Letter of Jeremiah Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
1 Here beginneth a sample of the epistle of the same Baruch, which epistle Jeremy (or Jeremiah) sent to the Jews, that were led away (as) prisoners into Babylon, of (or by) the king of (the) Babylonians, that he should tell to them, by that that was commanded of (or by) God to him. [Here beginneth the ensample of the same epistle, which Jeremy sent to the captives led away into Babylon, of (or by) the king of (the) men of Babylon, that he should show to them, after that it is commanded to him of (or by) God.]
2 For the sins which ye sinned before God, ye shall be led (away) (as) prisoners [or (as) captives] into Babylon, of (or by) Nebuchadnezzar, king of (the) Babylonians.
3 Therefore ye shall enter into Babylon [or And so ye go into Babylon], and ye shall be there full many years, and into (a) long time, till to seven generations; forsooth after this I shall lead out you from thence with peace.
4 But now ye shall see in Babylon gods of gold, and of silver, and of stone, and of tree (or of wood), to be borne on shoulders, showing dread to (the) heathen men [or to (the) folks].
5 Therefore see ye, lest also ye be made like (to) alien deeds, and lest ye dread, and dread take you in them. Therefore when ye see a company behind and before (them), worship ye God, [Therefore see ye, lest and ye be made like to alien deeds, and lest ye dread, and that dread take you in them. And so the company of people seen from behind and from before worshipping,]
6 (then) say in your hearts, Lord God, it behooveth that thou be worshipped. [say in your hearts, Lord God, it behooveth thee for to be worshipped.]
7 Forsooth mine angel is with you, but (or and) I shall seek your souls. [Forsooth mine angel is with you, forsooth I myself shall seek out your souls.]
8 For why the trees (or the wood) of them be polished of (or by) a carpenter; also they be arrayed with gold, and arrayed with silver, and be false [or they also engolded and ensilvered be false], and may not (or be not able to) speak.
9 And as to a virgin [or to a maiden] loving ornaments, so, when gold is taken, ornaments be made to (or for) (the) idols. Certainly the gods of them have golden crowns on their heads;
10 wherefore priests withdraw from those gods gold and silver, and spend it in (or on) themselves.
11 Soothly they give also of that to whores, and array [or adorn] whores; and again when they receive that of (or from) whores, they array [or they adorn] their gods.
12 But those [or these] gods be not delivered from rust and moths. Forsooth when they be covered with a cloth (or a cloak) of purple,
13 priests shall wipe the face(s) of them, for (the) dust of the house (or because of the dust of the temple), which is full much among those gods. [they shall wipe the face(s) of them, for dust of the house, that is full much among them.]
14 Forsooth (these) idols have a sceptre, as a man hath; (yea), as the judge of a country, (but) that slayeth not a man sinning against himself. [Forsooth they have a sceptre, or king’s rod, as a man; as a judge of a country, that slayeth not the sinning (one) into him.]
15 Also they have in the hand a sword, and an ax; but they deliver not themselves from battle and from thieves. [Forsooth they have also in the hand sword and ax; forsooth they deliver not themselves from battle and day thieves.]
16 Wherefore be it known to you, that they be not gods; therefore worship (or dread) ye not them.
17 For as a broken vessel of a man is made unprofitable, such also be the gods of them. When they be set (up) in the house (or in the temple), the eyes of them be full of dust, of (or from) the feet of men entering [in].
18 And as [the] gates be set about a man, that offended the king, either as when a dead man is brought to the sepulchre, so priests keep securely the doors with closings, and locks, lest they be robbed of (or by) thieves.
19 They tend lanterns to (or for) them, and soothly many lanterns, of which they may (or be able to) see none;
20 forsooth they be as (the) beams in an house (or in the temple). Soothly men say that (the) serpents, that be of (the) earth, lick out the hearts of them; (yet) while the serpents eat them, and their cloth(es), and they feel it not. [forsooth they be as beams in the house. Soothly serpents that be of the earth, be said to lick out the hearts of them; (yet) the while they eat them, and (the) clothing of them, and they feel (it) not.]
21 The faces of them be black of (or from) the smoke, which is made in the house (or in the temple).
22 Night crows (or bats) and swallows fly above the body (or the bodies) of them, and above the head(s) of them, and birds also, and cats in like manner. [Above the body (or the bodies) of them, and above the head(s) of them, bats, or rearmice, and swallows fly, and birds also, and also cats.]
23 Wherefore know ye, that they be not gods; therefore dread ye not them. [Whereof know ye, for they be not gods; therefore ye shall not dread them.]
24 Also the gold which they have, is to (or for) (their) fairness; no but some man wipe away the rust, they shall not shine. For they (even) feeled (it) not, the while those were welled together [or Forsooth neither (even) the while they were molten together, they feeled (it)].
