A Hymn to Wisdom

28 Surely there is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the ground,
and copper is smelted from ore.
A miner puts an end to the darkness;
he probes[a] the deepest recesses
for ore in the gloomy darkness.
He cuts a shaft far from human habitation,
in places unknown to those who walk above ground.
Suspended far away from people,
the miners swing back and forth.
Food may come from the earth,
but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.
Its rocks are a source of lapis lazuli,(A)
containing flecks of gold.
No bird of prey knows that path;
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud beasts have never walked on it;
no lion has ever prowled over it.
The miner uses a flint tool
and turns up ore from the root of the mountains.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eyes spot every treasure.
11 He dams up the streams from flowing[b]
so that he may bring to light what is hidden.

12 But where can wisdom(B) be found,
and where is understanding located?
13 No one can know its value,[c]
since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,”
while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”(C)
15 Gold cannot be exchanged for it,
and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
16 Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,(D)
in precious onyx or lapis lazuli.(E)
17 Gold and glass do not compare with it,
and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.(F)
18 Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning.
The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.
19 Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it,
and it cannot be valued in pure gold.

20 Where then does wisdom come from,
and where is understanding located?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing
and concealed from the birds of the sky.
22 Abaddon and Death(G) say,
“We have heard news of it with our ears.”
23 But God understands the way to wisdom,
and he knows its location.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When God fixed the weight of the wind
and distributed the water by measure,(H)
26 when he established a limit[d] for the rain(I)
and a path for the lightning,
27 he considered wisdom and evaluated it;
he established it and examined it.
28 He said to mankind,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom.
And to turn from evil is understanding.”(J)

Job’s Final Claim of Innocence

29 Job continued his discourse, saying:

If only I could be as in months gone by,
in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone above my head,
and I walked through darkness by his light!(K)
I would be as I was in the days of my youth
when God’s friendship(L) rested on my tent,
when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me,
when my feet were bathed in curds
and the rock(M) poured out streams of oil for me!

When I went out to the city gate(N)
and took my seat in the town square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
while older men stood to their feet.
City officials stopped talking
and covered their mouths with their hands.(O)
10 The noblemen’s voices were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.(P)
11 When they heard me, they blessed me,
and when they saw me, they spoke well of me.[e]
12 For I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.(Q)
13 The dying blessed me,
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice.
14 I clothed myself in righteousness,(R)
and it enveloped me;
my just decisions were like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.(S)
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I examined the case of the stranger.
17 I shattered the fangs of the unjust(T)
and snatched the prey from his teeth.

18 So I thought, “I will die in my own nest
and multiply my days as the sand.[f]
19 My roots will have access to water,(U)
and the dew will rest on my branches all night.
20 My whole being will be refreshed within me,
and my bow will be renewed in my hand.”(V)

21 Men listened to me with expectation,
waiting silently for my advice.
22 After a word from me they did not speak again;
my speech settled on them like dew.(W)
23 They waited for me as for the rain
and opened their mouths as for spring showers.
24 If I smiled at them, they couldn’t believe it;
they were thrilled at[g] the light of my countenance.
25 I directed their course and presided as chief.
I lived as a king among his troops,
like one who comforts those who mourn.


  1. 28:3 Lit probes all
  2. 28:11 LXX, Vg read He explores the sources of the streams
  3. 28:13 LXX reads way
  4. 28:26 Or decree
  5. 29:11 Lit When an ear heard, it called me blessed, and when an eye saw, it testified for me
  6. 29:18 Or as the phoenix
  7. 29:24 Lit they did not cast down

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