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Listen to Wisdom

·Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting [L Does not Wisdom call out?];
    ·understanding raises [Does not Understanding raise…?] her voice.
On the ·hilltops [L top of the high places] along the road
    and at the crossroads, she ·stands calling [takes her stand].
Beside the city gates,
    at the entrances into the city, she calls out:
“Listen, ·everyone [men], I’m calling out to you;
    ·I am shouting [my voice goes out] to all ·people [L the sons of humanity].
You who are ·uneducated [simpleminded; immature; naive], ·seek wisdom [understand prudence].
    You who are foolish, ·get understanding [L take this to heart].
Listen, because I have ·important [noble] things to say,
    and what I tell you is ·right [virtuous].
·What I say is true [L My mouth utters the truth],
    ·I refuse to speak evil [L my lips despise wickedness].
·Everything I say is honest [L All the speeches of my mouth are righteous];
    nothing I say is ·crooked [twisted] or ·false [perverse].
People ·with good sense [who understand] know what I say is ·true [straightforward];
    and those ·with [L who seek] knowledge know my words are ·right [virtuous].
10 ·Choose [Take] my ·teachings [instructions; discipline] instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than ·the finest [choice] gold.
11 Wisdom is more precious than ·rubies [or pearls].
    Nothing ·you could want is equal to [is more delightful than] it.

12 “I am Wisdom, and I ·have good judgment [dwell with prudence].
    I also have knowledge and ·good sense [discretion].
13 ·If you respect the Lord, you will also [L Those who fear/have awe for the Lord] hate evil.
    I hate pride and ·bragging [arrogance],
    ·evil ways [L the path of evil] and ·lies [L a perverse mouth].
14 I have advice and ·good sense [resourcefulness; ability],
    and I have understanding and ·power [strength].
15 ·I help kings to govern [L By me kings reign]
    and ·rulers [princes] ·to make fair laws [issue just decrees].
16 ·Princes use me to lead [L By me rulers rule],
    and ·so do all important people who [nobles] judge fairly [Deut. 34:9; 1 Kin. 3:1–15; Ezra 7:25; Col. 1:16].
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
18 Riches and honor are mine to give.
    So are lasting wealth and ·success [or righteousness].
19 What I give is better than gold, even the finest gold,
    my ·results [yield] better than the purest silver.
20 I ·do what is right [L walk on the way of righteousness]
    ·and follow [L in the midst of] the path of justice.
21 I ·give wealth to those who love me [L cause those who love me to inherit substance],
    filling their houses with treasures.

22 “The Lord ·begot [or acquired; possessed] me ·when he began his work [L at the beginning of his path],
    long before he made anything else.
23 I was ·created [formed; woven; or appointed] in the very beginning,
    even before the world began.
24 I was ·born [brought forth] ·before there were oceans [L when there were no deeps],
    or springs ·overflowing [heavy] with water,
25 before the hills were ·there [L settled],
    before the mountains I was ·born [brought forth].
26 God had not made the earth or ·fields [open country],
    not even the first ·dust [mud clods; soil] of the earth.
27 I was there when God ·put the skies in place [established the heavens],
    when he ·stretched [decreed] the horizon over the ·oceans [deep],
28 when he ·made [thickened; strengthened] the clouds above
    and put the deep underground springs in place.
29 I was there when he ·ordered [decreed] the sea
    not to go beyond the borders he had set.
I was there when he ·laid [decreed] the earth’s foundation.
30     I was like a ·child [nursling; or craftsman; architect] by his side.
I was ·delighted [playing] every day,
    ·enjoying [laughing in] his presence all the time,
31 ·enjoying [laughing with the inhabitants of] the whole world,
    and ·delighted [playing] with all its people [John 1:1–3; Col. 1:15; C Jesus is associated with personified Wisdom in that both were present with God during creation].

32 “Now, my ·children [L sons], listen to me,
    because those who ·follow my ways [guard my path] are happy.
33 Listen to my ·teaching [instruction], and you will be wise;
    do not ·ignore [avoid] it.
34 Happy are those who listen to me,
    watching at my door every day,
    ·waiting at my open doorway [L guarding my doorposts].
35 Those who find me find life,
    and ·the Lord will be pleased with them [they gain favor from the Lord].
36 Those who ·do not find [miss; or offend] me hurt themselves.
    Those who hate me love death.”

Being Wise or Foolish

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has made its seven ·columns [pillars; C a large house].
She has ·prepared her food [L slaughtered her slaughter] and prepared [mixed] her wine;
    she has set her table.
She has sent out her servant girls,
    and she calls out from the highest place in the city [C the location of the Temple, indicating she symbolizes God].
She says to those who are ·uneducated [naive; immature; simpleminded],
    “·Come in [Turn aside] here, you ·foolish people [who lack sense]!
Come and eat my food
    and drink the wine I have ·prepared [mixed].
Stop your ·foolish [naive; immature; simpleminded] ways, and you will live;
    take the road of understanding.

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?(A)
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:(B)
“To you, O people, I call out;(C)
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple,(D) gain prudence;(E)
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,(F)
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,(G)
11 for wisdom is more precious(H) than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.(I)

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.(J)
13 To fear the Lord(K) is to hate evil;(L)
    I hate(M) pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power.(N)
15 By me kings reign
    and rulers(O) issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,(P)
    and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,(Q)
    and those who seek me find me.(R)
18 With me are riches and honor,(S)
    enduring wealth and prosperity.(T)
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;(U)
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.(V)
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,(W)
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.(X)

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;(Y)
25 before the mountains were settled in place,(Z)
    before the hills, I was given birth,(AA)
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.(AB)
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,(AC)
    when he marked out the horizon(AD) on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above(AE)
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,(AF)
29 when he gave the sea its boundary(AG)
    so the waters would not overstep his command,(AH)
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.(AI)
30     Then I was constantly[e] at his side.(AJ)
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.(AK)

32 “Now then, my children, listen(AL) to me;
    blessed are(AM) those who keep my ways.(AN)
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen(AO) to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me(AP) find life(AQ)
    and receive favor from the Lord.(AR)
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;(AS)
    all who hate me love death.”(AT)

Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

Wisdom has built(AU) her house;
    she has set up[f] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;(AV)
    she has also set her table.(AW)
She has sent out her servants, and she calls(AX)
    from the highest point of the city,(AY)
    “Let all who are simple(AZ) come to my house!”
To those who have no sense(BA) she says,
    “Come,(BB) eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.(BC)
Leave your simple ways and you will live;(BD)
    walk in the way of insight.”(BE)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
  2. Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
  3. Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
  4. Proverbs 8:22 Or The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The Lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work
  5. Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child
  6. Proverbs 9:1 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew has hewn out

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