Job 28 and the Source of Wisdom.

What’s precious to man? Silver, gold, ores, and jewels? We know where they come from. We mine them from the Earth, but where does wisdom, the most precious thing come from? Can we mine it from the Earth? Has God hidden it there? Can we buy it and become wise with a purchase? Where does wisdom come from? Let’s read what Job’s answer was in Job 28.
Job 28:1-28 NASB
[1] “Surely there is a mine for silver And a place where they refine gold.
[2] “Iron is taken from the dust, And copper is smelted from rock.
[3] “Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow.
[4] “He sinks a shaft far from habitation, Forgotten by the foot; They hang and swing to and fro far from men.
[5] “The earth, from it comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire.
[6] “Its rocks are the source of sapphires, And its dust contains gold.
[7] “The path no bird of prey knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it.
[8] “The proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.
[9] “He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the base.
[10] “He hews out channels through the rocks, And his eye sees anything precious.
[11] “He dams up the streams from flowing, And what is hidden he brings out to the light.
[12] “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
[13] “Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living.
[14] “The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
[15] “Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed as its price.
[16] “It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire.
[17] “Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.
[18] “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.
[19] “The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
[20] “Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding?
[21] “Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And concealed from the birds of the sky.
[22] “Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’
[23] “God understands its way, And He knows its place.
[24] “For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens.
[25] “When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure,
[26] When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt,
[27] Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also 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.'”

Gill’s commentary on Chapter 28


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 labour, that attend such a search, and the dangers they are exposed unto in it, Job_28:1; 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, Job_28:12; and that God only knows its way and place, who has sought it out, prepared and declared it, Job_28:23; 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, Job_28:28.

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