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