1After these things a man of the house of Levi went out, and took a wife of his kin into fleshly coupling , (And after these things, a man of the house of Levi went out, and knew his wife, who was of his own kin, or of his own tribe,) 2which conceived, and childed a son. And she saw him well-faring, and hid him three months. (who conceived, and bare a son. And she saw that he was a fine boy, and hid him for three months.) 3And when she might not cover [him], then she took a basket of sedge, and balmed it with tar and pitch, and put the young child within, and put him forth in a place of spires of the brink of the flood, (And when she could no longer hide him, then she took a reed basket, and balmed it with tar and pitch, and put the young child in it, and put him out in a place of reeds by the bank of the Nile,) 4the while his sister stood afar, and beheld the befalling of the thing.
5Lo! forsooth the daughter of Pharaoh came down to be washed in the flood, and her damsels walked by the brink of the flood. And when she had seen a basket in the place of spires, she sent one of her servantesses, (Lo! then Pharaoh’s daughter came down to wash in the River, and her slave-girls walked by the river bank. And when she had seen a basket among the reeds, she sent one of her slave-girls,) 6and she opened the basket (when it was) brought to her, and she saw a little child weeping therein. And she had mercy on the child, and said, It is (one) of the young children of (the) Hebrews. 7To whom the child’s sister said, Wilt thou that I go, and call to thee an Hebrew woman, that may nourish the young child? (And the young child’s sister came over to her, and said, Wilt thou that I go, and call a Hebrew woman, so that she can nurse the young child for thee?) 8She answered, Go thou. (And so) The damsel went, and called the child’s mother. 9To whom Pharaoh’s daughter spake, and said, Take thou this child, and nourish it to me; and I shall give to thee thy meed. The woman took, and nourished the child, (And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take thou this child, and nurse it for me; and I shall give thee thy payment, or thy reward. And so the woman took, and nursed the child,) 10and she betook him, (when) waxen, to Pharaoh’s daughter, whom she (had) purchased into the place of a son; and she called his name Moses , and said, For I took him from the water. (and when he was old enough, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son; and she called his name Moses, saying, For I took him out of the water.)
11In those days, after that Moses increased, he went out to his brethren, and saw the torment of them, and a man Egyptian smiting an Hebrew man, one of his brethren. (And later, when Moses had grown to be a man, he went to see his brothers, that is, his fellow Israelites; and he saw their torment, and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man, one of his brothers, or one of his kinsmen.) 12And when he had beholden hither and thither, and had seen, that no man was present, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13And he went out in another day, and saw twain Hebrew men chiding, and he said to him that did [the] wrong, Why smitest thou thy brother? (And he went back the next day, and saw two Hebrew men fighting, and he said to the man who did the wrong, Why strikest thou thy brother?) 14Which answered, Who ordained thee prince, or judge, on us? [Who ordained thee prince and doomsman upon us?] Whether thou wilt slay me, as thou killedest yesterday the Egyptian? Moses dreaded, and said, How is this word made open? (Who answered, Who ordained thee prince and judge over us? Shalt thou kill me, like yesterday thou killedest the Egyptian? Then Moses feared, and said, How is this made open?)
15And Pharaoh heard this word, and sought to slay Moses, which fled from his face, and dwelled in the land of Midian; and he sat beside a well. (And when Pharaoh heard of this, he sought to kill Moses, and so Moses fled from him, and lived in the land of Midian.)
16Forsooth seven daughters were to the priest of Midian, that came to draw water; and when the troughs were filled, they coveted to water their father’s flocks. (Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. One day, as Moses sat beside a well, they came to draw some water; and when the troughs were filled, they desired to water their father’s flocks.) 17(But some) Shepherds came upon them, and drove them away; and Moses rose (up), and defended the damsels; and (then) he watered their sheep. 18And when they had turned again to Jethro, their father, (the son of Reuel,) he said to them, Why came ye swifter than ye were wont (to do)? 19They answered, A man of Egypt delivered us from the hand of the shepherds; furthermore and he drew water with us, and gave drink to the sheep. (And they answered, An Egyptian man saved us from the hands of the shepherds; and then he drew water for us, and gave it to the sheep to drink.) 20And he said, Where is that man? why left ye the man? call ye him, that he eat bread (call ye him, so that he can come and eat with us). 21Therefore Moses swore, that he would dwell with Jethro (And so later, Moses agreed, that he would live with Jethro); and he took (for) a wife, Zipporah, Jethro’s daughter. 22And she childed a son to him, whom he called Gershom , and said, I was a comeling in an alien land (And she bare a son for him, whom he called Gershom, and said, For I am a newcomer in a foreign land). Forsooth she childed another son, whom he called Eliezer , and said, For [the] God of my father is mine helper, and he delivered me from the hand of Pharaoh.
23Forsooth after much time the king of Egypt died, and the sons of Israel inwardly wailed for [the] works, and they cried [out], and the cry of them for their works went up to God. (And after much time the king of Egypt died, and the Israelites wailed over all the hard work they were forced to do, yea, they cried loudly, and their cries over all their hard work went up to God.) 24And he heard the wailing of them, and he had mind of the bond of peace, which he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; (And he heard their wailing, and he remembered the covenant, which he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;) 25and he beheld the sons of Israel, and knew them, that is, showed love to them. (and he looked upon the Israelites, and he had concern for them, that is, he loved them.)
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission