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In Praise of Wisdom

With great understanding,
    Wisdom[a] is calling out
    as she stands at the crossroads
    and on every hill.
She stands by the city gate
    where everyone enters the city,
    and she shouts:
“I am calling out
    to each one of you!
Good sense and sound judgment
    can be yours.
    Listen, because what I say
    is worthwhile and right.
I always speak the truth
    and refuse to tell a lie.
Every word I speak is honest,
    not one is misleading
    or deceptive.

“If you have understanding,
    you will see that my words
    are just what you need.
10 Let instruction and knowledge
mean more to you
    than silver
    or the finest gold.
11 Wisdom is worth much more
than precious jewels
    or anything else you desire.”

Wisdom Speaks

12 I am Wisdom[b]—Common Sense
    is my closest friend;
    I possess knowledge
    and sound judgment.
13 If you respect the Lord,
    you will hate evil.
    I hate pride and conceit
    and deceitful lies.
14 I am strong,
    and I offer
sensible advice
    and sound judgment.
15 By my power kings govern,
    and rulers make laws
    that are fair.
16 Every honest leader rules
    with help from me.

17 I love everyone who loves me,
    and I will be found by all
    who honestly search.
18 I can make you rich and famous,
    important and successful.
19 What you receive from me
    is more valuable
    than even the finest gold
    or the purest silver.
20 I always do what is right,
21     and I give great riches
    to everyone who loves me.

22 From the beginning,
    I was with the Lord.[c]
    I was there before he began
23     to create the earth.
At the very first,
    the Lord gave life to[d] me.
24 When I was born,
    there were no oceans
    or springs of water.
25 My birth was before
mountains were formed
    or hills were put in place.
26 It happened long before God
    had made the earth
    or any of its fields
    or even the dust.

27 I was there when the Lord
    put the heavens in place
    and stretched the sky
    over the surface of the sea.
28 I was with him when he placed
    the clouds in the sky
    and created the springs
    that fill the ocean.
29 I was there when he set
boundaries for the sea
    to make it obey him,
    and when he laid foundations
    to support the earth.

30 I was right beside the Lord,
    helping him plan and build.[e]
I made him happy each day,
    and I was happy at his side.
31     I was pleased with his world
    and pleased with its people.

32 Pay attention, my children!
    Follow my advice,
    and you will be happy.
33 Listen carefully
to my instructions,
    and you will be wise.

34 Come to my home each day
and listen to me.
    You will find happiness.
35 By finding me, you find life,
    and the Lord will be pleased
    with you.
36 But if you don’t find me,
    you hurt only yourself,
    and if you hate me,
    you are in love with death.

Footnotes

  1. 8.1,12 Wisdom: See the note at 1.20.
  2. 8.1,12 Wisdom: See the note at 1.20.
  3. 8.22 From the beginning. . . with the Lord: Or “In the very beginning, the Lord created me.”
  4. 8.23 gave life to: Or “formed.”
  5. 8.30 helping. . . build: Or “like his own child.”