"Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
Men put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
They open shafts in a valley away from where men live; they are forgotten by travelers, they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.
"That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it.
"Man puts his hand to the flinty rock, and overturns mountains by the roots.
He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.
He binds up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hid he brings forth to light.
"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, 'It is not in me,' and the sea says, 'It is not with me.'
It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
"Whence then comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?
It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.'
"God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight, and meted out the waters by measure;
when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder;
then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)