38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel [questioning my authority and wisdom] By words without knowledge? 3 “Now [a]gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you know and have understanding. 5 “Who determined the measurements [of the earth], if you know? Or who stretched the [measuring] line on it? 6 “On what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God (angels) shouted for joy?
8 “Or who enclosed the sea with doors When it burst forth and went out of the womb; 9 When I made the clouds its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 And marked for it My [appointed] boundary And set bars and doors [defining the shorelines], 11 And said, ‘This far you shall come, but no farther; And here your proud waves shall stop’?
God’s Mighty Power
12 “Since your days began, have you ever commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place, 13 So that light may take hold of the corners of the earth And shake the wickedness out of it? 14 “The earth is changed like clay into which a seal is pressed; And the things [of the earth] stand out like a [multi-colored] garment. 15 “Their light is withheld from the wicked, And the uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered and explored the springs of the sea Or [have you] walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 “Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18 “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the [b]way where light dwells? And as for darkness, where is its place, 20 That you may take it to its territory And that you may know the paths to its house? 21 “You [must] know, since you were born then, And [c]because you are so extremely old! 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war? 24 “Where is the way that the light is distributed, Or the east wind scattered over the earth?
25 “Who has prepared a channel for the torrents of rain and for the flood, Or a path for the thunderbolt, 26 To bring rain on the uninhabited land, And on the desert where no man lives, 27 To satisfy the barren and desolate ground And to make the seeds of grass to sprout? 28 “Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 “Out of whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? 30 “Water becomes like stone [and hides itself], And the surface of the deep is frozen and imprisoned.
31 “Can you bind the chains of [the cluster of stars called] Pleiades, Or loose the cords of [the constellation] Orion? 32 “Can you lead forth a [d]constellation in its season, And guide [the stars of] the Bear with her [e]sons? 33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or [can you] establish their rule over the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? 35 “Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being [of man, or in the layers of clouds] Or given understanding to the mind [of man, or to the heavenly display]? 37 “Who can count the clouds by [earthly] wisdom, Or pour out the water jars of the heavens, 38 When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together [because of the heat]?
39 “Can you [Job] hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions 40 When they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair? 41 “Who provides prey for the raven When its young cry to God And wander about without food?
God Speaks of Nature and Its Beings
39 “Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock give birth [to their young]? Do you observe the calving of the deer? 2 “Can you count the months that they [f]carry offspring, Or do you know the time when they give birth? 3 “They kneel down, they bring forth their young, They cast out their labor pains. 4 “Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open field; They leave and do not return to them.
5 “Who sent out the wild donkey free [from dependence on man]? And who has loosed the bonds of the wild donkey [to survive in the wild], 6 To whom I gave the wilderness as his home And the salt land as his dwelling place? 7 “He scorns the tumult of the city, And does not hear the shouting of the taskmaster. 8 “He explores the mountains as his pasture And searches after every green thing. 9 “Will the wild ox be willing to serve you, Or remain beside your manger at night? 10 “Can you bind the wild ox with a harness [to the plow] in the furrow? Or will he plow the valleys for you? 11 “Will you trust him because his strength is great And leave your labor to him? 12 “Will you have faith and depend on him to return your grain And gather it from your threshing floor?
13 “The [flightless] wings of the ostrich wave joyously; With the pinion (shackles, fetters) and plumage of love, 14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground And warms them in the dust, 15 Forgetting that a foot may crush them, Or that the wild beast may trample them. 16 “She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers; Though her labor is in vain because she is unconcerned [for the safety of her brood], 17 For God has made her forget wisdom, And has not given her a share of understanding. 18 “Yet when she lifts herself [g]on high, [So swift is she that] she laughs at the horse and his rider.
19 “Have you given the horse his might? Have you clothed his neck with quivering and a shaking mane? 20 “Have you [Job] made him leap like a locust? The majesty of his snorting [nostrils] is terrible. 21 “He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength; He goes out to meet the weapons [of armed men]. 22 “He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; And [in battle] he does not turn back from the sword. 23 “The quiver rattles against him, [As do] the flashing spear and the lance [of his rider]. 24 “With fierceness and rage he races to devour the ground, And he does not stand still at the sound of the [war] trumpet. 25 “As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’ And he smells the battle from far away, And senses the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south [as winter approaches]? 27 “Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up And makes his nest on high [in an inaccessible place]? 28 “On the cliff he dwells and remains [securely], Upon the point of the rock and the inaccessible stronghold. 29 “From there he spies out the prey; His eyes see it from far away. 30 “His young ones suck up blood; And where the slain are, there is he.”
Job: What Can I Say?
40 Then the Lord said to Job,
2 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who disputes with God answer it.”
3 Then Job replied to the Lord and said,
4 “Behold, I am of little importance and contemptible; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 “I have spoken once, but I will not reply again— Indeed, twice [I have answered], and I will add nothing further.”
God Questions Job
6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying,
7 “Now [h]gird up your loins (prepare yourself) like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment and set it aside as void? Will you condemn Me [your God] that you may [appear to] be righteous and justified? 9 “Have you an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?
