Man's Quest for Wisdom
281 Truly there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is washed out. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and stone is changed into brass by the fire. 3 Man puts an end to the dark, searching out to the farthest limit the stones of the deep places of the dark. 4 He makes a deep mine far away from those living in the light of day; when they go about on the earth, they have no knowledge of those who are under them, who are hanging far from men, twisting from side to side on a cord. 5 As for the earth, bread comes out of it; but under its face it is turned up as if by fire. 6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. 7 No bird has knowledge of it, and the hawk's eye has never seen it. 8 The great beasts have not gone over it, and the cruel lion has not taken that way. 9 Man puts out his hand on the hard rock, overturning mountains by the roots. 10 He makes deep ways, cut through the rock, and his eye sees everything of value. 11 He keeps back the streams from flowing, and makes the secret things come out into the light. 12 But where may wisdom be seen? and where is the resting-place of knowledge? 13 Man has not seen the way to it, and it is not in the land of the living.
14 The deep waters say, It is not in me: and the sea says, It is not with me. 15 Gold may not be given for it, or a weight of silver in payment for it. 16 It may not be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the onyx of great price, or the sapphire. 17 Gold and glass are not equal to it in price, and it may not be exchanged for jewels of the best gold. 18 There is no need to say anything about coral or crystal; and the value of wisdom is greater than that of pearls. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia is not equal to it, and it may not be valued with the best gold.
20 From where then does wisdom come, and where is the resting-place of knowledge? 21 For it is kept secret from the eyes of all living, unseen by the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, We have only had word of it with our ears. 23 God has knowledge of the way to it, and of its resting-place; 24 For his eyes go to the ends of the earth, and he sees everything under heaven. 25 When he made a weight for the wind, measuring out the waters; 26 When he made a law for the rain, and a way for the thunder-flames; 27 Then he saw it, and put it on record; he gave it its fixed form, searching it out completely. 28 And he said to man, Truly the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to keep from evil is the way to knowledge.
Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 And Job again took up the word and said, 2 If only I might again be as I was in the months which are past, in the days when God was watching over me! 3 When his light was shining over my head, and when I went through the dark by his light. 4 As I was in my flowering years, when my tent was covered by the hand of God; 5 While the Ruler of all was still with me, and my children were round me; 6 When my steps were washed with milk, and rivers of oil were flowing out of the rock for me.
7 When I went out of my door to go up to the town, and took my seat in the public place, 8 The young men saw me, and went away, and the old men got up from their seats; 9 The rulers kept quiet, and put their hands on their mouths; 10 The chiefs kept back their words, and their tongues were joined to the roofs of their mouths. 11 For when it came to their ears, men said that I was truly happy; and when their eyes saw, they gave witness to me; 12 For I was a saviour to the poor when he was crying for help, to the child with no father, and to him who had no supporter. 13 The blessing of him who was near to destruction came on me, and I put a song of joy into the widow's heart. 14 I put on righteousness as my clothing, and was full of it; right decisions were to me a robe and a head-dress. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet to him who had no power of walking. 16 I was a father to the poor, searching out the cause of him who was strange to me. 17 By me the great teeth of the evil-doer were broken, and I made him give up what he had violently taken away.
18 Then I said, I will come to my end with my children round me, my days will be as the sand in number; 19 My root will be open to the waters, and the night mist will be on my branches, 20 My glory will be ever new, and my bow will be readily bent in my hand. 21 Men gave ear to me, waiting and keeping quiet for my suggestions. 22 After I had said what was in my mind, they were quiet and let my words go deep into their hearts; 23 They were waiting for me as for the rain, opening their mouths wide as for the spring rains. 24 I was laughing at them when they had no hope, and the light of my face was never clouded by their fear. 25 I took my place as a chief, guiding them on their way, and I was as a king among his army. ...