1Wisdom builded an house to himself (Wisdom built a house for himself); he hewed out seven pillars,
2he offered his slain sacrifices, he meddled wine (he mixed in spices with the wine), and setted forth his table.
3He sent his handmaids (He sent forth his servantesses), that they should call to the tower; and to the walls of the city.
4If any man is little (in wit), come he to me. And wisdom spake to unwise men, (and said,) (And that they should say, If any one hath little intelligence, come he to me. And then wisdom spoke to the unwise, and said,)
5Come ye, eat ye my bread; and drink ye the wine, which I have meddled to you (and drink ye the wine, in which I have mixed in spices for you).
6Forsake ye young childhood, and live ye; and go ye by the way of prudence. (Abandon ye foolishness, and have life; and go ye on the way of understanding.)
7He that teacheth a scorner, doeth wrong to himself; and he that reproveth a wicked man, engendereth a wem to himself. (He who trieth to teach a mocker, only wrongeth himself; and he who reproveth the wicked, begetteth a wound for himself.)
8Do not thou reprove a scorner; lest he hate thee. Reprove thou a wise man; and he shall love thee. (Do not thou rebuke a mocker; lest he hate thee. Rebuke thou a wise person; and he shall love thee.)
9Give thou occasion to a wise man; and wisdom shall be increased to him. Teach thou a just man; and he shall hasten to take it (to heart). (Give thou advice, or instruction, to a wise person; and his wisdom shall be increased. Teach thou a righteous person; and he shall hasten to take it to heart.)
10The beginning of wisdom is the dread of the Lord; and prudence is the knowing of saints. (The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding./The beginning of wisdom is reverence for the Lord; and to know the Holy One is to have understanding.)
11For thy days shall be multiplied by me; and [the] years of (thy) life shall be increased to thee.
12If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise to thyself, and to thy neighbours. Forsooth if thou art a scorner, thou alone shalt bear evil. (If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise, or gain advantage, for thyself, and for thy friends as well. But if thou art a mocker, thou alone shalt bear the evil.)
13A fond woman, and full of cry, and full of unleaveful lusts, and that knoweth nothing utterly, (A loud and foolish woman, full of unlawful lusts, who knoweth utterly nothing,)
14sitteth in the doors of her house (sitteth at the door of her house), on a seat, in an high place of the city;
15to call men passing by the way, and men going in their journey. (to call to men passing by the way, and to men going on their journey.)
16Who is a little man in wit; bow he to me (And she saith to herself, Who is a man of little intelligence; turn he unto me). And she spake to a coward, (and said,)
17Waters of theft be sweeter, and bread hid is sweeter. (Stolen water is sweeter, and hidden bread is sweeter.)
18And [he] knew not that giants be there; and the guests of her be in the depths of hell. Soothly he that shall be applied, either fastened, to her, shall go down to hells. For why he that goeth away from her shall be saved. (And he knew not that death is there; and that her guests be in the depths of hell. Truly, he who shall be fastened to her, shall go down to Sheol, that is, to the land of the dead/shall go down to hell. But he who goeth away from her, shall be saved.)
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