Job 28:14
The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.The depth saith - This is a beautiful personification. The object of this verse and the following is, to show that wisdom cannot be found in the deepest recesses to which man can penetrate, nor purchased by anything which man possesses. It must come from God only. The word "depth" here (תהום tehôm) means properly a wave, billow, surge; then a mass of waters, a flood, or the deep ocean, Deuteronomy 8:7; Genesis 7:11; Psalm 36:6; and then a gulf, or abyss. It refers here to the sea, or ocean; and the idea is, that its vast depths might be sounded, and true wisdom would not be found there. 13. Man can fix no price upon it, as it is nowhere to be found in man's abode (Isa 38:11). Job implies both its valuable worth, and the impossibility of buying it at any price. The depth, to wit, of the earth, because the sea here follows as a differing place. This is a very common figure, whereby speech is ascribed to dumb and senseless creatures. The meaning is, This is not to be found in any part of the land or sea, yea, though a man should dig or dive never so deep to find it, nor to be learned from any creatures; for though these discover the being, and power, and in part the wisdom of God, yet they do not instruct us in the methods and grounds of God’s providential dispensations to good and evil men: these are secrets of wisdom reserved for God himself.

The depth saith, it is not in me,.... That is, the deep places of the earth, that are dug in it, the mines, and the like, could they speak, they would say there are no metal, nor minerals, no rich treasures of gold and silver ore, of pearls and precious stones, in the bowels of it, that are of the value of wisdom, or to be compared to it:

and the sea saith, it is not with me; had that a voice to speak, it would freely declare, that there is nothing in its vast compass, at the bottom of it, or to be got out of it, as corals that grow in it, and pearls fished from thence, after mentioned, that are a sufficient price for wisdom. Some understand these words, the former part of miners and colliers, and such sort of men, that dig and live in the depths of the earth; and the latter part of mariners, that are employed on the sea, who are generally ignorant and carnal men, and void of the knowledge of wisdom in every view of it; but the sense first given is best.

The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. Three great regions are mentioned, none of which is the “place” of Wisdom, the land of the living, the deep, and the sea. These three exhaust the extent of the upper world. The “land of the living” is the earth as the abode of living beings, more especially of men, Psalm 52:5. The “deep” is the primeval abyss, out of which perhaps the sea is fed, lying under the earth, Genesis 1:2, Psalm 24:2—an almost mythological conception. Down under all these, however, lies the underworld of the dead, ch. Job 26:5.

Verse 14. - The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. The deep abysses of the ocean declare that it is not with them; and the wide reaches of the far-extending sea proclaim that it is not with them either. Job 28:1413 A mortal knoweth not its price,

And it is not found in the land of the living.

14 The abyss saith: It is not in me,

And the sea saith: It is not with me.

15 Pure gold cannot be given for it,

And silver cannot be weighed as its price;

16 And it is not outweighed with fine gold of Ophir,

With the precious onyx and the sapphire.

It is self-evident that wisdom is found nowhere directly present and within a limited space, as at the bottom of the sea, and cannot be obtained by a direct exchange by means of earthly treasures. It is, moreover, not this self-evident fact that is denied here; but the meaning is, that even if a man should search in every direction through the land of the living, i.e., (as e.g., Psalm 52:7) the world - if he should search through the תּהום, i.e., the subterranean waters that feed the visible waters (vid., Genesis 39:25) - if he should search through the sea, the largest bounded expanse of this water that wells up from beneath - yea, even if he would offer all riches and precious things to put himself in possession of the means and instruments for the acquirement of wisdom, - wisdom, i.e., the profoundest perception of the nature of things, would still be beyond him, and unattainable. ערך, Job 28:13, an equivalent (from ערך, to range beside, to place at the side of), interchanges with מחיר (from מחר, cogn. מהר, מכר, mercari). סגור is זהב סגוּר, 1 Kings 6:20 and freq., which hardly signifies gold shut up equals carefully preserved, rather: closed equals compressed, unmixed; Targ. דּהב סנין, aurum colatum (purgatum). Ewald compares Arab. sajara, to seethe, heat; therefore: heated, gained by smelting. On the other hand, כּתם from כתם, Arab. ktm, occulere, seems originally to denote that which is precious, then precious gold in particular, lxx χρυσίῳ Ωφείρ, Cod. Vat. and Cod. Sinaiticus, Σωφίρ (Egyptized by prefixing the Egyptian sa, part, district, side, whence e.g., sa-rees, the upper country, and sa-heet, the lower country, therefore equals sa-ofir, land of Ophir). שׁהם is translated here by the lxx ὄνυξ (elsewhere σαρδόνυξ or σάρδιος), of which Pliny, h. n. xxxvii. 6, 24, appealing to Sudeines, says, in gemma esse candorem unguis humanii similitudinem; wherefore Knobel, Rdiger, and others, compare the Arab. sâhim, which, however, does not signify pale, but lean, and parched by the heat, with which, in hot countries at least, not pallor, but, on the contrary, a dark brown-black colour, is identified (Fl.). Arab. musahham, striped (Mich.), would be more appropriate, since the onyx is marked through by white veins; but this is a denom. from sahm, a dart, prop. darted, and is therefore wide of the mark. On the etymology of ספּיר, vid., Jesurun, p. 61. Nevertheless both שׁהם and ספּיר are perhaps foreign names, as the name of the emerald (vid., ib. p. 108), which is Indian (Sanskr. marakata, or even marakta); and, on the other hand, it is called in hieroglyph (determined by the stone) uot, the green stone (in Coptic p. auannēse, the green colour) (Lauth).

The transcendent excellence of wisdom above the most precious earthly treasures, which the author of the introduction to the book of Proverbs briefly describes, Job 3:14, is now drawn out in detail.

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