S omits lines.

5008 space. So L, K. S: place.

5012 our. So L, K. S omits.

5013 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 48r): Samuel, Saule.

5016 then. So L, K. S: þem.

5021 Saul. S: Saule, with canceled e.

5024 rachyd. So L, K. S: rachayd.

5067 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 48v): no heading.

5087 be. So L, K. S: he.

5117 profecyes. So L, K. S: profecye.

5120 Saul. S: saule, with canceled e.

5121 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 49r): no heading.

5140 myghty. So L, K. S: my3t.

5146 begyne. So L, K. S: be gane.

5150–51 So L, K. S omits lines.

5163 call. So L, K. S: cald.

5165 Then. So L, K. S: þem.

5174 spyll. S: inserted above canceled pyn.

5177 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 49v): no heading.

5190 that. So L, K. S: yt.

5197 towns. So L, K. S: towas.

5200 also. So K. L: theym. S: so.

5202 tho. So L, K. S: þor.

5204 dewlfull. So L, K. S: dewfull.

5210 encrese. So L. S: encreses. K: encresse.

5212 Jabese. So L, K. S: Jabase.

5218 have. So L, K. S: saue.

5219 weld. So L, K. S: well.

5220 save. So L, K. S: haue.

5228 tho. So L, K. S: two.

5230 to. So L, K. S: so.

5233 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 50r): no heading.
The. So L, K. S omits.

5234 same. So L, K. S omits.

5239 of. So L, K. S omits.
new. S: o new.

5242 us. S: l vs.

5258 sone. S: inserted above the line.

5259 bryng. So L, K. S: kyng.

5261 sere. So L, O. S, K: thre.

5271 of1. So L, K. S omits.

5276 have. So L, K. S omits.

5278 that. S: it þat.
outrayd. So L, K. S: ouerrayd.

5286 on. So L, K. S omits.
he. So L, K. S: forto.

5287 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 50v): no heading.
down. So S, L. K: doun.

5294 bot. So L, K. S: be.

5313 gat. S: gra gart.

5315 S: al at end of line.

5316 than. So L, K. S: þat.

5329 gyfyn. So L, O. S, K: yfyn.

5331 we. So L, K. S: he.

5334 frendschep. S: d inserted above the line.

5337 frend. So L, K. S: frendes.

5340 to. S: h to.
bod. S: bode, with canceled e.

5341 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 51r): no heading.

5342 God. So L, K. S: to god.

5346 Saul. S: inserted above canceled samuel.

5389 harvest. So L, K. S: hardnes.

5391 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 51v): no heading.

5396 bot. So L, K. S: both.

5405 hym. So L, K. S: all.

5406 he. So L, K. S, Stern (Review, p. 281): 3e.
wend. So L, K. S omits.

5412 gentyll. So L, K. S omits.

5414 new tythandes. So L, K. S: noe.

5418 them. So L, K. S omits.

5420 to. So L, K. S omits.

5428 never. So L, K. S omits.

5430 say. So K. S: þei say.
the. So L, K. S omits.

5436 to. So L, K. S omits.

5441 them. So L, K. S: þei.

5443 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 52r): liber primus Regum.

5444 kene. So L, K. S omits.

5445 els. So L, K. S: als.

5450 chyvalry. S: chyl chyvalry.

5464 ware. S: inserted above the line.

5467 abyd. So L, K. S: to abyd.

5470 his. So L, K. S: he.

5475 he. So L, K. S omits.

5488 he. So L, K. S omits.
bestes. So L, K. S: best.

5491 on. So L, K. S omits.

5494 Marginalia in S (at bottom of fol. 52r): sextus.

5495 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 52v): no heading.

5508 no. So L, K. S omits.

5509 Therfor. So L, K. S: þer.

5510 and. S: letter canceled before.

5518 kyng. So L, K. S omits.

5520 So L, K. S omits line.

5536 yf. So L, K. S: of.

5549 thei. So L, K. S omits.

5551 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 53r): no heading.

5557 payn so. So L, K. S: so payn.

5571 when. So L, K. S: whe.

5573 relyed. So L, K. S: releved.

5580 prestely. So L, K. S: presthely.

5581 velany. S: f velany.

5586 swere. S: letter canceled before.

5589 sun. So L, K. S omits.

5591 thore. S: inserted above canceled whore.

5596 honycamys. S: letter canceled before.
camys. S: comy camys.

5603 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 53v): no heading.

5605 thei. So L, K. S: thet.

5645 have. S: corrected from nave.

5654 mekyll. So L, K. S omits.

5655 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 54r): no heading.

5656 hole. So S. L, K: hold.

5669 hym meld. So L, K. S: to mell.

5670 bot. So L, K. S: bo.

5676 hym. S: a hym.

5680 wan. So L, K. S: wang.
grett. S: p grett.

5687 was. So L, K. S omits.

5688 Mycoll. So L, K. S: was mycoll.

5702 pyn. So L, K. S: payn.

5708 fayntnes. S: s inserted above the line.

5709 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 54v): liber primus Regum.

5712 els. So L, K. S: þat.
thou. So L, K. S: þe.

5715 commawndment. So L, K. S: commawndmentes.

5727 wys. S: inserted above canceled was.

5758 ne. So L, K. S: þei ne.

5759 Both. So L, K. S: Bot.

5763 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 55r): no heading.

5766 help. So L, K. S omits.

5768 them. So L, K. S: hym.

5788 bryng. S: inserted above the line.

5792 thyng. S: letter canceled before.

5795 gyfes. So L, K. S: gyfe.

5797 gre. S: gre ue.

5798 sayd. So L, K. S omits.

5800 thou. So L, K. S: þei.

5810 space. So L, K. S: place.

5817 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 55v): no heading.

5821 well. So L, K. S omits.

5822 hym. So L, K. S omits.

5824 yt. So L, K. S omits.

5869 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 56r): no heading.

5899 Ya. S: y 3a.

5900 is. So L, K. S: yt is.

5923 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 56v): no heading.

5954 wher. So S, K. L: where.

5958 mynstralcy. So L, K. S: maystry.

5960 ever. So L, K. S omits.

5964 Saul. S: saule, with e canceled.

5965 spake of. So L. S, K: of spake.

5967 sare. So L, K. S: sere.

5969 wyd. So L, K. S: wyld.

5970 was. So L, K. S omits.

5972 mend. S: inserted above the line.

5973 S: the scribe mistakenly copies line 5981 before canceling it.

5975 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 57r): no heading.

6002 belufed. L, K: be lufed. S: he lufed.

6013 them. So L, K. S omits.

6022 in. So L, K. S omits.

6025 wold. S: inserted above canceled was.

6029 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 57v): no heading.

6055 of: S: ost of.

6073 tythand. S: th tythand.

6079 holy. So L, K. S: hely.

6081 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 58r): no heading.

6090 bere. S: inserted above the line.

6107 thou fro come. So L, K. S: fro con fall.

6109 his. So L, K. S omits.

6117 lerd. So L, K. S: lernyd.

6119 his. So L, K. S omits.

6121 note new. So K. S: note of new. L: tythandes new.

6133 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 58v): no heading.

6134 doyghtynes. So L, K. S: doyghty dede.

6136 price. So S. L, K: þrice.
that prowesse. So L, K. S: þer prownesse.

6142 hand. So L, K. S: handes.

6150 not. So L, K. S: no.

6151 hert he. So L, K. S: hert hele hent he.
holy. So L, K. S omits.

6152 certayn. So L, K. S omits.

6153 He. So L, K. S: Hys.

6157 yf. So L, K. S: of.

6167 For. S, L, K: Fro.

6169 fayged. So L, K. S: fayg.

6175 for. So L, K. S: forus.

6180 in. So L, K. S: on.

6185 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 59r): liber primus Regum. Saul and David.

6200 glad. S: inserted above the line.

6203 dysplessyd. So L, K. S: dysessyd.

6206 no. So L, K. S omits.
hire. So L, K. S: his.

6208 was. So L, K. S: wad.

6210 scho myght ever. So K. S: noy3t to. L: if she myght.

6217 If. So L, K. S: Of.

6218 to gyf. S: to h to gyf.

6223–24 So L, K. S omits lines.

6233 that. So L, K. S: þar.

6239 when. S: wh when.

6241 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 59v): no heading.

6245–6968 Missing in L (fols. 145–148 lost).
6245 sterd. S: ferd sterd.

6246 hedes. So K. S: hendes hom.

6247 then. S: altered from þem.

6248 was. So K. S omits.

6250–95 The overall numbering of these lines in K is incorrect due to miscounting.

6260 heyght. So K. S: dyd.

6270 lede. S: lerde.

6272 hym spede. So K. S: to hym speke.

6297 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 60r): no heading.

6303 not. So K. S: no.

6308 that. So K. S omits.

6315 ded. S: dr ded.
was. S: r was.

6319 dede. So K. S: lede.

6324 went. So K. S: well.

6331 thei. S, K: the.

6335–36 Lines missing in S (and L, see textual note to lines 6245–6968).

6342 that. So K. S omits.

6350 the. S: he þe.
kyng. So K. S omits.
kindes. So K. S: knds, with an e marked for insertion between k and n.

6353 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 60v): no heading.

6355 that con hym quell. So K. S: he wold.

6356 he wold bot wytt. So K. S: bot wytt he wold.

6360 abate. S: a1 inserted above the line.

6370 all. So K. S: a.

6373 To. So K. S omits.

6375 spare. S: fare spare.

6390 dedes. S: h dedes.

6407 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 61r): no heading.

6419 he. S: hy he.

6426 sped. S: stede sped.

6433 sen. So S. K omits.

6452 meneye. S: ne inserted above the line.

6463 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 61v): no heading.

6465 Bot. S: Bor, with t inserted above the line.

6471 then. So K. S: þem.

6474 store. So K. S: stere.

6477 thore. So S. K: fore.

6484 aspy. S: a inserted above the line.

6490 he. So K. S omits.

6502 in all. So K. S: all in.

6509 maystrays. S: rays above canceled ters.

6517 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 62r): no heading.

6518 he. So K. S: þei.

6522 Go. So K. S: do.

6524 unto. So K. S: vnt.

6532 to. S: town to.

6535 So. S: Soi.

6538 wedys. S: weddys.

6545 tythyng. S: th tythyng.

6554 to. So K. S omits.

6563 to be. S: to be be.

6571 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 62v): no heading.

6572 lett. So K. S: sett.

6575 ferther. So K. S: fererther.

6577 to. So K. S omits.
Gedyn. So S. K: Geden.

6579 Then. So K. S: Bot.

6583 glad. So K. S omits.
wyn. So K. S: wysch.

6585 when thei. So K. S: when þat þei.

6590 threpe again. So K. S: þre ennen in.

6592 governd. K notes this and an instance in line 9343 as cases of inverted spelling.
in. So K. S omits.

6593 thin. So K. S: in.

6619 uncertayn. S: un inserted above an uncanceled in.

6625 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 63r): no heading.

6629 to. So K. S: forto.

6632 to. S: to by.

6640 con. S: corrected from com.

6642 bede. So K. S: be.

6651 made. So K. S omits.

6660 bot. S: t inserted above the line.

6662 two. So K. S: o and part of w lost due to trimming.

6668 wo. So K. S: fo.

6675 cummand. So K. S: cumnand or cunnand (minim missing from written nasal).

6679 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 63v): no heading.

6680 werke. So K. S: werke hym.
hys. So K. S omits.

6683 thor. So S. K: þer.

6686 all. S: inserted above that1.

6692 otterest. So K. S: ottest.

6694 non away. So K. S: non of þem away.

6718 time. So K. S: tome.

6721 raythely. So K. S: rayly.

6729 Bot. So K. S: Bor.

6732 the soth. S: þe sone wo soth.

6735 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 64r): no heading.

6740 thee. So K. S omits.

6752 yt. S: inserted above canceled he.
slytt. S: inserted above canceled kytt.

6777 Marginalia in S (at right of fol. 64r): Saul and David unitas.

6786 thou. S: inserted above canceled I.

6789 then hyne. So K. S: with hym.

6791 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 64v): no heading.
To. S: And To.

6808 do. So K. S: to.

6818 als. So K. S: & als.

6825 the. S: inserted above the line.

6831 In. So K. S omits.

6833–34 Lines missing in S (and L, see textual note to lines 6245–6968).

6837 wyght. So K. S: wyghty.

6845 Who. So K. S: When.

6849 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 65r): no heading.

6851 All. S: als all.

6867 aftur. So K. S omits.

6872 had. So K. S omits.

6880 pelure. So K. S: penure.

6881 presentes scho. So K. S: present sch.

6889 kynd. S: kyng kynd.

6900 fud. So K. S: gud.

6901 knight. So S. K: kny3t.

6905 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 65v): liber primus Regum. De nupciis david and Abygay.

6909 mett. S: þer mett.

6937 Then folke. So K. S: þen grett folke.

6952 buske. S: but I buske.

6963 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 66r): no heading.

6965 ther. So K. S: þei, above canceled þor.

6969 The text of L continues here (fol. 149r).

6972 sure. So L, K. S: sone.

6981 on. So L, K. S omits.

6982 thei. So L, K. S: þat.

6984 wake2. So L, K. S: make.

6988 heryng. So L, K. S: hethyng.

6992 Saul. S: u inserted above the line.

6997 begun. So L, K. S omits.

7001 thou me. So L, K. S: I þe.
fun. So L, K. S: slayn.

7010 of. S: of w.

7012 unto. So L, K. S: to.

7013 lefes. So L, K. S: lofes.
lessons. So L, K. S: lessens.

7016 that. So L, K. S omits.

7021 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 66v): no heading.

7028 went. So L, K. S: ware.

7032 the. So L, K. S omits.

7035 a. So L, K. S omits.

7039 wene. So L, K. S: were.

7042 thei. So K. S: þat. L alters line.

7045 landes. S: three letters canceled before.

7048 to2. S: inserted above the line.
of his. S: inserted above the line.

7051 wo. So K. S: mo. L: fayle.

7056 Cananews. So K. S: phylysteyns. L: Philistiens.

7072 S: line 7075 canceled after.

7073 men. So L, K. S omits.

7077 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 67r): no heading.

7083 fare. So L, K. S omits.

7087 soundly. So L, K. S: sodanly.

7088 grett. S: gt grett.

7089 And. So L, K. S: All.

7092 byd. So K. S: abyd. L: abyde.

7103 howsoever. L, K: how s[o] euer. S, O: how sum ever.

7105 prophettes. So L, K. S: prophett.
prays. So L, K. S: prayd.

7106 helpe. So L, K. S: hym.

7107 God not pays. So L, K. S: god was not payd.

7108 sum. So L, K. S: of sum.

7110 wyche. S: inserted above canceled wythe.
hym. So L, K. S: Them.

7115 One. S: in left margin, before canceled And.

7123 asked. So L, K. S: aske.

7129 beforne. S: n inserted above the line.

7137 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 67v): no heading.

7145 borows. So K. S: brorows. L: Burghes.

7147 wyghtly. So L, K. S: wyttely.

7148 non. So K. S: no. L: noone.

7161 us. So L, K. S: was.

7167 to. So L, K. S: to he to.

7183 spoyle. So L, K. S: speke.

7186 them. So L, K. S: þem þem.

7193 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 68r): no heading.

7195 Thei. S: D þei.
hamwerd. So L, K. S: hanwerd.

7204 for mete. So K. S: forthermer. L: farthere.

7227 telle. S: second e inserted above the line.

7251 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 68v): no heading.

7257 past. So L, K. S: pist.

7266 be rownde. S: ro inserted above the line.

7273 tyll. S: w tyll.

7278 that. S: at inserted above the line.

7289 thei. S: of þei.

7294 lade. So L, K. S: lede.

7303 hedes. So K. S: hed. L: hevedes.

7306 worthy. So L, K. S: vnworthy.

7307 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 69r): no heading.

7309 When. S: h When.
was. So L, K. S omits.

7310 had. So L, K. S omits.

7312 he. S: hed.

7316 kynges. So L, K. S: kyng.
in. So L, K. S: inserted above to.

7317 Forther. So L, K. S: For heyr.


 
Print Copyright Info Purchase

First Book Of Kings (1 Samuel)


 
PRIMUS LIBER REGUM.
 

 
[ELKANAH AND HIS FAMILY (1:1–8)]
 



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4680
 
387.
God that goverans all thynges
   and myght fully made more and lese,
In whom our helpe all holy hynges,
   He graunt us grace of His gudnese
Forto begyne the Boke of Kynges
   and further yt furth in fayr processe,
Als Holy Chyrch heyre says and synges,
   and as the Bybyll proves expresse
How prophetes fyrst begane
   Goddes banere furth to beyre,
How kynges wrschepe wane
   be dyverse dedes of were.

388.
Ther wuned a man in Ramatha,
   a gentyll cety of the Jury,
And his name was cald Elcana;
   amang all other most myghty.
He had two wyfes. On heyght Anna;
   scho was barand of hyr body.
Hys secund wyfe heyght Fenenna,
   bot scho had barns hyr husband by.
The costome then was thore,
   that sythyn hath bene untoyght:
No wemen wrschept wore
   bot thoo that frutt furth broyght.

389.
Helcana, that was full wyse,
   lufed Anna well, for scho was fayre.
Bot all way was scho lesse in prese,
   bycawse scho broyght hym furth non ayre.
Thei used then ylke yere ons or twyse
   unto the Tempyll all folke to care
And ther forto make sacrafyce
   to God, that goverans erth and ayre.
And fell that Helcana
   with wyfes and chylder wentt
Thar sacrafyce to make
   to God with gud entent.

390.
Thei broyght with them both bred and wyne,
   aftur ther folke ware fele or fone.
And thor thei sett them down at dyne
   when thei ther sacrafyce had done.
He parted then Anna to pyne,
   for unto hyr he gaf bot one,
And to Fenenna fele and fyne,
   for scho had chylder and that other none.
When scho saw Fenenna
   for hyre chylder well fayre,
Scho weped and was full wo,
   for scho no barns bare.
 

who; (t-note)
[whose] power; (i.e., everything)
completely hangs
[may] He grant; goodness

set it forth in fair terms
here; sings
proves best
(t-note)
banner; bear; (t-note)
honor won
diverse deeds of war


dwelled; Ramathaim
noble; Jewry
Elkanah
[thought] most strong
One was called Hannah; (t-note)
barren
Peninnah
children
custom; at that time
which since has been out of use (unthought)
women were honored
those who children (fruit) brought forth


Elkanah; very wise
loved; beautiful
[in] all [other] ways; honor
no heir
each year once or twice


air

(t-note)


proper intentions


bread and wine; (see note); (t-note)
many or few
there; eat
their
distributed; pain; (see note)
gave only
many and fine [offerings]



wept; very sad
sons bore

 
[HANNAH MOURNS AT THE TEMPLE (1:9–19)]
 





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391.
Scho rose and went withoutyn rest
   to the Tempyll wher the Arke of God stud.
And thor scho fell in prayers prest
   and prayd to God, that gyfes all gud,
Hys grace in hyre forto fest
   and send a sun to mend hyr mode.
So carefull cowntenance furth scho cast
   that Ely wened scho had bene wode.
And unto hyr sayd he,
   “Dame, thou takes no kepe
All yf thou dronkyn be.
   Greve not God. Go slepe!”

