LIBER TERTIUS REGUM.
[SOLOMON CONSOLIDATES HIS THRONE (2:13–46)]
In the Secund Boke before is told
how David, sun of Jesse,
In barnhed he began to be bold
whyls that he keped his fader fee,
And sythyn how he had welth in wold
and honerd God in gud degree,
And afturward how he was old
and went whor God wold hym to be.
This Thryd Boke is begun
when Kyng David was dede,
How Salamon, his sun,
was sett in that same stede.
In this same boke before is rede
how Adhony toyght full gret hethyng
That Salamon suld so be sted
of Ebrews folke forto be kyng.
With all his forse fast he hym sped
and sett hymselfe to that same thyng.
Bot sythyn he and his felows fled
becawse thei fayled of ther fowlyng.
For he was elder brother,
well knawn in ylke cuntré,
Hym toyght ther suld non other
be kyng bot only he.
Therfor to seke sum sutell gyn
he besys hym erly and late.
Abysag was comyn of gentyll kyn,
that maydyn that held his fader hate.
He toyght myght he hyre to wyfe win,
so suld he governd grett astate.
And then he toyght forto begyn
agayns his brother sum grett debate.
To make this bargan be
he pursewed fast ther on
Unto the qwene Barsabé,
the moyder of Salamon.
When he come thor, on knese he kneled
full softly os a sympyll knave.
“I pray your sun to be my beld,
my dame,” he sayd, “and ye vouchsave.
I am his brother elder of eld,
all thof he all this kyngdom have.
Bot Abysag to wyfe at weld
I kepe not ellys at hym to crave.
And ye wyll aske this bone,
full mekyll yt mend me may.”
Scho sayd, “This sal be done.”
And sone scho went hyr way.
Unto the kyng scho come in hy
and haylssed hym be stevyn full styll.
He welcumd hyr full curtasly
and sayd, “Moyder, what is your wyll?”
Scho sayd, “Sun, grett erand have I,
qwylke I wyll pray thee to fulfyll,
Towchand thi brother Adony,
and to helpe hym I hald yt skyll.
That woman wold he wed
to wyf yf that thou wold,
That warmed thi fader bed
and hym when he was cold.
“For this, sun, hath he me besogh,
and I beseke thee for the same.”
The kyng wyst full well his toyght
that all was forto schape hym schame.
“Moyder,” he sayd, “meynys yow noyght,
when we ware with my fader at hame,
How Joab and he wunders wroyght
to make hym kyng and call be name?
And the same se I now
he purpase more and more.
To God I make my vowe:
he sal be dede therfore.”
He cald a knyght heyght Banay,
and bad he suld tyte vengance take
Of Duke Joab and Adony
for fals maystry that thei con make,
And sythyn also of Symey
that with stonys at his fader strake.
Tho thre so had ther hyre in hy,
aftur ther werkes ware worthy wrake.
Abyathar was demed
as byschop aght to be.
For falshed was he flemed
and degrade of his degré.
And Sadoke was made soveran hed
als byschope stably forto stand.
And when Duke Joab thus was dede,
Duke Banay was thore ordand
Forto be stewerd in his sted,
and all the folke heldyd to his hand,
And he them forto rewle and rede
agayn ther enmys in ylka land.
Then to Kyng Salamon
was all folke fayn to plese.
And in the werld was non
that durst do hym dysesse.
father’s inheritance (estate)
then; prosperity on earth
Adonijah considered [it a]; contempt
kept his father warm
elder in age
do you not remember
their payment at once; (t-note)
removed from his office
inclined; (see note)
[SOLOMON MARRIES; GOD GRANTS HIM WISDOM (3:1–15)]
Kyng Salamon governd hym so
that ylk land had of hym aw.
He toke a wyfe wonder fayr hym to
and that lyfed by another law.
Scho was the doyghtur of Pharo,
of Egyp kyng, cumly to knaw.
Bot evyn als Salamon wold do,
assented scho in dede and saw.
He lyfed withoutyn lese
aftur the Law lely
That God gaf unto Moyses
on the Mownt of Synay.
Kyng Salamon then and his men
unto Ebron ther gattes hath grayd
With sacrafyce ther God to ken,
and of ther purpase was God payd.
Thei offerd mo then hunderthes ten
of calves and lambs on auters layd.
And on the nyght nex foloand then
God spake to Salamon and sayd,
“Aske of Me what thou wyll,
and wheder thou wynke or wake,
I graunt yt to fulfyll
for thi gud faders sake.”
Then Salamon aspyse gud sped
what hym ware best of God to crave:
“To aske ryches, that is no ned,
I have enogh on all sydes to save.
And power nedes me non for dred,
all dowtes me boyth knyght and knave.
Bot wytt Thi folke by law to led
and wyll to werke wele wold I have.”
God answerd then and sayd,
“Thou askys all skylfull thyng.
This purpas mas Me payd.
I graunt thee thin askyng.
“More wyse and wytty sall thou be
then Jew or panym that ever er past.
And ose thou trewly trestes in Me,
fro thi kyngdom sall non thee kast,
Ne thin ayres that cumys aftur thee
as lang os thei in Law wyll last.”
Of this forward full fayn was he
and thanked God fully and fast.
Then wentt thei fro Ebron
to Jerusalem agayn.
So was Kyng Salamon
sett in his power playn.
deed and word
their paths have taken; (see note)
more than 1,000; (t-note)
next following that
makes; happy; (t-note)
pagan; before lived
Nor your heirs
[SOLOMON’S WISDOM: CUTTING THE CHILD IN TWO (3:16–28)]
In this meyn tyme that I of tell
a torfer in the town betyde:
Two wemen in a hows con dwell,
and both thei ware for comyn kyd.
A myschef was mevyd them omell
that myght noght then be hyld ne hyd.
Befor the kyng on knese thei fell
forto gyf dome, and so he dyd.
Unto hym told the on
the cause of ther comyng ydder:
“My lord, we two alon
dwelled in a hows togeyddyr.
“And we ware both be seson ryght
as grett with chyld os we myght go.
I was delyver thrugh Goddes myght
of a fayr son; so ware we two.
And this woman of the thryd nyght
was delyver of a sun also.
Scho overlay yt withowtyn lyght,
and when scho wakyd, then was scho wo.
Bot a fals wyle scho wroyght,
lord, os I slepand lay:
Hyr ded barn scho me broyght
and toke myn qwyk away.
“And when I wakynd of my slepe
and fand a ded chyld me beforne,
No wunder was yf I wold wepe,
for that I lufed I had forlorn.
By clere lyght then toke I kepe
that yt was never of my body born.
My sun I saw bysyd hyr crepe;
thus has scho turment me this morn.”
That other answerd agayn,
“My lord, scho beyrs the wrang.
Hyr awn sun has scho slayn;
myn lyfes and may lyfe lang.”
The fyrst unto the kyng then cryse,
hyr hert was hevy os lether or lede,
“Ser, I say yow the sothe assyse
as ever I styre owt of this stede.”
That other cryd full lowde, “Thou leys,
bot my sun lyfes, and thin ys dede.”
What was to werke now in this wyse,
the kyng asked all his consell rede.
Thei sayd thei had not lered
swylke case forto declare.
Then bad he bryng a sword
belyve befor hym thare.
“And the qwyke chyld that thei fore chyd
depart sonder here in this place
And gyf to ayder of them a syd!”
The pepyll then grett murmur mase.
Thei say, “Yt wele is sene this tyd
of a new kyng a new comyn case.”
Bot the moyder kneled and lowd scho cryde,
“A mercy, lord, graunt me this grace:
Gyfe my chyld leve to lyfe,
I make no more debate.
All hole to hyr yt gyfe
and lett me go my gate!”
That other sayd, “So sall noyght be,
bot to be departed evyn yt aw.
And take that on half unto thee;
that other is myn, now well I knaw.”
And when the kyng this syght con se,
syttand in dowm, he sayd this saw,
“The moyder of the chyld hath peté.
Delyver yt hyr; this lore ys law.”
Then wex the folke full fayn
for joye of this jugment.
And that he was wyse certan,
the word full wyd whore went.
trouble; town (i.e., Jerusalem); (t-note)
known to be common (i.e., prostitutes)
healed nor hid; (t-note)
my living [one]
bears the guilt
living; before quarreled about
cut in two
(see note); (t-note)
word is binding
[SOLOMON’S WISDOM AND ORGANIZATION (4:1–34)]
Kyng Salamon then con assay
to sett Goddes servyce ever in syght
And sythyn his reme forto aray
and rewle his men by reson ryght.
In certan placeys he con purvay
princes to purge the pepyll plyght,
And dukes full dere be dyverse day
dewly ther dome to dele and dyght.
Of folke that to hym fell
myght no man tell the teynd.
Of all wytt was he well
in werld, wher he suld wende.
And by his wytt and his wysdom
us menes that he made bokes thre.
Ane Cantica Canticorum,
that is a boke of grett bonité.
Ecclesiastecen kennes sum
the secund boke named sal be.
Proverbes and Psalmes then, as thei com
forto be sayd in sere degree.
Who lykes of wytt to lere
or of counsell to crave,
In his bokes may thei here
what so ther hert wold have.
duly their judgments; make
Canticle of Canticles (Song of Songs)
bounty (goodness); (t-note)
Ecclesiastes some acknowledge
wisdom to learn
[SOLOMON COMPLETES THE TEMPLE OF GOD (5:1–6:38)]
Then nyght and day was his desyre
the Tempyll of God to dyght and drese,
Als Kyng David, his soverayn syre,
had laft ther to enogh ryches.
Iram, that was kyng of Tyre,
sent word by letturs, more and lesse,
That he suld have withoutyn hyre
tymber of syder and of cypresse.
So had he all that nedes
enogh, and wanted none.
And to do dyverse dedes
werke men had he gud woyne.
Kyng David, whyls he was on lyve,
full gradly all that ground began.
Agayns his strykes wold no man stryve,
bot held his mesurs ylka man.
Than ware past to make rekenyng ryve,
as cunnand clerkes declare yt can,
Fawr thowssand yeres fyfty and fyve
fro this werld was begun to than.
In sevyn yeres was yt sett,
the substance, tre and stone;
Bot afturward was yett
ymages of gold gud woyne.
Ther was never beste that man myght nevyn,
ne fulle that was formed to flygh,
That ne yt was ther ordand full evyn
of fyne gold and besandes bryght.
The suteltes of science sevyn
thor ware to red on raw full ryght.
Yt myght be lykynd unto Hevyn,
for yt was ever lemand and lyght.
Then was wunder to tell,
or to declare by skyll
Of gold what grett vessell
that ware ordand ther tyll.
All ryches sere ther was to sett
may no man say ne syng in sang.
Of sylver myght thei go and gete
als men may now for marber gang.
And gold was no more to be mett
then other metall ys us amang.
