Job 28

1Job sheweth that although man may by his industry search deep into nature, 12yet is the wisdom and understanding of God's ways beyond his reach, 23being comprehended by God only. 28Man's wisdom is to fear God and to depart from evil.

1SURELY 1there is a 2veina for the silver, and a place for gold where 3they fine it.

1 Having shown that God does punish also some of the wicked in this life, although not all, and perceiving that his friends were not able to understand this, Job teaches now that the judgments of God are incomprehensible for us, and that man has indeed wit and ability enough to find out and comprehend many earthly things, verses 1, 2, etc., but is not able to search out the grounds and reasons of the wonderful government of God, verse 12, etc.

2 That is, places in the earth, out of which it is dug. For the finding out of this, and to discern and sever the silver in its ore from the earth, stones and baser metals, man has wit and knowledge enough, and so in the sequel.

a lengthy and regularly shaped occurrence of ore

3 Namely, the artificers, miners and refiners. Or, there where it is melted. See Job 4 on verse 19.

2Iron is taken out of the 4earth, and brass is molten out of the 5stone.

4 That is, out of the dust.

5 By some called cadmia, mixing therewith the stone chalcitis, from which it is thought that copper is made, Plinius, Naturalis Historia, lib. 34, chap. 1 and 2. Others translate these words: the stone is molten into copper. Or, the stone doth pour out the copper. Or, out of molten stone cometh copper.

36He setteth an 7end to 8darkness, and 9searcheth out 10all perfection: the stones of 11darkness, and the shadow of death.

6 Others insert here the word man, and translate this verse thus: Man setteth an end for the darkness, and for all accomplishment, which he searcheth, as the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.

7 That is, the utmost bounds of all mines, caves, caverns, holes of the earth.

8 Understand the things that lie most hidden in the deepest and darkest parts of the earth, as metals, minerals, precious stones, etc., as appears by the words following.

9 Namely, man.

10 Other, all the very uttermost, that is, whatsoever is serviceable to make anything of or by it.

11 That is, which is in the dark. See of the shadow of death Job 3 on verse 5.

4The flood 12breaketh out from the inhabitant; even 13the waters 14forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.

12 That is, if it happens, that the hole of the mine, out of which some metals or stones are dug, becomes full of water, which sinks in there and breaks in from some neighboring place, forsaking thus the old channel, and those who dwelt by it.

13 Namely, of that flood.

14 That is, which waters the foot of man is not able to go through anymore, because of the great depth. The meaning is: Although all the waters, which fall out of the foresaid flood into the mine, are so deep that they are forgotten by man’s foot, that is, cannot be waded through, nevertheless they are drawn out and gotten away by the industry and labor of man. Or thus: when the waters of the foot were forgotten, that is, where there was no water before, or none felt by the foot.

5As for the earth, out of it cometh 15bread: and under it 16is turned up as it were fire.

15 That is, wheat, from which bread is made and baked.

16 That is, has within herself veins and layers of sulphur and other fiery materials, which men know how to find out.

617The stones of it 18are the place of sapphires: and 19it hath 20dust of gold.

17 Namely, of the earth.

18 That is, have among them, or contain the sapphire-stones, which the miners dig out. See of these stones in verse 16; likewise Exod. 24:10; 28:18; Cant. 5:14.

19 Namely, that place.

20 That is, grains or sands of gold, which are mixed with the earth, and gathered and separated by the industry and labor of man.

7There is a 21path which no 22fowl knoweth, and which the 23vulture’s eye hath not seen:

21 Namely, to get unto any of the foresaid places.

22 Understand a certain kind of fowl, which, being very greedy for prey, searches very closely all hidden places.

23 Of which writers testify that she is very sharp-sighted. See Lev. 11 on verse 14.

8The lion’s 24whelps have not trodden 25it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.

24 Hebr. the sons of the, etc. Compare Job 41:34.

25 That is, the path or passage which leads to the place of the gold and precious stones. Understand hereby, although no animals are able to intrude their way unto that place by any excellence which is in them, yet man is able to do it by his labor and industry.

926He putteth forth his hand upon the 27rock; 28he overturneth the mountains by the roots.

26 Namely, man.

27 That is, the very hardest stony rock.

28 Namely, to separate, to level, to excavate, etc., to bring forth from it metals and precious stones, or to draw forth brooks, floods, streams and fountains out of them, or to make the land fit and proper for tillage and building.

10He 29cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every 30precious thing.

29 Hebr. he splitteth or cleaveth rivers; that is, he makes channels in the rocks to bring the water into them, which may serve afterwards for rivers or brooks, or other uses.

30 As gold, silver and precious stones, which lie hidden in the earth, come to be discovered to men by hewing and digging.

11He bindeth the 31floods from 32overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

31 Namely, which are hidden underground.

32 Hebr. from weeping or shedding tears; that is, that no water at all can break forth and flow into the mines. Understand that men make dams, and dry up the rivers, whereby the precious things, which lay hid in them, are discovered.

