What does Middle English "bihiȝten" mean?

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Wycliffe's Bible (page 87)



"And thei herden, and ioyeden, and bihiyten to yyue hym money. And he souyt hou he schulde bitraye hym couenabli."

King James Bible:

"...And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him."

  • Pretty sure that says behei3ten (can’t type the yogh on my phone), with the e written on top of the i as was often done. Regardless, since yogh is the orthographic equivalent of gh, it should be rather straightforward to figure out what beh(e)i3ten corresponds to. Jul 7, 2019 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


behoten = to promise

I find that script hard to read so can't tell about how accurate the ascii is. I searched for a Middle English Dictionary and then tried your text on it and it gave no results. Then I tried other things for the 'y' in 'bihiyten': 'h', 'th', 'g', and then 'gh' which finally worked.

This is plausibly cognate with modern English 'behest'.

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