Monday, 2 July 2012

Mining and the Bible?!

This is a bit of a different type of post than I usually do but I find this quite interesting! If you don't mind I'll put my 'philosophical hat' on.

I've reproduced a part of the Bible below - it is sort of an account of 'mining and gemstones', but more than that it is also a comment on how people are often motivated in life and see things like struggling for the riches of the earth as the most important thing. I agree with the author that the wisdom and understanding described are the most important things in life, not the search for personal riches.

It is also worth noting that in 'gemology' what some of the precious stones are considered to represent (these are the only ones I know, maybe someone else knows the ones I am missing):
  • Lapis Lazuli - wisdom;
  • Gold - wealth;
  • Oryx - overcoming adversity;
  • Silver - love;
  • Topaz - loyalty or being righteous; and
  • Rubies - desire
It is interesting to read the passage, but in particular the section 12-28 by replacing the gemstones with their popular meanings, it actually emphasizes the message even more.

Job 28
1 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 Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4 Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5 The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6 lapis lazuli comes 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 People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10 They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11 They search the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13 No mortal comprehends 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 out in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
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 in the sky.
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 the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”


  1. Really puts things in perspective. The last verse is priceless, helps us see things for their true value.

    1. Hi Sunshine,

      I tend to agree. The point of the passage is quite empty and pointless without the ending.