The Bible – Old Testament
1 All wisdom 2 comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever.
The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain, the days of eternity: who can number these?
Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth, the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
Before all things else wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity.
To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed? Who knows her subtleties?
There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne:
It is the LORD; he created her, has seen her and taken note of her.
He has poured her forth upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends.
3 4 Fear of the LORD is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown.
Fear of the LORD warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days.
He who fears the LORD will have a happy end; even on the day of his death he will be blessed.
The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.
With devoted men was she created from of old, and with their children her beneficence abides.
Fullness of wisdom is fear of the LORD; she inebriates men with her fruits.
Her entire house she fills with choice foods, her granaries with her harvest.
Wisdom’s garland is fear of the LORD, with blossoms of peace and perfect health.
Knowledge and full understanding she showers down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her.
The root of wisdom is fear of the LORD; her branches are length of days.
5 One cannot justify unjust anger; anger plunges a man to his downfall.
A patient man need stand firm but for a time, and then contentment comes back to him.
For a while he holds back his words, then the lips of many herald his wisdom.
Among wisdom’s treasures is the paragon of prudence; but fear of the LORD is an abomination to the sinner.
If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the LORD will bestow her upon you;
For fear of the LORD is wisdom and culture; loyal humility is his delight.
6 Be not faithless to the fear of the LORD, nor approach it with duplicity of heart.
Play not the hypocrite before men; over your lips keep watch.
Exalt not yourself lest you fall and bring upon you dishonor;
For then the LORD will reveal your secrets and publicly cast you down,
Because you approached the fear of the LORD with your heart full of guile.
2  Wisdom: here the author speaks of true wisdom, namely God’s external revelation of himself. Throughout the book he describes in great detail just what wisdom is; sometimes it is divine; sometimes it is a synonym for God’s law; sometimes it is human. But the author makes clear that even human wisdom, properly understood, comes from God.
3 [9-18] Here are described the spiritual and temporal blessings that come during the lifetime of him who fears the Lord, i.e., practices true religion.
4  Fear of the LORD: see note on ⇒ Psalm 111:10.
5 [19-22] The disciple of wisdom shuns unjust anger which brings downfall. By patience and self-control he preserves calm, recovers contentment, and receives public praise. The sinner, on the contrary, despises the restraints which religion imposes.
6 [25-29] Infidelity to religion, or the use of it for any but the single purpose of serving God, is hypocrisy and self-exaltation, deserving of public disgrace.