8 Isn’t Lady Wisdom calling?
Listen; don’t you hear the voice of understanding crying out?
2 She’s taken her stand at the highest place in the city,
at the crossroads where everyone can see her.
3 There, and at the gates, at the entrance to the city,
right in front of the city doors she cries out:
4 Lady Wisdom: O people! I am calling to you;
I have a message for all humanity.
5 You gullible people, acquire insight.
You naive ones, cultivate a heart that truly understands.
6 Listen, for I am about to tell you of unparalleled excellence and beauty;
what I am about to say will set things right.
7 I will only speak the truth;
I despise evil, so it will not pass through my lips.
8 Everything I say promotes justice;
not one word is crooked, and nothing is distorted.
9 Each and every word is straight talk to perceptive people,
upright and honest to knowledge-seekers.
10 Accept my correction as being more valuable than your prized possession,
authentic knowledge more valuable than pure gold.
11 You see, no gem is more precious than Lady Wisdom—
your most extravagant desire doesn’t come close to her.
12 Lady Wisdom: I make my home with prudence;
I obtain knowledge and sound judgment.
13 If you respect the Eternal, you will grow to despise evil.
I despise wretched, vile talk
and ways of pride and arrogance.
14 Good counsel is mine, and also true wisdom.
I am understanding, and strength belongs to me.
15 It’s because of me that kings wield power
and authorities decree what is right.
16 It’s because of me that leaders and their agents govern
and all judge according to what is right.
17 I love those who love me;
those who search hard for me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are the benefit of following me;
so are lasting wealth and justice.
19 My reward is better than gold, even the purest gold;
and my profit is greater than the highest quality silver.
20 I follow the way of right living.
Follow me along the path to find justice;
21 I’m ready to meet those who love me, bestow true riches upon them,
and fill up their lives until their treasuries overflow.
22 The Eternal created me; it happened when His work was beginning,
one of His first acts long ago.
23 Before time He established me,
before the earth saw its first sunrise.
24 I was born before the deep existed,
before any springs poured out their water,
25 Before the mountains were placed on their foundations,
before the hills rolled across the land—
yes, before all this, I was brought forth.
26 When the earth was yet unformed and the fields were not yet nestled beneath the wind—
even before the first dust of the earth—
27 When He created the heavens, I was there.
When He drew a circle in the deep, dividing the oceans and the sky, I was there.
28 I was there when He established the sky.
I was there when the springs in the deep were fortified;
29 I witnessed Him lay down the shore as a boundary
and put limits on the water
And determine the foundations of the earth.
30 All this time I was close beside Him, a master craftsman.
Every day I was His delightful companion,
celebrating every minute in His presence,
31 Elated by the world He was making and all its fine creatures;
I was especially pleased with humanity.
32 So now listen to me, my children:
those who live by my ways will find true happiness.
33 Pay attention to my guidance, dare to be wise,
and don’t disregard my teachings.
34 The one who listens to me,
who carefully seeks me in everyday things
and delays action until my way is apparent, that one will find true happiness.
35 For when he recognizes and follows me, he finds a peaceful and satisfying life
and receives favor from the Eternal.
36 But heed my warning: the one who goes against me will only hurt himself,
for all who despise me are playing with fire and courting death.