Job 28:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.

King James Bible
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

American Standard Version
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It shall not be compared with the dyed colours of India, or with the most precious stone sardonyx, or the sapphire.

English Revised Version
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Webster's Bible Translation
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Job 28:16 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

9 He layeth his hand upon the pebbles;

He turneth up the mountains from the root.

10 He cutteth canals through the rocks;

And his eye seeth all kinds of precious things.

11 That they may not leak, he dammeth up rivers;

And that which is hidden he bringeth to light.

12 But wisdom, whence is it obtained?

And where is the place of understanding?

Beneath, whither no other being of the upper world penetrates, man puts his hand upon the quartz or rock. חלּמישׁ (perhaps from חלם, to be strong, firm: Arabic, with the reduplication resolved, chalnubûs, like עכּבישׁ, Arab. ‛ancabûth, vid., Jesurun, p. 229) signifies here the quartz, and in general the hard stone; שׁלח יד בּ something like our "to take in hand" of an undertaking requiring strong determination and courage, which here consists in blasting and clearing away the rock that contains no ore, as Pliny, h. n. xxxiii. 4, 21, describes it: Occursant ... silices; hos igne et aceto rumpunt, saepius vero, quoniam id cuniculos vapore et fumo strangulat, caedunt fractariis CL libras ferri habentibus egeruntque umeris noctibus ac diebus per tenebras proxumis tradentes; lucem novissimi cernunt. Further: he (man, devoted to mining) overturns (subvertit according to the primary signification of הפך, Arab. 'fk, 'ft, to turn, twist) mountains from the roots. The accentuation הפך with Rebia mugrasch, משׁרשׁ with Mercha, is false; it is, according to Codd. and old editions, to be accented הפך with Tarcha, משׁרשׁ with Munach, and to be translated accordingly: subvertit a radice montes (for Munach is the transformation of a Rebia mugrasch), not a radice montium. Blasting in mining which lays bare the roots (the lowest parts) of the mountains is intended, the conclusion of which - the signal for the flight of the workmen, and the effective crash - is so graphically described by Pliny in the passage cited above: Peracto opere cervices fornicum ab ultumo cadunt; dat signum ruina eamque solus intellegit in cacumine ejus montis vigil. Hic voce, nutu evocari jubet operas pariterque ipse devolat. Mons fractus cadit ab sese longe fragore qui concipi humana mente non possit eque efflatu incredibili spectant victores ruinam naturae.

The meaning of Job 28:10 depends upon the signification of the יארים. It is certainly the most natural that it should signify canals. The word is Egyptian; aur in the language of the hieroglyphs signifies a river, and especially the Nile; wherefore at the close of the Laterculus of Eratosthenes the name of the king, Φρουορῶ (Φουορῶ), is explained by ἤτοι Νεῖλος. If water-canals are intended, they may be either such as go in or come away. In the first case it may mean water let in like a cataract over the ruins of the blasted auriferous rock, the corrugi of Pliny: Alius par labor ac vel majoris impendi: flumina ad lavandam hanc ruinam jugis montium obiter duxere a centesimo plerumque lapide; corrugos vocant, a corrivatione credo; mille et hic labores. But בּקּע is not a suitable word for such an extensive and powerful flooding with water for the purpose of washing the gold. It suits far better to understand the expression of galleries or ways cut horizontally in the rock to carry the water away. Thus von Veltheim explains it: "The miner makes ways through the hard rock into his section in which the perpendicular shaft terminates, guides the water which is found in abundance at that depth through it [i.e., the water as the bottom of the pit that hinders the progress of the work], and is able [thus Job 28:10 naturally is connected with what precedes] to judge of the ore and fragments that are at the bottom, and bring them to the light. This mode of mining by constantly forming one gallery under the other [so that a new gallery is made under the pit that is worked out by extending the shaft, and also freeing this from water by making another outlet below the previous one] is the oldest of all, of which anything certain is known in the history of mining, and the most natural in the days when they had no notion of hydraulics." This explanation is far more satisfactory than that of Herm. Sam. Reimarus, of the "Wolfenbtteler Fragmente" (in his edition of the Neue Erkl. des B. Hiob, by John Ad. Hoffmann, 1734, iv. S. 772): "He breaks open watercourses in the rocks. What the miners call coming upon water, is when they break into a fissure from which strong streams of water gush forth. The miner not only knows how to turn such water to good account, but it is also a sign that there are rich veins of ore near at hand, as there is the most water by these courses and fissures. Hence follows: and then his eye sees all kinds of precious things." But there is no ground for saying that water indicates rich veins of ore, and בקע is much more appropriate to describe the designed formation of courses to carry off the water than an accidental discovery of water in course of the work; moreover, יארים is as appropriate to the former as it is inappropriate to the latter explanation, for it signifies elsewhere the arms of the Nile, into which the Nile is artificially divided; and therefore it may easily be transferred to the horizontal canals of the mine cut through the hard rock (or through the upper earth). Nevertheless, although the water plays an important part in mining operations, by giving rise to the greatest difficulties, as it frequently happens that a pit is deluged with water, and must be abandoned because no one can get down to it: it is improbable that Job 28:10 as well as Job 28:11 refers to this; we therefore prefer to understand יארים as meaning the (horizontal) courses (galleries or drifts) in which the ore is dug, - a rendering which is all the more possible, since, on the one hand, in Coptic jaro (Sahidic jero) signifies the Nile of Egypt (phiaro ente chêmi); on the other, ior (eioor) signifies a ditch, διώρυξ (comp. Isaiah 33:21, יארים, lxx διώρυχες), vid., Ges. Thes. Thus also Job 28:10 is consistently connected with what precedes, since by cutting these cuniculi the courses of the ore (veins), and any precious stones that may also be embedded there, are laid bare.

Job 28:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the gold

1 Chronicles 29:4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver...

Psalm 45:9 Kings' daughters were among your honorable women: on your right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.


Exodus 28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their settings.

Ezekiel 28:13 You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl...

Cross References
Job 28:15
It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.

Job 28:17
Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

Song of Solomon 5:14
His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires.

Isaiah 13:12
I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.

Isaiah 54:11
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.

Lamentations 4:7
Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire.

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