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,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
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;
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.
8 She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.
(Cp Prov 8:22–31)
2 I loved her and sought her from my youth;
I desired to take her for my bride,
and became enamored of her beauty.
and the Lord of all loves her.
and an associate in his works.
what is richer than wisdom, the active cause of all things?
who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
her labors are virtues;
for she teaches self-control and prudence,
justice and courage;
nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.
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.
9 Therefore I determined to take her to live with me,
knowing that she would give me good counsel
and encouragement in cares and grief.
and honor in the presence of the elders, though I am young.
and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
and when I speak they will give heed;
if I speak at greater length,
they will put their hands on their mouths.
and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.
and nations will be subject to me;
among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.
for companionship with her has no bitterness,
and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.
and pondered in my heart
that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,
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.
and a good soul fell to my lot;
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:
9 “O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,
who have made all things by your word,
to have dominion over the creatures you have made,
and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,
and do not reject me from among your servants.
5 For I am your servanta the son of your serving girl,
a man who is weak and short-lived,
with little understanding of judgment and laws;
will be regarded as nothing without the wisdom that comes from you.
and to be judge over your sons and daughters.
and an altar in the city of your habitation,
a copy of the holy tent that you prepared from the beginning.
and was present when you made the world;
she understands what is pleasing in your sight
and what is right according to your commandments.
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.
and she will guide me wisely in my actions
and guard me with her glory.
and I shall judge your people justly,
and shall be worthy of the throneb of my father.
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
and our designs are likely to fail;
and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtfulc mind.
and what is at hand we find with labor;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens?
unless you have given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
and people were taught what pleases you,
and were saved by wisdom.”
10 Wisdoma protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created;
she delivered him from his transgression,
he perished because in rage he killed his brother.
steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood.
5 Wisdomb 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.
6 Wisdomc rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing;
he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities.d
a continually smoking wasteland,
plants bearing fruit that does not ripen,
and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul.
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.
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.
she stood by him and made him rich.
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.
13 When a righteous man was sold, wisdome did not desert him,
but delivered him from sin.
She descended with him into the dungeon,
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.
15 A holy people and blameless race
wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors.
and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs.
she guided them along a marvelous way,
and became a shelter to them by day,
and a starry flame through the night.
and led them through deep waters;
and cast them up from the depth of the sea.
they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name,
and praised with one accord your defending hand;
and made the tongues of infants speak clearly.
Or on Pentapolis
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