The Excellence and Eternity of Wisdom
8 1 Doth not wisdom cry, And understanding put forth her voice? 2 On the top of high places by the way, Where the paths meet, she standeth; 3 Beside the gates, at the entry of the city, At the coming in at the doors, she crieth aloud: 4 Unto you, O men, I call; And my voice is to the sons of men. 5 O ye simple, understand prudence; And, ye fools, be of an understanding heart. 6 Hear, for I will speak excellent things; And the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7 For my mouth shall utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, And right to them that find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; And knowledge rather than choice gold. 11 For wisdom is better than rubies; And all the things that may be desired are not to be compared unto it.
12 I wisdom have made prudence my dwelling, And find out knowledge [and] discretion. 13 The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, And the perverse mouth, do I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound knowledge: I am understanding; I have might. 15 By me kings reign, And princes decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, And nobles, [even] all the judges of the earth. 17 I love them that love me; And those that seek me diligently shall find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me; [Yea], durable wealth and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; And my revenue than choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice; 21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, And that I may fill their treasuries.
22 Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills was I brought forth; 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the beginning of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there: When he set a circle upon the face of the deep, 28 When he made firm the skies above, When the fountains of the deep became strong, 29 When he gave to the sea its bound, That the waters should not transgress his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth; 30 Then I was by him, [as] a master workman; And I was daily [his] delight, Rejoicing always before him, 31 Rejoicing in his habitable earth; And my delight was with the sons of men.
32 Now therefore, [my] sons, hearken unto me; For blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, And refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, And shall obtain favor of Jehovah. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate me love death.
Wisdom and the Foolish Woman
9 1 Wisdom hath builded her house; She hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; She hath mingled her wine; She hath also furnished her table: 3 She hath sent forth her maidens; She crieth upon the highest places of the city: 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: As for him that is void of understanding, she saith to him, 5 Come, eat ye of my bread, And drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Leave off, ye simple ones, and live; And walk in the way of understanding. 7 He that correcteth a scoffer getteth to himself reviling; And he that reproveth a wicked man [getteth] himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scoffer, lest he hate thee: Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give [instruction] to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, And the years of thy life shall be increased. 12 If thou art wise, thou art wise for thyself; And if thou scoffest, thou alone shalt bear it.
13 The foolish woman is clamorous; [She is] simple, and knoweth nothing. 14 And she sitteth at the door of her house, On a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call to them that pass by, Who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither; And as for him that is void of understanding, she saith to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, And bread [eaten] in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Ministers of the New Covenant
3 1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you? 2 Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men; 3 being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables [that are] hearts of flesh. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written, [and] engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which [glory] was passing away: 8 how shall not rather the ministration of the spirit be with glory? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For verily that which hath been made glorious hath not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasseth. 11 For if that which passeth away [was] with glory, much more that which remaineth [is] in glory.
12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13 and [are] not as Moses, [who] put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away: 14 but their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed [to them] that it is done away in Christ. 15 But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. 16 But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, [there] is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.