Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 There is a mine for silver
    and a place where gold is refined.(A)
Iron is taken from the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.(B)
Mortals put an end to the darkness;(C)
    they search out the farthest recesses
    for ore in the blackest darkness.(D)
Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,(E)
    in places untouched by human feet;
    far from other people they dangle and sway.
The earth, from which food comes,(F)
    is transformed below as by fire;
lapis lazuli(G) comes from its rocks,
    and its dust contains nuggets of gold.(H)
No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
    no falcon’s eye has seen it.(I)
Proud beasts(J) do not set foot on it,
    and no lion prowls there.(K)
People assault the flinty rock(L) with their hands
    and lay bare the roots of the mountains.(M)
10 They tunnel through the rock;(N)
    their eyes see all its treasures.(O)
11 They search[a] the sources of the rivers(P)
    and bring hidden things(Q) to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?(R)
    Where does understanding dwell?(S)
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;(T)
    it cannot be found in the land of the living.(U)
14 The deep(V) says, “It is not in me”;
    the sea(W) says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
    nor can its price be weighed out in silver.(X)
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,(Y)
    with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.(Z)
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,(AA)
    nor can it be had for jewels of gold.(AB)
18 Coral(AC) and jasper(AD) are not worthy of mention;
    the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.(AE)
19 The topaz(AF) of Cush(AG) cannot compare with it;
    it cannot be bought with pure gold.(AH)

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
    Where does understanding dwell?(AI)
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
    concealed even from the birds in the sky.(AJ)
22 Destruction[b](AK) and Death(AL) say,
    “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
    and he alone(AM) knows where it dwells,(AN)
24 for he views the ends of the earth(AO)
    and sees everything under the heavens.(AP)
25 When he established the force of the wind
    and measured out the waters,(AQ)
26 when he made a decree for the rain(AR)
    and a path for the thunderstorm,(AS)
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
    he confirmed it and tested it.(AT)
28 And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil(AU) is understanding.”(AV)

Job’s Final Defense

29 Job continued his discourse:(AW)

“How I long for the months gone by,(AX)
    for the days when God watched over me,(AY)
when his lamp shone on my head
    and by his light I walked through darkness!(AZ)
Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
    when God’s intimate friendship(BA) blessed my house,(BB)
when the Almighty was still with me
    and my children(BC) were around me,(BD)
when my path was drenched with cream(BE)
    and the rock(BF) poured out for me streams of olive oil.(BG)

“When I went to the gate(BH) of the city
    and took my seat in the public square,
the young men saw me and stepped aside(BI)
    and the old men rose to their feet;(BJ)
the chief men refrained from speaking(BK)
    and covered their mouths with their hands;(BL)
10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,(BM)
    and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.(BN)
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
    and those who saw me commended me,(BO)
12 because I rescued the poor(BP) who cried for help,
    and the fatherless(BQ) who had none to assist them.(BR)
13 The one who was dying blessed me;(BS)
    I made the widow’s(BT) heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness(BU) as my clothing;
    justice was my robe and my turban.(BV)
15 I was eyes(BW) to the blind
    and feet to the lame.(BX)
16 I was a father to the needy;(BY)
    I took up the case(BZ) of the stranger.(CA)
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked
    and snatched the victims(CB) from their teeth.(CC)

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
    my days as numerous as the grains of sand.(CD)
19 My roots will reach to the water,(CE)
    and the dew will lie all night on my branches.(CF)
20 My glory will not fade;(CG)
    the bow(CH) will be ever new in my hand.’(CI)

21 “People listened to me expectantly,
    waiting in silence for my counsel.(CJ)
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;(CK)
    my words fell gently on their ears.(CL)
23 They waited for me as for showers
    and drank in my words as the spring rain.(CM)
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
    the light of my face(CN) was precious to them.[c](CO)
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;(CP)
    I dwelt as a king(CQ) among his troops;
    I was like one who comforts mourners.(CR)

Footnotes

  1. Job 28:11 Septuagint, Aquila and Vulgate; Hebrew They dam up
  2. Job 28:22 Hebrew Abaddon
  3. Job 29:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.