1 Doesn’t Wisdom call out? Doesn’t Understanding make her voice heard?
2 At the heights overlooking the road, at the crossroads, she takes her stand.
3 Beside the gates at the entry to the city, at the main entrance, she cries out:
4 “People, I call out to you; my cry is to mankind.
5 Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced; develop common sense, you who are foolish.
6 Listen, for I speak of noble things, and what my lips say is right.
7 For my mouth tells the truth, and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; none of them are deceptive or perverse.
9 All of them are clear to the perceptive, and right to those who discover knowledge.
10 Accept my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is better than jewels, and nothing desirable can compare with it.
12 I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness and have knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
14 I possess good advice and competence; I have understanding and strength.
15 It is by me that kings reign and rulers enact just law;
16 by me, princes lead, as do nobles and all righteous judges.
17 I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, lasting wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than solid gold, and my harvest than pure silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 giving wealth as an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22 The Lord made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago.
23 I was formed before ancient times, from the beginning, before the earth began.
24 I was born when there were no watery depths and no springs filled with water.
25 I was delivered before the mountains and hills were established,
26 before He made the land, the fields, or the first soil on earth.
27 I was there when He established the heavens, when He laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,
28 when He placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,
29 when He set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate His command, when He laid out the foundations of the earth.
30 I was a skilled craftsman beside Him. I was His delight every day, always rejoicing before Him.
31 I was rejoicing in His inhabited world, delighting in the human race.
32 And now, my sons, listen to me; those who keep my ways are happy.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise; don’t ignore it.
34 Anyone who listens to me is happy, watching at my doors every day, waiting by the posts of my doorway.
35 For the one who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but the one who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”
14 “For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them.
15 To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one—to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey.
16 The man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more.
17 In the same way the man with two earned two more.
18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. Look, I’ve earned five more talents.’
21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’
22 “Then the man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. Look, I’ve earned two more talents.’
23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’
24 “Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy slave! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered,
27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers. And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest.
28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents.
29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
30 And throw this good-for-nothing slave into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins
2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
21 For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.