1 And so in that tyme Jepte, a man of Galaad, was a ful strong man, and fiytere, the sone of a womman hoore, which Jepte was borun of Galaad.
2 Forsothe Galaad hadde a wijf, of which he hadde sones, whiche aftir that thei encressiden, castiden out Jepte, and seiden, Thou maist not be eir in the hows of oure fadir, for thou art born of a modir auoutresse.
3 `Whiche britheren he fledde, and eschewide, and dwellide in the lond of Tob; and pore men and `doynge thefte weren gaderid to hym, and sueden as a prince.
4 In tho daies the sones of Amon fouyten ayens Israel;
5 and whanne thei contynueden scharpli, the grettere men in birthe of Galaad, yeden to take in to `the help of hem silf Jepte fro the lond of Tob;
6 and thei seiden to hym, Come thou, and be oure prince, and fiyte ayens the sones of Amon.
7 To whiche he answeride, Whethir not ye it ben, that haten me, and castiden me out of the hows of mi fadir, and now ye camen to me, and weren compellid bi nede?
8 And the princes of Galaad seiden to Jepte, Therfor for this cause we camen now to thee, that thou go with vs, and fiyt ayens the sones of Amon; and that thou be the duyk of alle men that dwellen in Galaad.
9 And Jepte seide to hem, Whether ye camen verili to me, that Y fiyte for you ayens the sones of Amon, and if the Lord schal bitake hem in to myn hondis, schal Y be youre prince?
10 Whiche answeriden to hym, The Lord hym silf, that herith these thingis, is mediatour and witnesse, that we schulen do oure biheestis.
11 And so Jepte wente with the princes of Galaad, and al the puple made hym her prince; and Jepte spak alle hise wordis bifor the Lord in Maspha.
12 And he sente messangeris to the kyng of the sones of Amon, whiche messangeris schulden seie `of his persoone, What is to me and to thee, for thou hast come `ayens me to waaste my lond?
13 To whiche the kyng answeride, For Israel whanne he stiede fro Egipt took awei my lond, fro the coostis of Arnon `til to Jaboch and to Jordan, now therfor yeelde it to me with pees.
14 Bi whiche massangeris Jepte sente eft, and comaundide to hem, that thei schulden seie to the kyng of Amon,
15 Jepte seith these thingis, Israel took not the lond of Moab, nether the lond of the sones of Amon;
16 but whanne thei stieden fro Egipt, `he yede bi the wildirnesse `til to the Reed See, and cam in to Cades;
17 and he sente messangeris to the kyng of Edom, and seide, Suffre thou me, that Y go thoruy thi lond; which kyng nolde assente to his preyeres. Also Israel sente to the kyng of Moab, and he dispiside to yyue passage;
18 and so Israel dwellyde in Cades, and cumpasside bi the side the lond of Edom, and the lond of Moab; and he cam to the eest coost of the lond of Moab, and settide tentis biyende Arnon, nether he wolde entre in to the termes of Moab; for Arnon is the ende of the lond of Moab.
19 And so Israel sente messangeris to Seon, kyng of Ammorreis, that dwellide in Esebon; and thei seiden to hym, Suffre thou, that Y passe thorouy thi lond `til to the ryuer.
20 And he dispiside the wordis of Israel, and suffride not hym passe bi hise termes, but with a multitude with out noumbre gaderid to gidere he yede out ayens Israel, and ayenstood strongli.
21 And the Lord bitook hym with al his oost in to the hondis of Israel; and Israel smoot hym, and hadde in possessioun al the lond of Ammorrey,
22 dwellere of that cuntrey, and al the coostis therof fro Arnon `til to Jaboch, and fro the wildirnesse `til to Jordan.
23 Therfor the Lord God of Israel distriede Ammorrey, fiytynge ayens hym for his puple Israel. And wolt thou now haue in possessioun `his lond? Whether not tho thingis whiche Chamos, thi god, hadde in possessioun, ben due to thee bi riyt?
24 Forsothe tho thingis whiche `oure Lord God ouercomere gat, schulen falle in to oure possessioun;
25 no but in hap thou art betere than Balach, the sone of Sephor, kyng of Moab, ether thou maist preue, that he stryuede ayens Israel, and fauyt ayens hym,
26 whanne he dwellide in Esebon, and in townes therof, and in Aroer, and in townes therof, and in alle citees biyende Jordan, bi thre hundrid yeer. Whi in so myche time assaieden ye no thing on this axyng ayen?
27 Therfor not Y do synne ayens thee, but thou doist yuel ayens me, and bryngist in batels not iust to me; the Lord, iuge of this dai, deme bitwixe the sones of Israel and bitwixe the sones of Amon.
28 And the kyng of the sones of Amon nolde assente to the wordis of Jepte, whiche he sente bi messangeris.
29 Therfor the spirit of the Lord was maad on Jepte, and he cumpasside Galaad and Manasses, Maspha and Galaad; and he passide fro thennus to the sones of Amon,
30 and made a vow to the Lord, and seide, If thou schalt bitake the sones of Amon in to myn hondis,
31 who euer goith out first of the dores of myn hows, and cometh ayens me turnynge ayen with pees fro the sones of Amon, Y schal offre hym brent sacrifice to the Lord.
32 And Jepte yede to the sones of Amon, to fiyte ayens hem, whiche the Lord bitook in to hise hondis;
33 and he smoot fro Aroer `til to thou comest in to Mennyth, twenti citees, and `til to Abel, which is set aboute with vyneris, with ful greet veniaunce; and the sones of Amon weren maad low of the sones of Israel.
34 Forsothe whanne Jepte turnede ayen in to Maspha, his hows, his oon gendrid douyter cam to hym with tympanys and croudis; for he hadde not othere fre children.
35 And whanne `sche was seyn, he to-rente his clothis, and seide, Allas! my douytir, thou hast disseyued me, and thou art disseyued; for Y openyde my mouth to the Lord, and Y may do noon other thing.
Jephtha and Daughter
36 To whom sche answeride, My fadir, if thou openydist thi mouth to the Lord, do to me what euer thing thou bihiytist, while veniaunce and victorie of thin enemyes is grauntid to thee.
37 And sche seide to the fadir, Yyue thou to me oneli this thing, which Y biseche; suffre thou me that in two monethis Y cumpasse hillis, and biweile my maidynhed with my felowis.
38 To whom he answeride, Go thou. And he sufferide hir in two monethis. And whanne sche hadde go with hir felowis and pleiferis, sche biwepte hir maydynhed in the hillis.
39 And whanne twey monethis weren fillid, sche turnede ayen to hir fadir, and he dide to hir as he avowide; and sche knew not fleischli a man. Fro thennus a custom cam in Israel,
40 and the custom is kept, that aftir the `ende of the yeer the douytris of Israel come togidere, and biweile `the douytir of Jepte of Galaad `foure daies.