Wis 7:7-10:18

Solomon's Respect for Wisdom 7Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.8I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.9Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.10I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases.11All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.12I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them; but I did not know that she was their mother.13I learned without guile and I impart without grudging; I do not hide her wealth,14for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals; those who get it obtain friendship with God, commended for the gifts that come from instruction. Solomon Prays for Wisdom 15May God grant me to speak with judgment, and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received; for he is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise.16For both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts.17For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements;18the beginning and end and middle of times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,19the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,20the natures of animals and the tempers of wild animals, the powers of spirits and the thoughts of human beings, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;21I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,22for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. The Nature of Wisdom There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible,23beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.24For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.25For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.26For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.27Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets;28for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.29She is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior,30for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail.Chapter 81She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.Solomon's Love for Wisdom 2I loved her and sought her from my youth; I desired to take her for my bride, and became enamored of her beauty.3She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her.4For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works.5If riches are a desirable possession in life, what is richer than wisdom, the active cause of all things?6And if understanding is effective, who more than she is fashioner of what exists?7And if anyone loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.8And if anyone longs for wide experience, she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come; she understands turns of speech and the solutions of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and of the outcome of seasons and times.Wisdom Indispensible to Rulers 9Therefore I determined to take her to live with me, knowing that she would give me good counsel and encouragement in cares and grief.10Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honor in the presence of the elders, though I am young.11I shall be found keen in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.12When I am silent they will wait for me, and when I speak they will give heed; if I speak at greater length, they will put their hands on their mouths.13Because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.14I shall govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me;15dread monarchs will be afraid of me when they hear of me; among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.16When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her; for companionship with her has no bitterness, and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.17When I considered these things inwardly, and pondered in my heart that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,18and in friendship with her, pure delight, and in the labors of her hands, unfailing wealth, and in the experience of her company, understanding, and renown in sharing her words, I went about seeking how to get her for myself.19As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot;20or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.21But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom unless God gave her to me— and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was— so I appealed to the Lord and implored him, and with my whole heart I said:Chapter 9Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom 1“O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy, who have made all things by your word,2and by your wisdom have formed humankind to have dominion over the creatures you have made,3and rule the world in holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,4give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, and do not reject me from among your servants.5For I am your servant the son of your serving girl, a man who is weak and short-lived, with little understanding of judgment and laws;6for even one who is perfect among human beings will be regarded as nothing without the wisdom that comes from you.7You have chosen me to be king of your people and to be judge over your sons and daughters.8You have given command to build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city of your habitation, a copy of the holy tent that you prepared from the beginning.9With you is wisdom, she who knows your works and was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your commandments.10Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne of your glory send her, that she may labor at my side, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.11For she knows and understands all things, and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me with her glory.12Then my works will be acceptable, and I shall judge your people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of my father.13For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills?14For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our designs are likely to fail;15for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.16We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labor; but who has traced out what is in the heavens?17Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?18And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.” Chapter 10The Work of Wisdom from Adam to Moses 1Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression,2and gave him strength to rule all things.3But when an unrighteous man departed from her in his anger, he perished because in rage he killed his brother.4When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it, steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood. 5Wisdom also, when the nations in wicked agreement had been put to confusion, recognized the righteous man and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong in the face of his compassion for his child. 6Wisdom rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing; he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities.7Evidence of their wickedness still remains: a continually smoking wasteland, plants bearing fruit that does not ripen, and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul.8For because they passed wisdom by, they not only were hindered from recognizing the good, but also left for humankind a reminder of their folly, so that their failures could never go unnoticed. 9Wisdom rescued from troubles those who served her.10When a righteous man fled from his brother's wrath, she guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things; she prospered him in his labors, and increased the fruit of his toil.11When his oppressors were covetous, she stood by him and made him rich.12She protected him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those who lay in wait for him; in his arduous contest she gave him the victory, so that he might learn that godliness is more powerful than anything else. 13When a righteous man was sold, wisdom did not desert him, but delivered him from sin. She descended with him into the dungeon,14and when he was in prison she did not leave him, until she brought him the scepter of a kingdom and authority over his masters. Those who accused him she showed to be false, and she gave him everlasting honor. Wisdom Led the Israelites out of Egypt 15A holy people and blameless race wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors.16She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs.17She gave to holy people the reward of their labors; she guided them along a marvelous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and a starry flame through the night.18She brought them over the Red Sea, and led them through deep waters;