392.
“A mercy, ser,” scho sayd. “Do way!
   My sorow sall thou understand.
To God is that I cry and pray
   to have a sun with my husband.
And sertes, ser, yf I so may,
   to God here sall he be servand.”
When Hely herd hyr so say,
   he prayd for hyr with hert and hand.
Then sone toke Helcana
   his chylder and wyfes two
And went into Ramatha,
   that town that thei come fro.
 

(see note); (t-note)
stood
eager prayers

provide
sadness
Such a lamenting look
Eli believed; made mad; (t-note)

are not watchful; (see note)
If you are drunk; (t-note)
Aggrieve; Take rest; (see note)




[it] is; (see note)

certainly
(t-note)
heard her say this; (t-note)





 
[SAMUEL’S BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD (1:20–2:11)]
 

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393.
Sone aftur this so yt befell:
   Anna consaved, os God vowchesayve,
And bare a sun heyght Samuell,
   as scho full oft cane aftur crave.
Grett myrth was made then them amell
   for comforth of that lytyll knave.
In the Tempyll was he dyght to dwell,
   ose sone os he hymself can save.
Hys moyder made offerand
   of hym, os scho had heyght,
Forto be Goddes servand
   dewly both day and nyght.

394.
In Goddes servyce so con he lend,
   a full fayre chyld of hyd and hew.
And by twelfe yeres was past tyll end,
   he cowth enogh of nurtur new:
The gast of God in hym dyscend,
   wherby he cowth tell talys trew.
How thynges suld both begyn and end,
   be prophecy full well he knew.
So aftur yeres twelfe
   Ely, the prophett wyse,
Held Samuel nex hisself
   in all sufferand servyce.
 


conceived; granted
bore; named; (see note)
because she did ask [for him] so often
among
gladness in; boy
made; (t-note)
as soon as he could take care of himself

promised

dutifully


would he live
in all ways
by [the time] twelve years were ended; (see note)
he was mature enough
spirit; descended; (t-note)
make true prophecies

(t-note)


Considered; nearest to himself
sovereignty of service

 
[ELI’S WICKED SONS (2:12–17, 22–36)]
 


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395.
Two suns with his wyfe had Ely,
   for samyn wuned, both scho and hee:
On Fynyes, that other Ofny,
   two semly chylder forto se.
Bot both thei lyved in lechery
   and dred not God in no degré.
Ther fader them faverd, and forthi
   to fowll endyng thei fell all thre.
The sacrafyce thei stall
   to fynd ther barns brede;
Therfor themself had bayle
   and other of ther kynred.
 


[they] lived together, she and he; (t-note)
One [named] Phinehas; Hophni
fair children in appearance
(see note)
feared
Their father favored them; therefore
foul
stole

woe
others of their family

 
[ON THE NEED FOR PRIESTS TO BE WORTHY]
 





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4750


 
396.
Forthi ys goyde thei tent to skyll
   that haluyd thyng has forto geme,
Be ther defawt that nothyng spyll;
   ne in beyryng be not to breme,
Ne take nothyng themself untyll
   that unto Goddes servyce suld seme;
And be ever ware with werkes yll
   for dowt of Hym that all sall deme.
And chastys ther chylder well
   allway when thei do omysse
That thei no fawtes fele,
   as Ely feled for hys.
 

Therefore [it] is well [that] they take every care; (see note); (t-note)
who hallowed things must protect (observe)
So that by their failures nothing is soiled; (t-note)
neither in bearing to be too rough; (t-note)
Nor to take anything unto themselves
should be suited
always be cautious to avoid ill works
fear; judge; (see note); (t-note)
chastise their; (t-note)
amiss
faults suffer
suffered

 
[GOD SPEAKS TO SAMUEL (3:1–21)]
 



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4800
 
397.
Now wyll we rede and reherse ryght
   how God to Samuell can apeyre.
As he lay slepand on a nyght
   in the Tempyll, hys mayster nere,
He herd a voyce call hym on heyght,
   “Samuell, Samuell!” sithes Ser.
He rayse hym up and wentt full wyght
   unto his mayster with myre chere
And sayd, “Ser, wyll ye oght,
   I com yow forto kepe;
Ye cald me als me toyght.”
   He sayd, “Nay, sun, go slepe!”

398.
He wentt and layd hym down agayn
   and hastely on slepe he fell.
And sone he herd the same stevyn certayn
   cald on hym and sayd, “Samuell!”
He royse and wentt with pase full playn,
   and to his maystur so can he tell.
Then Ely wyst and was full fayn
   that God apered thore them amell,
“Go slepe, my son so dere,
   and yf on speke thee tyll,
Say thus: ‘Lord, I am here;
   tell me what is Thi wyll.’”

399.
He sleped in his howse at hame,
   and sone when he to bed was broyght,
A voyce come and cald hym by name;
   and he sayd, “Lord, Thi servaunt unsoyght
Wyll werke Thi wyll of wyld and tame.”
   Then answerd God, as Hym gud toyght:
“All Jacob suns sall suffer schame
   for wekyd dedes that thei have wroyght.
Ely that thou wyt wunes
   sall sone dye sodanly,
For he suffers hys suns
   use theft and lechery.”

400.
Thus sayd God unto Samuel
   of fell defawtes that folke suld fele.
Unto his maystur con he tell
   how God had demed ylka dele.
And when Ely had herd his spell,
   that God was greved then wyst he wele,
And in prayers full fast he fell
   to save hys suns fro the unsele.
Bot no poyntt myght be feld:
   that Samuel sayd suld sew.
From thenfurth folke hym held
   for prophett, trest and trew.
 

read and recount properly; (see note); (t-note)
did appear
sleeping one night
nearby
aloud
many times; (t-note)
woke; at once; (t-note)
merry
whatever you desire; (see note)
fulfill
so I thought
(see note)



quickly asleep
at once; voice; (t-note)

pace

knew; very glad
there among them

one speaks to you




(see note)


(t-note)
(i.e., anywhere)
thought
(i.e., All Israel); (see note)

live with
soon die
allows
[to] partake [in]



terrible calamities; people should experience
did
judged each thing
news
knew

ruin
detail might be altered
occur; (t-note)
thenceforth
trusted

 
[WAR WITH THE PHILISTINES (4:1–2)]
 





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401.
Sone aftur fell that Phylysteyns
   mad grett semblyng on ylka syde
Of pepyll that were all paynyms,
   for both tho names thei bare that tyde.
On Jacob suns, that heyght Ebrews,
   come thei to were with mekyll pride
And says thei sall, whatso yt mevys,
   be bet or bun all that wyll abyd.
Cetyes and towns thei breynt
   over all in Ebrews land.
Both cornys and wyns thei schent
   and stroyd all that suld stand.

402.
Sone Ebrews herd and saw this syght
   that forto byde thei had no beld;
Trowghowt ther reme thei raysed ryght
   all wyght men that myght wepyns weld
Agayns Phylysteyns forto fyght.
   Thei sped them fast with spere and scheld.
Bot smertly ware thei putt to flygh,
   and fals Phylysteyns had the feld.
That day was dede and takyn
   ten thowssand, says the Boke.
So God had them forsakyn,
   for thei His law forsoke.
 

[it] happened; (t-note)
assembling on every side [of them]
pagans (i.e., non-Jews)
held at that time
[were] called Hebrews
[make] war; much
whoever it upsets
beaten or bound; would abide
burnt

grains and wines they spoiled
destroyed



remain; courage
realm; (t-note)
strong


quickly; flight
battlefield (i.e., victory)

Bible; (see note)


 
[THE LOSS OF THE ARK; DEATH OF ELI AND HIS SONS (4:3–18)]
 

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403.
The Ebrews toyght both scath and scorne
   that thei suld fro Phylysteyns flee.
Thei sembled folk fast on the morne
   and sayd thei suld ther solace see.
The Arke of God furth have thei borne;
   therwith thei wene to wyne degré.
Bot for thei had ther laws lorne,
   God wold no werke ne with them be.
Of Ebrews sone was slayne
   moe then thrytty thowssand;
The Arke of God was tone
   and led to hethyn land.

404.
Thus Ebrews that was putt in prese
   war all umcast with cares cold.
Felesteyns ther can full fast encresse,
   for thei had Godes Arke in wold.
Bot both Ofny and Fynyes,
   Ely suns that I ayre of told,
Thor leved ther lyves, withowtyn lesse.
   And ther fader, for he was old,
When he herd tythynges tell
   that his two suns was slayn,
Down fro his sege he fell
   bakward and brast his brayn.
 

injurious and scornworthy

gathered men


hope to win well
forsaken

at once were
more
taken
heathen lands


were put into difficulty
surrounded
(t-note)
possession

I told of before
left their lives, no lie
(t-note)
[this] news told

seat
burst

 
[THE ARK AMONG THE PHILISTINES: DAGON BROKEN, A PLAGUE OF MICE (5:1–12)]
 


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405.
Thus Ely and his suns was sloyn,
   and Ebrews all was schent for syn.
The Arke of God from them was gone
   with fellows folk Fylystyen.
Thei sett yt be ther god Dagon,
   for thei to hym wold wrschepe wyne.
Bot vengance sone on them was tone:
   he fell and brake both bone and skyne.
And more harme sone at hand
   fell over all that cetye:
Grett myse groyved owt of sand,
   an ugly syght to se.

406.
Thei ette tho folke, both flesch and blod;
   thei had no fors them to dyffend.
Ther bowels royted wher thei stod;
   ther was no medcyn them to mend:
Mony thowssand for woo were wod.
   This vengiance God apon them send,
For the Arke of God, that was so gud,
   was haldyn then in hethyn hend.
Thei toke consell that tyde
   and send yt fro Assoton
To a cyté ther besyde,
nbsp;  that named was Askalon.
 






make obeisance
soon; taken; (t-note)



mice appeared; (see note)



ate those

rotted

woe went mad


held; heathen hands
council at that time
Ashdod

Ekron

 
[THE DECISION TO RETURN THE ARK (6:1–11)]
 



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407.
Bot als sone ose thei toke entent
   to mayntein yt thor them amell,
All the same harme sone had hent:
   thei royted and ranked flesch and fell.
To fyve cetys so was yt sent,
   and in ylka place os yt can dwell,
Sone all the folke ware schamly schent,
   so grett nowmer that non myght tell.
Then thei toyght and sayd,
   when thei sufferd so sore,
That God was noyght well payd
   his Arke was holdyn thore,

408.
For yt gart all that grevance groyve
   of sorows that ware to them soyght.
And yett thei toyght that poynt to prove
   whedder yt was therfor or noyght.
A sotell case thei can controve:
   A ryall chare sone have thei wroyght
And coverd yt clenely above;
   the Arke of God thorein thei broyght.
Fyfe myse then gart thei make
   and fyfe rynges of gold fyne
For the fyfe cytes sake,
   wher folke ware putt to pyne.

409.
Two oxin that myght yt well weld
   sone have thei schosyn that chare to draw
And led them fere furth into the feld,
   the wyll of God for thei wold knaw.
Thei lete them be withowtyn beld:
   none forto lede them, heygh ne law.
Thei stode of ferrom and beheld,
   and thus then sayd thei in ther saw:
“Yf the bestes bryng yt nere,
   then wyll God with us lend;
And yf the flytt yt ferre,
   He ys not fully our frend.”
 


there among them
occurred

(t-note)
each
terribly diseased
no one might count them all
thought [about it]

not well pleased
held there; (t-note)


Because it caused all the terrible calamities
placed upon them
possibility
that way or not
subtle
royal carrier soon
(t-note)
therein
Five mice then caused they to be made


torment


manage; (see note)
chosen
far out; field

guidance
to lead them, high or low (i.e., anyone)
stood aside
in their way
near
dwell
they (the cows) take it far away

 
[RETURN OF THE ARK (6:12–7:2)]
 


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410.
Thoo oxin went with pace full playn
   and led the Arke to Ebrews land.
Phylysteyns, for thei past fro payn,
   was glad that yt was ferre from hand.
Bot Bethsamys was ferly fayn
   when thei the Arke in ther feld fand.
Procession went thei thore agayn
   and gafe to yt full grett offerand:
The oxin and the chare thei bryntt
   before the Tabernakyll.
To the jewells toke thei tent
   in mynd of this merakyll.

411.
Then wrschept yt was worthyly
   bot for that thei unworthy were.
Moyses ordand in all the Jewry
   that non suld negh Goddes Arke so nere
Bot only the lynage of Levy,
   pristes or dekyns knawn for clere.
Thies folke was not so, and forthi
   ther boldnes sone thei boyght full dere:
Vengiance com sone unsoyght
   apon sexty thowssand.
Sythyn Levy barn yt broyght
   and sett yt where yt suld stand.

412.
Amynadab, a nobyll Jew,
   when that he saw thies folke mysfayre,
He ordand offycers all new,
   swylke os he wyst worthy ware,
Of the most cunnand that he knew;
   and his awn sun Eleazare
Ordand he byschop forto be trew
   and tech the folke for all swylke chare.
Then lyfed Ebrews at es
   and forsoke synfull dede.
Ay whyls thei wold God plese,
   of nothyng had thei nede.
 

steady; (t-note)

were relieved of their pains
were; far
[the people of] Beth-shemesh were joyous
field found

large offerings
burnt

they made note; (t-note)




except for [the fact] that; (t-note)

approach
lineage
priests or deacons known to be pure
therefore
rewarded them quite poorly
(see note)

Then children of Levi



Abinadab
these people fared ill

such as he knew were worthy
Eleazar


such matters
ease
abandoned sinful ways
Always when they
(t-note)

 
[SAMUEL JUDGES ISRAEL; WICKEDNESS OF HIS SONS (7:15–8:3)]
 

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413.
Samuel was sufferan cald
   and leyrer of ther laws full lang.
Two suns he had, wyght men and bold,
   that melled them of the law amang.
Bot ther jugementes oft sythys thei sold
   and turned the ryght oft unto the wrang.
And ther fader, for he was old,
   myght noyght them mare of myse to gang.
Fro pure men held thei fode
   and fold them monyfold,
And rych men for ther gud
   myght werke whatever thei wold.
 

considered [their] judge
teacher; for a long time
brave
meddled
ofttimes


stop them from doing misdeeds; (t-note)
(t-note)
animals; (t-note)

meddled

 
[THE CALL FOR A MONARCHY (8:4–22)]
 




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414.
All gude men had full grett dedyne
   that ryght suld be so mysarayd.
And comyn pepyll can them pleyn
   to Samuell, and thus thei sayd:
“Syr, thee semys sone to passe hene,
   for eld thi face is all afrayd.
To forther us thou suld not feyne,
   our governance of mysse is grayd.
Therfor, ser, of this thyng
   we pray thee evere ylkon:
Ordand over us a kyng
   to gyd us when thou art gone.

415.
“Ever ylka nacion bot we
   hath kynges chosyn at ther awn chose.
And, ser, thi suns, soth we see,
   thei wyll not leve our laws to losse.
Therfor a kyng in this cuntré
   grawnt us to have withowtyn glose.”
He wyst full well God wold not be
   plessed nor payd of this purpasse,
For prophettes, pristes, and clerkes
   governd allway before,
And God ordand ther werkes.
   Forthi thus sayd he thore:

416.
“Syrs, ye wott what God hath wroyght
   for yow and all your ofspryng:
Your elders owt of bondeyg He broyght
   fro Pharo, that cursed kyng.
He send them fode enogh of noyght
   in wyldernes — that was a wonder thyng!
And to yourselfe He sendes unsoyght
   to lyfe heyre at your awn lykyng:
He sayves yow lyth and lym.
   Therfor now forto have
Oyder thyng then Hym,
   I consell noyght ye crave.

417.
“I sall yow say encheson why,
   and ose I say, so fynd ye sall.
Ye have now non bot God Allmighty,
   that wele may govern both grete and small.
Fro a kyng have of you maistry,
   now are ye fre, then ware ye thrale.
Your corne, your catell, ox and kye,
   bus redy come unto his call.
As hym thynke yt wyll seme,
   so bus yow ryde and gang
And do os he wyll deme,
   wheder yt be ryght or wrang.”

418.
Thus preched he them by processe playn
   qwat care suld come in all swylke case.
Bot all his wordes was in vayn:
   thei answerd spytfully in that space,
“Ser, we wyll have a kyng certayn,
   as the pepyll hath in other place,
To mayntein us with myght and mayn
   Agayns Phylysteyns, our face.”
He heyght them forto have
   a kyng in tyme comyng.
Thei keped noyght els to crave;
   then hom went old and yyng.
 

indignation
displaced
complain

seem soon to die; (t-note)
age; weathered
further [lead] us; avoid
is all out of place

always as one
Ordain
guide


Every other
own choice
truly
cease to destroy our laws

deceit
(i.e., Samuel)
pleased or satisfied with


governed their works



know
children
bondage
Pharaoh
food enough from nothing


own recognizance
joint and limb (i.e., in whole)

Another
counsel you not to ask for


tell the reason
as

(t-note)
But if; mastery
you would be in thralldom
grain; livestock, oxen; cows
must be ready to come
it would be best
you must ride and go
however he desires




what ills should come; such cases
were in vain
(t-note)
have in other places
strength and stoutness

foes; (t-note)
promised; (t-note)
the times to come
would be satisfied with nothing else
(t-note)

 
[SAUL ENCOUNTERS SAMUEL (9:1–27)]
 




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419.
In Masphat sojournd Samuel
   and mad gret mornyng for ther mysse.
And in that same cyté can dwell
   A nobyll man, was named Cys.
He had a sun, Saul to tell,
   a cumly chyld to clype and kyse.
And in that same tym so befell
   that asses was with-rachyd of hys.
He bad with wordes meke
   Saul, his sun certayn,
Wend furth his bestes to seke
   and bryng them home agayn.

420.
Saul was both meke and myld
   to fyll his fader commawndment.
He toke with hym another chyld
   for feleschepe, and furth thei went.
Thei soyght be ways and wastes wyld
   the assys that thei to seke ware sent.
Thei fand none that cowde be ther byld
   to tell in what land thei ware lent.
Saul sayd, “We wyll gang
   unto my fader agayn;
Hym thynke we dwell full lang,
   and our gatt ys in vayne.”

421.
Hys servand sayd, “Nay, ser, lett us byde
   sum bettur bodword home to bryng.
Samuel wunes heyr besyde,
   a wyse prophett that wott all thyng.
He sall us tell in full schort tyde
   of our bestes sum trew tythyng.
Sen we have wasted ways wyde,
   our help now in his hand may hyng.”
Saul full sone assent;
   this way he wold not lett.
To the cyté thei wentt,
   and Samuel sone thei mett.

422.
Thei prayd hym wysch them, yf he myght,
   to ther assys that went ware wrang.
He sayd, “Suns, dwels with me all nyght;
   then sall ye wytt, or ye gang.”
He saw Saul semly to syght
   and of fayr stature to be strang,
And werned he was from Hevyn on heyght
   that he suld be kyng Ebrews amang.
Folke dyde servyce that day,
   full grett ose custom kend,
And to God can thei pray
   sum gud kyng them to send.

