8 Like a person, wisdom calls out to you. Understanding raises her voice. 2 On the hilltops along the road and at the crossroads, she stands calling. 3 She stands beside the city gates. At the entrances into the city, she calls out: 4 “People, I’m calling out to you. I am shouting to all people. 5 You who do not know better, get the ability to think. You who are foolish, get understanding. 6 Listen. I have important things to say. What I tell you is right. 7 What I say is true. I hate it when people speak evil. 8 Everything I say is honest. Nothing I say is crooked or false. 9 People with good sense know that what I say is true. People with knowledge know that my words are right. 10 Choose my teachings instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than the finest gold. 11 Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you want is equal to it.
12 “I am wisdom, and I have the ability to think. I also have knowledge and good sense. 13 If you respect the Lord, you also will hate evil. It is wise to hate pride and bragging, evil ways and lies. 14 I have good sense and advice. I have understanding and power. 15 Kings use me to govern. And rulers use me to make fair laws. 16 Princes use me to lead. So do important men and all good judges. 17 I love those who love me. Those who want me find me. 18 Riches and honor are mine. So are wealth and lasting success. 19 What I give is better than the finest gold. What I give is better than pure silver. 20 I do what is right. I do what is fair. 21 I give wealth to those who love me. I fill them with treasures.
22 “I, wisdom, was with God when he began his work. This was before he made anything else long ago. 23 I was appointed in the very beginning, even before the world began. 24 I began before there were oceans. There were no springs overflowing with water. 25 I began before the hills were there. The mountains had not even been put in place. 26 God still had not made the earth or fields. He had not even made the first dust of the earth. 27 I was there when God put the skies in place, when he stretched the horizon over the oceans. 28 I was there when he made the clouds above. I was there when he put the fountains in the oceans. 29 I was there when he ordered the sea not to go beyond the borders he had set for it. I was there when he laid the earth’s foundation. 30 I was like a child by his side. I was happy every day and enjoyed being in his presence. 31 I enjoyed the whole world. And I was happy with all its people.
32 “Now, my children, listen to me. Those who follow my ways are happy. 33 Listen to my teaching, and you will be wise. Do not ignore it. 34 Those who listen to me are happy. They stand watching at my door every day. They are at my open doorway, wanting to be with me. 35 Whoever finds me finds life. And the Lord will be pleased with him. 36 Whoever does not find me hurts himself. Those who hate me love death.”
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