Poets Feature Sampler - Page 27


He has taken a wallet full of money with him
and won’t return until later this month.”
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.
So she seduced him with her pretty speech
and enticed him with her flattery.
He followed her at once,
like an ox going to the slaughter.
He was like a stag caught in a trap,
awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,
little knowing it would cost him his life.
“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.
So listen to me, my sons,
and pay attention to my words.
Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her.
Don’t wander down her wayward path.
For she has been the ruin of many;
many men have been her victims.
Her house is the road to the grave.
Her bedroom is the den of death.
Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
“I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
“I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.
“The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,

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