The Appeal of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the top of the elevated places along the way,
at the intersection of the paths she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates opening into the city,
at the entrance of the doorways she cries out:
4 “To you, O people, I call out,
and my voice calls to all mankind.
5 You who are naive, discern wisdom!
And you fools, understand discernment!
6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things,
and my lips will utter what is right.
7 For my mouth speaks truth,
and my lips hate wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing in them twisted or crooked.
9 All of them are clear to the discerning
and upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
and desirable things cannot be compared to her.
12 “I, wisdom, live with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate arrogant pride and the evil way
and perverse utterances.
14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me;
I possess understanding and might.
15 Kings reign by means of me,
and potentates decree righteousness;
16 by me princes rule,
as well as nobles and all righteous judges.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me,
long-lasting wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than the purest gold,
and what I produce is better than choice silver.
20 I walk in the path of righteousness,
in the pathway of justice,
21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill their treasuries.
22 The Lord created me as the beginning of his works,
before his deeds of long ago.
23 From eternity I was appointed,
from the beginning, from before the world existed.
24 When there were no deep oceans I was born,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were set in place –
before the hills – I was born,
26 before he made the earth and its fields,
or the beginning of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he marked out the horizon over the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above,
when the fountains of the deep grew strong,
29 when he gave the sea his decree
that the waters should not pass over his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him as a master craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
rejoicing before him at all times,
31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth,
and delighting in its people.
32 “So now, children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction so that you may be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching at my doors day by day,
waiting beside my doorway.
35 For the one who finds me finds life
and receives favour from the Lord.
36 But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself;
all who hate me love death.”