1“There are mines where people dig silver.
And there are places where gold is made pure.
2Iron is taken out of the ground.
And copper is melted out of rocks.
3Miners bring light into the mines.
They search even the deepest parts of the mines.
They look for metal in places of thick darkness.
4Miners dig a tunnel far away from where people live.
They dig it where people never go.
They work far away from people, swinging and swaying from ropes.
5Food grows on top of the earth.
But below ground things are changed as if by fire.
6Sapphires are found in rocks.
And the dust of the earth contains gold.
7No hawk knows the path.
The falcon has not seen it.
8Proud animals have not walked on this path.
And no lions cross over it.
9Men hit the rocks of flint.
They dig away at the bottom of the mountains.
10Miners cut tunnels through the rock.
They see all the treasures there.
11They search the places where rivers begin.
And they bring things hidden there out into the light.
12“But where can wisdom be found.
Where does understanding live?
13People do not understand the value of wisdom.
It cannot be found among living people.
14The deep ocean says, ‘It’s not in me.’
The sea says, ‘It’s not in me.’
15Wisdom cannot be bought with the best gold.
Its cost cannot be weighed in silver.
16Wisdom cannot be bought with fine gold.
It cannot be bought with valuable onyx or sapphire gems.
17Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom.
And you cannot buy it with jewels of gold.
18Coral and jasper are not even worth talking about.
The price of wisdom is much greater than rubies.
19The topaz from Cush cannot compare to wisdom.
It cannot even be bought with the purest gold.
20“So from where does wisdom come?
And where does understanding live?
21It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing.
It is hidden even from the birds of the air.
22The places of destruction and death say,
‘We have only heard reports about it.’
23God understands the way to wisdom.
And he is the only one who knows where it lives.
24This is because God sees to the farthest parts of the earth.
And he sees everything under the heavens.
25Wisdom began when God gave power to the wind.
It was when he measured the water and put limits on it.
26It was when God made rules for the rain.
And he set a path for a thunderstorm to follow.
27Then God looked at wisdom and decided its worth.
He set wisdom up and tested it.
28Then he said to man,
‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom,
and to stay away from evil is understanding.’”