28

Job Speaks of Wisdom and Understanding

1“People know where to mine silver

and how to refine gold.

2They know where to dig iron from the earth

and how to smelt copper from rock.

3They know how to shine light in the darkness

and explore the farthest regions of the earth

as they search in the dark for ore.

4They sink a mine shaft into the earth

far from where anyone lives.

They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth.

5Food is grown on the earth above,

but down below, the earth is melted as by fire.

6Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli,

and the dust contains gold.

7These are treasures no bird of prey can see,

no falcon’s eye observe.

8No wild animal has walked upon these treasures;

no lion has ever set his paw there.

9People know how to tear apart flinty rocks

and overturn the roots of mountains.

10They cut tunnels in the rocks

and uncover precious stones.

11They dam up the trickling streams

and bring to light the hidden treasures.

12“But do people know where to find wisdom?

Where can they find understanding?

13No one knows where to find it,*28:13 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads knows its value. 

for it is not found among the living.

14‘It is not here,’ says the ocean.

‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea.

15It cannot be bought with gold.

It cannot be purchased with silver.

16It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir,

greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli.

17Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal.

It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold.

18Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it.

The price of wisdom is far above rubies.

19Precious peridot from Ethiopia*28:19 Hebrew from Cush.  cannot be exchanged for it.

It’s worth more than the purest gold.

20“But do people know where to find wisdom?

Where can they find understanding?

21It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity.

Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it.

22Destruction*28:22 Hebrew Abaddon.  and Death say,

‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’

23“God alone understands the way to wisdom;

he knows where it can be found,

24for he looks throughout the whole earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

25He decided how hard the winds should blow

and how much rain should fall.

26He made the laws for the rain

and laid out a path for the lightning.

27Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it.

He set it in place and examined it thoroughly.

28And this is what he says to all humanity:

‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;

to forsake evil is real understanding.’”