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11 He has searched[a] the sources[b] of the rivers
and what was hidden he has brought into the light.

No Price Can Buy Wisdom

12 “But wisdom—where can it be found?
Where is the place of understanding?
13 Mankind does not know its place;[c]
it cannot be found in the land of the living.

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  1. Job 28:11 tc The translation “searched” follows the LXX and Vulgate; the MT reads “binds up” or “dams up.” This latter translation might refer to the damming of water that might seep into a mine (HALOT 289 s.v. חבשׁ; cf. ESV, NJPS, NASB, REB, NLT).
  2. Job 28:11 tc The older translations had “he binds the streams from weeping,” i.e., from trickling (מִבְּכִי, mibbekhi). But the Ugaritic parallel has changed the understanding, reading “toward the spring of the rivers” (ʿm mbk nhrm). Earlier than that discovery, the versions had taken the word as a noun as well. Some commentators had suggested repointing the Hebrew. Some chose מַבְּכֵי (mabbekhe, “sources”). Now there is much Ugaritic support for the reading (see G. M. Landes, BASOR 144 [1956]: 32f.; and H. L. Ginsberg, “The Ugaritic texts and textual criticism,” JBL 62 [1943]: 111).
  3. Job 28:13 tc The LXX has “its way,” apparently reading דַּרְכָּה (darkah) in place of עֶרְכָּהּ (ʿerkah, “place”). This is adopted by most modern commentators. But R. Gordis (Job, 308) shows that this change is not necessary, for עֶרֶךְ (ʿerekh) in the Bible means “order; row; disposition,” and here “place.” An alternate meaning would be “worth” (NIV, ESV).

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