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The King Is Like Other Mortals

I also am mortal like everyone else,
a descendant of the first-formed child of earth,
and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,(A)
within the period of ten months, compacted with blood,
from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.
And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air
and fell upon the kindred earth;
my first sound was a cry, as is true of all.(B)
I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.(C)
For no king has had a different beginning of existence;
there is for all one entrance into life and one way out.(D)

Respect for Wisdom

Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.(E)
I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.(F)
Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.(G)
10 I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light
because her radiance never ceases.(H)
11 All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.(I)
12 I rejoiced in them all because wisdom leads them,
but I did not know that she was their mother.
13 I learned without guile, and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,(J)
14 for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.(K)

Prayer for Wisdom

15 May God grant me to speak with judgment
and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received,
for he is the guide even of wisdom
and the corrector of the wise.(L)
16 For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts.(M)
17 For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,
to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements,(N)
18 the beginning and end and middle of times,
the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,
19 the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,(O)
20 the natures of animals and the tempers of wild animals,
the powers of spirits[a] and the thoughts of human beings,
the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;(P)
21 I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,
22 for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.

The Nature of Wisdom

There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
agile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
23 irresistible, beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.(Q)
24 For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.(R)
25 For she is a breath of the power of God
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.(S)
26 For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.(T)
27 Although she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God and prophets,(U)
28 for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
29 She is more beautiful than the sun
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be more radiant,(V)
30 for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.


  1. 7.20 Or winds