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28 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold which they refine;

Iron is taken out of the dust, and copper is molten out of the stone.

[Man] putteth an end to the darkness, and exploreth to the utmost limit, the stones of darkness and of the shadow of death.

He openeth a shaft far from the inhabitants [of the earth]: forgotten of the foot, they hang suspended; away below men they hover.

As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, and underneath it is turned up as by fire;

The stones of it are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold.

It is a path no bird of prey knoweth, and the vulture's eye hath not seen it;

The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed over it.

[Man] putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock, he overturneth the mountains by the root.

10 He cutteth out channels in the rocks, and his eye seeth every precious thing.

11 He bindeth the streams that they drip not, and what is hidden he bringeth forth to light.

12 But wisdom, where shall it be found? and where is the place of understanding?

13 Man knoweth not the value thereof; and it is not found in the land of the living.

14 The deep saith, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not with me.

15 Choice gold cannot be given for it, nor silver be weighed for its price.

16 It is not set in the balance with gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, and the sapphire.

17 Gold and glass cannot be compared to it, nor vessels of fine gold be its exchange.

18 Corals and crystal are no more remembered; yea, the acquisition of wisdom is above rubies.

19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not be compared to it, neither shall it be set in the balance with pure gold.

20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

21 For it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the fowl of the heavens.

22 Destruction and death say, We have heard its report with our ears.

23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth its place:

24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, he seeth under the whole heaven.

25 In making a weight for the wind, and meting out the waters by measure,

26 In appointing a statute for the rain, and a way for the thunder's flash:

27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he established it, yea, and searched it out;

28 And unto man he said, Lo, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

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)

Footnotes

  1. Job 28:11 Septuagint, Aquila and Vulgate; Hebrew They dam up
  2. Job 28:22 Hebrew Abaddon

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