1 Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order.
Solomon's Love for Wisdom
2 Wisdom has been my love. I courted her when I was young and wanted to make her my bride. I fell in love with her beauty. 3 She glorifies her noble origin by living with God, the Lord of all, who loves her. 4 She is familiar with God's mysteries and helps determine his course of action.
5 Is it good to have riches in this life? Nothing can make you richer than Wisdom, who makes everything function. 6 Is knowledge a useful thing to have? Nothing is better than Wisdom, who has given shape to everything that exists. 7 Do you love justice? All the virtues are the result of Wisdom's work: justice and courage, self-control and understanding. Life can offer us nothing more valuable than these. 8 Do you want to have wide experience? Wisdom knows the lessons of history and can anticipate the future. She knows how to interpret what people say and how to solve problems. She knows the miracles that God will perform, and how the movements of history will develop.
9 So I decided to take Wisdom home to live with me, because I knew that she would give me good advice and encourage me in times of trouble and grief. 10 I thought to myself, “Because of her I will be honored wherever people come together. The old men will respect me, even though I am young. 11 They will find that my opinions show deep insight, and those in power will admire me. 12 When I am silent, they will wait for me to speak, and when I speak, they will pay attention. Even when I speak at length, they will listen with concentration. 13 Because of Wisdom I will gain immortality; I will live forever in the memory of those who come after me. 14 I will hold power over nations and peoples; 15 dreaded tyrants will be seized with fear at the mention of my name. I will be famous, as a good king and as a brave soldier. 16 When I come home to Wisdom, I will find contentment because there is no conflict or pain in living with her, only happiness and joy.”
17 And so I thought it over: to be wedded to Wisdom is to live forever, 18 to love her is to be perfectly happy, to do her work is to be rich beyond measure, to share her company is to have sound judgment, to converse with her is to be honored. Then I was determined to take Wisdom as my bride. 19-20 I had a pleasant personality even as a child. I had been fortunate enough to receive a good soul, or rather, I was given a sound body to live in because I was already good. 21 Still, I realized that I would never receive Wisdom unless God gave her to me—and knowing that only God could give her to me was itself a sign of understanding. So I prayed, begging the Lord with all my heart: