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hand are both we and our words: all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship. It is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out.
All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. If riches be a possession to be desired in this life; what is richer than wisdom, that worketh all things? And if prudence work; who of all that are, is a more cunning workman than she? If a man desire much experience, she knoweth things of old, and conjectureth aright what is to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and can expound dark sentences: she foreseeth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and times. Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counsellor of good. things, and a comfort in cares and grief. For her sake I shall have estimation among the multitude, and honour with the elders, though I be young. After I am come into mine house, I will
repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness; and to live with her hath no sorrow, but mirth and joy. Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me. Now when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality; and great pleasure it is to have her friendship; and in the works of her hands are infinite riches; and in the exercise of conference with her, prudence; and in talking with her, a good report; I went about seeking how to take her to me.
Where shall wisdom be found ? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof: neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not
be for jewels of' tine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls; for the price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. Whence then cometh wisdom ? and where is the place of understanding? Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our
God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. For he lookethto the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
Wnen he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
An analysis of Wisdom and Folly.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge ; but fools despise wisdom and instruction. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good ; and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom : but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. He that hath knowledge spareth his words; and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise ; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise coun. sels. Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is '
made known. It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of under-tanding hath wisdom. The heart of him that hath un. derstanding seeketh knowledge : but the mouth
of fools feedeth on foolishness. A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge ; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge. Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth bimself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly; and a man of wicked devices is hated. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty : but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both. The simple inherit folly; but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. A wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge : but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise : but companion of fools shall be destroyed. The wis. dom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools make a