1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold which they refine; 2 Iron is taken out of the dust, and copper is molten out of the stone. 3 Man putteth an end to the darkness, and exploreth to the utmost limit, the stones of darkness and of the shadow of death. 4 He openeth a shaft far from the inhabitants of the earth: forgotten of the foot, they hang suspended; away below men they hover. 5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, and underneath it is turned up as by fire; 6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold. 7 It is a path no bird of prey knoweth, and the vulture's eye hath not seen it; 8 The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed over it. 9 Man putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock, he overturneth the mountains by the root. 10 He cutteth out channels in the rocks, and his eye seeth every precious thing. 11 He bindeth the streams that they drip not, and what is hidden he bringeth forth to light.
12 But wisdom, where shall it be found? and where is the place of understanding? 13 Man knoweth not the value thereof; and it is not found in the land of the living. 14 The deep saith, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not with me. 15 Choice gold cannot be given for it, nor silver be weighed for its price. 16 It is not set in the balance with gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, and the sapphire. 17 Gold and glass cannot be compared to it, nor vessels of fine gold be its exchange. 18 Corals and crystal are no more remembered; yea, the acquisition of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not be compared to it, neither shall it be set in the balance with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? 21 For it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the fowl of the heavens. 22 Destruction and death say, We have heard its report with our ears. 23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth its place: 24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, he seeth under the whole heaven. 25 In making a weight for the wind, and meting out the waters by measure, 26 In appointing a statute for the rain, and a way for the thunder's flash: 27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he established it, yea, and searched it out; 28 And unto man he said, Lo, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.