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Kings Should Seek Wisdom

Listen therefore, O kings, and understand;
learn, O judges of the ends of the earth.(A)
Give ear, you who rule over multitudes
and boast of many nations.
For your dominion was given you from the Lord
and your sovereignty from the Most High;
he will search out your works and inquire into your plans.(B)
Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly
or keep the law
or walk according to the purpose of God,(C)
he will come upon you terribly and swiftly,
because severe judgment falls on those in high places.
For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy,
but the mighty will be mightily tested.(D)
For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone
or show deference to greatness,
because he himself made both small and great,
and he takes thought for all alike.(E)
But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty.
To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed,
so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.(F)
10 For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness,
and those who have been taught them will find a defense.(G)
11 Therefore set your desire on my words;
long for them, and you will be instructed.

Description of Wisdom

12 Wisdom is radiant and unfading,
and she is easily discerned by those who love her
and is found by those who seek her.(H)
13 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.(I)
14 One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,
for she will be found sitting at the gate.(J)
15 To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,
and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,(K)
16 because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,
and she graciously appears to them in their paths
and meets them in every thought.

17 The beginning of wisdom[a] is the most sincere desire for instruction,
18 and concern for instruction is love of her,
and love of her is the keeping of her laws,
and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality,(L)
19 and immortality brings one near to God,
20 so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom.(M)

21 Therefore if you delight in thrones and scepters, O monarchs over the peoples,
honor wisdom, so that you may reign forever.(N)
22 I will tell you what wisdom is and how she came to be,
and I will hide no secrets from you,
but I will trace her course from the beginning of creation
and make knowledge of her clear,
and I will not pass by the truth,(O)
23 nor will I travel in the company of sickly envy,
for envy[b] does not associate with wisdom.(P)
24 The multitude of the wise is the salvation of the world,
and a sensible king is the stability of any people.(Q)
25 Therefore be instructed by my words, and you will profit.


  1. 6.17 Gk Her beginning
  2. 6.23 Gk this