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The Lord Speaks to Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this who darkens counsel
    by words without knowledge?
Prepare yourself like a man;
    for I will question you,
    and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Declare, if you have understanding.
Who has determined its measurements, if you know?
    Or who has stretched the line upon it?
To what are its foundations fastened?
    Or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together,
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut up the sea with doors
    when it broke forth and went out of the womb?
When I made the cloud its garment,
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and broke up for it My decreed place,
    and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘This far you will come but no farther,
    and here your proud waves will be stopped’?

12 “Have you commanded the morning in your days,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
    that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14 It is turned like clay by the seal,
    and it stands out as a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
    and the high arm will be broken.

16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea?
    Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been opened to you?
    Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you perceived the breadth of the earth?
    Declare, if you know it all.

19 “Where is the path where light dwells?
    And as for darkness, where is its place,
20 that you should take it to its boundary,
    and that you should know the paths to its house?
21 Do you know it because you were born then,
    or because the number of your days is many?

22 “Have you entered the treasuries of the snow?
    Or have you seen the treasuries of the hail,
23 which I have reserved against the time of trouble,
    against the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is the light diffused,
    or the east wind scattered upon the earth?
25 Who has divided a channel for the overflowing waters,
    or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 to cause it to rain on the earth where no man is,
    on the wilderness in which there are no people,
27 to satisfy the desolate waste,
    and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Or who has produced the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb came the ice?
    And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone,
    and the surface of the deep is frozen.

31 “Can you tie the cords to the Pleiades
    or loosen the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out the constellation in its season?
    Or can you guide the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of heaven?
    Can you set their dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    that abundance of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send lightning that they may go forth
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
    or who has given understanding to the heart?[a]
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
    Or who can empty out the bottles of heaven,
38 when the dust turns into hard clumps
    and the clods stick together?

39 “Will you hunt the prey for the lion?
    Or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens
    and lie in the thicket to wait in ambush?
41 Who provides for the raven his food
    when his young ones cry unto God,
    and they wander about for lack of food?


  1. Job 38:36 The Heb. may refer to celestial bodies.