Whereas many and great things have been delivered to us by the law and the prophets, and by others that have followed their steps, for the which things Israel ought to be commended for learning and wisdom; and whereof not only the readers must needs become skilful themselves, but also they that desire to learn be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and writing: my grandfather Jesus, when he had much given himself to the reading of the law, and the prophets, and other books of our fathers, and had gotten therein good judgement, was drawn on also himself to write something pertaining to learning and wisdom; to the intent that those which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things, might profit much more in living according to the law. Therefore let me entreat you to read it with favour and attention, and to pardon us, wherein we may seem to come short of some words, which we have laboured to interpret. For the same things uttered in Hebrew, and translated into another tongue, have not the same force in them: and not only these things, but the law itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language. For in the eight and thirties year coming into Egypt, when Euergetes was king, and continuing there some time, I found a book of no small learning: therefore I thought it most necessary for me to bestow some diligence and travail to interpret it; using great watchfulness and skill in that space to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, which in a strange country are willing to learn, being prepared before in manners to live after the law.
1 All wisdom comes from the Lord, and is with him for ever. 2 Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity? 3 Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom? 4 Wisdom has been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting. 5 The word of God most high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments. 6 To whom has the root of wisdom been revealed? or who has known her wise counsels? 7 To whom has the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest? and who has understood her great experience? 8 There is one wise and greatly to be feared, the Lord sitting upon his throne. 9 He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works. 10 She is with all flesh according to his gift, and he has given her to them that love him. 11 The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of rejoicing. 12 The fear of the Lord makes a merry heart, and gives joy, and gladness, and a long life. 13 Whoso fears the Lord, it shall go well with him at the last, and he shall find favour in the day of his death. 14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and it was created with the faithful in the womb. 15 She has built an everlasting foundation with men, and she shall continue with their seed. 16 To fear the Lord is fulness of wisdom, and fills men with her fruits. 17 She fills all their house with things desirable, and the garners with her increase. 18 The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, making peace and perfect health to flourish; both which are the gifts of God: and it enlarges their rejoicing that love him. 19 Wisdom rains down skill and knowledge of understanding standing, and exalts them to honour that hold her fast. 20 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life. 21 The fear of the Lord drives away sins: and where it is present, it turns away wrath. 22 A furious man can’t be justified; for the sway of his fury shall be his destruction. 23 A patient man will tear for a time, and afterward joy shall spring up to him. 24 He will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom. 25 The parables of knowledge are in the treasures of wisdom: but godliness is an abomination to a sinner. 26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord shall give her to you. 27 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction: and faith and meekness are his delight. 28 Distrust not the fear of the Lord when you are poor: and come not to him with a double heart. 29 Be not an hypocrite in the sight of men, and take good heed what you speak. 30 Exalt not yourself, lest you fall, and bring dishonour upon your soul, and so God discover your secrets, and cast you down in the midst of the congregation, because you came not in truth to the fear of the Lord, but your heart is full of deceit.