Proverbs 8–9; 2 Corinthians 3

The Blessings of Wisdom

Does not lwisdom call?

Does not munderstanding raise her voice?

On nthe heights beside the way,

at the crossroads she takes her stand;

beside othe gates in front of pthe town,

at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:

To you, O qmen, I call,

and my cry is to qthe children of man.

O rsimple ones, learn sprudence;

O tfools, learn sense.

Hear, for I will speak unoble things,

and from my lips will come vwhat is right,

for my wmouth will utter truth;

wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are righteous;

there is nothing xtwisted or crooked in them.

They are all ystraight to him who understands,

and right to those who find knowledge.

10  zTake my instruction instead of silver,

and knowledge rather than choice gold,

11  afor wisdom is better than jewels,

and ball that you may desire cannot compare with her.

12  I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,

and I find knowledge and cdiscretion.

13  dThe fear of the Lord is ehatred of evil.

fPride and arrogance and the way of evil

and gperverted speech I hate.

14  I have hcounsel and isound wisdom;

I have insight; jI have strength.

15  By me kkings reign,

and rulers decree what is just;

16  by me princes rule,

and nobles, all who govern justly.1

17  lI love those who love me,

and mthose who seek me diligently find me.

18  nRiches and honor are with me,

oenduring wealth and orighteousness.

19  My fruit is pbetter than qgold, even fine gold,

and my yield than rchoice silver.

20  I walk in the way of righteousness,

in the paths of justice,

21  granting an inheritance to those who love me,

and filling their treasuries.

22  sThe Lord tpossessed2 me at the beginning of his work,3

the first of his acts uof old.

23  Ages ago I was vset up,

at the first, wbefore the beginning of the earth.

24  When there were no xdepths I was ybrought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

25  Before the mountains zhad been shaped,

abefore the hills, I was brought forth,

26  before he had made the earth with its fields,

or the first of the dust of the world.

27  When he bestablished the heavens, I was there;

when he drew ca circle on the face of the deep,

28  when he dmade firm the skies above,

when he established4 the fountains of the deep,

29  when he eassigned to the sea its flimit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out gthe foundations of the earth,

30  then hI was beside him, like a master workman,

and I was daily his5 idelight,

rejoicing before him always,

31  jrejoicing in his kinhabited world

and delighting in the children of man.

32  And now, lO sons, listen to me:

mblessed are those who keep my ways.

33  nHear instruction and be wise,

and do not neglect it.

34  oBlessed is the one who listens to me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting beside my doors.

35  For pwhoever finds me qfinds life

and robtains favor from the Lord,

36  but he who fails to find me sinjures himself;

all who thate me ulove death.

The Way of Wisdom

vWisdom has built her house;

she has hewn her wseven xpillars.

She has yslaughtered her beasts; she has zmixed her wine;

she has also aset her table.

She has bsent out her young women to ccall

from dthe highest places in the town,

eWhoever is simple, let him turn in here!

fTo him who lacks sense she says,

Come, geat of my bread

and hdrink of zthe wine I have mixed.

Leave iyour simple ways,6 and jlive,

kand walk in the way of insight.

Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,

and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

lDo not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;

mreprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Give instruction7 to a wise man, and he will be nstill wiser;

teach a righteous man, and he will oincrease in learning.

10  pThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

and qthe knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

11  For by me ryour days will be multiplied,

and years will be added to your life.

12  sIf you are wise, you are wise for yourself;

if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

The Way of Folly

13  tThe woman Folly is uloud;

she is seductive8 and vknows nothing.

14  She sits at the door of her house;

she takes a seat on wthe highest places of the town,

15  calling to those who pass by,

who are xgoing straight on their way,

16  yWhoever is simple, let him turn in here!

And to him who lacks sense she says,

17  zStolen water is sweet,

and abread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18  But he does not know bthat the dead9 are there,

that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.


Ministers of the New Covenant

qAre we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, ras some do, sletters of recommendation to you, or from you? tYou yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our1 hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of uthe living God, not on vtablets of stone but on wtablets of xhuman hearts.2

ySuch is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. zNot that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but aour sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be bministers of ca new covenant, not of dthe letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but ethe Spirit gives life.

Now if fthe ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory gthat the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in hthe ministry of condemnation, ithe ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

12 Since we have such a hope, jwe are very bold, 13 not like Moses, kwho would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But ltheir minds were mhardened. For to this day, nwhen they read othe old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when pone3 turns to the Lord, qthe veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord4 is the Spirit, and where rthe Spirit of the Lord is, there is sfreedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,5 vare being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another.6 For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.