The Commendation of Wisdom
1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
6Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
7For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
13The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
20I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
22“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
27When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
32“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
34Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
36But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”