In Praise of Wisdom
1 Listen! Wisdom is calling out.
Reason is making herself heard.
2On the hilltops near the road
and at the crossroads she stands.
3At the entrance to the city,
beside the gates, she calls:
4“I appeal to all of you;
I call to everyone on earth.
5Are you immature? Learn to be mature.
Are you foolish? Learn to have sense.
6Listen to my excellent words;
all I tell you is right.
7What I say is the truth;
lies are hateful to me.
8Everything I say is true;
nothing is false or misleading.
9To those with insight, it is all clear;
to the well-informed, it is all plain.
10Choose my instruction instead of silver;
choose knowledge rather than the finest gold.
11 “I am Wisdom, I am better than jewels;
nothing you want can compare with me.
12I am Wisdom, and I have insight;
I have knowledge and sound judgment.
13To honor the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil ways and false words.
14I make plans and carry them out.
I have understanding, and I am strong.
15I help kings to govern
and rulers to make good laws.
16Every ruler on earth governs with my help,
officials and nobles alike.
17I love those who love me;
whoever looks for me can find me.
18I have riches and honor to give,
prosperity and success.
19What you get from me is better than the finest gold,
better than the purest silver.
20I walk the way of righteousness;
I follow the paths of justice,
21giving wealth to those who love me,
filling their houses with treasures.
22 “The Lord created me first of all,
the first of his works, long ago.
23I was made in the very beginning,
at the first, before the world began.
24I was born before the oceans,
when there were no springs of water.
25I was born before the mountains,
before the hills were set in place,
26before God made the earth and its fields
or even the first handful of soil.
27 I was there when he set the sky in place,
when he stretched the horizon across the ocean,
28when he placed the clouds in the sky,
when he opened the springs of the ocean
29and ordered the waters of the sea
to rise no further than he said.
I was there when he laid the earth's foundations.
30I was beside him like an architect,
I was his daily source of joy,
always happy in his presence—
31happy with the world
and pleased with the human race.
32 “Now, young people, listen to me.
Do as I say, and you will be happy.
33Listen to what you are taught.
Be wise; do not neglect it.
34Those who listen to me will be happy—
those who stay at my door every day,
waiting at the entrance to my home.
35Those who find me find life,
and the Lord will be pleased with them.
36Those who do not find me hurt themselves;
anyone who hates me loves death.”