18 My child, learn to value Wisdom while you are young, and you will still be able to find her when you grow old. 19 Work as hard to find Wisdom as a farmer works to plow and plant his fields; then you can expect a good harvest. You will have to work at it for a while, but you will soon be enjoying what you have earned. 20 Undisciplined people find Wisdom’s demands too hard and don’t have enough determination to meet them. 21 Her requirements are a burden heavier than they are willing to bear, and they quickly lay them aside.
22 Discipline means just that—discipline,[c] and not many people are able to discipline themselves.
23 My child, listen to me and take my advice. 24 Put Wisdom’s chains around your feet and her yoke around your neck. 25 Carry her on your shoulder and don’t be resentful of her bonds. 26 Follow Wisdom, and keep to her ways with all your heart. 27 Go looking for her, and she will reveal herself to you. Take hold of her and don’t let go. 28 Then you will discover the peace of mind she offers, and she will become your joy. 29-30 The signs of slavery you wear will become signs of royal majesty. Her chains will be your protection, and you will wear her yoke like a magnificent robe. 31 You will wear Wisdom like a splendid crown.
32 My child, you can learn if you want to. You can be clever if you are determined to be. 33 If you are willing to listen, you will learn and become wise. 34 Go where the old people are; find someone who is wise, and stay with him. 35 Be ready to listen when religious people speak, and don’t miss anything that shows insight. 36 If you find someone with understanding, get up early to call on him; wear out his doorstep with your visits.
37 Devote all your time to studying the Lord’s commands and thinking about them. He will give you the insight and wisdom you are looking for.