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Job 38 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord Reveals His Omnipotence to Job

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

“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now [a]prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the [b]line upon it?
To what were 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 in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
10 When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
11 When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It takes on form like clay under a seal,
And stands out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the [c]upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been [d]revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory,
That you may know the paths to its home?
21 Do you know it, because you were born then,
Or because the number of your days is great?

22 “Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is light [e]diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?

25 “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes 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.[f]

31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,[g]
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out [h]Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide [i]the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in [j]the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?

39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
41 Who provides food for the raven,
When its young ones cry to God,
And wander about for lack of food?


  1. Job 38:3 Lit. gird up your loins like
  2. Job 38:5 measuring line
  3. Job 38:15 Lit. high
  4. Job 38:17 Lit. opened
  5. Job 38:24 Lit. divided
  6. Job 38:30 Lit. imprisoned
  7. Job 38:31 Or the Seven Stars
  8. Job 38:32 Lit. Constellations
  9. Job 38:32 Or Arcturus
  10. Job 38:36 Lit. the inward parts
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Job 38 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Lord Speaks: Who Is Able to Challenge Me?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.

“Who is this that belittles my advice
    with words that do not show any knowledge about it?
Brace yourself like a man!
    I will ask you, and you will teach me.

The Lord Speaks about Creation

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me if you have such insight.
Who determined its dimensions?
    Certainly, you know!
Who stretched a measuring line over it?
On what were its footings sunk?
Who laid its cornerstone
    when the morning stars sang together
        and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Who shut the sea behind gates
    when it burst through and came out of the womb,
    when I clothed it with clouds
        and wrapped it up in dark clouds,
10     when I set a limit for it
        and put up bars and gates,
11     when I said, ‘You may come this far but no farther.
        Here your proud waves will stop’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning
    or assigned a place for the dawn
13         so that it could grab the earth by its edges
            and shake wicked people out of it?
14 The earth changes like clay stamped by a seal,
    and parts of it stand out like folds in clothing.
15 Wicked people are deprived of their light,
    and an arm raised in victory is broken.
16 Have you gone to the springs in the sea
    or walked through the valleys of the ocean depths?
17 Have the gateways to death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gateways to total darkness?
18 Have you even considered how wide the earth is?
    Tell me, if you know all of this!

19 “What is the way to the place where light lives?
    Where is the home of darkness
20         so that you may lead it to its territory,
        so that you may know the path to its home?
21 You must know because you were born then
    and have lived such a long time!
22 Have you been to the warehouses where snow is stored
    or seen the warehouses for hail
23         that I have stored up for the time of trouble,
            for the day of battle and war?
24 Which is the way to the place where light is scattered
    and the east wind is spread across the earth?

25 “Who made a channel for the flooding rains
    and a path for the thunderstorms
26         to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
            on a desert where there are no humans,
27         to saturate the desolate wasteland
            in order to make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who gave birth to the dewdrops?
29 From whose womb came the ice,
    and who has given birth to the frost in the air?
30         The water hardens like a stone,
            and the surface of the ocean freezes over.

31 “Can you connect the chains of the constellation Pleiades
    or untie the ropes of Orion?
32 Can you bring out the constellations at the right time
    or guide Ursa Major with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the sky
    or make them rule the earth?
34 Can you call to the clouds
    and have a flood of water cover you?
35 Can you send lightning flashes so that they may go and say to you,
    ‘Here we are’?
36 Who put wisdom in the heart
    or gave understanding to the mind?[a]
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds
    or pour out the water jars of heaven
38         when the dirt hardens into clumps
            and the soil clings together?

The Lioness

39 “Can you hunt prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of her cubs
40         as they crouch in their dens
            and lie ready to ambush from their lairs?

The Crow

41 “Who provides food for the crow
    when its young ones cry to God
        and wander around in need of food?


  1. Job 38:36 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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