1In the meantime hunger oppressed greatly all the land, (In the meantime the famine greatly oppressed all the land,) 2and when the meats were wasted, which they [had] brought from Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, Turn ye again, and buy ye a little of meats to us. (and when all the corn, or all the grain. which they had brought from Egypt, had been eaten, Jacob said to his sons, Return ye, and buy ye a little food for us.) 3(And) Judah answered, That man announced to us, under witnessing of an oath, and said, Ye shall not see my face, if ye shall not bring with you your least brother (if ye do not bring your youngest brother with you); 4therefore if thou wilt send him with us, we shall go (down) together, and we shall buy necessaries to thee (and we shall buy all the necessities for thee); 5else if thou wilt not, we shall not go (down); for as we said oft, the man announced to us, and said, Ye shall not see my face without your least brother (for as we have often said to you, the man announced to us, Ye shall not see my face without your youngest brother). 6Forsooth Israel said to them, Ye did this into my wretchedness, that ye showed to him, that ye had also another brother. (And Israel, that is, Jacob, said to them, Ye did this unto my wretchedness, that ye told him that ye also had another brother.) 7And they answered, The man asked us by order our generation, (and) if our father lived, (and) if we had another brother; and we answered followingly to him, by that that he asked (and we answered accordingly to him, by what he asked us); whether we might know that he would say, Bring ye (down) your brother with you? 8And Judah said to his father, Send the child with me, that we go, and may live, lest we die, (and thou,) and our little children; (And Judah said to his father, I pray thee, send our youngest brother with me, so that we can go, and we can live, otherwise we, and thou, and our little children shall die;) 9I (shall) take the child, require thou him (again) of mine hand; if I shall not bring him again, and betake him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against thee in all time; (I shall take our youngest brother, and thou shalt require him again from my hand; and if I shall not bring him back again, and give him to thee, I shall be guilty of sin against thee for all time;) 10if this delay, or tarrying, had not been, we had come thence now another time. (yea, if this delay had not happened, we could already have gone there, and had come back by now, another time.)
11Therefore Israel, their father, said to them, If it is need so to be (done), do ye that that ye will (And so their father Israel said to them, If it is so needed to be done, then do ye what ye must); (and) take ye (some) of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and bear ye gifts to the man, a little of gum, and of honey, and of storax, that is, (a) precious gum, and of myrrh, that is, a bitter gum, and of terebinth, that is, (the) best resins, and of almonds; 12and bear ye with you double (the) money, and bear ye again that money which ye found in [the] bags, lest peradventure it be done by error, or unwitting(ly)/or (by) negligence; 13but also take ye your brother, and go ye to the man; (and also take ye your brother, and so go ye now to the man;) 14forsooth my God Almighty make him peaceable to you/make him pleasable, or quemeful, to you, and send he again your brother, whom he holdeth in bonds, and also this Benjamin; forsooth I shall be now as (if) made bare (and) without sons. (and may my Almighty God make him kindly disposed toward you, and send he again your brother, whom he now holdeth in prison, and also this Benjamin; but for now I shall be as if made barren, and without my sons.) 15Therefore the men took gifts (And so the men took the gifts), and double (the) money, and Benjamin; and they went down into Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16And when he had seen them and Benjamin together, he commanded the dispenser of his house, and said (And when he had seen Benjamin together with them, he commanded to the steward of his house, and said), Lead these men into the house, and slay (some) beasts, and make a feast; for they shall eat with me today. 17He did as it was commanded/as it was bidden him (He did as he was commanded), and he led the men into the house; 18and there they were afeared, and they said together, We be brought in for the money which we bare again before in our sacks, that he put challenge against us, and make subject by violence to servage both us and our asses. (and they were afraid there, and they said together, We be brought in here for the money which we found put back in our sacks, and he shall soon challenge us about it, and by force make both us and our donkeys subject to servitude, or to slavery.) 19Wherefore they nighed in the gates, and spake to the dispenser, (And so they went to the door, and spoke to the steward,) 20Lord, we pray, that thou hear us; we came down now before that we should buy meats; (and said, My lord, we pray thee, that thou hear us; we came down before so that we could buy some food;) 21(and) when those were bought, (and we headed home,) when we came to the inn, we opened our bags, and we found the money in the mouth(s) of our sacks, which money we have brought again now in the same weight (which money in the same amount we have now brought back); 22but also we have brought other silver, (so) that we (can) buy those things that be needful to us; it is not in our knowing who put the money in our purses. 23And he answered, Peace be to you, do not ye dread; your God, and [the] God of your father, gave to you (the) treasures in your bags; for I have the money proved, which ye gave to me (for I have the approved money, which ye gave to me). And he led out Simeon to them; 24and when they were brought into the house, he brought (them) water, and they washed their feet, and he gave their asses meats (and he gave some food to their donkeys). 25Soothly they made ready the(ir) gifts till Joseph entered at midday, for they had heard that they should eat bread there.
26Therefore Joseph entered into his house, and they offered gifts to him, and held them in their hands, and worshipped low to the earth. (And so Joseph entered into his house, and they offered him the gifts that they held in their hands, and they bowed low to the ground before him.) 27And he greeted them again meekly; and he asked them, and said, Whether your father, the eld man, is safe, of whom ye said to me? liveth he yet? (And he meekly greeted them; and he asked them, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spoke to me? yet he liveth?) 28Which answered, He is whole, thy servant our father liveth yet; and they were bowed, and worshipped him. (And they answered, He is well, yea, thy servant, our father, yet liveth; and they bowed low before him.) 29Forsooth Joseph raised [up] his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother of the same womb, and he said, Is this your young(est) brother, of whom ye said to me? And again Joseph said, My son, God have mercy on thee. (And Joseph raised up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother from the same womb, and he asked, Is this your youngest brother of whom ye spoke to me? And Joseph said to him, My son, may God have mercy on thee.) 30And Joseph hasted into (another part of) the house, for his entrails were moved on his brother (for his feelings were stirred because of his brother), and tears burst out, and he entered into a closet, and wept. 31And again when his face was washed (And then when he had washed his face), he went out, and refrained himself from weeping, and said, Set ye forth (the) loaves. 32Which were set forth to Joseph by himself, and to his brethren by themselves, and to the Egyptians that ate together by themselves; for it is unleaveful to Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, and they guess such a feast unholy. (And they were set forth for Joseph by himself, and for his brothers by themselves, and for the Egyptians who ate together by themselves; for it is unlawful for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, for they believe that such a feast, or that such a meal, would be unholy.) 33Therefore they sat before him, the first begotten by right of the first begotten, and (so on down to) the youngest by his age; and they wondered greatly, (And so they sat down before him, the first-born by right of the first-born, and so on down to the youngest by his age; and they greatly wondered,) 34when the parts were taken which they had received of him, and the more part came to Benjamin, so that it passed (the others) in five parts; and they drank, and were [ful]filled with him. (when they received their portions from him, and the greatest portion came to Benjamin, indeed it was five times more than what any of the others received; and so they drank, and were fulfilled with him.)
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