261-2What a fine help you are to me —
poor, weak man that I am!
3You give such good advice
and share your knowledge with a fool like me!
4Who do you think will hear all your words?
Who inspired you to speak like this?
5The spirits of the dead tremble
in the waters under the earth.
6The world of the dead lies open to God;
no covering shields it from his sight.
7God stretched out the northern sky
and hung the earth in empty space.
8It is God who fills the clouds with water
and keeps them from bursting with the weight.
9He hides the full moon behind a cloud.
10He divided light from darkness
by a circle drawn on the face of the sea.
11When he threatens the pillars that hold up the sky,
they shake and tremble with fear.
12It is his strength that conquered the sea;26.12 conquered the sea: A reference to an ancient story in which the sea fought against God.
by his skill he destroyed the monster Rahab.26.12 Rahab: See 9.13.
13It is his breath that made the sky clear,
and his hand that killed the escaping monster.26.13 escaping monster: See 9.8.
14But these are only hints of his power,
only the whispers that we have heard.
Who can know how truly great God is?
271-2I swear by the living Almighty God,
who refuses me justice and makes my life bitter —
3as long as God gives me breath,
4my lips will never say anything evil,
my tongue will never tell a lie.
5I will never say that you men are right;
I will insist on my innocence to my dying day.
6I will never give up my claim to be right;
my conscience is clear.
7May all who oppose me and fight against me
be punished like the wicked and the unrighteous.
8What hope is there for the godless
in the hour when God demands their life?
9When trouble comes, will God hear their cries?
10They should have desired the joy he gives;
they should have constantly prayed to him.
11Let me teach you how great is God's power,
and explain what Almighty God has planned.
12But no, after all, you have seen for yourselves;
so why do you talk such nonsense?
13This is how Almighty God
punishes wicked, violent people.
14They may have many sons,
but all will be killed in war;
their children never have enough to eat.
15Those who survive will die from disease,
and even their widows will not mourn their death.
16The wicked may have too much silver to count
and more clothes than anyone needs;
17but some good person will wear the clothes,
and some honest person will get the silver.
18The wicked build houses like a spider's web27.18 Some ancient translations spider's web; Hebrew moth or bird's nest.
or like the hut of a slave guarding the fields.
19One last time27.19 Some ancient translations One last time; Hebrew They will not be gathered. they will lie down rich,
and when they wake up, they will find their wealth gone.
20Terror will strike like a sudden flood;
a wind in the night will blow them away;
21the east wind will sweep them from their homes;
22it will blow down on them without pity
while they try their best to escape.
23The wind howls at them as they run,
frightening them with destructive power.
281There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
2Miners dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
3They explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
4Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
5Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
6The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
7No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
8No lion or other fierce beast
Ever travels those lonely roads.
9Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11They dig to the sources of28.11 Some ancient translations dig to the sources of; Hebrew bind from trickling. rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?
13Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.
20Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
Where can we learn to understand?
21No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumours.
23God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth —
He gave it his approval.
God said to human beings,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”