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The Gifts of Wisdom

Does not wisdom call
    and understanding raise her voice?(A)
On the heights, beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries out:(B)
“To you, O people, I call,
    and my cry is to all who live.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
    acquire intelligence, you who lack it.(C)
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,(D)
for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.(E)
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to one who understands
    and right to those who find knowledge.(F)
10 Take my instruction instead of silver
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,(G)
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.(H)
12 I, wisdom, live with prudence,
    and I attain knowledge and discretion.(I)
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.(J)
14 I have good advice and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.(K)
15 By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;(L)
16 by me rulers rule,
    and nobles, all who govern rightly.
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.(M)
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.(N)
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.(O)
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me
    and filling their treasuries.

Wisdom’s Part in Creation

22 “The Lord created me at the beginning[a] of his work,[b]
    the first of his acts of long ago.(P)
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.(Q)
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,(R)
26 when he had not yet made earth and fields[c]
    or the world’s first bits of soil.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,(S)
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,(T)
30     then I was beside him, like a master worker,[d]
and I was daily his[e] delight,
    playing before him always,(U)
31 playing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the human race.(V)

32 “And now, my children, listen to me:
    happy are those who keep my ways.(W)
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.(X)
35 For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the Lord,(Y)
36 but those who miss me injure themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”(Z)

Wisdom’s Feast

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars.(AA)
She has slaughtered her animals; she has mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.(AB)
She has sent out her female servants; she calls
    from the highest places in the town,(AC)
“You who are simple, turn in here!”
    To those without sense she says,(AD)
“Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.(AE)
Lay aside immaturity and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”(AF)

General Maxims

Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
    whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.(AG)
Do not rebuke a scoffer, lest he hate you;
    rebuke the wise, and he will love you.(AH)
Give instruction[f] to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
    teach the righteous, and they will gain in learning.(AI)
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.(AJ)
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
    and years will be added to your life.(AK)
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
    if you scoff, you alone will bear it.(AL)

Folly’s Invitation and Promise

13 The foolish woman is loud;
    she is ignorant and knows nothing.(AM)
14 She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the high places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
    who are going straight on their way,
16 “You who are simple, turn in here!”
    And to those without sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
    and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”(AN)
18 But they do not know that the dead[g] are there,
    that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.(AO)


  1. 8.22 Or me as the beginning
  2. 8.22 Heb way
  3. 8.26 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 8.30 Or little child
  5. 8.30 Gk: Heb lacks his
  6. 9.9 Heb lacks instruction
  7. 9.18 Heb shades

Ministers of the New Covenant

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we?(A) You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are human hearts.[a](B)

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are qualified of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our qualification is from God,(C) who has made us qualified to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.(D)

Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets,[b] came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’s face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside,(E) how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation,[c] much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!(F) 10 Indeed, what once had glory has in this respect lost its glory because of the greater glory, 11 for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with complete frankness,(G) 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that[d] was being set aside.(H) 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, the same veil is still there; it is not unveiled since in Christ it is set aside.(I) 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds,[e] 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.(J) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.(K) 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.(L)


  1. 3.3 Gk hearts of flesh
  2. 3.7 Gk on stones
  3. 3.9 Other ancient authorities read If the ministry of condemnation constituted glory
  4. 3.13 Gk of what
  5. 3.15 Gk their heart