Good News Translation (GNB)
9

Solomon Prays for Wisdom

91

9.1–18:
1 Kgs 3.6–9
Wis 7.7
“God of my ancestors, merciful Lord, by your word you created everything. 2By your Wisdom you made the human race to rule all creation, 3to govern the world with holiness and righteousness, to administer justice with integrity. 4Give me the Wisdom that sits beside your throne; give me a place among your children. 5I am your slave, as was my mother before me. I am only human. I am not strong, and my life will be short. I have little understanding of the Law or of how to apply it. 6Even if someone is perfect, he will be thought of as nothing without the Wisdom that comes from you. 7You chose me rather than anyone else to be the king of your own people, to judge your sons and daughters. 8You told me to build a temple on your sacred mountain, an altar in Jerusalem, the city you chose as your home. It is a copy of that temple in heaven, which you prepared at the beginning. 9Wisdom is with you and knows your actions; she was present when you made the world. She knows what pleases you, what is right and in accordance with your commands. 10Send her from the holy heavens, down from your glorious throne, so that she may work at my side, and I may learn what pleases you. 11She knows and understands everything, and will guide me intelligently in what I do. Her glory will protect me. 12Then I will judge your people fairly, and be worthy of my father's throne. My actions will be acceptable.

13“Who can ever learn the will of God? 14Human reason is not adequate for the task, and our philosophies tend to mislead us, 15because our mortal bodies weigh our souls down. The body is a temporary structure made of earth, a burden to the active mind. 16All we can do is make guesses about things on earth; we must struggle to learn about things that are close to us. Who, then, can ever hope to understand heavenly things? 17No one has ever learnt your will, unless you first gave him Wisdom, and sent your Holy Spirit down to him. 18In this way people on earth have been set on the right path, have learnt what pleases you, and have been kept safe by Wisdom.”

10

Wisdom Protected Adam

101

10.1–2:
Gen 1.26–28
Wisdom protected the father of the world, the first man that was ever formed, when he alone had been created. She saved him from his own sinful act 2and gave him the strength to master everything on earth.

Cain Abandoned Wisdom

3

10.3:
Gen 4.8–13
But there was an unrighteous man who abandoned Wisdom; he destroyed himself by killing his brother in a fit of anger.

Wisdom Protected Noah

4

10.4:
Gen 7.1—8.22
Because of that sin, the earth was flooded, but Wisdom saved it again. She guided a righteous man in his flimsy wooden boat.

Wisdom Helped Abraham

5

10.5:
Gen 11.1–9
12.1–3
22.1–19
Once when the nations were frustrated in their wicked plans, Wisdom recognized a righteous man and kept him innocent in God's sight. She gave him strength to obey God's command in spite of his love for his son.

Wisdom Rescued Lot

6

10.6–9:
Gen 19.1–29
Wisdom rescued a righteous man while ungodly people were dying. He escaped the flames that destroyed the Five Cities. 7You can still see the evidence of their wickedness. The land there is barren and smoking. The plants bear fruit that never ripens, and a pillar of salt stands as a monument to one who did not believe. 8The people of those cities ignored Wisdom and could not tell right from wrong. Not only that, but the remains of their cities still remind us of the foolish way they lived, so that their failure can never be forgotten. 9But Wisdom rescued her servants from the danger.

Wisdom Protected Jacob

10

10.10–12:
Gen 27.43
28.10–22
32.24–30
A righteous man once had to escape from his brother's anger, and Wisdom guided him in the right way. She showed him God's kingdom and allowed him to know about holy things.10.10 holy things; or angels. She made him prosperous and successful in his work. 11When others were greedy for what he had, and wanted to take it away from him, Wisdom stood by him and made him rich. 12She protected him from his enemies who were waiting for a chance to attack him. She gave him victory in a hard fight, so that he might realize that nothing can make a person stronger than serving God.

Wisdom Rescued Joseph

13

10.13–14:
Gen 37.12–36
39.1–23
41.37–44
There was once a righteous man who was sold into slavery, but Wisdom did not abandon him. She kept him safe from sin. She went to prison with him 14and never left him until she had given him power over an empire and made him the ruler of people who had once oppressed him. She let it be known that a false accusation had been made against him, and she gave him eternal honour.

Wisdom Led the Israelites Out of Egypt

15

10.15–21:
Ex 1.1—15.21
Wisdom once rescued an innocent and holy people from a nation of oppressors. 16She entered the soul of one of God's servants and10.16 and; or who. stood up to dreaded kings by performing miracles. 17She rewarded God's people for their hardships. She guided them on a miraculous journey. She gave them shade during the day and brilliant starlight at night. 18She led them through the deep waters of the Red Sea, 19but she drowned their enemies and washed their bodies up on the shore. 20And so the righteous looted the ungodly. They sang hymns to your holy name, O Lord; together they praised you for defending them. 21Wisdom gave speech to those who could not speak; she even caused babies to speak clearly.

11

Wisdom Led the Israelites through the Desert

111

11.1–5:
Ex 15.22—17.16
Wisdom brought success to the people of Israel through a holy prophet. 2They travelled across a desert where no one lived and camped in places where no human being had ever been. 3They stood up to their enemies and fought them off. 4When your people grew thirsty, they called to you, Lord, and you gave them water flowing out of solid rock. 5The disasters that punished the Egyptians saved your people when they were in trouble.

The Punishment of the Egyptians

6-8Because those enemies decreed that the babies of your people should be killed, you stirred up the sources of their ever-flowing river and made it foul with blood.

In the desert you let your people go thirsty, to give them a taste of how you had punished their enemies. And then, when they least expected it, you gave them plenty of water. 9When they were being tested, even though it was a merciful discipline, they learnt how wicked people were tortured when you judged them in anger. 10You tested your people, as parents test their children, to warn them. But you judged their enemies like a stern king and condemned them. 11They suffered, whether they were near your people or far from them. 12Their sorrow was doubled; they groaned as they looked back on what had happened. 13When they learnt that their punishment had been of benefit to your people, they realized that it was your work, Lord. 14The Egyptians had refused to have anything to do with that man who, long before, as a baby, had been thrown out and exposed; but as things worked out, they ended by being amazed at him. The righteous never suffered a thirst like theirs.

15

11.15–16:
Ex 8.1–24
10.12–15
Their wickedness misled them into silly ideas, so that they worshipped snakes and other disgusting animals, creatures without any powers of reason. Because of this, you punished them with millions of such animals, 16and taught them that punishment for sin takes the same form as the sin itself. 17Your almighty power, Lord, created the world out of material that had no form at all. You could easily have punished those people by sending an invasion of bears or savage lions. 18You could have created new and terrible animals, that could breathe fire or roar and send out clouds of smoke, or shoot out fearful sparks from their eyes. 19You could have made animals like these that would not have to attack those people to kill them, but could scare them to death just by looking at them. 20But this was not necessary. You could have pursued them with your justice or struck them dead at the slightest hint of your power. But you have chosen to measure, count, and weigh everything you do.

God Is Powerful and Merciful

21You can show your great power whenever you wish, and no one can stand up against it. 22In your sight the whole world is a grain of sand, barely heavy enough to tip a pair of scales, a drop of dew on the ground in the morning. 23You are powerful enough to do anything, but you are merciful to everyone; you overlook our sins and give us time to repent. 24You love everything that exists; you do not despise anything that you have made. If you had not liked it, you would not have made it in the first place. 25How could anything last, if you did not want it to? How could it endure, if you had not created it? 26You have allowed it all to exist, O Lord, because it is yours, and you love every living thing.