1If any man stealeth a sheep, or (an) ox, and slayeth, or selleth (it), he shall restore five oxen for one ox, and four sheep for one sheep.
2And if a night thief breaking (into) an house, either undermining (it), is found (out), and he taken is (made) dead by a wound, or hurt (and when he is caught, he dieth from a wound), the smiter shall not be guilty of his blood, or death; 3that if he did this when the sun was risen, he did manslaying, and he shall die (but if the lord of the house did this when the sun was up, he hath done manslaughter, and he shall be put to death). If a thief have not that, that he shall yield for [the] theft, he shall be sold (to make recompense); 4if that thing that he stole, is found quick at him, either ox, either ass, either sheep, he shall restore the double. (if what he stole, is found alive with him, either an ox, or a donkey, or a sheep, he shall restore double what he stole.)
5If a man harmeth a field, or a vinery, and suffereth his beast, that it waste other men’s things (If anyone harmeth a field, or a vineyard, by allowing his beast to destroy another person’s things), he shall restore for the value of [the] harm (done), (with) the best thing(s) (of) whatever he hath in his (own) field, either in his (own) vinery.
6If fire goeth out, and findeth, or burneth, ears of corn, and catcheth heaps of corn, or corns standing in (the) fields, he that kindled the fire shall yield (for) the harm (he who kindled the fire shall make recompense for the harm done).
7If a man betaketh into keeping money to a friend, or a vessel, and it is taken away by theft from him that received it, if the thief is found, he shall restore the double. (If anyone taketh money, or a vessel, to a friend for safe keeping, and it is taken away by theft from him who received it, if the thief is found, he shall restore double what he stole.) 8(But) If the thief is hid(den), or unknown, the lord of the house that received that good shall be brought to the gods, that is, to (the) judges, and he shall swear, that he held not forth his hand into his neighbour’s thing, to defraud (and he shall swear, that he did not put forth his hand to his neighbour’s thing, to defraud him); 9as well in ox, as in ass, and in sheep, and in cloth; and in whatever thing may bring in harm, the cause of ever either shall come to the judges, and if they deem him guilty, he shall restore the double to his neighbour. (and with any ox, or donkey, or sheep, or cloak, or whatever thing which may be claimed by two people, the case shall come to the judges, and whom they judge guilty, he shall restore double to his neighbour.)
10If any man betaketh to his neighbour ox, ass, sheep, and all work beast to keeping, and it is dead, or is made feeble, or is taken of enemies, and no man seeth this, (If anyone taketh an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or any work beast, to his neighbour for safe keeping, and it dieth, or is hurt, or is taken by enemies, but no one seeth this,) 11an oath shall be in the midst, that he held not forth his hand to the impairing of his neighbour’s thing; and the lord that owned that good shall receive his oath, and he to whom it was taken shall not be compelled to yield, or restore it. (he shall make an oath before all, that he did not put forth his hand to the impairment of his neighbour’s thing; and the lord who owned that thing shall receive his oath, and then he to whom the thing was given shall not be compelled to yield any recompense for it, or to restore it.) 12That if it is taken away by theft, he shall restore the harm to the lord; (But if it is taken away by theft, he shall yield recompense to its lord for it;) 13if it is eaten of a beast (and if it is eaten by a wild beast), he shall bring to the lord that that is slain, and he shall not (have to) restore it otherwise.
14He that asketh of his neighbour anything of these foresaid things by borrowing, and it is enfeebled, either dead, while the lord thereof is not present, he shall be constrained to yield (for) it; (He who asketh to borrow from his neighbour any of these foresaid things, and it is enfeebled, or dead, while its lord is not present, he shall be compelled to yield recompense for it;) 15that if the lord is in presence, he shall not restore it, mostly if it came hired, that is, if to hire he took it, for meed of his work. (but if its lord was present, he shall not have to restore it, and if it was hired, that is, if he took it to hire, only the wages for its work shall be due.)
16If a man deceiveth a virgin not yet wedded, and sleepeth with her, he shall give dower to her (he shall give her a dowry), and shall have her to wife. 17If the father of the virgin will not give her to him, he shall (still) give (the) money, by the manner of dower (in the manner of a dowry), which virgins were wont to take.
18Thou shalt not suffer witches to live.
19He that doeth lechery with a beast, die he by death (shall be put to death).
20He that offereth to (any) gods, except to the Lord alone, be he slain (shall be put to death).
21Thou shalt not make sorrowful a comeling, neither thou shalt torment him; for also ye were comelings in the land of Egypt (for ye were also newcomers in the land of Egypt). 22Ye shall not harm a widow, and a fatherless or a motherless child. (Ye shall not harm a widow, or a fatherless or a motherless child.) 23If ye hurt them, they shall cry to me, and I shall hear the cry of them, 24and my great vengeance shall have indignation on you, and I shall smite you with sword (and I shall strike you down with a sword), and your wives shall be widows, and your sons shall be fatherless.
25If thou givest money to loan to my poor people, that dwelleth with thee, thou shalt not constrain him as an extortioner doeth, neither thou shalt oppress him by usuries. (If thou lendest money to anyone of my poor people, who liveth with thee, thou shalt not compel him like an extortioner doeth, nor shalt thou oppress him with usury.) 26If thou takest of thy neighbour a cloth to wed (If thou takest a cloak from thy neighbour for a pledge), thou shalt yield it (back) to him before the going down of the sun; 27for that alone is the clothing of his flesh, with which he is covered, neither he hath another, in which he shall sleep; if he crieth to me, I shall hear him; for I am merciful.
28Thou shalt not backbite [the] gods, that is, (the) priests, or (the) judges, and thou shalt not curse the prince of thy people (and thou shalt not curse the leaders of thy people).
29Thou shalt not tarry to offer to the Lord thy tithes, and thy first fruits. Thou shalt give to me the first begotten of thy sons (Thou shalt give me thy first-born sons); 30also of [thine] oxen, and of (thy) sheep, thou shalt do in like manner; seven days be he with his mother, in the eighth day thou shalt yield him to me. (and thou shalt do likewise with thy oxen, and with thy sheep; for seven days let him be with his mother, then on the eighth day thou shalt yield him to me.)
31Ye shall be holy men to me; ye shall not eat the flesh that is before-tasted of (other) beasts, but ye shall cast it forth to hounds. (Ye shall be holy before me; ye shall not eat the flesh of that which is killed by another beast, but ye shall throw it to the hounds.)
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