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Wisdom 1 Common English Bible (CEB)

Seek wisdom and justice

You who judge the earth, love what is right. Set your mind on the Lord in goodness. Seek him with a sincere heart.

Those who don’t put the Lord to the test will find him. He makes himself known to those who trust him. Perverse reasoning separates people from God. His power exposes the foolish people who test him.

Wisdom will avoid a deceptive soul that plans evil. Wisdom won’t make her home in a body that is devoted to sin. A holy, instructive spirit will flee deceit and leave when ignorant people start to plot. It is ashamed to be found in the presence of wrongdoing. Wisdom is a spirit that wants only what is best for humans.

Wisdom won’t declare blasphemers to be innocent because their own words convict them. God is witness to their thoughts. Truth examines the heart and hears what is said. The Lord’s Spirit fills the whole world. It holds everything together and knows what everyone says. Therefore, those who utter unjust words don’t escape notice. Justice will expose them and not pass them by. A proper inquiry will be made into the plots of ungodly people. News of their words will reach the Lord and make their lawless deeds known. 10 God’s ear listens intently to everything anyone says. Murmurings can’t be kept secret for long. 11 So guard against useless murmuring. Keep your tongue from speaking ill. Everything you say has some consequence, even if you think that you are speaking in private. A lying mouth destroys the soul.

12 Don’t seek death through the error of your ways. Don’t invite destruction on yourself by what you do. 13 God didn’t make death. God takes no delight in the ruin of anything that lives. 14 God created everything so that it might exist. The creative forces at work in the cosmos are life-giving. There is no destructive poison in them. The underworld[a] doesn’t rule on earth. 15 Doing what is right means living forever.

The deluded reasoning of unrighteous people

16 In spite of this, the ungodly called out to death by what they did and said. Thinking that death was their friend, they lost their resolve and made a treaty with death. Let them have each other: death and the ungodly belong together!


  1. Wisdom 1:14 Gk Hades
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Wisdom 1 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Exhortation to Uprightness

Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord with uprightness,
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
For perverse thoughts separate men from God,
and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
For a holy and disciplined spirit[a] will flee from deceit,
and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.

For wisdom is a kindly spirit
and will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words;
because God is witness of his inmost feelings,
and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said;
therefore no one who utters unrighteous things will escape notice,
and justice, when it punishes, will not pass him by.
For inquiry will be made into the counsels of an ungodly man,
and a report of his words will come to the Lord,
to convict him of his lawless deeds;
10 because a jealous ear hears all things,
and the sound of murmurings does not go unheard.
11 Beware then of useless murmuring,
and keep your tongue from slander;
because no secret word is without result,[b]
and a lying mouth destroys the soul.

12 Do not invite death by the error of your life,
nor bring on destruction by the works of your hands;
13 because God did not make death,
and he does not delight in the death of the living.
14 For he created all things that they might exist,
and the generative forces[c] of the world are wholesome,
and there is no destructive poison in them;
and the dominion[d] of Hades is not on earth.
15 For righteousness is immortal.

Life as the Ungodly See It

16 But ungodly men by their words and deeds summoned death;[e]
considering him a friend, they pined away,
and they made a covenant with him,
because they are fit to belong to his party.


  1. 1.5 a holy and disciplined spirit: Literally, “a holy spirit of discipline.” Verse 6 seems to suggest here a personification of the Holy Spirit; cf. also verse 7: the Spirit of the Lord.
  2. Wisdom 1:11 Or will go unpunished
  3. Wisdom 1:14 Or the creatures
  4. Wisdom 1:14 Or palace
  5. Wisdom 1:16 Gk him
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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