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Where Can Wisdom Be Found?

28 [a]Surely there is a [b]mine for silver,
And a place [c]where they refine for gold.
Iron is taken from the dust,
And copper is smelted from rock.
Man puts an end to darkness,
And (A)to the farthest limit he searches out
The rock in thick darkness and shadow of death.
He [d]sinks a shaft far from [e]habitation,
Forgotten by the foot;
They hang and swing to and fro far from men.
The earth, from it comes food,
And underneath it is overturned as fire.
Its rocks are the [f]source of sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
The path no bird of prey knows,
Nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it.
The [g]proud beasts have not trodden it,
Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.
He sends his hand forth to the flint;
He overturns the mountains at the [h]base.
10 He breaks out channels through the rocks,
And his eye sees anything precious.
11 He dams up the streams from [i]flowing,
And what is hidden he brings out to the light.

12 “But (B)where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 (C)Man does not know its worth,
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 (D)Pure gold cannot be given in place of it,
Nor can silver be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
17 (E)Gold or glass cannot meet its worth,
Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.
18 Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned;
And the acquisition of (F)wisdom is above that of pearls.
19 The topaz of [j]Ethiopia cannot meet its worth,
Nor can it be valued in (G)pure gold.
20 (H)Where then does wisdom come from?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living
And concealed from the birds of the sky.
22 [k](I)Abaddon and Death say,
‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’

23 (J)God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He (K)looks to the ends of the earth
And sees everything under the heavens.
25 When He set (L)weight to the wind
And (M)meted out the waters by measure,
26 When He set a (N)limit for the rain
And a course for the (O)thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw it and recounted it;
He established it and also searched it out.
28 So He said to man, ‘Behold, the (P)fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to turn away from evil is understanding.’”


  1. Job 28:1 Or For
  2. Job 28:1 Or source
  3. Job 28:1 Lit for gold they refine
  4. Job 28:4 Lit breaks open
  5. Job 28:4 Lit sojourning
  6. Job 28:6 Or place
  7. Job 28:8 Lit sons of pride
  8. Job 28:9 Lit roots
  9. Job 28:11 Lit weeping
  10. Job 28:19 Or Cush, cf. Gen 10:6
  11. Job 28:22 Lit The realm of destruction