28 “There are mines where people dig silver and places where gold is made pure. 2 Iron is taken from the ground, and copper is melted out of rocks. 3 Miners bring lights and search deep into the mines for ore in thick darkness. 4 Miners dig a tunnel far from where people live, where no one has ever walked; they work far from people, swinging and swaying from ropes. 5 Food grows on top of the earth, but below ground things are changed as if by fire. 6 Sapphires are found in rocks, and gold dust is also found there. 7 No hawk knows that path; the falcon has not seen it. 8 Proud animals have not walked there, and no lions cross over it. 9 Miners hit the rocks of flint and dig away at the bottom of the mountains. 10 They cut tunnels through the rock and see all the treasures there. 11 They search for places where rivers begin and bring things hidden out into the light.
12 “But where can wisdom be found, and where does understanding live? 13 People do not understand the value of wisdom; it cannot be found among those who are alive. 14 The deep ocean says, ‘It’s not in me;’ the sea says, ‘It’s not in me.’ 15 Wisdom cannot be bought with gold, and its cost cannot be weighed in silver. 16 Wisdom cannot be bought with fine gold or with valuable onyx or sapphire gems. 17 Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom, and you cannot buy it with jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worth talking about, and the price of wisdom is much greater than rubies. 19 The topaz from Cush cannot compare to wisdom; it cannot be bought with the purest gold.
20 “So where does wisdom come from, and where does understanding live? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, even from the birds of the air. 22 The places of destruction and death say, ‘We have heard reports about it.’ 23 Only God understands the way to wisdom, and he alone knows where it lives, 24 because he looks to the farthest parts of the earth and sees everything under the sky. 25 When God gave power to the wind and measured the water, 26 when he made rules for the rain and set a path for a thunderstorm to follow, 27 then he looked at wisdom and decided its worth; he set wisdom up and tested it. 28 Then he said to humans, ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom; to stay away from evil is understanding.’”
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