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1 Esdras 4Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

And the next follower began to say [or And the follower began to say], that said of the strength of a king,

O men! whether men be not (sur)passingly strong, the which hold land and sea, and all things that be in them?

The king forsooth (sur)passeth above all things, and he hath lordship of them, and they do all thing(s), whatever he will say to them. [The king forsooth over all things passeth, and hath lordship of them, and all thing, whatever he shall say to them, they do.]

And if he send them to fighters, they go, and destroy hills, and walls, and towers;

they be slain and slay, and they pass not the word of the king; for if they overcome, they bring to the king all things, whatever things they have spoiled evermore, and all other things.

And how many ever (or however many) bear not knighthood, nor fight, but ere (or plow) the land, again when they shall reap, they bring tributes to the king.

And (yet) he is (but) one (man) alone; and if he bid to slay, they slay; and if he bid them to forgive, they forgive; [And he one alone; and if he say to slay, they slay; and if he say to forgive, they forgive;]

and if he say them to smite [or and if he say to smite], they smite; if he say to outlaw, they outlaw; if he bid them to build, they build;

if he bid to throw down, they throw adown; if he bid to plant, they plant;

10 and all (the) folk and virtues (or hosts) obeish (or obey) to him; and over all these things he shall sit, and drink, and sleep.

11 These forsooth keep him about [or These forsooth in environ keep him], and may not go each one (or be not able to go each one), and do their own works, but in his word men obeish (or obey) to him.

12 What manner wise (sur)passeth not the king before others, that thus is loosed? And he held his peace.

13 The third, that had said of women, and of truth; this is said (or he was called) Zerubbabel; he began to speak,

14 O men! the king is not great, neither many other men, nor wine (sur)passeth before; who is it then that hath lordship of them?

15 Whether not women, that have (be)gotten kings, and all the people, the which kings have lordship both of (the) sea and of (the) land, and of women they be born? [Whether not women begat the king, and all the people, that lordship to the sea, and to the earth, and of them be borne?]

16 And they brought forth them that planted vines, of the which wine is made.

17 And they make the stoles, or long clothes, of all men, and they do glory to men, and men may not or be not able to be severed from women.

18 If they gather together gold and silver, and all fair thing, and see a woman in good(ly) array, and in good fairness,

19 they, forsaking all these things [or all these things forsaking], take heed to her, and the mouth opened, they behold her, and they draw more to her than to gold and [or] silver, or any precious thing.

20 A man shall forsake his father, that nourished him, and his own land, and to a woman he joineth him(self) together,

21 and with a woman he liveth his life, and neither remembereth father, nor mother, nor the land of his birth.

22 And therefore it behooveth us to know, that women have lordship of us. Whether ye sorrow not? [or Whether sorrow ye not?]

23 And also a man taketh his sword, and goeth in the way to do thefts, and manslaughters, and to sail over the sea, and over floods (or on rivers);

24 and he seeth a lion, and he goeth in darknesses; and when he hath done his theft, and guiles, and ravens, he bringeth it to his lief (or to his love).

25 And again a man loveth his wife more than father or mother;

26 and many men be made mad for their wives, and many be made thralls for them;

27 and many perished, and were strangled, and many have sinned for women. [and many perished, and be strangled, and sinned, for women.]

28 And now (be)leiveth me; forsooth a king is great, and his power [or for great is the king in his power], for all regions, or kingdoms about, be afeared to touch him.

29 I saw neverthelater (or nevertheless) Apame, the daughter of Bartacus, the wonderful man [or the daughter of (the) wonderful man Bartacus], the secondary wife (or the concubine) of the king, sitting beside the king at the right side;

30 and taking away the diadem (or the crown) from his head, and putting it on herself, and with the palm of her left hand she smote the king. [and taking away the diadem from his head, and putting onto herself, and with hands she smote the king of (or with) the left hand.]

31 And over these things, the mouth opened, he beheld her, and if she laugh to (or at) him, he laughed, and if she were wroth to him, he glosseth (or he flattereth), or pleaseth, unto the time that he be reconciled [in]to grace.

32 O men! why be not women strongest? Great is the earth, and heaven is high, that do these things. [O men! why be not women strongest? Great is the earth, and high is heaven, that these things do.]

33 Then the king and the purpled men beheld either into (the) other; and he began to speak of truth.

34 O men! whether women be not strong? Great is the earth, and heaven is high, and the course of the sun is swift; it is turned in the compass of heaven, and again it runneth again into the same place in a day. [O men! whether strong be not women? Great is the earth, and high is heaven, and swift is the course of the sun; it is turned in the compass of heaven, and again it runneth again into the same place (in) one day.]

