1 Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is molten out of the stone. 3 [Man] sets an end to darkness, and searches out to the furthest bound the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from where men sojourn, [paths] forgotten by the foot. They hang afar from men; they swing to and fro. 5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread, and underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. 6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. 7 No bird of prey knows that path, nor has the falcon's eye seen it. 8 The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed thereby. 9 He puts forth his hand upon the flinty rock. He overturns the mountains by the roots. 10 He cuts out channels among the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. 11 He binds the streams that they not trickle. And the thing that is hid he brings forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 Man does not know the price of it, nor is it found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, It is not in me. And the sea says, It is not with me. 15 It cannot be gotten for gold, nor shall silver be weighed for the price of it. 16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal. Yea, the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, nor shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? 21 Since it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept closed from the birds of the heavens. 22 Destruction and Death say, We have heard a rumor of it with our ears. 23 God understands the way of it, and he knows the place of it. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven, 25 to make a weight for the wind. Yea, he distributes the waters by measure. 26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder, 27 then he saw it, and declared it. He established it, yea, and searched it out. 28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of LORD, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.