Job Twenty Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Job 28:1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.

Job 28:2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.

brass. The Hebrew word is the same as for “copper.” Most references to brass in the Bible probably refer to bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. See note on Genesis 4:22.

Job 28:3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.

stones of darkness. Two different Hebrew words are translated “darkness” in this verse. The “end of darkness” refers to the end of spiritual or moral darkness. The “stones of darkness” refer to stones mined for minerals and metals in the physical darkness below the earth's surface.

shadow of death. There are ten references to “the shadow of death” in Job, the first is Job 3:5 and the last in Job 38:17. The best-known reference is in Psalm 23:4. The shadow of death is not actual death, of course, but rather the present danger of death.

Job 28:4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.

Job 28:5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire.

Job 28:6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.

place of sapphires. Note the many valuable metals and minerals mentioned in this chapter—silver and gold (Job 28:1), iron and copper (Job 28:2), sapphires (Job 28:6), onyx (Job 28:16), crystal (Job 28:17), coral, pearls and rubies (Job 28:18), and topaz (Job 28:19). Some authorities interpret the sapphires mentioned here to be lapis lazuli; the crystal is quartz.

Job 28:7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen:

the vulture's eye. It was a fairly recent finding by ornithologists that vultures and other scavenger birds spot their prey by keen vision rather than sense of smell.

Job 28:8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.

Job 28:9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.

Job 28:10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.

Job 28:11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

Job 28:12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

where shall wisdom. Although men from ancient times have been ingenuous enough to discover, mine and smelt valuable metals and minerals from deep in the earth, they have often found it much more difficult to discover true wisdom, although God makes it readily available to those who truly desire it (see Proverbs 2:1-11).

Job 28:13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.

Job 28:15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

Job 28:16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Job 28:17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

Job 28:18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Job 28:19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

Job 28:20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

Job 28:22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

Job 28:23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

Job 28:24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

Job 28:25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.

weight for the winds. The fact that air has weight was revealed through Job, but was proven scientifically only about three hundred years ago. The relative weights of air and water were carefully placed by God in the precise amounts needed for the most efficient functioning of the world's hydrologic cycle, which in turn sustains life on the earth.

Job 28:26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:

way for the lightning. Lightning is now known to be a manifestation of electrical energy. When it suddenly arcs across the sky, it heats up the air along its path, making a partial vacuum along its “way.” This way must quickly be filled by air rushing in to fill the vacuum, resulting in a loud thunderclap as it comes together.

Job 28:27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.

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

that is wisdom. Job twice asked the rhetorical question about the source of true wisdom (Job 28:12, 20) and then answers it in this key verse, a truth largely ignored in the modern world. True wisdom begins with the fear of God. See also Proverbs 1:7; 9:10 and Colossians 2:3.