this book but the Law itself, the Prophetsand the other Writings differ considerablyfrom the original text.When I went to Egypt in the thirty-eighth year of king Euergetes and settledthere, I found an example of this impor-tant teaching and I judged it very neces-sary to exercise great care and make se-rious efforts in translating this book.I have therefore, during this time, de-voted many sleepless nights and muchstudy in order to ﬁnish this book and topublish it for the use of those who,though they live outside Palestine, wishto become lovers of wisdom and to con-form their manner of living to the Law.
Wisdom comes from God
All wisdom comes from the Lordand endures with him forever.
The grains of sand, the drops of rainand the days of eternity, who can countthem?
The height of heaven, the extent of the earth and the depths of the abyss,who can measure them?
Wisdom was created before allthings and the prudent intellect beforethe beginning of time.
To whom was the source of Wisdomrevealed? Who has known her secret de-signs?
One alone is wise and greatly to befeared. The One who is seated upon histhrone.
The Lord himself created Wisdom.He looked on her and knew her value. Hepoured her out over all his works;
uponall mortal beings, in accordance with hisgoodness. He lavished her on those wholove him.
The fear of the Lord is our glory andhonor, it is joy and a triumphant crown.
The fear of the Lord gladdens theheart; it gives joy, gaiety and long life.
For the one who fears the Lord allwill go well at the end of his life, and hewill be blessed on the day of his death.
The fear of the Lord is the beginningof wisdom; he put wisdom into the heartsof his faithful ones before their birth.
Founded from eternity she has madeher home among people and she will re-main faithful to their descendants.
The fear of the Lord is the fullnessof wisdom. It will ﬁll you with its fruits.
It will ﬁll your whole house with de-sirable things.It will ﬁll your houses with its riches.
The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom.
Wherever it is, peace and goodhealth ﬂourish; knowledge and prudencerain down. Wisdom exalts those whopossess her.
The fear of the Lord is the root of wisdom. Its branches are long life.
Unjust violence cannot be justiﬁed,it will destroy itself by its own excesses.
The patient man will hold out untilthe appointed time; but ﬁnally joy will begiven to him.
He will guard his words until the ap-pointed time and in the end many willrecognize his worth.
Proverbs rich in content are amongwisdom’s treasures but the sinner doesnot want to know about God.
Do you desire wisdom? Keep thecommandments and the Lord will giveher to you without measure;
for fear of the Lord is wisdom and learning; whatpleases him is faithfulness and gentle-ness.
Do not put aside fear of the Lord;approach him with a sincere heart.
Donot be a hypocrite before others; watchwell your words.
Do not praise yourself lest you falland bring dishonor on yourself. For the
1 In this poem, the author professeshis faith. To those who think they are moremodern because they seek human wisdom anddoctrine, he simply declares that true wisdomconsists in trusting God and fearing him.He often speaks of
fearing the Lord
just asthe Psalms do. This is different from the fear ofpagans who imagine a resentful God.To fear God is to see him always presentand to take decisions in his presence. Whoeverknows God is near fears to offend him becausehe is aware of his love and ﬁdelity. To fear Godsigniﬁes to respect him and to be mindful ofhim before all else.Fearing the Lord is the opposite of fearingwhat others will say, fearing to be made fun of,or fear of failure. Those who fear the Lord givemore importance to what God says, what hepromises when he invites us to seek him and tosave others.