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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 24

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Praise of Wisdom*

1Wisdom sings her own praises,* before her own people she proclaims her glory; 2In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she declares her worth: 3“From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, z 3ff: Sir 1, 1; Prv 2, 6; 8, 22–36; Wis 7, 24f . and mistlike covered the earth. 4In the highest heavens did I dwell, my throne on a pillar of cloud. 5The vault of heaven I compassed alone, through the deep abyss I wandered. 6Over waves of the sea, over all the land, over every people and nation I held sway. 7Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose inheritance should I abide?

8“Then the Creator of all gave me his command, and he who formed me chose the spot for my tent, Saying, ‘In Jacob make your dwelling, in Israel your inheritance.’ 9Before all ages, in the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be. 10In the holy tent I ministered before him, and in Zion I fixed my abode. 11Thus in the chosen city he has given me rest, in Jerusalem is my domain. 12I have struck root among the glorious people, in the portion of the LORD, his heritage. 13“Like a cedar on Lebanon I am raised aloft, like a cypress on Mount Hermon, 14Like a palm tree in Engedi, like a rosebush in Jericho, Like a fair olive tree in the field, like a plane tree growing beside the water. 15Like cinnamon, or fragrant balm, or precious myrrh, I give forth perfume; a Ex 30, 22–25 . Like galbanum and onycha and sweet spices, like the odor of incense in the holy place.* 16I spread out my branches like a terebinth, my branches so bright and so graceful. 17I bud forth delights like the vine, my blossoms become fruit fair and rich. 18Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits;* 19You will remember me as sweeter than honey, better to have than the honeycomb. 20He who eats of me will hunger still,* he who drinks of me will thirst for more; b Is 55, 1; Jn 6, 35 . 21He who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail.”

22All this is true of the book of the Most High’s covenant, c Ex 24, 7 . the law which Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the community of Jacob.* 23It overflows, like the Pishon, with wisdom— d 23ff: Gn 2, 11–14 . like the Tigris in the days of the new fruits. 24It runs over, like the Euphrates, with understanding, like the Jordan at harvest time. 25It sparkles like the Nile with knowledge, like the Gihon* at vintage time. 26The first man never finished comprehending wisdom, nor will the last succeed in fathoming her. 27For deeper than the sea are her thoughts; her counsels, than the great abyss. 28Now I, like a rivulet from her stream,* channeling the waters into a garden, 29Said to myself, “I will water my plants, my flower bed I will drench”; And suddenly this rivulet of mine became a river, then this stream of mine, a sea. 30Thus do I send my teachings forth shining like the dawn, to become known afar off. 31Thus do I pour out instruction like prophecy and bestow it on generations to come.

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