423.
And when that wrschepe was all done
   and tyme was for the folke to twen,
The prophett at the howre of noyne
   toke thoo two chylder to his yne,
And wheder folke ware felle or fone,
   he dyde Saule the deyse begyne
And made hym to be served sone,
   als he ware comyn of kynges kyne.
Ebrews had all ferly
   why that this werke was wroyght.
Samuel wold not say why;
   he wyst that thei wyst noyght.

424.
That he suld be kyng well he kend;
   therfor he rewled in swylke aray.
In his awn loge that nyght thei lend.
   And on the morn when yt was day,
With them he ordand hym to wende
   and toke Saul besyd the way
And sayd, “Thus God hath me send
   all his entent to thee at say.
To I have told my toyght,
   byd thi felow furth goo,
For what God wyll be wroyght
   sall non wytt bot we two.”

425.
He dyde hys servant hym withdraw,
   and then he sayd, “Saul, take hede!
God hath so ordand that thee aw
   His folke in land to lere and lede.
And for ther kyng thei sall thee knaw
   and sewt and servyce to thee bede.
Ay whyls thou lufes God and His law,
   He wyll be nere in all thi nede.
And yf thou wyll ga wrang
   and werke agayns His wyll,
Thi lordschep lastes not lang.
   Therfor take tent thertyll!”
 

Mizpah; (see note)
mourning; sins

Kish
son; (t-note)
comely; embrace and kiss

his donkeys had gone astray; (t-note)
asked; meek

To go forth to seek his beasts






for company

donkeys; seek
comfort
they had gone
go

too long
journey is in vain


No; await
better news
dwells here
knows
in a very quick way
true tidings
Since
hang
quickly agreed





inform
about where their donkeys went
stay
know, before you go
seemly
strong
notified he (Samuel) was; on high
he (Saul) should
People performed services
as custom called




worship
depart
hour of nine (i.e., noon); (t-note)
those; house
whether [or not]; many or few
made Saul sit at the head of the table
at once
as if he were come from royalty
were all curious


knew that they knew not


knew
conducted [himself] in such
own house; spent

go
beside [him along] the way


Until I have revealed my thought

(t-note)
no one know



heed
instructed; ought
teach and lead
their
suit; present
As long as you love

go wrong


take heed to this

 
[SAUL ANOINTED BY SAMUEL (10:1–16)]
 





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426.
He toke oyle, os God had hym kend,
   that blessed was of God before,
And anoynt hym both hed and hend
   and cald hym “kyng” and kyssed hym thore.
And sythyn to God he hym be kend
   and told hym wher his assys wore
And the ryght way how he suld wend,
   and yett that tym he told hym more.
“Full semly chylder III,
   sun,” he sayd, “sall thou mette.
Thre loyvys sall thei gyf thee
   with wordes wyse and swete.

427.
“And forthermer then thee avyse:
   in Gabatha thor sall be seyne
Prophettes that ar provyd in price
   and cunnand clerkes in clergy clene.
Thou sall speke with them profecyes
   and tell what maters may be mene.
Thei sall wounder on ther wyse
   and say thus, ‘Wher hath Saul bene?’
Sun, yf thou se in certayn
   this fulfyll in all thyng,
Trow then withowtyn trayn
   that God wyll have thee kyng.

428.
“Grete well thi fader as faythfull frend,
   thi moyder and other meneye mo.
And when the terme is comyn to end,
   that we have tane betwyx us two,
To Masphat sall we same wend.”
   So ylkon cayred wher thei come fro.
The maters that the prophet mened,
   evyn in ther fayre thei fand them so.
Saul sone told full evyn
   his fader of all his fare,
Bot nothyng wold he nevyn
   of kyndom forto declare.
 

announced

head and hand
named
made him known
donkeys
go


meet
loaves [of bread]; (see note)



furthermore for your consideration
seen
honor

prophecies; (t-note)
what portents may mean
wonder in their way
(t-note)
(t-note)

Know; doubt



Greet
your other companions
time
taken
together go
each one traveled
mentioned
journey; found


mention
kingdom

 
[SAUL CROWNED KING (10:17–27)]
 




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429.
When the seson come that thei had sett,
   to Masphat geydderd full gret wone.
Ther Samuel and Saul mete
   with myghty Ebrews mony one,
For in that place he had them hett
   to have a kyng whore thei had none.
And lottes thei layd withoutyn lett
   of what kynred kyng suld be tone.
For so assent thei all,
   and sone when thei begyne,
The lott con lyght and fall
   on the lyne of Benjamyn.

430.
Then sone thei layd ther lottes agayn
   to wit which man shuld amend theire mys,
And soone it light, is noght at layne,
   apon Saul, the sun of Cys.
Then Samuel sayd, “Sers, certayn
   be cowrse of kynd your kyng he ys.”
The Ebrews answerd and ware fayn.
   Kyng myght he be with mekyll blyse.
He was cumly to ken,
   of breyd and heyghnes als
Abowe all other men
   both be the hede and the hals.

431.
Thei rayssed hym up into a stall
   on heyght that all men myght hym see.
Thei kneled on knesse and kyng hym call,
   as costom was in that cuntré.
Then Samuel sayd unto them all,
   “Sers, all your yernyng now have ye.
What fayre to yow ferther fall,
   sett no defawt to God ne me.
Sen ye have God forsakyn,
   and His doyng ylka dele,
And to a kyng yow takyn,
   loke that ye luf hym wele.

432.
“And kepe the lawes that Moyses kend,
   leese that ye yeld yourself to spyll.”
Then lyst them thore no langer lend,
   bot ylk man went at ther awn wyll.
Wyse Ebrews with ther kyng con wend
   redy hys bedyng to fulfyll.
Sum other foyles can yt dyffend
   and sayd thei assent not thertyll.
Bot sythyn when thei saw
   his gudly governance,
Then to hym can thei draw
   for dowt of aftur chaunce.
 

season came
gathered a great many people

(t-note)
promised
where [before]
lots; hindrance
from which family the king should be taken

(t-note)
did alight
lineage



know; their distress; (t-note)
it is no lie


by course of nature
glad
much happiness
fair to see
breadth and height
Above
by the head; neck


seat (throne)

knees; (t-note)

(t-note)
yearning
Whatever should further befall you
guilt [for it] upon God nor
Since

you are given over
love him well


Moses made known
lest you yield; death; (t-note)
desired; there; to remain
each
go; (t-note)
ready to fulfill his bidding
fools did oppose it

then



 
[NAHASH THE AMMONITE BESIEGES JABESH-GILEAD (11:1–4)]
 

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433.
Saul was ordand on this wyse
   kyng of the Ebrews, all and sum.
He sett his reme in gud assyce
   and wroyght by Samuel wysdum.
Sythyn Naas, kyng of Amanys,
   that wund full ferre beyond the flome,
Ordand hym redely forto ryse
   with cuntreys that to hym wold come.
Ebrews he con dystroy,
   ever als he myght them geyte,
And none myght to hym noye,
   so was hys power grete.

434.
He byrns ther towns and ther cetyes
   and stroys ther catell, corn, and wyne.
The febyll folke that hym not flees
   to fell also he wyll not fyne.
All that he sees sone sall chese
   on of tho twa to take or tyne:
Auder the ryght eye forto lese,
   or suffer ded with dewlfull pyne.
Thus mekyll folke was slayn,
   that wold them fend with fyght,
And mony was put to payn
   thrugh losyng of ther syght.

435.
So wendes he furth and never fynys,
   bot ever his cumpany encrese
Unto he come to Galadyns
   in a cyté, that heyt Jabese.
Ther settes he gybcrokes and engyns;
   of that sawt he wyll not sese
Tyll all within be put to pyns.
   and at the last ther cheftans chese
At yeld them to Naas,
   ther cyté so to have
And weld all that thor was,
   ther lyfes alone to save.

436.
When Naas herd ther resons ryfe,
   he sayd thei suld chese on of two:
“He that wyll yeld hym sall have lyfe,
   bot hys ryght eye sall he forgo;
And all tho that wyll stand with stryfe
   we sall not sese, or we them slo.”
Then weped sore both man and wyfe.
   Thei cowd not wele the werse of tho,
Bot of pece thei hym prayd
   to sevyn days ware past,
“For sertes, ser,” thei sayd,
   “no langer may we last.”

437.
The kyng kest hym noyght to remove
   bot styll to abyd in that same stede.
And comforth to them non he knew
   bot the sevynt day to suffer dede.
Therfor that tyme hee grawntt trew,
   and thei sent furth full fast on hede
To Saul that was kyng of new
   and told how thei ware wyll of rede.
“Our carfull end we kene
   bot thou us sone releve.
Sen we ar made thi men,
   helpe to mend our myschefe!”
 



realm in good assize

Nahash; Ammonites
dwelled very far; river; (t-note)
Prepared himself quickly to rise up

did
all of them that he might get a hold of
harm



(t-note)
destroys

kill; cease; (t-note)

give or lose; (t-note)
Either; lose
death with terrible pain; (t-note)
many people were slain
would defend themselves
many were



goes; finishes
armies increased; (t-note)
Gibeonites
Jabesh-gilead; (t-note)
siege hooks and engines; (see note)
assault; cease
Until; to pains
their leaders chose
To yield everything to Nahash
(t-note)
rule; there was; (t-note)
lives; (t-note)


many reasons

yield himself


until we slay them
terribly
determine the worse of those [choices]; (t-note)
peace
until; (t-note)




decided not to move away; (t-note)
place; (t-note)

seventh; death

forth with headlong speed
(t-note)
devoid of options
sorrowful end we perceive
(t-note)
Since we are

 
[SAUL DEFEATS NAHASH (11:5–15)]
 

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438.
When Saul herd tell this trayn,
   amang his men he made grett mone
And sayd he wold dyffend tham fayn;
   so sayd his Ebrews ylk one.
He bad the messyngers wend agayn
   and hald the trew that thei had tone.
For socour sall thei have certayn
   or thre days next be comyn and gone.
Thei wentt, as he them bad,
   full tyte unto Jabes.
Then Gabonyse was glad
   when thei happyn to have pese.

439.
The kyng Saule in his mynd hath ment
   how he myght semyll his pepyll sone.
Ane ox he dyd bryng in present
   and bad he suld to ded be done.
Thareof to sere cetys he sent
   and sayd, whedder thei had fele or fone,
Thar bestes suld have the same jugment
   bot yf thei hastyd withoutyn hoyne
To wend with hym in ware
   ther enmys owt to dryfe.
All that myght armys beyr
   was bown to go be lyfe.

440.
The kyng gart nowmer them and tell,
   them that suld come in company.
Thei fand of folke of Israel
   sex hunderth thowsand men myghty,
And of Juda als fell ther fell,
   the nowmers ar not forto dyscrye.
Unto them all sayd Samuel:
   “Wendes furth, ye sall have the vyctory.
Forto dyffend your ryght
   that enmys hath outrayd
God wyll enforc your fyght.
   Therfor be noyght afrayd!”

441.
Kyng Saull with his host is wun
   to Jabes, wher the Phylysteyns dwell.
The fellows folke sone hath he fone,
   that sorely sojornd in ther sell.
In a mornyng befor the sun
   with all host on them he fell
And bett them down os bestes bun.
   Thor was no more tale to tell.
Or thei myght wepyns weld
   to were themself fro wo,
Ware thei feld in the feld
   that none myght flytt therfro.

442.
Naas, that wold no rawnson take
   bot eyne of all that he myght hent,
Now myght no man his sorow slake
   tyll eyne and eyrs and all ware schent.
The Ebrews now may myrthys make,
   that late befor of mornyng ment,
And fals Phylysteyns for ther sake
   owt of this werld with wo ar went.
Kyng Saul slogh that day
   a hunderth with his handes,
And wan wrschepe for ay
   to hym and all his landes.

443.
This was fyrst chaunce of chevalry
   that Kyng Saul fell in this case.
Grett boldnes hath his folke therby
   and grett ferdnes to all his face.
Folke that before was not frendly,
   now ware thei fayn at fall to grace.
And he had myght then and maystry
   on all Ebrews in ylka place.
Thei gat, both grett and small,
   that myght full gretly gayn,
And home thei went with all;
   than ware the folke unslayn.

444.
Thei thanked Samuel of this thyng,
   for by his wytt thei wroyght allway.
And lowd thei kest up a cryyng,
   and to the kyng thus can thei pray:
“Yf any Ebrews, old or yyng,
   that ow to lyfe be Moyses Lay,
And wyll not knaw thee for ther kyng,”
   that “thei be done to ded this day,
All for thei suld be flayd
   that fyrst was turned hym fro.”
Bot he answerd and sayd,
   “God wold not we dyd so.

445.
“Sen God hath gyfyn us vyctory
   and our enmys on kares cast,
He wyll that we forgyf gladly
   all tho that to us have trespast.
All that wyll mekly aske mercy
   sall have our frendschep full and fast.”
The pepyll prayssed hym fast forthi
   and sayd his lordschep lang suld last.
So was all folk his frend,
   and none groched hym agayn,
For hys wordes fayr and hend
   all ware to his bod bayn.

446.
Samuel says, “Sers, yow avyse
   qwat lordschepe God hath yow sent:
Loves Hym with all your sacrafyce
   of all His grace with gud entent!”
So dyd thei ylkon on ther wyse,
   and unto Saul sone thei went
And raysed hym kyng. Then was yt thryse
   with the fyrst tyme that he toke untment.
So was he kyng hymselfe,
   lordschep to have and hald
Over all the kynredes twelve
   that Jacob suns was cald.
 

news
moan
gladly

to return
hold the truce; taken

before; were come and gone

very quickly
the Gibeonites were




assemble his people quickly; (t-note)
One; (t-note)
he should be slaughtered
numerous; (t-note)
many or few
Their livestock
unless; without hesitation
war
to drive out their enemies

bound


managed to count

found; (t-note)
(see note)
as many as there appeared
to be determined

Go; (t-note)
To defend
violated; (t-note)




journeyed

wicked people soon he has found
small dwellings

(t-note)
as bound beasts; (t-note)

Before
guard; woe
killed on the battlefield



ransom
except the eyes; seize; (t-note)
relieve
ears; cut off

mourning voiced


slew; (see note)

won worship forever



feat

courage had
fierceness took over his face

glad to fall


(t-note)

(t-note)
(t-note)




a cry

young
by; Law

executed






Since; (t-note)
in sorrows thrown
desires; (see note); (t-note)
have done trespass

(t-note)
praised

(t-note)
complained against him

commands obedient; (t-note)


witness; (t-note)
(t-note)

good intentions

(t-note)

took ointment (was anointed)


kindreds

 
[ON ISRAEL AND THE NAMES OF THE JEWS]
 



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447.
Now for ther names so oft tyms news,
   to what entent now wyll I tell:
Of Abraham ware thei cald Ebrews;
   with forme faders so yt befell.
And of Juda thei ware cald Jews
   and with sum chylder of Israel.
Of Canan ware thei cald Cananews.
   So in sere cuntres os thei dwell,
Be sere names ware thei kend,
   als clerkes well declare,
And God can with them lend
   ay whyls thei luf His lare.
 

(see note)






Thus in various countries where
were they known

did with them remain
as long as they loved His doctrine

 
[SAMUEL SPEAKS TO THE PEOPLE (12:1–25)]
 

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5410


 
448.
Then Samuel sayd, “Sers, I yow pray
   that ye wyll tell heyr to your kyng
Yf I dyd ever by nyght or day
   trespase to yow, old or yyng,
Or toke your catell, corn, or hay,
   ox or asse or other thyng.”
Thei sayd, “Ser, forsoth, nay!
   Ye greved us never in governyng.”
“Then have ye now mystakyn
   and served to suffer pyne,
Sen ye hath both forsakyn
   Goddes governance and myne.

449.
“And yf God with yow greved be,
   for ye have groched Hym agayn,
Pray we Hym, both I and ye,
   that He send us sum seyn certayn
Of His grevance in this degré.”
   And soyn He sent a proyfe full playn:
Swylke wedder that wonder was to se
   of thonour, levynyng, hayle, and rayne
And frost, full fell and kene,
   that before was full clere.
Swylke wedders was never seyne
   in that tyme of the yere.

450.
For then thei had ther harvest grayd
   to geydder home, both wyn and corne.
Then wyst thei well God was not payd,
   and that thei had on myse them born.
Unto the prophett fast thei prayd:
   “Have mercy, els we be lorne.”
“I sall pray for yow, sers,” he sayd,
   “bot haves mynd mydday and morn
What grace God hath yow sent,
   als all your kynredes knaw.
Kepes well His commawndment
   and lelly lufes Hys law.

451.
“For what tyme ye breke His bedyng,
   your blyse mun with bale be blend;
And bees curtase unto your kyng
   with all your myght his myrth to mend;
And honers hym over all erthly thyng,
   and wendes, ylk man, wher he wyll wend.”
And thus thei parted, old and yyng,
   wher thei ware levest forto lend.
Kyng Saul had a sun,
   that named was Jonata,
Qwylk aftur furth was fun
   gentyll with mony ma.
 


here







deserved; pain
Since



is aggrieved
complained against Him

sign

proof plainly seen
Such weather
thunder, lightning, hail, and rain
foul and sharp
where before [the weather]
weather patterns were never seen



prepared; (t-note)
to gather
pleased; (t-note)
they themselves had done amiss

destroyed
(t-note)




dutifully love


bidding
bliss might with sadness be mixed
be courteous

(t-note)
(t-note)

they were most desirous to go

Jonathan
afterwards was found [to be]
noble; more [qualities]; (t-note)

 
[THE PHILISTINES INVADE ISRAEL (13:1–7, 19–22)]
 



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452.
In this meyntyme the kyng herd tell
   of new tythandes that was nere at hand:
Phylysteyns that ware fers and fell
   war enturd into Ebrews land.
In Gabatha thore con thei dwell
   and stroyd all that thei before them fand
And hasted to have them omell
   all that to armys war ordand.
And smithes smertly thei slogh
   and of iren ylk thyng,
Both fro wayn and ployght,
   and gart yt to them bryng.

453.
The Ebrews then yll angerd er:
   away was born that them suld beld.
Thei had no wepyns them with to were,
   all myght thei never so well them weld.
Phylysteyns myght thei do no dere,
   all yf thei fele say in the feld.
Kyng Saul wold fayn them to fere;
   he hastyd hym fast with spere and scheld.
He toke thre thowsand men:
   to hymself tha twa
That he cowd kenest kene,
   and on to Jonata.

454.
And fast thei went furth on ther way
   with other folke foloand in fere.
Sone when Phylysteyns herd say
   that Kyng Saul suld com so nere,
Thei governd them in grett aray
   and sembled folke on sydes sere
That sexty thowsand sone had thei
   of knyghtes kene in armys clere
And thrytty thowsand els,
   that well myght wepyns beyre,
And mo that no man tels
   on futte full wyght in were.

455.
Yt was full semly syght to see
   of charyottes and of chyvalry.
Had thei lufed God in gud degré,
   then ware yt daynty to dyscrye.
When Kyng Saul come in cuntré
   in space, wher he myght them aspy,
Dred sum dele in his hert had hee
   becawse of so grett cumpany,
And for dedes thei had done
   to dyverse man and wyfe;
And his folke ware bot fone
   with swylke a strengh forto stryfe.