To tell the lele withoutyn lett
sum suld suppose my wordes ware wrang;
Wher for who lykes to loke
how all that werke was wroyght,
Go to the Bybyll boke!
Thore sall thei se unsoght.
make; arrange; (t-note)
maintained his measurements
a complete reckoning
4,055 years; (see note)
in abundance; (t-note)
there were to be read in order
more difficult to find
truth without lie
[SOLOMON DEDICATES THE TEMPLE OF GOD (7:40–8:66)]
When all was done thus daynthyly
that to that Tempyll suld pertene,
To halo yt thei hasted in hy
that Goddes servyce myght thore be sene.
Thar congregacion of clergy
cald thei fro all cuntré clene.
Thor was all maner of melody
that men be museke myght of mene.
Sothyn Salamon the wyse
of bestes, wyld and tame,
Made solempne sacrafyce;
all other dyd the same.
To Hevyn held he up then his hend
and prayd to God thus with gud wyll,
“Gud Lord that ylk myse may mend,
I love Thi love both lowd and styll
That unto me this grace hath send
my faders forward forto fulfyll
And of this hows forto make end,
als Thou that tym told hym untyll.
And als my fader prayd,
I pray with wyll and toyght
That Thou be plessed and payde
of this werke that is wroyght.
“And all that enturs in this place
aftur Thi helpe to cry and call,
Lord, of Thi gudnese graunt them grace
of all ther grevance, grett or small!”
And als he spake so in that space,
God sent a sygne amang them all:
A flawm of fyre before ther face
evyn on ther sacrafyce con fall
And hent yt up to Hevyn
with mynstralsy and sang.
The myrth myght no man nevyn
that was made them amang.
Then held thei with solempnité
a fest full fyftene days be dene.
The fest was named Synophogy,
whylke Jews maynteyns yett them betwen.
The Arke of God in grett degree
thor sett thei up forto be sene.
Thei went ylkon to ther cuntré
to abyd before whore thei had bene.
Kyng Salamon con byd
in his city at hame.
In all the werldes wyde
of his wytt went the fame.
publicly and privately
heart and head
Feast of Tabernacles; (see note); (t-note)
[SOLOMON COMPLETES HIS PALACE AND OTHER BUILDINGS (7:1–39)]
Another hows then ordand he
all only for his awn wonyng.
And that was mad in yeres thre,
all of ryches and ryall thyng.
And then the thryd in forto be
when he suld deme of old and yyng.
Swylke a hows was never sett forto se
in erth to emperour, ne kyng.
The fawrt then for his qwene
qwer scho with blyse myght byde,
And for lades be dene
serely on ylka syde.
That hows was paynted with peramour,
with resons ryall forto rede,
And fowls full fayre of favour,
with sang and spekyng full gud spede,
And flours in ther kyndly colour,
os thei in feld ar folke to fede,
And ylkon in the same savour
as yt suld in the burgeon bred.
All myrth that men may tell
was mad withoutyn myse.
Who in that hows myght dwell
thurt abyd no bettur blyse.
(see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
third [building]; (t-note)
blissfully might dwell
royal pronouncements to be read; (see note)
needs await no better bliss
[SOLOMON’S WIVES LEAD HIM INTO IDOLATRY (11:1–8)]
Kyng Salamon ys now certan
that all the werld with hym wyll held,
For all the Phylysteyns ar full fayn
to forther hym in fyrth and feld.
Ther was never man so mekyll of main,
ne that so grett wyt had to weld.
Yett at the last yt is not to layn:
with lust was all lost in his eld.
Wemen that he con take
with lust to lyg them by,
Gart hym his God forsake
and turnd to mawmentry.
Fyrst of his state to understand
how he began on mys to go,
He wed a wyf of paynyms land,
was kynges doyghthur Pharo.
For hyr this hows was new ordand
and for other of hyr meneye mo.
Thei mad hym fond, and that he fand,
for his best frend becom his foo.
Whyls he his God cowd knaw,
all welthes he had gud woyne.
And when he left His Law,
God leved hym then allon.
Of qwennes then had he hunderthes sevyn
to weld at wyll ay when he wold,
And thre hunderth of other evyn,
doyghturs of dukes and barons bold,
Ay forto stand unto his stevyn,
and all thei used crowns of gold.
Swylke howshald was noyght under Hevyn,
bot for this myse yt myght not hold.
Of Ebrews had he qwennes
that full wyse wemen wore,
Bot most part was paynyms
that plessed hym mekyll more.
Thei fed hym fere in foly
that all his forse fouly he fyled.
He made tempyls to mawmentry
and to fals goddes that hym begyld.
So he forgate God Allmighty
that ever had bene his bote or beld,
And lyfed in lust and lechery
aftur the wylles of wemen wyld.
So Adam and Sampson,
our forfaders, ware flayd,
David and Salamon
with wemen ware betrayde.
incline; (see note); (t-note)
assist; (see note)
of so much strength
in sin; (t-note)
[who] was the daughter of the king, Pharaoh
became his foe
queens (concubines); 700
use at will whenever he wanted; (t-note)
others as well
[for the] most part [they] were pagans
pleased him much
strength foully he defiled
that beguiled him
help and protection; (t-note)
[SOLOMON REBUKED BY AHIJAH (11:9–13, 29–39)]
He that so wyse and wytty was
that under Hevyn he had no make,
That he for lust suld be lorn, alas,
and wast his wytt for wemens sake!
God was greved with his grett trespase,
for he to fals goddes con hym take,
And sent the prophet Achyas
to warn hym how he wold take wrake.
The prophett sone was grayd,
and to that courte come he.
“Kyng Salamon,” he sayd,
“take tent what I tell thee!
“Thou wott wele how God gafe the Law
to Moyses in the hyll on heyght,
Qwylke wele thou wott all Ebrews aw
to maynteyn ever with all ther myght.
And now thou wenes He con not knaw
how thou refusys yt all unryght.
He hath me sent to say this saw:
thi synes ar fowle before His syght.
Hard vengance wold He take
so that thou suld be lorne,
Bot for thi faders sake
sum dele sal be forborne.
“Hee honerd God erly and late.
therfor God heyght, qwen he was past,
That thou suld stand with his astate
in lordschep whyls thi lyf myght last.
All yf here thou wyll Hym hate,
that forward sal be full and fast.
Bot thou sall have bale and debate
and with thin enmys oft be umcast.
And whore thou and no mo
ys kyng of kynred twelfe,
Thi sun sall have bot two
assygned to hymselfe.
“And so mony suld he noyght have
bot for David, thi fader dere,
And als the heritage forto save
that all sall noyght be sunderd sere.
Jeroboam to thee is bot a knave,
sal be kyng of ten kynredes clere.
And so for thou wold rudly rave,
thi sun sall part fro his power,
qwylke he suld have haly
had noyght thi boldnese bene.”
Then Salamon was sory,
no wunder was to wene.
Ahijah [the Shilonite]
soon was prepared
take heed [of] what
some part shall
[but he] shall
[SOLOMON BESET WITH TROUBLES (11:14–40)]
Then gretand unto God he prayd,
bot for all that note was never the nerre.
All behoved be os the prophett sayd.
Ylk day wex with hym werre and werre.
So owt of Egyp land was grayd
A cumly knyght, was cald Ader.
A ryall ost sone he arayd
Kyng Salamon of his myght to marre.
Duke Joab slow his syre;
then myght he yt not aqwyte,
Bot now he had desyre
to do Ebrews dyspytte.
When Ader herd David was ded
and Joab, that his fader had slayn,
And Salamon als soveran hed
sett in all his power playn,
Then wold he byd no bettur bed
bot went to werre Ebrews agayn.
He brent and stroyd in mony a styd,
and therfor ware Phylysteyns fayn.
And on that other syde
Jeroboam of Joseph kyn,
He redyd hym to ryde
the reaume to weld and wyn.
Wele-hernest men with hym he has.
Jerusalem he hasted hym untyll.
Thore come the prophett Achias
and warned hym what was Goddes wyll.
The pepyll lete he playnly pase,
and in a sted he stud hym styll.
A new mantyll abowt hym was;
that sped he hym fast forto spyll.
On the ground ther he yt spredes,
and his sword owt he brayd
And schare yt in twelf shredes,
and on this wyse he sayd,
“Jeroboam, thou sall understand,
os thou seys me this mantyll twyn,
So sall the lordschep of this land
be departed in sonder all for syne.
Ten kynredes sall held to thi hand,
and thou sall were them wele with wyn.
And two are to the hayre ordand,
that ar of Juda and of Bynjamyn.
And Jerusalem cyté
sall he have in his wald,
And thiselfe sall kyng be
of ten. Thus hath God told.
“And als lang os thou lufes His Law
sall grett lordschep to thee be lent.
And yf thou kest not Hym to knaw,
thi welth wyll sone fro thee be went.”
Jeroboam, sone aftur this saw,
gret heghnes in his hert he hent.
The lordes he con fast to hym draw
and made them sone of his assent,
So that full sone had he
mo lordes at his ledyng
And wele mo commynté
then had Salamon the kyng.
sorrow [God]; nearer
grew more and more wars
had slain his father
at that time; avenge
war against the Hebrews
allowed him (i.e., Ahijah) to pass easily
he took out
you see; cut; (t-note)
[SOLOMON’S DEATH (11:41–43)]
Kyng Salamon then fand and feld
that God was not fully his frend.
Qwat for grett dewle, qwat for eld,
in lyf he myght no langer lend.
Then myght no boldnes be his beld,
bot fro his welth behoved hym wende.
All wysdom that he had to weld
was turned to foly befor his end.
Ryches rewled unryght
is nothyng forto nevyn;
Ne wytt may have no myght
withowtyn helpe from Hevyn.
Ne prowyse ys nothyng in prise
withoutyn grace of God Allmighty,
Bot He that ys the Hegh Justyce
may mend all myse thrught His mercy.
So endyd Salamon the wyse;
I wott not what he was worthy.
Thei layd hym whore his fader lyse
in that same cyté solemply.
Faur score yeres ware past our
whyls he had kynges power.
And nyne score yere and faur
was all his wonnyng here.
discovered and felt
Whether for great grief, [or]; age
eighty; (see note); (t-note)
[REHOBOAM CROWNED; ISRAEL DIVIDED (11:43–12:24)]
When Salamon thus had mad end
and gyfyn his gast to Goddes grace,
The lordes that in that land con lend;
thei toke ther counsell in that case
Who suld have force them to dyffend
agayns the Phylysteyns, ther fase.
And Roboam, his sun, thei kend
for myghty man and most ryght has.
Thei sembled in Sychem,
a cyté of grett renown,
Nere to Jerusalem,
a kyng ther forto crown.
When thei ware geydderd grett and small,
unto ther werke sone thei went.
An alderman spake for them all
and told to Roboam ther entent
And sayd, “Ser Roboam, thou sall
be our sufferan, so have we ment.
