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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

Context:

Because the final speech of Job covers six chapters, we provide the following structure to help the reader follow it:

26. Job (9) Part 1: Attack - Rebuke of the ‘friends' for only God knows the truth'

27. Job (9) Part 2: Defence - Job's Personal Integrity & the fate of his enemies

28. Job (9) Part 3: Interlude: Where Wisdom is Found

29. Job (9) Part 4: The Past - Job looks back almost nostalgically

30. Job (9) Part 5: The Present - Roles Reversed & a Resultant Wreck

31. Job (9) Part 6: Final Defence - Job's Final Words of Self-Vindication

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: Job 28: Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

 

[Preliminary Comments: Whether this is Job or another writer interposing this ‘interlude' in the flow of the book, the subject of the source of wisdom is clear. The writer starts with a natural example in life of work that is difficult but worthwhile – mining. [v.1-11]. He then, in picture language, poses the question, where do you look for wisdom – the knowledge of ‘how to' or ‘how it works'? [v.12-22]. His answer is that it can only be found in God and that is a reasonable answer because God created all things and knows how everything works. [v.23-28] In the context of the whole book, the answer to all the questions raised can only be found with God.]

 

 

v.1-11 Mining is a good example of that which is difficult to find & takes effort

v.1  There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined. 

v.2  Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 

v.3  Mortals put an end to the darkness; they search out the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness. 

v.4  Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft, in places untouched by human feet; far from other people they dangle and sway. 

v.5  The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire; 

v.6  lapis lazuli comes from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold. 

v.7  No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon's eye has seen it. 

v.8  Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there. 

v.9  People assault the flinty rock with their hands and lay bare the roots of the mountains. 

v.10  They tunnel through the rock; their eyes see all its treasures. 

v.11  They search the sources of the rivers and bring hidden things to light. 

 

v.12-22 So where do you look to find wisdom?

v.12  But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 

v.13  No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 

v.14  The deep says, “It is not in me”; the sea says, “It is not with me.” 

v.15  It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. 

v.16  It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 

v.17  Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 

v.18  Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 

v.19  The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold. 

v.20  Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 

v.21  It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky. 

v.22  Destruction and Death say, “Only a rumour of it has reached our ears.” 

 

v.23-28 The Answer? God, the Creator who knows all things

v.23  God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 

v.24  for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 

v.25  When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 

v.26  when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 

v.27  then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 

v.28  And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

  

    

[Concluding Comments: If this was Job from back in 27:11 he certainly provides some substantial picture language to convey his point. Because the headings above are clear, we will not add a further summary. ]

 

    

CONTINUE to Chapter 29