The Excellence of Wisdom
1Doth not wisdom cry aloud, and prudence put forth her voice ?
2Standing in the top of the highest places by the way, in the midst of the paths.
3Beside the gates of the city, in the very doors she speaketh, saying:
4O ye men, to you I call, and my voice is to the sons of men.
5O little ones, understand subtilty, and ye unwise, take notice.
6Hear, for I will speak of great things: and my lips shall be opened to preach right things.
7My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness.
8All my words are just, there is nothing wicked nor perverse in them.
9They are right to them that understand, and just to them that find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not money: choose knowledge rather than gold.
1111For wisdom is better than all the most precious things: and whatsoever may be desired cannot be compared to
12I wisdom dwell in counsel, and am present in learned thoughts.
13The fear of the Lord hateth evil: I hate arrogance, and pride, and every wicked way, and a mouth with a double tongue.
14Counsel and equity is mine, prudence is mine, strength is mine.
15By me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things,
16By me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice.
17I love them that love me: and they that in the morning early watch for me, shall find me.
18With me are riches and glory, glorious riches and justice.
19For my fruit is better than gold and the precious stone, and my blossoms than choice silver.
20I walk in the way of justice, in the midst of the paths of judgment,
21That I may enrich them that love me, and may fill their treasures.
22The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning.
23I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.
24The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out:
25The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth:
26He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.
27When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths:
28When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters:
29When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth;
30I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times;
31Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.
32Now therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways.
33Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not.
34Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors.
35He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord:
36But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death.