The Responsibility of Rulers 6 1So then, you kings, you rulers the world over, listen to what I say, and learn from it. 2You govern many lands and are proud that so many people are under your rule, 3 but this authority has been given to you by the Lord Most High. He will examine what you have done and what you plan to do. 4You rule on behalf of God and his kingdom, and if you do not govern justly, if you do not uphold the law, if you do not live according to God's will, 5you will suffer sudden and terrible punishment. Judgment is especially severe on those in power. 6Common people may be mercifully forgiven for their wrongs, but those in power will face a severe judgment. 7The Lord of all is not afraid of anyone, no matter how great they are. He himself made everyone, great and common alike, and he provides for all equally, 8but he will judge the conduct of rulers more strictly. 9It is for you, mighty kings, that I write these words, so that you may know how to act wisely and avoid mistakes. 10These are holy matters, and if you treat them in a holy manner, you yourselves will be considered holy. If you have learned this lesson, you will be able to defend yourselves at the Judgment. 11So then, make my teaching your treasure and joy, and you will be well instructed. The Value of Wisdom 12Wisdom shines bright and never grows dim; those who love her and look for her can easily find her. 13She is quick to make herself known to anyone who desires her. 14Get up early in the morning to find her, and you will have no problem; you will find her sitting at your door. 15To fasten your attention on Wisdom is to gain perfect understanding. If you look for her, you will soon find peace of mind, 16because she will be looking for those who are worthy of her, and she will find you wherever you are. She is kind and will be with you in your every thought. 17Wisdom begins when you sincerely want to learn. To desire Wisdom is to love her; 18to love her is to keep her laws; to keep her laws is to be certain of immortality; 19immortality will bring you close to God. 20This desire for Wisdom can prepare you to rule a kingdom. 21So then, you that rule the nations, if you value your thrones and symbols of authority, honor Wisdom so that you may rule forever. Solomon Wishes to Share His Wisdom 22I will tell you what Wisdom is, and how she came to be. I will not keep anything secret. I will trace her history from the beginning and make knowledge of her open to all. I will not ignore any part of the truth. 23No jealous desire to guard my own knowledge will make me hold back anything. Wisdom has nothing in common with such an attitude. 24No indeed—the more wise people there are, the safer the world will be. A sensible king can be depended on to give his people this kind of security. 25So then, learn what I am about to teach you, and you will profit from it.
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