Wisdom’s Appeal

Doesn’t wisdom(A) call out?
Doesn’t understanding make her voice heard?
At the heights overlooking the road,
at the crossroads, she takes her stand.
Beside the gates(B) leading into the city,
at the main entrance, she cries out:
“People, I call out to you;
my cry is to the children of Adam.
Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced;
develop common sense, you who are foolish.
Listen, for I speak of noble things,
and what my lips say is right.
For my mouth tells the truth,(C)
and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
All the words from my mouth are righteous;
none of them are deceptive or perverse.(D)
All of them are clear to the perceptive,(E)
and right to those who discover knowledge.
10 Accept my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.(F)
11 For wisdom is better than jewels,(G)
and nothing desirable can equal it.(H)
12 I, wisdom, share a home with shrewdness
and have knowledge and discretion.(I)
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil.(J)
I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct,
and perverse speech.
14 I possess good advice and sound wisdom;[a]
I have understanding and strength.(K)
15 It is by me that kings reign(L)
and rulers enact just law;
16 by me, princes lead,
as do nobles and all righteous judges.[b]
17 I love those who love me,(M)
and those who search for me find me.(N)
18 With me are riches and honor,(O)
lasting wealth and righteousness.(P)
19 My fruit is better than solid gold,
and my harvest than pure silver.(Q)
20 I walk in the ways of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 giving wealth as an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.

22 “The Lord acquired[c] me
at the beginning of his creation,[d]
before his works of long ago.(R)
23 I was formed[e] before ancient times,
from the beginning, before the earth began.(S)
24 I was born
when there were no watery depths(T)
and no springs filled with water.
25 Before the mountains were established,
prior to the hills,(U) I was given birth—
26 before he made the land, the fields,
or the first soil on earth.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,(V)
when he laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,(W)
28 when he placed the skies above,
when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,
29 when he set a limit for the sea
so that the waters would not violate his command,(X)
when he laid out the foundations of the earth.(Y)
30 I was a skilled craftsman[f] beside him.(Z)
I was his[g] delight every day,
always rejoicing before him.
31 I was rejoicing in his inhabited world,(AA)
delighting in the children of Adam.(AB)

32 “And now, sons, listen to me;
those who keep my ways are happy.(AC)
33 Listen to instruction and be wise;(AD)
don’t ignore it.
34 Anyone who listens to me is happy,(AE)
watching at my doors every day,
waiting by the posts of my doorway.
35 For the one who finds me finds life(AF)
and obtains favor from the Lord,(AG)
36 but the one who misses me[h] harms himself;(AH)
all who hate me love death.”(AI)


  1. 8:14 Or resourcefulness
  2. 8:16 Some Hb mss, LXX read nobles who judge the earth
  3. 8:22 Or possessed, or made
  4. 8:22 Lit way
  5. 8:23 Or consecrated
  6. 8:30 Or a confidant, or a child, or was constantly
  7. 8:30 LXX; MT omits his
  8. 8:36 Or who sins against me

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?(A)
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:(B)
“To you, O people, I call out;(C)
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple,(D) gain prudence;(E)
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,(F)
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,(G)
11 for wisdom is more precious(H) than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.(I)

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.(J)
13 To fear the Lord(K) is to hate evil;(L)
    I hate(M) pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power.(N)
15 By me kings reign
    and rulers(O) issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,(P)
    and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,(Q)
    and those who seek me find me.(R)
18 With me are riches and honor,(S)
    enduring wealth and prosperity.(T)
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;(U)
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.(V)
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,(W)
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.(X)

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;(Y)
25 before the mountains were settled in place,(Z)
    before the hills, I was given birth,(AA)
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.(AB)
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,(AC)
    when he marked out the horizon(AD) on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above(AE)
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,(AF)
29 when he gave the sea its boundary(AG)
    so the waters would not overstep his command,(AH)
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.(AI)
30     Then I was constantly[e] at his side.(AJ)
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.(AK)

32 “Now then, my children, listen(AL) to me;
    blessed are(AM) those who keep my ways.(AN)
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen(AO) to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me(AP) find life(AQ)
    and receive favor from the Lord.(AR)
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;(AS)
    all who hate me love death.”(AT)


  1. Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
  2. Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
  3. Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
  4. Proverbs 8:22 Or The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The Lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work
  5. Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child