456.
Bot his kenes full well he kyd
   with all hys myght them forto mare.
And when his folke herd how thei dyd,
   then howped thei well forto have ware.
Sum fled, and sum in hoyles them hyd;
   for ferd then wold thei found no fare.
Ther ware bot few with hym abyd
   or that wold negh the pepyll nere.
When he saw thei ware gone,
   his teyne myght no man tell.
He wyst no bettur wone
   bot sent unto Samuel.
 

meantime
tidings; near; (t-note)
fierce and cruel

Geba
(t-note)
among them
were assigned; (t-note)
blacksmiths quickly

wagon and plow
caused it all to be brought to them


very angered were
taken what they should use
to make war
wield; (t-note)
harm
field; (t-note)
desire to make them afraid


[of] those [he took the] two

(t-note)



following in company


gathered themselves; (t-note)
many sides
(see note); (t-note)
gleaming armor; (t-note)
besides; (t-note)

more; can count
foot full strong in war



chivalrous [knights]; (t-note)

then it would be a pleasure to describe


Dread somewhat



ill-prepared
strive


fierceness; proved
injure

hoped; war; (t-note)
holes
fear; get no farther
remaining; (t-note)
approach

grief; (t-note)


 
[SAUL MAKES THE OFFERING WITHOUT SAMUEL (13:8–12)]
 



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5505



 
457.
Hys moyn be messege can he ma
   that he was ferd and faylyd myght,
How he and his sun Jonata
   ware ordand with ther foys to fyght,
And how his folke ware fled hym fra
   when thei of enmys had a syght;
And prayd hym come to Gabatha,
   for thore thei suld abyd hym ryght.
When Samuel herd certayn
   how stratly he was sted,
He send sone word agayn
   and bad, “Be noyght adred!

458.
“For within sevyn days aftur this,”
   says hymself, “I sall be thore,
And tyll that tyme, be gud avyce,
   that he gett bestes abowt ay whore,
So that we may make sacrafyce
   unto our God tho folke before.”
The kyng hath ordand on all wyse,
   als he send word and sum dele more.
Bycawse the prophett dwellyd
   over the terme that was sett,
The kyng more furth hym melled
   then he suld do be dett.

459.
When the tym come that was ordand,
   and no man come hys sytte to slake,
And hys men wold not with hym stand
   (for wo unwynly con thei wake),
Foleherdenes he toke on hand
   hymselfe thore sacrafyce to make.
Then the prophett come and foyles fand;
   he was full ferd for dred of wrake,
For he had messege sent
   with wordes on this wyse,
Or he com in present
   to make no sacrafyce.
 

entreaty by message he did make
fearful and failed in strength
(t-note)
foes



await

how he was placed in such circumstances

afraid





beasts from whatever places are around; (t-note)


ordered all these things; (t-note)
somewhat more
[But] because; delayed
past the time; (t-note)
interfered; (t-note)
duty


agreed
because; troubles to relieve

joyless did they live
Foolhardiness

fools found
very fearful for dread of [God’s] wrath
(see note)

Before; person
(t-note)

 
[SAMUEL TAKES THE KINGSHIP AWAY FROM SAUL’S FAMILY (13:13–15)]
 


5510




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5520
 
460.
Therfor he sentt hym sone his wage
   and sayd, “Had thou not done this dede,
Thi suns suld have born heritage;
   now sall no frutt be of thi sede
Bycawse thou hath done this owtrage,
   that suld not passe bot be presthed.
God hath ordand a lytyll page
   aftur thi days this land to lede.”
Thus told he his entent
   to the kyng and Jonata,
And wroth his way he went
   agayne to Ramatha.
 

immediately his reward; (t-note)
deed; (t-note)
been endowed with

(see note)
occur except through the priesthood
page (youth); (see note)
lead

(t-note)
angered
(t-note)

 
[SAUL FIGHTS ON; JONATHAN’S NIGHT RAID (13:15–16, 23–14:23)]
 





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461.
Then was the kyng in mekyll dred,
   for hertyng of helpe he ne has.
He toke apon hym hegh manhed,
   and furth full playnly con he pase.
And thre hunderth then with hym yode
   of thre thowsand that with hym was.
That was full lytyll folke to lede
   to hym and hys sun Jonatas.
Jonatas persayved that thei
   myght not eschew that chaunce
To wyn wrschepe away
   bot be Goddes governance.

462.
The panyms was so grett plenté;
   on a hegh hyll loged thei lay.
To stroy ther strengh fast stud he
   and mare ther myght yf he may.
He toke on of his awn meneye,
   qwylke he treyst wold not hym betray,
And sayd, “Felow, com furth with me!”
   So prevely thei went ther way
That none wyst bot thei two;
   and evyn abowt mydnyght
To that hyll con thei go,
   and thus then sayd he ryght:

463.
“What I do loke thou do the same,
   and this sall be our segne certayn:
Yf any of them nevyn me be name,
   then sall we have our purpase playn.
And yf thei boldly wyll us blame
   and none answer gyf us agayn,
Then is gud that we hast us hame,
   or els our traveyll turnes in vayne.”
Thor was no way to wend
   bot a strayt sty of stone.
Clamerand on knese and hende
   by that gatt ar thei gone.

464.
With mekyll payn so can thei pase
   and come into that evyn entré.
On of them wyst well who yt wase,
   and to his felow thus sayd he,
“Yonder ys comyn the Jew Jonatas
   with mony mo of his meneye.”
Thei loked on them, thei cryd alas;
   soyne ware thei feld that myght not flee.
Thei ware kylled all uncled;
   none myght helpe other harmes.
Down fro that hyll thei fled
   and brake both leges and armes.
 

much dread
the encouragement (heartening); does not have
much courage

went





honor



pagans were so very plenteous
they lay in their tents

mar their strength; (t-note)
one of this own company
whom he trusted

secretly
knew [of their going]

did
straightway


Whatever; see that you do the same
sign of assurance
call
have our way with them
(t-note)

haste ourselves home; (t-note)


vertical path
Clambering on knees and hands



(t-note)

knew; (see note)


more [men] of his company

soon those were killed who
unclad


broke

 
[SAUL FOLLOWS UP THE ATTACK; JONATHAN EATS FORBIDDEN FOOD (14:16–35)]
 


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465.
Kyng Saul sadly spyrd and spyed
   ther cowntenance forto kene,
And when he herd how hegh thei cryed,
   unto the hyll he hasted then.
Hys folke full fast to hym relyed
   that before dared os dere in den,
So that he had be undertyde
   mo then ten thowsand feghyng men.
He saw Phylysteyns fled
   and full radly remowed,
His folke he fast arayd
   and then prestely persewed.

466.
Fayn wold he venge the velany
   that thei had stroyd both wyn and whett.
On payn of cursyng dyde he crye
   that non that day suld tent to mette,
And whoso dyd, he sayd, suld dy,
   and therto swere he othes full grett,
So that thei myght have the vyctory
   or evyn, and then suld all men ete.
Bot hys sun Jonatas
   with his felow furth went;
He wyst not, thore he was,
   of the kynges commawndment.

467.
Agayns his strake myght no man stand,
   he feld Phylysteyns, grett plenté.
So be a forest syd he fand
   honycamys in a holoo tree.
Sone hent he owt on with his hand,
   to hold his hert therof ete he.
He dyd not ose the kyng commawnd,
   so greved he God in that degré.
By the sune was went west,
   thei had wun wrschepes grett.
Then bad the kyng them rest
   and boldly drynke and ete.
 

sought and looked for
(i.e., to find Jonathan and his armor-bearer)
(t-note)

rallied; (t-note)
were as brave as deer in their dens
undrentide (morning)
more; fighting

readily driven away

eagerly; (t-note)


Gladly would he revenge; (t-note)


stop to eat food
be executed
he swore oaths; (t-note)

before evening; eat
(t-note)

did not know, where; (t-note)



Against his attacks
killed
by; side
honeycombs; hollow; (t-note)
At once he took it out
support his strength he ate of it

grieved; by that means
By [the time] the sun
victories
ordered; (t-note)

 
[JONATHAN’S GUILT DISCOVERED (14:36–46)]
 

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468.
Full sewrly that nyght sojournd thei,
   for of enmys had thei no dred.
And on the morn, when yt was day,
   the kyng his folke wold ferther lede.
Unto a prophett can he pray,
   Achyas heyght he, os we rede,
That he to God suld sumwhat say
   and wytt yf that thei suld well spede.
He prayd, os the kyng hym bade,
   and fraynd how thei suld fare,
Bot non answer he had.
   then was the kyng in care.

469.
Then trowd he sum had done trespase.
   Therfor he fraynd his folke full fast,
And forto wytt how that yt was,
   lotes he cummand them to cast.
Sone the lott fell on Jonatas.
   Then was the kyng gretly agast
And sayd, “My sun, forfeytt thou has;
   thi lyf may now no langer last.”
Then all tho folke in fere,
   when thei the wordes herd,
Mornyd and made yll chere,
   and Jonatas answerd.

470.
He sayd, “Sers, ye sall understand
   I forfeyt noyght, that is my treyst.
I herd not how the kyng commawnd,
   ne of his wyll nothyng I wyst.
An honycombe forsoth I fand
   and ete therof to slake my threyst.
Yf I therfor be law of land
   sall lose my lyf, do os yow lyst!”
Thei sayd all schortly, “Nay,
   that was never Goddes wyll.
Or thou suld dy this day,
   fele folke suld fare full yll.”

471.
Unto ther kyng all are thei gone
   and sayd, “For thi sun we wyll us mell,
Sen he hath sayved us ever ylkon
   fro the Phylysteyns fals and fell.
So sewr a soverand have we none
   sayve thiself, the soth to tell.
Therfor we say, and he be slayn,
   we wyll no lenger with thee dwell.”
The kyng herd and toke hede
   how hertly thei hym crayved.
For luf and als for dred
   he sayd he suld be saved.

472.
Then ware thei glad, no wonder was;
   full mekyll mon for hym was ment.
Thei prayd the prophet Achias
   that he and thei be hole assent
Suld pray God forgyfe that trespase,
   and so He grawnted with gud entent.
Then the kyng and Jonatas
   with mekyll gold agayn ar wentt
Unto ther places playne,
   wher thei before had bene.
Sexty thowsand ware slayn
   of fals Phylystyene.
 

securely; (t-note)
enemies; fear

further lead
did
Ahijah he was called, as we read; (see note)

well proceed

inquired

nervous


he believed somewhat
questioned

lots


you have forfeited yourself

together






belief

knew
I truly found
ease my thirst [for sustenance]
by the law of the land
desire


If
many people



plead
Since he has always saved us all

stalwart a leader; (t-note)
truth
if

took heed
passionately; begged





very great moans; were made; (t-note)
(t-note)
by one assent; (t-note)



much


(see note)

 
[SAUL AS KING; HIS FAMILY (14:47–52)]
 

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473.
When thei had thus Phylysteyns feld
   and had over hand of all ther foys,
The kyng of Ebrews with hym held
   of the most hertyng that he has.
Then was no man agayn hym meld
   bot playn pece in ylka place:
Thei sett and sew and boyght and sold
   and lyfed in lykyng full long space.
He lede them be ther law
   and governd them be Goddes bydyng.
All Ebrews, als thei ow,
   honerd hym as ther kyng.

474.
Kyng Saul had suns thre
   all dedes to do at hys devyce.
Jonatas the fyrst was he,
   that in all place wan grett price;
The secund, semly forto se,
   heyght Jesus and the thryd Melcheys.
All ware thei fayr of face full free
   and ther warkes full wayre and wyse.
And he had doyghturs two,
   at home wonnand with wyn.
The ryght names was of thoo
   Mycoll and Merobyn.
 

killed
had the upper hand on all their foes

encouragement
remaining; (t-note)
simple peace in every part of the land; (t-note)




ought [to do]
(t-note)





won great renown; (t-note)

Ishyo; Malchishua

works [were] very prudent

dwelling with joy
those; (t-note)
Michal and Merab; (t-note)

 
[WAR AGAINST THE AMALEKITES (15:1–8)]
 


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5760
 
475.
Thus in delyce os he can dwell,
   all folke attendand hym untyll
God sentt His prophett Samuel
   at warn hym forto werke His wyll.
On Goddes behalf he con hym tell
   how that ther elders war angerd yll
with Malachys, a folke full fell,
   that spetuusly ther sped con spyll.
When thei past fyrst the flome,
   that folke, full of the feynd,
Letted them forto come
   be ways wher thei sull wende.

476.
Therfor he bad Saul suld passe
   and putt tho paynyms all to pyn,
Wyfe and chyld, all that thore was,
   cytes, castels, corn, and wyn,
And leve on lyve nawder ox ne asse,
   cow ne calf, schepe ne swyne:
“Tyll all be lorne that lyf has,
   for nokyns fayntnes loke thou fyne.
Take no parte of ther pelfe
   to part thi pepyll omang!
Ne sayve noyght to thiselfe;
   wast all els dose thou wrang!”

477.
Kyng Saule to his saws assent,
   and therto hertly hath he heyght
Forto fulfyll Goddes commawndment
   of Malachys with all his myght.
Hee sembled folke, and furth thei wentt
   with sexty thowsand at a syght.
Thei stroyd cytes and burghys brentt;
   Phylysteyns fast thei feld with fyght.
Fro thei come in cuntree
   that Malachys wund in,
Thei feld both folke and fee
   and wasted all that wold bryn.

478.
Agag was kyng of Malachys
   and led the lordschepe of that land.
Soyne when he wyst on what kyn wyse
   Kyng Saul styrd with strang hand,
Hee redyd all his reme to ryse
   ther enmys styfly to gayn stand.
Of knyghtes kene and princes of price
   full fell Phylysteyns furth he fand.
Ther way thei wold not lett
   bot putt them furth in prese.
When thei and Ebrews mett,
   thor was no poynt of pese.

479.
To se yt was a semly syght,
   whoso hegh stud and beheld,
Of penons and of baners bryght
   with schaftes and mony a schynyng scheld.
Kyng Saul kyd that he was wyght;
   his Ebrews boldly can he beld.
Phylysteyns so the feld with fyght
   that sum for ferd forsoke the feld.
Men myght see stedes stray
   that thore allon was leued,
And ther lordes how thei lay
   in ways withowtyn heuyd.

480.
Phylysteyns myght no langer last;
   all went to bale that wold abyd.
With Ebrews ware thei all umcast;
   the fand no socur in no syde.
When thei ware all with payns past
   that in the feld was fun that tyde,
Ebrews then fowled furth full fast
   to stroy ther landes, lang and wyde.
Thei leved nothyng on lyfe
   that ne to ded war dyghtt:
Both man, chyld, and wyfe,
   bestes and fowls of flyght.
 

happiness





the Amalekites; cruel
spitefully their fortunes
river
devil
Prevented them from going
desired to go



those pagans; pain; (t-note)


alive neither

Until; dead
no kind of weakness; cease; (t-note)
their property; (t-note)


[put to] waste everything or you do wrong; (t-note)


advice assents

(t-note)
assembled men

(see note)
towns burned
quickly they killed

dwelled
livestock
burn




knew in what kind of way; (t-note)
stirred [against him]
prepared all his realm
stand against
brave; worth; (see note)


battle

no bit of peace




pennons

showed; strong
protect
field
fear
horses
there were left alone

without heads



into custody who would remain
surrounded
they found no relief
with pain killed
were found at that time
went forth

found nothing alive
they did not cause to be dead; (t-note)
(t-note)

 
[AGAG AND SOME RICHES ARE SPARED; SAMUEL’S CONDEMNATION (15:9–26)]
 





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5820
 
481.
When thei had wasted on this wyse
   ryche and pure, both old and yyng,
Saul was sett on covetyce,
   and sone forgatt he Goddes bedyng.
For Agag was a prince of price;
   he heyght hym help, that hethyn kyng,
And fayrest bestes for sacrafyce
   he bad men suld furth with them bryng.
His folke saw he forfeytt,
   and lett so lyghtly therby.
Thei toke what thei myght gett
   to beyre with them boldly.

482.
So went thei home and wold not dwell;
   of ther werkyng well them toygt.
And sone the prophett Samuel
   come furth to wytt how thei had wroyght.
And when he herd the bestes bell
   and saw Kyng Agag with them broyght,
He made grett manace them omell
   and sayd that dede suld dere be boyght
For thei toke no reward
   to werke agayns Goddes wyll,
That bad none suld be spayrd,
   nother gud ne yll.

483.
Full sore he syght for ther sake
   and sayd thus to Saul, the kyng:
“How durst thou werke this werke for wrake:
   other man or best from theyn to bryng?”
He sayd, “Ser, sacrafyce to make
   and gyfe them unto Goddes lovyng.”
Then Samuel sayd, “God wyll not take
   offerand of yll-gottyn thyng.
Bot tho that lely lyfes
   and kepes Hys cummawndment,
What gyft so thei to Hym gyfes,
   therto wyll He take tent.

484.
“How suld He take offerand to gre?
   All thyng Hymself sayd suld be lorne.
Both man and best He bad suld be
   fordown, wher thou them fand beforne.
Heyr is the kyng of that cuntré,
   and best I here yow hath for borne.
I warne thee: God is wrath with thee,
   for thou hath wayt Hym with this scorne.
Thy werke thus wyll He yeld:
   thi lordschep sall not last,
And other thi welth sall weld
   that in fayth wyll be fast.”

485.
When Kyng Saul herd Samuel
   so spytfully speke in that space,
Unto his fette oft sythys he fell
   and prayd of God to geyte hym grace
And to amend yt them omell,
   als he wold consell in that case.
Bot for his wordes he wold not dwell;
   he saw no plessance in that place.
Sone fro that pepyll he past
   ryght way to Ramatha,
Bot the kyng folowd fast;
   in hert he was full wa.
 



(t-note)

much worth
(t-note)

(t-note)
surrendered





remain
they thought they had done well


beasts bellow

among







sorrowfully he sighed

vengeance
thence; (t-note)



(t-note)
who live loyally

(t-note)
take heed


favor; (t-note)
destroyed; (t-note)

undone; (t-note)

beasts I hear

inflicted


others; wield




(t-note)
knees many times
grant
among

despite his (Saul’s) words he (Samuel)
pleasure
At once; he [started] to pass; (see note)
Ramah
followed close behind
woe

 
[SAUL RIPS SAMUEL’S CLOAK; SAMUEL KILLS AGAG (15:26–34)]
 





5825




5830






5835




5840






5845




5850




5855

 
486.
Full well he wyst he suld be schentt;
   that made hym hertly forto hast.
The prophett by the mantyll he hentt
   so that yt rayve and worthed to wast.
Then sayd the prophett, “Ser, take tent!
   This sall thou trow and trewly trayst:
Ryght os thou has the mantyll rentt,
   so sall thi reme fro thee be rast.”
Then had the kyng grett care,
   and oft he askyd mercy:
“And thou thus fro me fare,
   my folke wyll have ferly,

487.
“And traw that I have done sum trayn
   and with sum grett thyng greved thee.
And therfor, gud ser, turn agayn
   with glad sembland that thei may see
And schew to me sum seyn certayn
   of lastand luf and of lewté.”
He grawnted, and then the kyng was fayn
   sen that myght no bettur be.
The prophett come and plessed
   and alowd ylka dede.
Then the kyng was well esed,
   bot in hert had he drede.

