Job 28
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  For there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.

א  כִּי יֵשׁ לַכֶּסֶף מוֹצָא וּמָקוֹם לַזָּהָב יָזֹקּוּ.

2  Iron is taken out of the dust, and brass is molten out of the stone.

ב  בַּרְזֶל מֵעָפָר יֻקָּח וְאֶבֶן יָצוּק נְחוּשָׁה.

3  Man setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death.

ג  קֵץ שָׂם לַחֹשֶׁךְ וּלְכָל תַּכְלִית הוּא חוֹקֵר אֶבֶן אֹפֶל וְצַלְמָוֶת.

4  He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the foot that passeth by; they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.

ד  פָּרַץ נַחַל מֵעִם גָּר הַנִּשְׁכָּחִים מִנִּי רָגֶל דַּלּוּ מֵאֱנוֹשׁ נָעוּ.

5  As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, and underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.

ה  אֶרֶץ מִמֶּנָּה יֵצֵא לָחֶם וְתַחְתֶּיהָ נֶהְפַּךְ כְּמוֹ אֵשׁ.

6  The stones thereof are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold.

ו  מְקוֹם סַפִּיר אֲבָנֶיהָ וְעַפְרֹת זָהָב לוֹ.

7  That path no bird of prey knoweth, neither hath the falcon’s eye seen it;

ז  נָתִיב לֹא יְדָעוֹ עָיִט וְלֹא שְׁזָפַתּוּ עֵין אַיָּה.

8  The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor hath the lion passed thereby.

ח  לֹא הִדְרִיכוּהוּ בְנֵי שָׁחַץ לֹא עָדָה עָלָיו שָׁחַל.

9  He putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock; He overturneth the mountains by the roots.

ט  בַּחַלָּמִישׁ שָׁלַח יָדוֹ הָפַךְ מִשֹּׁרֶשׁ הָרִים.

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

י  בַּצּוּרוֹת יְאֹרִים בִּקֵּעַ וְכָל יְקָר רָאֲתָה עֵינוֹ.

11  He bindeth the streams that they trickle not; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

יא  מִבְּכִי נְהָרוֹת חִבֵּשׁ וְתַעֲלֻמָהּ יֹצִא אוֹר.

12  But wisdom, where shall it be found? And where is the place of understanding?

יב  וְהַחָכְמָה מֵאַיִן תִּמָּצֵא וְאֵי זֶה מְקוֹם בִּינָה.

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

יג  לֹא יָדַע אֱנוֹשׁ עֶרְכָּהּ וְלֹא תִמָּצֵא בְּאֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים.

14  The deep saith: ‘It is not in me’; and the sea saith: ‘It is not with me.’

יד  תְּהוֹם אָמַר לֹא בִי הִיא וְיָם אָמַר אֵין עִמָּדִי.

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

טו  לֹא יֻתַּן סְגוֹר תַּחְתֶּיהָ וְלֹא יִשָּׁקֵל כֶּסֶף מְחִירָהּ.

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

טז  לֹא תְסֻלֶּה בְּכֶתֶם אוֹפִיר בְּשֹׁהַם יָקָר וְסַפִּיר.

17  Gold and glass cannot equal it; neither shall the exchange thereof be vessels of fine gold.

יז  לֹא יַעַרְכֶנָּה זָהָב וּזְכוֹכִית וּתְמוּרָתָהּ כְּלִי פָז.

18  No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; yea, the price of wisdom is above rubies.

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

יח  רָאמוֹת וְגָבִישׁ לֹא יִזָּכֵר וּמֶשֶׁךְ חָכְמָה מִפְּנִינִים.

28:18   The price of wisdom is above rubies

In a number of places, the Bible uses the ruby to stress the value of something precious. Proverbs 31:10 describes the worth of a Woman of Valor as “far above rubies,” and in this verse it is the price of wisdom that is described as “above rubies.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson 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 – that it has a sea and that 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.

Comment

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

יט  לֹא יַעַרְכֶנָּה פִּטְדַת כּוּשׁ בְּכֶתֶם טָהוֹר לֹא תְסֻלֶּה.

20  Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?

כ  וְהַחָכְמָה מֵאַיִן תָּבוֹא וְאֵי זֶה מְקוֹם בִּינָה.

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

כא  וְנֶעֶלְמָה מֵעֵינֵי כָל חָי וּמֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם נִסְתָּרָה.

22  Destruction and Death say: ‘We have heard a rumor thereof with our ears.’

כב  אֲבַדּוֹן וָמָוֶת אָמְרוּ בְּאָזְנֵינוּ שָׁמַעְנוּ שִׁמְעָהּ.

23  God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.

כג  אֱלֹהִים הֵבִין דַּרְכָּהּ וְהוּא יָדַע אֶת מְקוֹמָהּ.

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

כד  כִּי הוּא לִקְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ יַבִּיט תַּחַת כָּל הַשָּׁמַיִם יִרְאֶה.

25  When He maketh a weight for the wind, and meteth out the waters by measure.

כה  לַעֲשׂוֹת לָרוּחַ מִשְׁקָל וּמַיִם תִּכֵּן בְּמִדָּה.

26  When He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the storm of thunders;

כו  בַּעֲשֹׂתוֹ לַמָּטָר חֹק וְדֶרֶךְ לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת.

27  Then did He see it, and declare it; He established it, yea, and searched it out.

כז  אָז רָאָהּ וַיְסַפְּרָהּ הֱכִינָהּ וְגַם חֲקָרָהּ.

28  And unto man He said: ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’

כח  וַיֹּאמֶר לָאָדָם הֵן יִרְאַת אֲדֹנָי הִיא חָכְמָה וְסוּר מֵרָע בִּינָה.

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Job 28