And we sall com unto thi call
so that thou tyll our sawes assent.
We ware fayne forto plese
thi fader, ose for our kyng.
And he dyd us dysesse
and wrang in sum werkyng.
“Thou wot full wele Ebrews ar we
to lyf be the maners of Moyses.
Thi fader greved us in degré;
of our assyse he made us sesse
And to be thrall, whore we ware free,
agayns the Law; this ys no lese.
Of all swylke poyntes aske we thee
all holy forto have releyse.
And yf thou graunt this thyng,
then wyll we graunt agayne
That thou be crowned kyng
and we thi pepyll playn.”
When Roboam herd how he says,
he thynkes the pepyll rudly rave.
That purpase nothyng to hym pays
forto graunt them so that thei crave.
He sayd, “Ser, respeytt of thre days,
and then your answer sall ye have.”
Them toyght he suld make no delays,
bot neverthelese thei vouchsave.
And in thies thre days then,
whyls thei this convent held,
He asked red at old men
that with his fader dweld.
Thei sayd, “Ser, we assent ther tyll
that thei be als there elders wore
And have ther fredoms to fulfyll,
als ther faders had before.
Yf thou wyll graunt them with gud wyll,
then wyll thei lely luf thi lore.
And yf thou part from them with yll,
of counsell then can we no more.
Syr, yt is wysdom,
and wys men hath bene lefe
To suffer a lese yll com
and lett a more myschefe.”
When Roboam thies wordes hers,
this purpase was not to his pay.
He cald to hym yyng bachelers
that he was wonnt with forto play.
He says, “Omys this men me lerys
to make my lordschep les for ay.
Wyll ye assent to swylke maners?”
Thei answerd and sayd schortly, “Nay!
Bot os thei boun have bene
to thi fader before,
The same sall thou maynteyn
and make them sugettes more.
“And tell them this to understand:
thou hath more strenght maystrys to make
In the lest fynger of thi hand
then was in all thi fader bake.
And whore he bett them with a wand
to hold them law withoutyn lake,
Bett thou with scorpions, we warand.”
All thus dyspytfully thei spake.
Then Roboam was well payd;
hym lyked to frayn no ferre,
Bot to the pepyll he sayd
he suld do so or warre.
Thies wys men red refused he has,
and aftur yong men ways he went.
Therfor the pepyll fast fro hym pas;
Non bot two lyneg with hym lent.
So was the wordes of Achyas
fullfylled that told thus his entent:
Ryght ose his mantyll revyn was,
so suld the reme be raysed and rent.
The same was sen that day;
God wold that yt ware so.
Ten kynredes turned away
and with hym left bot two.
A redlese man was Roboam
when the pepyll went ther ways.
He sent a prince heyght Adoram,
and to the pepyll full fayr he prays.
And lordes ylkon he nevynd by name.
“Comys agayn, gud sers!” he says.
“My lord says ye sall have the same
that ye had in your fader days
Or bettur, yf that he myght;
I undertake to yow.”
That spekyng was for noyght;
his tayles thei wold noyght trow.
Them lyst not bow, ose he them bade,
bot with dyspytt hym to dyspyse.
His messynger thei stoned to ded
and send hym word on this kyn wyse:
Thei wold never hald hym for ther hede
that made them fayle of ther fraunchese.
Then Roboam was full wyll of rede;
he went whore no relevyng lyse.
So folke may frenschepe fayle
and oft sythys harmes hent
Because of yll counsell,
yf thei sone wyll assent.
He saw the pepyll ware past hym fro
And Adoram his cosyn slayn.
Fro Sychem then fast con he go
unto Jerusalem evyn agayn.
And with hym went the kynredes two
that ware ever to his bedyng bayn.
Of all the twelfe he had no moo;
so ware thei sonderd for certayn.
Tho kynredes mad hym kyng
of them and ther cuntré
And oblyst, old and yyng,
at his bedyng to be.
Then is yt tym furth forto tell
what betyd of the other ten.
Jeroboam was ferse and fell
and the most cumly that thei ken.
Thei mad hym kyng of Israel,
and holy thei become his men.
Thore was no more ther kynges omell
bot Roboam and Jeroboam then.
Both byschopes, prestes, and clerkes
with all ther barn teme
That gaf them to Goddes werkes
wuned all in Jerusalem.
But; caused us anxiety (dis-ease)
loyally love your wisdom
stop a greater; (t-note)
I’ve learned these men aim; (t-note)
less for ever
were sworn [to]
in line without fault
inquire no further
The counsel of these wise men
tribes; remain; (t-note)
desired not [to]
in just this way
often times receive harm
fierce and hard; (t-note)
their children; (t-note)
[REHOBOAM’S REIGN (14:21–24)]
Now ware ther two kynges in a cuntré,
and so the folke ware sunderd sere.
Jeroboam now lett we be
that hath to hym ten kynredes clere.
Of Roboam furth speke wyll we
more of his lyfyng forto lere.
He sojorns in his awn cyté
and full fayr folke with hym in fere.
Aght milia knyghtes kene
had he of his assent
And other folke full clene
that to hym wold take tent.
He made in the cuntré of Juda
a dossan cytes stif of stone.
To Bynjamyns he made wele ma,
for gold ne werkmen want he none.
And wele he ordand in all tha
of whett and oyle and wyn gud woyne
And armours both to frend and fa
to have new when old ware gone.
Aghtene qwenes with hym ware
and of other thryty and one;
Bot the chefe yett was Thamar,
the doyghtur of Absolon.
He spake with hyr most specially,
for scho was of his kyn most nere.
His ayre was born of hyr body,
heyght Abyam, ose men may here.
He had of qwenes and other by
twenty and aght sons all sere,
And sexty doyghturs, I dar not ly.
The feleschep was fayr in fere.
No man on mold myght knaw
of his tresour the tend.
Ay whyls he lufed Goddes law,
all folke ware fulli his frend.
Bot oft sythyes have we sene the same:
grett ryches makes men myse to spede.
So ferd yt with Kyng Roboam,
als wyttenes boyth his word and dede.
He was so ryche in hows at ham
that unto Hevyn toke he no hede.
He loved noyght nevyn God by His name,
for of His helpe he had no nede.
He forgatte God Allmighty
that all his sele had sent.
In prid and lychery
was all his lykyng lent.
So lyfed lordes of his land be dene,
and aftur all the pepyll playn.
By yll exempyls oft tyms is sene
full mony sawlys with syns slayn.
Also we se sum men wyll wene
thei be noyght sure with ther sufferayn
Bot yf thei of his maners mene
and maynten them with all ther mayn.
Foule syn of sodomyte
used thei ever ylk man.
God was noyght worthy to wyte
yf he toke vengance then.
8,000; (see note)
friend and foe (i.e., to everyone)
others (concubines); (see note)
Tamar; (see note)
twenty-eight sons all together
often times; seen
So it was
souls with sin [are]
[EGYPT SACKS JUDAH AND JERUSALEM (14:25–28)]
Kyng Sysoc come to that cuntré;
fro Egyp broyght he his baytell.
A mille charyottes had he,
all full of armours and vytall,
And knyghtes full semly forto se
sexty milia trew to trayvall,
And folke on fote full fayre plenté
faurty milia that wyll noyght fayle.
Thei wasted all that was wroyght
in burghes abowt Sychem.
And so sadly thei soyght
ryght to Jerusalem.
The cyté thynke thei sun to wen
and conquere yt be clene maystry.
Kyng Roboam that was within
to see that syght was full sary.
Then forto grete he con begyn
and unto God fast call and cry.
He sayd, “This sorow is for my syn,
and all this wo am I worthy.”
To the Tempyll went thei all
that in that cyté ware,
And thore on knese thei fall,
gretand to God full sore.
God sent word with his prophett playn
when thei so ther defawtes feld,
And sayd that thei suld noght be slayn,
bot that thei suld that cyté yeld
To Sysoc als ther soyverayn,
and that he suld ther wrschep weld
And that thei suld serve hym for certayn.
Of God thei gate no bettur beld.
He sayd, “So sall ye see
wheder yt be more honoure
Sisoc servandes to be
or Goddes, your Cryature.”
Then had Kyng Roboam mekyll kare,
for this forward bus hym fulfyll.
The cyté he delyverd thare,
bot this connand he toke ther tyll
So that thei suld the pepyll spare
and do no greve to gud ne yll.
Kyng Sysoc and all that with hym ware
enterd then at ther awn wyll.
Thore fand thei grett ryches
that Salamon sett to save.
How so ther connand is,
that thynke thei forto have.
Thor thurt no man ther traveyll tyne,
for thresour thei fand full gud woyne
All vesels mad for mete and wyn
ware pyght with mony a prescius stone,
And all of gold full fayr and fyne
and well enamyld ylkone.
Potes, pans, and caldrons in kechyn,
wars then of sylver was ther none.
Within the kynges palyse,
of all that thei ther fand,
Thei left noyght forto prays
to valow of a besand.
Then to the Tempyll past thei playn
and spoled yt full dyspytfully.
Ther gate thei gold that wele myght gayne
grett cytes forto byg and by.
The folke was of that fare full fayn,
als thei had grett encheson why.
Kyng Sysoc went so home agayn,
grete mirth mad all that cumpany.
For was never folke befor,
als ferre os men may thynke,
That wan so grete tresour
and with so litle swink.
1,000 chariots; (see note)
keep [the city]
There needs; their work lose; (t-note)
found in abundance
were made of silver or not at all
build and buy
as far as; remember
[DEATH OF REHOBOAM (14:29–31)]
Kyng Roboam then in kare was cast;
no comforth in this case he kend.
In aghtene yeres his lordschep last,
God lyst no langer to lett hym lend.
When fyfty yeres ware fully past
fro his begynnyng untyll his ende,
Then seknes fell on hym so fast
that no fysyke myght hym dyffend.
Bot sone enturd he was
wher his elders lay,
And his sun Abias
was kyng aftur his day.
eighteen years; (see note)
[JEROBOAM’S IDOLATRY (12:25–13:34)]
Now of Abyas lett we be
forto be yemyd whyls he be yyng,
And of Jeroboam speke we
that of ten kynredes then was kyng.
He had slyke prid for his pausté
that he sett by none erthly thyng;
Ne unto God no hede toke he
that gaf hym all that governyng.
The Law that God had lent,
that lykes hym noyght to lere,
Bot brake His Commawndment,
and how sone sall we here.
The Jews used forto make a fest
at the Tempyll ylke yere onys or twyse.
And ydder suld come both most and lest
and make thore solempne sacrafyce,
Sum with fowle and sum with best
to offer ylkon on ther wyse.
Jeroboam was so with prid encrest
he wold not seke to that assyse.
Sone in his hert he cast
a wylle with wekyd wyll,
And hasted hym full fast
that falshed to fulfyll.
