28 “Surely there are mines for silver and places where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the ground;[a] and copper is smelted from ore. 3 Mankind limits the darkness as they search the deepest depths for ore[b] in unfathomable darkness. 4 He sinks his shaft far from human habitations, in a place[c] forgotten by explorers; they hang on harnesses as they swing back and forth.
5 “While the ground produces food, underneath it is torn up and burning hot,[d] 6 where stones are sapphire and gold dust can be found, 7 a place where birds of prey never fly, and the eyes of the falcon have never seen. 8 The proud beasts haven’t walked there; lions have never passed over it.
9 “Using a flint, he thrusts his hand, overturning mountains by the roots. 10 He cuts a channel through the rocks, while his eyes search for anything of value. 11 He dams up flowing rivers, bringing hidden things to light.”
Wisdom is of Greater Value than Precious Stones
12 “Where can wisdom be found? Where is understanding’s home? 13 Mankind doesn’t appreciate their value; and you won’t find it anywhere on earth.[e] 14 The deepest ocean says, ‘It’s not within me.’ and the sea says, ‘You’ll never find it with me.’ 15 You can’t buy it with gold, and its value cannot be calculated in silver. 16 It cannot be compared to gold from Ophir,[f] with precious onyx, or with sapphire. 17 It cannot be compared to gold and fine glass[g] crystal, nor can it be exchanged for gold-plated weaponry.[h] 18 Don’t even bother to mention coral and crystal— wisdom is more valuable than a bag of rubies.[i] 19 It can neither be compared with the topaz of Ethiopia nor valued in comparison to pure gold.”
Wisdom is from God
20 “From where, then, does wisdom originate? Where does understanding live?[j] 21 It has been concealed from the sight of every living creature and hidden even from the birds in the skies. 22 Abaddon[k] and death said, ‘We did hear a rumor about it.’ 23 God understands how to get there; he knows where they live.[l] 24 For he looks as far as the ends of the earth and sees everything under the sky.[m]
25 “He imparted weight to the wind; he regulated water by his measurement. 26 He set in place ordinances for the rain; and determined the pathway for thunder that accompanies lightning.[n] 27 Then he looked at wisdom, and fixed it in place; he established it, and also examined it. 28 He has commanded mankind: ‘To fear the Lord—that is wisdom; to move away from evil—that is understanding.’”
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