New American Standard Bible
"Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.
King James Bible
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
Darby Bible Translation
Corals and crystal are no more remembered; yea, the acquisition of wisdom is above rubies.
World English Bible
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal. Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies.
Young's Literal Translation
Corals and pearl are not remembered, The acquisition of wisdom is above rubies.
Job 28:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
No mention shall be made of coral - That is, as a price by which to purchase wisdom, or in comparison with wisdom. The margin here is, "Ramoth" - retaining the Hebrew word ראמה râ'mâh. Jerome renders it, "excelsa" - exalted or valuable things. So the Septuagint, Μετέωρα Meteōra - exalted or sublime things; as if the word were from רום, to be exalted. According to the rabbis, the word here means "red coral." It occurs also in Ezekiel 27:16, where it is mentioned as a valuable commodity in merchandise in which Syria traded with Tyre, and occurs in connection with emeralds, purple, broidered work, fine linen, and agate. The coral is a well known marine substance, not valued now as if it were a precious stone, but probably in the time of Job regarded as of value sufficient to be reckoned with gems. It was not rare, though its uses were not known. As a beautiful object, it might at that time deserve to be mentioned in connection with pearls.
It is now found in abundance in the Red Sea, and probably that which was known to Job was obtained there. Shaw says, "In rowing gently over it (the port Tor), while the surface of the sea was calm, such a diversity of "Madrepores Furuses," and other marine vegetables, presented themselves to the eye, that we could not forbear taking them, as Pliny (L. xiii. cap. 25) had done before us, for a forest under water. The branched Madrepores particularly contributed very much to authorize the comparison, for we passed over several that were eight or ten feet high, growing sometimes pyramidical like the cypress, and at other times had their branches more open and diffused, like the oak; not to speak of others which, like the creeping plants, spread themselves over the bottom of the sea;" Travels, p. 384, Ed. Oxford, 1738. It should be added, however, that there is no absolute certainty that Job referred here to coral. The Hebrew word would suggest simply that which was "exalted in value," or of great price; and it is not easy to determine to what particular substance Job meant to apply it.
Or of pearls - גבישׁ gâbı̂ysh. This word occurs nowhere else, though אלגבישׁ 'elgâbı̂ysh, is found in Ezekiel 13:11, Ezekiel 13:13; Ezekiel 38:22, where it means hail-stones, or pieces of ice. Perhaps the word here means merely "crystal" - resembling ice. So Umbreit Gesenius, and others, understand it. Prof. Lee supposes that the word used here denotes that which is "aggregated" and then what is "massive," or "vast;" see his note on this place. Jerome renders it, "eminentia" - exalted, lofty things; the Septuagint retains the word without attempting to translate it - γαβὶς gabis - and the fact that they have not endeavored to render it, is a strong circumstance to show that it is now hopeless to attempt to determine its meaning.
Above rubies - The ruby is a precious stone of a carmine red color, sometimes verging to violet. There are two kinds of rubies, the oriental or corundum, and the spinelle. The ruby is next in hardness to the diamond, and approaches it in value. The oriental ruby is the same as the sapphire. The ruby is found in the kingdom of Pegu, in the Mysore country, in Ceylon, and in some other places, and is usually imbedded in gneiss. It is by no means certain, however, that the word used here (פנינים pânı̂ynı̂ym) means rubies. Many of the rabbis suppose that "pearls" are meant by it; and so Bochart, Hieroz. ii. Lib. v. c. 6, 7, understands it. John D. Michaelis understands it to mean "red corals," and Gesenius concurs with this opinion. Umbreit renders it, "Perlen" - "pearls." The word occurs in Proverbs 3:15; Proverbs 8:11; Proverbs 20:15; Proverbs 31:10; Lamentations 4:7. In the Proverbs, as here, it is used in comparison with wisdom, and undoubtedly denotes one of the precious gems.
LibraryDays of Conflict
As the condition of the people began to open to His mind, He saw that the requirements of society and the requirements of God were in constant collision. Men were departing from the word of God, and exalting theories of their own invention. They were observing traditional rites that possessed no virtue. Their service was a mere round of ceremonies; the sacred truths it was designed to teach were hidden from the worshipers. He saw that in their faithless services they found no peace. They did not …
Ellen Gould White—The Desire of Ages
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Christ the Mediator of the Covenant
She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
"For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
Her consecrated ones were purer than snow, They were whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than corals, Their polishing was like lapis lazuli.
"Aram was your customer because of the abundance of your goods; they paid for your wares with emeralds, purple, embroidered work, fine linen, coral and rubies.
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