28 “There is a place to mine silverAnd a place for gold that they refine;+ 2 Iron is taken from the ground,And copper is smelted* from rocks.+ 3 Man conquers the darkness;He probes to the limit in the gloom and darkness,Searching for ore.* 4 He sinks a shaft far from where people reside,In forgotten places, far from where people walk;Some men descend and swing suspended. 5 Food grows on top of the earth;But below, there is an upheaval as if by fire.* 6 There in the stones is sapphire,And the dust contains gold. 7 No bird of prey knows the path to it;The eye of a black kite has not seen it. 8 No majestic beasts have trodden on it;The young lion has not prowled there. 9 Man strikes the flinty rock with his hand;He overturns the mountains at their foundation. 10 He cuts water channels+ in the rock;His eyes spot every precious thing. 11 He dams up the sources of riversAnd brings what was hidden to the light. 12 But wisdom—where can it be found,+And where is the source of understanding?+ 13 No man recognizes its value,+And it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep waters say, ‘It is not in me!’ And the sea says, ‘It is not with me!’+ 15 It cannot be bought with pure gold;Nor can silver be weighed out in exchange for it.+ 16 It cannot be bought with gold of Oʹphir+Nor with rare onyx and sapphire. 17 Gold and glass cannot be compared to it;Nor can a vessel of fine* gold be exchanged for it.+ 18 Coral and crystal are not worthy of mention,+For a bagful of wisdom is worth more than one full of pearls. 19 The topaz+ of Cush cannot be compared to it;It cannot be purchased even with pure gold. 20 But from where does wisdom come,And where is the source of understanding?+ 21 It has been hidden from the eyes of every living thing+And concealed from the birds of the heavens. 22 Destruction and death say,‘Our ears have heard only a report of it.’ 23 God understands the way to find it;He alone knows where it resides,+ 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,And he sees everything under the heavens.+ 25 When he set the force* of the wind+And measured out the waters,+ 26 When he made a regulation for the rain+And a path for the thunderous storm cloud,+ 27 Then he saw wisdom and explained it;He established and tested it. 28 And he said to man: ‘Look! The fear of Jehovah—that is wisdom,+And to turn away from bad is understanding.’”+
^ Lit., “poured.”
^ Lit., “stone.”
^ Apparently a reference to mining operations.
^ Or “refined.”
^ Lit., “weight.”