It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
All Commentaries on Job 28:15 Go To Job 28
Gregory The Dialogist
71. For what is denoted by ‘fine gold,’ save the holy Angels, who are rightly called both ‘gold,’ and ‘fine [obrysum];’ ‘gold,’ because they shine with brightness of righteousness; ‘fine,’ because they never had any defilement of sin. But for just men, so long as they are in this corruptible flesh with the conditions of mortality, ‘gold’ they may indeed be, ‘fine gold’ they cannot be in any wise; because the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind, that museth upon many things. [Wisd. 9, 15] For though in this life they may shine by an extraordinary brightness of righteousness, yet they never purely lack the dross of sins; as John the Apostle bears witness, who says, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us [1 John 1, 8]; and as James affirms, who puts a proof, saying, For in many things we all offend. [James 3, 2] As the Prophet likewise beseeches, who says, Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. [Ps. 143, 2] Those then are termed ‘fine gold’ who whilst holding fast in that innocency, wherein they were created, at once shine with the brightness of righteousness, and are stained with no dross of sins, no not the very least.
72. But because in the stead of this Wisdom no one of the Angels was to be sent as the Redeemer of the human race, lest in those Angels, who, we have been taught, have often appeared in aid of men, any man should rest his hope, it is said, Fine gold shall not be given for it. As though it were expressed in plain speech; ‘By Its own Self shall Wisdom be manifested, in order that the human race may be redeemed from sin.’ There is no Angel sent in His stead; because it must needs be that by the Creator the creature should be set free. And hence the Lord said in the Gospel, If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. [John 8, 36] But the holy man, being filled with the Spirit of that same Wisdom, foresaw that there would not be wanting in Judaea some that should put their hope in the Lawgiver, and make Moses the author of their salvation, even as to the man that had been healed, speaking evil, they say, Be thou His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. [John 9, 28] Whence it is yet further introduced with propriety,
Nor shall silver be weighed in exchange thereof.
73. For because the divine revelations are often denoted by ‘silver,’ by the term of silver it may be that the writers of that revelation are also understood, whose life shone amidst the crowds of their fellow-creatures with the light of virtuous attainments. But because the Law was able to point out sins, but not able to take them away, it was not anyone of the ancient Fathers, nor the Lawgiver Moses, that became the Redeemer of mankind. So ‘silver is not weighed in exchange of this Wisdom,’ because all that have had power to be holy, by comparison with the Only-begotten Son of God are accounted to have been of no worth, who except they had known and seen that they were servants of that ‘Wisdom,’ could never at all have been holy. For to this end were they sent, that in the hearts of men they might by preaching prepare a way for this ‘Wisdom,’ neither yet that for her, but by her they might govern the peoples under their charge. For because it was certain that by the accession of periods of time, the ailments of the waning world should grow to a height, it was brought about that in the end of ages the Eternal Wisdom of God should by Its own Self come to this full grown sick one, with his over great infirmity, i.e. to the human race lying sick, throughout the whole world, that preachers having been dispatched beforehand, like a kind of visitors, the power of the physician might afterwards come so much the more efficacious, in proportion as the sickness of the diseased had more grown to a head. But because there is no one sent in the stead of Him for the saving of us, let it be rightly said, Nor shall silver be weighed in the exchange thereof. Forasmuch as the life of the just men who preached, with whatever light of holiness it might abound, doth not by its presence make exchange for the coming of Heavenly Wisdom to us. But there were multitudes of the Gentiles, who being attached to the systems of discipline of this world’s wise ones, observed those things which are honourable among men, and believed that, honourable dealing being observed, they were sure to be saved, nor any longer sought a Mediator between God and man, since they held the teaching of the philosophers as being sufficient for them.