Job 28-30

job28.jpgGreetings!  Job is continuing his long speech.

28     “There is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.

2 Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper is smelted from ore.

3 Man puts an end to the darkness;

he searches the farthest recesses

for ore in the blackest darkness.

4 Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft,

in places forgotten by the foot of man;

far from men he dangles and sways.

5 The earth, from which food comes,

is transformed below as by fire;

6 sapphires come from its rocks,

and its dust contains nuggets of gold.

7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,

no falcon’s eye has seen it.

8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,

and no lion prowls there.

9 Man’s hand assaults the flinty rock

and lays bare the roots of the mountains.

10 He tunnels through the rock;

his eyes see all its treasures.

11 He searches the sources of the rivers

and brings hidden things to light.

12 “But where can wisdom be found?

Where does understanding dwell?

13 Man does not comprehend its worth;

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;

the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,

nor can its price be weighed in silver.

16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,

with precious onyx or sapphires.

17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,

nor can it be had for jewels of gold.

18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;

the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.

19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;

it cannot be bought with pure gold.

20 “Where then does wisdom come from?

Where does understanding dwell?

21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,

concealed even from the birds of the air.

22 Destruction and Death say,

‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’

23 God understands the way to it

and he alone knows where it dwells,

24 for he views the ends of the earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

25 When he established the force of the wind

and measured out the waters,

26 when he made a decree for the rain

and a path for the thunderstorm,

27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;

he confirmed it and tested it.

28 And he said to man,

‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,

and to shun evil is understanding.’”

That sounds so much like Proverbs, especially Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

People chase after all sorts of things they think are valuable, when they can have all the wisdom they like for free.  They just need to humble themselves and ask God.

29     Job continued his discourse:

2 “How I long for the months gone by,

for the days when God watched over me,

3 when his lamp shone upon my head

and by his light I walked through darkness!

4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,

when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,

5 when the Almighty was still with me

and my children were around me,

6 when my path was drenched with cream

and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

7 “When I went to the gate of the city

and took my seat in the public square,

8 the young men saw me and stepped aside

and the old men rose to their feet;

9 the chief men refrained from speaking

and covered their mouths with their hands;

10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,

and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.

11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,

and those who saw me commended me,

12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help,

and the fatherless who had none to assist him.

13 The man who was dying blessed me;

I made the widow’s heart sing.

14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;

justice was my robe and my turban.

15 I was eyes to the blind

and feet to the lame.

16 I was a father to the needy;

I took up the case of the stranger.

17 I broke the fangs of the wicked

and snatched the victims from their teeth.

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,

my days as numerous as the grains of sand.

19 My roots will reach to the water,

and the dew will lie all night on my branches.

20 My glory will remain fresh in me,

the bow ever new in my hand.’

21 “Men listened to me expectantly,

waiting in silence for my counsel.

22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;

my words fell gently on their ears.

23 They waited for me as for showers

and drank in my words as the spring rain.

24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;

the light of my face was precious to them.

25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;

I dwelt as a king among his troops;

I was like one who comforts mourners.

We tend to fixate on Job’s suffering and patience, but consider all the great things he did: Caring for widows, orphans, the poor and pressing for justice.  We should be challenged by his example and pray that others would see us the same way.  Not out of pride, but out of setting a Christ-like example.

30     “But now they mock me,

men younger than I,

whose fathers I would have disdained

to put with my sheep dogs.

2 Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,

since their vigor had gone from them?

3 Haggard from want and hunger,

they roamed the parched land

in desolate wastelands at night.

4 In the brush they gathered salt herbs,

and their food was the root of the broom tree.

5 They were banished from their fellow men,

shouted at as if they were thieves.

6 They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,

among the rocks and in holes in the ground.

7 They brayed among the bushes

and huddled in the undergrowth.

8 A base and nameless brood,

they were driven out of the land.

9 “And now their sons mock me in song;

I have become a byword among them.

10 They detest me and keep their distance;

they do not hesitate to spit in my face.

11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,

they throw off restraint in my presence.

12 On my right the tribe attacks;

they lay snares for my feet,

they build their siege ramps against me.

13 They break up my road;

they succeed in destroying me—

without anyone’s helping them.

14 They advance as through a gaping breach;

amid the ruins they come rolling in.

15 Terrors overwhelm me;

my dignity is driven away as by the wind,

my safety vanishes like a cloud.

16 “And now my life ebbs away;

days of suffering grip me.

17 Night pierces my bones;

my gnawing pains never rest.

18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me;

he binds me like the neck of my garment.

19 He throws me into the mud,

and I am reduced to dust and ashes.

20 “I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer;

I stand up, but you merely look at me.

21 You turn on me ruthlessly;

with the might of your hand you attack me.

22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;

you toss me about in the storm.

Job misunderstood the situation and blamed God unjustly. 

23 I know you will bring me down to death,

to the place appointed for all the living.

24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man

when he cries for help in his distress.

25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?

Has not my soul grieved for the poor?

26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;

when I looked for light, then came darkness.

27 The churning inside me never stops;

days of suffering confront me.

28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;

I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.

29 I have become a brother of jackals,

a companion of owls.

30 My skin grows black and peels;

my body burns with fever.

31 My harp is tuned to mourning,

and my flute to the sound of wailing.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

I think we may avoid Job at times because he may remind us that our wealth and comfort here is fleeting.  The rest of the world probably relates to him much more, since they experience similar struggles daily.


2 thoughts on “Job 28-30”

  1. Hi Neil,

    This is my first time to your blog and I really like it. What I find interesting in this passage is how quickly people’s opinion of you can change when you are suffering. Job had the respect of his peers, but when his suffering came he didn’t even command the respect of their children. I wonder do we treat people differently at times when they are experiencing life’s difficulties? I would pray that I don’t


  2. Hi Raymond,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    I think you are right about that. Even if they don’t say it out loud like Job’s friends did, people may assume you did something wrong or may feel awkward and not know what to say. You raise a good challenge for all of us, and that is to fight “compassion fatigue” by focusing on the power of the Holy Spirit.


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