The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job(A) out of the storm.(B) He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans(C)
    with words without knowledge?(D)
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.(E)

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?(F)
    Tell me, if you understand.(G)
Who marked off its dimensions?(H) Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line(I) across it?
On what were its footings set,(J)
    or who laid its cornerstone(K)
while the morning stars(L) sang together(M)
    and all the angels[a](N) shouted for joy?(O)

“Who shut up the sea behind doors(P)
    when it burst forth from the womb,(Q)
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,(R)
10 when I fixed limits for it(S)
    and set its doors and bars in place,(T)
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;(U)
    here is where your proud waves halt’?(V)

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,(W)
    or shown the dawn its place,(X)
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked(Y) out of it?(Z)
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;(AA)
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,(AB)
    and their upraised arm is broken.(AC)

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?(AD)
17 Have the gates of death(AE) been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?(AF)
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?(AG)
    Tell me, if you know all this.(AH)

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?(AI)
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths(AJ) to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!(AK)
    You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow(AL)
    or seen the storehouses(AM) of the hail,(AN)
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,(AO)
    for days of war and battle?(AP)
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,(AQ)
    or the place where the east winds(AR) are scattered over the earth?(AS)
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,(AT)
26 to water(AU) a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,(AV)
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?(AW)
28 Does the rain have a father?(AX)
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens(AY)
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?(AZ)

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?(BA)
32 Can you bring forth the constellations(BB) in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?(BC)
33 Do you know the laws(BD) of the heavens?(BE)
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?(BF)
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?(BG)
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f](BH)
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g](BI)
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars(BJ) of the heavens(BK)
38 when the dust becomes hard(BL)
    and the clods of earth stick together?(BM)

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions(BN)
40 when they crouch in their dens(BO)
    or lie in wait in a thicket?(BP)
41 Who provides food(BQ) for the raven(BR)
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?(BS)

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats(BT) give birth?
    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?(BU)
Do you count the months till they bear?
    Do you know the time they give birth?(BV)
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
    their labor pains are ended.
Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
    they leave and do not return.

“Who let the wild donkey(BW) go free?
    Who untied its ropes?
I gave it the wasteland(BX) as its home,
    the salt flats(BY) as its habitat.(BZ)
It laughs(CA) at the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear a driver’s shout.(CB)
It ranges the hills(CC) for its pasture
    and searches for any green thing.

“Will the wild ox(CD) consent to serve you?(CE)
    Will it stay by your manger(CF) at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?(CG)
    Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?(CH)
    Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
    and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
    though they cannot compare
    with the wings and feathers of the stork.(CI)
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
    and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
    that some wild animal may trample them.(CJ)
16 She treats her young harshly,(CK) as if they were not hers;
    she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
    or give her a share of good sense.(CL)
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
    she laughs(CM) at horse and rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength(CN)
    or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,(CO)
    striking terror(CP) with its proud snorting?(CQ)
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,(CR)
    and charges into the fray.(CS)
22 It laughs(CT) at fear, afraid of nothing;
    it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver(CU) rattles against its side,
    along with the flashing spear(CV) and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
    it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.(CW)
25 At the blast of the trumpet(CX) it snorts, ‘Aha!’
    It catches the scent of battle from afar,
    the shout of commanders and the battle cry.(CY)

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
    and spread its wings toward the south?(CZ)
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
    and build its nest on high?(DA)
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
    a rocky crag(DB) is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;(DC)
    its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
    and where the slain are, there it is.”(DD)

Footnotes

  1. Job 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God
  2. Job 38:31 Septuagint; Hebrew beauty
  3. Job 38:32 Or the morning star in its season
  4. Job 38:32 Or out Leo
  5. Job 38:33 Or their
  6. Job 38:36 That is, wisdom about the flooding of the Nile
  7. Job 38:36 That is, understanding of when to crow; the meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.