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Judith 7Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Forsooth in the tother day (or on the next day) Holofernes commanded his hosts to go up against Bethulia.

And there were with them sixscore thousand of footmen fighters, and twelve thousand knights, without those men, that were there ready, which the captivity had occupied, and were brought from (the) provinces and cities, (out) of all (the) youth, or of able fighters. [There were forsooth footmen of fighters an hundred and twenty thousand, and horsemen twelve thousand, beside the ready companies of those men, whom captivity had occupied, and were brought from provinces and cities, of all youth.]

And all there together made them(selves) ready to (or for) battle against the sons of Israel; and they came by the side of an hill unto the cop, (or the top), or the height thereof, that beholdeth Dothan, from the place which is said Balbaim unto Cyamon, which is (over) against Esdraelon.

And the sons of Israel, as soon as they saw the multitude of them, they bowed down themselves upon the earth, and threw [or putting] ashes upon their heads, and they prayed with one will, that God of Israel should show his mercy upon his people.

And they took their armours of battle, and they sat by the places by which the path of the straightway betwixt the hilly places (was), and they kept those places all the day and night. [And taking their arms of battle, set by the places that led (to) the path of straightway between the hilly places, and they were keeping them all day and night.]

Certainly Holofernes, the while he went about by compass, found that the well, that flowed into the water conduit of (the) men of Israel, was (ad)dressed (or directed) at the south part without the city, and he commanded their water conduit to be cut asunder [or to be hewn down].

Nevertheless (the) wells were not far from the walls of the city, of which wells (the) men of Israel were seen to draw water by stealth, or privily, rather to refresh them(selves) than to drink.

But the sons of Ammon (or of Edom) and of Moab nighed to (or approached) Holofernes, and they said to him, The sons of Israel trust not in spear and arrow, but (the) hills [or the mountains] defend them, and (the) little hills set in the rock of stone make them strong.

Therefore (so) that thou mayest overcome them without (the) assailing of battle, set thou keepers of (or about) their wells, (so) that they draw not water (out) of those; and thou shalt slay them without sword, either certainly when they be made faint for default of water, they shall betake to thee their city, the which city, for it is set in the hills, they guess it may not be overcome. [Then that without going to fight thou be able to overcome them, put keepers of wells, that they draw not of them; and without sword, thou shalt slay them, or certainly wearied they shall take their city (unto thee), the which they ween in the hills to be not able to be overcome.]

10 And these words pleased before Holofernes, and before all his knights; and he ordained by compass by each well an hundred men.

11 And when this keeping was filled by twenty days/And when by twenty days the keeping of the wells was fulfilled, the cisterns and the gatherings of waters failed to (or for) all the men of Israel dwelling in Bethulia, so that there was not (anything) of water within the city, whereof they should be fulfilled, namely one day, for the water was given by measure to the people each day. [And when this ward by twenty days was full ended, failed the cisterns and the gatherings of water to all the dwellers in Bethulia, so that there was not within the city, whereof they might have enough or for one day, for at measure the water was given to the peoples each day.]

12 Then all men and women, young men and eld, and little children, were gathered together to Ozias, the chief priest, and all they said together with one voice [or and all together with one voice said],

13 The Lord deem betwixt us and thee, for thou, not willing (or not desiring) to speak peaceably with the men of Assyria, hast done evil things against us, and for this thing God hath sold us into the hands of them.

14 And therefore there is none that helpeth us, when we be cast down in thirst, and in great loss before their eyes. [And therefore there is not that helpeth, when we be thrown down before the eyes of them in thirst, and in great perdition.]

15 And now therefore gather ye together all men, that be in this city, (so) that all we peoples betake us-selves by free will to Holofernes.

16 It is better that we be made prisoners, and bless God and live, then that we die thus, and we be shame to each man, and since we see our wives and our young children die for default (or our own failure) before our eyes. [Better it is that captive we bless God living than we die, and be reproof to all flesh, when we see our wives and our children die before our eyes,]

17 We call into witnessing today heaven and earth, and the God of our fathers, that punisheth us after our sins, that now ye betake this city into the hands of the chivalry of Holofernes, and that our end be made short in the sharpness of sword, which end is now made longer in the dryness of thirst. [We take to witness today heaven and earth, and (the) God of our fathers, that doeth vengeance on us after our sins, that now ye take the city in(to) the hand(s) of the chivalry of Holofernes, that our end be short in the mouth of sword, that longer is made in (the) drought of thirst.]

18 And when they had said these things, great weeping and yelling was made of (or by) all men in the great church, and by many hours they cried with one voice to the Lord, and said,

19 We and our fathers have sinned, we have done unjustly [or unrightwisely], and we have done wickedness.

20 Thou, Lord, for thou art merciful, have mercy on us, and (a)venge our wickednesses with thy scourge; and, Lord, do not thou betake men acknowledging thee to a people that knoweth not thee,

21 (so) that they say not among heathen men [or Gentiles], Where is the God of them?

22 And when they were made faint with these cries, and were made weary with these weepings, and were still, Ozias rose up, all beshed with tears, and said,

23 Brethren, be ye patient, and by these five days abide we the mercy of the Lord;

24 for in hap (or perhaps) he shall cut away his indignation, and he shall give glory to his name. [peradventure forsooth his indignation he shall put away, and give glory to his name.]

25 Soothly if when these five days be passed, help cometh not, we shall do these words which ye have spoken.


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