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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 8

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1 HEAR how wisdom calls and understanding lifts her voice. 2She takes her stand at the crossroads, by the wayside, at the top of the hill; 3beside the gate, at the entrance to the city, at the approach by the portals she cries aloud: 4‘It is to you I call, to all mankind I appeal: 5understand, you simpletons, what it is to be shrewd; you stupid people, understand what it is to have sense. 6Listen! For I shall speak clearly, you will have plain speech from me; 7for I speak nothing but truth, and my lips detest wicked talk. 8All that I say is right, not a word is twisted or crooked. 9All is straightforward to those with understanding, all is plain to those who have knowledge. 10Choose my instruction rather than silver, knowledge rather than pure gold; 11for wisdom is better than red coral, and no jewel can match her.

12‘I am wisdom, I bestow shrewdness and show the way to knowledge and discretion. 13To fear the LORD is to hate evil. Pride, arrogance, evil ways, subversive talk, all those I hate. 14From me come advice and ability; understanding and power are mine. 15Through me kings hold sway and governors enact just laws. 16Through me princes wield authority, from me all rulers on earth a 8:16 rulers on earth: so some MSS; others who rule in righteousness. derive their rank. 17Those who love me I love, and those who search for me will find me. 18In my hands are riches and honour, boundless wealth and prosperity. 19My harvest is better even than fine gold, and my revenue better than choice silver. 20I follow the course of justice and keep to the path of equity. 21I endow with riches those who love me; I shall fill their treasuries.

22‘The LORD created me the first of his works long ago, before all else that he made. 23I was formed in earliest times, at the beginning, before earth itself. 24I was born when there was yet no ocean, when there were no springs brimming with water. 25Before the mountains were settled in their place, before the hills I was born, 26when as yet he had made neither land nor streams b 8:26 streams: or fields. nor the mass c the mass: or the first. of the earth's soil. 27When he set the heavens in place I was there, when he girdled the ocean with the horizon, 28when he fixed the canopy of clouds overhead and confined the springs of the deep, 29when he prescribed limits for the sea so that the waters do not transgress his command, when he made earth's foundations firm. 30Then I was at his side each day, his darling d 8:30 darling: or craftsman; Heb. obscure. and delight, playing in his presence continually, 31playing over his whole world, while my delight was in mankind.

32‘Now, sons, listen to me; happy are those who keep to my ways. 33Listen to instruction and grow wise; do not ignore it. 34Happy the one who listens to me, watching daily at my threshold with his eyes on the doorway! 35For whoever finds me finds life and wins favour with the LORD, 36but whoever fails to find me deprives himself, and all who hate me are in love with death.’

Notes:

a 8:16 rulers on earth: so some MSS; others who rule in righteousness.

b 8:26 streams: or fields.

c the mass: or the first.

d 8:30 darling: or craftsman; Heb. obscure.

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