The Commendation of Wisdom
1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
On the top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, wisdom takes her stand;
Beside the gates, at the entrance to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is directed to the sons of men.
“O you naive or inexperienced [who are easily misled], understand prudence and seek astute common sense;
And, O you [closed-minded, self-confident] fools, understand wisdom [seek the insight and self-discipline that leads to godly living].
“Listen, for I will speak excellent and noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
“For my mouth will utter truth,
And wickedness is repulsive and loathsome to my lips.
“All the words of my mouth are in righteousness (upright, in right standing with God);
There is nothing contrary to truth or perverted (crooked) in them.
“They are all straightforward to him who understands [with an open and willing mind],
And right to those who find knowledge and live by it.
“Take my instruction rather than [seeking] silver,
And take knowledge rather than choicest gold,
“For wisdom is better than rubies;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
“I, [godly] wisdom, reside with prudence [good judgment, moral courage and astute common sense],
And I find knowledge and discretion.
“The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the Lord includes the hatred of evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way,
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power and strength are mine.
“By me kings reign
And rulers decide and decree justice.
“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge and govern rightly.
“I love those who love me;
And those who seek me early and diligently will find me.
“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness (right standing with God).
“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield is better than choicest silver.
“I, [Wisdom, continuously] walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth and true riches,
And that I may fill their treasuries.
“The Lord created and possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old [were accomplished].
“From everlasting I was established and ordained,
From the beginning, before the earth existed, [I, godly wisdom, existed].
“When there were no ocean depths I was born,
When there were no fountains and springs overflowing with water.
“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was born;
While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Or the first of the dust of the earth.
“When He established the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there;
When He drew a circle upon the face of the deep,
When He made firm the skies above,
When the fountains and springs of the deep became fixed and strong,
When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the waters would not transgress [the boundaries set by] His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth—
Then I was beside Him, as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight;
Rejoicing before Him always,
Rejoicing in the world, His inhabited earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] are they who keep my ways.
“Heed (pay attention to) instruction and be wise,
And do not ignore or neglect it.
“Blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
“For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life
And obtains favor and grace from the Lord.
“But he who fails to find me or sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love and court death.”