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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 28

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The Inaccessibility of Wisdom

1There is indeed a mine for silver,* and a place for gold which men refine. 2Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is melted out of stone. 4&&&& 5The earth, though out of it comes forth bread, is in fiery upheaval underneath. 6Its stones are the source of sapphires, and there is gold in its dust. 12But whence can wisdom be obtained, and where is the place of understanding? z Eccl 7, 24f; Bar 3, 14f. 29–33 . 13Man knows nothing to equal it, nor is it to be had in the land of the living. 15Solid gold cannot purchase it, nor can its price be paid with silver. a Prv 3, 14; 8, 10f, 19; 16, 16; WIs 7, 7–11 . 16It cannot be bought with gold of Ophir,* with the precious onyx or the sapphire. 17Gold or crystal cannot equal it, nor can golden vessels reach its worth. 18Neither coral nor jasper should be thought of; it surpasses pearls and 19Arabian topaz. 20Whence, then, comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding? 21It is hid from the eyes of any beast; from the birds of the air it is concealed. 7The path to it no bird of prey knows, nor has the hawk's eye seen that path. 8The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion gone that way. 14The abyss declares, “It is not in me”; and the sea says, “I have it not.” 22Abaddon* and Death say, “Only by rumor have we heard of it.” 23God knows the way to it; b 23–27: Prv 8, 22–31 . it is he who is familiar with its place. c Prv 2, 6; Sir 1, 1; Jas 1, 5 . 24For he beholds the ends of the earth and sees all that is under the heavens. 3He has set a boundary for the darkness; to the farthest confines he penetrates. 9He sets his hand to the flinty rock, and overturns the mountains at their foundations. 10He splits channels in the rocks; his eyes behold all that is precious. 11He probes the wellsprings of the streams, and brings hidden things to light. 25He has weighed out the wind, and fixed the scope of the waters; 26When he made rules for the rain and a path for the thunderbolts, d Jb 38, 25; Prv 3, 20 . 27Then he saw wisdom and appraised it, gave it its setting, knew it through and through. 28And to man he said: Behold, the fear of the LORD is wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding. e Ps 111, 10; Prv 1, 7; 9, 10; Sir 1, 16 .

Notes:

z: Eccl 7, 24f; Bar 3, 14f. 29–33 .

a: Prv 3, 14; 8, 10f, 19; 16, 16; WIs 7, 7–11 .

b: 23–27: Prv 8, 22–31 .

c: Prv 2, 6; Sir 1, 1; Jas 1, 5 .

d: Jb 38, 25; Prv 3, 20 .

e: Ps 111, 10; Prv 1, 7; 9, 10; Sir 1, 16 .

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