In Praise of Wisdom

Like text 10, The Book of Secrets, this is a wisdom instruction. It argues that true wisdom can come only from God and is a unique possession of the chosen people, Israel.

Mortals cannot rank with God and his angels, because their life span is comparatively short. Some of the wording is borrowed from Isaiah 40:6-8.

Frags. 1-2 CoL 1 4[ . . . ] pure and holy [ . . . ] 5[ . . . ] His [ . . . ] and His anger [ . . . ] 6[ . . . ] Up to ten times [ . . . ] 7[ . . . ] there is no strength to stand before His anger and no place to remain 8before His wrath [ . . . ] and who can stand before His angels, for by 9flames of fire they mete out judgment [ . . . ] of His spirits. And you, O mortals, [woe to you,] for just “like grass man sprouts from the earth, and his virtue blossoms like the flower; but the wind blows [on iq, lland his stalk dries up, and the wind carries its flower to nothingness, to [ . . . ] and it is no more, because of the wind. One may seek it, but not find it, and there is no place for it. He is like a shadow [ . . . ] upon the light.

In view of the brevity of human lfe, the righteous should devote themselves to learning more about God and his ways.

So now, pray give heed, my people, and learn 14from me, you who are unlearned. Grow wise by learning about the great deeds of our God, and call to mind the miracles He did 15in Egypt, and His wonders [in the land of Ham]. Let your hearts tremble before His awesomeness Col. 2 land do [His will . . . Renew] your spirit according to his tender mercies. Seek for yourselves the way of life, the highway [that . . . ] something to leave your children after you; why should you give 3your[self] to futility? [ . . . ] judgment. Listen to me, my children, and do not defy the commandments of the LORD. 4Do not walk [in wickedness, but in the way He established for] Jacob, and the path He ordained for Isaac. Truly, better is one day Stin His house] than ten [in the house of fools [ . . . ] His worship, and not to be burdened by fear or the trapper’s lure 6[ . . . ] from His angels, for there is no darkness 70r fog [ . . . ] He [ . . . ] His [ . . . ] and His true knowledge. And you, what 8[ . . . ] calamity comes from Him on every people.

Happiness is only to be found by seeking true wisdom from God.

Happy is the man to whom Wisdom] is given, so also [ . . . 3 The wicked should not boast, saying, It is not given to me, and it is not [ . . . Wisdom was given] to Israel, and He measures it out generously, and He redeems all His people, but kills [those who reject . . . nor should] the braggarts say, Truly we have found it by ourselves. Seek it, and you will find it. Hold fast to it, and you will own it, and gain for yourself [long] life and prosperity and true happiness [ . . . ] 13His eternal mercies ~and salvation [ . . ~. ]

Happy is the man who puts it into practice and is willing [ . . . by means of] cunning one cannot find it, nor ean one hold on to it by flattery. As it is given to his ancestors, so he will obtain it [and hold on to it] ‘5with all his might and with all his [ . . . ] without limit. Then he can bestow it on his offspring, and true knowledge to [his] people [ . . . ]

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