1Then Eliphaz (the) Temanite answered, and said,
2If we begin to speak to thee, in hap thou shalt take it heavily (perhaps thou shalt take it personally); but who may hold (back) a word (once) conceived?
3Lo! thou hast taught full many men, and thou hast strengthened hands made faint.
4Thy words have confirmed men doubting, and thou hast comforted knees trembling. (Thy words have confirmed men who were doubting, and thou hast strengthened trembling knees.)
5But now a wound is come upon thee, and thou hast failed, (or fainted); it hath touched thee, and thou art troubled.
6Where is thy dread (Where is thy fear/ Where is thy reverence), thy strength, and thy patience, and the perfection of thy ways?
7I beseech thee, have thou mind, what innocent man perished ever, either when rightful men were done away? (I beseech thee, remember, did an innocent person ever perished, or were the upright ever done away with?)
8Certainly rather I saw them, that work wickedness, and sow sorrows, and reap those, (Rather, I saw those, who work wickedness, and sow sorrows, and reap them,)
9to have perished by God blowing, and to be wasted by the spirit of his ire. (to have perished by God blowing on them, and to be destroyed by the breath from his nostrils.)
10The roaring of a lion, and the voice of a lioness, and the teeth of (the) whelps of lions, be all-broken.
11Tigers perished (The tiger perished), for she had not (any) prey; and [the] whelps of the lion be destroyed.
12Certainly an hid word was said to me, and mine ear took as it were thief-like the veins of the privy speaking thereof. (Truly a hidden word was said to me, and my ear caught it like the stolen whispers of private speaking.)
13In the hideousness of [the] night’s sight, when heavy sleep is wont to occupy men,
14dread and trembling held me; and all my bones were afeared. (fear and trembling held me; and all my bones were made afraid.)
15And when the spirit went in my presence, the hairs of my flesh had hideousness. (And when a breeze passed by me, all the hairs of my flesh stood up.)
16One stood, whose cheer, or likeness, I knew not, an image before mine eyes; and I heard a voice as of [a] soft wind. (And something stood, whose face, or likeness, I knew not, or could not see, yea, there was a figure before my eyes; and I heard a voice like a soft wind.)
17Whether a man shall be made just in comparison of God? either a man shall be cleaner than his Maker? (And it said, Can anyone be seen as righteous in comparison to God? or is anyone purer than his Maker?)
18Lo! they that serve him be not steadfast; and he hath found shrewdness in his angels. (Lo! they who serve him be not trustworthy; and he hath found depravity even in his angels.)
19How much more they that dwell in houses of clay, which have an earthly foundament, shall be wasted as of a moth. (How much more they who live in clay houses, whose foundations be dust, and who can be squashed like a bug?)
20From morrowtide till to eventide they shall be cut down; and for no man understandeth, they shall perish without end. (From morning until evening they shall be cut down; they shall perish forevermore, with no one taking heed.)
21And they, that be left, shall be taken away; they shall die, and not in wisdom. (And what is left to them shall be taken away from them; they shall die, without ever finding wisdom.)
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