25 They be bought of all price (or for a very high price), in which no spirit (or breath) is in them. [They be bought of all price, in which things spirit is not in them.]
26 They without feet be borne on (the) shoulders of men, and show openly their unnobility to men;
27 be they shamed also that worship them. Therefore if they fall down to (the) earth, they shall not rise (up) of (or by) themselves; and if any man setteth that idol upright, it shall not stand by itself, but as to dead things [or as to dead men] shoulders shall (or must) be put to them.
28 The priests of them sell the sacrifices of them, and mis-use; in like manner and the women of them ravish [or taking] away, neither to a sick man, neither to a beggar, they give anything.
29 Of their sacrifices foul women, and in unclean blood, touch. Therefore know ye by these things, that they be not gods, and dread ye not them. [Of the sacrifices of them women with child, and menstruate, or in unclean blood, touch (al)together. And so witting of these things, for they be not gods, dread ye them not.]
30 For whereof be they called gods? For women set sacrifices to gods of silver, and of gold, and of tree (or of wood);
31 and (the) priests that have coats rent, and (their) heads and beard(s) shaven, whose heads be naked, sit in the houses of them (or in their temples). [and in the houses of them sit (the) priests having torn, or cut, coats, and heads and beard(s) shaven, whose heads be naked.]
32 Soothly they roar and cry against (or before) their gods, as in the supper of a dead man.
33 (And the) Priests take away the clothes of them, and clothe their wives, and their children.
34 And if they suffer anything of evil of (or from) any man, or if they suffer anything of good, they may not (or be not able to) yield back (or to repay it). Neither they may (or be able to) ordain [or (to) make] a king, neither do (him) away.
35 In like manner they may neither give riches, neither yield evil (thing). If any man maketh a vow to them, and yieldeth not, they ask not (for) this. [Also neither they may or be able to give riches, neither yield evil thing. If any man shall avow to them, and shall not yield, neither they require, or ask, (for) this thing.]
36 They deliver not a man from death, neither ravish a sick (or a weak) man from a mightier. [They deliver not a man from death, neither deliver a sick man from a more mighty.]
37 They restore not a blind man to sight; they shall not deliver a man from need.
38 They shall not have mercy on a widow, neither they shall do good to fatherless children. [They shall not have mercy of the widow, neither they shall do well to the fatherless and motherless.]
39 Their gods of tree (or of wood), and of stone, and of gold, and of silver, be like (the) stones of the mountain; forsooth they that worship them, shall be shamed [or shall be confounded].
40 How therefore is it to guess, either to say [or to be said], that they be gods? for why yet when (even the) Chaldeans honour not them.
41 Which when they hear that a dumb man may not speak, offer him to Bel, and ask of him to (be able to) speak; as if they that have no stirring, may (or be able to) feel. [Which when they shall hear the dumb not to be able to speak, offer him to Bel, asking of him for to speak; as (if) they be able to feel, which have not moving.]
42 And they, when they shall understand, shall forsake those idols; for those gods of them have no wit. [And they when they shall understand, shall forsake them; soothly those gods of them have not wit.]
43 Forsooth women gird (about) with ropes sit in ways, and kindled (or burned) bones of olives. Soothly when any of these women is drawn away of (or by) any man passing, and sleepeth with him, she despiseth her neighbouress, that she is not had worthy as herself, neither her rope is broken. [Forsooth women given about, or bound, with cords sit in ways, burning bones of olives. Forsooth when any of them drawn away of any man passing hath slept, she despiseth her neighbour, for she is not had worthy as she, neither her cord is broken.]
44 Forsooth all things that be done to them, be false. How therefore is it to guess, either to say, that those (or that they) be gods? [Forsooth all things that be done to them, be false. How is it to be guessed, or to be said, them to be gods?]
45 Forsooth those idols be made of (or by) smiths, and of (or by) goldsmiths. They shall be none other thing, no but that that (the) priests will (or desire) that they be. [Forsooth of carpenters and goldsmiths they be made. They shall none other thing be, no but that that priests will for to be.]
46 Also those goldsmiths that make them, be not of much time; therefore whether those things [or the things] that be made of (or by) them may be (or be able to be) gods?
47 Soothly they left false things, and shame (or reproof) to men to coming afterward. [Forsooth they left false things, and shame to men to coming after.]
48 For why when battles and evils come on them, priests think, where they shall hide themselves with those. [For why when battle shall above come to them, and evil things, priests think, where they shall hide themselves with them.]
