Where Can Wisdom Be Found?1 Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 3 [Man] puts an end to the darkness; he probes the farthest recesses for ore in deepest darkness. 4 Far from human habitation he cuts a shaft in places forgotten by the foot of man. Far from men he dangles and sways. 5 Food may come from the earth, but from below it is transformed as by fire. 6 Its rocks are the source of sapphires, containing flecks of gold . 7 No bird of prey knows that path; no falcon’s eye has seen it. 8 Proud beasts have never trodden it; no lion has ever prowled over it. 9 The miner strikes the flint; he overturns mountains at their base. 10 He hews out channels in the rocks, and his eyes spot every treasure. 11 He searches ▼
▼ LXX and Vulgate; Hebrew He stops upthe sources of the streams to bring what is hidden to light. 12 But where can wisdom be found, and where does understanding dwell? 13 No man can know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living. 14 The ocean depths say, ‘It [is] not in me,’ while the sea declares, ‘ [It is] not with me.’ 15 It cannot be purchased for gold, nor its price weighed out in silver. 16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare, nor jewels of fine gold be exchanged for it. 18 Coral and quartz are unworthy of mention; the price of wisdom [is] beyond rubies. 19 Topaz from Cush cannot compare, nor can it be valued in pure gold. 20 From where then does wisdom come, and where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Abaddon ▼
▼ Abaddon means Destructionand Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor about it.’ 23 But God understands its way, and He knows its place. 24 For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When God fixed the weight of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when He set a limit for the rain and a path for the thunderbolt, 27 then He looked at [wisdom] and appraised it; He established it and searched it out. 28 And He said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom, and to turn away from evil [is] understanding.’”
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