Man's Quest for Wisdom
281 "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore. 3 Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit the ore in gloom and deep darkness. 4 He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives; they are forgotten by travelers; they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro. 5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread, but underneath it is turned up as by fire. 6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. 7 "That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it. 8 The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. 9 "Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots. 10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. 11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light. 12 "But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 Man does not know its worth, and it is not 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 bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. 16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 17 Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20 "From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Abaddon and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.' 23 "God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned 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, and searched it out. 28 And he said to man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'"
Job Recalls His Former Glory
291 And Job again took up his discourse, and said: 2 "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, 3 when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, 4 as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent, 5 when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were all around me, 6 when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square, 8 the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood; 9 the princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth; 10 the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. 11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved, 12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know. 17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 Then I thought, 'I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand, 19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches, 20 my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.' 21 "Men listened to me and waited and kept silence for my counsel. 22 After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them. 23 They waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence, and the light of my face they did not cast down. 25 I chose their way and sat as chief, and I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.