The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Wisdom
God of our fathers, Lord of all mercy, thou by thy word hast made all things,
and thou in thy wisdom hast contrived man to rule thy creation,
to order the world by a law of right living and of just dealing, and give true award in the honest purpose of his heart.
Wisdom I ask of thee, the same wisdom that dwells so near thy throne; do not grudge me a place among thy retinue.
Am I not thy servant, and to thy service born? Mortal man thou seest me, the puny creature of an hour, a mind unapt for judgement and the making of laws.
Grow man to what perfection he will, if he lacks the wisdom that comes from thee, he is nothing;
and me thou hast chosen to reign over thy people; from me sons and daughters of thine must seek for redress!
More than this, thou hast bidden me raise thee temple and altar, upon this mountain, in the holy city where thou dwellest, model of that holy tabernacle, made long ago, whose pattern was of thy own devising.✻
Wisdom was with thee then,✻ privy to all thy designs, she who stood by thee at the world’s creation, and knows thy whole will, the whole tenour of thy commandments.
From that heavenly sanctuary, that high throne of thine, send her out still on thy errand, to be at my side too, and share my labours! How else should thy will be made clear to me?
For her, no secret, no riddle is too dark; her prudent counsel will be my guide, the fame of her my protection.
So shall my task be accomplished as thou wouldst have it be; so shall I give this people of thine just awards, no unworthy heir of the throne my father left me.
What God’s purpose is, how should man discover, how should his mind master the secret of the divine will?
So hesitating our human thoughts, so hazardous our conjectures!
Ever the soul is weighed down by a mortal body, earth-bound cell that clogs the manifold activity of its thought.
Hard enough to read the riddle of our life here, with laborious search ascertaining what lies so close to hand; and would we trace out heaven’s mysteries too?
Thy purposes none may know, unless thou dost grant thy gift of wisdom, sending out from high heaven thy own holy spirit.
Thus ever were men guided by the right way, here on earth, and learned to know thy will;
ever since the world began wisdom was the salve they used, that have won thy favour.✻
The Holy Bible