28:0This is an important chapter. In verse 28, we learn how we can find true wisdom. Men know how to do very many things. But only God can tell us how we can be really wise. We should fear God and we should worship him. And we should never do things that are wrong. That is how we can be wise. (‘Fear’ means when we are afraid of something or someone. But to fear God is different. God is great and he is powerful. God is good and he knows everything. God is sad when people do wrong things. And that makes him angry, too. To fear God means to know these things and then live the right way.)
How to be wise
1 ‘People know how to dig under the ground to find silver.
And they know how to heat gold to remove all the dirt from it.
2 They understand how to get iron from under the ground.
And they know how to choose the stones that they can get copper from.
3 They look for these metals in places that are deep under the ground.
They take lights with them that help them to see in the dark.
4 They dig a very deep hole that is far from towns or cities.
They work alone. And they hang on strong lines to help them climb down into the hole.
5 We grow our food in the fields.
But deep under the ground there is fire.
6 Sapphires come from the rocks deep under the ground.
And among the stones there, people can find pieces of gold.
7 People go to places where birds have never been.
And they find things that birds have never seen.
8 Wild animals do not walk there.
And lions do not go there.
9 Men break into the hard rock.
And they look beneath the mountains.
10 They dig through the rock.
And they discover stones that are very valuable.
11 They look in the places where rivers start.
And they bring into the light the things that they find there.
12 But people do not know where they can find wisdom.
Nor do they know where they can learn to be wise.
13 People do not understand that it is good to be wise.
And in none of the places where people live can anyone find wisdom.
14 No one will find wisdom in the sea.
Even in the deepest sea, no one will find it.
15 You cannot buy wisdom, even if you are very rich.
You may have lots of gold and silver, but you cannot buy wisdom.
16 Wisdom is worth more than all the gold that comes from Ophir.
It is worth more than onyx or sapphires.
17 Neither a gold cup nor a beautiful glass is as valuable as wisdom.
If you sold all your gold, you still could not buy wisdom.
18 Coral and jasper are not as valuable as wisdom.
The price of it is more than the price of rubies.
19 Topaz from Cush is not as valuable as wisdom.
Nor can anyone buy it, not even with the best gold.
28:19In verse 6, the writer speaks about ‘sapphires.’ And in verses 16 to 19, he speaks about ‘onyx,’ ‘sapphires,’ ‘coral,’ ‘jasper,’ ‘rubies’ and ‘topaz.’ These are all things like stones. But these things are valuable. They are stones that shine. And they have many different colours. People use them, for example, to make rings.
20 So people know how to do many things.
But they do not know where to find wisdom.
21 Many people live on the earth, but none of them has found wisdom.
Even the birds that fly above the earth cannot see it.
22 People who have died may have heard about wisdom.
But they cannot tell us where we can find it.
23 Only God understands how we can be wise.
And only he knows where we can find wisdom.
24 He knows this because he knows everything.
And he sees everything that happens on the earth.
25 He decided the power of the wind.
And he decided the size of the seas.
26 He tells the rain where it should fall.
And he decides where storms should go.
27 When he had done these things, he thought about wisdom.
He knew that it was valuable. And he said that it was good.
28 God spoke to all the people. And he said this:
“If you want to live the right way, you must not do wrong things.
If you want to be wise, you should be afraid not to obey me.
You should do these things because I am God.” ’