1Whether thou shalt be able to draw out Leviathan with an hook, and shalt bind with a rope his tongue? (Shalt thou be able to draw out this Leviathan with a hook, or bind his tongue with a rope?)
2Whether thou shalt put a ring in his nostrils, either shalt pierce his cheek[bone] with an hook? (Shalt thou put a ring in his nostrils, or pierce his cheekbone with a hook?)
3Whether he shall multiply prayers to thee, either shall speak soft things to thee? (Shall he say many prayers to thee, pleading and begging, or speak soft things to thee?)
4Whether he shall make a covenant with thee, and shalt thou take him (for) a servant everlasting? (Shall he make a covenant with thee, and then shalt thou make him thy everlasting servant?)
5Whether thou shalt scorn him as a bird, either shalt thou bind him to thine handmaidens? (Shalt thou scorn him like a bird, or shalt thou bind him up for thy servantesses?)
6Shall friends carve him (up), shall merchants part him (among themselves)?
7Whether thou shalt fill nets with his skin, and a fish basket with his head? (Shalt thou fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fish-hooks?)
8Shalt thou put thine hand upon him? have thou mind of the battle, and add thou no more to speak (remember the battle, and add thou no more to speak about it).
9Lo! his hope shall deceive him; and in the sight of all men he shall be cast down (and he shall be thrown down in front of all the people).
10I not as cruel shall raise him; for who may against-stand my face? (Who would even dare raise up one who is so fierce? yea, who can stand before his face?)
11And who gave to me before, that I yield to him? (And who ever gave anything to me, that I could give back to him?) All things, that be under heaven, be mine.
12I shall not spare him for his mighty words, and made fair to beseech with. (And I shall not forget to speak of his limbs, his might, and his beautiful, or his comely, shape.)
13Who shall show the face of his clothing, and who shall enter into the midst of his mouth? (Who shall open his outer clothing, or his hide? and who shall pass by the bridle of his mouth?)
14Who shall open the gates of his cheer? fearedfulness is by the compass of his teeth. (Who shall open the gates of his face, or his lips? for terror cometh from his teeth.)
15His body is as molten shields of brass, and joined together with scales overlaying themselves. (His body is like bronze shields, yea, scales joined together and overlaying each other.)
16One is joined to another; and soothly breathing goeth not through those (and truly a breath cannot go between them).
17One shall cleave to another, and those pieces holding together themselves shall not be parted. (One shall cleave to the other, and those pieces holding themselves together cannot be parted.)
18His neesing is as (the) shining of fire, and his eyes be as (the) eyelids of the morrowtide. (His sneezing/His snorting sendeth out shots of lightning, and his eyes shine like the breaking of the day.)
19Lights come forth of his mouth, as brands of fire, that be kindled. (Lightnings come forth from his mouth, like kindled firebrands.)
20Smoke cometh forth of his nostrils, as a boiling pot set upon the fire. (Smoke cometh forth from his nostrils, like a boiling pot put on the fire.)
21His breath maketh coals to burn, and (a) flame goeth out of his mouth.
22Strength shall dwell in his neck, and neediness shall go (away from) before his face.
23The members of his flesh be cleaving together to themselves; God shall send floods against him, and those shall not be borne over to another place.
24His heart shall be made (as) hard as a stone; and it shall be constrained (al)together as the anvil of a smith (and it shall be firm and unyielding, like the anvil of a smith).
25When he shall be taken away, angels shall dread; and they afeared shall be purged. (When he raiseth himself up, even the mighty shall be afraid; and they who be afraid shall be purged, or shall be purified.)
26When sword taketh him, it may not stand, neither spear, neither habergeon. (And when a sword trieth to take him, it shall not succeed, nor a spear, nor a dagger.)
27For he shall areckon iron as chaff, and brass as rotten wood (and bronze like rotten wood).
28A man archer shall not drive him away; [the] stones of a sling be turned into stubble to him.
29He shall areckon an hammer as stubble; and he shall scorn a flourishing spear (and he shall have scorn for the spear that is flourished, or shaken, at him).
30The beams of the sun shall be under him; and he shall strew to himself gold as clay. (Sharp stones shall be under him; and he shall spread abroad pointed shards upon the clay.)
31He shall make the deep sea to boil as a pot; and he shall put it, as when ointments boil.
32A path shall shine after him; he shall guess the great ocean as waxing eld. (He maketh a path to shine after him; and the great ocean as if growing old, that is, white with foam.)
33No power there is on earth, that shall be comparisoned to him; which is made, that he should dread nothing. (There is no power on earth, that can be compared to him; nothing which is made, that he should fear.)
34He seeth all high thing[s]; he is king over all the sons of pride.
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