"There are mines for silver and places where gold is refined;
iron is extracted from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore.
Miners conquer the darkness and dig as far in as they can, to the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
There where no one lives, they break open a shaft; the feet passing over are oblivious to them; far from people, suspended in space, they swing to and fro.
"While the earth is [peacefully] yielding bread, underneath, it is being convulsed as if by fire;
its rocks have veins of sapphire, and there are flecks of gold.
Birds of prey don't know that path, no falcon's eye has seen it,
the proud beasts have never set foot on it, no lion has ever passed over it.
"[The miner] attacks the flint, overturns mountains at their roots,
and cuts out galleries in the rock, all the while watching for something of value.
He dams up streams to keep them from flooding, and brings what was hidden out into the light.
"But where can wisdom be found? Where is the source of understanding?
No one knows its value, and it can't be found in the land of the living.
The deep says, 'It isn't in me,'and the sea says, 'It isn't with me.'
It can't be obtained with gold, nor can silver be weighed out to buy it.
It can't be purchased with choice gold from Ofir, or with precious onyx or sapphires.
Neither gold nor glass can be compared with it; nor can it be exchanged for a bowl of fine gold,
let alone coral or crystal; for indeed, the price of wisdom is above that of pearls.
It can't be compared with Ethiopian topaz, and it can't be valued with pure gold.
"So where does wisdom come from? where is the source of understanding,
inasmuch as it is hidden from the eyes of all living and kept secret from the birds flying around in the sky?
Destruction and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor about it with our ears.'
"God understands its way, and he knows its place.
For he can see to the ends of the earth and view everything under heaven.
When he determined the force of the wind and parceled out water by measure,
when he made a law for the rain and cleared a path for the thunderbolts;
then he saw [wisdom] and declared it, yes, he set it up and searched it out.
And to human beings he said, 'Look, fear of Adonai is wisdom! Shunning evil is understanding!'"