¶ Doth not wisdom cry? doth not understanding put forth her voice? Stondeth she not in the high places in the streets and ways? Doth she not cry before the whole city, and in the gates where men go out and in? It is you, O ye men, (sayeth she) whom I call? Unto you (O ye children of men) lift I up my voice. Take heed unto knowledge O ye ignorant, be wise in heart O ye fools. Give ear, for I will speak of great matters, and open my lips to tell things that be right. For my throat shall be talking of the truth, and my lips abhor ungodliness. All the words of my mouth are righteous, there is no frowardness nor falsity therein. They are all plain to such as will understand, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my doctrine therefore, and not silver: and my knowledge, more than fine gold. For wisdom is more worth than precious stones, yea all the things that thou canst desire, are not to be compared unto it.
¶ I wisdom have my dwelling with knowledge, and prudent counsel is mine own. With me is the fear of the LORD, and the eschewing of evil. As for pride, disdain, and evil way, and a mouth that speaketh wicked things, I utterly abhor them. I can give counsel, and be a guide: I have understanding, I have strength. Thorow me, kings reign: thorow me, princes make just laws. Thorow me, lords bear rule, and all judges of the earth execute judgement. I am loving unto those that love me, and they that seek me early, shall find me. Riches and honour are with me, yea excellent goods and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, and precious stone, and mine increase more worth than fine silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, and in the street of judgment. That I may send prosperity to those that love me, and to increase their treasure.
¶ The LORD himself had me in possession in the beginning of his ways, or ever he began his works afore time. I have been ordained from everlasting, and from the beginning or ever the earth was made. When I was born, there were neither depths nor springs of water. Before the foundations of the mountains were laid, yea before all hills was I born. The earth and all that is upon the earth was not yet made, no not the ground itself. For when he made the heavens, I was present: when he set up the depths in order: when he hanged the clouds above: when he fastened the springs of the deep: When he shut the sea within certain bounds, that the waters should not go over their marks. When he laid the foundations of the earth I was with him, ordering all things, delighting daily, and rejoicing all way before him. As for the round compass of his world, I make it joyful: for my delight is to be among the children of men.
¶ Therefore harken unto me, O ye children, for blessed are they that keep my ways. O give ear unto nurture, be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, and giving attendance at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But whoso offendeth against me, hurteth his own soul. All they that hate me, are the lovers of death.