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Wisdom 9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Solomon’s Prayer[a]

[b]God of my ancestors, Lord of mercy,
    you who have made all things by your word
And in your wisdom have established humankind
    to rule the creatures produced by you,
And to govern the world in holiness and righteousness,
    and to render judgment in integrity of heart:
Give me Wisdom, the consort at your throne,
    and do not reject me from among your children;
For I am your servant, the child of your maidservant,
    a man weak and short-lived
    and lacking in comprehension of judgment and of laws.
Indeed, though one be perfect among mortals,
    if Wisdom, who comes from you, be lacking,
    that one will count for nothing.

You have chosen me king over your people
    and magistrate over your sons and daughters.
You have bid me build a temple on your holy mountain
    and an altar in the city that is your dwelling place,
    a copy of the holy tabernacle which you had established from of old.
Now with you is Wisdom, who knows your works
    and was present when you made the world;
Who understands what is pleasing in your eyes
    and what is conformable with your commands.
10 Send her forth from your holy heavens
    and from your glorious throne dispatch her
That she may be with me and work with me,
    that I may know what is pleasing to you.
11 For she knows and understands all things,
    and will guide me prudently in my affairs
    and safeguard me by her glory;
12 Thus my deeds will be acceptable,
    and I will judge your people justly
    and be worthy of my father’s throne.

13 For who knows God’s counsel,
    or who can conceive what the Lord intends?
14 For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
    and uncertain our plans.
15 [c]For the corruptible body burdens the soul
    and the earthly tent weighs down the mind with its many concerns.
16 Scarcely can we guess the things on earth,
    and only with difficulty grasp what is at hand;
    but things in heaven, who can search them out?
17 Or who can know your counsel, unless you give Wisdom
    and send your holy spirit from on high?
18 [d]Thus were the paths of those on earth made straight,
    and people learned what pleases you,
    and were saved by Wisdom.


  1. 9:1–18 The author presents his version of Solomon’s prayer (1 Kgs 3:6–9; 2 Chr 1:8–10).
  2. 9:1–2 The author identifies Wisdom with the word of God just as he again identifies Wisdom with the spirit of God in v. 17. All three are alternate ways of expressing God’s activity in relationship with the world and its inhabitants.
  3. 9:15–17 Although the expressions in v. 15 draw on the language of Plato concerning the human condition, the conclusion is very biblical: God remains a mystery (Jb 38–39; Eccl 8:17; Is 40:12–14; Rom 11:33–34). The plight of humankind is clearly one of ignorance, unless the “holy spirit” is sent from God.
  4. 9:18 An announcement of the next section.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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