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Job’s Discourse on Wisdom

28 “Indeed, there is a mine for silver
and a place for gold to be refined.[a]
Iron is taken from dust,
and he pours out copper from ore.
He puts an end to darkness,
and he searches out the farthest limits
for the ore in gloom and deep shadow.
He breaks open a mine shaft away from where people dwell;[b]
those who are forgotten by travelers,[c]
they dangle, they sway far away from human beings.
As for the earth, from it comes food,[d]
but[e] underneath it, it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphire,
and the earthen dirt has[f] gold.
It is a path a bird of prey does not know
and the black kite’s eye has not seen.
Proud wild animals[g] have not trodden it;
the lion in its prime has not prowled over it.
He puts his hand on the hard rock;
he overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out tunnels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every treasure.
11 He dams up rivers from their sources,
and he brings secret things to the light.
12 “But[h] from where will wisdom be found?
And where in the world[i] is the place of understanding?
13 A human being does not know its proper value,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 “Refined gold cannot be gotten in its place,
and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
16 It cannot be bought for the gold of Ophir,
for precious onyx or[j] sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot be compared with it,
and its substitution cannot be an ornament of refined gold.
18 Black corals and crystal will not be mentioned,
and wisdom’s price is more than red corals.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot be compared with it;
it cannot be bought for pure gold.
20 Indeed,[k] from where does wisdom come?
And where in the world[l] is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and it is concealed from the birds of the heaven.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
‘We heard its rumor with our ears.’
23 “God understands its way,
and he knows its place,
24 for he himself[m] looks to the end of the earth;
he sees under all the heaven.
25 When he gave[n] weight to the wind
and he apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made[o] a rule for the rain
and a way for the thunder’s lightning bolt,
27 then he saw it and talked about it;
he established it, and moreover, he explored it.
28 And to the human beings he said,
‘Look, the fear of the Lord is wisdom,
and to depart from evil is understanding.’”


  1. Job 28:1 Literally “for the gold they refine”
  2. Job 28:4 Literally “from with dwelling”
  3. Job 28:4 Literally “by feet”
  4. Job 28:5 Or “bread”
  5. Job 28:5 Hebrew “and”
  6. Job 28:6 Literally “for it”
  7. Job 28:8 Literally “The sons of pride”
  8. Job 28:12 Hebrew “And”
  9. Job 28:12 Literally “where this”
  10. Job 28:16 Hebrew “and”
  11. Job 28:20 Hebrew “And”
  12. Job 28:20 Literally “where this”
  13. Job 28:24 Emphatic personal pronoun
  14. Job 28:25 Literally “To give”
  15. Job 28:26 Literally “at his making”