Wisdom’s Self-Praise

Proverbs 8:1–36

Biblical Period

1It is Wisdom calling,
Understanding raising her voice.
2She takes her stand at the topmost heights,
By the wayside, at the crossroads,
3Near the gates at the city entrance;
At the entryways, she shouts,
4“O men, I call to you;
My cry is to all mankind.
5O simple ones, learn shrewdness;
O dullards, instruct your minds.
6Listen, for I speak noble things;
Uprightness comes from my lips;
7My mouth utters truth;
Wickedness is abhorrent to my lips.
8All my words are just,
None of them perverse or crooked;
9All are straightforward to the intelligent man,
And right to those who have attained knowledge.
10Accept my discipline rather than silver,
Knowledge rather than choice gold.
11For wisdom is better than rubies;
No goods can equal her.
12“I, Wisdom, live with Prudence;
I attain knowledge and foresight.
13To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way,
And duplicity in speech.
14Mine are counsel and resourcefulness;
I am understanding; courage is mine.
15Through me kings reign
And rulers decree just laws;
16Through me princes rule,
Great men and all the righteous judges.
17Those who love me I love,
And those who seek me will find me.
18Riches and honor belong to me,
Enduring wealth and success.
19My fruit is better than gold, fine gold,
And my produce better than choice silver.
20I walk on the way of righteousness,
On the paths of justice.
21I endow those who love me with substance;
I will fill their treasuries.
22“The Lord created me at the beginning of His course
As the first of His works of old.
23In the distant past I was fashioned,
At the beginning, at the origin of earth.
24There was still no deep when I was brought forth,
No springs rich in water;
25Before [the foundation of] the mountains were sunk,
Before the hills I was born.
26He had not yet made earth and fields,
Or the world’s first clumps of clay.
27I was there when He set the heavens into place;
When He fixed the horizon upon the deep;
28When He made the heavens above firm,
And the fountains of the deep gushed forth;
29When He assigned the sea its limits,
So that its waters never transgress His command;
When He fixed the foundations of the earth,
30I was with Him as a confidant,
A source of delight every day,
Rejoicing before Him at all times,
31Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
Finding delight with mankind.
32Now, sons, listen to me;
Happy are they who keep my ways.
33Heed discipline and become wise;
Do not spurn it.
34Happy is the man who listens to me,
Coming early to my gates each day,
Waiting outside my doors.
35For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
36But he who misses me destroys himself;
All who hate me love death.”


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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