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Job’s Discourse on Wisdom

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
And a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the [a]earth,
And copper is smelted from ore.
Man puts an end to darkness,
And searches every recess
For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death.
He breaks open a shaft away from people;
In places forgotten by feet
They hang far away from men;
They swing to and fro.
As for the earth, from it comes bread,
But underneath it is turned up as by fire;
Its stones are the source of sapphires,
And it contains gold dust.
That path no bird knows,
Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.
The [b]proud lions have not trodden it,
Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.
He puts his hand on the flint;
He overturns the mountains [c]at the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
And his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams from trickling;
What is hidden he brings forth to light.

12 “But(A) where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its (B)value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
14 (C)The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It (D)cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Neither (E)gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for [d]jewelry of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of [e]coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above (F)rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure (G)gold.

20 “From(H) where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the [f]air.
22 (I)Destruction[g] and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And (J)sees under the whole heavens,
25 (K)To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He (L)made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw [h]wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, (M)the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Job 28:2 Lit. dust
  2. Job 28:8 Lit. sons of pride, figurative of the great lions
  3. Job 28:9 At the base
  4. Job 28:17 vessels
  5. Job 28:18 Heb. ramoth
  6. Job 28:21 heaven
  7. Job 28:22 Heb. Abaddon
  8. Job 28:27 Lit. it

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)

Footnotes

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

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