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


28:28 This verse is the crunch line of this chapter’s lengthy description of how wisdom cannot be found in any specific location or hidden part of the planet. The very length of the preamble is only to build up to the colossal significance of this verse: that wisdom isn’t located anywhere, it is experienced in the life of the person who fears God and departs from evil. Especially in the age of over information in which we live, the idea is strongly felt in us all that wisdom is a set of facts, theological propositions, pithy sayings, located with somebody, in the care of some group of people, in some book. But the point is that wisdom isn’t theoretical nor abstract, but intensely practical. We would all far rather make an academic study of something ‘spiritual’ than in practice root out evil from our lives; in this lies the attraction of intellectualizing spirituality. But wisdom as defined here is in experience; hence Job realizes that before his sufferings, he had only heard of God in the ear, but through practical experience he had as it were seen Him (42:5).