1Silver has its mines, and gold a place for refining. 2Iron is extracted from the earth, the smelted rocks yield copper. 3Man makes an end of darkness, to the utmost limit he digs the black rock in shadow dark as death. 4Foreigners bore into ravines in unfrequented places, swinging suspended far from human beings. 5That earth from which bread comes is ravaged underground by fire. 6There, the rocks have veins of sapphire and their dust contains gold. 7That is a path unknown to birds of prey, unseen by the eye of any vulture; 8a path not trodden by the lordly beasts, where no lion ever walked. 9Man attacks the flint, upturning mountains by their roots. 10He cuts canals through the rock, on the watch for anything precious. 11He explores the sources of rivers, bringing hidden things to light. 12But where does Wisdom come from? Where is Intel igence to be found? 13No human being knows the way to her, she is not to be found on earth where they live. 14'She is not in me,' says the Abyss; 'Nor here,' replies the Sea. 15She cannot be bought with solid gold, nor paid for with any weight of silver, 16nor valued against gold of Ophir, precious agate or sapphire. 17Neither gold nor glass compares with her, for her, a vase of fine gold would be no exchange, 18let alone coral or crystal: better go fishing for Wisdom than for pearls! 19Topaz from Cush is worthless in comparison, and gold, even refined, is valueless. 20But where does Wisdom come from? Where is Intel igence to be found? 21She cannot be seen by any living creature, she is hidden from the birds of the sky. 22Perdition and Death both say, 'We have heard only rumours of her.' 23God alone understands her path and knows where she is to be found. 24(For he sees to the remotest parts of the earth, and observes al that lies under heaven.) 25When he wil ed to give weight to the wind and measured out the waters with a gauge, 26when he imposed a law on the rain and mapped a route for thunderclaps to fol ow, 27then he saw and evaluated her, looked her through and through, assessing her. 28Then he said to human beings, 'Wisdom? - that is fear of the Lord; Intel igence? - avoidance of evil.'
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