1 Hear therefore, you kings, and understand.
Learn, you judges of the ends of the earth.
2 Give ear, you rulers who have dominion over many people,
and make your boast * Or, in the multitudes of your nations in multitudes of nations,
3 because your dominion was given to you from the Lord,
and your sovereignty from the Most High.
He will search out your works,
and will inquire about your plans;
4 because being officers of his kingdom, you didn’t judge rightly,
nor did you keep† Or, the law law,
nor did you walk according to God’s counsel.
5 He will come upon you awfully and swiftly,
because a stern judgement comes on those who are in high place.
6 For the man of low estate may be pardoned in mercy,
but mighty men will be mightily tested.
7 For the Sovereign Lord of all will not be impressed with anyone,
neither will he show deference to greatness;
because it is he who made both small and great,
and cares about them all;
8 but the scrutiny that comes upon the powerful is strict.
9 Therefore, my words are to you, O princes,
that you may learn wisdom and not fall away.
10 For those who have kept the things that are holy in holiness will be made holy.
Those who have been taught them will find what to say in defense.
11 Therefore set your desire on my words.
Long for them, and you princes will be instructed.
12 Wisdom is radiant and doesn’t fade away;
and is easily seen by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
13 She anticipates those who desire her, making herself known.
14 He who rises up early to seek her won’t have difficulty,
for he will find her sitting at his gates.
15 For to think upon her is perfection of understanding,
and he who watches for her will quickly be free from care;
16 because she herself goes around, seeking those who are worthy of her,
and in their paths she appears to them graciously,
and in every purpose she meets them.
17 For her true beginning is desire for instruction;
and desire for instruction is love.
18 And love is observance of her laws.
To give heed to her laws confirms immortality.
19 Immortality brings closeness to God.
20 So then desire for wisdom promotes to a kingdom.
21 If therefore you delight in thrones and sceptres, you princes of peoples,
honor wisdom, that you may reign forever.
22 But what wisdom is, and how she came into being, I will declare.
I won’t hide mysteries from you;
but I will explore from her first beginning,
bring the knowledge of her into clear light,
and I will not pass by the truth.
23 Indeed, I won’t go with consuming envy,
because envy will have no fellowship with wisdom.
24 But a multitude of wise men is salvation to the world,
and an understanding king is stability for his people.
25 Therefore be instructed by my words, and you will profit.