35 Whether he is not a great doer, that maketh these things? and truth great, and stronger before all things?

36 All (the) earth calleth inwardly (the) truth, also it blesseth heaven, and all works be moved and dread it; and there is no wicked thing with it. [All earth truth inwardly calleth, heaven also it blesseth, and all works be moved and dread it; and there is not with it anything wicked.]

37 (A) Wicked king, and wicked women, and all the sons of men be wicked, [or and wicked (be) all the works of them], and there is not truth in them, and in their wickedness they shall perish;

38 and truth dwelleth, and waxeth into without end, and it liveth, and wieldeth, into worlds of worlds (or forevermore).

39 It is not with truth to out-take (or to accept) persons, and differences (or It is not with truth to show favouritism, or partiality); but it doeth those things that be rightful [or rightwise], to all unrightwise and evil men; and all men be made benign in his works.

40 And there is not wickedness in his doom [or And there is not in his doom wickedness], but there is strength, and realm, and power, and majesty of all (en)durings above time. Blessed be the God of truth!

41 And then he left (off) in speaking. And all the peoples cried, and said, Great is truth, and it (sur)passeth before all others.

42 Then the king said to him, Ask, if thou wilt, anything moreover, than there be written, and I shall give (it) to thee, after that thou art found (the) wiser; and next to me thou shalt sit, and thou shalt be called my cousin.

43 Then said he to the king, Be thou mindful of the vow, that thou vowedest, to build up Jerusalem, in the day in which thou took the realm; [Then he saith to the king, Be thou mindful of the vow, that thou vowedest, to build Jerusalem, in the day that thou took the realm;]

44 and to send again (or away) all the vessels, that be taken from Jerusalem, the which Cyrus parted (or set apart), when he slew Babylon, and would send again those things thither.

45 And thou wouldest build up the temple, that Idumeans burned (up), for Judea is put out of their terms, or marches, of the Chaldeans. (And thou wouldest rebuild the Temple, that the Edomites burned up, when Judea was destroyed by the Chaldeans.)

46 And now, lord, this it is that I ask, and that I bid; this is the majesty that I ask of thee, that thou do the vow that thou vowedest to the King of heaven, of (or with) thy mouth.

47 Then Darius, the king, rising kissed him, and wrote epistles to all the dispensators, and prefects, and to men clothed in purple, that they should lead him forth, and them that were with him, all wending up [or all going up] to build Jerusalem.

48 And to all the prefects that were in (Celo)Syria and Phenice (or in Greater Syria and Phoenicia), and (in) Lebanon, he wrote epistles, that they should draw (up) cedar trees from the hill Lebanon into Jerusalem, (and) that they build up the city with them.

49 And he wrote to all the Jews, that went up from the realm in(to) Judea, for freedom, that any man of power, or master judge, and prefect, should not come over to the gates of them,

50 and each region, that they had hold (of), to be free from them; and that Idumeans leave up [or left] the castles of Jews, that they withheld (and that the Edomites should let go of the towns of the Jews, that they held),

51 and to give year by year twenty talents, into (the) making of the temple, unto the time that it be full(y) builded;

52 and each day to offer hosts upon the place of sacred things (or the altar), as they be commanded; to offer, by all years, (an)other ten talents; [and to offer hosts each day upon the place of sacred things, as they have behested; other ten talents to offer by all years;]

53 and to all men, that go forth from Babylon, to make the city, as freedom were, both to them, and to the sons of them, and to [all] the priests that go before.

54 Forsooth also he wrote the quantity; and he commanded the sacred stole(s), or vestment(s), to be given, in which they should serve;

55 and he wrote (the) wages to be given to the deacons [or to the Levites], unto the day that the house should be fully ended (or until the day that the Temple was finished), and Jerusalem made out;

56 and he wrote to all men keeping the city, to give to the builders lots and wages. [and to all men keeping the city he wrote, to give to them lots and wages.]

57 And he left (for) them (or he let go to them) all the vessels, that Cyrus has parted (or had set apart) from Babylon; and all things, whatever Cyrus said, he commanded it to be done, and to be sent to Jerusalem.

58 And when that young man had gone forth, raising his face toward Jerusalem, he blessed the King of heaven,

59 and said, Of thee, Lord, is victory, and of thee is wisdom, and clearness (or glory), and I am thy servant.

60 Thou art blessed [or Blessed thou art], for thou hast given to me wisdom, and I acknowledge to thee, Lord of our fathers.

61 And he took the epistles, or (the) letters, and went forth into Babylon; and he came, and told to all his brethren, that were in Babylon.

62 And they blessed the God of their fathers, that gave to them forgiveness and refreshing,

63 that they should go up [or that they go up], and build Jerusalem, and the temple, where his name is named in it; and they joyed [full out] with musics and with gladness (for) seven days.

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