1. Silver has its fissures where it is first found, and gold has a place where it is melted.
2. Iron is taken from the earth, and ore, unbound by heat, is turned into brass.
3. He has established a time for darkness, and he has settled on an end for all things, as well as for the stone that is in the gloom and shadow of death.
4. The burning separates a pilgrim people from those who have been forgotten by the feet of the destitute man and from the unapproachable.
5. The land, where bread appeared in its place, has been destroyed by fire.
6. Its stones are embedded with sapphires, and its soil, with gold.
7. The bird does not know its path, nor has the eye of the vulture beheld it.
8. The sons of merchants have not walked there, nor has the lioness traveled through it.
9. He has stretched out his hand to the rocks; he has overturned the foundations of the mountains.
10. He has cut rivers through the rocks, and his eye has seen all precious things.
11. The depths of rivers he has also examined, and he has brought hidden things into the light.
12. But, in truth, where is wisdom to be found, and where is the place of understanding?
13. Man does not know its price, nor is it found in the land of those who live in sweetness.
14. The abyss declares, “It is not in me.” And the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15. The finest gold will not be paid for it, nor will silver be weighed in exchange for it.
16. It will not be compared with the dyed colors of India, nor with the very costly stone sardonyx, nor with the sapphire.
17. Neither gold nor crystal will be its equal; neither will vessels of gold be fitted for it.
18. The exalted and the eminent will not be remembered in comparison with it. Yet wisdom is drawn out of concealment.
19. The topaz of Ethiopia will not be equal to it, nor will it be compared to the purest dyes.
20. So then, where does wisdom begin, and where is the place of understanding?
21. It has been hidden from the eyes of all living things, just as the birds of the heavens escape notice.
22. Perdition and death have said, “With our ears, we have heard its fame.”
23. God understands its way, and he knows its location.
24. For he beholds the limits of the world, and he looks upon all things that are under heaven.
25. He created a counterweight for the winds, and he suspended the waters to measure them.
26. At that time, he gave a law to the rain and a path to the resounding storms.
27. Then he saw and explained it, and he made ready and examined it.
28. And he said to man, “Behold the fear of the Lord. Such is wisdom. And to withdraw from evil, this is understanding.”