The Excellence of Wisdom
1Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2She takes her stand on the top of the 8:2 Lit. heightshigh hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
3She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5O you 8:5 naivesimple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
6Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
7For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
9They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
13The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
15By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of 8:16 MT, Syr., Tg., Vg. righteousness; LXX, Bg., some mss. and editions earththe earth.
17I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20I 8:20 walk about ontraverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
22“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26While as yet He had not made the earth or the 8:26 outer placesfields,
Or the 8:26 Lit. beginning of the dustprimal dust of the world.
27When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30Then I was beside Him as 8:30 A Jewish tradition one brought upa master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.
32“Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
36But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”