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Wisdom Calls

Does not wisdom call,
    and understanding raise its voice?
Atop the heights[a] beside the road,
    at the crossroads she stands.
Beside gates, before towns,
    at the entrance of doors, she cries out:
“To you, O people,[b] I call,
    and my cry is to the children of humankind.
Learn prudence, O simple ones;
    fools, learn intelligence.[c]
Listen! For noble things I will speak,
    and upright things from the opening of my lips.
My mouth will utter truth,
    and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All sayings of my mouth are in righteousness;
    none of them are twisted and crooked.
All of them are straight to him who understands,
    and upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my teaching and not silver;
    may you choose knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all desires shall not compare with her.
12 I, wisdom, live with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of Yahweh is hatred of evil,
    pride, and arrogance and an evil way.
    And I hate a mouth of perversity.
14 Advice and sound judgment[d] are mine;
    I am understanding, strength is mine.[e]
15 By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree righteousness.
16 By me rulers rule,
    and nobles—all judges of righteousness.
17 I love those who love me,[f]
    and those who seek me diligently shall find me.
18 Fortune and glory are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold,[g] even refined gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20 In the way of righteousness I walk,
    in the midst of paths of justice,
21 in order to endow those who love me with wealth,
    and I will fill their treasuries.

Wisdom at Creation

22 “Yahweh possessed[h] me, the first of his ways,
    before his acts of old.[i]
23 From eternity, I was set up from the first,
    from the beginning[j] of the earth.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs of abounding[k] water.
25 Before mountains had been shaped,
    before hills, I was brought forth.
26 When he had not yet made earth and fields,
    or the first dust of the world,
27 when he established[l] the heavens, there I was,
    when he drew[m] a circle upon the face of the deep,
28 when he made[n] skies from above,
    when he founded fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned[o] his limits to the sea,
    that waters shall not transgress his command,[p]
    when he marked[q] the foundations of the earth,
30 I was beside[r] him, a master workman,
    and I was delighting day by day,
    rejoicing before him always,[s]
31 rejoicing in the world of his earth,
    and my delight was with the children of humankind.

Benefits of Following Wisdom

32 “And now, children, listen to me;
    happy are those who will keep my ways.
33 Hear teaching and be wise;
    do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the person who listens to me,
    in order to keep watch at my doors day by day,
    in order to guard the frames of my entrances.
35 For he who finds me is he who finds[t] life,
    and he obtains favor from Yahweh.
36 But he who misses me injures himself.[u]
    All those who hate me love death.”


  1. Proverbs 8:2 Literally “At a head of the heights”
  2. Proverbs 8:4 Literally “men”
  3. Proverbs 8:5 Literally “heart”
  4. Proverbs 8:14 Literally “To/for me are advice and sound judgment”
  5. Proverbs 8:14 Literally “to/for me is strength”
  6. Proverbs 8:17 Literally “her lovers”
  7. Proverbs 8:19 Literally “fine gold”
  8. Proverbs 8:22 Or “gained,” or “acquired”
  9. Proverbs 8:22 Literally “from before” or “from then”
  10. Proverbs 8:23 Hebrew “beginnings”
  11. Proverbs 8:24 Literally “made heavy”
  12. Proverbs 8:27 Literally “in his establishing”
  13. Proverbs 8:27 Literally “in his drawing”
  14. Proverbs 8:28 Literally “in his making”
  15. Proverbs 8:29 Literally “in his assigning”
  16. Proverbs 8:29 Literally “mouth”
  17. Proverbs 8:29 Literally “in his marking”
  18. Proverbs 8:30 Literally “at the place of”
  19. Proverbs 8:30 Literally “in all of time”
  20. Proverbs 8:35 Hebrew “those who find”
  21. Proverbs 8:36 Or “soul,” or “inner self”