The Pardoner's Tale l.423-479: The rioters meet an Old Man
Synopsis of l. 423-479
The three youths encounter an Old Man whose advanced years they jeer at. The Old Man replies that he doesn't choose to be old and advises them that they should respect the elderly. He makes to leave but one rioter – here called a ‘hasardour' or gambler – roughly detains him, accusing him of being Death's spy, seeking out young folk for Death to kill. He threatens the Old Man (with further blasphemy), demanding to know where Death may be found. The Old Man then gives them directions.
Commentary on l.423-479
l.429 carl: bloke, mate. A slang word
With sorry grace ‘bad luck!'
l.430 artow forwrapped save: are you (art thou) completely wrapped up except for…
l.435-50 The Old Man's speech is full of mysteries:
- He has tried unsuccessfully to find a young man who will swap his youth for the Old Man's years
- Death has refused to take the man's life
- Mother nature has barred him from returning to the earth (The idea of humankind being made from the earth and returning to it at death comes from the earliest chapters of the Bible – Genesis3:19).
Chaucer is not directly teaching but inviting the reader to puzzle out individually what truths about life, death, and wise attitudes to them, might be contained here
l.434 Ynde: India. The suggestion is something like ‘nowhere on the face of the earth':
l.437 moot I han: must I have (i.e. keep)
l.438 Goddes wille: Chaucer reminds his audience that human decisions about when life should end stand in opposition to the Christian belief in God's jurisdiction over life and death
l.440 kaitif: wretch
l.444 vanysshe he is dwindling away, his flesh shrinking with age
l.446 cheste: a chest full of clothes and valuables in his private room (chamber). The Old Man wants to swap his material wealth for a shroud – it is of no value
- Once again, the themes of death and money come together.
l.448 heyre clout: a cloth made of horsehair:
- This would have been very scratchy and therefore horsehair underwear was sometimes worn by people who wanted to ignore or humble their fleshly desires (as did Thomas Becket). The aim of this was to concentrate on the soul rather than the body's needs and earthly pleasures
- Here, the cloth mentioned is clearly also envisaged as a winding sheet for a dead body. But its associations with penitence and mortifying the flesh bring extra resonances into the passage.
l.449 do that grace: grant me that gift
l.450 welked: wrinkled, shriveled:
- Chaucer makes the theme of Nature run through his poetry. Here, although the age for natural death has arrived, the man cannot die.
l.454-73 The Old Man chides the men for their rudeness, reminding them of biblical instructions to honour older people
l.451-2 curteisie … vileyneye: Originally ‘the behaviour of the court' and ‘the behaviour of a serf', but by this period they mean ‘civilised, polite behaviour' (a bit stronger then mere ‘courtesy' today) and ‘ill-bred, rude'
l.453 trespasse in word or elles in deede: the Old Man's words echo the language associated with Christian worship, from the Lord's Prayer:
- Eng. forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
- Lat. dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris
and (the English translation of) the confession familiar to Chaucer's audience from the service of prime on Sundays:
- Eng. I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed
- Lat. quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere
l.454-9 The Old Man quotes Leviticus 19:32 and Proverbs 23:22 (‘Despise no man for being old', here interpreted as ‘treat the elderly as you want to be treated once you are old'). Chaucer's audience would also be very familiar with the fifth of the Ten Commandments - ‘Honour thy father and thy mother' (Exodus 20:12).
l.455 hoor upon his heed: white-haired (a word that remains in Modern English in the term ‘hoar frost')
l.460,62 The Old Man ends with the kind of blessing a priest might use at the end of a church service, which makes the blasphemous response of the second rioter all the more shocking
l.464 by Seint John: the rioter swears by John, one of Jesus' closest Apostles
l.469 by the hooly sacrament: the rioter swears by the wafer or bread used to represent the body of Christ in the service of Mass (also known as the Eucharist or Holy Communion)
l.472 if that yow be so leef: ‘if you are so eager'
l.478-9 The Old Man again ends with a priest-like blessing, reminding the youths (as does Chaucer his audience) that because God redeemed (boughte again) humankind, the offer of salvation (God save yow) and moral/spiritual improvement (yow amende) is still available to the rioters
A mysterious passage
In the previous section, the rioters were puzzled by the description of death. Now the reader, too, is puzzled by who or what the Old Man is. Chaucer expects us to read beyond the literal and think about what it means when the rioters set out to find Death but first find an Old Man. What is his relation to Death, we wonder, and why is he also associated with the language of the church?
For further information on the Old Man, see Characterisation > The Old Man
- Compare in detail the greeting given by the Old Man to the rioters and their response:
- How would you interpret l. 440?
- What can be meant - what is it that cannot die?
- Pick out other details about the Old Man which give him an ‘other-worldly' quality
- On l. 430 we are told the response is made by the ‘proudeste of thise riotoures'
- What is the effect of that detail?
