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