28 “Surely there is a [a]mine for silver And a place [b]where they refine gold. 2 “Iron is taken from the dust, And copper is smelted from rock. 3 “Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow. 4 “He [c]sinks a shaft far from [d]habitation, Forgotten by the foot; They hang and swing to and fro far from men. 5 “The earth, from it comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire. 6 “Its rocks are the [e]source of sapphires, And its dust contains gold. 7 “The path no bird of prey knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it. 8 “The [f]proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 9 “He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the [g]base. 10 “He hews out channels through the rocks, And his eye sees anything precious. 11 “He dams up the streams from [h]flowing, And what is hidden he brings out to the light.
The Search for Wisdom Is Harder
12 “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 “Man does not know its value, Nor is it 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 “Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for 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 “Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. 18 “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. 19 “The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold. 20 “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 “[i]Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’
23 “God understands its way, And He knows its place. 24 “For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens. 25 “When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure, 26 When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt, 27 Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out. 28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
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