The Bible – Old Testament
The Book of Wisdom
Hear, therefore, kings, and understand; learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the LORD and sovereignty by the Most High, who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels!
1 Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly, and did not keep the law, nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you, because judgment is stern for the exalted –
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality, nor does he fear greatness, Because he himself made the great as well as the small, and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
2 For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy, and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words; long for them and you shall be instructed.
Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men’s desire;
he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of her is the perfection of prudence, and he who for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care;
Because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude.
For the first step toward discipline is a very earnest desire for her; then, care for discipline is love of her;
love means the keeping of her laws; To observe her laws is the basis for incorruptibility;
and incorruptibility makes one close to God;
thus the desire for Wisdom leads up to a kingdom.
If, then, you find pleasure in throne and scepter, you princes of the peoples, honor Wisdom, that you may reign as kings forever.
Now what wisdom is, and how she came to be I shall relate; and I shall hide no secrets from you, But from the very beginning I shall search out and bring to light knowledge of her, nor shall I diverge from the truth.
Neither shall I admit consuming jealousy to my company, because that can have no fellowship with Wisdom.
A great number of wise men is the safety of the world, and a prudent king, the stability of his people;
so take instruction from my words, to your profit.