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Job 28

Where Can Wisdom Be Found?

1 “Surely there is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.

2 Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper is smelted from ore.

3 Man puts an end to the darkness;

he probes the farthest recesses

for ore in deepest darkness.

4 Far from human habitation he cuts a shaft

in places forgotten by the foot of man.

Far from men he dangles and sways.

5 Food may come from the earth,

but from below it is transformed as by fire.

6 Its rocks are the source of sapphires,

containing flecks of gold.

7 No bird of prey knows that path;

no falcon’s eye has seen it.

8 Proud beasts have never trodden it;

no lion has ever prowled over it.

9 The miner strikes the flint;

he overturns mountains at their base.

10 He hews out channels in the rocks,

and his eyes spot every treasure.

11 He stops up a the sources of the streams

to bring what is hidden to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found,

and where does understanding dwell?

13 No man can know its value,

nor is it found in the land of the living.

14 The ocean depths say, ‘It is not in me,’

while the sea declares, ‘It is not with me.’

15 It cannot be bought with gold,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.

16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,

in precious onyx or sapphire.

17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare to it,

nor jewels of fine gold be exchanged for it.

18 Coral and quartz are unworthy of mention;

the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.

19 Topaz from Cush b cannot compare to it,

nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 From where then does wisdom come,

and where does understanding dwell?

21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing

and concealed from the birds of the air.

22 Abaddon c and Death say,

‘We have heard a rumor about it.’

23 But God understands its way,

and He knows its place.

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 measured out the waters,

26 when He set a limit for the rain

and a path for the thunderbolt,

27 then He looked at wisdom and appraised it;

He established it and searched it out.

28 And He said to man, ‘Behold,

the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,

and to turn away from evil is understanding.’ ”

 

Footnotes:

11 a Hebrew; LXX and Vulgate He searches
19 b That is, the upper Nile region
22 c Abaddon means Destruction .

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