The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind.(A) He said:

Who is this who obscures My counsel
with ignorant words?(B)
Get ready to answer Me like a man;
when I question(C) you, you will inform Me.
Where were you when I established(D) the earth?
Tell Me, if you have[a] understanding.
Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
What supports its foundations?
Or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God(E) shouted for joy?

Who enclosed the sea behind doors
when it burst from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its blanket,[b](F)
10 when I determined its boundaries[c]
and put its bars and doors in place,
11 when I declared: “You may come this far, but no farther;
your proud waves stop here”?

12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning
or assigned the dawn its place,
13 so it may seize the edges of the earth
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth is changed as clay is by a seal;
its hills stand out like the folds of a garment.
15 Light[d] is withheld from the wicked,
and the arm raised in violence is broken.

16 Have you traveled to the sources of the sea
or walked in the depths of the oceans?
17 Have the gates(G) of death been revealed to you?
Have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the extent of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 Where is the road to the home of light?
Do you know where darkness lives,
20 so you can lead it back to its border?
Are you familiar with the paths to its home?
21 Don’t you know? You were already born;(H)
you have lived so long![e]
22 Have you entered the place where the snow is stored?
Or have you seen the storehouses of hail,(I)
23 which I hold in reserve for times of trouble,
for the day of warfare and battle?(J)
24 What road leads to the place where light is dispersed?[f]
Where is the source of the east wind that spreads across the earth?

25 Who cuts a channel for the flooding rain
or clears the way for lightning,
26 to bring rain on an uninhabited land,
on a desert with no human life,[g]
27 to satisfy the parched wasteland
and cause the grass to sprout?(K)
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathered the drops of dew?(L)
29 Whose womb did the ice come from?
Who gave birth to the frost of heaven
30 when water becomes as hard as stone,[h]
and the surface of the watery depths is frozen?(M)

31 Can you fasten the chains of the Pleiades
or loosen the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out the constellations[i] in their season
and lead the Bear[j] and her cubs?(N)
33 Do you know the laws(O) of heaven?
Can you impose its[k] authority on earth?
34 Can you command[l] the clouds
so that a flood of water covers you?(P)
35 Can you send out lightning(Q) bolts, and they go?
Do they report to you: “Here we are”?

36 Who put wisdom(R) in the heart[m]
or gave the mind understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
Or who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the dust hardens like cast metal
and the clods of dirt stick together?

39 Can you hunt prey for a lioness
or satisfy the appetite of young lions(S)
40 when they crouch in their dens
and lie in wait within their lairs?
41 Who provides the raven’s food(T)
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

39 Do you know when mountain goats give birth?
Have you watched the deer in labor?
Can you count the months they are pregnant[n]
so you can know the time they give birth?
They crouch down to give birth to their young;
they deliver their newborn.[o]
Their offspring are healthy and grow up in the open field.
They leave and do not return.[p]

Who set the wild donkey free?
Who released the swift donkey from its harness?
I made the wilderness(U) its home,
and the salty(V) wasteland its dwelling.
It scoffs at the noise of the village
and never hears the shouts of a driver.(W)
It roams the mountains for its pastureland,
searching for anything green.
Would the wild ox be willing to serve you?
Would it spend the night by your feeding trough?
10 Can you hold the wild ox(X) to a furrow by its harness?
Will it plow the valleys behind you?
11 Can you depend on it because its strength is great?
Would you leave it to do your hard work?
12 Can you trust the wild ox to harvest your grain
and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
but are her feathers and plumage like the stork’s?[q](Y)
14 She abandons her eggs on the ground
and lets them be warmed in the sand.
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them
or that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not her own,
with no fear that her labor may have been in vain.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom;
He has not endowed her with understanding.(Z)
18 When she proudly[r] spreads her wings,
she laughs at the horse and its rider.

