1 When mines are dug for silver
and hills cut through for gold,
explorers hunt their treasures
in cruel heat or cold;
they trace untrodden valleys
and sink unfathomed shafts;
in darkness long-forgotten
they ply their secret crafts.
Tunnelling through the mountains
they delve into the night;
the solid rock they shatter
to bring its wealth to light.

2 But when we search for wisdom
how can we know the way?
And where is understanding?
Nor earth nor sea can say.
Is it so deeply buried
unseen by living eyes
that death itself hears only
a hint of such a prize?
Wealth cannot buy wisdom,
for gems it is not sold;
more precious far than silver,
more rare than finest gold.

3 The Lord who looks on all things
and set the worlds in space
he knows the way to wisdom
and he points out its place;
when God made winds and waters
and measured out the sea,
the thunder and the lightning,
he gave as his decree:
Turn away from evil,
to God commit your ways;
to fear the Lord and love him
is wisdom, love and praise.


Christopher Idle from Job 28
© Christopher Idle/Jubilate Hymns Ltd
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