Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.CHAPTER 28
1. The treasures of the earth (Job 28:1-6)
2. The better treasures (Job 28:7-22)
3. God knoweth the way and the true wisdom (Job 28:23-28)
Job 28:1-6. This part of the monologue of Job does not seem to have much relation, if any, to the controversial matter of the previous chapters. He speaks first of the treasures of the earth, the riches which man seeks after, but which do not last, and are so often man’s undoing. Job shows that he had a good knowledge of mining operations. He knows of veins of silver and how gold is refined. Iron is taken out of the earth and copper molten out of stone. Then he describes how the miner with his mining lamp makes an end to the darkness when he digs into the mountains and then he sinks a shaft. They are so far down that the foot which passeth above knows nothing where they are. The dangers of mining he also mentions--”they hang (suspended by ropes) afar from men, they swing to and fro.” All this man does, risking life and comfort, to get gold and the treasures of the earth.
Job 28:7-22. But there are better treasures, truer riches than these. Job evidently aims at a contrast with what man seeks in earthly things and the better things which are for him. There is a better way than digging into the earth for gold and precious stones.
There is a path no bird of prey has ever known,
Nor has the eagle’s eye discovered it.
A path which no proud beast hath ever trod;
Not e’en the lion ever passed that way.
But these paths are not for finding treasures of the earth; and so there is another way to get other riches, far better than silver and gold. Then he speaks again of what man does to bring hidden things to light, how he lays his hand on the flinty rock and overturns the mountains in his mining operations, stemming the subterranean waters, and all to bring the hidden treasures to light. Then he asks: “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” Alas! man does not know the price of wisdom; it is not found in the deep, nor in the sea. Gold cannot buy it, nor silver. The price of wisdom is above rubies, the gold of Ophir, the precious onyx (beryl) or the sapphire. “Whence then cometh wisdom?”
Job 28:23-28. Here is the answer: “God understandeth the way thereof. Yea, in all His creation, He knows the way and much more so in redemption He is in the person of His blessed son, the way to Himself, and in Him all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge are hid.” Then comes the revelation of true wisdom: “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” God has spoken to his heart and answered the question concerning wisdom and understanding. And ere long Job himself will demonstrate in his experience the meaning of this verse. In reverence and fear he then turns to Him, bowing in the dust; from evil, yea, from himself he turns, departs and finds the true wisdom and understanding.