10 “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity [since you question the Almighty], And array yourself with honor and majesty. 11 “Pour out the overflowings of your wrath, And look at everyone who is proud and make him low. 12 Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him, And [if you are so able] tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 “[Crush and] hide them in the dust together; Shut them up in the hidden place [the house of death]. 14 “[If you can do all this, Job, proving your divine power] then I [God] will also praise you and acknowledge That your own right hand can save you.
God’s Power Shown in Creatures
15 “Behold now, [i]Behemoth, which I created as well as you; He eats grass like an ox. 16 “See now, his strength is in his loins And his power is in the muscles and sinews of his belly. 17 “He sways his tail like a cedar; The tendons of his thighs are twisted and knit together [like a rope]. 18 “His bones are tubes of bronze; His [j]limbs are like bars of iron.
19 “He is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God; [Only] He who made him can bring near His sword [to master him]. 20 “Surely the mountains bring him food, And all the wild animals play there. 21 “He lies down under the lotus plants, In the hidden shelter of the reeds in the marsh. 22 “The lotus plants cover him with their shade; The willows of the brook surround him. 23 “If a river rages and overflows, he does not tremble; He is confident, though the Jordan [River] swells and rushes against his mouth. 24 “Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, Or pierce his nose with barbs [to trap him]?
God’s Power Shown in Creatures
41 “[k]Can you draw out [l]Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? 2 “Can you put a rope [made] of rushes into his nose Or pierce his jaw through with a hook? 3 “Will he make many supplications to you [begging to be spared]? Or will he speak soft words to you [to coax you to treat him kindly]? 4 “Will he make a covenant or an arrangement with you? Will you take him for your servant forever? 5 “Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him [and put him on a leash] for your maidens? 6 “Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 “Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears? 8 “Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle [with him]; you will not do such [an ill-advised thing] again! 9 “[m]Behold, his [assailant’s] hope and expectation [of defeating Leviathan] is false; Will not one be overwhelmed even at the sight of him? 10 “No one is so fierce [and foolhardy] that he dares to stir up Leviathan; Who then is he who can stand before Me [or dares to contend with Me, the beast’s creator]? 11 “Who has first given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. [Who can have a claim against Me who made the unmastered beast?]
12 “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, Nor his mighty strength, nor his orderly frame. 13 “Who can penetrate or strip off his outer armor? Who can come to his jaws with a double bridle? 14 “Who can open the doors (jaws) of his face? Around his [open jaws and] teeth there is terror. 15 “His strong scales are his pride, Bound together as with a tight seal. 16 “One is so near to another That no air can come between them. 17 “They are joined one to another; They stick together and cannot be separated. 18 “His sneezes flash forth light, And his eyes are like the [reddish] eyelids of the dawn. 19 “Out of his mouth go burning torches, And sparks of fire leap out. 20 “Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth As from a boiling pot and [as from] burning rushes. 21 “His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes forth from his mouth. 22 “In Leviathan’s neck resides strength, And dismay and terror dance before him. 23 “The folds of his flesh are joined together, Firm on him and immobile [when he moves]. 24 “His heart is as hard as a stone, Indeed, as solid as a lower millstone. 25 “When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; Because of the crashing they are bewildered. 26 “The sword that reaches him cannot avail, Nor [does] the spear, the dart, or the javelin. 27 “He considers iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood. 28 “The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones are treated as stubble by him. 29 “Clubs [also] are regarded as stubble; He laughs at the rushing and the rattling of the javelin. 30 “His underparts are like sharp pieces of broken pottery; He moves across and spreads out [grooves] like a threshing sledge on the mire (muddy river banks). 31 “He makes the deep water boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a [foaming] pot of ointment. 32 “Behind him he makes a shining wake; One would think the deep to be gray-haired [with foam]. 33 “Upon earth there is nothing like him—no equal exists, A creature made without fear. 34 “He looks on everything that is high [without terror]; He is monarch over all the sons of pride. [And now, Job, [n]who are you who does not dare to disturb the beast, yet who dares resist Me, the beast’s creator? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?]”
42 Then Job answered the Lord and said,
2 “I know that You can do all things, And that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained. 3 “[You said to me] ‘Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge?’ Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, please, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct [and answer] me.’ 5 “I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, But now my [spiritual] eye sees You. 6 “Therefore I retract [my words and hate myself] And I repent in dust and ashes.”
God Displeased with Job’s Friends
7 It came about that after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him [and his prayer] so that I may not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
God Restores Job’s Fortunes
10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.11 Then all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him over all the [distressing] adversities that the Lord had brought on him. And each one gave him a piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 12 And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.13 He had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first [daughter] Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land there were found no women so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. 17 So Job died, an old man and full of days.
Job 38:3A phrase often found in the Bible that is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or it may be a call to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips). Gird up your mind or gird up your heart are examples of variants of this phrase and call for mental or spiritual preparation for a coming challenge.
Job 38:19Light travels on a path or “way” through empty space at 299,792,458 meters per second (approximately 186,282 miles per second).
Job 40:15Or the hippopotamus. Although Behemoth cannot be identified with certainty, the biblical description seems most like the hippopotamus. In ancient times it may have been even more formidable than today. In Job’s day the hippopotamus was the largest known creature, was commonly found in the lower Nile River, and may also have existed in the Jordan.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.