“To Jerusalem yf I suld ga
and all my frendes with me in fere,
The Bynjamyns and of Juda
suld make my men so mery chere,
And thei suld there be charest swa
with servyce and with solace sere
That full fell folke suld turne me fra.
Therfor a new law wyll I lere.”
In Bethel so he spake,
a cyté of grett pryse,
A calf of gold to make
evyn at his awn devyse.
He cyted to that same cyté
all that come of kynredes ten,
And unto them than thus sayd he,
“Sers, our costom wele ye ken:
How our hye fest sall halowd be
ever ylk yer, ye wot wele when.
And als ye wott, we are as fre
as Bynjamyns or Judeys men.
And Jerusalem is farre
als febyll folke suld fele.
I have ordand uus nerre
to hald our fest full wele.
“For wele we wott, els wene we wrang,
God hath power in ylka place.
Ye sall have here a god full strang
to governe you and graunt yow grace.
We sall ordand our self amang
prestes and dekyns in dyverse space.
And I myself befor sall gang
forto gyf sense befor your face.”
This poynt the pepyll plese.
Thei say, “Assent wyll we;
So sall we have more ese
then kayre to farre cuntré.”
Then with all craftes he cowth controve
a tempyll sone he hath ordand
And made an auter noyght to move
bot stably in that sted to stand.
The calf of gold he sett above,
and all the folke then he commawnd
Ryght os ther Lord yt forto love
that led them owt of Egyp land.
He says, “This same is He
that our formfaders led
Safe throwghowt the se
when thei fro Pharo flede.”
Fals prophettes wund in that toun
that of this fare was ferly fayn
And sayd thei suld be ryght resoun
maynteyn all that purpase playn.
Thei went and dyd devocion
to that mawment with myght and mayn.
The kyng arayd thei redy boun
forto gyfe sense als ther soyverayn.
Als thei with werke and wyll
thor mad ther mawmentry,
A prophett com them tyll,
was sent from God Allmighty.
To greve them thus he can begyn
that all the folke myght here on hyght,
“Thou auter that is sollyed with syn,
I warne thee here and ylka wyght:
Ther sall spryng owt of David kyn
a kyng, Joas his name full ryght.
He sall dystroye both more and myn
that mayntenys thee with any myght.
Both prophettes, prestes, and clerkes
that now are mad on new:
He sall wast all ther werkes.
And that this tale be trew
“A sygne here sal be redy grayd:
all this fals fare sall fall as fast.
Thou and all that on thee is layd
sodanly sall doun be cast.”
And als sone as this word was sayd,
all syd fro syd in sunder brast.
Then ware tho folke full yll affrayd
and Jeroboam gretly agast.
He turned hym in grett tene,
for the prophett harme suld have.
Bot vengance sone was sene;
God wold His servand save.
Evyn os he ryched owt his ryght hand
and presed the prophett forto sloo,
Starke ase a stafe his arme con stand
and wold not bow his body to.
So all his falshed sone he fand,
and fayn he was to flee ther fro.
He cryd mercy to God Weldand
and prayd the prophett he suld do so.
The prophett for hym prayd,
als all the pepyll hym prays.
And sone by he had sayd,
his arme was all at eys.
Then had the kyng comforth full grett
and prayd to the prophett specially
That he wold dwell with them to mete.
Therto the prophett sayd in hy,
“God bad I suld noyght drynke ne ette
with none of all this cumpany.
His bedyng wyll I not forfeytt;
therfor my way fast wend wyll I.”
He left that folke in fere,
and furth he wentt them fro.
Then was the kyng in were
what hym was best to do.
A fals prophett thor wonnand was
that had rewled all that yll aray.
When he wyst how the prophett pas,
he thynkes to marre hym and he may.
Fast aftur hym hasted he has
and overtoke hym by tym of day.
And hertly cause of hym he as
why that he went so sone away,
And sayd, “Ser, certes, I wend
that thou wold dyne with me.”
He sayd, “God me dyffend
to dyne in this cuntré.”
The fals prophett sayd, “Ser, certayn
I am in message sent Hym fro.
He bydes that thou sall turn agayn
and dyne with me, now or thou go.”
So sayd that traytour for this trayn
to gare hym breke Goddes bedyng so
That thei myght have ther purpase playn.
To Bethell then turned thei two.
That fals prophett hym plese
and mad grett myrth omell,
Bot sone amang ther meses
he had messag more fell.
God sayd hym in that same sesoun,
“For thou so sone was of assent
Att turn agayn unto this toun
and dyne agayns My commawndment,
Thou sal be slayn with a lyon,
and to thi cors he sall take tent.”
All this he fand full redy boun
or he ferre fro that cyté went.
A lyon hym devored,
and other bestes to lett
Styll be the cors he cowred
tyll folke com yt to fett.
By men that kayred thore in cuntré
sone ware ther tydynges told that tyd.
The fals prophett then hasted he
aftur that cors to ryn and ryd.
And be lyve in that same cyté
to byre yt he wold not abyd,
And bad his barns that he suld be
beryd that same body besyd.
For wele he wyst that noe
suld fall aftur therfor,
When Joas suld dystroy
that lynag, lese and more.
Bott yett his lyes he wold not layn;
full wyghtly with the kyng he mette
And sayd, “Ser, a lyon hath slayn
that lurdan that our servyce lett.
All that he told was bot a trayn;
therfor he hath his dome by dett.
Be lyve gete up our geyre agayn
and lett us hald that we have hett.
Our auter was full strang;
over grett charge gart yt fall.
And ser, thou sensed over lang
and noyed thin arme with all.
“Ser, thou suld leve thi frendes of old
bettur then a boy for swylke a brayd.”
The kyng then trowd all that he told
and sone assent evyn ase he sayd.
The auter up fast con thei fold;
gayly agayn sone was yt grayd
And honerd thore the calf of gold.
Thus ware thos folke foly betrayd.
The kyng ay more and more
kest hym Goddes men to mare.
Yf he dyd yll before,
then wold he werke wele werre.
looked after; young
in their ways
Your altar; (t-note)
be seen as truthful
if he might
before you leave
to cause him [to]
before he far
[no] better; trick
[AHIJAH’S WORDS AGAINST JEROBOAM (14:1–18)]
A holy prophett that heght Achy
sent hym word with his awn qwene
That his falshed and his foly
with sorows suld on themself be sene,
And that his ayrs suld have forthi
aftur his tyme full mekyll tene.
Jeroboam sett noyght ther by
bot wex wers then he ayr had bene.
The folke full fast can fayle
als thei ther soyverayn saw.
Thei made goddes of metall
and left all Moyses Law.
grows worse; before
[JEROBOAM DEFEATED BY ABIJAH (13:19; 2 CHRONICLES 13:1–20)]
He had no mynd of Goddes myght;
so fell he fowly in dyspare.
And by Goddes Law he sett full lyght;
therfor he fell fowle and noyght fayre.
He sembled men full wyld and wyght;
to Jerusalem he cast to kayre
Abiam forto fell with fyght
that of that reme was ryghest ayre.
Bot sone when the yyng kyng
herd tell of that tythand,
He had at his ledyng
fayr folke fawrty thowssand.
To Jeroboam sone he remewes,
and both thei mett apon a playn.
He carped to hym and told in trewes,
“Ser, thou wott thiself certayn
We are one men and all Ebrews;
therfor yf auder syd be slayn,
That other syde full sore yt rewes.
Therfor is gud to turn agayn.
And als thou hath no ryght
by no cause thou con fynd
Agayns me forto fyght,
for I am ayre of kynd.
“Kyng Roboam by yll counsell
he forfett yt; bot noyght forthi
He was my fader, this is no fayle,
and thou his servand sothly.
And my God may me mekyll avayle
and make me have the vyctory.
And thi goddes ar made of metayle;
thou may not be beld them by.
All yf thi folke be fell,
our God ther forse may fele.
Forto hald all in hele
I rede no more we mell.”
Jeroboam soyght a sutell gyn
in his carpyng with kynredes ten.
Prevely he parted his pepyll in twyn
so that non suld ther cowntenance ken,
And bad them warly thei suld wyn
behynd Abyam and his men.
Bot God that all his treyst was in
wold noyght suffer hym be dyssayved then.
Thar falshed he aspyed
how thei hym umbecast.
“As armes!” be lyve he cryde
and fowled them doun full fast.
Thor was talkyng of no trews,
full styfly strake thei in that stoure.
Jeroboam had mony Jews,
bot God was noyght ther governoure.
Therfor that semble sone he rews,
and sadly sekes he to socoure.
Kyng Abiam prestly persewes
and wan ther gold with grett honoure.
Jeroboam folke thei fynd
in feld fyve thowssand sloyn.
Tho leved he hym behynd,
and Abiam noyght on.
(see note); (t-note)
realm was the true heir
heir by birth
hard they struck; place; (t-note)
he seeks to [find a] refuge
slain; (see note); (t-note)
Those he (Jeroboam) left behind
while Abijah [left] not one; (t-note)
[ABIJAH’S DEATH; ASA CROWNED IN JUDAH (15:8)]
When Kyng Abiam had his wyll,
to Jerusalem he turned agayn.
In that cyté he sojornes styll
with mekyll solace for certayn
Thre yeres his tym forto fulfyll
and honerd God with all his mayn.
And then he dyed with angers yll,
als ylka man bus pase with payn.
And sone when he was dede,
his eldest sone Asa
Was crowned in his sted
and cald kyng of Juda.
[JEROBOAM’S DEATH; NADAB CROWNED IN ISRAEL (15:25–26)]
This yyng kyng Asa lett we dwell
styll in strengh, os he is stad.
Jeroboam, kyng of Israel,
dyed aftur sone with sorows sade.
And then was crowned in Bethell
his eldest sun, that heght Nabad.
Thre yere was all his tym to tell;
in lyfe no langer hele he had.
On Baasa hym betrayd
that he was done to dede,
And hymself he arayd
to stand kyng in his stede.
[NADAB KILLED BY BAASHA; JEROBOAM’S FAMILY ERADICATED (15:27–31)]
Baasa began to styre swylke stryve,
for he wold gofern grett degré.
And for Jeroboam sede suld noyght thryve,
Nabad his sun dyssayved he.
Sythyn stroyd he up man, chyld, and wyve
of his kynred in that cuntré.
Of that lyne leved he none o lyve.
The prophett said yt suld so be.
Thas that in towns war dede
howndes laped ther blode.
That dyed in other sted
ware leved to foyles fode.
he left not one alive
Those; were; (see note)
lapped their blood
[BAASHA’S IDOLATRY (15:32–16:4)]
Thei ware dystroyd both yyng and old,
and all that sorow was for syne.
Kyng Baasa then was brym and bold;
bale forto brew wold he not blyne.
He was rych of gud and gold.
To mak hym goddes he con begyn
And sayd thei suld werke ase he wold,
and so he suld all wrschep wyne.
