Job 28:16

16 Even famous Ophir gold can't buy it, not even diamonds and sapphires.

Job 28:16 Meaning and Commentary

Job 28:16

It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir
Which is often spoken of in Scripture as choice gold, if not the best; (See Gill on Job 22:24); the sense is, that the gold of Ophir is not of the value of wisdom, or of the same worth with that, and so not sufficient to purchase it: with the precious onyx and sapphire: two precious stones that were in the breastplate of the high priest, of which (See Gill on Exodus 28:9), (See Gill on Exodus 28:18), and (See Gill on Exodus 28:20); but not so precious, or of such value as wisdom. Pliny F25 speaks of the onyx stone as in Arabia, near which Job lived, and who doubtless was acquainted with it and its worth, and also with the sapphire he makes mention of before, (See Gill on Job 28:6). The word for "valued" is by some rendered "strowed" F26, as goods are when they are exposed to sale; but wisdom should not be laid, or put on a level with these, though so excellent and precious.


F25 Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 6.
F26 (hlot) "verbum significat sternere", Michaelis.

Job 28:16 In-Context

14 Earth's depths say, 'It's not here'; ocean deeps echo, 'Never heard of it.'
15 It can't be bought with the finest gold; no amount of silver can get it.
16 Even famous Ophir gold can't buy it, not even diamonds and sapphires.
17 Neither gold nor emeralds are comparable; extravagant jewelry can't touch it.
18 Pearl necklaces and ruby bracelets - why bother? None of this is even a down payment on Wisdom!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.