- Where else does Chaucer present the riotors as proud and how does that shape your attitude to them?
- Is there anything in what is happening here to explain why pride is regarded as the worst of the seven deadly sins?
- The phrase ‘gan looke in his visage' (l. 434) gives the impression that the Old Man stared at the youth intently:
- What are the effects of this way of responding to the rioter's question?
- It is possible to interpret the Old Man as Death:
- Do you agree or do you think that he should be interpreted in another way?
- Could the figure have several potential meanings simultaneously?
- How do you react to Chaucer's inclusion of the word ‘croked' in l. 473?
- What themes does Chaucer's wording of the Old Man's farewell introduce?
- What is the effect for the reader?
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, Did God actually say, You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? 2And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4But the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you? 10And he said, I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. 11He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? 12The man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate. 14The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. 16To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. 17And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. 20The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever - 23therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. 7In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; 9they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon. 12The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come. 13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. 15So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound. 20The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
1And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. 13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. 4Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God. 5When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, 8and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people. 9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God. 11You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 13You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. 15You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. 17You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. 19You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material. 20If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free; 21but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed. 23When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten. 24And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the Lord your God. 26You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. 27You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. 29Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. 30You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. 31Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God. 32You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. 33When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 35You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. 36You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.
1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. 3Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 4Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. 5And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will. 6It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. 7And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted. 8Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 9And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. 11Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. 12And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 13Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. 14Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. 15Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. 16Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor; I am the LORD. 17Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. 18Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD. 19Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee. 20And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him. 23And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. 24But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal. 25And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God. 26Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. 27Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. 29Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness. 30Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. 31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. 32Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD. 33And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 34But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 35Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. 36Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, 2and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. 3Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. 4Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. 5When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven. 6Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, 7for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. Eat and drink! he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words. 9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words. 10Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless, 11for their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you. 12Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. 13Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. 15My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. 16My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what is right. 17Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. 18Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. 19Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. 20Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. 22Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. 24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. 25Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. 26My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well. 28She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind. 29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 31Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. 32In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. 34You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. 35They struck me, you will say, but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.
1When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: 2And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 3Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. 4Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. 6Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. 8The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words. 9Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. 10Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: 11For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. 12Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. 13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. 15My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. 16Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. 17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. 18For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. 19Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. 20Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 21For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. 22Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. 23Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. 24The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. 25Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. 26My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. 27For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 28She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men. 29Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1And God spoke all these words, saying, 2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3You shall have no other gods before me. 4You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13You shall not murder. 14You shall not commit adultery. 15You shall not steal. 16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. 18Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19and said to Moses, You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die. 20Moses said to the people, Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin. 21The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. 22And the Lord said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.
1And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13Thou shalt not kill. 14Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15Thou shalt not steal. 16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's. 18And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. 22And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament scriptures inherited from Judaism, together with the New Testament, drawn from writings produced from c.40-125CE, which describe the life of Jesus and the establishment of the Christian church.
1. Thomas, St. One of the twelve apostles 2. St Thomas Becket, (?1118-70). Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162) and martyr.
The spirit which gives life to a human being; the part which lives on after death; a person's inner being (personality, intellect, emotions and will) which distinguishes them from animals.
A prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples.
1. The part of a service of Christian worship where people say sorry to God for not living according to his will.
2. The practice of privately telling a priest of wrongdoing.
Medieval monks divided their days and nights according to a regular round of monastic worship during each twenty-four hours. Prime was one of the morning services held at six a.m.
The giving of divine favour by God which can be in material or spiritual terms; declaration of God's favour; the act of giving thanks to God.
A person whose role is to carry out religious functions.
One of the three closest disciples to Christ. Traditionally, John is thought to have written the Fourth Gospel, the three Epistles of John (1, 2, & 3 John) and the Book of Revelation.
The name given to the man believed by Christians to be the Son of God. Also given the title Christ, meaning 'anointed one' or Messiah. His life is recorded most fully in the Four Gospels.
The twelve disciples chosen and commissioned by Jesus to share his mission.
Title (eventually used as name) given to Jesus, refering to an anointed person set apart for a special task such as a king.
The central religious service of the Roman Catholic Church, incorporating praise, intercession and readings from scripture. The central action is the consecration of the bread and wine by the priest.
An act of remembrance in which Christians consume bread and wine in the way that Jesus demonstrated at the Last Supper before his betrayal and death.
The central act of Christian worship in which bread and wine are consumed in the way that Jesus demonstrated at the Last Supper before his betrayal and death.
Literally, to 'buy back'. In Christian belief, the redemption of humanity was achieved by Jesus who in his death on the cross made a complete sacrifice sufficient to pay for the sins of the world.
In the Bible, salvation is seen as God's commitment to save or rescue his people from sin (and other dangers) and to establish his kingdom.