1The man who fears the Lord will do this,
and he who holds to the law will obtain wisdom.a
2She will come to meet him like a mother,
and like the wife of his youth she will welcome him.
3She will feed him with the bread of understanding,
and give him the water of wisdom to drink.
4He will lean on her and will not fall,
and he will rely on her and will not be put to shame.
5She will exalt him above his neighbors,
and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly.
6He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing,
and will acquire an everlasting name.
7Foolish men will not obtain her,
and sinful men will not see her.
8She is far from men of pride,
and liars will never think of her.
9A hymn of praise is not fitting on the lips of a sinner,
for it has not been sent from the Lord.
10For a hymn of praise should be uttered in wisdom,
and the Lord will prosper it.
Freedom of Choice
11Do not say, "Because of the Lord I left the right way";
for heb will not do what he hates.
12Do not say, "It was he who led me astray";
for he had no need of a sinful man.
13The Lord hates all abominations,
and they are not loved by those who fear him.
14It was he who created man in the beginning,
and he left him in the power of his own inclination.
15If you will, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
16He has placed before you fire and water:
stretch out your hand for whichever you wish.
17Before a manc are life and death,
and whichever he chooses will be given to him.
18For great is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power and sees everything;
19his eyes are on those who fear him,
and he knows every deed of man.
20He has not commanded any one to be ungodly,
and he has not given any one permission to sin.