488.
When thei herd tell of this tythyng,
   the pepyll was payd well enogh.
The prophett bad thei suld furth bryng
   Agag that ever on dregh hym drogh.
When he was broyght at hys bydyng,
   he sayd, “Thou hath wroyght mekyll wogh.
That sall thou fynd befor our kyng.”
   Ther with his awn hende he hym slogh.
Then ryght to Ramatha
   the prophett wentt in hy.
The kyng to Galgala
   went with his cumpany.
 

destroyed; (t-note)
quickly to haste; (t-note)
cloak he grabbed
ripped; lost its value; (t-note)
take heed
believe and truly trust
Just as; garment ripped
realm; be taken away
sadness

If; depart
terrifying [experiences]


know; treachery


countenance
certain signs
lasting; loyalty
glad

came and made an offering
acknowledged each deed
relieved
fear


heard word; news
were satisfied

who had withdrawn himself
command
wrought much woe
discover
own hands

haste
Galgal

 
[SAMUEL ANOINTS DAVID AS KING (15:35–16:14)]
 




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5885




5890






5895




5900






5905




5910




5915






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5930




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5940
 
489.
Samuel of soroyng myght not sesse,
   for Kyng Saul so wrang had wentt,
Bycause when God to kyng hym chese
   then he anoynt hym with an oyntment.
He prayd to God forto relesch
   that grett grevance with gud entent,
Bot he had answer to hald hym pece;
   all that was sayd behoved be sentt.
Thei ware fast frendes before
   and of on consell kend;
His mornyng was the more
   when he myght not amend.

490.
God sayd he suld swylk lufyng lett,
   for new gam us bus begyne.
“Take thou thi boyst with the oyle benett
   and wend to Bedlem or thou blyne.
Thore sall thou fynd, fayr on his flett,
   a Jew, Jesse, of Jacob kyn.
Gayre hys suns befor the sette,
   for on of them sall wrschep wyn.
Enoynt hym to be kyng,
   Saul stede to restore,
And have the same blessyng
   that Saul had before.”

491.
He wentt and wold no langer stand
   or he the wyll of God hath wroyght.
Jesse, that gentyll Jew, he fand
   in Bethlem cyté sone unsoyght.
Fyrst he made them make offerand
   and honer God, so hym gud toyght.
Sythyn he told hym new tythand
   and bad hys suns suld furth be broyght.
Sex suns ware sett on raw
   be lyve at his bedyng.
Then prayd he God to schaw
   qwylke of them suld be kyng.

492.
All ware thei semly unto syght;
   full wyght men ware the eldyst two.
He asked whedder of them suld be dyght.
   God answerd and sayd, “Non of tho.”
Then unto Jesse wentt he full ryght
   and asked yf he had any mo.
“Ya, ser, a yong, that David heyght
   is in the feld full fere us fro
Our catell forto geyte.”
   Then Samuel with gud chere
Sayd, “Sertes, I sall nott ete,
   or that hyrdman be here.”

493.
David sone was aftur sentt,
   and fro he wyst, he wold not byde.
He saw the prophett in present
   and heylsyd hym hendly, noyght to hyde.
The prophett hym in armys hentt
   and told hym all what suld betyde.
Unto ther dyner then thei wentt:
   he sett the chyld hymself besyde,
On that other syde Jesse
   and sythyn his breyther all,
Ylk on in ther degree,
   aftur ther eld suld fall.

494.
Hee honerd hym on deyse that day.
   his fader merveld what yt mentt.
Sythyn to a prevay place went thei,
   and thore he told all his ententt.
“My sun,” he sayd, “I sall thee say,
   fro God of Hevyn thus am I sentt
To warn thee of His wyll allway:
   grett lordschep sal be thee lentt.”
He wyst withowtyn fayle
   God assent to that same
And bad hym kepe consell
   and anoynt hym be name.

495.
When he hym so anoynt hath
   with holy oyle both hed and hende,
The gud gast, that in Saul was,
   in David soyne con descende,
And into that place soyne con passe
   An evyll sprett of curssed kynd
That dyd Saul oft say, “Alas!”
   when hys blyse was with bale blend.
Oft sythys hys solace sessed
   with syte and sorow sere.
And David ever encressed
   in wytt, als we sall here.
 

sorrowing; cease

chose
anointed
release

hold his peace
was said was necessary to be said

known to be of one counsel
mourning



such emotions cease; (t-note)
a new business was needed to start
your box; blessed oil
go to Bethlehem before you stop (right away)
in his home

Gather his sons
one; honor win
Anoint
Saul’s place




remain

noble; found
at once
offering

Then; news
asked [that] his sons
in a row; (see note)
quickly; bidding
show
which


impressive by sight
very strong; (see note)
which; chosen
those

more [children]
young [one]; (t-note)
field very far from us; (t-note)
gather

For certain; not eat
before; herdsman


immediately
once he (David) knew; tarry
presence
welcomed him properly, hiding nothing
(see note)
happen
their


then his brothers
Each one; their
age


on the dais

private



notify; (see note); (t-note)
lent
without doubt
same [thing]





hand
good spirit; (see note)
at once did
in its
evil spirit
made
torment blended
ended
anguish; sorrows great

knowledge; hear

 
[SAMUEL’S ADVICE TO DAVID ON GOOD GOVERNANCE]
 





5945




5950






5955




5960




 
496.
Samuel sayd, “Sun, whyle thou is yyng,
   lok that thou gyfe thee to gud thewes,
For God hath sayd thou sall be kyng
   and keper of all Hys gud Ebrews.
And therfor, sun, lufe lele lyfyng
   and flee fro feleschep of schrews,
And honere God over all thyng,
   that swylke gud grace unto thee schews.
For whyls thou lufes Hys lare
   and kepes Hys cummawndment
All whyle sall thou well fare
   and never be schamed ne schent.”

497.
When this was sayd, then Samuel
   wentt to lend wher hym levyst wore.
And David styll at home con dwell
   in feld with his fader store.
And in that meyntym he con hym mell
   of mynstralcy ay more and more
Tyll he cowd herpe, os we here tell,
   als well as ever was kend before.
Now David leve we here
   with hys herpe and hys slyng
And tell how sorows sere
   come to Saul the kyng.
 

young; (see note)
yourself [over] to good manners

loyal
son, appreciate loyal


is revealed
lore (wisdom)


destroyed



reside where he was living; (t-note)
did
field; father’s herds
meantime; practice
minstrelsy ever; (t-note)
harp
known; (t-note)
leave
harp; sling
many
(t-note)

 
[SAUL PLAGUED BY AN EVIL SPIRIT (16:15–16)]
 

5965




5970




5975

 
498.
The sprett, that I spake of are,
   that loged was with hym to lende,
Assayd hym oft with sorows sare
   and wroyght hym wo when he lest wened.
He sentt for feysyke full wyd whare,
   and clerkes that in swylke craftes was kend.
Amang them all thei cowd no mare,
   bot mynstralsy, thei sayd, myght mend.
The harpe when he myght here,
   the sprett that was within
Suld have no grett powere
   to dere hym for that dyne.
 

spirit; earlier; (see note); (t-note)
lived; dwell
assailed; dreadful sorrows; (t-note)
least desired it
physicians from all over; (t-note)
such; were knowledgeable; (t-note)
could do nothing to stop [his ills]
music; alleviate [it]; (t-note)
hear; (t-note)
spirit
(t-note)
hurt; because of the music

 
[DAVID WINS A POSITION AT SAUL’S COURT (16:17–23)]
 




5980




5985






5990




5995




6000






6005




6010


 
499.
Then for ther tythyng in that tyde
   he bad men gang to gette that glee.
And so sayd on, that satt besyd,
   “In Bethlem, ser, wuns on Jesse;
Lett on go loke, no langer abyd,
   for a yyng sun at home has hee,
That herpes well, ys not at hyde,
   and at your bydyng wyll he bee.”
Messyngers sone was sentt
   to Jesse for hys sun.
So yyng David is went
   with the kyng in cowrt to wun.

500.
And soyne when Saul saw that chyld,
   he made grett solace for hys sake,
Bycawse he saw hym meke and myld
   and mynstralcy that he cowd make.
For when the fend was woyd and wyld
   and with sere turmentes wold hym take,
Then was the harpe his boyt and byld,
   and song myght sone his sorow slake.
Therfor was David dere
   and in wrschep all way.
None was the kyng so nere,
   nother by nyght ne day.

501.
Thus with the kyng wonnand he was,
   full well belufed withowtyn wene.
Of prowes in all poyntes con he passe
   over all that on his eld hath beyne.
Bot the kynges sun, heygh Jonatas,
   he lufed hym best of all be deyne.
Hys hert all holly to hym he has,
   and that was oft sythis aftur seyne.
None wyst he was anoynt
   bot the prophett and hee
Tyll yt come to the poynt
   that God sayd yt suld bee.
 

their duty at that time
ordered the men gathered
one [man]
lives one
Let one [of us] go search him; [to] await
young
harps




dwell


soon



fiend was mad
many torments
relief and comfort
quickly slake his sorrows

honor at all times
kept so close to the king



living
without doubt; (t-note)
prowess in all things did he surpass
who were of his age
called Jonathan
straightway
heart completely
often times seen afterward
knew he was anointed



 
[ANOTHER PHILISTINE ATTACK (17:1–3; 12–15)]
 



6015




6020






6025




6030




6035

 
502.
Soyne messyngers musters them omell,
   of harms hard thei hard at hand:
How that Phylysteyns, fers and fell,
   dystroyd all that thei before fand,
And how thei dyght them forto dwell
   tyll thei had wasted all Ebrews land.
Kyng Saul herd this tythyng tell,
   hys ost full sone he had ordand.
The chyld David he sentt
   to soyjourne forsoth in lye.
To Bethlem is he went
   and keped his faders fye.

503.
Kyng Saul wold not rest to ryde,
   ne sesse to he of them had syght
Under a banke, wher thei abyde,
   with baners spred of brad full bryght;
Kyng Saul on the other syde,
   the hyll betwen, was on a grett heght.
So nother towched other that tyd.
   Phylysteyns ware the mo of myght.
Kyng Saul wyst full well
   God was not fully his frend.
Therfor he drede sum dele
   agayns enmys to wend.
 

Soon; mustered among them; (t-note)
heard close by
fierce and cruel
found
promised; remain


army (host) very quickly

in safety; (t-note)

herds (property)


wait to ride [forth]; (t-note)
nor cease [riding] until
Beneath a hillside; waited; (see note)
abroad
(t-note)
one of great height
neither engaged; at that place
stronger force
knew

feared somewhat
to go fight

 
[GOLIATH TAUNTS ISRAEL (17:4–11; 16)]
 




6040




6045






6050




6055




6060
 
504.
Phylysteyns ware the feller then
   for a grett freke that thei furth fand.
On Golyas ylk day began
   upon that hegh hyll forto stand.
He bad Ebrews send furth a man
   to fyght with hym, hand for hand,
And wheder of them so maystry wan
   suld have the lordschep of that land.
He was both grettur and grym
   then any man myght suppose.
Ther durst non dele with hym
   for dred that land to lose.

505.
Hys armour was passand to prays,
   and fyve hunderth on his hed he has.
Hys heyberke held of hevy pas
   sex hunderth to wey with brase.
In hys ax hede that he suld rayse
   well sexty hunderth weght ther was;
And all of stele, the story says,
   and brygh glyterand as any glas.
He was a gremly geyst
   in feld to fynd before.
Allway this cowrse he kest
   full faurty days and more.
 

mightier
giant man; sent forth
The one [named] Goliath each



which; thus mastery won
larger and [more] grim


dared no one to fight
fear


remarkable to valuate; (see note)
500 [measures of metal]
hauberk; heavy weight
600 [measures] to weigh with brass
the head of his axe
6,000 [measures of] weight
(t-note)

a grim guest (fellow)
field
behavior he did
at least

 
[DAVID COMES TO THE FIELD (17:17–30)]
 





6065




6070


 
506.
In that seson was David sent
   to the sege at see his breyther hende.
He asked of men what he be ment
   that on the hyll alon can lend.
And when thei told hym ther entent,
   and how none durst fyght with that fend,
He sayd, “All grace fro God is lent;
   unto yond warlaw wyll I wend.”
Hys breyther can hym blame,
   and fro care hym to kepe
Thei bad he suld hast hame
   and fede ther fader schepe.
 


battlefield; brothers [who were] fair
he (Goliath) intended
who
understanding
fiend
given
against that infidel I will fight; (see note)
brothers did
from injury
go homeward in haste
feed their father’s sheep

 
[DAVID WILL FIGHT GOLIATH (17:31–37)]
 



6075




6080




 
507.
The kyng herd tell of this tythand,
   he gart foche David hym before.
“Sone,” he sayd, “to leve this land
   and lose thi lyf full lothe me ware.
Thou hath no strengh with hym to stand.”
   And thus the chyld answerd hym thore:
“My helpe ys holy in Goddes hand,
   I wot His myght is mekyll more.
All yf yond man be strang,
   he lyvys not lafully.
In Goddes name I sall gang
   and fell hym sone forthi.”
 

news; (t-note)
caused David to be brought before him
Young man; leave
very reluctant


completely in God’s hands; (t-note)
know; much more [than Goliath’s]
Even if that man is strong; (t-note)
lawfully
go
at once therefore

 
[DAVID’S ARMAMENTS (17:38–40)]
 

6085




6090




6095

 
508.
When Kyng Saul saw for certayn
   that he wold found that fend to fere,
He armyd hym at all peyssys playn
   and ordand hym scheld and spere.
Bot the chyld had no myght ne mayn
   swylke weght on his body to bere.
He sayd, “Takes all this geyre agayn;
   I am not wunt swylke wed to were.
My slyng is nemyll enogh
   and best dyffence for me.
Wyld bestes therwith I slogh,
   that flayd my fader fee.”
 


attempt to defeat that fiend
armed him with all the requisite pieces

strength
carry; (t-note)
Take off; gear
do not want to wear such armor
nimble


flayed my father’s cattle

 
[DAVID AND GOLIATH EXCHANGE WORDS (17:41–47)]
 




6100




6105



 
509.
He toke his slyng and furth can found
   that mawment yf he myght to marre.
He geydderd stones apon the ground,
   swylk that for his craft accordand were.
Golias steyted in that stound
   and cald hym fole when he was fere.
“Boy, hopys thou I be a hound?”
   David sayd, “Sertes, I hold thee werre.”
Golyas says, “Go hom,
   thou barn, and leve thi berre!
Tho folke that thou fro come
   sall by this dede full dere.”
 


idolater; kill
gathered
were appropriate
came out at that time; (see note)
called him a fool; far away
do you hope
I consider you worse

child; abandon your boast
(t-note)
deed [pay] full dearly

 
[DAVID KILLS GOLIATH (17:48–51)]
 


6110




6115




6120
 
510.
David fast toke furth his slyng
   and a ston that therfor was fytte.
Abowt his hed he can yt bryng,
   to tyme he saw wher yt suld sytt.
He wated the warlaw with a wryng
   and made hym wode owt of hys wytt:
For armour or for other thyng,
   into the harns he has hym hytt.
For all the lakes he lerd
   the lyve thor he leved.
David with his awn sword
   swythly swapped of hys hed.
 

(t-note)
fitting

until
struck the idolater; throw
mad
Despite; any other
brains
boasts he pronounced; (t-note)
this life there he left
his (Goliath’s) own; (t-note)
quickly lopped off

 
[PHILISTINES ROUTED (17:51–54)]
 





6125




6130


 
511.
Phylysteyns herd this note new;
   yf thei had noy ys not to hyde.
Full rasydly thei can remew
   and reydyd them to ryn and ryde.
Kyng Saul prestly can persew
   and foled fast to fell ther pryde.
That day was joy to mony Jew
   to here the hethyn how thei cryde:
Thryty milia war slayn
   of folke that myght not flee.
Thei turned then home agayn
   into ther awn cuntré.
 

heard of this matter at once; (t-note)
anxiety [it]
swiftly; retreat

pressingly did pursue [them]
followed

heathens
30,000 were slain; (see note)


own

 
[SAUL GROWS JEALOUS OF DAVID (18:1–9, 13–16)]
 



6135




6140






6145




6150




6155






6160




6165






6170




6175




6180






6185




6190


 
512.
With Kyng Saul was David dere,
   for he had done this doyghtynes.
And all the folke, both ferre and nere,
   gaf hym the price of that prowesse.
So ose thei com by cyteys sere,
   all welcomd them, os worthy es,
With mynstralsy and mere chere
   of wyfes and maydyns, more and lesse.
Tho wyfes sang how Saul slogh
   a thowssand with his hand;
The madyns sang and loghe,
   “David slogh ten thowssand.”

513.
When Saul herd, he was sory.
   Wyfes sayd he sloght a thowsan playn,
And maydyns made ther melody
   that David had ten thowsand slayn.
Of this began full grett envy
   and lasted lang, ys not to layn.
For in hys hert he thynkes holy
   how Samuel prophett sayd certayn
He suld his lordschepe lose,
   for he brake Goddes bydyng.
This sang made hym suppose
   that David suld be kyng.

514.
Bot he wold mare hym, yf he myght,
   that he suld never that fare fulfyll.
He saw, for this werke he had wroyght,
   that all men lufed hym lowd and styll.
Sere sutelteys oft sythys he soyght
   how he myght sped hym forto spyll.
Bot to hymself he wold say noyght;
   ne David toke no tent thertyll.
He provyd passand his eld
   of gud maners and myght.
For he cowde wepyns weld,
   to were was non so wyght.

515.
Kyng Saul fayged hym with fayrhede
   and wayted ever to werke hym wo.
He wyst well for hys doyghty dede
   that Phylysteyns ware hys foo.
He ordand hym his ost to lede
   all way when thei to were suld goo.
That was nother for lufe ne dred,
   bot that Phylysteyns suld hym slo.
Bot God was ever hys gyde
   his werke forto warrand.
Wher he suld gang or ryde,
   gud hape was in his hand.

516.
Then went David with scheld and spere
   and styfly stud in mony a stowre.
Phylysteyns was he fayn to fere,
   in ylka feld he bare the flour.
All welthys that he wan with were
   he sent to Saul for socour.
And that he dyd David to dere
   God turned yt to his grett honour.
The kyng ay waytand was
   how he myght werke hym wo,
Bot the kynges sun, Jonatas,
   fendyd hym ay therfro.
 

(t-note)
act of martial bravery; (t-note)
(i.e., everywhere)
(t-note)
through many cities
as is proper
merry cheer

Those; killed; (see note)
(t-note)
laughed








it is not to be hidden; (t-note)
(t-note)
(t-note)
(t-note)
defied God’s instruction
song



would harm; (t-note)

(i.e., the killing of Goliath)
publicly and privately
Many tricks he often times sought
quickly kill him (i.e., David)

nor did David take any heed thereto
proved himself surpassing of his age

(t-note)
to make war; capable


flattered; speciousness; (t-note)

knew; brave deeds
foe

war would go
neither for honor nor fear; (t-note)
slay


walk
good fortune; (t-note)



stalwartly stood in many an engagement
glad to frighten
on each battlefield; bore the flower (achieved victory); (see note)
goods; won with battle; (t-note)



ever waiting

Jonathan
always defended him from that

 
[MICHAL’S LOVE FOR DAVID; THE BRIDE-PRICE AND THEIR MARRIAGE (18:20–29)]
 



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6250


 
517.
As brether ware thei fast in fere
   ather to beld os other bad.
All folke them lufed, both fere and nere,
   in ylka sted wher thei ware sted.
And Mycoll, the kynges doyghtur dere,
   David hyr hert all holy hade.
When he was moved to make yll chere,
   no myrth on mold myght make hyr glad.
And when the pepyll hym plessed,
   and scho hys conforth kend,
Yf other had hyr dysplessyd,
   that medcyn moght amend.

