Job 28

Listen to Job 28
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.’”

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.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. As in Greek version; Hebrew reads knows its value.
  • [b]. Hebrew from Cush.
  • [c]. Hebrew Abaddon.

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