The Excellence of Wisdom

Does not (A)wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the [a]high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O you [b]simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Listen, for I will speak of (B)excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 (C)For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
13 (D)The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
(E)Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And (F)the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, (G)I have strength.
15 (H)By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of [c]the earth.
17 (I)I love those who love me,
And (J)those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 (K)Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20 I [d]traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

22 “The(L) Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 (M)I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 (N)Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the [e]fields,
Or the [f]primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 (O)When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When (P)He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 (Q)Then I was beside Him as [g]a master craftsman;
(R)And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And (S)my delight was with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For (T)blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 (U)Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And (V)obtains favor from the Lord;
36 But he who sins against me (W)wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”


  1. Proverbs 8:2 Lit. heights
  2. Proverbs 8:5 naive
  3. Proverbs 8:16 MT, Syr., Tg., Vg. righteousness; LXX, Bg., some mss. and editions earth
  4. Proverbs 8:20 walk about on
  5. Proverbs 8:26 outer places
  6. Proverbs 8:26 Lit. beginning of the dust
  7. Proverbs 8:30 A Jewish tradition one brought up

The Way of Wisdom

Wisdom has (A)built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
(B)She has slaughtered her meat,
(C)She has mixed her wine,
She has also [a]furnished her table.
She has sent out her maidens,
She cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever(D) is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Come,(E) eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
(F)Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
(G)Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, (H)and he will increase in learning.

10 “The(I) fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 (J)For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 (K)If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”

The Way of Folly

13 (L)A foolish woman is [b]clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat (M)by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
16 “Whoever(N) is [c]simple, let him turn in here”;
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 “Stolen(O) water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that (P)the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of [d]hell.


  1. Proverbs 9:2 arranged
  2. Proverbs 9:13 boisterous
  3. Proverbs 9:16 naive
  4. Proverbs 9:18 Or Sheol

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