- ¶ SURELY there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined.
- Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is smelted out of the stone.
- God sets an end to darkness, and knows the end of everything, the deep and dark mine and the shadow of death.
- 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.
- 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.
- The stones of it are the place where sapphires are found, and it has dust of gold in its paths.
- There is a path which no bird knows, and the vulture’s eye has not seen;
- Wild beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion passed by it.
- The miner puts forth his hand upon the hard rock to break it;
he overturns the mountains from their foundations.
- He divides the rivers by his might;
and his eye sees every precious thing.
- He binds up the rivers that they may not overflow;
and the thing that is hid, he brings forth to light.
- But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding thereof?
- No man knows the treasure thereof;
neither is it found except in the land of the living.
- ¶ The depth says, It is not in me, and the sea says, It is not with me.
- It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be counted for its price.
- It cannot be exchanged with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphire.
- The gold and the crystal cannot equal it;
nor can precious pearls, jewels, and emeralds equal it.
- For the price of wisdom is above that of precious stones.
Nor can colored gems, emeralds, and diamonds equal it.
- For the price of wisdom is above everything, and nothing can equal it.
The pearls of Ethiopia and the topaz cannot equal it.
- ¶ Whence then comes wisdom?
And where is the place of understanding?
- It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the fowls of the air.
- Destruction and death say, We have heard the report of it with our ears.
- Because only God understands the way of it, and he knows the place thereof.
- For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven;
- For he made a weight for the wind, and meted it out by the measure.
- He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning and the thunder.
- Then he saw it, and declared it;
he measured it, yea, and searched it out.
- And to man he said, Behold, the reverence of God, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding.