1[The Law, the Prophets,and the other writers succeeding them have passed on to us great lessons,inconsequence of which Israel must be commended for learning and wisdom. Furthermore, it is a duty, not only toacquire learning by reading,but also, once having acquired it, to make oneself of use to people outsideby whatone can say or write. My grandfather Jesus, having long devoted himself to the readingof the Law,theProphetsand other books of the Fathersand having become very learned in them,himself decided to writesomething on the subjects of learning and wisdom,so that people who wanted to learn might, by themselvesaccepting these disciplines,learn how better to live according to the Law.You are therefore askedto read thisbookwith good wil and attentionand to show indulgencein those places where, notwithstanding our efforts atinterpretation, we may seemto have failed to give an adequate rendering of this or that expression;the fact is thatthere is no equivalentfor things original y written in Hebrew when it is a question of translating them into anotherlanguage;what is more,the Law itself, the Prophetsand the other booksdiffer considerably in translation fromwhat appears in the original text. It was in the thirty-eighth year of the late King Euergetesthat, coming to Egyptand spending some time here,and finding life here consistent with a high degree of wisdom,I became convincedof an immediate duty to apply myself in my turn with pains and diligence to the translation of the book thatfol ows;and I spent much time and learning on itin the course of this period,to complete the work and to publishthe bookfor the benefit of those too who, domiciled abroad, wish to study,to reform their behaviour, and to live asthe Law requires.] All wisdom comes from the Lord, she is with him for ever.
2The sands of the sea, the drops of rain, the days of eternity -- who can count them?
3The height of the sky, the breadth of the earth, the depth of the abyss -- who can explore them?
4Wisdom was created before everything, prudent understanding subsists from remotest ages.
5 6For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered? Her resourceful ways, who knows them?
7 8One only is wise, terrible indeed,
9seated on his throne, the Lord. It was he who created, inspected and weighed her up, and then pouredher out on al his works-
10as much to each living creature as he chose -- bestowing her on those who love him.
11The fear of the Lord is glory and pride, happiness and a crown of joyfulness.
12The fear of the Lord gladdens the heart, giving happiness, joy and long life.
13For those who fear the Lord, all wil end wel : on their dying day they wil be blessed.
14The basis of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she was created with the faithful in their mothers' womb;
15she has made a home in the human race, an age -- old foundation, and to their descendants wil shefaithful y cling.
16The ful ness of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she intoxicates them with her fruits;
17she fil s their entire house with treasures and their storerooms with her produce.
18The crown of wisdom is to fear the Lord: she makes peace and health flourish.
19The Lord has seen and assessed her, he has showered down knowledge and intelligence, he hasexalted the renown of those who possess her.
20The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and her branches are long life.
21 22The rage of the wicked cannot put him in the right, for the weight of his rage is his downfal .
23A patient person puts up with things until the right time comes: but his joy wil break out in the end.
24Til the time comes he keeps his thoughts to himself, and many a lip will affirm how wise he is.
25Wisdom's treasuries contain the maxims of knowledge, the sinner, however, holds piety in abhorrence.
26If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will bestow it on you.
27For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction, and what pleases him is faithfulness and gentleness.
28Do not stand out against fear of the Lord, do not practise it with a double heart.
29Do not act a part in public, keep watch over your lips.
30Do not grow too high and mighty, for fear you fal and cover yourself in disgrace; for the Lord wouldthen reveal your secrets and overthrow you before the whole community for not having practised fear of the Lordand for having a heart ful of deceit.
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