Wisdom 9

Chapter 9

1 “God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,
by your word[a] you have created all things,
2 and in your wisdom you have fashioned man
to have power over all the creatures you have made,
3 to govern the world in holiness and righteousness,
and to mete out justice with an upright heart.
4 Grant me Wisdom, who sits beside your throne,[b]
and do not exclude me from the number of your children.
5 “For I am your servant and the son of your handmaid,
a weak man with but a short time to live
and with meager comprehension of justice and law.
6 Indeed, even one who is perfect among the sons of men
will be of no account
if he lacks the Wisdom that comes from you.
7 You have chosen me to be king of your people
and to sit in judgment over your sons and daughters.
8 You have commanded me to build a temple on your holy mountain,
and an altar in the city that is your dwelling,
a replica of the sacred tabernacle that you prepared from the beginning.[c]
9 With you is Wisdom, who knows your works
and was present when you created the world.
She understands what is pleasing in your eyes
and what is in conformity with your commandments.
10 “Send her forth from your holy heavens,
and dispatch her from the throne of your glory,
so that she may labor at my side
and I may learn what is pleasing to you.
11 For she knows and understands all things,
and with prudence she will guide me in my deeds
and guard me with her splendor.
12 Then will my works be acceptable to you,
and I will judge your people uprightly
and be worthy of the throne of my father.
13 “What person can have knowledge of the counsel of God,
or who can discern what the will of the Lord is?
14 The reasonings of mortals are faulty
and our reflections are unstable.
15 For a perishable body burdens the soul,
and its earthly tent[d] weighs down the mind filled with many cares.
16 With difficulty do we assess what is on earth,
and that which is within our reach we discover only after arduous labor;
who then can seek out the things of heaven?
17 Who could ever have known your counsel if you had not given Wisdom
and sent your Holy Spirit from on high?
18 And thus the paths of those on earth were straightened,
and men were taught what pleases you
and were saved by Wisdom.”

Footnotes

  1. Wisdom 9:1 Your word: i.e., God’s creative Word (see Gen 1), a concept that is like a prelude for the revelation of the Word of God, Jesus Christ (Jn 1:1-14).
  2. Wisdom 9:4 Wisdom, who sits beside your throne: it is from there that the word of judgment will be launched against Egypt (see Wis 18:15). God is conceived as a sovereign who, from his throne, creates the universe, governs and judges it; his Wisdom conceives and executes.
  3. Wisdom 9:8 The temple was built according to the model of the tabernacle that God had Moses construct in the image that he showed him at Sinai (Ex 25:9, 40; 26:30), which—according to a Jewish tradition—had existed from the beginning of creation.
  4. Wisdom 9:15 Earthly tent: our spirit, because it is incarnated, is limited in the knowledge of things. The images of the “body subject to corruption” and the “earthly tent” are dear to Paul (see 2 Cor 4:7; 5:1-4). The fact that the body constitutes a burden for human beings does not mean that the flesh is evil.

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