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.’ ”

Job’s Summary Defense

29 Job further continued his discourse, and said:

“Oh, that I were as in months (N)past,
As in the days when God (O)watched over me;
(P)When His lamp shone upon my head,
And when by His light I walked through darkness;
Just as I was in the days of my prime,
When (Q)the friendly counsel of God was over my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me,
When my children were around me;
When (R)my steps were bathed with [i]cream,
And (S)the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!

“When I went out to the gate by the city,
When I took my seat in the open square,
The young men saw me and hid,
And the aged arose and stood;
The princes refrained from talking,
And (T)put their hand on their mouth;
10 The voice of nobles was hushed,
And their (U)tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, then it blessed me,
And when the eye saw, then it approved me;
12 Because (V)I delivered the poor who cried out,
The fatherless and the one who had no helper.
13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me,
And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 (W)I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was (X)eyes to the blind,
And I was feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor,
And (Y)I searched out the case that I did not know.
17 I broke (Z)the fangs of the wicked,
And plucked the victim from his teeth.

18 “Then I said, (AA)‘I shall die in my nest,
And multiply my days as the sand.
19 (AB)My root is spread out (AC)to the waters,
And the dew lies all night on my branch.
20 My glory is fresh within me,
And my (AD)bow is renewed in my hand.’

21 Men listened to me and waited,
And kept silence for my counsel.
22 After my words they did not speak again,
And my speech settled on them as dew.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
And they opened their mouth wide as for (AE)the spring rain.
24 If I mocked at them, they did not believe it,
And the light of my countenance they did not cast down.
25 I chose the way for them, and sat as chief;
So I dwelt as a king in the army,
As one who comforts mourners.

Job’s Wealth Now Poverty

30 “But now they mock at me, men [j]younger than I,
Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.
Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me?
Their vigor has perished.
They are gaunt from want and famine,
Fleeing late to the wilderness, desolate and waste,
Who pluck [k]mallow by the bushes,
And broom tree roots for their food.
They were driven out from among men,
They shouted at them as at a thief.
They had to live in the clefts of the [l]valleys,
In [m]caves of the earth and the rocks.
Among the bushes they brayed,
Under the nettles they nestled.
They were sons of fools,
Yes, sons of vile men;
They were scourged from the land.

“And(AF) now I am their taunting song;
Yes, I am their byword.
10 They abhor me, they keep far from me;
They do not hesitate (AG)to spit in my face.
11 Because (AH)He has loosed [n]my bowstring and afflicted me,
They have cast off restraint before me.
12 At my right hand the rabble arises;
They push away my feet,
And (AI)they raise against me their ways of destruction.
13 They break up my path,
They promote my calamity;
They have no helper.
14 They come as broad breakers;
Under the ruinous storm they roll along.
15 Terrors are turned upon me;
They pursue my honor as the wind,
And my prosperity has passed like a cloud.

16 “And(AJ) now my soul is (AK)poured out because of my plight;
The days of affliction take hold of me.
17 My bones are pierced in me at night,
And my gnawing pains take no rest.
18 By great force my garment is disfigured;
It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
19 He has cast me into the mire,
And I have become like dust and ashes.

20 “I (AL)cry out to You, but You do not answer me;
I stand up, and You regard me.
21 But You have become cruel to me;
With the strength of Your hand You (AM)oppose me.
22 You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it;
You spoil my success.
23 For I know that You will bring me to death,
And to the house (AN)appointed for all living.

24 “Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins,
If they cry out when He destroys it.
25 (AO)Have I not wept for him who was in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 (AP)But when I looked for good, evil came to me;
And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
27 [o]My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest;
Days of affliction confront me.
28 (AQ)I go about mourning, but not in the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.
29 (AR)I am a brother of jackals,
And a companion of ostriches.
30 (AS)My skin grows black and falls from me;
(AT)My bones burn with fever.
31 My harp is turned to mourning,
And my flute to the voice of those who weep.

Job Defends His Righteousness

31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I [p]look upon a (AU)young woman?
For what is the (AV)allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
Is it not destruction for the wicked,
And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
(AW)Does He not see my ways,
And count all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood,
Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,
[q]Let me be weighed on honest scales,
That God may know my (AX)integrity.
If my step has turned from the way,
Or (AY)my heart walked after my eyes,
Or if any spot adheres to my hands,
Then (AZ)let me sow, and another eat;
Yes, let my harvest be [r]rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 Then let my wife grind for (BA)another,
And let others bow down over her.
11 For that would be wickedness;
Yes, (BB)it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.
12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction,
And would root out all my increase.

13 “If I have (BC)despised the cause of my male or female servant
When they complained against me,
14 What then shall I do when (BD)God rises up?
When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?
15 (BE)Did not He who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or caused the eyes of the widow to (BF)fail,
17 Or eaten my morsel by myself,
So that the fatherless could not eat of it
18 (But from my youth I reared him as a father,
And from my mother’s womb I guided [s]the widow);
19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor man without covering;
20 If his [t]heart has not (BG)blessed me,
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have raised my hand (BH)against the fatherless,
When I saw I had help in the gate;
22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
Let my arm be torn from the socket.
23 For (BI)destruction from God is a terror to me,
And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

24 “If(BJ) I have made gold my hope,
Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’;
25 (BK)If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had gained much;
26 (BL)If I have observed the [u]sun when it shines,
Or the moon moving in brightness,
27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
And my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
For I would have denied God who is above.

29 “If(BM) I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me,
Or lifted myself up when evil found him
30 (BN)(Indeed I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By asking for a curse on his [v]soul);
31 If the men of my tent have not said,
‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’
32 (BO)(But no sojourner had to lodge in the street,
For I have opened my doors to the [w]traveler);
33 If I have covered my transgressions (BP)as[x] Adam,
By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
34 Because I feared the great (BQ)multitude,
And dreaded the contempt of families,
So that I kept silence
And did not go out of the door—
35 (BR)Oh, that I had one to hear me!
Here is my mark.
Oh, (BS)that the Almighty would answer me,
That my [y]Prosecutor had written a book!
36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,
And bind it on me like a crown;
37 I would declare to Him the number of my steps;
Like a prince I would approach Him.

38 “If my land cries out against me,
And its furrows weep together;
39 If (BT)I have eaten its [z]fruit without money,
Or (BU)caused its owners to lose their lives;
40 Then let (BV)thistles grow instead of wheat,
And weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.


  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
  9. Job 29:6 So with ancient vss. and a few Heb. mss. (cf. Job 20:17); MT wrath
  10. Job 30:1 Lit. of fewer days
  11. Job 30:4 A plant of the salty marshes
  12. Job 30:6 wadis
  13. Job 30:6 Lit. holes
  14. Job 30:11 So with MT, Syr., Tg.; LXX, Vg. His
  15. Job 30:27 I seethe inside
  16. Job 31:1 look intently or gaze
  17. Job 31:6 Lit. Let Him weigh me
  18. Job 31:8 uprooted
  19. Job 31:18 Lit. her
  20. Job 31:20 Lit. loins
  21. Job 31:26 Lit. light
  22. Job 31:30 Or life
  23. Job 31:32 So with LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; MT road
  24. Job 31:33 Or as men do
  25. Job 31:35 Lit. Accuser
  26. Job 31:39 Lit. strength

Bible Gateway Recommends