1 Don't wish for a multitude of worthless children, and don't be glad about sons and daughters if they are ungodly.
2 If they have children, don't rejoice over them unless they respect the Lord.
3 Don't be confident that they will live, and don't rely on their great number. One is better than a thousand, and it's better to die childless than to have ungodly children.
4 A city will be populated through one intelligent person, but a tribe of lawless people can transform it into a desert.
5 My eye has seen many such things, and my ear has heard more extraordinary matters than these.
6 A fire will be kindled in an assembly of sinners, and wrath will flash forth in a disobedient nation.
7 The Lord didn't seek reconciliation with the ancient giants who rebelled in their might.
8 He didn't spare Lot's neighbors, whom he detested because of their arrogance.
9 He showed no mercy on a nation doomed to destruction, on people who were driven off because of their sins.
10 So also he showed no mercy to the six hundred thousand foot soldiers who gathered together in their stubbornness.
11 Even if there was one stiff-necked person, it would be amazing if that one would go unpunished, because mercy and wrath are with him, the Lord who reconciles and who pours out wrath.
12 His scrutiny is as severe as his mercy is abundant; he will judge people according to their deeds.
13 A sinner won't escape with plunder, and the endurance of the godly will never fail.
14 He will make allowance for every act of charity; everyone will receive their just reward.
17 Don't say, "I'll be hidden from the Lord," and "Who from on high will call me to mind? Among a great many people, I'll never be recognized; for what am I in such a vast creation?
18 Look at the heavens, indeed the highest heavens; the abyss and the earth will tremble at the Lord's visitation.
19 All at once the mountains and the foundations of the earth will shake together, quaking, when he looks upon them.
20 The mind cannot even think about these things. Who can ponder his ways?
21 Most of his deeds are hidden like a hurricane that no one can see.
22 Who will announce just actions? Or who will endure, since God's covenant is far off?"
23 Those who lack sense think this way; a foolish and misguided person thinks foolish things.

Wisdom and the creation of humans

24 Listen to me, my child: gain knowledge and apply your mind to my words.
25 I will disclose instruction accurately, and with precision I will declare knowledge.
26 The Lord's works in creation existed from the beginning, and he defined their exact stations when he made them.
27 He set their works in order forever, and arranged their spheres of authority for as long as they last. They have never gotten hungry or grown weary, and they have never abandoned their tasks.
28 None of them crowd out their neighbor, and none will ever disobey his word.
29 Afterward, the Lord looked at the earth and filled it with his good things.
30 He covered its surface with every living being, and they return into it.