The Gifts of Wisdom
8Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice?
2On the heights, beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
4‘To you, O people, I call,
and my cry is to all that live.
5O simple ones, learn prudence;
acquire intelligence, you who lack it.
6Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right;
7for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9They are all straight to one who understands
and right to those who find knowledge.
10Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold;
11for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12I, wisdom, live with prudence,
and I attain knowledge and discretion.
13The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
14I have good advice and sound wisdom;
I have insight, I have strength.
15By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16by me rulers rule,
and nobles, all who govern rightly.
17I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.
18Riches and honour are with me,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
20I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21endowing with wealth those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
Wisdom’s Part in Creation
22The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
23Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth—
26when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world’s first bits of soil.
27When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
29when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
31rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.
32‘And now, my children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
33Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34Happy is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favour from the Lord;
36but those who miss me injure themselves;
all who hate me love death.’