518.
In luf thus lang was scho led,
   scho had no lykyng of hire lyfe.
When he in any stoure was sted,
   then was hyr mynd in mekyll stryfe.
Scho swere that no wyght suld hyr wede,
   bot scho myght ever be his wyfe.
Scho had no beld at bowre ne bed;
   hyr care was kene as any knyfe.
Scho changed hyde and hew,
   hyr fayrnes fast can fale.
At the last the kyng yt knew
   and asked of his consaylle

519.
If them toyght yt ware well to do
   to gyf his doyghhtur to David.
And thei gafe consell all therto:
   “Non is so kumly in this kyth.
A semly copyll is of them two,
   for both ar large of lym and lyth.”
The kyng assented it shuld be so,
   bot this forward he fest therwyth:
Heydes of Phylesteyns
   two hunderth suld he bryng.
With this ylk wyle he wenys
   David suld make endyng.

520.
Full well he trawd by this yll trayn
   David to lose in lytyll stound,
And or he had two hunderth slayn
   forto have mony a wekyd wound.
Bot David of that fayr was fayn;
   he gatt felows with hym to found,
For Mycoll luf hym lyst not layn.
   Philysteyns fast he fell to the ground.
Two hunderth hedes certan
   ware nevynd to hym be name,
Bot when he come agayn,
   fyfe hunderth broyght he hame.

521.
Then was he praysed with man and page
   with sere solace that to hym soyght.
Thei sayd he was well worthy his wage
   for this ylke warke that he had wroyght,
That so had sterd hym in that stage.
   Fyve hunderth hedes with hym he broyght.
The kyng then made the mayreg,
   bot evyll ay was in hys toyght:
Sere cawtels oft he cast
   David to schame and schend.
All turned to the best,
   for God was ever his frend.
 

Like brothers; dedicated in company
either to do as the other needed
far and near
each place
Michal; (see note)
her heart completely had

on earth; happy; (t-note)
pleased
knew of his comfort
(t-note)
medicine might amend it



(t-note)
battle was engaged
much anxiety; (t-note)
swore; man; wed her
(t-note)
comfort in bower or bed
sorrow was as sharp
color and complexion


council


thought it was the right thing to do; (t-note)
(t-note)

fitting in this country
beautiful couple would be made
prodigious in limb and joint
(t-note)
contract he made
Skins (hides); (see note)
he (i.e., David) bring
same stratagem he believes
be killed


thought; wicked guile
in no time at all
before
many terrible wounds
business was glad; (t-note)
got; go
Michal’s love he did not deny


called; by name
(t-note)
home


(t-note)


very work
Who thus had conducted himself; (t-note)
(t-note)
marriage; (t-note)
evil ever; thought; (t-note)
many cunning tricks
destruction; (t-note)


 
[DAVID’S CONTINUED SUCCESS (18:30, 19:8)]
 



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6260




 
522.
Soyne aftur this so yt fell:
   Phylysteyns, full of envy,
Dyght them and wold no langer dwell
   to be venged of ther velany.
When Kyng Saul herd tythyng tell
   that enmys com in opynly,
He demyd David with them to mell,
   and als he heyght, he dyde in hye.
Felows that wold not fayle
   ar gladly with hym gone.
Thai vencusyd the batele
   and gat gud full grett wone.
 

happened

Readied themselves; wait

news told
[their] enemies came against [them]
instructed; deal
ordered; in haste; (t-note)


won (vanquished)
got goods

 
[SAUL AND THE EVIL SPIRIT; HIS ATTEMPT ON DAVID’S LIFE (19:9–10)]
 

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6285



 
523.
Then with all folk was David dred
   and hownerd for his dughty dede.
When Saul herd he had well sped,
   then in his hert he had more drede.
Down he fell seke in his bede,
   for ferd David that land suld lede.
Hys yll sprett soyn hym spred;
   no speciall spech myght hym spede.
David was aftur sent
   by hym to harpe and syng
And all to evyll entent:
   in bale hym forto bryng.

524.
David hym dyght to do his dett:
   the kyng fro wo yf he myght were.
As he with harpe to syng was sett
   the fend fers so forto fere,
The kyng hath cast his lake to lett:
   withowtyn spech he spens a spere.
To David evyn he toke his mett
   thrugh the body hym to bere.
Then Mycol kest a cry,
   and David turned hym soyne.
Fast home he can hym hye.
   God wold noyghth yt were doyne.
 

fearfully acclaimed
martial deeds

doubt
sick
fear; would lead; (t-note)
wicked spirit quickly struck him down
comfort; (t-note)


intention
grief


prepared himself; duty
might protect [him]

fierce fiend (wicked spirit) thus to drive away
tried to stop his (David’s) playing
grasps a spear
aim
bear [the point]
cried out; (see note)
turned around immediately
hasten
did not want it done

 
[SAUL AGAIN ATTEMPTS DAVID’S LIFE; MICHAL HELPS HIM ESCAPE (19:11–17)]
 


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6335

 
525.
The kyng was then all wode for wo;
   that he so scaped, hym toyght scorne.
He bad wyght men be lyve suld go
   and lyg in wayt untyll morn,
And that he suld not scape them fro,
   for forfetur myght fall therforn.
He suld not lett for frend ne foo
   no langer tyll his lyf ware lorn.
When Mycol hath this herd
   how hyr fader can say,
Full ferdly furth scho ferd
   to marre yt, yf scho may.

526.
“David,” scho sayd, “my husband hende,
   my fader hath full hertly hyght
He sall not fyne for fo ne frend
   to morn or he hath marde thi myght.
Thi way wyghthly behoves thee wende
   and leve me here a wylsom wyght.
For bettur is thou lyfe and lende
   then that we both to dede be dyght.”
He assented certayn
   syghand with sympyll chere.
Yf thei parteyd with payn,
   no question is to inquere.

527.
Swylke wemen were worthy to wed
   to helpe ther husbandes in a nede.
For hyr ded was scho not adred,
   bot yit scho dyd another dede:
Scho layd a dry stoke in his bed
   and covert yt with worthy wede.
When knyghtes come hym to have dede,
   scho sayd, “Sers, sen he fro cowrt yede,
He toke so hertly care
   his lyf days ar nere done.”
Thei wened well yt so ware;
   agayn thei went full sone.

528.
And evyn os thei in syght com see,
   unto the kyng so con thei say.
He bad be lyve, “Bryng hym to me;
   he sall dee with dole this day!”
Thei saw yt myght no bettur be;
   unto his hows agayn go thei.
In his bed thei fand a mekyll tree
   hyld, and he was went away.
When the kyng saw he was hale,
   hys hert had sorow enogh.
[ . . . ]
   [ . . . ]
 

crazed
thus escaped
ordered strong men at once


forfeiture [of their lives]; (i.e., if that happened)
pass
taken away
(t-note)

Very frightened; went
mar it (Saul’s plan)


fair
sincerely sworn
cease; (t-note)
mourn before; marred
quickly
helpless person
remain
death; (t-note)

sighing; mood

ask [why]


Such women

death; (t-note)

log; (see note)
clothes
killed; (t-note)
since he left the court
sincere ills
[that] his life’s days
knew; were
they returned [to court] at once; (t-note)


(see note)
did
quickly
die with grief
found a big tree; (t-note)


covered over
healthy

(see note); (t-note)

 
[DAVID ESCAPES TO RAMAH AND SAMUEL (19:17–18)]
 




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529.
He sware his doyghtur suld be schent;
   full he leved to lose his land.
To Ramatha is David went,
   wher Samuel is sojorand.
He told to hym all his entent,
   how that the kyng so fellows fand,
Bot that he so the lyfe was lent.
   Both loved thei God with hert and hand.
He sayd, “Sun, for this thyng
   in hert have thou no toyght.
God will that thou be kyng
   when all his whylys ar wroyght.”
 

destroyed
believed
Ramah; gone
residing

such fellowship found; (t-note)
remained alive
praised
care

desires; you [should] be
his (Saul’s) wiles

 
[SAUL’S FAILURES TO GET DAVID; HE AND JONATHAN MEET (19:19–23)]
 


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6380




 
530.
Aftur this ware long to tell
   how ever the kyng hys kindes kyd.
For messeg made he mony amell;
   to be his bayne ay can he byd.
When Jonatas herd how that yt fell,
   grett hevenes in hert he hyde.
For dowt of dede that con hym quell
   he wold bot wytt how David dyde.
Ryght unto Ramatha
   he went the gaynest gatte.
The trew lufe betwen them two
   myght no bale gare abate.

531.
When David herd say for certayn
   that Jonatas wold com hym tyll,
Ful gladly went he hym agayn
   and thanked hym oft of all gud wyll.
Of his frenschepe he was full fayn,
   for he lufed lely lowd and styll.
He told hym all the procese playn
   how the kyng aspyd hym to spyll.
To fotte can David fall
   for his God wyll all way.
Jonatas says he sall
   helpe all that he may:

532.
“To the kyng, my fader, wyll I fare
   and faynd his frenschepe forto geyte.
For thee to speke I sall not spare,
   all thof he wold me bynd or bete.
At erst that I her answer
   of lastand luf or like to thrett,
That thou may kepe thiself fro care,
   thou sall be wernd, or ever I ette.”
David says, “For mercy,
   thou mendes all my myschefe.”
Thei kyssed full curtasly,
   and so thei toke ther leve.
 

(see note)
made known his nature; (t-note)
between [them]
bane always did he work
(t-note)
heaviness
fear of death; (t-note)
would nevertheless know; (t-note)

[by] the straightest road
true love
for no sadness could be weakened; (t-note)




he went to meet him

glad
loyally publicly and privately (i.e., in all arenas)

worked to kill him
To foot (i.e., kneeling) did
God’s will in all ways; (t-note)




(t-note)
attempt; to get [for you]
(t-note)
even if; beat
As soon as I hear
unfailing worship

warned, before ever I eat [anything]; (see note)

mends all my sadness

their leave [from one another]

 
[JONATHAN SOUNDS OUT SAUL (20:24–34)]
 

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6420
 
533.
Jonatas went with sympyll chere,
   unto the cowrt he come in hye.
When grett fest was of folke in fere,
   unto his fader he sayd sothly:
“Ser, David that is to yow so dere
   and in his dedes ys ay doghty,
How ys yt so he is not here?
   He myght menske all this mangery.
He is your sun by law
   and my brother also.
Be oght that ever I knaw,
   he trespast never yow to.

534.
“He is ay redy in your ryght
   agayn your rebels forto ryse;
Phylysteyns hath he feld with fyght
   and owtrayd all our enmyse.
In cowrt is non so cumly knyght,
   ne non so wyse, yf he us avyse.”
The kyng then loked on hym full lyght
   and sayd, “Lossell fowle, thou lyse.
That sall ye both abye,
   als sone os I hym see.
Thou maynteyns with maystry
   the most enmy to me.”

535.
Jonatas answerd with word hende:
   “Ser, yt hath not so bene sene;
Ye have fun your faythfull frend;
   to your bedyng bown hath he bene.”
Then wex the kyng full of the Fend;
   he wared fast with word kene.
Hys sun he schope forto schend,
   yf wyght men had not gone betwene.
Jonatas wyst well enogh
   then how the game wold go.
Of dregh he hym withdrogh
   and fled his fader fro.
 


haste
in company
truthfully; (see note)
(see note)
deeds is always brave; (t-note)


honor everyone at this feast

anything
against you


always ready

slain
overcome
no one so fair a
thinks of us
at once
Scoundrel foul, you lie
atone for
as soon as
honors; (t-note)
the greatest enemy




wronged

grew; Devil
cursed; sharp words
son he attempted to destroy
strong
knew

Aside he withdrew himself; (t-note)

 
[JONATHAN SPEAKS WITH DAVID (20:35–42)]
 





6425




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6440




 
536.
To David wyghtly is he went,
   wher he was in grett stody sted,
And sayd how he suld have bene schent
   befor his fader, had he not fled,
And how no mercy myght be ment,
   ne specialty may none be sped.
“Ther is no other tale to tent
   bot wend or wage thi hede in wed.”
To his fette then David fell
   and thanked hym of all thyng.
Luf that was them omell
   made payn at ther partyng.

537.
David sayd, “Ser, sen yt is so,
   for soverayn God thus he be soght!
All yf thi fader wyll be my foo,
   be thou my frend and fayle me noyght!”
Jonatas sayd, “For well or wo,
   what warke in ward with me be wroyght,
The cunnand made betwyx us two,
   that sall I hald with hert and toyght.”
Thei durst no langer dwell,
   for folke ware not ther frend.
Thei kyssed and morned omell,
   and so ther way thei wend.
 

quickly
anxiety remaining
killed


expected; (t-note)
listen [to]
depart or place your head at stake
feet

among



since; (t-note)



good or bad

promise
heart and mind
dared; remain

together
took

 
[DAVID MEETS WITH AHIMELECH (21:1–9)]
 

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6480
 
538.
Jonatas went with sympyll chere
   agayn unto that same cety,
And David soyght with sorow sere
   untyll a town, was named Nobbé.
Thor wuned a byschope of grett power,
   Abymalec at home hegh he.
He welcumd David os his dere
   and asked hym aftur his meneye.
He sayd, “Ser, I am sent
   in messege fro the kyng.
My meneye furth ar wentt
   for other nedfull thyng.

539.
“Myn armour gart thei me forgete.
   Yf thou have any, helpe me!” he says.
“And als yf thou have oght at ette:
   for sene I ette ar gone thre days.
And ser, I have meystur of mette,
   for I have to wend wylsom ways.”
The byschope says, “I have of whette
   blessyd bred that is to prays.
Bot armour none I bere,
   ne wapyns with to fyght
Bot a gud sword of were;
   that sall be thin be ryght.”

540.
He cald hym kyndly, as he can,
   with mette and drynke and myrthis more.
Golias sword he gaf hym then
   qwylke hymselfe wan in feld before.
In this meyn tyme com in a man,
   Odeth, that keped the kynges store.
He wyst not how debate began,
   ne of the kyng how wroth thei ware;
Bot that he thore can see,
   and talken them betwen,
In hert well haldes hee,
   for so was aftur sene.
 



many worries
Nob
dwelled
Ahimelech; called
friend
company; (t-note)






they caused me [to] forget; (see note)

also; anything to eat
since I ate have passed
need of food
to follow a winding road
grain; (t-note)
sacred bread
(t-note)
nor weapons
except a worthy; war



refreshed
joys
Goliath’s; (t-note)
which
meantime came
Doeg; king’s herds; (t-note)


(t-note)

remembers

 
[DAVID AS OUTLAW LEADER (21:10–22:5)]
 





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6495




6500




 
541.
Then David furth his frendes soght;
   he fand bot few in to affy.
In certayn sojorne wold he noyght:
   that folke by spech myght hym aspy.
Full mony wonder werke he wroyght,
   als he com in sere cumpany.
And how all was to endyng broyght,
   the Bybyll bers wyttenese therby.
Yt ware long tyme to tell
   how he hys cowrse kest
And what ferlys be fell
   or he was broyght to rest.

542.
Bot poyntes that falys to our procese,
   sum of this werke we wyll begyne:
How that he wund in wyldernese,
   in a forest that heygh Sephyn.
Thore come men to hym, more and lesse,
   of cosyns and of other kyn.
And thos that owtlayd or exyld ys,
   thos went to hym, all that myght wyne.
Thei bede hym forto be
   his men in all manere.
So in schort tyme had he
   fawre hunderth folke in fere.
 


found; trust
safety he could not travel
(t-note)
wondrous works
various
completion
bears witness

took his course; (t-note)
wonders
before




dwelled
called Ziph; (see note)
(see note)
family members
those who were outlawed or exiled
manage [to do so]
promised; (see note)
(t-note)

four hundred men together

 
[PHILISTINES ATTACK KEILAH; DAVID SAVES THE CITY (23:1–13)]
 

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6575

 
543.
Now in this meyn tyme herd thei tell
   with folke that ferd thore to and fray
How the Phylysteyns, fers and fell,
   inseged a cyté that heght Ceilay,
And how thei made maystrays omell
   and sayd that thei suld bryn and slay
Ebrews that in that ceté dwell
   and all ther thresour to them ta.
Thei brynt and wold not blyn
   abowt both lengh and brede.
Then thei that ware within
   lyfed in grett dole and drede.

544.
Qwen David wyst thei suld be slayn
   he wrscheped God with wyll and toyght.
Then unto God fast can he frayn
   whedder he suld helpe them and he moght.
And sone he had answer agayn
   and sayd, “Go furth and drede thee noyght!”
To geydder his folke he was full fayn,
   and unto Cyala sene thei soyght.
Thor was no tale of trewse;
   Phylysteyns fast thei feld.
And thei resaved the Ebrews
   that in that cyté dwelled.

545.
The soverance of that same cyté
   honerd David with hert and hende
And bed at his bedyng to be
   and at his wyll to wun and wende.
In that cyté then sojornde he,
   and in grett lykyng thor thei lend
So that hymself and his meneye
   with mette and drynke ware mekyll amend.
Thore gatt thei gold gud wone,
   armurs and other wedys.
Sum that before had none
   hose now all that them nedes.

546.
Word of this werke full wyd can spryng
   with lernd and lewd in all that land.
And sone was told to Saull the kyng
   how David was so sojornand.
He was full fayn of that tythyng,
   for ther he hopyd to have hym at hand
And into a bale hym forto bryng,
   for his strengh myght no man stand.
He sayd, “Sone sall we see
   hys bost proved full prest,
When he haldes that ceté
   and levys the fayre forest.”

547.
He purpassed hym full prevely
   David to schame and to schend
And ordand with clene cumpany
   to Ceila sodanly to wend.
He sent sere men to spyre and spye
   how David tytest myght be tened.
Bot he had hertyng hastely
   fro God, that ever was his frend.
God werned hym fast to flee
   with his men, old and yyng,
And in the forest to be
   for the kynges comyng,

548.
For yf the kyng that ceté crafe
   or any sawt to yt sett,
The cyteners themself to sayve
   sall sone delyver yt ose dew dett.
Then suld David no helpyng have
   bot be tane os a fysch in a nett.
And sone went both knyght and knave
   to forest, where none wold them lett,
And when the kyng yt knew,
   that thei ware past fro playn,
No ferther wold he persew
   bot tytt turned hom agayn.
 

