1 “People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold. 2 They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper from rock. 3 They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. 4 They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. 5 Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted as by fire. 6 Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli, and the dust contains gold. 7 These are treasures no bird of prey can see, no falcon’s eye observe. 8 No wild animal has walked upon these treasures; no lion has ever set his paw there. 9 People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. 10 They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. 11 They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures. 12 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 13 No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. 14 ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. 15 It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. 16 It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. 18 Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. 19 Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold. 20 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’ 23 “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, 24 for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. 26 He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. 27 Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. 28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”
1 Job continued speaking: 2 “I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, 3 when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. 4 When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. 5 The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. 6 My steps were awash in cream, and the rocks gushed olive oil for me. 7 “Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. 8 The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. 9 The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths. 10 The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect. 11 “All who heard me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me. 12 For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. 13 I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy. 14 Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. 15 I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. 17 I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and plucked their victims from their teeth. 18 “I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life. 19 For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew. 20 New honors are constantly bestowed on me, and my strength is continually renewed.’ 21 “Everyone listened to my advice. They were silent as they waited for me to speak. 22 And after I spoke, they had nothing to add, for my counsel satisfied them. 23 They longed for me to speak as people long for rain. They drank my words like a refreshing spring rain. 24 When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. 25 Like a chief, I told them what to do. I lived like a king among his troops and comforted those who mourned.
1 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man” ), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas ), and Saul. 2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. 5 There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant. 6 Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. 9 Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. 10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? 11 Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord. 13 Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services. 15 After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.” 16 So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. “Men of Israel,” he said, “and you God-fearing Gentiles, listen to me. 17 “The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them multiply and grow strong during their stay in Egypt. Then with a powerful arm he led them out of their slavery. 18 He put up with them through forty years of wandering in the wilderness. 19 Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. “After that, God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ 23 “And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Savior of Israel! 24 Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized. 25 As John was finishing his ministry he asked, ‘Do you think I am the Messiah? No, I am not! But he is coming soon—and I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the sandals on his feet.’