Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.a2
Iron is taken from the ground, and copper is smelted from ore.b3
A miner puts an end to the darkness; he probesc the deepest recesses for ore in the gloomy darkness.
He cuts a shaft far from human habitation, [in places] unknown to those who walk above ground.d Suspended far away from people, the miners swing back and forth.
Food may come from the earth, but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.
Its rocks are a source of sapphire,e containing flecks of gold.f7
No bird of prey knows that path; no falcon's eye has seen it.
Proud beasts have never walked on it; no lion has ever prowled over it.
The miner strikes the flint and transforms the mountains at [their] foundations.
He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eyes spot every treasure.
He dams up the streams from flowingg so that he may bring to light what is hidden.
But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?
No man can know its value,h since it cannot be found in the land of the living.ij14
The ocean depths say, "It's not in me," while the sea declares, "I don't have it."k15
Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,l in precious onyx or sapphire.mn17
Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.o18
Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning. The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.p19
Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.
Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.
Abaddon and Deathq say, "We have heard news of it with our ears."r23
But God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location.
For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When God fixed the weight of the wind and limited the water by measure,s26
when He established a limitt for the rain and a path for the lightning,u27
He considered wisdom and evaluated it; He established it and examined it.
He said to mankind, "Look! The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding."v