The man who can plunge the darkness, lose his vanity, behold his wretchedness and hold on to the hand that never lets go, will emerge with a treasure worth more than the best of this world.

People know how to mine silver and refine gold. They know how to dig iron from the earth and smelt copper from stone. They know how to put light into darkness and explore the farthest, darkest regions of the earth as they search for ore. They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. Bread comes from the earth, but below the surface the earth is melted as by fire.

People know how to find sapphire and gold dust - treasures that no bird of prey can see, no falcon's eye observe - for they are deep within the mines. No wild animal has ever walked upon those treasures; n o lion has set his paw there. People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures.

But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding?  No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. 'It is not here,' says the ocean. 'Nor is it here,' says the sea.

It cannot be bought for gold or silver. Its value is greater than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx stone or sapphires. Wisdom is far more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. Coral and valuable rock crystal are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above pearls. Topaz from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. Its value is greater than the purest gold.

But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? For it is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. But Destruction and Death say,'We have heard a rumour of where wisdom can be found.'

God surely knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth, under all the heavens. He made the winds blow and determined how much rain should fall. He made the laws of the rain and prepared a path for the lightning. Then, when he had done all this, he saw wisdom and measured it. He established it and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom: to forsake evil is real understanding.' Job 28