1 ‘There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.
2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore.
3 Man puts an end to the darkness; he searches the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.
4 Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft, in places forgotten by the foot of man; far from men he dangles and sways.
5 The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire;
6 sapphires come from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there.
9 Man’s hand assaults the flinty rock and lays bare the roots of the mountains.
10 He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures.
11 He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.
12 ‘But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?
13 Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphires.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20 ‘Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’
23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”