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51

Wisdom praiseth herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity, and her fruits.

[1] Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honoured in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people, [2] And shall open her mouth in the churches of the most High, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power, [3] And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and shall be admired in the holy assembly. [4] And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed, saying: [5] I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:

[6] I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth: [7] I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud. [8] I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea, [9] And have stood in all the earth: and in every people, [10] And in every nation I have had the chief rule:

[11] And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord. [12] Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle, [13] And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect. [14] From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him. [15] And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.

[16] And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints. [17] I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion. [18] I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho: [19] As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted. [20] I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon. and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:

[21] And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm. [22] I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace. [23] As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches. [24] I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. [25] In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.

[26] Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. [27] For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. [28] My memory is unto everlasting generations. [29] They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. [30] He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.

[31] They that explain me shall have life everlasting. [32] All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth. [33] Moses commanded a law in the precepts of justices, and an inheritance to the house of Jacob, and the promises to Israel. [34] He appointed to David his servant to raise up of him a most mighty king, and sitting on the throne of glory for ever. [35] Who filleth up wisdom as the Phison, and as the Tigris in the days of the new fruits.

[34] A most mighty king: Viz., Christ, who by his gospel, like an overflowing river, has enriched the earth with heavenly wisdom.

[36] Who maketh understanding to abound as the Euphrates, who multiplieth it as the Jordan in the time of harvest. [37] Who sendeth knowledge as the light, and riseth up as Gehon in the time of the vintage. [38] Who first hath perfect knowledge of her, and a weaker shall not search her out. [39] For her thoughts are more vast than the sea, and her counsels more deep than the great ocean. [40] I, wisdom, have poured out rivers.

[38] Who first hath perfect knowledge of her: Christ was the first that had perfect knowledge of heavenly wisdom.

[41] I, like a brook out of a river of a mighty water; I, like a channel of a river. and like an aqueduct, came out of paradise. [42] I said: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow. [43] And behold my brook became a great river, and my river came near to a sea: [44] For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off. [45] I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord.

[46] I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy, and will leave it to them that seek wisdom, and will not cease to instruct their offspring even to the holy age. [47] See ye that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek out the truth.

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