28 1“There are mines where people dig silver and places where gold is made pure. 2Iron is taken from the ground, and copper is melted out of rocks. 3Miners bring lights and search deep into the mines for ore in thick darkness. 4Miners dig a tunnel far from where people live, where no one has ever walked; they work far from people, swinging and swaying from ropes. 5Food grows on top of the earth, but below ground things are changed as if by fire. 6Sapphires are found in rocks, and gold dust is also found there. 7No hawk knows that path; the falcon has not seen it. 8Proud animals have not walked there, and no lions cross over it. 9Miners hit the rocks of flint and dig away at the bottom of the mountains. 10They cut tunnels through the rock and see all the treasures there. 11They search for places where rivers begin and bring things hidden out into the light.   12“But where can wisdom be found, and where does understanding live? 13People do not understand the value of wisdom; it cannot be found among those who are alive. 14The deep ocean says, ‘It’s not in me;’ the sea says, ‘It’s not in me.’ 15Wisdom cannot be bought with gold, and its cost cannot be weighed in silver. 16Wisdom cannot be bought with fine gold or with valuable onyx or sapphire gems. 17Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom, and you cannot buy it with jewels of gold. 18Coral and jasper are not worth talking about, and the price of wisdom is much greater than rubies. 19The topaz from Cush cannot compare to wisdom; it cannot be bought with the purest gold.   20“So where does wisdom come from, and where does understanding live? 21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, even from the birds of the air. 22The places of destruction and death say, ‘We have heard reports about it.’ 23Only God understands the way to wisdom, and he alone knows where it lives, 24because he looks to the farthest parts of the earth and sees everything under the sky. 25When God gave power to the wind and measured the water, 26when he made rules for the rain and set a path for a thunderstorm to follow, 27then he looked at wisdom and decided its worth; he set wisdom up and tested it. 28Then he said to humans, ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom; to stay away from evil is understanding.’ ”
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