TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
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WRITINGS

Job 28

1There is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined.

אכִּי יֵשׁ לַכֶּסֶף מוֹצָא וּמָקוֹם לַזָּהָב יָזֹקּוּ׃

2Iron is taken out of the earth, And copper smelted from rock.

בבַּרְזֶל מֵעָפָר יֻקָּח וְאֶבֶן יָצוּק נְחוּשָׁה׃

3He sets bounds for darkness; To every limit man probes, To rocks in deepest darkness.

גקֵץ שָׂם לַחֹשֶׁךְ וּלְכָל־תַּכְלִית הוּא חוֹקֵר אֶבֶן אֹפֶל וְצַלְמָוֶת׃

4They open up a shaft far from where men live, [In places] forgotten by wayfarers, Destitute of men, far removed.

דפָּרַץ נַחַל מֵעִם־גָּר הַנִּשְׁכָּחִים מִנִּי־רָגֶל דַּלּוּ מֵאֱנוֹשׁ נָעוּ׃

5Earth, out of which food grows, Is changed below as if into fire.

האֶרֶץ מִמֶּנָּה יֵצֵא־לָחֶם וְתַחְתֶּיהָ נֶהְפַּךְ כְּמוֹ־אֵשׁ׃

6Its rocks are a source of sapphires; It contains gold dust too.

ומְקוֹם־סַפִּיר אֲבָנֶיהָ וְעַפְרֹת זָהָב לוֹ׃

7No bird of prey knows the path to it; The falcon's eye has not gazed upon it.

זנָתִיב לֹא־יְדָעוֹ עָיִט וְלֹא שְׁזָפַתּוּ עֵין אַיָּה׃

8The proud beasts have not reached it; The lion has not crossed it.

חלֹא־הִדְרִיכֻהוּ בְנֵי־שָׁחַץ לֹא־עָדָה עָלָיו שָׁחַל׃

9Man sets his hand against the flinty rock And overturns mountains by the roots.

טבַּחַלָּמִישׁ שָׁלַח יָדוֹ הָפַךְ מִשֹּׁרֶשׁ הָרִים׃

10He carves out channels through rock; His eyes behold every precious thing.

יבַּצּוּרוֹת יְאֹרִים בִּקֵּעַ וְכָל־יְקָר רָאֲתָה עֵינוֹ׃

11He dams up the sources of the streams So that hidden things may be brought to light.

יאמִבְּכִי נְהָרוֹת חִבֵּשׁ וְתַעֲלֻמָהּ יֹצִא אוֹר׃

12But where can wisdom be found; Where is the source of understanding?

יבוְהַחָכְמָה מֵאַיִן תִּמָּצֵא וְאֵי זֶה מְקוֹם בִּינָה׃

13No man can set a value on it; It cannot be found in the land of the living.

יגלֹא־יָדַע אֱנוֹשׁ עֶרְכָּהּ וְלֹא תִמָּצֵא בְּאֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים׃

14The deep says, “It is not in me”; The sea says, “I do not have it.”

ידתְּהוֹם אָמַר לֹא בִי־הִיא וְיָם אָמַר אֵין עִמָּדִי׃

15It cannot be bartered for gold; Silver cannot be paid out as its price.

טולֹא־יֻתַּן סְגוֹר תַּחְתֶּיהָ וְלֹא יִשָּׁקֵל כֶּסֶף מְחִירָהּ׃

16The finest gold of Ophir cannot be weighed against it, Nor precious onyx, nor sapphire.

טזלֹא־תְסֻלֶּה בְּכֶתֶם אוֹפִיר בְּשֹׁהַם יָקָר וְסַפִּיר׃

17Gold or glass cannot match its value, Nor vessels of fine gold be exchanged for it.

יזלֹא־יַעַרְכֶנָּה זָהָב וּזְכוֹכִית וּתְמוּרָתָהּ כְּלִי־פָז׃

18Coral and crystal cannot be mentioned with it; A pouch of wisdom is better than rubies.

ra-MOT v'-ga-VEESH LO yi-za-KHAYR u-ME-shekh khokh-MAH mi-p'-nee-NEEM

יחרָאמוֹת וְגָבִישׁ לֹא יִזָּכֵר וּמֶשֶׁךְ חָכְמָה מִפְּנִינִים׃

 28:18   A pouch of wisdom is better than rubies

Rubies

In several places, the Bible uses the ruby as an example of something precious. Sefer Mishlei (31:10) describes the worth of the “woman of valor” as “far beyond that of rubies,” and in this verse the value of wisdom is described as “better than rubies.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the twentieth century leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, once told former Haifa mayor Arie Gurel: “In Haifa, there is a sea. One shouldn’t become intimidated by something that is deep. This is the uniqueness of Haifa: It has a sea and there is a valley and in the valley are precious stones and gems. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, did a wondrous thing; He concealed them in the depths of the earth, and in any case, in the depth of the river.” Based on that conversation, a company called Shefa Yamim was started for the purpose of searching for precious stones near Haifa. Over the years, Shefa Yamim has discovered diamonds and other precious stones hidden in the Land of Israel, among them rubies.

19Topaz from Nubia cannot match its value; Pure gold cannot be weighed against it.

יטלֹא־יַעַרְכֶנָּה פִּטְדַת־כּוּשׁ בְּכֶתֶם טָהוֹר לֹא תְסֻלֶּה׃

20But whence does wisdom come? Where is the source of understanding?

כוְהַחָכְמָה מֵאַיִן תָּבוֹא וְאֵי זֶה מְקוֹם בִּינָה׃

21It is hidden from the eyes of all living Concealed from the fowl of heaven.

כאוְנֶעֶלְמָה מֵעֵינֵי כָל־חָי וּמֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם נִסְתָּרָה׃

22Abaddon and Death say, “We have only a report of it.”

כבאֲבַדּוֹן וָמָוֶת אָמְרוּ בְּאָזְנֵינוּ שָׁמַעְנוּ שִׁמְעָהּ׃

23Hashem understands the way to it; He knows its source;

כגאֱלֹהִים הֵבִין דַּרְכָּהּ וְהוּא יָדַע אֶת־מְקוֹמָהּ׃

24For He sees to the ends of the earth, Observes all that is beneath the heavens.

כדכִּי־הוּא לִקְצוֹת־הָאָרֶץ יַבִּיט תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמַיִם יִרְאֶה׃

25When He fixed the weight of the winds, Set the measure of the waters;

כהלַעֲשׂוֹת לָרוּחַ מִשְׁקָל וּמַיִם תִּכֵּן בְּמִדָּה׃

26When He made a rule for the rain And a course for the thunderstorms,

כובַּעֲשֹׂתוֹ לַמָּטָר חֹק וְדֶרֶךְ לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת׃

27Then He saw it and gauged it; He measured it and probed it.

כזאָז רָאָהּ וַיְסַפְּרָהּ הֱכִינָהּ וְגַם־חֲקָרָהּ׃

28He said to man, “See! Fear of Hashem is wisdom; To shun evil is understanding.”

כחוַיֹּאמֶר לָאָדָם הֵן יִרְאַת אֲדֹנָי הִיא חָכְמָה וְסוּר מֵרָע בִּינָה׃