The Responsibility of Rulers
1 So then, you kings, you rulers the world over, listen to what I say, and learn from it. 2 You govern many lands and are proud that so many people are under your rule, 3 but this authority has been given to you by the Lord Most High. He will examine what you have done and what you plan to do. 4 You rule on behalf of God and his kingdom, and if you do not govern justly, if you do not uphold the law, if you do not live according to God's will, 5 you will suffer sudden and terrible punishment. Judgment is especially severe on those in power. 6 Common people may be mercifully forgiven for their wrongs, but those in power will face a severe judgment. 7 The Lord of all is not afraid of anyone, no matter how great they are. He himself made everyone, great and common alike, and he provides for all equally, 8 but he will judge the conduct of rulers more strictly. 9 It is for you, mighty kings, that I write these words, so that you may know how to act wisely and avoid mistakes. 10 These are holy matters, and if you treat them in a holy manner, you yourselves will be considered holy. If you have learned this lesson, you will be able to defend yourselves at the Judgment. 11 So then, make my teaching your treasure and joy, and you will be well instructed.
The Value of Wisdom
12 Wisdom shines bright and never grows dim; those who love her and look for her can easily find her. 13 She is quick to make herself known to anyone who desires her. 14 Get up early in the morning to find her, and you will have no problem; you will find her sitting at your door. 15 To fasten your attention on Wisdom is to gain perfect understanding. If you look for her, you will soon find peace of mind, 16 because she will be looking for those who are worthy of her, and she will find you wherever you are. She is kind and will be with you in your every thought.
17 Wisdom begins when you sincerely want to learn. To desire Wisdom is to love her; 18 to love her is to keep her laws; to keep her laws is to be certain of immortality; 19 immortality will bring you close to God. 20 This desire for Wisdom can prepare you to rule a kingdom. 21 So then, you that rule the nations, if you value your thrones and symbols of authority, honor Wisdom so that you may rule forever.
Solomon Wishes to Share His Wisdom
22 I will tell you what Wisdom is, and how she came to be. I will not keep anything secret. I will trace her history from the beginning and make knowledge of her open to all. I will not ignore any part of the truth. 23 No jealous desire to guard my own knowledge will make me hold back anything. Wisdom has nothing in common with such an attitude. 24 No indeed—the more wise people there are, the safer the world will be. A sensible king can be depended on to give his people this kind of security. 25 So then, learn what I am about to teach you, and you will profit from it.