He forgatt God of Hevyn,
that hath all hele in hand,
And his condicions evyn
held the lordes of his land.
He lyfed in lust and lechery,
in hatred and in hertly pryde.
To gud men had he grett envy
that served God on any syde.
And for he wroyght so wekydly,
God wold not lett hym lang abyd.
A prophett Jew he sent in hy
to tell hym all what suld betyd.
He sayd bycause he dyd
like to Jeroboam,
Evyn als him betyd,
so suld he have the same,
He and his kynred ever ay whore
be dystroyd, in what eld so thei ere.
Then wex his malyce mekyll more;
that mater meynys he forto mere.
The prophett gart he slay ryght thore,
for this tale suld be told no fere.
And yf he had done yll before,
then kest he forto werke mekyll werre.
He honerd goddes of metall,
that mystrewth hym betrayd,
for all behoved befall
als Goddes prophett had sayd.
due to sin; (t-note)
kindred everywhere; (t-note)
regardless of age; (t-note)
[BAASHA AT RAMAH; ASA TURNS TO BEN-HADAD (15:16–22)]
Bot fyrst he wroyght full mekyll wa
be were and be wyked wyle
And most unto the kyng Asa,
that honerd God in all that whyle.
He had a cyté heyght Ramatha,
from Jerusalem full fawrty myle
And langed to the lynage of Juda.
That cyté gatt he sone with a gyle.
Thore thynkes he forto dwell
and do Kyng Asa skathe.
The land of Israel
so myght he were fra wathe.
He meneys to make that cyté strang
for hym and for his frendes ylkone.
Wyght men on ylka syd gart he gang
and broyght ydder both tre and stone.
Kyng Asa toyght that layke full lang,
and power to hym had he none.
Therfor to wreke hym of that wrang
a purpase playnly hath he tone.
He sentt sone for socours
wher the hethyn holdyn ther hame,
To the kyng of Matenours,
Benedab by name.
Bycause he was his fader frend,
in hym full fast he con affy.
That Kyng Baasa suld not hym shend,
of helpe he prayd hym specially.
Kyng Benedab with wordes hend
sayd he suld have helpe in hy
And wyghtly ordand hym to wend
to Israel with grett cumpany.
Cytes and burghes thei bryntt
and slow men lese and more.
Cornys and wynys thei shent,
all that thei fand before.
When tythynges com to Kyng Baasa
of the Phylesteyns ferse and fell,
Then bud hym refuse Ramatha
and wend to rescow Israel.
Els wold the enmys byrn and sla
and dystroye the burgh of Bethell.
Lo, how God comforth Kyng Asa,
and he meved hym nothyng omell.
To Rama he con repayre
and toke yt into his hand.
He byged yt wele and fayre
with store that he thore fand.
by war; wicked deceits
obtained; guile; (t-note)
pagans held their home
Damascus; (see note)
Crops and vineyards; destroyed
found before [them]
fierce and cruel
fortified; (see note)
[the] stores; found there
[BAASHA’S DEATH; REIGN AND DEATH OF ELAH (16:5–10)]
Kyng Benedab grett welth had wun,
and home he wentt warly and wele.
Kyng Baasa sone in bale was bun
and dyed with dole and dred sum dele.
And aftur regnyd Helam, his sun,
and mad maystryce and mekyll unsele;
For yf the fader fell was fun,
the sun was feller be fere to fele.
Therfor he last not lang:
within two yeres sesoun
An Agary heyght hym wrang,
slogh hym and toke the crown.
sorrow was bound
was found cruel
more cruel by far
A [man] named Agariah (i.e., Zimri); (see note); (t-note)
[REIGNS OF ZIMRI, OMRI (16:11–28)]
This new kyng then, Agary,
wuned in a town was named Tharsa.
He stroyd all the progeny
that ware comyn of the kyng Baasa.
Then had the folke to hym envy
that ware wonnand in Gabatha.
Thei mad them a kyng heyght Ambry;
then had Israels kynges twa.
Kyng Ambry mad hym boun
that other new kyng to noye.
He beseged Tharsa toun
Kyng Agary to dystroy.
Kyng Agary knew them full of yre,
and he had no forse hym to fend.
His awn palyse he sett on fyre,
for bettur comforth none he kend.
He brent hymself both bone and lyre;
on this wyse was his wreched ende.
Then had Kyng Ambry his desyre,
and furth in lordschep con he lend.
Twelfe yeres furth and no ferre
lasted his lordschep thore,
Als yll of werkes or warre
as any was hym before.
dwelling in Gibbethon
Israelites two kings; (t-note)
to defend himself
[AHAB MADE KING OF ISRAEL (16:29–34)]
When twelfe yeres ware done be dene,
he dyed with wo, that I warrand.
Acab, his sun, was sythyn sene
kyng and lord of Israel land.
And yf his elders yll had bene,
he was the warst of hert and hand.
That aftur turned hymselfe to tene,
bot fele folk fyrst his fawtes fand.
Thus ferd yt of fyve kynges
in schort tyme forto tell.
For thei brake Goddes bydynges,
thei have ther hame in Hell.
[ASA’S REIGN (15:23; 2 CHRONICLES 16:7–12)]
Bot Kyng Aasa of Juda land,
he lyfed in luf and chareté.
Full fawrty yeres was he renand
and rewled his reme in gud degré.
He honerd God with hert and hand
so that no man myght say ne see
Wherfor God suld be oght grochand,
bot yf yt ware for thynges thre.
And on was for he send
unto a paynym kyng
Fro his fase hym to fend,
and asked not Goddes helpyng.
Another was when a trew prophet
fro God of Hevyn to hym was grayd
And told hym how he had forfett
and owt of reson myse arayd.
In stokkes full sore he gartt hym sett,
for he the sothe unto hym sayd
Of evill lyvyng hym forto let,
and of that warke God was not payde.
The thryd: of seknes sore
forto have help in hy
In lechys he trest more
then in God Allmighty.
grumbling in any way
stocks; caused him to be set
[JEHOSHAPHAT MADE KING OF JUDAH (15:24; 2 CHRONICLES 16:13–17:5)]
Kyng Asa dyed in gud degré,
for in all his werkes was he trew.
He had a sun semly to see,
heyght Josaphat, a gentyll Jew.
Aftur his fader regned he
in Jerusalem os gud Ebrew.
He was the best of all bounté
aftur Kyng David that men knew.
Unto Goddes Law he tentes
both by nyght and day
And kepes His Commawndmentes
in all that ever he may.
He was full buxum and full bayn
to beld all that in bales ware bend,
And forto put the pure fro payn
wold he hym hast with hert and hend.
The fals Phylysteyns ware full fayn
ther servyce both to say and send,
So that all folke of hym ware fayn
with all ther myght his mys to mend.
The prophettes, prestes, and clerkes
that mayntened Goddes servyce
Both with wordes and werkes
he wrschept in all wyse.
The Tempyll of God he can restore
with reverence and with rych aray,
Qwylk fals Phylesteyns lang before
had brokyn doun and born away.
Ever ylk thyng he ordand thore
that he hoped myght plese God to pay,
And so increyst ay more and more
in gud maters all that he may.
Now Josaphatt lett we dwell
lyfand to Goddes lovyng,
And of yll Acab tell
that was of Israel kyng.
fair to look upon
[AHAB MARRIES JEZEBEL AND PROVOKES GOD (16:29–34)]
We told how fyve before had bene
that yll began and als yll end.
This was the werst withoutyn wene,
for of more malyce ever he mend.
He toyght no myrth was more to mene
then Goddes folke scham and shend.
And lyke to hym he toke a qwene
of Phylysteyns, full of the Fend.
Hyr name was Jesabell,
the kynges doyghtur of Tyre.
Malyce to meve and mell
that was hyr most desyre.
Kyng Acab mad goddes of metall
and gaf to them wele gud woyne.
Bot scho mad hym more fouly fall
then forto wrschepe tre or stone.
He made a tempyll to Beall,
was god of Tyre and Sydone.
On knese to hym thei cry and call
and says he ys ther lord alon.
Scho ordand for tho werkes,
als woman wardly wyse,
Fals prophettes, prestes, and clerkes
evyn at hyr awn devyse.
five [kings in Israel] before him
wealth in abundance
she (i.e., Jezebel)
[ELIJAH REBUKES AHAB (16:35–17:1)]
And trew prophettes of God Allmighty,
prestes and clerkes and byschopes bathe,
Them gart scho spyll dyspytfully;
ther none myz skape withowtyn skathe.
Kyng Acab faverd hyr forthi
in all hyr werke, yf yt ware wath.
Therfor God send his sand in hy
to make hym wytt how He was wrath.
Ely the prophet trew
fro God to hym was grayd.
He told hym tythyng new,
and on this wyse he sayd:
“God sendes thee word by me certayn,
for thou mayntenys on yll maner
Thi wyf that has His servandes slayn
and makes the goddes of fendes unfere.
Within thi reme sall fall no rayn,
ne dew sall now fro hevyn apeyre
To tyme that I com here agayn,
and that bees noyght of all this yere.”
The kyng then toke gud tent
and hopes he be begyld.
And the prophett so went
his ways unto the woddes wyld.
she caused to be killed
harm escape; harm
message at once
the heavens; (t-note)
Until the time
is beguiled; (t-note)
[ELIJAH IN THE WILDERNESS AND ZAREPHATH (17:2–24)]
He logeed hym in a forest fayr
whore erbs ware grouand full grene,
And thor he fand low in a layre
a spryng with watur fresch and clene.
God sent hym breyd owt of the ayre
thore whore none before had bene
With rayvyns that cowd to hym kayre.
So selcoth syght was seldome sene.
Alon so lyfed he thore,
to none his nedes to nevyn,
Well sevyn monthes and more
with helpe of God of Hevyn.
In the meyn tyme betyd yt swa
that all the erth was dry be dett.
And his fresch watur fayled hym fro;
then was his lyst of lyfyng lett.
Then bad God hym that he suld ga
for that defawt his fode to gete
Into a cyté heyght Sarepta,
in the syd of Sydone was sett:
“To a wedow ther I spake,
qwylk to My bedyng is bayne
To fede thee for My sake.
Thus sall thou fynd certayn.”
Then was Ely in stallworth state
when he the bote of God con here.
To Sarepta he toke the gate,
als his Lord con unto hym lere.
The wedow was withoutyn the gate
and geydderd wod with sympyll chere.
He prayd hyr hys threyst to abate
to helpe hym with sum watur clere.
Scho sayd, “Styll here abyd!
I sall sone do thi rede.”
Bot aftur hyr sone he cryde
and bad hyr bryng hym bred.
The wedow was then more affrayd
and scho had mervell how he wold mene.
“Syr, God of Hevyn He wott,” scho sayd,
“I am bredles and lang hath bene.
Slyke drynes over this land is layd
for hungur dye the folke be dene.
