1 "Surely there is a vein for the silver and a place for gold where they refine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is melted out of the stone.
3 He sets an end to darkness, and to all perfection he searches out the stones of darkness and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaks out from the inhabitant, even the waters forgotten by the foot. They are dried up. They have gone away from men.
5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread, and underneath it is turned up as by fire.
6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no bird knows, and which the falcon's eye has not seen.
8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.
9 He puts forth his hand upon the rock. He overturns the mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out rivers among the rocks. His eye sees every precious thing.
11 He binds the floods from overflowing. The thing that is hid he brings forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its price, neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth says, 'It is not in me.' And the sea says, 'It is not with me.'
15 It cannot be obtained for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for its price.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it, and its exchange shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls, for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hid from the eyes of all living and kept close from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and death say, 'We have heard its fame with our ears.'
23 God understands its way and knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees under the whole heaven.
25 When he made the weight for the winds and weighed the waters by measure,
26 When he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 He saw it and declared it. He prepared it and even searched it out.
28 And to man he said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. And to depart from evil is understanding.'"
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
The design of this chapter is either to show the folly of such who are very diligent in their search and pursuit after earthly things, and neglect an inquiry after that which is infinitely more valuable, true wisdom; or rather to observe, that though things the most secret, and which are hidden in the bowels of the earth, may be investigated and discovered by the sagacity and diligence of men, yet wisdom cannot, especially the wisdom of God in his providences, which are past finding out; and particularly in what concerns the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous; the reason of which men should be content to be ignorant of for the present, and be studious to possess that wisdom which is attainable, and be thankful for it, if they have it; which lies in the fear of the Lord, and a departure from evil, with which this chapter concludes. It begins with setting forth the sagacity of men in searching and finding out useful metals, and other things the earth produces; the difficulty, fatigue, and labor, that attend such a search, and the dangers they are exposed to in it (verses 1-11); then it declares the unsearchableness of wisdom, its superior excellency to things the most valuable, and that it is not to be found by sea or land, or among any of the creatures (verses 12-22); and that God only knows its way and place, who has sought it out, prepared and declared it (verses 23-27); and that which he has thought fit to make known of it, and is most for his glory and the good of men, is, that it is to fear God, and depart from evil (verse 28).
[v.12] - Wisdom and understanding is found in Christ. Reference, Proverbs ch. 8; 1st Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 2:3.
[v.15] - Reference, Proverbs 3:14, 8:10; 1st Peter 1:18-19.
[v.18] - "the price of wisdom is above rubies" - Reference, Proverbs 3:15, 8:11, 20:15.
[v.28] - Reference, Deuteronomy 4:5-6; Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10, 112:1; Proverbs 1:7, 22, 2:5, 9:10, 15:32-33; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1st Corinthians 1:30.