In Praise of Wisdom
Proverbs 8, 9
1 Wisdom is calling!
Understanding is raising her voice!
2 On the heights along the road,
where the paths meet, she is standing;
3 by the gates leading into the city,
at the entrances, she cries aloud:
4 “People, I am calling you,
raising my voice to all mankind.
5 You who don’t direct your lives,
as for you, you fools,
get some common sense!
6 “Listen! I will say worthwhile things;
when I speak, my words are right.
7 My mouth says what is true,
because my lips detest evil.
8 All the words from my mouth are righteous;
nothing false or crooked is in them.
9 They are all clear to those who understand
and straightforward to those who gain knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, rather than silver;
knowledge, rather than the finest gold.
11 For wisdom is better than pearls;
nothing you want can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, live together with caution;
I attain knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of Adonai [God, the Lord] is hatred of evil.
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil ways and duplicitous speech.
14 Good advice is mine, and common sense;
I am insight, power is mine.
15 By me kings reign,
and princes make just laws.
16 By me princes govern,
nobles too, and all the earth’s rulers.
17 I love those who love me;
and those who seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
lasting wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, fine gold,
my produce better than the finest silver.
20 I follow the course of righteousness
along the paths of justice,
21 to endow with wealth those who love me
and fill their treasuries.
22 “Adonai made me as the beginning of his way,
the first of his ancient works.
23 I was appointed before the world,
before the start, before the earth’s beginnings.
24 When I was brought forth, there were no ocean depths,
no springs brimming with water.
25 I was brought forth before the hills,
before the mountains had settled in place;
26 he had not yet made the earth, the fields,
or even the earth’s first grains of dust.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there.
When he drew the horizon’s circle on the deep,
28 when he set the skies above in place,
when the fountains of the deep poured forth,
29 when he prescribed boundaries for the sea,
so that its water would not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 I was with him as someone he could trust.
For me, every day was pure delight,
as I played in his presence all the time,.
31 playing everywhere on his earth,
and delighting to be with humankind.
32 “Therefore, children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and grow wise;
do not refuse it.
34 How happy the person who listens to me,
who watches daily at my gates
and waits outside my doors.
35 For he who finds me finds life
and obtains the favor of Adonai.
36 But he who misses me harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”
1 Wisdom has built herself a house;
she has carved her seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her food, spiced her wine,
and she has set her table.
3 She has sent out her young girls [with invitations];
she calls from the heights of the city,
4 “Whoever is unsure of himself, turn in here!”
To someone weak-willed she says,
5 “Come and eat my food!
Drink the wine I have mixed!
6 Don’t stay unsure of yourself, but live!
Walk in the way of understanding!”
7 “He who corrects a scoffer only gets insulted;
reproving a wicked man becomes his blemish.
8 If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you;
if you reprove a wise man, he will love you.
9 Give to a wise man, and he grows still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will learn still more.
10 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of holy ones is understanding.
11 For with me, your days will be increased;
years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom helps you;
but if you scoff, you bear the consequences alone.”
13 The foolish woman is coarse;
she doesn’t think, and she doesn’t know a thing.
14 She sits at the door of her house
or on a seat at the heights of the city,
15 calling to those who pass by,
to those going straight along their ways,
16 “Whoever is unsure of himself, turn in here!”
To someone weak-willed she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he doesn’t realize
that the dead are there,
and that those who accept her invitation
are in the depths of Sh’ol [Hades, hell].