1Isles, hear ye, and peoples afar, perceive ye; the Lord called me from the womb, he thought on my name from the womb of my mother. (Islands, hear ye, and peoples afar off, understand ye; the Lord called me from the womb, he thought about me from my mother’s womb.)
2And he hath set my mouth as a sharp sword, he defended me in the shadow of his hand, and setted me as a chosen arrow; he hid me in his arrow case, (And he made my tongue/my words like a sharp sword, he hid me under the shadow of his hand, and he made me like a chosen arrow; yea, he hid me in his quiver,)
3and said to me, Israel, thou art my servant, for I shall have glory in thee. (and said to me, Israel, thou art my servant, through whom I shall be glorified.)
4And I said, I travailed in vain, I wasted my strength without cause, and vainly; therefore my doom is with the Lord, and my work is with my God. (And I said, I have laboured in vain, I have wasted my strength for nothing, and in vain; and yet my judgement, or my justice, is still with the Lord, and my reward is with my God.)
5And now the Lord, forming me a servant to himself from the womb, saith these things, that I bring again Jacob to him. And Israel shall not be gathered together; and I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. (And now the Lord, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, saith these things, so that I bring back Jacob to him, and that Israel be gathered to him; I am honoured before the Lord, and my God is made my strength.)
6And he said, It is little, that thou be a servant to me, to raise the lineages of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel; I gave thee into the light of heathen men, that thou be mine health till to the last part of [the] earth. (And he said, It is too little a thing, that thou be my servant only to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the descendants of Israel; I shall make you also to be a light unto the heathen, so that thou can be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.)
7The Lord, [the] again-buyer of Israel, the Holy thereof, saith these things to a despisable soul, and to a folk had in abomination, to the servant of lords, Kings shall see, and princes shall rise together, and shall worship, for the Lord, for he is faithful, and for the Holy of Israel, that chose thee. (The Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, its Holy One, saith these things to a despised soul, to a nation had in abomination, to the servant of lords, Kings and princes shall see thee, and shall rise up, and shall honour thee, because of the Lord, for he is faithful, yea, because of the Holy One of Israel, who chose thee.)
8The Lord saith these things, In a pleasant time I heard thee, and in the day of health I helped thee; and I kept thee, and gave thee into a bond of peace of the people, that thou shouldest raise (tillage upon) the earth, and have in possession heritages, that be destroyed; (The Lord saith these things, At the time of my favour I heard thee, and in the day of deliverance I helped thee; and I kept thee safe, and gave thee for a covenant to the people, so that thou couldest raise tillage upon the earth, and have in possession the land that is now laid waste;)
9that thou shouldest say to them that be bound, Go ye out, and to them that be in darknesses, Be ye showed. They shall be fed in ways, and the pastures of them shall be in all plain things. (and that thou shouldest say to them who be bound, Go ye out, and to them who be in darkness, Be ye seen. They shall be fed on the ways, and their pastures shall be on all the hills.)
10They shall not hunger, and they shall no more thirst; and heat, and the sun shall not smite them (and heat, and the sun shall not strike them); for the merciful doer of them shall govern them, and shall give drink to them at the wells of waters.
11And I shall set all mine hills into [a] way, and my paths shall be enhanced. (And I shall make a way through all my hills, and my paths shall be raised up high.)
12Lo! these men shall come from [a]far, and lo! they shall come from the north, and from the sea, and these from the south land. (Lo! these men shall come from afar, and lo! they shall come from the north, and from the west, and from the land of Sinim/and from the land of Syene, that is, from Aswan in the south.)
13Heavens, praise ye, and thou earth, make full out joy; hills, sing ye heartily praising (hills, heartily sing ye praises); for the Lord [hath] comforted his people, and shall have mercy on his poor men.
14And Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me.
15Whether a woman may forget her young child, that she have not mercy on the son of her womb? (yea,) though she (may) forget, nevertheless I shall not forget thee.
16Lo! I have written thee in mine hands; thy walls, be ever before mine eyes. (Lo! I have written thee upon my hands; thy walls, Jerusalem, be ever before my eyes.)
17The builders be come; (and) they that destroy thee, and scatter (thee), shall (now) go (far) away from thee.
18Raise [up] thine eyes in compass, and see (Raise up thine eyes, and look all around); all these men be gathered together, they be come to thee. (As) I live, saith the Lord, for thou shalt be clothed with all these as with an ornament, and thou as a spousess shalt bind them to thee.
19For why thy deserts, and thy wildernesses, and the land of thy falling, now shall be strait for [the] inhabiters; and they shall be driven away far, that swallowed thee. (For thy deserts, and thy wildernesses, and the land of thy falling, shall now be too narrow for your inhabitants; and they who swallowed thee up shall be driven far away.)
20Yet the sons of thy barrenness shall say in thine ears, The place is (too) strait to me, make thou a space to me for to dwell. (Yet the children born in thy barrenness shall say in thy ears, This place is too narrow for us, make thou a space for us to live in.)
21And thou shalt say in thine heart, Who engendered these sons to me? I am barren, not bearing child; I am led over, and (a) prisoner; and who nourished these sons? I am destitute, and alone; and where were these? (And thou shalt say in thy heart, Who begat these children for me? for I am barren, and have not given birth to any children; yea, I am led over, and a prisoner; and who nourished these children? for I am destitute, and alone; where did they all come from?)
22The Lord God saith these things, Lo! I raise mine hand to heathen men, and I shall enhance my sign to peoples (The Lord God saith these things, Lo! I shall raise up my hand to the heathen, and I shall exalt my sign to the peoples); and they shall bring thy sons in (their) arms, and they shall bear thy daughters on (their) shoulders.
23And kings shall be thy nursers, and queens shall be thy nurses; with cheer cast down into [the] earth they shall worship thee, and they shall lick the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know, that I am the Lord, on whom they shall not be shamed, that abide him. (And kings and queens shall be thy nurses; they shall worship thee with faces cast down to the ground, and they shall lick the dust off thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that none who wait for me, shall be ashamed.)
24Whether prey shall be taken away from a strong man? either that that is taken of a stalworthy man, may be safe? (Shall spoils be taken away from the strong? or can a captive be set free from a tyrant?)
25For the Lord saith these things, Soothly and [the] captivity shall be taken away from the strong man, and that that is taken away of a stalworthy man, shall be saved. Forsooth I shall deem them that deemed thee, and I shall save thy sons. (For the Lord saith these things, Truly, the captives shall be taken away from the strong, and spoils shall be taken away from a tyrant. For I shall judge them who judged thee, and I shall save thy children.)
26And I shall feed thine enemies with their fleshes, and they shall be greatly filled with their blood, as with must; and each man shall know, that I am the Lord, saving thee, and thine again-buyer, the Strong of Jacob. (And I shall feed thy enemies with their own flesh, and they shall be greatly filled with their own blood, like with wine; and everyone shall know, that I am the Lord, who saveth thee, and thy Redeemer, the Strong One of Jacob.)
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