(see note)
went to and from there (Ziph)
fierce and cruel
besieged; that [was] called Keilah
tyrannies among [them]; (t-note)
burn

take
set fire; cease


woe and fear


(t-note)
honored; thought; (t-note)
inquire
if he can
at once
(t-note)
gather; joyful
Keilah then they journeyed; (t-note)
talk of truce
speedily they killed
welcomed (relieved)



governors

promised; bidding
to do all things; (t-note)

pleasure there they remained
company; (t-note)
food; much strengthened
in good amount
clothes; (t-note)

had now; needed



among the learned and the unlearned
soon [it]
sojourning
pleased; news; (t-note)

sadness

At once
boast; very quickly
holds [himself within]
leaves


privately
kill; (t-note)
ordered with a whole company
go
various; inquire
most quickly might be harmed
he (David) had advice



(t-note)



desired
before any assault was set to it
citizenry
as due debt (i.e., a sign of loyalty)

caught as
(t-note)
(t-note)

had passed from the area [of the city]
(t-note)
quickly

 
[DAVID AND JONATHAN MEET IN ZIPH (23:14–18)]
 




6580




6585






6590




6595




6600






6605




6610






6615




6620




 
549.
Thei toke to a wod that heyght Gedyn,
   bot thore thei sojornd bot lytyll whyle;
Then to a forest that heyght Cephyn;
   thore hoped he non suld hym begyle.
Thor Jonatas fro all his kyn
   to see David soyght mony a myle.
He was wel glad his wrschepe to wyn,
   all yf his fader wold fayn hym fyle.
Yt was myrth, when thei mett,
   to wytt how all yt was.
Thei kyssed and for joy grett,
   and sone sayd Jonatas:

550.
“David,” he says, “drede thee no dele,
   all yf the kyng threpe again thee,
For aftur wo all sall be well:
   thou sall governd in grett degree.
I am thin freynd; that sall thou fele:
   ther sall not fawt be fun in me.
To sayve thiself seke thi sele;
   yt is the fayrest forto flee.
Thou sal be kyng be kynd
   and full grett lordschepe lede.
Make me then in mynd
   and thynke on ayre don dede.

551.
“Yt is wysdom, os wysmen says,
   at suffer welth forto wyn.
And in no poynt he is to prays
   that cannot byde his bale to blyn.
All yf the kyng thee wayte all ways,
   he sall not dere for all his dyn.
Thou sall endure aftur his days
   and stand in state that he standes in.”
Thus bad he hym to beld
   and sayd he suld be kyng.
David curtasly kneled
   and thanked hym of all thyng.

552.
Then parted thei, yf yt ware payn,
   for full trew luf was them betwen.
And Jonatas went home agayn
   so that non wyst whore he had bene.
And David held his peyse full playn
   in wodes, for he suld noyght be sene.
And ever he has in uncertayn
   whore he myght dwell withowtyn tene.
He durst not dwell for dyn
   in town, ne in cyté.
In the forest of Cephyn
   ay toyght hym best to be.
 

En-gedi; (t-note)

Ziph; (t-note)



love to achieve; (t-note)
even if; be glad to dishonor him
(t-note)





fear you in no way
even if; inveighs against you; (t-note)

(t-note)
trust; (t-note)
never fault be found
seek your safety

natural process

Hold
our accomplished deeds




in no way; praise
wait for his sadness to cease
ambushes you
harm [you]; noise [about it]


take courage





even though it were painful


knew where
peace

(t-note)
trouble
dared


he always thought it was best to be

 
[DOEG’S BETRAYAL OF AHIMELECH (22:9–19)]
 

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6650




6655




6660






6665




6670






6675




6680






6685




6690




6695

 
553.
All in desert so con thei dwell;
   of ryall ryches noyght thei reke.
Thei dranke no wyn bot of the well,
   ne beyre bot of the reynnand beke.
In this meyn tym is so to tell
   how the kyng in yre was ever freke,
And of falshed that then befell
   thrugh Odeth to Abymaleke.
The kyng for David spyred
   forto bryng hym in bale.
Odeth his mayster herd,
   stert up, and told this tale.

554.
“Syr kyng,” he sayd, “I mervell me
   that thou for David hath any drede.
I saw hym in thin awn ceté,
   wher thi frendes fayre con hym fede.
Abymalec, byschope of Nobbé,
   full mekyll beld con to hym bede.
Golias sword to hym toke he
   and kyssed hym kyndly when he yede.
I wened noyght ye ware wroth,
   and sertes, ser, had I wyst,
I suld have bun them both
   and led them to your lyst.

555.
And, ser, to prove this that I say,
   sendes for that popelard prevely.”
The kyng therin made no delay;
   full herdy men he sentt in hy.
The byschop broyght thei the same day
   with his kynred in cumpany.
The kyng hym asked in rude aray
   why he mayntened his most enmy.
Abymalec hym excused
   be wytty wordes all ways.
Hys resons ware refused,
   bot softly thus he says:

556.
“Syr kyng, thou may full wynly wake
   whyll luf lastes betwyx yow two.
Me toyght full well sett for thi sake
   all the eys that I myght to hym do.
He sayd he suld thi messege make,
   And for he suld more sewrly go,
Golias sword I cowd hym take,
   qwylke hymself wan in feld in wo.
He standes in mony a stowre
   and ys ever bown to wende
Forto sayve thin honowre.
   Therfor, ser, he is thi frend.”

557.
Then was the kyng wode, I warrand,
   when he of all this werkyng wyst.
Hys kenyst knyghtes then he cummand
   to kyll hym that hys enmys kyst.
Bot non on hym wold lay ther hand
   because he was Goddes byschop blyst
Owtakyn Odeth, that fawtt fyrst fand;
   to werke wo that was hys lyst.
Hys sword full swyth he droghe
   with other of his assent.
The byschope thor he sloygh
   with all his clene covent.

558.
He wold noyght stynt so forto stryfe
   with all that come that close within,
So that thei slogh fowr score and fyve
   of the byschop clerkes, or ever thei blyn.
Then bad he them wend be lyve
   the burgh of Nobbe forto bryn,
And that thei suld stroye chyld and wyve
   to the otterest end of all his kyn.
Thei wasted all that thore wore
   that non away was wun,
Owtake Abyathar,
   Abymalec eldyst sun.
 

(t-note)
royal; heeded
wine except from
beer except; running brook
(t-note)
anger; eager

Doeg against Ahimelech; (t-note)
inquired
into grief

stirred himself


am amazed


feed; (t-note)
Nob
much comfort; provide; (t-note)
Goliath’s
left
knew
certainly; known
captured
to [deal with at] your pleasure



traitor at once; (see note)
at that; (t-note)
strong; haste

family
a rude manner
maintained his greatest enemy

clever

(t-note)


happily live
(t-note)
thought; to set forth
food

securely

(t-note)
battle
bound [by oath] to venture




enraged, I’ll wager

fiercest; (t-note)
kissed

blessed
Except Doeg, who the fault first discovered; (t-note)
desire; (t-note)
quickly he drew

slew; (t-note)
pure company



(t-note)
killed eighty-five
before ever they ceased
ordered; go quickly
burn
destroy
uttermost; family; (t-note)
killed; were there
dwelled; (t-note)
Except Abiathar
eldest son

 
[ABIATHAR ESCAPES SAUL’S WRATH, GOES TO DAVID (22:20–23)]
 




6700




6705



 
559.
Yt schope so that he was not schent;
   God ordand hym to flee before.
To David wyghyly is he went
   and sayd to hym with syghyng sore
How all was tan with turnament,
   his fader and his clerkes, faur score,
And how Noabbe with bale was brent
   and non on lyfe left, lesse ne more.
David says oft, “Alas,
   that folke for me ar dede!”
Abyathar then byschop was
   furth in his fader stede.
 

happened; destroyed
ordered
quickly; gone

taken
eighty
dread was burned
alive

dead

father’s place

 
[DAVID ELUDES SAUL (23:19–29)]
 


6710




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6720






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6730


 
560.
Kyng Saul ever by consell cast
   how that he myght best do David dere.
And full oft sythyes he fowled fast
   with all his fors hym forto fere.
Bot David ever fro perels past,
   als was Goddes wyll hym forto were.
And so befell yt at the last
   that David myght have done hym dere.
And how that tym be tyd,
   we wyll take time to tell,
Both of dedes that thei dyd
   and what wordes wore them omell.

561.
The kyng full raythely can ryd
   David to wast for werldes wele.
And David durst not well abyd;
   so ware the kynges folke ferly fele.
Under a hyll he con hym hyde
   in a depe hole to hald his hele
So that the kyng suld passe be syd,
   and nother suld with other dele.
Bot or thei past that pase,
   evyn bot them two betwen
Befell a ferly case,
   os then the soth was sene.
 


harm
very many times

perils




(t-note)

among


quickly; (t-note)

dared


cave to maintain his health

engage
passed that pass; (t-note)

wondrous occurrence
(t-note)

 
[DAVID DOES NOT KILL SAUL IN EN-GEDI (24:1–22)]
 



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6790


 
562.
The kyng sone of the hole had a syght
   that yt was merke and owt of mynd.
Down of his palfray con he lyght
   to eyse his womb be way of kynd.
And als he in his ded was dyght,
   David folke soyn con hym fynd.
Thei sayd, “Ser, go ryve throwgh hym ryght;
   oft hath he thee persewed and pynd.”
David says, “God forbede!
   He is a kyng enoynt.”
Bot or ever thei yede,
   he playd a perlus poyntt.

563.
Full prevely his space he spyde;
   of the kynges cloyght a peyse he kytt.
The kyng then reded hym to ryde,
   and als he was bown furth to flytt
David curtasly thus cryed:
   “Ser kyng, to wend thus ys no wytt.
I myght have made thee here to byde.
   Behald thi mantyll and yt ys slytt!
When I this fro thee reved
   away, and thou not wyst,
I myght have hade thi hede
   als lyghtly, yf me lyst.

564.
“And therfor, ser, persew me noyght;
   I am not glad thee forto greve,
Bot bown in all that ever I moght
   thee and thi reme forto releve.”
The kyng then herd and hym be toyght
   how he was thore in grett myscheve,
And how wysly thore David wroyght;
   no more in malyce wold he meve.
He trowd be this tokenyng
   within hymselfe alsone
That David suld be kyng
   when he had his dedes done.

565.
He saw David was well arayd
   with feyghyng folke full fayre in fere
And toyght, yf he to batell brayde,
   whoso suld wyn wrschepe wore in were.
Therfor all sothly thus he sayd,
   “David, this ded thou hath done here
And thi grett meknese made me payde;
   I grawntt thee peyse be my powere.
Sen thou so sufferand ys,
   thi lordschep lang wyll last.
I grawnnt thee forgyfnes
   of all poyntes that ar past,

566.
“So that thou faythfully sall fulfyll
   the forward fest betwyx us two,
And that thou do gode and non yll
   to my folke when I found them fro.”
David sayd, “Ser, with gud wyll,
   als thou wyll say, so wyll I do.”
The kyng then cald hys folk hym tyll;
   to Galgala agayn can thei go.
And David wentt then hyne
   with his men ever ychon
To the forest of Cephyn;
   he wyst no bettur wone.
 

soon; cave
dark
from his palfrey did he alight; (t-note)
relieve his bladder; nature
deed was engaged
David’s men thereupon did
slice him through at once
pursued and pained; (t-note)

anointed
before they left
perilous feat


secretly
cloak a piece he cut
prepared himself
ready to fly forth


suffer
cloak; (t-note)
robbed
knew
head
easily



aggrieve
bound
realm; protect

trouble


believed





prepared; (see note)
fighting; together
rushed
win honor (victory) was in doubt

deed
glad
peace
(t-note)






contract made



(t-note)


quickly; (t-note)
all together
Ziph; (t-note)
knew no better hope

 
[SAMUEL DIES; NABAL’S WEALTH (25:1–4)]
 



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6840
 
567.
In this meyn tyme that I of tell
   dyverse farles con befall.
The nobyll prophett Samuell
   then dyed, as erthly men bus all.
Then David men meved them omell,
   for fude in forest fand thei small.
And thore besyde Cephyn con dwell
   a full ryche man, his name Noball.
He had ryches by raw
   of rent and ryalté,
Bot he lyfed not by the law
   of Moyses and Josue.

568.
No man cowd rekyn hys ryches ryfe;
   he was ryall in his aray.
Bot ever he was with sturt and stryfe
   that no man myght hym do his pay.
A gud woman hade he to wyfe,
   and hyr name was cald Abygay.
Scho wrschept God in all hyr lyfe
   and at hyr myght mayntened His lay.
Scho was full trest and trew
   and lufed with more and lesse
And fayr of hyd and hew,
   als the Boke beyrs wytnese.

569.
His catell was in sesyn sett
   als over all in that cuntré.
David oft with hyrdes mett
   and mayntend them als his meneye.
Wyld wulfes and lyons oft he lett
   to do dysese to Naball fee.
All yf his fod was ferre to fett,
   nothyng unto rewll take wold hee.
So ose the yere con slype,
   the seson fell therfor
That men ther schepe suld clype,
   and this was costom thore.

570.
And so be tyde yt in that tyd
   that Naball hath his fest ordand.
In all the cuntré was yt cryd,
   os costom was in that land;
[ . . . ]
   [ . . . ]
Fast under that ylke forest syde,
   swylke solace suld be so nere hand.
He made wyght men to wende
   at muster ther myschefe
And pray Naball to send
   sum fude for ther releve.
 


happenings that did occur

must
grumbled among themselves
food; scant

Nabal
plentiful

(see note)
Joshua


count; plenteous

contention
satisfaction; (t-note)

Abigail
honored
law
trustworthy

skin and complexion
bears witness


(Nabal’s); season
as [they were]; (t-note)
herders
company
obstructed
Nabal’s herds
Unless; far to fetch
nothing would he take unlawfully
year did pass; (t-note)

sheep should clip



it happened; place
feast
publicized; (t-note)

(t-note)

same
such
strong; (t-note)
trouble

relief

 
[NABAL DENIES FOOD FOR DAVID’S MEN (25:5–11)]
 





6845




6850


 
571.
Then of the wyghest furth ar wentt
   to Naball, whore play was plenté.
When thei had told all ther entent,
   dyspytusly answerd then hee:
“Who is he that thus yow hath sent?”
   Thei sayd, “David, the sun of Jesse.”
He sayd thei suld be schamed and schent
   as felons that ar fayn to flee:
“He is the kynges enmy
   and hath full wekydly wroyght.
All hys fors I dyfye;
   here sall he have ryght noyght.”
 


merriment

spitefully
(t-note)

killed
caused
(t-note)

force; (t-note)

 
[DAVID SWEARS VENGEANCE (25:12–13)]
 



6855




6860




 
572.
The messyngers agayn thei goo
   and told David evere ylk a dele.
When he yt wyst, he was full wo
   and sayd yt suld be venged well.
Hee sware grett othes that he suld slo
   Naball for all his hertly sele.
And aftur hym all other mo
   that to hym fell suld angers fele:
Both man and wyfe and chyld,
   he sayd thei suld be lorn.
And bestes, tame and wyld,
   no thyng suld be forborn,
 


every point of it
knew

oaths; slay
great wealth



destroyed
beasts
spared

 
[ABIGAIL’S WISDOM (25:14–23)]
 

6865




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6885



 
573.
That thei ne suld passe by sword or knyfe
   in what syd so that thei myght be sene.
Sone aftur raked ther resons ryfe
   amang the hyrdmen all be dene.
Thei went and told to Naball wyfe,
   that wytty was withowtyn wene,
How that hyr lord suld lose his lyfe,
   for he had carped wordes kene
And myssayd David men
   that folke ware fayn to plese.
Fro scho his cawse cowd kene,
   hyr hert was not at esse.

574.
Scho menys to mend yt, yf scho may,
   that thei suld not be putt to pyne.
In gud garmentes scho made hyr gay
   with pelure and with pyrre fyne.
And grett presentes scho con purvay
   of bred, flesch, and nobyll wyne
And wentt to mete hym on the way
   towerd the forest of Cephyn.
So leved scho forto lett
   the harmes he can them hette.
And sone when scho hym mett,
   scho fell down to his fette.
 


whatever place they might be found
went their many reasons; (t-note)
forthwith

clever was without doubt

said bold words; (t-note)
abused
were desirous to please
determine
ease



pain (death)
herself fair; (see note)
fur and precious stones; (t-note)
(t-note)
meat
meet him (David)
intended she to alleviate

against them promised

feet

 
[ABIGAIL’S PLEA TO DAVID (25:24–35)]
 


6890




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6905




6910


 
575.
“A, gentyll knyght of Jesse kynd,
   that sal be kyng be reson ryght,
Gayre not the pure pepyll be pyned
   in dyverse place for a man plyght.
My lord is maysed and owt of mynd;
   anentes hymself hath he no myght.
God forbed that the folke suld fynd
   thi felnes with a foyle to fyght!
I wyst not thi men wore
   to aske us oght of our gude.
Sertes, ser, had I bene thore,
   thei suld have faled no fud.

576.
“And therfor, ser knight, no ferrer kare
   bot take of me this pure present.”
Then David saw scho was full fayre;
   grett favour in hyr face he fand.
He sayd, “Dame, be not in dyspayre.
   I graunt thee, he to thi husband.
Non of thi pepyll sall we payre.”
   Scho thanked hym with hert and hand.
Thei toke mett and drynke;
   therof the folke ware fayn.
He thankes hyr, als hym thynke,
   and so he turnys agayn.
 

Jesse’s family; (t-note)

Cause; [to] be pained
one man’s sin
bewildered
concerning

boldness; fool
knew
goods
Certainly; been there
lacked no food; (t-note)


sorrow no more; (t-note)

beautiful
found
(t-note)
haste
hurt

food; (t-note)
glad
as he thought
returns

 
[ABIGAIL TELLS NABAL, WHO DIES (25:36–38)]
 



6915




6920




 
577.
Abygay told hyr husband hale
   what sorows he suld full sone have sene
And sufferd dede in his awn sale,
   had not hyr witt and werkyng bene.
And when he herd hyr tell this tale,
   unto his hert he toke slyke teyne,
Within ten days he dyed with bale.
   Few of his meneye can hym meyne.
To David sone was sayd
   that Naball endyd so.
Then was he ryght well payd
   that he helped not therto.
 

whole
very quickly have known
death; own hall


heart; such grief
sorrow
company; mourn

ended (died)
glad

 
[DAVID MARRIES ABIGAIL (25:39–44)]
 

6925




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6935

 
578.
When Naball thus with wo was went
   and dede withoutyn darte or knyfe,
For Abygay hath David sent
   and weded hyr unto his wyfe.
This woman thus turned evyll entent
   and helped to stynt full mekyll stryfe.
And therfor God slyke grace hath sent
   in lykyng forto lede hyr lyfe.
Another he wan also
   thrugh dughty dedes he dyde.
Thore had he wyfys two,
   and Micoll was the thryd.
 


dead

wedded; (see note)
subverted
much
such

Another [wife] he (David) gained; (see note)
bold deeds
In these he had
Michal

 
[SAUL AGAIN PURSUES DAVID (26:1–5)]
 




6940




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6950




6955




6960
 
579.
Then folke of Cephyn had grett envy,
   for David sojornd thor so lang.
To Saull sent thei prevely
   and bad that he suld make hym strang,
For David that was his enmy
   suld not be mayntened them amang.
Thei hete he sall have hym in hy,
   for with hym gudly wyll thei gang.
When Saul herd this tale
   folke ware not David frendes,
His ost he ordand hale,
   and wyghtly ydder he wendes.

580.
When David herd muster omell
   Kyng Saul in that reme can ryde,
He sent his folke by fyrth and fell
   whore he wold buske to abyd.
And sone con thei to hym tythynges tell
   he sojornde by a cyté syde,
And that thei dyght them thore to dwell
   and telled ther tentes apon that tyde.
David hymself hath soyght
   tyll he of them had syght,
For in his hert he toyght
   to be nere them that nyght.
 

