1
SURELY there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined.
2
Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is smelted out of the stone.
3
God sets an end to darkness, and knows the end of everything, the deep and dark mine and the shadow of death.
4
They have inherited a ruined mine from an alien people;
they are gone astray from the right path and their number has diminished from among men.
5
They lay open the earth, out of which comes sustenance;
and from under it is turned up material as if it were burned with fire.
6
The stones of it are the place where sapphires are found, and it has dust of gold in its paths.
7
There is a path which no bird knows, and the vulture’s eye has not seen;
8
Wild beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion passed by it.
9
The miner puts forth his hand upon the hard rock to break it;
he overturns the mountains from their foundations.
10
He divides the rivers by his might;
and his eye sees every precious thing.
11
He binds up the rivers that they may not overflow;
and the thing that is hid, he brings forth to light.
12
But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding thereof?
13
No man knows the treasure thereof;
neither is it found except in the land of the living.
14
¶ The depth says, It is not in me, and the sea says, It is not with me.
15
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be counted for its price.
16
It cannot be exchanged with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphire.
17
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it;
nor can precious pearls, jewels, and emeralds equal it.
18
For the price of wisdom is above that of precious stones.
Nor can colored gems, emeralds, and diamonds equal it.
19
For the price of wisdom is above everything, and nothing can equal it.
The pearls of Ethiopia and the topaz cannot equal it.
20
Whence then comes wisdom?
And where is the place of understanding?
21
It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the fowls of the air.
22
Destruction and death say, We have heard the report of it with our ears.
23
Because only God understands the way of it, and he knows the place thereof.
24
For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven;
25
For he made a weight for the wind, and meted it out by the measure.
26
He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning and the thunder.
27
Then he saw it, and declared it;
he measured it, yea, and searched it out.
28
And to man he said, Behold, the reverence of God, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding.