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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 7

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Solomon Is Like All Other Men

1I too am a mortal man, the same as all the rest, i 1f: Wis 10, 1; Gn 2, 7; Jb 10, 9–12; 33, 6; 1 Cor 15, 47ff . and a descendant of the first man formed of earth.* And in my mother's womb I was molded into flesh 2in a ten‐months’ period* —body and blood, from the seed of man, and the pleasure that accompanies marriage. 3And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wailing, I uttered that first sound common to all. 4In swaddling clothes and with constant care I was nurtured. 5For no king has any different origin or birth, 6but one is the entry into life for all; and in one same way they leave it. j Jb 1, 21; 1 Tm 6, 7f .

Solomon Prayed and Wisdom and Riches Came to Him

7Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. k 1 Kgs 3, 5–15; Prv 2, 3–11 . 8I preferred her to scepter and throne, l 8f: Wis 8, 5; 1 Kgs 10, 21; Prv 3, 14ff; 8, 10. 18f; Jb 28, 15–19 . And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, 9nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. 10Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, And I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. m Prv 6, 23 . 11Yet all good things together came to me in her company, n Prv 8, 21 . and countless riches at her hands; 12And I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom is their leader, though I had not known that she is the mother of these. o Prv 8, 14f .

Solomon Prays for Help To Speak of Wisdom

13Simply I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share— her riches I do not hide away; p Wis 6, 23 . 14For to men she is an unfailing treasure; those who gain this treasure win the friendship of God, to whom the gifts they have from discipline* commend them. 15Now God grant I speak suitably and value these endowments at their worth: For he is the guide of Wisdom and the director of the wise. 16For both we and our words are in his hand, as well as all prudence and knowledge of crafts. q Wis 3, 1 . 17For he gave me sound knowledge of existing things, that I might know the organization of the universe and the force of its elements, 18The beginning and the end and the midpoint of times, the changes in the sun's course and the variations of the seasons. 19Cycles of years, positions of the stars, 20natures of animals, tempers of beasts, Powers of the winds and thoughts of men, uses of plants and virtues of roots— 21Such things as are hidden I learned, and such as are plain; 22for Wisdom, the artificer of all, taught me. r Wis 14, 2; Prv 8, 30 .

Nature and Incomparable Dignity of Wisdom

For in her is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, Manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, Not baneful, loving the good, keen, s 22f: Heb 4, 12f; Jas 3, 17 . unhampered, beneficent, 23kindly, Firm, secure, tranquil, all‐powerful, all‐seeing, And pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle. 24For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity. t Wis 8, 1 . 25For she is an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nought that is sullied enters into her. 26For she is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. u 2 Cor 4, 4; Col 1, 15; Heb 1, 3 . 27And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything while herself perduring; And passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets. v Ex 33, 11; Jb 42, 2; Ps 104, 29; Jl 3, 1 . 28For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom. 29For she is fairer than the sun w 29f: Song 6, 3. 9 . and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared to light, she takes precedence; 30for that, indeed, night supplants, but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Notes:

i: 1f: Wis 10, 1; Gn 2, 7; Jb 10, 9–12; 33, 6; 1 Cor 15, 47ff .

j: Jb 1, 21; 1 Tm 6, 7f .

k: 1 Kgs 3, 5–15; Prv 2, 3–11 .

l: 8f: Wis 8, 5; 1 Kgs 10, 21; Prv 3, 14ff; 8, 10. 18f; Jb 28, 15–19 .

m: Prv 6, 23 .

n: Prv 8, 21 .

o: Prv 8, 14f .

p: Wis 6, 23 .

q: Wis 3, 1 .

r: Wis 14, 2; Prv 8, 30 .

s: 22f: Heb 4, 12f; Jas 3, 17 .

t: Wis 8, 1 .

u: 2 Cor 4, 4; Col 1, 15; Heb 1, 3 .

v: Ex 33, 11; Jb 42, 2; Ps 104, 29; Jl 3, 1 .

w: 29f: Song 6, 3. 9 .

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