28

1 »There is a place where silver is mined and a place where gold is refined.

2 »Iron is taken from the ground, and rocks are melted for their copper.

3 »Humans bring an end to darkness. He searches the black rock to the limit of the gloom.

4 »They open up a mineshaft far from civilization, where no one has set foot. In this shaft men dangle and swing back and forth.

5 »Above the ground food grows. Beneath it the food decays as if it were burned by fire.

6 »That place's stones are sapphire. Its dust contains gold.

7 »No bird of prey knows the way to it. No hawk's eye has ever seen it.

8 »No proud beast has ever walked on it. No ferocious lion has ever passed over it.

9 »Humans exert their power on the flinty rocks and overturn mountains at their base.

10 »They cut out mineshafts in the rocks. Their eyes see every precious thing.

11 »They explore the sources of rivers to bring hidden treasures to light.

12 »Where can wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?

13 »No man knows where it is. It cannot be found in this world of the living.

14 »The deep ocean says: ‘It is not in me.’ The sea proclaims: ‘Not in me either!’

15 »Gold will not buy it; neither will any amount of silver.

16 »It cannot be bought with the gold from Ophir or with precious onyx or sapphire.

17 »Neither gold nor crystal can equal its value. Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.

18 »Wisdom is more valuable than gems.

19 »Topaz from Ethiopia cannot equal its value. It cannot be bought for any amount of pure gold.

20 »Where does wisdom come from? Where does understanding live?

21 »It is hidden from the eyes of all the living, concealed from the birds in the air.

22 »Destruction and Death say: ‘We heard a rumor about it.’

23 »God understands the way to it. He knows where it lives

24 »He can see to the ends of the earth and observe everything under heaven.

25 »When he gave the wind its force and measured the water in the sea,

26 when he made rules for the rain and set paths for the thunderstorms,

27 then he saw it and announced it. He confirmed it and examined it.

28 »To man he said: ‘Respect for Jehovah is wisdom! To stay away from evil is understanding.’«