"The Price Of Wisdom Is Above Rubies"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 210

Context: Job, in the land of Uz, an upright and prosperous man and the father of many children, has been tested with God's permission by Satan, who maintains that the man of God will ultimately curse the Almighty. With his wealth and children destroyed and his own body tortured by boils, Job still refuses to curse God. Bewailing his condition, he listens to his friends Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, who comment on the wisdom and justice of God and the ways of the wicked. Insisting on his innocence, but recalling his agony, he reproves his friends as "miserable comforters." With an intense faith in the Almighty, but a belief in his own innocence, he continues to dispute the words of his friends, who consider him a sinful creature incapable of understanding the Lord's wisdom. In a poetic passage, the unattainable nature and immeasurable value of such wisdom are noted:

It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

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