Ziph; (t-note)
lived there

strong [in presence]


promised; haste



ordered altogether
thither he went


heard it said among [the people that]
realm
through forest and field
prepare; (t-note)


were making themselves there
pitched their; place


thought

 
[DAVID SPARES SAUL’S LIFE (26:6–25)]
 





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7005






7010




7015




7020






7025




7030


 
581.
Two felows that he trew had fun
   chesed he furth for sych a chare:
On Abysay, his systur sun,
   and a bold man Abyathar.
Thoo three ther gatte so hath begun,
   and any wyght of them was warre
That to the kynges tent ar thei wun,
   wher he lay and the duke Abnare.
All folke war fast on slepe
   aftur the mydnyght tyde.
Thor was no cowrs to kepe;
   thei ware sure on ylka syd.

582.
David that ever was myld of mode
   sees how sadly thei slepand are.
All yf thei aspyde to spyll his blud,
   unto them wold he do no dere.
Bot a grett coupe of gold full gud
   and als the kynges chefe chasyng spere
Thei toke, and evyn agayn thei yode,
   and over a burn thei con them bere.
And on that other syd,
   whore thei no harme myght take,
David full kenly cryd,
   “Wake, Ser Abnere, wake!

583.
“Ye werke os ye ware chylder yeng,
   that kepes a kyng and slepis so sade
Qwyls men beyre away his thyng.”
   The duke of hym the heryng hade
And answerd hym os in hethyng,
   “Why cryes thou so, unknawn lade,
And makes swylke noyse thus nere the kyng?”
   Then Saul wakynd and was rad.
He trowed sum ware untrew
   of tho that wuned hym wyth,
For the voyce well he knew
   that yt was of David.

584.
And to wytt how yt was begun,
   he cryde to hym and cald be name:
“Is thou not David, Jesse sun?”
   “Yis sertes,” he sayd, “I am the same.
This ylke nyght myght thou me have fun
   in thi tent, wher thou haldes thi hame.
Yow both I myght have bett and bun
   and went my way withowtyn blame.
I toke thi coupe of gold
   and bare thi spere thee fro
And myght well, yf I wold,
   have tane thiself also.

585.
“Therfor, ser, it were fayr to sesse
   of swylk dedes os thou uses at do,
And suffer me to passe in pese
   that tryspase noyght thee unto.
Thou lefes the lessons that ar lese
   and waytys ever to werke me wo.
Now have I mett thee twyse at mese;
   thou wot thiself that yt is so.”
The kyng sayd, “Wele I knaw,
   and here the soth I se.
Thou dose all that thou aw
   in meknes unto me.

586.
“And also I se well for certayn
   thou sal be kyng; this is no nay.
Therfor I graunt thee pardon playn
   never forto dere thee aftur this day.”
Then David of his fare was fayn,
   bott ferrer he fled for more affray.
The cowpe and the spere he sent agayn.
   Ylkon at wyll then went ther way.
The kyng abatyd his breth
   and toyght his werke not wyse;
And David went to Geth,
   unto the kyng Achyse.
 

had found loyal
chose; job
One [named] Abishai; (t-note)
Ahimelech; (see note)
Those; their way; (see note); (t-note)
and no man; aware
gone
Abner
secure in sleep; (t-note)

There; man to watch
secure on every side; (t-note)



soundly


cup; (see note)
also; hunting spear

hill; bear
(t-note)
(t-note)

(t-note)


work as [if] you were young children
guard; sleep so sound
While
(t-note)
contempt
lad
such
afraid; (t-note)
believed; unfaithful
dwelled




(t-note)


certainly
same; found; (t-note)
maintain your home
beat and struck


bore

taken


cease
deeds; (t-note)
peace
(t-note)
believe; false; (t-note)

twice in good range [for killing]
know; (t-note)

truth
do; ought



(t-note)
there is no denying it

harm
glad
farther; fear
returned
Each one willingly; (t-note)


Gath
Achish; (t-note)

 
[ACHISH OF THE PHILISTINES GIVES DAVID LAND (27:1–11)]
 



7035




7040






7045




7050




7055






7060




7065



 
587.
The kyng Achyse that I of meyne
   was wyght enoght and wyse of were,
Bott he was full a Phylysteyn
   and his men in the same manere.
He hard well how David had bene
   before abowt to do them dere.
Bot now he wott withoutyn wene
   Kyng Saul and he enmys ere.
All yf he ware Ebrew,
   sen thei his enmys wore,
He trowde he suld be trew
   to Phylysteyns therfore.

588.
He gaf hym landes a lytill fra
   to loge hym and his pepyll in,
A grett ceté, Cissylla,
   to hym and to hayrys of his kene.
Ydder went he and his wyfes two,
   and ther thei wuned with mekyll wyn,
Sex hunderth men withoutyn wo
   owt of the forest of Cephyn.
Semly thore sojournde thei:
   David and his Ebrews.
He honerd God allway
   and fayged the Cananews:

589.
To brew them bale bown wold he be.
   Over mownt he went to Malachis,
And thore he stroyd up that cuntré.
   And sythyn he wentt unto Serrys.
Ther gatte thei gold full grett plenté,
   pellour and pyrry of grett pryse.
And grett presandes oft sythyes sent he
   unto the kyng of Geth, Achys.
Achys noyght understud
   what Phylesteyns can fele:
David sayd he gatt that gud
   of Ebrews ylka dele.
 


strong; war
(t-note)

heard
harm
without doubt; (t-note)
he (David) were enemies
Even; Jew
since they (David and Achish) were his (Saul’s) enemies; (t-note)
believed; faithful



(t-note)
lodge
Ziklag
heirs of his family; (t-note)
Thither
dwelled with much joy
(t-note)
Ziph
Gladly


beguiled the Canaanites (i.e., pagans); (t-note)


He would always be ready to cause them sadness
mountains; Amalekites

then; [the city of] Shur
won
furs and stones of great worth
tributes often times
Gath, Achish
(see note)
did suffer
won those goods
entirely from Jews

 
[PHILISTINES ATTACK ISRAEL (27:12–28:4)]
 


7070




7075




7080






7085




7090


 
590.
Then was Kyng Achis ferly fayn
   that he and Ebrews enmys ware.
He trowd he wold never turne agayn
   so frenly als he was before.
He sembyld men with all his mayn
   of all his landes, both lesse and more,
And sayd the Ebrews suld be slayn,
   and on lyfe suld he leve no store.
He prayd David als frend
   that he and his meneye
With hym in were wold wend,
   and gladly grawnthed he.

591.
Then was full grett myrth them omell;
   thei styrd and wold no langer stand,
Bot furth thei fare over fyrth and fell
   and fullyd all that thei before fand.
When Kyng Saul herd tythynges tell
   that Phylysteyns enturd his land,
He sayd thei suld not soundly dwell.
   A full grett ost sone he ordand.
And with them all went he
   with mekyll prese and pryde
To the mount of Gylboy,
   and thore he busked hym to byd.
 

very glad
were enemies

as friendly [to the Jews] as; (t-note)
strength; (t-note)


alive; livestock
(t-note)
company
war would go
he (David) granted [him that]


mirth among them
stirred; be still
went over forest and field; (t-note)
killed; before [them] found
heard the news told

(t-note)
army at once; (t-note)
(t-note)
much fight
Mount Gilboa
prepared himself to wait; (t-note)

 
[SAUL CONSULTS THE WITCH AT ENDOR (28:5–25)]
 



7095




7100






7105




7110




7115






7120




7125






7130




7135




7140
 
592.
He myght se on that hyll on heyght
   in the low land what lyfe thei led:
Towns of fyre byrnand full bryght
   and all over was with enmys spred.
He saw them mony and mekyll of myght.
   Sum dele in hert he was adred
And prayd to God to schew sum syght
   how that he suld in that stowre be sted,
Whedder his folke suld be flayd
   or ellys ther enmys slayn.
Bot howsoever he prayd,
   he had no tokyn agayn.

593.
His prophettes also for hym prays;
   of helpe unto hym herd thei noyght.
Then wyst he well that God not pays
   sum werkyng that he has wroght.
He bad his men go dyverse ways
   that sum wyche sone to hym ware soyght,
That by hyr craft cowd ded men rays
   that sum body be lyve ware broyght
To tell how he suld chefe,
   awder lyfe or ellys be sloyne.
One sayd, “Lord, with your lefe,
   in Endor dwels swylke one.

594.
“Scho con by craft of socery
   tell all that ever in erthe sal be.”
The kyng went to hyr prevely
   and bed hyr gold, full grett plenté,
To rayse hym up sum ded body,
   to say whedder he suld fyght or fle.
Scho asked in whom he wold affy.
   “In Samuel, forsoth,” says hee.
Sone thrugh hyr soceris
   and thrugh the Fendes rede
Samuel scho gart up ryse,
   that lang whyle had bene dede.

595.
Als Samuel stud them beforne,
   the kyng sayd, “Tell us, or we twyn,
Whedder syd sal be up born
   in this batell that we begyne,
And who sall have ther lyvys lorn!”
   Then answerd he with dedly dyne:
“Thou and thi suns sall wun to morn
   in the same wyse that I wun in.”
Then was he hent in hy
   away, thei wyst not whore.
Kyng Saul then was sory.
   Hym rewed that he come thore.
 

high
gathering they made
on fire burning

their numbers and great strength
Some bit; afeared

battle be placed
Whether

(t-note)
sign in return


(t-note)
(t-note)
knew; was not pleased by; (t-note)
(t-note)
ordered
witch at once; (see note); (t-note)
raise dead men

should end [the fight]
either live
by your leave; (see note); (t-note)
En-dor lives such a person


witchcraft

secretly
offered


trust; (t-note)

At once; witchcrafts
Devil’s counsel
caused to rise up
dead


(t-note)
before we part
Which side shall be raised up

taken away
deadly noise (speech)
expect to mourn
dwell
taken away in haste; (t-note)
knew not where

He rued

 
[DAVID IN THE PHILISTINE ARMY (29:1–11)]
 





7145




7150






7155




7160






7165




7170




7175

 
596.
He teldyd hym within his tent
   on Gylboy batell forto abyde.
Now leve we hym wher he is lent
   and tell how David con be tyde.
Kyng Aches boldly borows brent
   and stroyd cytes on ylka syde.
David ay wyghtly with hym went;
   non was so well arayd that tyde.
The Phylysteyns ware not payd
   that he suld with them wun.
Ylke on tyll other sayd,
   “Ys noyght this Gesse sun?

597.
“With Kyng Saul he ys at hame
   and of his howshold hath bene lang.”
Sum other says, “This is the same
   that maydyns made of in ther sang.”
“Syr kyng,” thei say, “we ar to blame,
   and he with us to batell gang.
His awn kyng wyll he kepe from schame
   and turn to mell hym us amang.
The more that he us shendes,
   the more thanke sall he have.
So sall thei bee full frendes.
   Therfor se us to save!”

598.
Kyng Aches saw his folke afrayd;
   of David fare thei ware not fayn.
Therfor thus to hym he sayd,
   “I thanke thee, ser, with all my mayn
That thou thus prestly is purved,
   bot now I pray thee turn agayn
And see my reme be ryght arayd.
   I grawnnt thee heyre my power playn.”
Then David home can fare,
   all ware yt not his wyll.
Bot lang or he com thore,
   new tythynges com hym tyll.
 

secluded himself


did fare
burned towns; (t-note)
every side
always quickly; (t-note)
(t-note)
pleased
dwell
Each one to the
Jesse’s son




(see note)
their song

if; goes
own; save
speak [to] him about us
humiliates; (t-note)






David’s accompaniment; glad
(t-note)
strength
are so eagerly prepared

realm properly governed
make you heir [to]


long before; there

 
[AMALEKITES ATTACK ZIKLAG (30:1–10)]
 




7180




7185






7190




7195




7200
 
599.
Amalachys we ment of ayre,
   that David angerd oft before,
Thei wyst full well how that thei ware
   went to were, both lesse and mare.
Therfor full fersly con thei fayre
   to Cesilla, whore his wyfes ware.
Thor forto spoyle wold thei not spare;
   thei brent and stroyde up all ther store.
Thei toke his wyfes two
   and home with them thei lede.
And of his meneye moo
   wore thor full stratly sted.

600.
David was never ayre so wo;
   no wounder yf he wex nere wode
When that he wyst his wyfes two
   war led away with all ther gud.
Hys meneye made mornyng also,
   becawse ther wyfes with them yode.
Thei sayd thei suld never hamwerd go
   or thei had schamly sched ther blode.
David prayd God to send
   sum comforth in that case.
He had wernyng to wend
   and well overcom his fayse.
 

The Amalekites we spoke of earlier

were
gone to war
fiercely did they come
Ziklag, where his (David’s)
(t-note)
burned; their goods

(t-note)
company more
were there placed in straits


before
grew near to insanity

their goods
company; mourning; (t-note)

(t-note)
before


advice [from God] to go
foes

 
[DAVID ATTACKS THE AMALEKITES (30:11–31)]
 





7205




7210






7215




7220




 
601.
To fell them down full fast thei thrett,
   and furth thei cayred to that cuntré.
On of tho Malachys thei mett
   that for mete myght no ferreur flee.
To have his hele David hym hett
   to tell hym how the best myght bee.
He sayd, “Ser, I sall thee sett
   whor thou the Malachys may see.”
Hee wysched them redy way
   tyll thei had knawyng clere
Whore all ther enmys lay,
   makand full mery chere.

602.
Thei made then myrth with all ther mayn
   and trowed that no man myght them marre.
Then David and his folke was fayn
   and toyght that thei suld fownd no ferre.
Thei pressed to them in that playn
   and so with skelppis thei con them scarre
That sodanly thore ware thei slayn.
   Full joyfull all the Ebrews arre.
Ther wyfes then thei ta
   and gold full grett plenté.
And went to Cecilla;
   that was ther awn cyté.
 

threatened
traveled
those Amalekites
hunger might no further; (t-note)
health; promised



guided

Where all their enemies
making


strength
believed; harm
were glad
go no farther

blows they did


took [back]

Ziklag

 
[SAUL AND JONATHAN DEFEATED BY THE PHILISTINES (31:1–4)]
 

7225




7230




7235






7240




7245






7250




7255




7260
 
603.
Now at ther lyst we leve them so
   with David that of were was wyse,
And telle we of the hostes two
   on Gylboy, whore Kyng Saul lyse.
Full gretly thei togeydder go
   to se what syde suld wyn the price.
The Phylysteyns ware mony moo
   that wer comyn with Kyng Achys.
Full boldly thei abyde
   and bett on with brandes bryght.
And Ebrews on ther syde
   full fersly fandyd to fyght.

604.
To tell how all that werkyng was,
   lyne be lyne, full lang yt were.
The Ebrews all the overhand hays
   fro morn to mydday and more;
Bot at the last thei sayd, “Alas!”
   for lordes that leved ther lyfes thore,
And most for gentyll Jonatas,
   that David fand his frend before.
He had stroyd in that sted
   Phylysteyns full gud woyne,
And sythyn he was ded
   and his breyther ylkon.

605.
When Saul saw that his sun was gone
   and chefe of all his chevalry,
And how he thore was leved alon
   and had no beld to byde hym by,
Well lever he had forto have bene sloyn
   then lyfe in lawles cumpany.
Therfor of his men bad he on
   putt hym to ded thor prevely
So that he past no ferre
   with folke of fals lyvyng.
That man wold noyght hym marre
   bycause he was his kyng.
 

pleasure
war
(t-note)
Gilboa; remains

win the prize (victory)



beat; swords

fiercely tried



it would take a long time
had the upperhand
from morning


noble
found [to be]

in great numbers
then
brothers each one


son
knights; (see note)
left alone
protection to remain by him
He much preferred; been slain
lawless; (see note)
ordered he one
to put him to death there privately
went no further; (t-note)
false belief
harm

 
[SAUL’S DEATH (2 KINGS [2 SAMUEL] 1:6–10)]
 





7265




7270


 
606.
With his awn sword he con begyn
   to styke hymself in that stound.
So com a knave of Kaym kyn;
   the kyng sayd, “Felow, or thou found,
Beyr me thrugh, for nothyng blyn,
   and take my crown and my be rownde!”
The knave was glad that gold to wyn
   and gaf the kyng his dedes wounde.
Thus ended the fyrst kyng
   that ever was of Ebrew,
For he brake Goddes bedyng
   and was not to Hym trew.
 

did; (see note)
impale; place
Cain’s kin
before you depart
tarry
my round armlet; (t-note)
gain
mortal wound


broke God’s bidding
loyal

 
[THE SPOILS OF GILBOA (31:7–13)]
 



7275




7280






7285




7290




7295






7300




7305






7310




7315




7320     
 
607.
Swylke cayre behoved cum hym tyll
   for marterdoms that he dyd make —
Byschopes and prestes both he gart spyll
   and dekyns als for David sake —
And for he wroyght not Goddes wyll
   that cumaund hym he suld take wrake
Of Kyng Agag that greved Hym yll,
   and to trews he con hym take.
That day ware Ebrews slayn,
   als Samuel sayd before.
Phylysteyns ware full fayn:
   mawmentes thei wrschept the more.

608.
Sone on the morn thei sessyd not yett
   or dede bodes spoled bee.
Kyng Saul hed thei have of cutt
   and the same of his suns all thre.
On ther ceté thei have sett yt
   that folke on ylka syd suld see,
And for thei wold all the werld suld wyt
   of ther jornay in Gylboy.
To sere cytes thei sentt
   qwerters of lordes be lade
To mak yt be on ment
   the maystrys that thei thore made.

609.
Bycawse Kyng Saul thus was slayn,
   Phylysteyns made grett sacrafyce.
His armurs offerd thei ylkon
   to Astrott, ther god of price.
Sythyn Ebrews with grett hand ar gone
   to tho cytes be certan spyse.
Both hedes and bodes have thei ton
   and bered them in ther best wyse,
With grett wrschep allways,
   for thei so worthy wore,
And made sorowyng sevyn days,
   als costom then was thore.

610.
When Kyng Saul was went his way,
   twenty yeres then regnyd had hee.
And whyls he lufed God and His lay,
   he had lykyng by land and see.
Ther lyfed non ayre aftur his day;
   the prophett sayd yt suld so be.
The Fyrst Boke endes in this aray
   that tels how kynges come in cuntree.
Forther who lykes to loke
   how was with David done,
Seke in the Secund Boke;
   ther thei sall see full soyne.
 

It was fitting for such sorrow to come to him; (t-note)
martyrdoms
did kill
deacons

vengeance; (t-note)

truce he did


very joyful
idols; worshiped all the more


Soon in the morning
before dead bodies were spoiled
head they have cut off

their city; (t-note)

should know
campaign
various
quarters of the [bodies of the] lords [to] be laid; (t-note)
be remembered
masteries; there won




armors
Astaroth (Astarte)
Then; courage went
spies
heads and bodies; taken; (t-note)
buried
honor
(t-note)
(t-note)
there


(t-note)
(t-note)
law
(t-note)
lived no heir


came into the country; (t-note)
(t-note)


see it all at once

 

Go to Second Book of Kings (Samuel 2)