In Praise of Wisdom[G] 28 1There are mines where silver is dug; There are places where gold is refined. 2We dig iron out of the ground And melt copper out of the stones. 3Miners explore the deepest darkness. They search the depths of the earth And dig for rocks in the darkness. 4Far from where anyone lives Or human feet ever travel, They dig the shafts of mines. There they work in loneliness, Clinging to ropes in the pits. 5Food grows out of the earth, But underneath the same earth All is torn up and crushed. 6The stones of the earth contain sapphires, And its dust contains gold. 7No hawk sees the roads to the mines, And no vulture ever flies over them. 8No lion or other fierce beast Ever travels those lonely roads.   9Miners dig the hardest rocks, Dig mountains away at their base. 10As they tunnel through the rocks, They discover precious stones. 11They dig to the sources of[H] rivers And bring to light what is hidden. 12 But where can wisdom be found? Where can we learn to understand?   13 Wisdom is not to be found among mortals; No one knows its true value. 14The depths of the oceans and seas Say that wisdom is not found there. 15It cannot be bought with silver or gold. 16The finest gold and jewels Cannot equal its value. 17It is worth more than gold, Than a gold vase or finest glass. 18The value of wisdom is more Than coral or crystal or rubies. 19The finest topaz and the purest gold Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.   20Where, then, is the source of wisdom? Where can we learn to understand? 21No living creature can see it, Not even a bird in flight. 22Even death and destruction Admit they have heard only rumors.   23 God alone knows the way, Knows the place where wisdom is found, 24Because he sees the ends of the earth, Sees everything under the sky. 25When God gave the wind its power And determined the size of the sea; 26When God decided where the rain would fall, And the path that the thunderclouds travel; 27 It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth— He gave it his approval.   28 God said to us humans, “To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord. To understand, you must turn from evil.”
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