And for that poynt I have purvayd,
the same sall on myself be sene.
I have within my bowre,
I wyll thou wytt all wele,
Bot a handfull of floure
and a lytyll oyle in a skele.
“I geydder wod, os thou may see,
for aftur Goddes wyll wold I yt wore.
I sall make to my sun and me
a lytyll cake of all our stoure.
That sall we ete, and it sall be
our last fode; so wyll fall therfore.
Then bus us dye both I and he,
for to our mete have we no more.”
He sayd, “I pray thee, dame,
sen that the soth is so,
make me fyrst of that same
and sythyn make to yow two.
“And thou wyll tent to my consell
and traw yt to the utterest end,
I say thi flour it sall not fayle,
bot fro defawt yt sall thee fend.
And als thin oyle sall thee avayle
to tym that God sum socour send.”
Scho wold noyght fyne then forto trayvell
bot kyndly dyd os he hyr kend.
Hyr flour then fayled noyght,
ne hyr oyle wex not to wast
Tyll God, ose Hym gud toyght,
heyght them His helpe in hast.
Aftur this tyme betyd yt so:
the wedow sun was ded with payn.
Then was that wedow wonder wo
and mad grett sorow for certayn.
To Ely gretand con scho go
and sayd, “Yf thou be prophet playn,
Schew now thi myght to me and mo
and gayre me have my sun agayn!
Then wyll I trewly trow
that thou be the prophett strang.
And els I say that thou
hath slayn my sun with wrang.”
When Hely saw hyr sorow sere,
he sayd, “Dame, sese! All sal be wele.”
He raysed hym that was bun to bere
fayr in forse fully to fele.
Then made the mother mery chere
and sayd, “Thi God may send all sele.
Now wot I wele withowtyn were:
thou ert His prophett trew as stele.”
Full holy then scho hym held,
as thor was schewed to syght.
And ay whyls he thor dweld,
scho esed hym at hyr myght.
lodged himself; (t-note)
herbs were growing
ravens; travel; (t-note)
amazing a sight
it happened such
duty bound to be dry
since; truth; (t-note)
If you will listen
it happened thus
many sorrows; (t-note)
[ELIJAH RETURNS TO ISRAEL AND MEETS OBADIAH (18:1–16)]
God began then to have peté,
for pepyll peryscht in mony a place.
To the prophet Ely commawnd He
them forto comforth in this case
And say they shal have rayne plenté
and be releeved in litle space.
Ely was glad yt suld so be.
to betell ward be lyve he gase.
He had bene thore before;
full well knew he the strette.
Bot fyrst, or he com thore,
sum mervels con he mete.
With Kyng Acab then wonnand was
a prowd prince with armys clene,
That named was Obedyas.
he served God and that was sene
When prophettes and prestes to payn con pase
through Jesabell, that fellows qwene.
Sum of them helped he has
that the same day ded suld have bene.
In hid place he them sett
and sayved them fro the chaunce
And broyght hymself in dett
to fynd them sustinance.
Kyng Acab bad hym wend in hy
to seke yf he myght fynd herbe or grese
That ther bestes myght lyfe ther by
that dyes for defawt, more and lese;
Or yf he myght awr spyre or spy
whore that warlow wonnand es
That proved them by his prophecy
that thei suld dwell in swylke drynes
To tyme he come agayn.
“And yf thou may hym bryng,
Als sone he sal be slayn,
for he told swylk tokynyng.”
Obedyas wold no langer lett;
he was full boun all bale to bete,
For herbys or gryse, yf he myght gete,
bot he fand nawder sawre ne swete.
Bot in the way, as he was sett,
with the prophett Ely con he mete.
When he hym saw, for joy he grette
and fell doun flatt before his fete.
He fraynd als man afrayd,
“Es this my lord Ely?”
He answerd sone and sayd,
“Goddes servand here am I.”
“Ser,” he sayd, “thus I am sent
thee forto seke, os thou may see.
Kyng Acab hath gyfyn his jugment
that for this dry ded sall thou be,
And bot I bryng thee, I be shent.
Therfor sum consell ken thou me.”
He says to hym, “I wold thou went
and tell hym os I tell thee:
Styll here I sall abyd
and no fote ferther flee.
And say for all his pryd
God sall my belder be.
“And I sall warrand thee full wele
and fro his felnes thee dyffend.”
Obedias went and told ylk dele
unto Acab as Ely hym kend.
He sayd, “Ser, seke we for our sele
and pray hym sum socur to send!”
And for the folke swylke fawtes fele,
unto hym both wyghly thei wend.
Then sayd the kyng for scorn,
“Ys thou not he, that same
That gayrs my land be lorn
and wastes both wyld and tame?”
towards Bethel quickly he goes
did succumb; (t-note)
a hiding place; (t-note)
ordered him to go at once; (t-note)
either find or spy
where that powerful sorcerer is dwelling
such a drought
Until the time
foretold such signs
very ready all misery to relieve
sour nor sweet (i.e., none at all)
we [should] seek [Elijah]; safety
such starvation feel
quickly they go
[THE CONTEST AT MT. CARMEL (18:17–46)]
Then sayd Ely, “Ser, I thee tell:
this sorow is sent all for thi syne.
Bryng same the best of Israel,
yf that thou wyll this baret blyne,
And the fals prophettes of Jezabell
and prestes and dekyns, more and myn,
And comys all to the Mownt Carmell!
Ther sall I tell them, or I twyne,
The cause of all this kare
and what may most amend.”
Forto fulfyll this fare
the kyng full sone hath send.
Unto the lordes of his land
and most clene of the comonalité,
Prophettes that Jezabell ordand,
prestes and dekyns in ther degré,
Unto them all he thus commawnd,
“Comys to the Mount of Carmell with me!
Thore sall ye se the prophett stand
that mad us in this bale to be.”
Sone on a hyll on heyght
this pepyll was purvayde.
Then Ely stud up ryght
amang them all and sayd,
“Lordynges, your lyfes thus worthys to lake
that levys the Law that Moyses lent.
Grett God that to your faders spake,
Hym suld ye trow with trew entent.
God of Abraham and of Ysac,
unto His saws ye suld assent,
And leve Beall that ever is blake,
or els in bale ye mon be brent.
Yf ye may prove by skyll
that he may helpe yow oght,
Tell yt this pepyll untyll!”
To this thei answer noght.
“Now sers,” he says, “asay we sall
whedder of our goddes hath more power.
Rayse up an auter amang yow all,
and I sall rayse another nere.
Takes then an ox owt of a stall
and part yt in sunder in peysese sere.
And on your auter lettes yt fall,
and I sall do the same ryght here.
To God then sall we pray,
and qwylk so fyrst is brent,
Hald hym for God verray.”
To this thei all assent.
Fals prestes, clerkes of Jezabell,
and prophettes, faur hunderth and mo,
Raysed up an auter them omell,
for so thei wene to wast ther wo.
Thei leide theron full fayr fuell,
and then a gret ox con thei slo
And layde furth both flesch and fell;
and Ely dyd another also.
Then prestes and prophettes kneled,
ylkon aftur ther state,
And prayd Beall forto beld,
bot his comforth com late.
Full rudly then thei rope and rare
on ther mawment to mend ther mode.
Bot ther offerand moved never the mare,
bot in a state full styll it stod.
Thei rent ther face and rave ther hare
and weped for wo, ose thei ware wode.
Ely stud styll on them to stare,
hym toyght that game was wounder gud.
He says, “Your god is on slepe
or els went ferre fro hame:
To yow he takes no kepe.
Crys on hym fast for schame!”
So dyd thei holly half a day,
to cry and rare thei wold not rest.
Ther offerand on the auter lay,
and no kyns fyre wold in yt fest.
Then Ely bad them wend away,
God was not to ther prayer prest,
And sayd, “For soth, I shall assay
yf my God wyll be bettur gest.”
His auter and ylk dele
in Goddes name was agrayd.
His flesch was weschen wele
and on the auter layd.
On both his knese then knelse he doun
and prayd to God with stabyll stevyn
To send sum segn in that seson
that His name myght be new to nevyn.
Or he had endyd his oryson,
a fyre dyscended doun fro Hevyn.
Yt brent all up that he mad boun
and went up into the ayre full evyn.
Then ware tho folke full fayn,
and lowd thei cast a crye:
“Ther is no god may gayn
bot the God of Ely!
“We wot Beall ys bot a fend,
and fals prophettes, foull mot them fall!”
Ely bad that thei suld shend
prophettes and prestes that on hym call.
Of all the meneye mad thei end
that governd hym, both gret and small.
Then Ely heygh with wordes hende,
“Sum socur yow God send sall.”
The Ebrews went at wyll
and toyght ther werkyng wele.
And Ely loged hym styll
apon the Mount of Carmele.
To God fast con he call and crye
of His pepyll forto have pyté
And bad his servand spyre and spye
yf any clowd com fro the see.
At last he sayd, “Ser, certanly
the ayre begynys all brown to bee.”
God send helpe then sone in hy:
rayn fell over all that cuntré.
Then love thei God allways
with wyll, word, and dede.
And the prophett thei prays
that so spake for ther sped.
before I depart
changed to waste
who leaves; gave
altar among them
hope to end their woe
a great deal of fuel
Very violently; cry out; roar
their faces and tore their hair
no kind of fire; alight
look and see; (t-note)
[JEZEBEL SWEARS VENGEANCE; ELIJAH FLEES TO BEERSHEBA (19:1–3)]
Bot Jezabell, that cursed qwene,
when scho herd tell of this tythyng,
How all that had with Beall bene
ware ded and thrugh Ely demyng,
Then in hert scho had grett tene
and sayd ther suld non erthly thyng
Save hym, and he myght be sene,
that he ne suld have the same endyng.
Ely herd hyr swere swa;
therfor fast con he flee
Tyll a cyté of Juda,
that named was Barsabé.
[ELIJAH’S REVELATIONS IN THE WILDERNESS AND HOREB (19:4–21)]
Lang sojornyng ther saw he none,
for he was ferre from ylka frend.
To wyldernese he went alone,
and in a loge ther con he lend.
To myghty God he mad his mone
and prayd Hym that he myght make end,
“Als myn elders ar ded ylkon,
Lord, suffer me that way to wend!
Sene them no lyffe ys lent
that wore more of wrschepe,
Lett me wend os thei went!”
With thys he fell on slepe.
He was wery and myght not wake,
for he had wentt be ways sere.
An angell come and to hym spake
and sayd he was Goddes messyngere.
Mete and drynke he bad hym take
so forto hold hym hoyle and fere.
Then at his hed he fand a cake
and a vessell with watur clere.
And for hym fayled fode,
of that fayre was he fayn.
He ete and dyd hym gud,
and sone he sleped agayn.
The secund tyme the angell sayd,
“Wake, wake, Ely, and no more thou wynke!
Swylke ose ys in this place purvayd
God byddes that thou sall ete and drynke.
