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