The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Proverbs
And, all the while, the wisdom that grants discernment is crying aloud, is never silent;
there she stands, on some high vantage-point by the public way, where the roads meet,
or at the city’s approach, close beside the gates, making proclamation.
To every man, high and low, her voice calls:
Here is better counsel for the simpleton; O foolish hearts, take warning!
Listen to me, I have matters of high moment to unfold, a plain message to deliver.
A tongue that speaks truth, lips that scorn impiety;
here all is sound doctrine, no shifts, no evasions here.
No discerning heart, no well-stored mind, but will own it right and just.
Here is counsel, here is instruction, better worth the winning than silver or the finest gold;
wisdom is more to be coveted than any jewel; there is no beauty that can be matched with hers.
What am I, the wisdom that speaks to you? To shrewdness I am a near neighbour, and I occupy myself with deep designs;
but, since they must hate evil that fear the Lord, all pride and boastfulness, every mischievous design and every treacherous word I shun.
Good counsel is mine, and honourable dealing, discernment and high courage are my gifts;
through me kings learn how to reign, law-givers how to lay down just decrees;
through me chieftain and magistrate exercise their power aright.
Love me, and thou shalt earn my love; wait early at my doors, and thou shalt gain access to me.
The gifts I bring with me are riches and honour, princely state and the divine favour.
Mine is a yield better than gold or jewels, mine are revenues more precious than the finest silver.
A faithful course I tread, nor exceed the bounds of just retribution,
failing never to enrich the souls that love me with abundant store.
The Lord made me his✻ when first he went about his work, at the birth of time, before his creation began.
Long, long ago, before earth was fashioned, I held my course.
Already I lay in the womb, when the depths were not yet in being, when no springs of water had yet broken;
when I was born, the mountains had not yet sunk on their firm foundations, and there were no hills;
not yet had he made the earth, or the rivers, or the solid framework of the world.✻
I was there when he built the heavens, when he fenced in the waters with a vault inviolable,
when he fixed the sky overhead, and levelled the fountain-springs of the deep.
I was there when he enclosed the sea within its confines, forbidding the waters to transgress their assigned limits, when he poised the foundations of the world.
I was at his side, a master-workman, my delight increasing with each day, as I made play before him all the while;
made play in this world of dust, with the sons of Adam for my play-fellows.
Listen to me, then, you that are my sons, that follow, to your happiness, in the paths I shew you;
listen to the teaching that will make you wise, instead of turning away from it.
Blessed are they who listen to me, keep vigil, day by day, at my threshold, watching till I open my doors.
The man who wins me, wins life, drinks deep of the Lord’s favour;
who fails, fails at his own bitter cost; to be my enemy is to be in love with death.
The Holy Bible