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Wisdom’s autobiography

Doesn’t Wisdom cry out
    and Understanding shout?
Atop the heights along the path,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand.
By the gate before the city,
    at the entrances she shouts:

I cry out to you, people;
    my voice goes out to all of humanity.
Understand skill, you who are naive.
    Take this to heart, you fools.
Listen, for I speak things that are correct;
    from my lips comes what is right.
My mouth utters the truth;
    my lips despise wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    nothing in them is twisted or crooked.
All of them are straightforward to those who understand,
    and upright for the knowledgeable.
10 Take my instruction rather than silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 Wisdom is better than pearls;
    nothing is more delightful than she.

12 I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence;
    I have found knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
    I hate pride and arrogance,
        the path of evil and corrupt speech.
14 I have advice and ability,
    as well as understanding and strength.
15 By me kings rule,
    and princes issue righteous decrees.
16 By me rulers govern,
    and officials judge righteously.[a]
17 I love those who love me;
    those who seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    as well as enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold;
    my crops are better than choice silver.
20 I walk on the way of righteousness,
    on the paths of justice,
21     to provide for those who love me
        and to fill up their treasuries.

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his way,
    before his deeds long in the past.
23 I was formed in ancient times,
    at the beginning, before the earth was.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs flowing with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
    before the hills, I was brought forth;
26     before God[b] made the earth and the fields
    or the first of the dry land.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
    when he marked out the horizon on the deep sea,
28     when he thickened the clouds above,
    when he secured the fountains of the deep,
29     when he set a limit for the sea,
        so the water couldn’t go beyond his command,
    when he marked out the earth’s foundations.
30 I was beside him as a master of crafts.[c]
    I was having fun,
    smiling before him all the time,
31     frolicking with his inhabited earth
    and delighting in the human race.

32 Now children, listen to me:
    Happy are those who keep to my ways!
33 Listen to instruction, and be wise;
    don’t avoid it.
34 Happy are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorposts.
35 Those who find me find life;
    they gain favor from the Lord.
36 Those who offend me injure themselves;
all those who hate me love death.


  1. Proverbs 8:16 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 8:26 Heb lacks God.
  3. Proverbs 8:30 Heb uncertain

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