A grett way is before thee grayd
that thee behoves both swett and swynke.”
He rayse and rathly hym arayd.
his lymys ware then full lyght, hym thynke.
By the myght of that same mete
he trayveld fawrty days
The hyll of God to gett,
heyght Oreb the story says.
God spake to hym in that space
and sayd, “What sterd thee into this stede?”
He sayd, “Lord, for ferd of my fase.
For and I byd, I ete never bred.
Thi prophettes in evere ylk place
by Jezabell ar putt to ded,
And the same to me heyght scho has.
That dose me flee fro hyr hatred.”
God sayd, “Go ydder agayn
and do message of Myne!
I sall thee sayve certayn
fro hyr and all hyr hyne.
“Take tent to tales that I thee tell
and trewly trest that thei are trew!
Ordan for kyng of Israel
aftur Acab on that named ys Jew!
And kyng of Syre make Azaell
that ever has bene a gud Ebrew!
And when thou may no langer dwell,
for thiself then set Elysew!
He sall be prophett playn,
wysest when thou ert wentt
And man full mekyll of mayn
to mustur Myn entent.
“Thei sall Me venge with hert and hand
of them that hath forsakyn Me.”
So went he furth and sone he fand
Elysew in feld kepand his fee.
He told unto hym new tythand,
all how God bad that he suld bee.
Then Elysew left lord and land
and went with Ely os menyhe.
So same we lett them dwell,
two gud servandes to God,
And of Kyng Acab tell
and of his neghtbour, Nabod.
Since in; life
healthy and strong
sweat and toil
brought; place; (t-note)
truly trust; true
(i.e., is a Jew)
[NABOTH’S VINEYARD (21:1–29)]
Kyng Acab wuned in Jezerael,
a cyté that was long and wyd.
And also his qwenne Jezabell
was wonnand thore with mekyll pryd.
And this Nabod that I of tell
sojornd als a neghtbour nere besyd.
He had a feld that to hym fell
whore wynes full mekyll multyplyd.
The kyng oft yt beheld,
for yt was large and lang.
He thynkes to have that feld
awder by ryght or wrang.
And to fullfyll this purpase playn
to Nabod sent he message thore.
To by hys feld he wold be bayn
and to gyf gud fully therfore.
Bot Nabod sent hym word agayn
that yt fell to his ayrys ever more.
He wold noyght sell yt for certayn.
Then was the kyng greved full sore.
So grett dyspytt hym thynke,
his hert he myght not meke.
He myght nawder ete ne drynke
bot layd hym doun sore seke.
No sang, ne solace myght hym save,
ne no helpyng to hym avayld.
Qwene Jezabell the cause con crave
and asked hym hertly what hym ayled.
He sayd, “For Nabod feld I crave,
and therof have I fowly fayled.”
Scho says, “That hette I thee to have,
all be yt never so trewly tayled.”
Scho gart hyr rebels ryse
that tyll hyr bode was bayn,
And charged them on all wyse
that Nabod sone ware slayn.
Scho bad that thei suld bere hym on hand
that he had sclaunderd God of Hevyn,
And lett hym so no langer stand.
And at hyr wyll thei went full evyn.
Thei wold noyght fyne or thei hym fand,
and then thei wold not here his stevyn,
Bot slow that lele man for his land.
This was a cursed note to nevyn.
When this yll ded was done,
the kyng was hole, hym toyght.
Bot God sent message sone
that sayd yt suld sore be boyght.
Gud Ely to the kyng con tell,
“For thou hath wroyght thies werkes wode,
In that same feld that Nabod fell
sall thou be slayn for all thi gud.
Wyld bestes sall with thi body mell,
and thi flesch sal be fowles fud.
And say to thi wyfe, Jezabell,
in this cyté sall houndes lape hyr blud.
Als Kyng Jeroboam kyn
dyed all withoutt bereyng,
So thi frendes for thi syn
sall fall to fole endyng.”
Kyng Acab then was cast in care.
to God fast con he call and crye
And heyght that he suld never mare
werke to wrath hym wylfully,
So that he wold of vengance spare
and of his synys then have mercy.
And when God saw his sorows sare,
agayn to hym he sent Ely.
He says his kynred sall
be saved whyls he has myght,
Bot all ellys suld befall
as he before had heyght.
The prophett then his way is went
whore God wold governe hym to gang.
The kyng then toke full gud tent
what tales ware thore them amang.
And Jezabell, that lady gent,
was ever in wyll to werke wrang.
In grett lykyng now ar thei lent;
we sall leve that yt lastes not lang.
The kyng of Syre, Benedab,
with kynges thryty and two
Soyght unto Kyng Acab
with were to werke hym wo.
lived in Jezreel; (t-note)
hear his speech
lap her blood
bearing [further generations]
reflected very carefully [upon]
were said there among them
wanting to do evil things
[BEN-HADAD AND THE SIEGE OF SAMARIA (20:1–22)]
When Kyng Acab persaved in hy
how enmys enturd intyll his land,
And wyst with swylke a cumpany
to fyght in feld no folke he fand,
He clossed hymself in Samary;
was full wele walled hym to warrand.
Bot Benedab sett not therby;
ther myght no strengh agayns hym stand.
That cyté large and wyd,
that semly was to see,
Seged he on ylka syd
with paynyms grett plenté.
Unto Kyng Acab word he send,
“Yf that thou wyll take me untyll
Both wyves and chylder into myn hend,
at my lyst forto spare or spyll,
And all that is for thresour kend
within the cyté, lowd and styll,
To have with me, then wyll I wend.”
Kyng Acab answerd to that skyll,
“Of myn all that men kens
wyll I lefe forto lyfe.
Bot gudes of other mens
have I no ryght to gyfe.”
Kyng Benedab then was not payd;
therfor he answerd wordes fell.
“I have here sembled men,” he sayd.
“So mony that yf I them omell
Ylkon a handfull had purvayd
of erthe to lay here whore we dwell,
Of that same erthe suld be grayd
a hyll os hegh os a castell.
And fare thei sall not fare
or all this burgh be brent.”
Then Kyng Acab had care,
bot socour sone was sent.
God to his helpyng has tane hede
and send His prophett hastely.
He sayd, “Kyng Acab, have no dred!
God says thou sall have vyctory.”
The kyng askys, “Who sall do that ded?”
He says, “Chylder and no chyvalry.”
Then gart the kyng geydder full gud sped
of chylder a full fayre cumpany,
Swylke os myght wepyns weld
faur hunderth furth he fand.
Thei wentt before to the feld.
He sued with sevyn thowssand.
Thei musterd them with myght and mayn;
God mayntend all that meneye.
The paynyms sone ware put to payn,
all ware thei never so grett plenté.
Fyve thowsand sone of them ware slayn,
and all the remnand fayn to flee.
Bot sone thei sembled mo agayn
and sayd that thei suld venged bee.
Kyng Benedab asked consell
what thyng that most myght noye,
And what myght most avayle
the Ebrews forto dystroye.
enemies entered into
knew [that] with such
field; folk [could] he find
closed himself [up] in Samaria
very well fortified
thought nothing of this
He besieged on every side
a great many pagans
Unless; give unto me
publicly and privately
cause [to happen]
Servants; (see note); (t-note)
caused; to gather; (t-note)
in front; battlefield
came forth; (t-note)
[BEN-HADAD DEFEATED ON THE PLAIN (20:23–34)]
Thei answerd sone unto his saw
and sayd, “For this fare that thou frayns
Condicion of ther God we knaw.
His helpe is all in hegh mountayns.
Therfor to dales I red we draw,
for ther our god most to us gayns.
And ther God wyll not lyght so low,
so sall thei sone be put to payns.”
This consell toke he tyll
and held yt gud and hale.
Evyn under Japhet hyll
he loged hym in a dale.
Kyng Acab herd tell how ther hales
was sett to sojornd in certayn space.
Bot for he suld noyght trow ther tales,
fro God full gud warnyng he has.
A prophett bad go bede them bales,
for God wold schew of His gud grace
That he myght ese als wele in dales
as in hylles or in hy places.
Kyng Acab assayld them sone,
as God gaf hym to red,
And als God demed, was done:
paynyms ware done to ded.
A hunderth thowssand and wele mo
of hethyn folke ware feld in feld
That come with thrytty kynges and two.
ther scaped non that suld wepyns weld.
Kyng Benedab he wan with wo
to a cyté hymself to beld.
He wyst not what was best to do:
to byd or his body to yeld,
For wele he wyst certayn
Kyng Acab wold not fayle
Or he ware soght and slayn.
Bot thus spake his counsell:
“Ser,” thei say, “suffer sall we
a lese harme forto lett a more.
Ebrews ar men of mercy free;
wend we unto them fast therfore
And pray ther kyng to have pyté
for his goddes sake with syghyng sore,
And profer us his bond men to be
and also that we sall restore
All that our elders wan
fro his elders and fro hym.
So sall he graunt uus than
forto have lyf and lym.”
Unto this counsayle have thei tone,
and sone ther gatte thei have begun.
Barfote, in ther serkes alon,
with cordes abowt ther halse bun,
To Kyng Acab thei kneled ylkon
and fell doun flatt when he was fun.
When he saw them wyll of woyne,
grett rewth to his hert is run.
He forgaf all his grefe
and graunt them pardon playn.
He mad hymself myschefe
and the hethyn folke full fayn.
you ask about
low places (the plains) I advise we withdraw
help as well
be ready [to do]
were killed in the field; (t-note)
stop a greater [one]
taken [heed]; (t-note)
necks bound; (t-note)
[AHAB’S MERCY ON BEN-HADAD; THE PROPHET’S REBUKE (20:35–43)]
Kyng Benadab by the hand he hent
and kyssed hym and become his frend,
So thai that hoped to be shent
now in this tyme no more were tend.
Kyng Acab with his Ebrews went
to Samary fayr forto lend,
Bot message sone to hym was sent
that God was yll payd of ther end.
A prophett, Machias,
thor lendyd in that land.
To Samary con he pase
with his staf in his hand.
To that cyté so as he yode,
Ebrews mett hym in the way.
To on of them he spake gud sped,
“Have here my stafe, I thee pray,
and breke my hed and gare yt bled!”
The Ebrew answerd and sayd, “Nay!
Why suld I do to thee that dede
that greved me never be nyght ne day?”
The prophett sayd, “Forthi
that thou dose noyght my wyll,
Thou sall dye sodanly,
and bestes thi sped sall spyll.”
A lyon come with byttur brayd
and wowred hym amang them thore.
The prophett to another sayd,
“Have here my staf and smyt me sore!”
That other saw his felow flayd,
that made hym buxum mekyll more.
His awn stafe on his hed he layd
that blud fell over the face before.
A cloght abowt he band
to be owt of knawyng.
His stafe he toke in hand
and come so to the kyng.
