Exhortation to Seek Wisdom
1Hear, therefore, kings, and understand; w 1f: Wis 1, 1; Sir 33, 19; Mi 3, 1. 9 . learn, you magistrates of the earth's expanse! 2Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude and lord it over throngs of peoples! 3Because authority was given you by the LORD and sovereignty by the Most High, who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels! x 2 Chr 36, 23; Prv 8, 15f; Jn 19, 11; Rom 13, 1ff . 4Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly, and did not keep the law,* nor walk according to the will of God, 5Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you, because judgment is stern for the exalted— 6For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy y 6ff: Lk 12, 48 . but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test. 7For the Lord of all shows no partiality, nor does he fear greatness, z Dt 1, 17; Prv 22, 2 . Because he himself made the great as well as the small, and he provides for all alike; 8but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends. 9To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed a 9ff: Dt 4, 10; Ps 2, 12; Sir 32, 14; 1 Jn 3, 7 . that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin. 10For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy, and those learned in them will have ready a response.* 11Desire therefore my words; long for them and you shall be instructed. 12Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. b Wis 7, 10; Prv 8, 17; Jer 29, 13 . 13She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men's desire; c 13ff: Prv 8, 3. 17. 34 . 14he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate. 15For taking thought of her is the perfection of prudence, and he who for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; 16Because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude. d Prv 8, 20f; Sir 15, 1ff . 17For the first step toward discipline is a very earnest desire for her; e 17–21; Ps 2, 10ff; Prv 4, 4–9; 7, 1–4; 8, 15f; Dn 7, 27; Jn 14, 15. 21; 1 Jn 5, 3 . then, care for discipline is love of her; 18love means the keeping of her laws; To observe her laws is the basis for incorruptibility; 19and incorruptibility makes one close to God; 20thus the desire for Wisdom leads up to a kingdom. 21If, then, you find pleasure in throne and scepter, you princes of the peoples, honor Wisdom, that you may reign as kings forever.
22Now what Wisdom is, and how she came to be, I shall relate; and I shall hide no secrets from you, But from the very beginning I shall search out and bring to light knowledge of her, nor shall I diverge from the truth. f Tb 12, 7. 11; Mt 13, 11; Jn 15, 15 . 23Neither shall I admit consuming jealousy to my company, because that can have no fellowship with Wisdom. g Wis 7, 13; Jas 3, 14f . 24A great number of wise men is the safety of the world, and a prudent king, the stability of his people; h Prv 24, 6; 29, 4; Sir 10, 1ff . 25so take instruction from my words, to your profit.