81Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order.
Wisdom has been my love. I courted her when I was young and wanted to make her my bride. I fell in love with her beauty. 3She glorifies her noble origin by living with God, the Lord of all, who loves her. 4
She is familiar with God's mysteries and helps to determine his course of action.
5Is it good to have riches in this life? Nothing can make you richer than Wisdom, who makes everything function. 6Is knowledge a useful thing to have? Nothing is better than Wisdom, who has given shape to everything that exists. 7Do you love justice? All the virtues are the result of Wisdom's work: justice and courage, self-control and understanding. Life can offer us nothing more valuable than these. 8Do you want to have wide experience? Wisdom knows the lessons of history and can anticipate the future. She knows how to interpret what people say and how to solve problems. She knows the miracles that God will perform, and how the movements of history will develop.
9So I decided to take Wisdom home to live with me, because I knew that she would give me good advice and encourage me in times of trouble and grief. 10I thought to myself, “Because of her I will be honoured wherever people come together. The old men will respect me, even though I am young. 11They will find that my opinions show deep insight, and those in power will admire me. 12When I am silent, they will wait for me to speak, and when I speak, they will pay attention. Even when I speak at length, they will listen with concentration. 13Because of Wisdom I will gain immortality; I will live for ever in the memory of those who come after me. 14I will hold power over nations and peoples; 15dreaded tyrants will be seized with fear at the mention of my name. I will be famous, as a good king and as a brave soldier. 16When I come home to Wisdom, I will find contentment because there is no conflict or pain in living with her, only happiness and joy.”
17And so I thought it over: to be wedded to Wisdom is to live for ever, 18to love her is to be perfectly happy, to do her work is to be rich beyond measure, to share her company is to have sound judgement, to converse with her is to be honoured. Then I was determined to take Wisdom as my bride. 19I had a pleasant personality, even as a child. I had been fortunate enough to receive a good soul, or rather, I was given a sound body to live in because I was already good. 20Still, I realized that I would never receive Wisdom unless God gave her to me — and knowing that only God could give her to me was itself a sign of understanding. So I prayed, begging the Lord with all my heart:
“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.”
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.
But there was an unrighteous man who abandoned Wisdom; he destroyed himself by killing his brother in a fit of anger.
Because of that sin, the earth was flooded, but Wisdom saved it again. She guided a righteous man in his flimsy wooden boat.
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 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.
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.
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 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.