Iyov 28

1 8 Surely there is a mine for the kesef, and a makom for zahav where they refine it.
2 Barzel (iron) is taken out of aphar, and nechoshet is smelted out of the even (stone, ore).
3 He setteth a ketz to choshech, and searcheth out all extremities, the even (ore) of darkness and tzalmavet.
4 He cuts out a shaft down far from the inhabitant; forgotten of the regel, they dangle, suspended, away from enosh.
5 As for eretz, out of it cometh lechem, and under it is transformed as by eish.
6 The stones of it are the makom of the sapphire, and it hath ore of zahav.
7 There is a hidden path of which no bird of prey has da’as, and which the falcon’s eye hath not seen.
8 The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor the shachal (lion’s cub) passed over it.
9 He [the miner] putteth forth his yad upon the rock; he upturneth the mountains by the shoresh.
10 He cutteth out channels through the tzurot (rocks), and his eye seeth every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams from flowing, and the thing that is hidden bringeth he forth to ohr.
12 But where shall chochmah be found? And where is the makom binah?
13 Enosh knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the Eretz HaChayyim.
14 The tehom (abyss) saith, It is not in me; and the yam saith, It is not with me.
15 It cannot be gotten in exchange for fine gold, neither shall kesef be weighed for the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the fine gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The zahav and the crystal cannot equal it, and the exchange of it shall not be for the jewel of gold.
18 Nor shall mention be made of coral or crystal, for the price of chochmah is above pearls.
19 The chrysolite of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with tahor gold.
20 From where then cometh chochmah? And where is the makom binah?
21 Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of kol chai, and concealed from the oph HaShomayim.
22 Abaddon and Mavet say, We have heard a rumor thereof with our ears.
23 Elohim understandeth the way to it, and He knoweth the makom thereof.
24 For He looketh to the ketzot ha’aretz, and seeth all under Shomayim.
25 The weight He appointed for the ruach, and He weigheth the mayim by measure.
26 When He made a decree for the matar, and a derech for the lightning of the thunder,
27 Az (then) did He see it, and declare it; He prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And unto adam He said, See, the Yirat Adonoi, that is chochmah, and to depart from rah is binah.

Iyov 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


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.

Iyov 28 Commentaries