1 Listen then, kings, and understand; rulers of remotest lands, take warning;
2 hear this, you who govern great populations, taking pride in your hosts of subject nations!
3 For sovereignty is given to you by the Lord and power by the Most High, who will himself probe your acts and scrutinise your intentions.
4 If therefore, as servants of his kingdom, you have not ruled justly nor observed the law, nor followed the will of God,
5 he will fall on you swiftly and terribly. On the highly placed a ruthless judgement falls;
6 the lowly are pardoned, out of pity, but the mighty will be mightily tormented.
7 For the Lord of all does not cower before anyone, he does not stand in awe of greatness, since he himself has made small and great and provides for all alike;
8 but a searching trial awaits those who wield power.
9 So, monarchs, my words are meant for you, so that you may learn wisdom and not fall into error;
10 for those who in holiness observe holy things will be adjudged holy, and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defence in them.
11 Set your heart, therefore, on what I have to say, listen with a will, and you will be instructed.
12 Wisdom is brilliant, she never fades. By those who love her, she is readily seen, by those who seek her, she is readily found.
13 She anticipates those who desire her by making herself known first.
14 Whoever gets up early to seek her will have no trouble but will find her sitting at the door.
15 Meditating on her is understanding in its perfect form, and anyone keeping awake for her will soon be free from care.
16 For she herself searches everywhere for those who are worthy of her, benevolently appearing to them on their ways, anticipating their every thought.
17 For Wisdom begins with the sincere desire for instruction, care for instruction means loving her,
18 loving her means keeping her laws, attention to her laws guarantees incorruptibility,
19 and incorruptibility brings us near to God;
20 the desire for Wisdom thus leads to sovereignty.
21 If then thrones and sceptres delight you, monarchs of the nations, honour Wisdom, so that you may reign for ever.
22 What Wisdom is and how she was born, I shall now explain; I shall hide no mysteries from you, but shall follow her steps from the outset of her origin, setting out what we know of her in full light, without departing from the truth.
23 Blighting envy is no companion for me, for envy has nothing in common with Wisdom.
24 In the greatest number of the wise lies the world's salvation, in a sagacious king the stability of a people.
25 Learn, therefore, from my words; the gain will be yours.