1He who fears the LORD will do this; he who is practiced in the law will come to wisdom. 2Motherlike she will meet him, like a young bride she will embrace him, 3Nourish him with the bread of understanding, and give him the water of learning to drink. a Jn 4, 10; 6, 31ff . 4He will lean upon her and not fall, he will trust in her and not be put to shame. 5She will exalt him above his fellows; in the assembly she will make him eloquent. 6Joy and gladness he will find, an everlasting name inherit. b Sir 6, 29–32 . 7Worthless men will not attain to her, haughty men will not behold her. 8Far from the impious is she, not to be spoken of by liars. 9Unseemly is praise on a sinner’s lips, for it is not accorded to him by God. 10But praise is offered by the wise man’s tongue; its rightful steward will proclaim it.
Man’s Free Will
11Say not: “It was God’s doing that I fell away”; for what he hates he does not do. 12Say not: “It was he who set me astray”; for he has no need of wicked man. c Jas 1, 13 . 13Abominable wickedness the LORD hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him. 14When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. d Gn 1, 27 . 15If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. 16There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. 17Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. e Dt 30, 15 . 18Immense is the wisdom of the LORD; he is mighty in power, and all-seeing. 19The eyes of God see all he has made; he understands man’s every deed. f Pss 33, 18; 34, 16; Heb 4, 13 . 20No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.