Man's industry searcheth out many things: true wisdom is taught by God alone.
1 Silver hath beginnings of its veins, and gold hath a place wherein it is melted.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and stone melted with heat is turned into brass.
3 He hath set a time for darkness, and the end of all things he considereth, the stone also that is in the dark and the shadow of death.
4 The flood divideth from the people that are on their journey, those whom the food of the needy man hath forgotten, and who cannot be come at.
5 The land, out of which bread grew in its place, hath been overturned with fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires, and the clods of it are gold.
7 The bird hath not known the path, neither hath the eye of the vulture beheld it.
8 The children of the merchants have not trodden it, neither hath the lioness passed by it.
9 He hath stretched forth his hand to the flint, he hath overturned mountains from the roots.
10 In the rocks he hath cut out rivers, and his eye hath seen every precious thing.
11 The depths also of rivers he hath searched, and hidden things he hath brought forth to light.
12 But where is wisdom to be found, and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of them that live in delights.
14 The depth saith: It is not in me: and the sea saith: It is not with me.
15 The finest gold shall not purchase it, neither shall silver be weighed in exchange for it.
16 It shall not be compared with the dyed colours of India, or with the most precious stone sardonyx, or the sapphire.
17 Gold or crystal cannot equal it, neither shall any vessels of gold be changed for it.
18 High and eminent things shall not be mentioned in comparison of it: but wisdom is drawn out of secret places.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not be equal to it, neither shall it be compared to the cleanest dyeing.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hid from the eyes of all living. and the fowls of the air know it not.
22 Destruction and death have said: With our ears we have heard the fame thereof.
23 God understandeth the way of it, and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he beholdeth the ends of the world: and looketh on all things that are under heaven.
25 Who made a weight for the winds and weighed the waters by measure.
26 When he gave a law for the rain, and a way for the sounding storms.
27 Then he saw it, and declared, and prepared, and searched it.
28 And he said to man: Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom: and to depart from evil, is understanding.