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The Virtue of Wisdom

Does not wisdom cry out,
    and understanding lift up her voice?
She stands on the top of high places,
    by the way in the places of the paths.
She cries out at the gates,
    at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
    and my voice is to the sons of men.
O you simple, understand wisdom,
    and you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Hear, for I will speak of excellent things,
    and from the opening of my lips will be right things;
for my mouth will speak truth,
    and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness;
    there is nothing crooked or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 for wisdom is better than rubies,
    and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and find out knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
    pride and arrogance
    and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
    I am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
    and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule,
    and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me early will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    yes, enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold,
    yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness,
    in the midst of the paths of justice,
21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
    and I will fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way,
    before His works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting,
    from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth,
    when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
    before the hills I was brought forth;
26 while as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
    or the first dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
    when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when He established the clouds above,
    when He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 when He gave to the sea His decree,
    that the waters should not pass His commandment,
when He appointed the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him;
and I was daily His delight,
    rejoicing always before Him,
31 rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth,
    and my delights were with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore listen to me, O you children,
    for blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise,
    and do not refuse it.
34 Blessed is the man who hears me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
    and will obtain favor of the Lord;
36 but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
    all those who hate me love death.”