The ruler’s need for wisdom

I’m just a human like everyone else. I’m a descendant of the first person who was created out of earth. My flesh was molded into shape during the time that I was in my mother’s womb. Over the course of ten months, I took shape from her blood, built up out of a man’s seed and a night of pleasure. When I was born, I gulped in the same air as everyone else. I dropped out onto the same earth that all people share. I let out my first cry that was just like the sound anyone else makes. I was nurtured by snug clothes and good care. No king has ever begun life any differently. There’s only one way into life for everyone, and only one way out as well.

Because of this, I prayed, and the ability to reason wisely was given to me. I called out, and Wisdom’s spirit came to me. I chose wisdom above all the symbols of royalty and over any throne. In comparison to her, I counted riches as nothing. She was more precious to me than even a priceless jewel, since all the gold in the world would be nothing more than a little sand before her. All the silver would be just like clay in her presence. 10 I loved her more than health or beauty. I chose her above sunlight itself, for her brightness never sets.

11 Yet then I found that every other good thing also came with her, for in her hands were countless riches. 12 I rejoiced in all this because Wisdom brings them all in tow. I didn’t know that she had given birth to them. 13 I learned in innocence, and I don’t begrudge sharing it with you. I won’t conceal her riches. 14 She’s a never-ending treasure for humans. Those who possess her are ready to be God’s friends, commended for the gifts that come from instruction.

Wisdom’s all-embracing excellence

15 I pray that God will allow me to speak knowledgeably and to ponder well what God has taught me. God himself is the guide even of Wisdom, and God keeps those who already possess wisdom on the right course. 16 We’re in God’s hands, as are our words, all our reasoning, and all our practical knowledge. 17 He’s given me accurate knowledge of all that is—of how the world is made and holds together, and of the forces at work in the world’s essential elements. 18 He’s given me knowledge of the beginning, end, and middle of time; of the alternation of the solstices and the changes of seasons; 19 of the cycle of the year and the positions of the stars; 20 of the nature of animals, the temperaments of beasts, the extraordinary powers of spirits, the thoughts of humans, the different types of plants, and the healing powers of roots. 21 I now know everything, visible and hidden, 22 for Wisdom, the designer of everything that is, has taught me.

Her spirit is insightful, holy, unique, diverse, refined, kinetic, pure, spotless, transparent, harmless, delighting in what is good, sharp, 23 unstoppable, overflowing with kindness, delighting in humans, steadfast, secure, not anxious, all-powerful, and all-seeing. Her spirit can be found in every spirit that is perceptive, pure, and refined. 24 Wisdom is more mobile than anything that moves. She pervades and embraces everything because she is so pure. 25 Wisdom is the warm breath of God’s power. She pours forth from the all-powerful one’s pure glory. Therefore, nothing impure can enter her. 26 She’s the brightness that shines forth from eternal light. She’s a mirror that flawlessly reflects God’s activity. She’s the perfect image of God’s goodness. 27 She can do anything, since she’s one and undivided. She never changes, and yet she makes everything new. Generation after generation, she enters souls and shapes them into God’s friends and prophets. 28 God doesn’t love anything as much as people who make their home with Wisdom. 29 She’s more splendid than the sun and more wonderful than the arrangement of the stars. She’s even brighter than sunlight, 30 for night follows day, but evil can never overcome Wisdom.