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Job 38 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Lord answers from a whirlwind

38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

Who is this darkening counsel
    with words lacking knowledge?
Prepare yourself like a man;
    I will interrogate you, and you will respond to me.

The establishing of order

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?
    Tell me if you know.
Who set its measurements? Surely you know.
    Who stretched a measuring tape on it?
On what were its footings sunk;
    who laid its cornerstone,
    while the morning stars sang in unison
        and all the divine beings shouted?
Who enclosed the Sea[a] behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
    when I made the clouds its garment,
        the dense clouds its wrap,
10     when I imposed[b] my limit for it,
        put on a bar and doors
11     and said, “You may come this far, no farther;
        here your proud waves stop”?

12 In your lifetime have you commanded the morning,
        informed the dawn of its place
13     so it would take hold of earth by its edges
        and shake the wicked out of it?
14 Do you turn it over like clay for a seal,
        so it stands out like a colorful garment?
15 Light is withheld from the wicked,
    the uplifted arm broken.

The vast beyond

16 Have you gone to the sea’s sources,
    walked in the chamber of the deep?
17 Have death’s gates been revealed to you;
    can you see the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you surveyed earth’s expanses?
    Tell me if you know everything about it.
19 Where’s the road to the place where light dwells;
        darkness, where’s it located?
20     Can you take it to its territory;
        do you know the paths to its house?
21 You know, for you were born then;
    you have lived such a long time![c]
22 Have you gone to snow’s storehouses,
        seen the storehouses of hail
23     that I have reserved for a time of distress,
        for a day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where light is divided up;
        the east wind scattered over earth?

Meteorological facts

25 Who cut a channel for the downpours
        and a way for blasts of thunder
26     to bring water to uninhabited land,
        a desert with no human
27     to saturate dry wasteland
        and make grass sprout?
28 Has the rain a father
    who brought forth drops of dew?
29 From whose belly does ice come;
    who gave birth to heaven’s frost?
30 Water hardens like stone;
    the surface of the deep thickens.
31 Can you bind Pleiades’ chains
    or loosen the reins of Orion?
32 Can you guide the stars
at their proper times,
    lead the Bear with her cubs?
33 Do you know heaven’s laws,
    or can you impose its rule on earth?
34 Can you issue an order to the clouds
    so their abundant waters cover you?
35 Can you send lightning so that it goes
    and then says to you, “I’m here”?
36 Who put wisdom in remote places,
    or who gave understanding to a rooster?[d]
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds,
        and who can tilt heaven’s water containers
38     so that dust becomes mud
        and clods of dirt adhere?

Lion and raven

39 Can you hunt prey for the lion
    or fill the cravings of lion cubs?
40 They lie in their den,
    lie in ambush in their lair.
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry to God,
    move about without food?


  1. Job 38:8 Heb Yam, a sea god
  2. Job 38:10 Heb uncertain
  3. Job 38:21 Or the number of your days is many
  4. Job 38:36 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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