28 1SURELY THERE is a mine for silver, and a place for gold where they refine it. 2Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the stone ore. 3Man sets an end to darkness, and he searches out the farthest bounds for the ore buried in gloom and deep darkness. 4Men break open shafts away from where people sojourn, in places forgotten by [human] foot; and [descend into them], hanging afar from men, they swing or flit to and fro. 5As for the earth, out of it comes bread, but underneath [its surface, down deep in the mine] there is [D]blasting, turning it up as by fire. 6Its stones are the bed of sapphires; it holds dust of gold [which he wins]. 7That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon’s eye has not seen it. 8The proud beasts [and their young] have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 9Man puts forth his hand upon the flinty rock; he overturns the mountains by the roots. 10He cuts out channels and passages among the rocks; and his eye sees every precious thing. 11[Man] binds the streams so that they do not trickle [into the mine], and the thing that is hidden he brings forth to light. 12But where shall [E]Wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13Man knows not the price of it; neither is it found in the land of the living. 14The deep says, [Wisdom] is not in me; and the sea says, It is not with me. 15It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price of it. 16It cannot be valued in [terms of] the gold of Ophir, in the precious onyx or beryl, or the sapphire. 17Gold and glass cannot equal [Wisdom], nor can it be exchanged for jewels or vessels of fine gold. 18No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; for the possession of Wisdom is even above rubies or pearls. 19The topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold. 20From where then does Wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 21It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and knowledge of it is withheld from the birds of the heavens. 22Abaddon (the place of destruction) and Death say, We have [only] heard the report of it with our ears. 23God understands the way [to Wisdom] and He knows the place of it [Wisdom is with God alone]. 24For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25When He gave to the wind weight or pressure and allotted the waters by measure, 26When He made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, 27Then He saw [Wisdom] and declared it; He established it, yes, and searched it out [for His own use, and He alone possesses it]. 28But to man He said, Behold, the reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord--that is Wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
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