Esther 1
Wycliffe's Bible
1In the days of king Ahasuerus, that reigned from India unto Ethiopia (who reigned from India to Ethiopia), upon an hundred and seven and twenty provinces, 2when he sat in the seat of his realm, the city of Susa was the beginning of his realm. (when he sat on the throne of his kingdom, in the city of Susa, the capital of his kingdom.) 3And in the third year of his empire, he made a great feast to all his princes, and to all his children, or servants, to the strongest men of Persia, and to the noble men of Media, and to the prefects, or chief men, of (the) provinces, before himself, (And in the third year of his empire, or of his reign, he gave a great feast for all his princes, or his leaders, and for all his servants, and the strongest men of Persia and Media, and the nobles, and the prefects, or the chief men, of the provinces, who all came before him;) 4to show the riches of the glory of his realm, and the greatness, and boast of his power in much time, that is, an hundred and eighty days, this feast lasted. (and he showed the riches and the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness and the boast of his power, over much time, that is, this feast lasted for a hundred and eighty days!)

5And when the days of the feast were ended, the emperor called to his (next) feast all the people that was found in the city of Susa, from the most unto the least; and he commanded this feast to be made ready by seven days in the porch of an orchard and of a wood, that was set about with the king’s ornament and with his hand, (or works). (And when the days of that feast were over, the king called to his next feast all the people who were found in the capital city of Susa, from the greatest to the least; and he commanded that this feast last for seven days, in the courtyard of the garden of the king’s palace.) 6And tents of the colour of the air, and of gold, and of jacinth, were held up with cords of bis, and of purple, and they hanged on each side, the which tents were set-in (with) circles of ivory, and they were underset with pillars of marble; also there were ordained seats, at the manner of beds, of gold and of silver, upon the pavement (that was) arrayed with smaragdus and with other diverse and precious stones; the which pavement painture (was) made fair by wonderful diversity. (And curtains coloured white, and gold, and blue, were held up with cords of fine linen, and of purple, and hung up all over the grounds, and these hangings were inset with ivory rings, and underset with marble pillars; and there were seats, or couches, of gold and silver, placed on the pavement that was arrayed with emeralds and other diverse and precious stones; and so the painting of the pavement was made beautiful with wonderful diversity.) 7And they, that were called to meat, drank in golden cups, and meats were borne in to them with one and (an)other vessels; also plenteous wine, and full good was set forth before them, as it was worthy to the great doing, of the king. (And they, who were called to the feast, drank from gold cups, and wine was brought in to them in one and another vessels; yea, very good and plentiful wine, was set forth before them, as was worthy of, or befitting, a king.) 8And there was no man that constrained them to drink that would not drink; but so the king had ordained, making sovereigns of his princes to all boards, that each man should take that, that he would. (And there was no one who compelled anyone to drink who would not drink; but the king had ordered his palace servants to be at the ready at all the tables, so that each person could have as much as he wanted.) 9Also Vashti, the queen, made a feast of women in the palace, where king Ahasuerus was wont to dwell. (And Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women, in the palace of King Ahasuerus.)

10Therefore in the seventh day, when the king was gladder than before, and when he was hot of wine after full much drinking, he commanded to Mehuman, and to Biztha, and to Harbona, and to Bigtha, and to Zethar, and to Abagtha, and to Carcas, seven honest and chaste servants, the which served in his sight, (And so on the seventh day, when the king was happier than before, and he was hot with the wine after a great deal of drinking, he commanded to Mehuman, and Biztha, Harbona, and Bigtha, Zethar, and Abagtha, and Carcas, seven geldings, or eunuchs, who served him,) 11that they should bring in before the king the queen Vashti, with a diadem set upon her head, to show her fairness to all the peoples and princes; for she was full fair. (that they should bring in Queen Vashti before him, with a crown put on her head, to show off her beauty to all the peoples and the princes, or the leaders; for she was very beautiful indeed.) 12And she forsook, and despised to come at the commandment of the king, which he had sent (to her) by the honest and chaste servants (But she refused to come at the king’s command, which he had sent to her by the eunuchs). Wherefore the king was angry, and kindled with full great vengeance;

13and he asked the wise men, which by the king’s custom were ever with him, and he did all things by the counsel of them, that knew the law and the rights of greatest men; (and he asked his wise men about this, who by the king’s custom were always with him, and he did every-thing after their counsel, for they knew the law and the rights of the people;) 14forsooth the first and the next were Carshena, and Shethar, Admatha, and Tarshish, and Meres, and Marsena, and Memucan, seven dukes of Persia and of Media, that saw the face of the king, and were wont to sit the first after him; (and the first and the second were Carshena, and Shethar, and then Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, seven princes, or leaders, from Persia and Media, who were always with the king, and were the first to sit after him;) 15the king asked them, to what sentence the queen Vashti should be subject, that would not do the commandment of king Ahasuerus, which he had sent (to her) by the honest and chaste servants. (and the king asked them, What sentence should Queen Vashti be subject to, for she would not obey the command of King Ahasuerus, which he sent to her by the eunuchs.) 16And Memucan answered, in audience of the king and of the princes, The queen Vashti hath not only despised the king, but all the princes and peoples, that be in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus. (And Memucan answered, before the king and the princes, or the leaders, and said, Queen Vashti hath not only despised the king, but all the princes, or the leaders, and all the peoples, who be in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.) 17For the word of the queen shall go out to all women, that they also despise their husbands, and say, King Ahasuerus commanded, that the queen Vashti should have come to him, and she would not. (For this deed of the queen shall become known to all the women, and then they shall also despise their husbands, for they shall say, King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to come to him, but she would not come.) 18And by this ensample all the wives of the princes of Persia and of Media shall despise the behests of their husbands; wherefore the indignation of the king is just. (And so by this example all the wives of the leaders of Persia and Media shall despise the orders of their husbands; and so the king is justified to have indignation about this.) 19If it pleaseth to thee, a commandment go out from thy face, and be written by the law(s) of Persia and of Media, which it is unleaveful to be passed (over), that Vashti enter [in] no more to the king, but another woman, which is better than she, take her realm. (So if it please thee, let a command go out from thee, and be it written in the laws of Persia and Media, which law it shall forever be unlawful to break, that Vashti can no more come before the king, and then let another woman, who is more worthy than she, take her reign, or her crown.) 20And be this behest published into all the empire of thy provinces, which is full large, that all wives, both of greater men and of less, give honour to their husbands. (And so when this order is published in all the provinces of thy kingdom, which is very large, then all wives shall give proper respect to their husbands, both to greater and to lesser men alike.)

21[And] His counsel pleased the king and the princes, (And his counsel pleased the king and the leaders), and the king did by the counsel of Memucan; 22and he sent out letters by all the provinces of his realm, as each folk might hear and read, in diverse languages and letters, that husbands be princes and (the) greater men in their houses; and that this thing be published by all peoples. (and he sent out letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, in different languages and writing, so that each nation would hear and read, that husbands should be the masters in their own homes; and that this should be published to all the peoples in his kingdom.)


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Wycliffe’s Old Testament


Wycliffe’s New Testament
(Revised Edition)

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A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
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Nehemiah 13
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