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

No Known Road to Wisdom

28:1 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place where gold is refined.
28:2 Iron is taken from the ground,
and rock is poured out as copper.
28:3 Man puts an end to the darkness;
he searches the farthest recesses
for the ore in the deepest darkness.
28:4 Far from where people live he sinks a shaft,
in places travelers have long forgotten,
far from other people he dangles and sways.
28:5 The earth, from which food comes,
is overturned below as though by fire;
28:6 a place whose stones are sapphires
and which contains dust of gold;
28:7 a hidden path no bird of prey knows –
no falcon’s eye has spotted it.
28:8 Proud beasts have not set foot on it,
and no lion has passed along it.
28:9 On the flinty rock man has set to work with his hand;
he has overturned mountains at their bases.
28:10 He has cut out channels through the rocks;
his eyes have spotted every precious thing.
28:11 He has searched the sources 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;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
28:14 The deep says, ‘It is not with 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 purchase with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or sapphires.
28:17 Neither gold nor crystal can be compared with it,
nor can a vase of gold match its worth.
28:18 Of coral and jasper no mention will be made;
the price of wisdom is more than pearls.
28:19 The topaz of Cush 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?
Where is the place of understanding?
28:21 For it has been hidden
from the eyes of every living creature,
and from the birds of the sky it has been concealed.
28:22 Destruction and Death say,
‘With our ears we have heard a rumor about where it can be found.’
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 made the force of the wind
and measured the waters with a gauge.
28:26 When he imposed a limit for the rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
28:27 then he looked at wisdom and assessed its value;
he established it and examined it closely.
28:28 And he said to mankind,
‘The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”