Job 28

A Hymn to Wisdom

1Surely there is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.

2Iron is taken from the ground,

and copper is smelted from ore.

3A miner puts an end to the darkness;

he probes the deepest recesses

for ore in the gloomy darkness.

4He 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.

5Food may come from the earth,

but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.

6Its rocks are a source of lapis lazuli,

containing flecks of gold.

7No bird of prey knows that path;

no falcon’s eye has seen it.

8Proud beasts have never walked on it;

no lion has ever prowled over it.

9The miner uses a flint tool

and turns up ore from the root of the mountains.

10He cuts out channels in the rocks,

and his eyes spot every treasure.

11He dams up the streams from flowing

so that he may bring to light what is hidden.

12But where can wisdom be found,

and where is understanding located?

13No one can know its value,

since it cannot be found in the land of the living.

14The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,”

while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”

15Gold cannot be exchanged for it,

and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.

16Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,

in precious onyx or lapis lazuli.

17Gold and glass do not compare with it,

and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.

18Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning.

The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.

19Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it,

and it cannot be valued in pure gold.

20Where then does wisdom come from,

and where is understanding located?

21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing

and concealed from the birds of the sky.

22Abaddon and Death say,

“We have heard news of it with our ears.”

23But God understands the way to wisdom,

and he knows its location.

24For he looks to the ends of the earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

25When God fixed the weight of the wind

and distributed the water by measure,

26when he established a limit for the rain

and a path for the lightning,

27he considered wisdom and evaluated it;

he established it and examined it.

28He said to mankind,

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom.

And to turn from evil is understanding.”