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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 24

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1 HEAR the praise of wisdom from her own mouth, as she speaks with pride among her people, 2before the assembly of the Most High and in the presence of the heavenly host: 3‘I am the word spoken by the Most High; it was I who covered the earth like a mist. 4My dwelling-place was in high heaven; my throne was in a pillar of cloud. 5Alone I made a circuit of the sky and traversed the depths of the abyss. 6The waves of the sea, the whole earth, every people and nation were under my sway. 7Among them all I sought where I might come to rest: in whose territory was I to settle? 8Then the Creator of all things laid a command on me; he who created me decreed where I should dwell. He said, “Make your home in Jacob; enter on your heritage in Israel.” 9Before time began he created me, and until the end of time I shall endure. 10In the sacred tent I ministered in his presence, and thus I came to be established in Zion. 11He settled me in the city he loved and gave me authority in Jerusalem. 12I took root among the people whom the Lord had honoured by choosing them to be his own portion.

13‘There I grew like a cedar of Lebanon, like a cypress on the slopes of Hermon, 14like a date-palm at En-gedi, like roses at Jericho. I grew like a fair olive tree in the vale, or like a plane tree planted beside the water. 15Like cinnamon or camel-thorn I was redolent of spices; like choice myrrh I spread my fragrance, like galbanum, aromatic shell, and gum resin, like the smoke of frankincense in the sacred tent. 16Like a terebinth I spread out my branches, laden with honour and grace. 17I put forth graceful shoots like the vine, and my blossoms were a harvest of honour and wealth a 24:17 honour and wealth: some witnesses add 18I give birth to honourable love, to reverence, knowledge, and holy hope; all these my eternal progeny I give to God's elect (prob. mng; Gk obscure). .

19‘Come to me, all you who desire me, and eat your fill of my fruit. 20To think of me is sweeter than honey, to possess me sweeter than the honeycomb. 21Whoever feeds on me will hunger for more; whoever drinks from me will thirst for more. 22To obey me is to be safe from disgrace; those who make me their business will not go astray.’

23All this is the book of the covenant of God Most High, the law laid on us by Moses, a possession for the assemblies of Jacob b 24:23 assemblies of Jacob: some witnesses add 24Never fail to be strong in the Lord; hold fast to him, so that he may strengthen you. The Lord Almighty is God alone, and beside him there is no saviour. . 25It c 24:25, 26, 27 It: or He. sends out wisdom in full flood like the river Pishon or like the Tigris at the time of firstfruits; 26it overflows like the Euphrates with understanding or like the Jordan at the harvest season. 27It pours forth instruction like the Nile d 24:27 pours … Nile: so one Vs.; Gk makes instruction shine like light. , like the Gihon at the time of vintage. 28No one has ever known wisdom fully and from first to last no one has fathomed her, 29for her thoughts are vaster than the ocean, her purpose more profound than the great abyss.

30As for me, I was like a watercourse leading from a river, like a conduit into a pleasure garden. 31I said, ‘I will water my garden, soaking its flower beds’; all at once my watercourse became a river and my river a sea. 32I will again make learning shine like the dawn, that its light may be seen from afar. 33I will again pour out my teaching like prophecy and bequeath it to future generations. 34Truly, I have not toiled for myself alone but for all who seek wisdom.

Notes:

a 24:17 honour and wealth: some witnesses add 18I give birth to honourable love, to reverence, knowledge, and holy hope; all these my eternal progeny I give to God's elect (prob. mng; Gk obscure).

b 24:23 assemblies of Jacob: some witnesses add 24Never fail to be strong in the Lord; hold fast to him, so that he may strengthen you. The Lord Almighty is God alone, and beside him there is no saviour.

c 24:25, 26, 27 It: or He.

d 24:27 pours … Nile: so one Vs.; Gk makes instruction shine like light.

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