1But a little time after, when the days of wheat harvest nighed, Samson came, and would visit his wife, and he brought to her a goat kid; and when he would enter into her bed by custom, her father forbade him, 2and said, I guessed that thou haddest hated her, and therefore I gave her to thy friend; but she hath a sister, which is younger and fairer than she, be she [a] wife to thee for her (let her be your wife instead!). 3To whom Samson answered, From this day forth no blame shall be in me against [the] Philistines, for I shall do evils to you. (To whom Samson answered, From this day forth, none of the Philistines can blame me, though I shall do much evil to you.) 4And he went, and took three hundred foxes, and he joined together their tails to tails, (one to one,) and he bound fire brands in (the) middle of the tails (and he tied torches in the middle of their tails), 5which he kindled with fire, and (then) let them (go), that they should run about hither and thither (so that they would run about here and there); which went at once into the corns of [the] Philistines, by which kindled, both the corns borne now together, and (those) yet standing in the stubble, were (all) burnt, in so much that the flame (also) wasted (the) vineries, and (the) places of (the) olive trees. 6And the Philistines said, Who did this thing? To whom it was said, Samson, the husband of (the) Timnite’s daughter, for he took away Samson’s wife, and gave her to another man. And (so) the Philistines went up, and burnt (up) both the woman and her father. 7To the which Philistines Samson said, Though ye have done this thing, nevertheless yet I shall ask and take vengeance of you, and then I shall rest. (To which Philistines Samson said, Because ye have done this thing, now I shall take vengeance on all of you, and then I shall rest.) 8And he smote them with great wound, so that they wondered, and (they fled so fast, that they) putted the hinder part of the hip on the thigh; and he went down, and dwelled in the den of the stone of Etam. (And he struck them down, hip and thigh, with a great slaughter; and then he went, and lived in the cave in the Rock of Etam.)
9Then the Philistines went up into the land of Judah, and they setted tents in the place, that was called afterward Lehi, that is, a cheek[bone], where their host was spread abroad. (Then the Philistines went up into the land of Judah, and they pitched their tents at the place, that later was called Lehi, that is, Jawbone, where their army was spread out over all the land.) 10And men of the lineage of Judah said to them, Why have ye gone up against us? The which answered, We come that we bind Samson (And they answered, We have come so that we can bind up Samson), and yield to him (for) those things the which he [hath] wrought against us. 11Therefore three thousand of men of Judah went down to the den of the flint of Etam; and they said to Samson, Knowest thou not, that [the] Philistines command to us, that is, they have lordship on us? (And so three thousand men of Judah went down to the cave in the Rock of Etam; and they said to Samson, Knowest thou not, that the Philistines command, or rule, over us?) Why wouldest thou do this thing to them? To whom he said, As they did to me, so I did to them. 12They said, We come to bind thee, and to betake thee into the hands of Philistines. To whom Samson answered, Swear ye, and promise ye to me, that ye slay not me. (And they said to him, We have come to bind thee up, and to deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines. To whom Samson answered, Swear ye, and promise ye to me, that ye shall not kill me.) 13And they said, We shall not slay thee, but we shall betake thee bound to them. And (so) they bound him with two new cords, and took him from the stone of Etam.
14And when they had come to the place that is called Cheek[bone], and the Philistines crying high had run (out) to him, the spirit of the Lord felled into him, and as sticks be wont to be wasted at the hot tasting of fire, so and the bonds, with which he was bound, were scattered and loosed. (And when they had come to the place that now is called Lehi, or Jawbone, and the Philistines came running toward him, and shouting, the spirit of the Lord fell upon him, and as sticks be wont to be wasted with the hot tasting of the fire, so the bonds, with which he was bound, were scattered and loosed from off his hands.) 15And when he had found a cheek[bone], that is, the nether cheekbone, of an ass, that there lay, he took it, and killed therewith a thousand men; (And when he had found a jawbone, that is, the lower jawbone, of a donkey, that lay there, he took it, and killed a thousand men with it;)
16and he said, With the cheek[bone] of an ass, that is, with the nether cheek[bone] of a colt of she-asses, I have done away Philistines, and I have killed therewith a thousand men. (and he said, With the jawbone of a donkey, that is, with the lower jawbone of the colt of a female donkey, I have done away the Philistines, and I have killed a thousand men with it.)
17And when he had high cried these words, and had fully ended them, he threw away from his hand the nether cheekbone; and he called the name of that place Ramathlehi, that is to say, the Raising (up) of a cheekbone. (And after that he had sung these words, and had finished them, he threw away the lower jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramathlehi, that is to say, the Raising up of a jawbone.) 18And (then) he thirsted greatly, and cried to the Lord, and said, Thou, Lord, hast given into the hand of thy servant this greatest health and victory (Thou, Lord, hast given thy servant this great victory); and lo! I die for thirst, and I shall fall into the hands of uncircumcised men. 19Therefore the Lord opened a wang tooth in the cheekbone of the ass, and waters went out thereof, and when he had drunken he refreshed his spirit, and received strengths; therefore the name of that place was called the Well of the inwardly caller of the cheekbone, unto this present day. (And so the Lord opened a molar tooth in the jawbone of the donkey, and water went out of it, and when he had drunk, it refreshed his spirit, and he received strength; and so the name of the spring there in Lehi is called Enhakkore, or the Spring of the Caller, unto this present day). 20And Samson deemed Israel in the days of [the] Philistines (for) twenty years.
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