19 Do you give strength to the horse?
Do you adorn his neck with a mane?[s]
20 Do you make him leap like a locust?
His proud snorting fills one with terror.
21 He paws[t] in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
He charges into battle.[u]
22 He laughs at fear, since he is afraid of nothing;
he does not run from the sword.
23 A quiver rattles at his side,
along with a flashing spear and a lance.[v]
24 He charges ahead[w] with trembling rage;
he cannot stand still at the trumpet’s sound.
25 When the trumpet blasts, he snorts defiantly.[x]
He smells the battle from a distance;
he hears the officers’ shouts and the battle cry.

26 Does the hawk take flight by your understanding
and spread its wings to the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and make its nest(AA) on high?
28 It lives on a cliff where it spends the night;
its stronghold is on a rocky crag.
29 From there it searches for prey;(AB)
its eyes penetrate the distance.
30 Its brood gulps down blood,
and where the slain are, it is there.(AC)

40 The Lord answered Job:

Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
Let him who argues with God give an answer.[y]

Then Job answered the Lord:

I am so insignificant. How can I answer You?(AD)
I place my hand over my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not reply;
twice, but now I can add nothing.(AE)

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:(AF)

Get ready to answer Me like a man;
When I question(AG) you, you will inform Me.
Would you really challenge My justice?
Would you declare Me guilty(AH) to justify yourself?(AI)
Do you have an arm like God’s?
Can you thunder with a voice like His?

10 Adorn yourself with majesty(AJ) and splendor,
and clothe yourself with honor and glory.
11 Unleash your raging anger;(AK)
look on every proud person and humiliate him.(AL)
12 Look on every proud person and humble him;(AM)
trample the wicked where they stand.[z]
13 Hide them together in the dust;
imprison them in the grave.[aa]
14 Then I will confess to you
that your own right hand(AN) can deliver you.(AO)

15 Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you.
He eats grass like an ox.
16 Look at the strength of his loins
and the power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He stiffens his tail like a cedar tree;
the tendons of his thighs are woven firmly together.
18 His bones are bronze tubes;
his limbs are like iron rods.
19 He is the foremost of God’s works;(AP)
only his Maker can draw the sword against him.
20 The hills yield food for him,
while all sorts of wild animals play there.
21 He lies under the lotus plants,
hiding in the protection[ab] of marshy reeds.
22 Lotus plants cover him with their shade;
the willows by the brook surround him.
23 Though the river rages, Behemoth is unafraid;
he remains confident, even if the Jordan surges up to his mouth.
24 Can anyone capture him while he looks on,[ac]
or pierce his nose with snares?

41 [ad]Can you pull in Leviathan(AQ) with a hook(AR)
or tie his tongue down with a rope?
Can you put a cord[ae] through his nose
or pierce his jaw with a hook?(AS)
Will he beg you for mercy
or speak softly to you?
Will he make a covenant with you
so that you can take him as a slave forever?(AT)
Can you play with him like a bird
or put him on a leash[af] for your girls?
Will traders bargain for him
or divide him among the merchants?
Can you fill his hide with harpoons
or his head with fishing spears?
Lay a[ag] hand on him.
You will remember the battle
and never repeat it!
[ah]Any hope of capturing him proves false.
Does a person not collapse at the very sight of him?
10 No one is ferocious enough to rouse Leviathan;(AU)
who then can stand against Me?
11 Who confronted Me, that I should repay him?
Everything under heaven belongs to Me.(AV)

