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WISDOM / ΣΟΦΙΑ ΣΟΛΟΜΩΝΤΟΣ

8

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1 Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things. 2 I loved her, and sought her out from my youth, I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty. 3 In that she is conversant with God, she magnifieth her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her. 4 For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works. 5 If riches be a possession to be desired in this life; what is richer than wisdom, that worketh all things? 6 And if prudence work; who of all that are is a more cunning workman than she? 7 And if a man love righteousness her labours are virtues: for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude: which are such things, as men can have nothing more profitable in their life. 8 If a man desire much experience, she knoweth things of old, and conjectureth aright what is to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and can expound dark sentences: she foreseeth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and times. 9 Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counsellor of good things, and a comfort in cares and grief. 10 For her sake I shall have estimation among the multitude, and honour with the elders, though I be young. 11 I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of great men. 12 When I hold my tongue, they shall bide my leisure, and when I speak, they shall give good ear unto me: if I talk much, they shall lay their hands upon their mouth. 13 Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me. 14 I shall set the people in order, and the nations shall be subject unto me. 15 Horrible tyrants shall be afraid, when they do but hear of me; I shall be found good among the multitude, and valiant in war. 16 After I am come into mine house, I will repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness; and to live with her hath no sorrow, but mirth and joy. 17 Now when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality; 18 And great pleasure it is to have her friendship; and in the works of her hands are infinite riches; and in the exercise of conference with her, prudence; and in talking with her, a good report; I went about seeking how to take her to me. 19 For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit. 20 Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled. 21 Nevertheless, when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me; and that was a point of wisdom also to know whose gift she was; I prayed unto the Lord, and besought him, and with my whole heart I said, ΔΙΑΤΕΙΝΕΙ δὲ ἀπὸ πέρατος εἰς πέρας εὐρώστως καὶ διοικεῖ τὰ πάντα χρηστῶς. 2 Ταύτην ἐφίλησα καὶ ἐξεζήτησα ἐκ νεότητός μου καὶ ἐζήτησα νύμφην ἀγαγέσθαι ἐμαυτῷ καὶ ἐραστὴς ἐγενόμην τοῦ κάλλους αὐτῆς. 3 εὐγένειαν δοξάζει συμβίωσιν Θεοῦ ἔχουσα, καὶ ὁ πάντων δεσπότης ἠγάπησεν αὐτήν· 4 μύστις γὰρ ἐστι τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπιστήμης καὶ αἱρετὶς τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ. 5 εἰ δὲ πλοῦτός ἐστιν ἐπιθυμητὸν κτῆμα ἐν βίῳ, τί σοφίας πλουσιώτερον τῆς τὰ πάντα ἐργαζομένης; 6 εἰ δὲ φρόνησις ἐργάζεται, τίς αὐτῆς τῶν ὄντων μᾶλλόν ἐστι τεχνῖτις; 7 καὶ εἰ δικαιοσύνην ἀγαπᾷ τις, οἱ πόνοι ταύτης εἰσὶν ἀρεταί· σωφροσύνην γὰρ καὶ φρόνησιν ἐκδιδάσκει, δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἀνδρείαν, ὧν χρησιμώτερον οὐδέν ἐστιν ἐν βίῳ ἀνθρώποις. 8 εἰ δὲ καὶ πολυπειρίαν ποθεῖ τις, οἶδε τὰ ἀρχαῖα καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα εἰκάζειν, ἐπίσταται στροφὰς λόγων καὶ λύσεις αἰνιγμάτων, σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα προγινώσκει καὶ ἐκβάσεις καιρῶν καὶ χρόνων. 9 ἔκρινα τοίνυν ταύτην ἀγαγέσθαι πρὸς συμβίωσιν, εἰδὼς ὅτι ἔσται μοι σύμβουλος ἀγαθῶν καὶ παραίνεσις φροντίδων καὶ λύπης. 10 ἕξω δι᾿ αὐτὴν δόξαν ἐν ὄχλοις καὶ τιμὴν παρὰ πρεσβυτέροις ὁ νέος· 11 ὀξὺς εὑρεθήσομαι ἐν κρίσει καὶ ἐν ὄψει δυναστῶν θαυμασθήσομαι· 12 σιγῶντά με περιμενοῦσι καὶ φθεγγομένῳ προσέξουσι καὶ λαλοῦντος ἐπί πλεῖον χεῖρα ἐπιθήσουσιν ἐπὶ στόμα αὐτῶν. 13 ἕξω δι᾿ αὐτὴν ἀθανασίαν καὶ μνήμην αἰώνιον τοῖς μετ᾿ ἐμὲ ἀπολείψω. 14 διοικήσω λαούς, καὶ ἔθνη ὑποταγήσεταί μοι· 15 φοβηθήσονταί με ἀκούσαντες τύραννοι φρικτοί, ἐν πλήθει φανοῦμαι ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἐν πολέμῳ ἀνδρεῖος. 16 εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου προσαναπαύσομαι αὐτῇ· οὐ γὰρ ἔχει πικρίαν ἡ συναναστροφή αὐτῆς, οὐδὲ ὀδύνην ἡ συμβίωσις αὐτῆς, ἀλλὰ εὐφροσύνην καὶ χαράν. 17 ταῦτα λογισάμενος ἐν ἐμαυτῷ καὶ φροντίσας ἐν καρδίᾳ μου ὅτι ἐστιν ἀθανασία ἐν συγγενείᾳ σοφίας 18 καὶ ἐν φιλίᾳ αὐτῆς τέρψις ἀγαθὴ καὶ ἐν πόνοις χειρῶν αὐτῆς πλοῦτος ἀνεκλιπὴς καὶ ἐν συγγυμνασίᾳ ὁμιλίας αὐτῆς φρόνησις καὶ εὔκλεια ἐν κοινωνίᾳ λόγων αὐτῆς, περιῄειν ζητῶν ὅπως λάβω αὐτὴν εἰς ἐμαυτόν. 19 παῖς δὲ ἤμην εὐφυὴς ψυχῆς τε ἔλαχον ἀγαθῆς, 20 μᾶλλον δὲ ἀγαθὸς ὢν ἦλθον εἰς σῶμα ἀμίαντον. 21 γνοὺς δὲ ὅτι οὐκ ἄλλως ἔσομαι ἐγκρατής, ἐὰν μὴ ὁ Θεὸς δῷ -καὶ τοῦτο δ᾿ ἦν φρονήσεως τὸ εἰδέναι τίνος ἡ χάρις- ἐνέτυχον τῷ Κυρίῳ καὶ ἐδεήθην αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπον ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας μου,

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