1 Listen, O kings, and understand; rulers of the most distant lands, take warning. 2 Pay attention, you who rule multitudes and boast of the numerous subjects in your pagan nations.
3 For authority was given you by the Lord, your kingship is from the Most High who will examine your works and scrutinize your intentions.
4 If, as officials of his kingdom, you have not judged justly or observed his law or walked the way God pointed out, 5 he will oppose you swiftly and terribly; his sentence strikes the mighty suddenly.
6 For the lowly there may be excuses and pardon, but the great will be severely punished.
7 For the Lord of all makes no distinction, nor does he take account of greatness. Both great and lowly are his work and he watches over all, 8 but the powerful are to be judged more strictly.
9 It is to you then, sovereigns, that I speak, that you may learn Wisdom and not stumble.
10 For those who keep the holy laws in a holy way will be acknowledged holy, and those who accept the teaching will find in it their defense.
11 Welcome my words, desire them and they will instruct you.
12 Wisdom is luminous and never tarnished; she willingly lets herself be seen by those who love her, and known by those who look for her. 13 She hastens to meet those who long for her. 14 Seek her in the morning and you will not be disappointed; you will find her sitting at your door.
15 To meditate on Wisdom is understanding fully grown; whoever is on the watch for her will be free of anxiety. 16 She goes in search of those who are worthy of her, graciously meets them on the way and is present in their every thought.
17 The beginning of Wisdom is a sincere desire for discipline; concern for discipline is love of her, 18 and loving her means keeping her laws; 19 the observance of her laws assures one of immortality, and im mortality brings us close to God.
20 In this way the desire for Wisdom leads to kingship.
21 So then, sovereigns of nations, you who are fond of thrones and scepters, hon or Wisdom if you wish to reign for ever.
22 What Wisdom is and how she came to be, I will tell you. I shall hide nothing from you, but trace her from the beginning and clearly make her known.
23 I will not mislead you and hide the truth, for I am free of gnawing envy which has nothing in common with Wisdom.
24 The multitude of the wise could bring about the salvation of the world and a sensible king makes for the stability of his people; 25 so learn from what I say and profit from it.