Solomon Like Other Mortals
1I also am mortal, like all men,
a descendant of the first-formed child of earth;
and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,
2within the period of ten months, compacted with blood,
from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.
3And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air,
and fell upon the kindred earth,
and my first sound was a cry, like that of all.
4I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.
5For no king has had a different beginning of existence;
6there is for all mankind one entrance into life, and a common departure.
Solomon's Respect for Wisdom
7Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
8I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
9Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
10I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.
11All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.
12I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
13I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,
14for it is an unfailing treasure for men;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.
Solomon Prays for Wisdom
15May God grant that I speak with judgment
and have thoughts worthy of what I have received,
for he is the guide even of wisdom
and the corrector of the wise.
16For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts.
17For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,
to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements;
18the beginning and end and middle of times,
the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,
19the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,
20the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts,
the powers of spiritsa and the reasonings of men,
the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;
21I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,
22for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.
The Nature of Wisdom
For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible, 23beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent and pure and most subtle.
24For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
25For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
26For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
27Though she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
28for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom.
29For she is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
30for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.