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Job 28 Good News Translation (GNT)

In Praise of Wisdom[a]

28 There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
We dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
Miners explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
No lion or other fierce beast
Ever travels those lonely roads.

Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10 As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11 They dig to the sources of[b] rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?

13 Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14 The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15 It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16 The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17 It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18 The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19 The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.

20 Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
Where can we learn to understand?
21 No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22 Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumors.

23 God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24 Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25 When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26 When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27 It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth—
He gave it his approval.

28 God said to us humans,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”


  1. Job 28:1 The Hebrew text does not indicate who is speaking in this chapter.
  2. Job 28:11 Some ancient translations dig to the sources of; Hebrew bind from trickling.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Job 28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold to be refined.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.
Miners put[a] an end to darkness,
    and search out to the farthest bound
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation;
    they are forgotten by travelers,
    they sway suspended, remote from people.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,[b]
    and its dust contains gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.
The proud wild animals have not trodden it;
    the lion has not passed over it.

“They put their hand to the flinty rock,
    and overturn mountains by the roots.
10 They cut out channels in the rocks,
    and their eyes see every precious thing.
11 The sources of the rivers they probe;[c]
    hidden things they bring to light.

12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 Mortals do not know the way to it,[d]
    and it is not 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 It cannot be gotten for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
    in precious onyx or sapphire.[e]
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The chrysolite of Ethiopia[f] cannot compare with it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 “Where then does wisdom come from?
    And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 “God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight,
    and apportioned out the waters by measure;
26 when he made a decree for the rain,
    and a way for the thunderbolt;
27 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
    and to depart from evil is understanding.’”


  1. Job 28:3 Heb He puts
  2. Job 28:6 Or lapis lazuli
  3. Job 28:11 Gk Vg: Heb bind
  4. Job 28:13 Gk: Heb its price
  5. Job 28:16 Or lapis lazuli
  6. Job 28:19 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Job 28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

28 “There are mines for silver
and places where gold is refined;
iron is extracted from the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.
Miners conquer the darkness
and dig as far in as they can,
to the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
There where no one lives, they break open a shaft;
the feet passing over are oblivious to them;
far from people, suspended in space,
they swing to and fro.

“While the earth is [peacefully] yielding bread,
underneath, it is being convulsed as if by fire;
its rocks have veins of sapphire,
and there are flecks of gold.
Birds of prey don’t know that path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it,
the proud beasts have never set foot on it,
no lion has ever passed over it.

“[The miner] attacks the flint,
overturns mountains at their roots,
10 and cuts out galleries in the rock,
all the while watching for something of value.
11 He dams up streams to keep them from flooding,
and brings what was hidden out into the light.

12 “But where can wisdom be found?
Where is the source of understanding?
13 No one knows its value,
and it can’t be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’
15 It can’t be obtained with gold,
nor can silver be weighed out to buy it.
16 It can’t be purchased with choice gold from Ofir,
or with precious onyx or sapphires.
17 Neither gold nor glass can be compared with it;
nor can it be exchanged for a bowl of fine gold,
18 let alone coral or crystal;
for indeed, the price of wisdom is above that of pearls.
19 It can’t be compared with Ethiopian topaz,
and it can’t be valued with pure gold.

20 “So where does wisdom come from?
where is the source of understanding,
21 inasmuch as it is hidden from the eyes of all living
and kept secret from the birds flying around in the sky?
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor about it with our ears.’

23 “God understands its way,
and he knows its place.
24 For he can see to the ends of the earth
and view everything under heaven.
25 When he determined the force of the wind
and parceled out water by measure,
26 when he made a law for the rain
and cleared a path for the thunderbolts;
27 then he saw [wisdom] and declared it,
yes, he set it up and searched it out.
28 And to human beings he said,
‘Look, fear of Adonai is wisdom!
Shunning evil is understanding!’”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Job 28 The Message (MSG)

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

28 1-11 “We all know how silver seams the rocks,
    we’ve seen the stuff from which gold is refined,
We’re aware of how iron is dug out of the ground
    and copper is smelted from rock.
Miners penetrate the earth’s darkness,
    searching the roots of the mountains for ore,
    digging away in the suffocating darkness.
Far from civilization, far from the traffic,
    they cut a shaft,
    and are lowered into it by ropes.
Earth’s surface is a field for grain,
    but its depths are a forge
Firing sapphires from stones
    and chiseling gold from rocks.
Vultures are blind to its riches,
    hawks never lay eyes on it.
Wild animals are oblivious to it,
    lions don’t know it’s there.
Miners hammer away at the rock,
    they uproot the mountains.
They tunnel through the rock
    and find all kinds of beautiful gems.
They discover the origins of rivers,
    and bring earth’s secrets to light.

12-19 “But where, oh where, will they find Wisdom?
    Where does Insight hide?
Mortals don’t have a clue,
    haven’t the slightest idea where to look.
Earth’s depths say, ‘It’s not here’;
    ocean deeps echo, ‘Never heard of it.’
It can’t be bought with the finest gold;
    no amount of silver can get it.
Even famous Ophir gold can’t buy it,
    not even diamonds and sapphires.
Neither gold nor emeralds are comparable;
    extravagant jewelry can’t touch it.
Pearl necklaces and ruby bracelets—why bother?
    None of this is even a down payment on Wisdom!
Pile gold and African diamonds as high as you will,
    they can’t hold a candle to Wisdom.

20-22 “So where does Wisdom come from?
    And where does Insight live?
It can’t be found by looking, no matter
    how deep you dig, no matter how high you fly.
If you search through the graveyard and question the dead,
    they say, ‘We’ve only heard rumors of it.’

23-28 “God alone knows the way to Wisdom,
    he knows the exact place to find it.
He knows where everything is on earth,
    he sees everything under heaven.
After he commanded the winds to blow
    and measured out the waters,
Arranged for the rain
    and set off explosions of thunder and lightning,
He focused on Wisdom,
    made sure it was all set and tested and ready.
Then he addressed the human race: ‘Here it is!
    Fear-of-the-Lord—that’s Wisdom,
    and Insight means shunning evil.’”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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