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