The Commendation of Wisdom
8 Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
On the top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, wisdom takes her stand;
Beside the gates, at the entrance to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is directed to the sons of men.
“O you naive or inexperienced [who are easily misled], understand prudence and seek astute common sense;
And, O you [closed-minded, self-confident] fools, understand wisdom [seek the insight and self-discipline that leads to godly living].(A)
“Listen, for I will speak excellent and noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
“For my mouth will utter truth,
And wickedness is repulsive and loathsome to my lips.
“All the words of my mouth are in righteousness (upright, in right standing with God);
There is nothing contrary to truth or perverted (crooked) in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands [with an open and willing mind],
And right to those who find knowledge and live by it.
“Take my instruction rather than [seeking] silver,
And take knowledge rather than choicest gold,
“For wisdom is better than rubies;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.(B)
“I, [godly] wisdom, reside with prudence [good judgment, moral courage and astute common sense],
And I find knowledge and discretion.(C)
“The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the Lord includes the hatred of evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way,
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power and strength are mine.
“By me kings reign
And rulers decide and decree justice.(D)
“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge and govern rightly.
“I love those who love me;
And those who seek me early and diligently will find me.(E)
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness (right standing with God).(F)
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield is better than choicest silver.
“I, [Wisdom, continuously] walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth and true riches,
And that I may fill their treasuries.
“The Lord created and possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old [were accomplished].
“From everlasting I was established and ordained,
From the beginning, before the earth existed, [I, godly wisdom, existed].(G)
“When there were no ocean depths I was born,
When there were no fountains and springs overflowing with water.
“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was born;(H)
While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Or the first of the dust of the earth.
“When He established the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there;
When He drew a circle upon the face of the deep,
When He made firm the skies above,
When the fountains and springs of the deep became fixed and strong,
When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the waters would not transgress [the boundaries set by] His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth—(I)
Then I was beside Him, as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight;
Rejoicing before Him always,(J)
Rejoicing in the world, His inhabited earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.(K)
“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] are they who keep my ways.(L)
“Heed (pay attention to) instruction and be wise,
And do not ignore or neglect it.
“Blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
“For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life
And obtains favor and grace from the Lord.
“But he who fails to find me or sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love and court death.”
New International Version
8 Does not wisdom call out?(A)
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:(B)
4 “To you, O people, I call out;(C)
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple,(D) gain prudence;(E)
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,(F)
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 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)
- Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
- Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
- Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
- 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
- Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child
King James Version
8 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that 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 of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do 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 them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
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, or ever the earth was.
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 was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
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 hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.