Job 28

1 “Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted out of the ore. 3 Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out, to the furthest bound, the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from where people live. They are forgotten by the foot. They hang far from men, they swing back and forth. 5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread; underneath it is turned up as it were by fire. 6 Sapphires come from its rocks. It has dust of gold. 7 That path no bird of prey knows, neither has the falcon’s eye seen it. 8 The proud animals have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed by there. 9 He puts his hand on the flinty rock, and he overturns the mountains by the roots. 10 He cuts out channels amongst the rocks. His eye sees every precious thing. 11 He binds the streams that they don’t trickle. The thing that is hidden he brings out to light. 12 “But where shall wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding? 13 Man doesn’t know its price; neither is it found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me.’ The sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’ 15 It can’t be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for its price. 16 It can’t be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 Gold and glass can’t equal it, neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal. Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. 20 Where then does wisdom come from? Where is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the birds of the sky. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ 23 “God understands its way, and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole sky. 25 He establishes the force of the wind. Yes, he measures out the waters by measure. 26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder; 27 then he saw it, and declared it. He established it, yes, and searched it out. 28 To man he said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding.’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–11

Job maintained that the dispensations of Providence were regulated by the highest wisdom. To confirm this, he showed of what a great deal of knowledge and wealth men may make themselves masters. The caverns of the earth may be discovered, but not the counsels of Heaven. Go to the miners, thou sluggard in religion, consider their ways, and be wise. Let their courage and diligence in seeking the wealth that perishes, shame us out of slothfulness and faint-heartedness in labouring for the true riches. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! How much easier, and safer! Yet gold is sought for, but grace neglected. Will the hopes of precious things out of the earth, so men call them, though really they are paltry and perishing, be such a spur to industry, and shall not the certain prospect of truly precious things in heaven be much more so?

Verses 12–19

Job here speaks of wisdom and understanding, the knowing and enjoying of God and ourselves. Its worth is infinitely more than all the riches in this world. It is a gift of the Holy Ghost which cannot be bought with money. Let that which is most precious in God’s account, be so in ours. Job asks after it as one that truly desired to find it, and despaired of finding it any where but in God; any way but by Divine revelation. (Job 28:20-28)

Verses 20–28

There is a two-fold wisdom; one hid in God, which is secret, and belongs not to us; the other made known by him, and revealed to man. One day’s events, and one man’s affairs, have such reference to, and so hang one upon another, that He only, to whom all is open, and who sees the whole at one view, can rightly judge of every part. But the knowledge of God’s revealed will is within our reach, and will do us good. Let man look upon this as his wisdom, To fear the Lord, and to depart from evil. Let him learn that, and he is learned enough. Where is this wisdom to be found? The treasures of it are hid in Christ, revealed by the word, received by faith, through the Holy Ghost. It will not feed pride or vanity, or amuse our vain curiosity. It teaches and encourages sinners to fear the Lord, and to depart from evil, in the exercise of repentance and faith, without desiring to solve all difficulties about the events of this life.

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