Wisdom is the book of God's commandments, the Law that will last forever. All who hold onto her will live, but those who abandon her will die. 1
Turn to Wisdom, people of Israel, and take hold of her. Make your way toward the splendor of her light.
Do not surrender our glorious privileges to any other people.
How happy we are, people of Israel; we have the advantage of knowing what is pleasing to God!
Take courage, my people, you are the ones who keep Israel's name alive.
You were sold to Gentile nations, but not to be destroyed. Because you made God angry, he handed you over to your enemies.
When you offered sacrifices to demons instead of to God, you angered the one who made you.
You forgot the Eternal God, who had nourished you as a child, and so you brought grief to Jerusalem, who had been like a mother to you.
Jerusalem saw that God was punishing you because he was angry, and she said to all the neighboring cities, "Look at the great misery that God has brought on me.
I saw my sons and daughters taken into captivity, a captivity brought on them by the Eternal God.
I brought up my children with great delight, but I cried and mourned when they were taken from me.
Let no one take pleasure in my suffering now that I am a widow and so many of my children have been taken from me. They turned away from God's Law, and their sins have made me a deserted city.
They had no respect for his commandments and would not live by them; they refused to let him guide them in the way of righteousness.
"All you neighboring cities, come and consider how the Eternal God has sent my children into exile.
He brought against them a nation from far away, a shameless nation that speaks a foreign language and has no respect for the elderly and no pity for children.
These people carried off my beloved sons and took away my daughters, and I was left a widow, completely alone.
"My children in exile, I can do nothing to help you.
Only the one who brought this punishment upon you can rescue you from your enemies.
Go your own way, my children; live your own life! I am all alone. 2
I have taken off the robes I wore during days of peace, and I have dressed myself like a person in mourning. I will cry out to the Eternal God for help as long as I live.
"Take courage, my children, and cry out to God for help. He will rescue you from oppression, from the power of your enemies.
I am confident that the Eternal God will soon set you free. The Holy One, your eternal savior, will make me happy when he shows you mercy.
I cried and wailed when you were taken away, but God will bring you back and will make me happy forever.
Just as the neighboring cities watched as you were taken captive, so they will soon see the Eternal God coming in glorious splendor to rescue you.
My children, endure God's punishment with patience. Your enemies have persecuted you, but you will soon see them destroyed and at your mercy.
My children, I spoiled you with love, but you have had to follow rugged paths; you were carried off like sheep caught in an enemy raid.
"Take courage, my children, and cry out to God for help. He punished you, but he will not forget you.
Just as you were once determined to turn away from God, now turn back and serve him with ten times more determination.
The one who brought these calamities upon you will rescue you and bring you everlasting joy."
Take courage, Jerusalem. God, who gave you your name, will now bring comfort to you.
Misery will come to those who mistreated you and then rejoiced when you fell.
Misery will come to those cities that made your children slaves. Misery will be the fate of Babylon, that city which swallowed up your children.
Just as that city rejoiced when you fell and took delight in your ruin, so now she will mourn when she herself is deserted.
I will turn her proud boastings into mourning and take away her large population in which she took pride.
I, the Eternal God, will send down fire on her, and it will burn for many days. Her ruins will be haunted by demons for a long time to come.
Look to the east, Jerusalem, and see the joy that God is bringing to you.
Look, your children are coming home, the children that were taken from you. They have been gathered together from the east and from the west by the command of God, the Holy One. And now they are coming home, rejoicing in the glory of God.