Wisdom is greater than any good (Wis 8:5-8:8)

“If riches are a desirable possession in life,

What is richer than wisdom?

Wisdom is the active cause

Of all things.

If understanding is effective,

Who more than she

Is the fashioner of what exists?

If any one loves righteousness,

Her labors are virtues.

She teaches self-control.

She teaches prudence.

She teaches justice.

She teaches courage.

Nothing in life

Is more profitable

For mortals than these.

If anyone longs for wide experience,

She knows the things of old.

She infers the things to come.

She understands turns of speech.

She understands the solutions of riddles.

She has foreknowledge of signs.

She has foreknowledge of wonders.

She has foreknowledge of the outcome of seasons.

She has foreknowledge of the outcome of times.”

Wisdom is greater than any good there is, not only material things, but spiritual or conceptual values also. Everyone wants riches (πλοῦτός) so that the most desirable possession in life is wisdom (σοφίας), the cause of all things. If you want understanding (φρόνησις), then you need wisdom. If you love righteousness (δικαιοσύνην ἀγαπᾷ), you need wisdom. Wisdom teaches the four great Greek cardinal virtues of self-control, prudence, justice, and courage. Wisdom knows about the past and the future. She can solve riddles. She also has foreknowledge of signs and wonders, as well as the outcome of the seasons and the times to come.

The role of the kings (Prov 25:2-25:7)

“It is the glory of God

To conceal things.

But the glory of kings

Is to search things out.

Like the heavens for height,

Like the earth for depth,

So the mind of kings is unsearchable.

Take away the dross from the silver.

The smith has material for a vessel.

Take away the wicked from the presence of the king.

His throne will be established in righteousness.

Do not put yourself forward

In the king’s presence.

Do not stand in the place of the great.

It is better to be told.

‘Come up here.’

Than to be put lower

In the presence of a noble.”

God conceals things, but kings search them out. The mind of the kings is unsearchable in height, like the heavens, and in depth like the earth. The kings are a little less than God. In order to use silver you have to get rid of the low quality dross that surrounds it so that it might become material for a silver vessel. Do not let the wicked into the presence of the king. The king is established in righteousness. Do not try to put yourself forward in a great place before the king. It is much better to be told to come up than to be put lower in the presence of a noble person.