Job 28

1 Truly there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is washed out.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and stone is changed into brass by the fire.
3 Man puts an end to the dark, searching out to the farthest limit the stones of the deep places of the dark.
4 He makes a deep mine far away from those living in the light of day; when they go about on the earth, they have no knowledge of those who are under them, who are hanging far from men, twisting from side to side on a cord.
5 As for the earth, bread comes out of it; but under its face it is turned up as if by fire.
6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.
7 No bird has knowledge of it, and the hawk's eye has never seen it.
8 The great beasts have not gone over it, and the cruel lion has not taken that way.
9 Man puts out his hand on the hard rock, overturning mountains by the roots.
10 He makes deep ways, cut through the rock, and his eye sees everything of value.
11 He keeps back the streams from flowing, and makes the secret things come out into the light.
12 But where may wisdom be seen? and where is the resting-place of knowledge?
13 Man has not seen the way to it, and it is not 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 Gold may not be given for it, or a weight of silver in payment for it.
16 It may not be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the onyx of great price, or the sapphire.
17 Gold and glass are not equal to it in price, and it may not be exchanged for jewels of the best gold.
18 There is no need to say anything about coral or crystal; and the value of wisdom is greater than that of pearls.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia is not equal to it, and it may not be valued with the best gold.
20 From where then does wisdom come, and where is the resting-place of knowledge?
21 For it is kept secret from the eyes of all living, unseen by the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say, We have only had word of it with our ears.
23 God has knowledge of the way to it, and of its resting-place;
24 For his eyes go to the ends of the earth, and he sees everything under heaven.
25 When he made a weight for the wind, measuring out the waters;
26 When he made a law for the rain, and a way for the thunder-flames;
27 Then he saw it, and put it on record; he gave it its fixed form, searching it out completely.
28 And he said to man, Truly the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to keep from evil is the way to knowledge.

Job 28 Commentary

Chapter 28

Concerning wordly wealth. (1-11) Wisdom is of inestimable value. (12-19) Wisdom is the gift of God. (20-28)

Verses 1-11 Job maintained that the dispensations of Providence were regulated by the highest wisdom. To confirm this, he showed of what a great deal of knowledge and wealth men may make themselves masters. The caverns of the earth may be discovered, but not the counsels of Heaven. Go to the miners, thou sluggard in religion, consider their ways, and be wise. Let their courage and diligence in seeking the wealth that perishes, shame us out of slothfulness and faint-heartedness in labouring for the true riches. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! How much easier, and safer! Yet gold is sought for, but grace neglected. Will the hopes of precious things out of the earth, so men call them, though really they are paltry and perishing, be such a spur to industry, and shall not the certain prospect of truly precious things in heaven be much more so?

Verses 12-19 Job here speaks of wisdom and understanding, the knowing and enjoying of God and ourselves. Its worth is infinitely more than all the riches in this world. It is a gift of the Holy Ghost which cannot be bought with money. Let that which is most precious in God's account, be so in ours. Job asks after it as one that truly desired to find it, and despaired of finding it any where but in God; any way but by Divine revelation.

Verses 20-28 There is a two-fold wisdom; one hid in God, which is secret, and belongs not to us; the other made known by him, and revealed to man. One day's events, and one man's affairs, have such reference to, and so hang one upon another, that He only, to whom all is open, and who sees the whole at one view, can rightly judge of every part. But the knowledge of God's revealed will is within our reach, and will do us good. Let man look upon this as his wisdom, To fear the Lord, and to depart from evil. Let him learn that, and he is learned enough. Where is this wisdom to be found? The treasures of it are hid in Christ, revealed by the word, received by faith, through the Holy Ghost. It will not feed pride or vanity, or amuse our vain curiosity. It teaches and encourages sinners to fear the Lord, and to depart from evil, in the exercise of repentance and faith, without desiring to solve all difficulties about the events of this life.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 28

The design of this chapter is either to show the folly of such who are very diligent in their search and pursuit after earthly things, and neglect an inquiry after that which is infinitely more valuable, true wisdom; or rather to observe, that though things the most secret, and which are hidden in the bowels of the earth, may be investigated and discovered by the sagacity and diligence of men, yet wisdom cannot, especially the wisdom of God in his providences, which are past finding out; and particularly in what concerns the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous; the reason of which men should be content to be ignorant of for the present, and be studious to possess that wisdom which is attainable, and be thankful for it, if they have it; which lies in the fear of the Lord, and a departure from evil, with which this chapter concludes. It begins with setting forth the sagacity of men in searching and finding out useful metals, and other things the earth produces; the difficulty, fatigue, and labour, that attend such a search, and the dangers they are exposed unto in it, Job 28:1-11; then it declares the unsearchableness of wisdom, its superior excellency to things the most valuable, and that it is not to be found by sea or land, or among any of the creatures, Job 28:12-22; and that God only knows its way and place, who has sought it out, prepared and declared it, Job 28:23-27; and that which he has thought fit to make known of it, and is most for his glory and the good of men, is, that it is to fear God, and depart from evil, Job 28:28.

Job 28 Commentaries