The Excellence and Eternity of Wisdom
8 1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding give forth her voice? 2 On the top of high places by the way, at the cross-paths she taketh her stand. 3 Beside the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors, she crieth aloud. 4 Unto you, men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man: 5 O ye simple, understand prudence; and ye foolish, understand sense. 6 Hear, for I will speak excellent things, and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7 For my palate shall meditate truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing tortuous 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 equal to it.
12 I wisdom dwell [with] prudence, and find the knowledge [which cometh] of reflection. 13 The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil; pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am intelligence; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers make just decrees; 16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. 17 I love those that love me; and they that seek me early shall find me. 18 Riches and honour are with me; durable wealth and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold, yea, than pure gold; and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I walk in the path of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: 21 that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasuries.
22 Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from eternity, 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 prepared the heavens I was there; when he ordained the circle upon the face of the deep; 28 when he established the skies above, when the fountains of the deep became strong; 29 when he imposed on the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment, when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 then I was by him [his] nursling, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights [were] with the sons of men.
32 And now, sons, hearken unto me, and 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 obtaineth favour of Jehovah; 36 but he that sinneth against me doeth violence to his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Wisdom and the Foolish Woman
9 1 Wisdom hath built her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars; 2 she hath slaughtered her cattle, she hath mingled her wine, she hath also prepared her table; 3 she hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the summits of the high places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither. To him that is void of understanding, she saith, 5 Come, eat ye of my bread, and drink of the wine that I have mingled. 6 Forsake follies and live, and go in the way of intelligence. 7 He that instructeth a scorner getteth to himself shame; and he that reproveth a wicked [man] [getteth] to himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; reprove a wise [man], and he will love thee. 9 Impart to a wise [man], and he will become yet wiser; teach a righteous [man], and he will increase learning. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is intelligence. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and years of life shall be added to thee. 12 If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; and if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
13 The foolish woman is clamorous; she is stupid, and knoweth nothing. 14 And she sitteth at the entry of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 to call passers-by who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither. And to him that is void of understanding she saith, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and the bread of secrecy 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 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or do we need, as some, commendatory letters to you, or [commendatory] from you? 2 Ye are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read of all men, 3 being manifested to be Christ's epistle ministered by us, written, not with ink, but [the] Spirit of [the] living God; not on stone tables, but on fleshy tables of [the] heart. 4 And such confidence have we through the Christ towards God: 5 not that we are competent of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our competency [is] of God;
6 who has also made us competent, [as] ministers of [the] new covenant; not of letter, but of spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens. 7 (But if the ministry of death, in letters, graven in stones, began with glory, so that the children of Israel could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, on account of the glory of his face, [a glory] which is annulled; 8 how shall not rather the ministry of the Spirit subsist in glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation [be] glory, much rather the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory. 10 For also that [which was] glorified is not glorified in this respect, on account of the surpassing glory. 11 For if that annulled [was introduced] with glory, much rather that which abides [subsists] in glory.
12 Having therefore such hope, we use much boldness: 13 and not according as Moses put a veil on his own face, so that the children of Israel should not fix their eyes on the end of that annulled. 14 But their thoughts have been darkened, for unto this day the same veil remains in reading the old covenant, unremoved, which in Christ is annulled. 15 But unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their heart. 16 But when it shall turn to [the] Lord, the veil is taken away.) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of [the] Lord [is, there is] liberty. 18 But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.