1233But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

33 As if he said: Man is able indeed by his labor and industry to find out many precious things, which lie hidden in the earth, but he is not able to attain to the secret wisdom, whereby the causes of God’s judgments may be fully comprehended.

13Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land 34of the living.

34 That is, among men, who live upon earth. Compare Psalm 27:13; 142:5; Isa. 38:11; 53:8.

14Theb35depth saith, It is not in me: and 36the sea saith, It is not with me.

b Job 28:22.

35 Understand the depths of the waters which are under the earth, yea, in the very nethermost part of it. See Gen. 1 on verse 2.

36 Understand that part of the sea, which floats uppermost upon the earth. Compare Gen. 1 on verse 10.

15Itc cannot be gotten for 37gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

c Prov. 3:14; 8:11, 19; 16:16.

37 See 1 Kings 6 on verse 20.

16It cannot be valued with the gold of 38Ophir, with the precious 39onyx, or the 40sapphire.

38 See 1 Kings 9 on verse 28.

39 See Gen. 2 on verse 12. Many hold this to be the onyx stone or sardonyx stone, which color is a mixed one of white and red, like the nails on a person’s hand.

40 A precious stone of a sky color, glimmering with golden dots.

17The gold and the 41crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for 42jewels of 43fine gold.

41 Other, very glimmering pearl, or, the diamond.

42 Hebr. vessel. See Gen. 24:53; Num. 31:50; 1 Sam. 6:8; 2 Kings 20:13; Esther 1:7.

43 See 1 Kings 10 on verse 18.

1844No mention shall be made of 45coral, or of 46pearls: for the price of wisdom is above 47rubies.

44 Namely, when mention is made of the worth of wisdom.

45 Some understand by this word ramoth, others a precious stone, called sandastros or garamantites.

46 Or, gabish. The name (as some perceive) of a pearl, growing in the scale of a fish, called by the Latines unio, because two of them cannot grow together. Others understand hereby a certain precious stone.

47 The word signifies a precious stone which was red in color, by what is said thereof Lam. 4:7.

19The 48topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

48 A precious stone of a green color. See of the same Exod. 28:17; 39:10.

20Whenced then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

d Job 28:12.

21Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close 49from the fowls of the air.

49 He mentions the birds, because they fly high and see far, and yet are not able to come to the place where the wisdom is hid; for, perfect wisdom is nowhere to be found but in God, Who imparts so much of it unto reasonable creatures as it pleases Him.

2250Destructione and death say, We have heard the 51fame thereof with our ears.

50 He divides all places into three: the middlemost, where living men are, in the highest, where the birds fly, and the nethermost, where the dead are, and all what is perished. Compare with this verse the annotation at Job 26 on verse 6.

e Job 28:14.

51 Namely, of the hidden wisdom. The meaning is: that they have no knowledge of the same, but only a rumor that there is such. Compare with verse 14.

2352God understandeth the 53way thereof, and he knoweth the 54place thereof.

52 That is, none else but God.

53 That is, the manner and means of finding out wisdom, whatever it is, what operations it has and what discretion and end therein.

54 Namely, where it is to be found, that is, only in Himself, Mat. 11:27.

24For he looketh 55to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

55 The meaning is, that God’s wisdom is infinite and unlimited, 1 Cor. 2:10; Heb. 4:13.

2556To make the weight for 57the winds; and he weigheth thef waters by measure.

56 He wants to say, that the wisdom, which lies hid in God, has revealed itself in some measure by the creation of the world.

57 The meaning is, that God, according to His wisdom, has not only given a being to all creatures, but likewise set them their exact order, weight and measure, and infused the same their qualities and manner of operation.

f Prov. 8:29.

26When he made a 58decree for the rain, and 59a way for the lightning 60of the thunder:

58 Namely, how, where, when and where to He would let fall the rain, thunder, lightning, etc.

59 Compare Job 38:25.

60 Hebr. of the voices. Also Exod. 9:23; 1 Sam. 7:10; Job 37:4, 5; Psalm 29:3.

27Then 61did he see 62it, and 63declare it; he 64prepared it, yea, and 65searched it out.

61 Compare Gen. 1:31.

62 Namely, the wisdom, of which here is spoken.

63 That is, revealed it, and gave matter to men to speak about and to publish it.

64 That is, He ordained it to the end for which He had revealed it.

65 That is, He showed that He had communicated it to man by the most perfect investigation and the most mature consideration, to the end that they would inquire after it with reverence, and entertain it with humility.

28And unto man he said, Behold, 66theg fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

66 As if He said: The hidden wisdom, whereby I do govern the world and the people therein, is only for Myself; but the wisdom, which I have kept for men, is, that they do fear Me according to the prescript of My revealed will. See Deut. 29 on verse 29.

g Psalm 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10.