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Praising Wisdom

Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the hill beside the way, where the paths meet. Beside the gates in front of the town, at the open doors, she cries out, “I call to you, O men. My voice is to the sons of men. O child-like ones, learn to use wisdom. O fools, make your mind understand. Listen, for I will speak great things. What is right will come from my lips. For my mouth will speak the truth. My lips hate wrong-doing. All the words of my mouth are right and good. There is nothing in them that is against the truth. They are all clear to him who understands, and right to those who find much learning. 10 Take my teaching instead of silver. Take much learning instead of fine gold. 11 For wisdom is better than stones of great worth. All that you may desire cannot compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, live with understanding, and I find much learning and careful thinking. 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate what is sinful. I hate pride, self-love, the way of sin, and lies. 14 I have teaching and wisdom. I have understanding and power. 15 By me kings rule and rulers make laws that are fair. 16 By me rulers rule, and all the princes rule on the earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who look for me with much desire will find me. 18 Riches and honor are mine, lasting riches and being right with God. 19 My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold. What I give is better than fine silver. 20 I walk in the way that is right with God, in the center of the ways that are fair. 21 I give riches to those who love me, and fill their store-houses.

22 “The Lord made me at the beginning of His work, before His first works long ago. 23 I was set apart long ago, from the beginning, before the earth was. 24 I was born when there were no seas, when there were no pools full of water. 25 I was born before the mountains and hills were in their places. 26 It was before He had made the earth or the fields, or the first dust of the world. 27 I was there when He made the heavens, and when He drew a mark around the top of the sea. 28 I was there when He put the skies above, and when He put the wells of the waters in their place. 29 I was there when He marked out the places for the sea, so that the waters would not go farther than what He said. I was there when He marked out the ground for the earth. 30 I was beside Him as the leading workman. I was His joy every day. I was always happy when I was near Him. 31 I was happy in the world, His earth, and found joy in the sons of men.

32 “So now, O sons, listen to me, for happy are they who keep my ways. 33 Hear my teaching and be wise. Do not turn away from it. 34 Happy is the man who listens to me, watching every day at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35 For he who finds me finds life, and gets favor from the Lord. 36 But he who misses me hurts himself. All those who hate me love death.”