The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
Where, then, does wisdom lie?✻ Easy to trace where the veins of silver run, where gold-ore is refined,
where iron is dug from the depths of earth, and rocks must be melted to yield copper.
See how man has done away with the darkness, has pierced into the very heart of things, into caves under ground, black as death’s shadow!
Where yonder ravine cuts them off from the shepherd-folk, the miners toil, forgotten; lost to all track, far from the haunts of men.✻
That earth, from whose surface our bread comes to us, must be probed by fire beneath,
till the rocks yield sapphires, and the clods gold.
Here are passages no bird discovers in its flight, no vulture’s eye has seen;
that never gave roving merchant✻ shelter, or the lioness a lair.
Boldly man matches himself against the flint, uproots the mountain,
cuts channels through the rock, where things of price have dazzled his eye;
narrowly he scans the river’s depths, and brings to light all they hide.
But wisdom, tell me where to search for wisdom; tell me in what cache discernment lies?
How should man set a price on it? This earth our pleasant home, yields no return of it;
Not here, cries the abyss beneath us, and the sea echoes, Not here.
Not for pure gold is it bartered, or weighed against silver in the balance;
not the bright wares of the Indies, nor jewel of sardonyx, nor sapphire can vie with it;
it is not to be matched with treasures of glass or gold, rivalled by all the goldsmith’s workmanship.
Do not talk of coral or of crystal;✻ for wisdom you must make deeper search still;
with wisdom the topaz from Ethiopia and the finest gold-leaf cannot compare.
Whence, then, does wisdom come to us; where is discernment to be found?
That is the secret kept hidden from beast on earth and bird in heaven;
the shadow-world of death claims no more than to have heard the rumour of it.
Only God knows the way to it, only God can tell where it lies,
he whose view reaches to the world’s end, sees all that passes under the wide heavens.
He, when first he took scale and measuring-line to set wind and water their task,
when he appointed a time for the rain’s abating, and a track for the whistling storm,
descried wisdom already; traced its plan, and set all in order, and mastered it.
To man, he has told this much, that wisdom is fearing the Lord; there lies discernment, in refusing the evil path.
The Holy Bible