She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.
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.
She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her.
For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works.
If riches are a desirable possession in life, what is richer than wisdom who effects all things?
And if understanding is effective, who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
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.
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.
Therefore I determined to take her to live with me, knowing that she would give me good counsel and encouragement in cares and grief.
Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honor in the presence of the elders, though I am young.
I shall be found keen in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
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.
Because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.
I shall govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me;
dread monarchs will be afraid of me when they hear of me; among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.
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.
When I considered these things inwardly, and thought upon them in my mind, that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,
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.
As a child I was by nature well endowed, and a good soul fell to my lot;
or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.
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:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)