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Wisdom Calls for an Audience

Isn’t wisdom calling out;
isn’t understanding raising her voice?
On top of the highest places along the road
    she stands where the roads meet.
Beside the gates, at the city entrance—
    at the entrance to the portals she cries aloud:
“I’m calling to you, men!
    What I have to say pertains[a] to all mankind!
Understand prudence, you naïve people;
    and gain an understanding heart, you foolish ones.
Listen, because I have noble things to say,
    and what I have to say[b] will reveal what is right.
For my mouth speaks the truth—
    wickedness is detestable to me.
Everything I have to say is just;
    there isn’t anything corrupt or perverse in my speech.[c]
Everything I say is sensible to someone who understands,
    and correct to those who have acquired knowledge.
10 Grab hold of my instruction in lieu of money
    and knowledge instead of the finest gold,
11 because wisdom is better than precious gems[d]
    and nothing you desire can compare to it.”

The Way of Wisdom

12 “I, wisdom, am related to[e] prudence.
    I know how to be discreet.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.
    Pride, arrogance, an evil lifestyle,
        and perverted speech I despise.
14 Counsel belongs to me,
    along with sound judgment.
I am understanding.
    Power belongs to me.
15 Kings reign by me,
    and rulers dispense justice through me.
16 By me leaders rule, as do noble officials
    and all who govern justly.[f]
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me will find me.
18 Wealth and honor accompany me,
    as do enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold,
    better[g] than even refined gold,
        and my benefit surpasses the purest silver.
20 I walk on the way of righteousness,
    along paths that are just,
21 I bequeath wealth to those who love me,
    and I will fill their treasuries.”

The Agelessness of Wisdom

22 “The Lord made me as he began his planning,[h]
    before his ancient activity commenced.
23 From eternity I was appointed,
    from the beginning,
        from before there was land.
24 When there were no ocean depths,
    I brought them[i] to birth
        at a time when there were no springs.
25 Before the mountains were shaped,
    before there were hills,
        I was bringing them[j] to birth.

26 Even though he had not made the earth, nor the fields,
    nor the world’s first grains of dust,
27 when he crafted the heavens,
    I was there—
        when he marked out a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made the clouds from above,
    when the springs of the depths were established,
29 when he set a boundary for the sea
    so the waters would not exceed his limits,[k]
        when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was with him, his master craftsman—
    I was his delight[l] daily,
        continuously rejoicing in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his inhabitable world
    and taking delight in mankind.”

The Exhortation of Wisdom

32 “So listen to me, children!
    Blessed are those who obey me.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise.
    Don’t ignore it.
34 Blessed is the person who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
        waiting at my doorways—
35 because those who find me find life
    and gain favor from the Lord.
36 But whoever sins against me destroys himself;
    everyone who hates me loves death.”


  1. Proverbs 8:4 Lit. My voice is
  2. Proverbs 8:6 Lit. my open lips
  3. Proverbs 8:8 Lit. words
  4. Proverbs 8:11 Or rubies
  5. Proverbs 8:12 Lit. wisdom, live with
  6. Proverbs 8:16 So MT; LXX reads and tyrants rule the earth
  7. Proverbs 8:19 The Heb. lacks better
  8. Proverbs 8:22 Lit. ways
  9. Proverbs 8:24 The Heb. lacks them
  10. Proverbs 8:25 The Heb. lacks them
  11. Proverbs 8:29 Lit. command
  12. Proverbs 8:30 So LXX; MT reads was filled with delight