Passage: Job 28, 29 (RSV)

Job 28

1"Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.
2Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
3Men put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
4They open shafts in a valley away from where men live; they are forgotten by travelers, they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.
5As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
6Its 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.
8The 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.
10He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.
11He binds up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hid he brings forth to light.
12"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
13Man does not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living.
14The deep says, `It is not in me,' and the sea says, `It is not with me.'
15It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
17Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19The topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20"Whence then comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?
21It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air.
22Abaddon 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.
24For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.
25When he gave to the wind its weight, and meted out the waters by measure;
26when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder;
27then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out.
28And he said to man, `Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"

Job 29

1And 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;
3when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness;
4as I was in my autumn days, when the friendship of God was upon my tent;
5when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
6when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square,
8the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood;
9the princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth;
10the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
11When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved;
12because I delivered the poor who cried, and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.
16I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18Then I thought, `I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches,
20my 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.
22After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them.
23They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not cast down.
25I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I dwelt like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.

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