Job 28:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.

New Living Translation
Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold.

English Standard Version
Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

New American Standard Bible
"Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.

King James Bible
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.

International Standard Version
It cannot be compared to gold and fine glass crystal, nor can it be exchanged for gold-plated weaponry.

NET Bible
Neither gold nor crystal can be compared with it, nor can a vase of gold match its worth.

New Heart English Bible
Gold and glass can't equal it, neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Neither gold nor glass can equal its value. Nor can gold ornaments, jewels, or crystal

JPS Tanakh 1917
Gold and glass cannot equal it; Neither shall the exchange thereof be vessels of fine gold.

New American Standard 1977
“Gold or glass cannot equal it,
            Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Gold cannot equal it, nor can diamond; neither shall it be exchanged for vessels of fine gold.

King James 2000 Bible
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

American King James Version
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

American Standard Version
Gold and glass cannot equal it, Neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Gold or crystal cannot equal it, neither shall any vessels of gold be changed for it.

Darby Bible Translation
Gold and glass cannot be compared to it, nor vessels of fine gold be its exchange.

English Revised Version
Gold and glass cannot equal it: neither shall the exchange thereof be jewels of fine gold.

Webster's Bible Translation
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

World English Bible
Gold and glass can't equal it, neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

Young's Literal Translation
Not equal it do gold and crystal, Nor is its exchange a vessel of fine gold.
Study Bible
Wisdom an Excellent Gift of God
16"It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire. 17"Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. 18"Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.…
Cross References
Job 28:16
"It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire.

Proverbs 8:10
"Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold.

Proverbs 16:16
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.

Proverbs 25:12
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
Treasury of Scripture

The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

crystal

Ezekiel 1:22 And the likeness of the firmament on the heads of the living creature …

Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like to crystal: and …

Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, …

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, …

jewels. or, vessels

(17) The exchange of it.--Or, according to some, the attraction of it. The remainder of this chapter calls for little remark: its unrivalled sublimity is patent, and comment is superfluous. There is a general resemblance between this chapter and Proverbs 8, and both seem to imply a knowledge of the Mosaic narrative of creation.

Verse 17. - The gold and the crystal cannot equal it; rather, gold and crystal. This second mention of gold (see ver. ]5) seems superfluous, but perhaps the patriarch is thinking of some goblet or ornament in which crystal and gold were combined together. Ornaments of this kind bare been found in Phoenicia ('Hist. of Phoenicia,' pp. 362, 370). And the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold; or, vessels of fine gold. Both in Egypt and Phoenicia vessels of gold were common. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it,.... Crystal was found in an island of the Red sea, situated before Arabia, called Neron, and in another, which from a gem found in it bears the name of Topazion, and may be thought therefore to be well known by Job; and though it is not now of so much account, it formerly was very valuable. Pliny (a) makes mention of a crystal vessel, sold for 150,000 sesterces, about 1250 pounds sterling; and of two crystal cups broke by Nero in his fury, on hearing of some losses, to punish the then present age, that no other men might drink out of them: some render it "amber", which is found in Prussia, and being at a great distance from Job's country, might be the more valuable there; and Pliny (b) speaks of it as had in as great esteem as gems: the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin versions, and others, translate it "glass" (c) which had its original from Phoenicia, near Judea; so Pliny says (d) from the lake Cendevia, within the roots of Mount Carmel, in Phoenicia, near Judea, springs the river Belus, from whence glass came first; and he speaks of Sidon (a city in Phoenicia) as famous for it; and Tacitus (e) observes, that the river Belus glides in the Jewish sea, and about the mouth of it sand is gathered and mixed with nitre, and boiled into glass; and this being near the country where Job dwelt, it is thought be had knowledge of it; and from this passage some (f) have concluded the great antiquity of glass; and if it is true what Aelianus (g) relates, that when the monument of the ancient Belus (the first king of Babylon) was dug up by Xerxes, the son of Darius, that there was found a glass urn, where lay a body in oil, it must be in use before the times of Job. An Arabic chronologer (h) affirms what be had from men conversant in history, that in Egypt, after the flood, there were men learned in various sciences, and among the rest in alchemy, and had knowledge of burning glasses; though the invention of these, and of a glass globe, is ascribed to Archimedes (i), who lived somewhat later than two hundred years before Christ. There was great plenty of glass very early in Ethiopia, after mentioned, in which they enclosed their dead, that they might be seen through it (k); and if it was in use in Job's time, and especially if it was then a late invention, it might be highly valued, and therefore placed here with things of the greatest worth. In the times of Nero, Pliny says (l) two small glass cups were sold for six thousand sesterces, or forty five pounds sterling, and according to others near fifty pounds; and the same writer relates, that in the times of Tiberias an art was found out to make glass flexible and malleable; but was ordered to be destroyed, lest the value of gold, silver, and brass, should be lessened by it. The Targum renders the word here used a looking glass; See Gill on Joshua 11:8. Some think the diamond or adamant is meant, and others that it is a general name for all sorts of precious stones, they being clear, transparent, and lucid, as the word signifies:

and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold; set in fine gold; or "vessels" of it, more valuable than gold itself, being made of gold, purified, refined, and wrought by art into curious forms; and yet wisdom is so valuable as not to be exchanged for these. Mr. Broughton takes this fine gold, or gold of Phaz, to be the same with Fess in Barbary, which had its name from a heap of gold there found when its foundation was laid; for "fess" with the Arabs signifies gold (m).

(a) Ut supra, (Nat. Hist. l. 37.) c. 2.((b) Ib. c. 5. (c) Sept. "vitrum", V. L. Tigurine version, Cocceius. (d) Ut supra, (Nat. Hist.) l. 36. c. 26. Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 10. sect. 2.((e) Hist. l. 5. c. 7. (f) Neri Praefat. ad. lib. de re vitriaria. (g) Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 3.((h) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 33. (i) Vid. Fabritii Bibliothec. Gr. l. 3. c. 22. sect. 11. 15. (k) Diodor. Sic. l. 2. p. 102. Herodot. Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 24. (l) Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 26.) (m) Leo African. Descript. Africae, l. 3. p. 273. 17. crystal—Or else glass, if then known, very costly. From a root, "to be transparent."

jewels—rather, "vessels."28:12-19 Job here speaks of wisdom and understanding, the knowing and enjoying of God and ourselves. Its worth is infinitely more than all the riches in this world. It is a gift of the Holy Ghost which cannot be bought with money. Let that which is most precious in God's account, be so in ours. Job asks after it as one that truly desired to find it, and despaired of finding it any where but in God; any way but by Divine revelation.
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