Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-10:21

 

6:12: Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her.
13: She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
14: He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates.
15: To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,
16: because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.
17: The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of her,
18: and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality,
19: and immortality brings one near to God;
20: so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom.
21: Therefore if you delight in thrones and scepters, O monarchs over the peoples, honor wisdom, that you may reign for ever.
22: I will tell you what wisdom is and how she came to be, and I will hide no secrets from you, but I will trace her course from the beginning of creation, and make knowledge of her clear, and I will not pass by the truth;
23: neither will I travel in the company of sickly envy, for envy does not associate with wisdom.
24: A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world, and a sensible king is the stability of his people.
25: Therefore be instructed by my words, and you will profit.

7:1: I also am mortal, like all men, a descendant of the first-formed child of earth; and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,
2: within the period of ten months, compacted with blood, from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.
3: And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth, and my first sound was a cry, like that of all.
4: I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.
5: For no king has had a different beginning of existence;
6: there is for all mankind one entrance into life, and a common departure.
7: Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
8: I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
9: Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
10: I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases.
11: All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.
12: I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them; but I did not know that she was their mother.
13: I learned without guile and I impart without grudging; I do not hide her wealth,
14: for it is an unfailing treasure for men; those who get it obtain friendship with God, commended for the gifts that come from instruction.
15: May God grant that I speak with judgment and have thought worthy of what I have received, for he is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise.
16: For both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts.
17: For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements;
18: the beginning and end and middle of times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,
19: the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,
20: the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and the reasonings of men, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;
21: I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,
22: for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible,
23: beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle.
24: For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
25: For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
26: For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.
27: Though she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
28: for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom.
29: For she is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
30: for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

8:1: She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.
2: I loved her and sought her from my youth, and I desired to take her for my bride, and I became enamored of her beauty.
3: She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her.
4: For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works.
5: If riches are a desirable possession in life, what is richer than wisdom who effects all things?
6: And if understanding is effective, who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
7: And if any one loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.
8: And if any one longs for wide experience, she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come; she understands turns of speech and the solutions of riddles; she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders and of the outcome of seasons and times.
9: Therefore I determined to take her to live with me, knowing that she would give me good counsel and encouragement in cares and grief.
10: Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honor in the presence of the elders, though I am young.
11: I shall be found keen in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
12: When I am silent they will wait for me, and when I speak they will give heed; and when I speak at greater length they will put their hands on their mouths.
13: Because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.
14: I shall govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me;
15: dread monarchs will be afraid of me when they hear of me; among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.
16: When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her, for companionship with her has no bitterness, and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.
17: When I considered these things inwardly, and thought upon them in my mind, that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,
18: and in friendship with her, pure delight, and in the labors of her hands, unfailing wealth, and in the experience of her company, understanding, and renown in sharing her words, I went about seeking how to get her for myself.
19: As a child I was by nature well endowed, and a good soul fell to my lot;
20: or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.
21: But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom unless God gave her to me — and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was — so I appealed to the Lord and besought him, and with my whole heart I said:

9:1: "O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, who has made all things by your word,
2: and by your wisdom have formed man, to have dominion over the creatures you have made,
3: and rule the world in holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,
4: give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, and do not reject me from among your servants.
5: For I am your slave and the son of your maidservant, a man who is weak and short-lived, with little understanding of judgment and laws;
6: for even if one is perfect among the sons of men, yet without the wisdom that comes from you he will be regarded as nothing.
7: You have chosen me to be king of your people and to be judge over your sons and daughters.
8: You have given command to build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city of your habitation, a copy of the holy tent which you did prepare from the beginning.
9: With you is wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world, and who understand what is pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your commandments.
10: Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne of your glory send her, that she may be with me and toil, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.
11: For she knows and understands all things, and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me with her glory.
12: Then my works will be acceptable, and I shall judge your people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of my father.
13: For what man can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
14: For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our designs are likely to fail,
15: for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.
16: We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labor; but who has traced out what is in the heavens?
17: Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy Spirit from on high?
18: And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and men were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom."

10:1: Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression,
2: and gave him strength to rule all things.
3: But when an unrighteous man departed from her in his anger, he perished because in rage he slew his brother.
4: When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it, steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood.
5: Wisdom also, when the nations in wicked agreement had been confounded, recognized the righteous man and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong in the face of his compassion for his child.
6: Wisdom rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing; he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities.
7: Evidence of their wickedness still remains: a continually smoking wasteland, plants bearing fruit that does not ripen, and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul.
8: For because they passed wisdom by, they not only were hindered from recognizing the good, but also left for mankind a reminder of their folly, so that their failures could never go unnoticed.
9: Wisdom rescued from troubles those who served her.
10: When a righteous man fled from his brother's wrath, she guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of angels; she prospered him in his labors, and increased the fruit of his toil.
11: When his oppressors were covetous, she stood by him and made him rich.
12: She protected him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those who lay in wait for him; in his arduous contest she gave him the victory, so that he might learn that godliness is more powerful than anything.
13: When a righteous man was sold, wisdom did not desert him, but delivered him from sin. She descended with him into the dungeon,
14: and when he was in prison she did not leave him, until she brought him the scepter of a kingdom and authority over his masters. Those who accused him she showed to be false, and she gave him everlasting honor.
15: A holy people and blameless race wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors.
16: She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, and withstood dread kings with wonders and signs.
17: She gave holy men the reward of their labors; she guided them along a marvelous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and a starry flame through the night.
18: She brought them over the Red Sea, and led them through deep waters;
19: but she drowned their enemies, and cast them up from the depth of the sea.
20: Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly; they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name, and praised with one accord your defending hand,
21: because wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of babes speak clearly.

 

Questions


1. Literarily what has the author done with the concept of wisdom?

2. How does the author describe wisdom in 7:22-30, 8:3-5 and 9:1-18?

3. What has been the role of wisdom in salvation according to Wis 10?

4. How would you describe the relation of wisdom to God?

 

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