12 I cannot be silent about his limbs,
his power, and his graceful proportions.
13 Who can strip off his outer covering?
Who can penetrate his double layer of armor?[ai](AW)
14 Who can open his jaws,[aj]
surrounded by those terrifying teeth?
15 His pride is in his rows of scales,
closely sealed together.
16 One scale is so close to another[ak]
that no air can pass between them.
17 They are joined to one another,
so closely connected[al] they cannot be separated.
18 His snorting[am] flashes with light,
while his eyes are like the rays[an] of dawn.
19 Flaming torches shoot from his mouth;
fiery sparks fly out!
20 Smoke billows from his nostrils(AX)
as from a boiling pot or burning reeds.
21 His breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames pour out of his mouth.
22 Strength resides in his neck,
and dismay dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh are joined together,
solid as metal[ao] and immovable.
24 His heart is as hard as a rock,
as hard as a lower millstone!
25 When Leviathan rises, the mighty[ap] are terrified;
they withdraw because of his thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches him will have no effect,
nor will a spear, dart, or arrow.
27 He regards iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.
28 No arrow can make him flee;
slingstones become like stubble to him.
29 A club is regarded as stubble,
and he laughs(AY) at the sound of a javelin.
30 His undersides are jagged potsherds,
spreading the mud like a threshing sledge.(AZ)
31 He makes the depths seethe like a cauldron;
he makes the sea like an ointment jar.
32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;[aq]
one would think the deep had gray hair!
33 He has no equal on earth—
a creature devoid of fear!
34 He surveys everything that is haughty;
he is king over all the proud beasts.[ar]

Job Replies to the Lord

42 Then Job replied to the Lord:

I[as] know that You can do anything
and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.(BA)
You asked, “Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?”(BB)
Surely I spoke about things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to[at] know.(BC)
You said, “Listen now, and I will speak.
When I question(BD) you, you will inform Me.”
I had heard rumors about You,
but now my eyes(BE) have seen You.
Therefore I take back my words
and repent in dust and ashes.[au]


  1. Job 38:4 Lit know
  2. Job 38:9 Lit swaddling clothes
  3. Job 38:10 Lit I broke My statute on it
  4. Job 38:15 Lit Their light
  5. Job 38:21 Lit born; the number of your days is great
  6. Job 38:24 Or where lightning is distributed
  7. Job 38:26 Lit life in it
  8. Job 38:30 Lit water hides itself as the stone
  9. Job 38:32 Or Mazzaroth; Hb obscure
  10. Job 38:32 Or lead Aldebaran
  11. Job 38:33 Or God’s
  12. Job 38:34 Lit lift up your voice to
  13. Job 38:36 Or the inner self; Ps 51:6
  14. Job 39:2 Lit months they fulfill
  15. Job 39:3 Or they send away their labor pains
  16. Job 39:4 Lit return to them
  17. Job 39:13 Hb obscure
  18. Job 39:18 Hb obscure
  19. Job 39:19 Hb obscure
  20. Job 39:21 LXX, Syr; MT reads digs
  21. Job 39:21 Lit He goes out to meet the weapon
  22. Job 39:23 Or scimitar
  23. Job 39:24 Lit He swallows the ground
  24. Job 39:25 Lit he says, “Aha!”
  25. Job 40:2 Lit God respond to it
  26. Job 40:12 Lit wicked in their place
  27. Job 40:13 Lit together; bind their faces in the hidden place
  28. Job 40:21 Lit plants, in the hiding place
  29. Job 40:24 Lit capture it in its eyes
  30. Job 41:1 Jb 40:25 in Hb
  31. Job 41:2 Lit reed
  32. Job 41:5 Lit or bind him
  33. Job 41:8 Lit your
  34. Job 41:9 Jb 41:1 in Hb
  35. Job 41:13 LXX; MT reads double bridle
  36. Job 41:14 Lit open the doors of his face
  37. Job 41:16 Lit One by one they approach
  38. Job 41:17 Lit another; they cling together and
  39. Job 41:18 Or sneezing
  40. Job 41:18 Lit eyelids
  41. Job 41:23 Lit together, hard on him
  42. Job 41:25 Or the divine beings
  43. Job 41:32 Lit a path
  44. Job 41:34 Lit the children of pride
  45. Job 42:2 Alt Hb tradition reads You
  46. Job 42:3 Lit me, and I did not
  47. Job 42:6 LXX reads I despise myself and melt; I consider myself dust and ashes

Why was no one there when I came?
Why was there no one to answer when I called?
Is My hand too short to redeem?(A)
Or do I have no power to deliver?
Look, I dry up the sea by My rebuke;(B)
I turn the rivers into a wilderness;
their fish rot because of lack of water
and die of thirst.

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Sin and Redemption

59 Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,(A)
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.

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