“A, lord,” he says, “this herm I hent
in the batell, for I wold not fle.
The stewerd toke me forto tent
a man that had mysdone to thee.
To kepe hym safly I assent.
He ys away; full wo is me,
For I be tane to grett turment
bot yf thou my beldyng be.”
The kyng sayd, “Sine he was
worthy forto be ded
That thou has lettyn pase
and standes in that same sted,
“For bettur beld thee thar not byde
bot ded for ded, this is the law.”
The prophett sone his hed unhyd,
bycause the kyng then suld hym knaw.
“Ser kyng,” he says, “this same thou dyd
and this same dowm to have thou aw.
For Benadab that ever is kyd
enmy to God in dede and saw,
God gaf hym in thi hend
forto venge ylk dele.
And thou has lettyn hym wend;
therfor I warn thee wele:
“For thou wold not putt hym to pyne
when he was putt in thi pawsté,
And wyst yt was Goddes wyll and myn
of hym and his venged to be,
For his lyfe thou sall lose thin
and all thi kyn in this cuntré,
For socur of God now sall thou tyne.
Thus sall yt wurth, thus warne Y thee.”
Then was Kyng Acab kene.
In preson he dyd hym cast
And sayd he suld be sene
a lyer at the last.
Micaiah; (see note)
strike; cause it [to] bleed; (t-note)
much more humble
take care of
judgment; ought; (t-note)
deed and word
[JEHOSHAPHAT AND AHAB AT PEACE (22:1–4)]
In preson now lett we hym dwell
and Acab in his yll lyfyng.
Of Josaphat furth wyll we tell
that of Jerusalem was kyng.
He musterd mercy ever omell
and honerd God over all thyng.
Therfor all frendschepe to hym fell
and beldyng both of old and yyng.
Both by est and west
he mayntened Moyses Law,
And paynyms ware full prest
to wrschepe hym all way.
Kyng Josaphat had with his quene
mony suns, semly to syght.
The eldyst of them all be dene
heyght Joran, a full gentyll knyght:
He toke a wyfe withoutyn wene,
Kyng Acab doyghtur, Godely scho hyght.
Scho had of kynd forto be kene
by Jezabell, hyr moyder, ryght.
To wayte be est and west
so worthy was no moo.
That marage mad grett rest
betwyx the kynges two.
Befell aftur the thre yeres end:
Kyng Josaphat went to Samary
To Kyng Acab, his fader and frend,
to conferm cours of cumpany.
Thei welcumd hym with wordes hend
and wrschep, os he was worthy,
And als lang os hym lyked to lend,
for hym was mad grett mangery.
Kyng Acab towched hym tyll
what hast he had on hend,
And sayd, “Ser, and thou wyll,
thou may me mekyll amend.
“Benedab, the kyng of Syre,
hath angerd me and all my kyn.
My cetys hath he sett on fyre
and bene full boun in burghes to bryn.
And Ramatha, price of my empyre,
that has he wun and dwels ther in.
Therfor is now my most desyre
to wast hym and that cyté to wyn.
With both our power playn
sone sall we dyng hym doun.”
Josaphat says, “Certayn,
I sal be redy boun.
Athaliah; (see note)
Ramoth-Gilead, crown jewel
[THE KINGS ASK MICAIAH ABOUT ATTACKING RAMOTH-GILEAD (22:5–28)]
“Bot fyrst I wold now or we went
we pray sum prophett us to tell
Whedder we in werys sall harm hent
or els our foyse in feld to fell.”
Faur hunderth sone ware aftur sent,
and all cord thei them omell
And says ther enmys sall be shent
and vyctory with them sall dwell.
Kyng Josaphat trowd all tho
fageed the kyng for dowte.
He asked yf any moo
ware wonnand ther abowt.
Kyng Acab says, “Ya, ther is one
in my preson, a prophett strang.
Gud word of me spake he never none;
he noyght sall, lyf he never so lang.”
Machyas was fro preson tone,
and thus he sayd them all amang,
“Acab hymself he sal be sloyn.
All other sall savely come and gang.”
Then sayd Kyng Acab, “Loe,
this told I yow beforn,
He sall never say ne do
bot yll both evyn and morn.”
Kyng Josaphatt says, “Forsoth us aw
to trow all that he says sall be.
Swylke case before may he not knaw
bot only of Goddes privaté.”
Up stert a lordan of ther law,
heyght Sedechy, and this sayd hee:
“Sers, sett not by this segger saw;
he says noyght sothe, that sall ye see.
I sall hym stryke in the face
to gare hym staker and stand.
And yf I pase the place
withoutyn harme of my hand,
“Then sall ye trest that I am trew,
and that his tales es bot a trayn.
And yf my hand fayle hyd or hew
or stand noyght in yt power playn,
Supose ye then that all sall sew
as he has sayd yow for certayn!”
The kynges assented, no soth thei knew,
and he stroke hym with all his mayn.
His hand was never the warre,
and that was for this skyll:
For no mirakle suld marre
the prophett spech to spyll.
Ware hurtyng on his hand to schew,
then wold the kyng not pase that sted,
And so suld not the prophett saw
be soth that sayd he suld be ded.
Then says the kyng, “Now may we knaw
not for trew this rybald red.
Gose putt hym in my preson low
and gyf hym noyght bot watur and bred!”
So for trew entent,
through the sawys of Sedechy,
To were so ar thei went
with full clene cumpany.
war shall suffer harm
[prophets] were soon
believed all those
Truly we ought
(see note); (t-note)
cause him [to] stagger
worse; (see note)
prophet’s speech; (t-note)
[THE KINGS ATTACK RAMOTH-GILEAD; AHAB KILLED (22:29–40)]
When thei come whore ther enmys ere,
Kyng Acab then this poynt purvayde,
For he hymselfe fro wa wold were.
“Josaphat, my sun, take hed,” he sayd,
“Myn armys in batell sall thou bere
and all my ryches ryght arayd.
Thin armes and thi wede sall I were;
so sall our enmys be betrayd.”
On that other syde Kyng Benedab
warned his men, lese and mare,
To kyll the kyng Acab
and all other forto spare.
Thei rewled them trewly in that tyd
fro erly at morn tyll evynsang.
Kyng Josaphat con boldly byd,
he presed full fast paynyms amang.
Thei knew hym wele by hew and hyd;
therfor at lyst thei lete hym gang.
Kyng Acab soght thei on ylka syde
and full throly to hym thei thrang.
A paynym spened a spere
and stert to hym that stownd.
Thurght the body he con hym bere
and gaf hym dedes wound.
When Kyng Acab doun was cast,
his men ware bayn hym forto beld
And hamward hyed them with hym full fast
whyls he myght any wyttes weld.
With mekyll payn so are the past
to thei come evyn in Nabod feld.
Then myght his lyf no langer last,
bot ther the gast behoved hym yeld.
Als Mychias prophesyd,
in the batell he was turgh born
And in Nabod feld he dyed,
os Ely sayd beforn.
In that same feld doun he fell
that he before had wun falsly
Be counsayle of Quene Jezabell,
that mad Nabod therfor to dy.
Hondes laped his blud, whor thei dwell,
als yt was sayd be prophecy.
Thei bered the body them omell
in his awn cyté of Samary.
Because he was a kyng,
his body honerd ys,
Bot for his yll lyfyng
men mened hym mekyll the lese.
enemies are; (t-note)
clasped a spear
a mortal wound
Dogs lapped his blood
[JEHOSHAPHAT, REBUKED, RULES WISELY (22:40; 2 CHRONICLES 19:1–20:30)]
When that Kyng Acab thus was slayn,
as prophettes sayd that yt suld be,
And Occozi, his sun certayn,
was crowned kyng of that cuntré,
Kyng Benedab went home agayn
with his paynyms full grett plenté.
Kyng Josaphat, he passed playn
to Jerusalem, his awn cyté,
And all his folke in fere
ware scaped withoutyn scathe.
God sent His messyngere
to warn hym from all wathe.
A prophett com and to hym sayd,
“Ser, for thou went in cumpany
Of Kyng Acab that ys owtrayd,
and wyst that he was Goddes enmy,
I warn thee wele God was not payd,
and vengance suld be sent forthi
Bot that thi dedes ware gudly grayd.
Bot yett He bydes: beware therby
That thou trespase no more
in swylke maner of thyng,
For dred yt happyn to sore
to thee or thin ofspryng.”
Then loved he God with hert and hand
and honerd Hym in all kyn wyse.
And sone was told to hym new tythand
of grevance that began to ryse:
How thei enturd into his land,
mystrowand men that heyght Moabyse;
And full grett ost thei had ordand
with mony other of Amonyse.
Thei say non sall them tene
ne wrath owt of ther wyll
To stroye Jerusalem
and all that langes ther tyll.
Kyng Josaphat full sone hath he sent
for prophettes, prestes, and dekyns dere,
For dukes and erles; all thei went
to the Tempyll to make ther prayer.
Thei prayd to God with gud entent
that He wold helpe that stoure to stere
So that His men no harmes hent
with hethyn folke that fowled nere.
And as the pepyll prayd
with word, wyll, and toyght,
A prophett come and sayd,
“Kyng Josaphat, dred thee noyght!”
Then was Kyng Josaphat full fayn
when he had swylke hertyng fro Hevyn.
He sembled men with all his mayn
and comforth them wele with his stevyn.
Out of the cyté past thei playn
and busked unto the enmys evyn.
Bot the paynyms com prowdly them agayn
with nowmmer mo then men can nevyn.
Bot God swylk socour sent
os none of them other knew,
Bot ylk paynym wend
his felow had bene an Ebrew.
And so ylkon over other dang
as thei had with ther enmys bene.
Thei wold not sese bot thryst and thrang
tyll thei ware dongyn to ded be dene.
Ther had non hele home forto gang
to say what syght he thore had sene.
So con God ordan murth amang
to men that on His myght wyll mene.
Kyng Josaphat come then
with his men to that place.
Grett wardly welth thei wan
with spolyng in that space.
Thore was ryches and ryalté,
wyn and oyle and all kin store.
The Ebrews gatt thor gold and fee
to mend ther myrth forevermore.
Then went thei to ther awn cuntré.
Kyng Josaphat, when thei come thore,
Bad that all men suld buxum be
to wrschep God as worthy wore
That ever in ded and saw
to His pepyll tentes
That lelly lufes His Law
and kepes His Commawndmentes.
Kyng Josaphat now lett we ly
in Jerusalem with joy to dwell.
So the Thryd Boke of this story
is broyght to end, evyn os yt fell.
The Fawrt begynys of Occozi,
that then was kyng of Israel,
How he sojornd in Samary
with his moyder, Qwene Jesabell.
God graunt us to begyn
our dedes in gud degré
And end them owt of syn!
Amen, so mott it be!
kinds of ways; (t-note)
battle to guide
cease but thrust and struck
beaten to death forthwith