Job 28:1–29:25

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28 There is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.h

Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper is smelted from ore.i

Mortals put an end to the darkness;j

they search out the farthest recesses

for ore in the blackest darkness.k

Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,l

in places untouched by human feet;

far from other people they dangle and sway.

The earth, from which food comes,m

is transformed below as by fire;

lapis lazulin comes from its rocks,

and its dust contains nuggets of gold.o

No bird of prey knows that hidden path,

no falcon’s eye has seen it.p

Proud beastsq do not set foot on it,

and no lion prowls there.r

People assault the flinty rocks with their hands

and lay bare the roots of the mountains.t

10 They tunnel through the rock;u

their eyes see all its treasures.v

11 They searcha the sources of the riversw

and bring hidden thingsx to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?y

Where does understanding dwell?z

13 No mortal comprehends its worth;a

it cannot be found in the land of the living.b

14 The deepc says, “It is not in me”;

the sead says, “It is not with me.”

15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.e

16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,f

with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.g

17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,h

nor can it be had for jewels of gold.i

18 Coralj and jasperk are not worthy of mention;

the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.l

19 The topazm of Cushn cannot compare with it;

it cannot be bought with pure gold.o

20 Where then does wisdom come from?

Where does understanding dwell?p

21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,

concealed even from the birds in the sky.q

22 Destructionb r and Deaths say,

“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”

23 God understands the way to it

and he alonet knows where it dwells,u

24 for he views the ends of the earthv

and sees everything under the heavens.w

25 When he established the force of the wind

and measured out the waters,x

26 when he made a decree for the rainy

and a path for the thunderstorm,z

27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;

he confirmed it and tested it.a

28 And he said to the human race,

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,

and to shun evilb is understanding.”c

Job’s Final Defense

29 Job continued his discourse:d

“How I long for the months gone by,e

for the days when God watched over me,f

when his lamp shone on my head

and by his light I walked through darkness!g

Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,

when God’s intimate friendshiph blessed my house,i

when the Almighty was still with me

and my childrenj were around me,k

when my path was drenched with creaml

and the rockm poured out for me streams of olive oil.n

“When I went to the gateo of the city

and took my seat in the public square,

the young men saw me and stepped asidep

and the old men rose to their feet;q

the chief men refrained from speakingr

and covered their mouths with their hands;s

10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,t

and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.u

11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,

and those who saw me commended me,v

12 because I rescued the poorw who cried for help,

and the fatherlessx who had none to assist them.y

13 The one who was dying blessed me;z

I made the widow’sa heart sing.

14 I put on righteousnessb as my clothing;

justice was my robe and my turban.c

15 I was eyesd to the blind

and feet to the lame.e

16 I was a father to the needy;f

I took up the caseg of the stranger.h

17 I broke the fangs of the wicked

and snatched the victimsi from their teeth.j

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,

my days as numerous as the grains of sand.k

19 My roots will reach to the water,l

and the dew will lie all night on my branches.m

20 My glory will not fade;n

the bowo will be ever new in my hand.’p

21 “People listened to me expectantly,

waiting in silence for my counsel.q

22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;r

my words fell gently on their ears.s

23 They waited for me as for showers

and drank in my words as the spring rain.t

24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;

the light of my faceu was precious to them.a v

25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;w

I dwelt as a kingx among his troops;

I was like one who comforts mourners.y

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