Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise its voice? 2 Wisdom takes its stand on high ground, by the wayside where the roads meet, 3 near the gates to the city. At the entrance wisdom sings its song, 4 “I am calling to all of you, and my appeal is to all people. 5 You gullible people, learn how to be sensible. You fools, get a heart that has understanding.[a] 6 Listen! I am speaking about noble things, and my lips will say what is right. 7 My mouth expresses the truth, and wickedness is disgusting to my lips. 8 Everything I say is fair, and there is nothing twisted or crooked in it. 9 All of it is clear to a person who has understanding and right to those who have acquired knowledge. 10 Take my discipline, not silver, and my knowledge rather than fine gold, 11 because wisdom is better than jewels. Nothing you desire can equal it.
12 “I, Wisdom, live with insight, and I acquire knowledge and foresight. 13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and twisted speech. 14 Advice and priceless wisdom are mine. I, Understanding, have strength. 15 Through me kings reign, and rulers decree fair laws. 16 Through me princes rule, so do nobles and all fair judges. 17 I love those who love me. Those eagerly looking for me will find me. 18 I have riches and honor, lasting wealth and righteousness. 19 What I produce is better than gold, pure gold. What I yield is better than fine silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, on the paths of justice, 21 to give an inheritance to those who love me and to fill their treasuries.
Wisdom as Creator
22 “The Lord already possessed me long ago, when his way began, before any of his works. 23 I was appointed from everlasting from the first, before the earth began. 24 I was born before there were oceans, before there were springs filled with water. 25 I was born before the mountains were settled in their places and before the hills, 26 when he had not yet made land or fields or the first dust of the world.
27 “When he set up the heavens, I was there. When he traced the horizon on the surface of the ocean, 28 when he established the skies above, when he determined the currents in the ocean, 29 when he set a limit for the sea so the waters would not overstep his command, when he traced the foundations of the earth, 30 I was beside him as a master craftsman.[b] I made him happy day after day, I rejoiced in front of him all the time, 31 found joy in his inhabited world, and delighted in the human race.
Wisdom as Lifegiver
32 “Now, sons, listen to me. Blessed are those who follow my ways. 33 Listen to discipline, and become wise. Do not leave my ways. 34 Blessed is the person who listens to me, watches at my door day after day, and waits by my doorposts. 35 Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord. 36 Whoever sins against me harms himself. All those who hate me love death.”
Wisdom Hosts a Banquet
Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat. She has mixed her wine. She has set her table. 3 She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the highest places in the city, 4 “Whoever is gullible turn in here!”
She says to a person without sense, 5 “Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Stop being gullible and live. Start traveling the road to understanding.”
Wisdom Prolongs Life
7 Whoever corrects a mocker receives abuse. Whoever warns a wicked person gets hurt. 8 Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you. Warn a wise person, and he will love you. 9 Give advice to a wise person, and he will become even wiser. Teach a righteous person, and he will learn more.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 You will live longer because of me, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will help you. If you mock, you alone will be held responsible.
Stupidity Imitates Wisdom’s Banquet
13 The woman Stupidity is loud, gullible, and ignorant.[c] 14 She sits at the doorway of her house. She is enthroned on the high ground of the city 15 and calls to those who pass by, those minding their own business, 16 “Whoever is gullible turn in here!”
She says to a person without sense, 17 “Stolen waters are sweet, and food eaten in secret is tasty.” 18 But he does not know that the souls of the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.
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