Job 28
New American Bible Revised Edition

V. The Poem on Wisdom

Where Is Wisdom to Be Found?

1There is indeed a mine for silver,*

and a place for refining gold.

2Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper smelted out of stone.

3* He sets a boundary for the darkness;

the farthest confines he explores.

4He breaks open a shaft far from habitation,

unknown to human feet;

suspended, far from people, they sway.

5The earth, though out of it comes forth bread,

is in fiery upheaval underneath.

6Its stones are the source of lapis lazuli,

and there is gold in its dust.

7The path no bird of prey knows,

nor has the hawk’s eye seen it.

8The proud beasts have not trodden it,

nor has the lion gone that way.

9He sets his hand to the flinty rock,

and overturns the mountains at their root.

10He splits channels in the rocks;

his eyes behold all that is precious.

11He dams up the sources of the streams,

and brings hidden things to light.

12As for wisdom—where can she be found?

Where is the place of understanding?a

13Mortals do not know her path,

nor is she to be found in the land of the living.

14The Deep says, “She is not in me”;

and the Sea says, “She is not with me.”

15Solid gold cannot purchase her,

nor can her price be paid with silver.b

16She cannot be bought with gold of Ophir,*

with precious onyx or lapis lazuli,

17Gold or crystal cannot equal her,

nor can golden vessels be exchanged for her.

18Neither coral nor crystal should be thought of;

the value of wisdom surpasses pearls.

19Ethiopian topaz does not equal her,

nor can she be weighed out for pure gold.

20As for wisdom, where does she come from?

Where is the place of understanding?

21She is hidden from the eyes of every living thing;

even from the birds of the air she is concealed.

22Abaddon* and Death say,

“Only by rumor have we heard of her.”

23* But God understands the way to her;c

it is he who knows her place.d

24For he beholds the ends of the earth

and sees all that is under the heavens.

25When he weighed out the wind,

and measured out the waters;

26When he made a rule for the rain

and a path for the thunderbolts,e

27Then he saw wisdom and appraised her,

established her, and searched her out.

28* And to mortals he said:

See: the fear of the Lord is wisdom;

and avoiding evil is understanding.f

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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