49 How therefore owe (or ought) those to be deemed, that they be gods, which neither deliver themselves from battle, neither deliver themselves from evils? [Therefore how owe they for to be feeled, or deemed, for they be gods, which neither deliver them from battle, neither deliver them from evil things?]
50 For why when those be of tree (or of wood), and of stone, and of gold, and of silver, it shall be known afterward [For why when they be treen (or wooden), and stone, and engolded, and ensilvered, it shall be known afterward, for they be false,]
51 of (or by) all folks, and kings, that those things be false, that be made open; for those be not gods, but the works of (the) hands of men, and no work of God is with (or is in) them. [to all folks and kings; which be open, or known, for they be not gods, but (the) works of men’s hands, and no work of God (is) with (or is in) them.]
52 Whereof therefore it is know, that they be not gods, but the works of (the) hands of men [or but (the) works of men’s hands], and no work of God is in them.
53 They raise not a king to a country, neither shall give rain to men.
54 Also they shall not deem (a) doom, neither they shall deliver the country from wrong. For those may (or be able to) (do) nothing, as little crows betwixt the midst of heaven and of (the) earth. [Also they shall not describe, or judge, a doom, neither they shall deliver a country from wrong. For they may (do) nothing, as little crows betwixt the middle of heaven and earth.]
55 For when fire falleth into the house of gods of tree (or of wood), and of gold, and of silver, soothly the priests of those [or the priests of them] shall flee, and shall be delivered; but they shall be burnt as (the) beams in the midst.
56 Forsooth they shall not against-stand a king and battle. How therefore is it to guess, or to receive, that they be gods? [Forsooth they shall not against-stand a king and battle. How therefore is it to be guessed, or to be received, for they be gods?]
57 Gods of tree (or of wood), and of stone, and of gold, and of silver, shall not deliver themselves from night thieves, neither from day thieves, and wicked men be stronger than those gods.
58 They shall take away gold, and silver and cloth(es), by which those be covered, and (then) they shall go away; neither they (be able to) help themselves. [They shall take away from them gold, and silver and clothing, by which they be covered, and they shall go away; neither they bear help to themselves.]
59 Therefore it is better to be a king showing his virtue (or his power), either [or (else)] a profitable vessel in the house, in which he shall have glory that wieldeth it, than false gods; either [or (else)] a door in the house, that keepeth those things that be in it, is better than false gods.
60 Forsooth the sun, and moon, and stars, when they be bright [or when they be shining], and sent out to profits, obey.
61 In like manner and [the] lightning, when it appeareth, is clear. Soothly the same thing and (the) wind breatheth in each country.
62 And (the) clouds, to which, when it is commanded of (or by) God to go through all the world, perform that, that is commanded to those [or do what thing is commanded to them].
63 Also (the) fire sent from above, to waste mountains and woods, doeth that, that is commanded to it [or doeth what thing is commanded to it]; but these idols be not like to one of those things, neither by forms, neither by virtues (or in power).
64 Wherefore it is neither to guess, neither to say, that they be gods, when they may not (or be not able to) neither deem doom, neither do (good) to men. [Whereof neither it is to be guessed, neither to be said, them for to be gods, when they may neither deem doom, neither do to men.]
65 Therefore know ye that those be not gods, and dread ye not them. [And so witting for they be not gods, therefore ye shall not dread them.]
66 For they shall neither curse, neither bless kings.
67 Also they show not to (the) heathen men signs in (the) heaven(s), neither those shall shine as the sun, neither they shall give light as the moon. [Forsooth they show not to folks tokens in heaven, neither they shall shine as sun, neither shall lighten as the moon.]
68 Beasts that may (or be able to) fly under a roof, and do profit to themselves, be better than they. [Beasts be better than they, which may fly under a roof, and profit to themselves.]
69 Therefore by no manner it is open to you, that they be gods. For which thing, dread ye not them. [And so by no manner it is known to you, for they be gods. For which thing dread ye not them.]
70 For why as a man of rags, or shoeless, in a place where gourds [or cucumbers, that be bitter herbs], waxed, keepeth nothing, so be their gods of tree (or of wood), and of silver, and of gold.
71 In the same manner and a whitethorn in a garden [or in a yard] keepeth nothing, on which thorn each bird sitteth, (and) in like manner and their gods of tree (or of wood), and of gold, and of silver, be like [to] a dead man cast forth in(to) (the) darknesses.
72 Also of purple and of marble, which they hold above it; therefore ye shall know, that they be not gods. Also those be eaten at the last, and it shall be into shame in the country. [And of the purple and marble, that they hold above them(selves), ye shall know also, for they be no gods. Also at the last they themselves be eaten, and it shall be into reproof in the country.]
73 Better is a just man, that hath no simulacra, for why he shall be far from shames (or reproofs).