Does not wisdom call out?
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:
“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
The race is not always to the quick –
Even the fleetest foot may falter;
Nor the battle ever to the strong,
If weaker forces choose higher ground;
Food is not guaranteed to the wisest –
Famine is no respecter of rank;
Noor wealth earned by the most brilliant,
Even dullards shall inherit fathers’ lands;
Favour may not be granted to the learned,
Giants on whose shoulders others stand;
I have seen nothing new under the Sun –
Truly, time and chance affect them all.
“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
‘Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: get[a] wisdom.
Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honour you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.’
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbour,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
Do not plot harm against your neighbour,
who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He mocks proud mockers
but shows favour to the humble and oppressed.
The wise inherit honour,
but fools get only shame.