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The Excellence of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom call out,
and understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights overlooking the road,
at the crossroads she takes her stand.
3 Beside the gates to the city,
at the entrances she cries out:
4 “To you, O men, I call out,
and my cry is to the sons of men.
5 O simple ones, learn to be shrewd;
O fools, gain understanding. a
6 Listen, for I speak of noble things,
and the opening of my lips will reveal right.
7 For my mouth will speak the truth,
and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
none are crooked or perverse.
9 They are all plain to the discerning,
and upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire compares with her.
12 I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight and strength.
15 By me kings reign,
and rulers enact just laws;
16 By me princes rule,
and all nobles who govern justly. b
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me early shall find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, pure gold,
and my harvest surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
22 The LORD created me as His first course, c
before His works of old.
23 From everlasting I was established,
from the beginning, before the earth began.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth,
when no springs were overflowing with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before He made the land or fields,
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when He established the heavens,
when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when He established the clouds above,
when the fountains of the deep gushed forth,
29 when He set a boundary for the sea,
so that the waters would not surpass His command,
when He marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was a skilled craftsman at His side,
and His delight d day by day,
rejoicing always in His presence.
31 I was rejoicing in His whole world,
delighting together in the sons of men.
32 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
for blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at the posts of my doorway.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains the favor of the LORD.
36 But he who fails to find me harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”
5 a Or instruct your minds
16 b Some Hebrew manuscripts and LXX who govern the earth
22 c Or The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way
30 d Or filled with His delight