1 Surely there is for silver a source, And a place for the gold they refine; 2 Iron from the dust is taken, And from the firm stone brass. 3 An end hath he set to darkness, And to all perfection he is searching, A stone of darkness and death-shade. 4 A stream hath broken out from a sojourner, Those forgotten of the foot, They were low, from man they wandered. 5 The earth! from it cometh forth bread, And its under-part is turned like fire. 6 A place of the sapphire are its stones, And it hath dust of gold. 7 A path -- not known it hath a ravenous fowl, Nor scorched it hath an eye of the kite, 8 Nor trodden it have the sons of pride, Not passed over it hath the fierce lion. 9 Against the flint he sent forth his hand, He overturned from the root mountains. 10 Among rocks, brooks he hath cleaved, And every precious thing hath his eye seen. 11 From overflowing floods he hath bound, And the hidden thing bringeth out to light.
12 And the wisdom -- whence is it found? And where is this, the place of understanding? 13 Man hath not known its arrangement, Nor is it found in the land of the living. 14 The deep hath said, 'It is not in me,' And the sea hath said, 'It is not with me.' 15 Gold is not given for it, Nor is silver weighed -- its price. 16 It is not valued with pure gold of Ophir, With precious onyx and sapphire, 17 Not equal it do gold and crystal, Nor is its exchange a vessel of fine gold. 18 Corals and pearl are not remembered, The acquisition of wisdom is above rubies. 19 Not equal it doth the topaz of Cush, With pure gold it is not valued.
20 And the wisdom -- whence doth it come? And where is this, the place of understanding? 21 It hath been hid from the eyes of all living. And from the fowl of the heavens It hath been hidden. 22 Destruction and death have said: 'With our ears we have heard its fame.' 23 God hath understood its way, And He hath known its place. 24 For He to the ends of the earth doth look, Under the whole heavens He doth see, 25 To make for the wind a weight, And the waters He meted out in measure. 26 In His making for the rain a limit, And a way for the brightness of the voices, 27 Then He hath seen and declareth it, He hath prepared it, and also searched it out, 28 And He saith to man: -- 'Lo, fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to turn from evil is understanding.'