Job 28

III. Job’s Search for Wisdom (28:1-28)

No Known Road to Wisdom1

28:1 “Surely2 there is a mine3 for silver,

and a place where gold is refined.4

28:2 Iron is taken from the ground,5

and rock is poured out6 as copper.

28:3 Man puts an end to the darkness;7

he searches the farthest recesses

for the ore in the deepest darkness.8

28:4 Far from where people live9 he sinks a shaft,

in places travelers have long forgotten,10

far from other people he dangles and sways.11

28:5 The earth, from which food comes,

is overturned below as though by fire;12

28:6 a place whose stones are sapphires13

and which contains dust of gold;14

28:7 a hidden path15 no bird of prey knows –

no falcon’s16 eye has spotted it.

28:8 Proud beasts17 have not set foot on it,

and no lion has passed along it.

28:9 On the flinty rock man has set to work18 with his hand;

he has overturned mountains at their bases.19

28:10 He has cut out channels20 through the rocks;

his eyes have spotted21 every precious thing.

28:11 He has searched22 the sources23 of the rivers

and what was hidden he has brought into the light.

No Price Can Buy Wisdom

28:12 “But wisdom – where can it be found?

Where is the place of understanding?

28:13 Mankind does not know its place;24

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

28:14 The deep25 says, ‘It is not with26 me.’

And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

28:15 Fine gold cannot be given in exchange for it,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.

28:16 It cannot be measured out for purchase27 with the gold of Ophir,

with precious onyx28 or sapphires.

28:17 Neither gold nor crystal29 can be compared with it,

nor can a vase30 of gold match its worth.

28:18 Of coral and jasper no mention will be made;

the price31 of wisdom is more than pearls.32

28:19 The topaz of Cush33 cannot be compared with it;

it cannot be purchased with pure gold.

God Alone Has Wisdom

28:20 “But wisdom – where does it come from?34

Where is the place of understanding?

28:21 For35 it has been hidden

from the eyes of every living creature,

and from the birds of the sky it has been concealed.

28:22 Destruction36 and Death say,

‘With our ears we have heard a rumor about where it can be found.’37

28:23 God understands the way to it,

and he alone knows its place.

28:24 For he looks to the ends of the earth

and observes everything under the heavens.

28:25 When he made38 the force of the wind

and measured39 the waters with a gauge.

28:26 When he imposed a limit40 for the rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,41

28:27 then he looked at wisdom42 and assessed its value;43

he established44 it and examined it closely.45

28:28 And he said to mankind,

‘The fear of the Lord46 – that is wisdom,

and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”47

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