|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1-11 Job maintained that the dispensations of Providence were regulated by the highest wisdom. To confirm this, he showed of what a great deal of knowledge and wealth men may make themselves masters. The caverns of the earth may be discovered, but not the counsels of Heaven. Go to the miners, thou sluggard in religion, consider their ways, and be wise. Let their courage and diligence in seeking the wealth that perishes, shame us out of slothfulness and faint-heartedness in labouring for the true riches. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! How much easier, and safer! Yet gold is sought for, but grace neglected. Will the hopes of precious things out of the earth, so men call them, though really they are paltry and perishing, be such a spur to industry, and shall not the certain prospect of truly precious things in heaven be much more so?
Verse 6. - The stones of it are the place of sapphires. Among the rocks and stones whereof the interior of the earth is mainly composed are found gems of inestinable value, for instance, sapphires. It is doubtful whether the Hebrew sapphire (ספיר) was the gem which bears that name among ourselves, or the lapis lazuli. In either case it was highly esteemed, and appeared in kings' crowns (Ezekiel 28:13), and in the high priest's breastplate (Exodus 28:18); Job notes its high value in ver. 16. And it (i.e. the earth) hath dust of gold; literally, dusts; i.e. a multitude of small specks or atoms. In the auriferous rocks gold is commonly scattered in such specks.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The stones of it are the place of sapphires,.... In some parts of the earth its stones are a quarry of sapphires, put here for all precious stones: this is a most excellent precious stone, of a sky colour, with golden specks, and was one of the stones in the breast plate of the high priest; and by which are represented the pavement under the feet of the God of Israel, the throne of Christ, his bowels and affections for his people, the comeliness of them, and the glory of his church in the latter day, Exodus 24:10;
and it hath dust of gold; some parts of the earth abound with the dust of gold; its dust is gold, or it hath gold as plenty as dust; though some think this refers to the sapphire in the preceding clause, which, as Pliny says (d), has "pulvis aureus", dust of gold, in it, and shines and sparkles with golden points, or specks; and so say other writers (e); but the word used rather signifies clods, lumps, masses of gold, which better agree with the earth; and, besides, no very good reason can be given why there should be such a particular description of the sapphire; whereas the earth is the original of that, and of all the other things before spoken of.
(d) Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 9. (e) Ruaeus de Gemmis, l. 2. c. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Sapphires are found in alluvial soil near rocks and embedded in gneiss. The ancients distinguished two kinds: 1. The real, of transparent blue: 2. That improperly so called, opaque, with gold spots; that is, lapis lazuli. To the latter, looking like gold dust, Umbreit refers "dust of gold." English Version better, "The stones of the earth are, &c., and the clods of it (Vulgate) are gold"; the parallel clauses are thus neater.
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