28 Job showeth that the wisdom of God is unsearchable.

The silver surely hath his vein, [a]and the gold his palace, where they take it.

Iron is taken out of the dust, and brass is molten out of the stone.

God putteth an end to darkness, [b]and he trieth the perfection of all things: he setteth a bond of darkness, and of the shadow of death.

The flood breaketh out against the [c]inhabitant, and the waters [d]forgotten of the foot, being higher than man, are gone away.

Out of the same earth cometh [e]bread, and under it, as it were fire is turned up.

The stones thereof are a place [f]of Sapphires, and the dust of it is gold.

There is a path which no fowl hath known, neither hath the kite’s eye seen it.

The Lion’s whelps have not walked it, nor the Lion passed thereby.

He putteth his hand upon the [g]rocks, and overthroweth the mountains by the roots.

10 He breaketh rivers in the roots, and his eye seeth every precious thing.

11 He bindeth the floods, that they do not overflow, and the thing that is hid, bringeth he to light.

12 But where is wisdom found? [h]and where is the place of understanding?

13 Man knoweth not [i]the price thereof: for it is not found in the land of the living.

14 The depth saith, It is not in me: the Sea also saith, It is not with me.

15 [j]Gold shall not be given for it, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

16 It shall not be valued with the wedge of gold of Ophir, nor with the precious onyx, nor the sapphire.

17 The gold nor the crystal shall be equal unto it, nor the exchange shall be for plate of fine gold.

18 No mention shall be made of coral, nor of the [k]gabish: for wisdom is more precious than pearls.

19 The Topaz of Ethiopia shall not be equal unto it, neither shall it be valued with the wedge of pure gold.

20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding,

21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all the living, and is hid from the [l]fowls of the heaven?

22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

23 But God understandeth the [m]way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

24 For he beholdeth the ends of the world, and seeth all that is under heaven,

25 To make the weight of the winds and to weigh the waters by measure.

26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunders,

27 Then did he see it, and counted it: he prepared it, and also considered it.

28 And unto man he said, Behold, (A)the [n]fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.


  1. Job 28:1 His purpose is to declare that man may attain in this world to divers secrets of nature, but man is never able to comprehend the wisdom of God.
  2. Job 28:3 There is nothing but it is compassed within certain limits, and hath an end, but God’s wisdom.
  3. Job 28:4 Meaning, him that dwelleth thereby.
  4. Job 28:4 Which a man cannot wade through.
  5. Job 28:5 That is, come, and underneath is brimstone or coal, which easily conceiveth fire.
  6. Job 28:6 He alludeth to the mines and secrets of nature, which are under the earth, whereinto neither fowls nor beasts can enter.
  7. Job 28:9 After that he hath declared the wisdom of God in the secrets of nature he describeth his power.
  8. Job 28:12 Though God’s power and wisdom may be understood in earthly things, yet his heavenly wisdom cannot be attained unto.
  9. Job 28:13 It is too high a thing for man to attain unto in this world.
  10. Job 28:15 It can neither be bought for gold nor precious stones, but is only the gift of God.
  11. Job 28:18 Which is thought to be a kind of precious stone.
  12. Job 28:21 Meaning, that there is no natural means whereby man might attain to the heavenly wisdom: which he meaneth by the souls that fly high.
  13. Job 28:23 He maketh God only the author of this wisdom, and the giver thereof.
  14. Job 28:28 He declareth that man hath so much of this heavenly wisdom, as he showeth by fearing God, and departing from evil.

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 There is a mine for silver
    and a place where gold is refined.(A)
Iron is taken from the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.(B)
Mortals put an end to the darkness;(C)
    they search out the farthest recesses
    for ore in the blackest darkness.(D)
Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,(E)
    in places untouched by human feet;
    far from other people they dangle and sway.
The earth, from which food comes,(F)
    is transformed below as by fire;
lapis lazuli(G) comes from its rocks,
    and its dust contains nuggets of gold.(H)
No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
    no falcon’s eye has seen it.(I)
Proud beasts(J) do not set foot on it,
    and no lion prowls there.(K)
People assault the flinty rock(L) with their hands
    and lay bare the roots of the mountains.(M)
10 They tunnel through the rock;(N)
    their eyes see all its treasures.(O)
11 They search[a] the sources of the rivers(P)
    and bring hidden things(Q) to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?(R)
    Where does understanding dwell?(S)
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;(T)
    it cannot be found in the land of the living.(U)
14 The deep(V) says, “It is not in me”;
    the sea(W) says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
    nor can its price be weighed out in silver.(X)
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,(Y)
    with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.(Z)
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,(AA)
    nor can it be had for jewels of gold.(AB)
18 Coral(AC) and jasper(AD) are not worthy of mention;
    the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.(AE)
19 The topaz(AF) of Cush(AG) cannot compare with it;
    it cannot be bought with pure gold.(AH)

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
    Where does understanding dwell?(AI)
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
    concealed even from the birds in the sky.(AJ)
22 Destruction[b](AK) and Death(AL) say,
    “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
    and he alone(AM) knows where it dwells,(AN)
24 for he views the ends of the earth(AO)
    and sees everything under the heavens.(AP)
25 When he established the force of the wind
    and measured out the waters,(AQ)
26 when he made a decree for the rain(AR)
    and a path for the thunderstorm,(AS)
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
    he confirmed it and tested it.(AT)
28 And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil(AU) is understanding.”(AV)


  1. Job 28:11 Septuagint, Aquila and Vulgate; Hebrew They dam up
  2. Job 28:22 Hebrew Abaddon