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Job 38:2-39:30New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
    I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the heavenly beings[a] shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb?—
when I made the clouds its garment,
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed bounds for it,
    and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
    and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
    and it is dyed[b] like a garment.
15 Light is withheld from the wicked,
    and their uplifted arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
    or 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 comprehended the expanse of the earth?
    Declare, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
    and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
    and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 Surely you know, for you were born then,
    and the number of your days is great!

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 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
    or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

25 “Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
    on the desert, which is empty of human life,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
    and to make the ground put forth grass?

28 “Has the rain a father,
    or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
    and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone,
    and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
    or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
    or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
    Can you establish their rule on the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    so that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,[c]
    or given understanding to the mind?[d]
37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
    Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
    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 lie in wait in their covert?
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
    when its young ones cry to God,
    and wander about for lack of food?

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you observe the calving of the deer?
Can you number the months that they fulfill,
    and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
    and are delivered of their young?
Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
    they go forth, and do not return to them.

“Who has let the wild ass go free?
    Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
to which I have given the steppe for its home,
    the salt land for its dwelling place?
It scorns the tumult of the city;
    it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
    and it searches after every green thing.

“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
    Will it spend the night at your crib?
10 Can you tie it in the furrow with ropes,
    or will it harrow the valleys after you?
11 Will you depend on it because its strength is great,
    and will you hand over your labor to it?
12 Do you have faith in it that it will return,
    and bring your grain to your threshing floor?[e]

13 “The ostrich’s wings flap wildly,
    though its pinions lack plumage.[f]
14 For it leaves its eggs to the earth,
    and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them,
    and that a wild animal may trample them.
16 It deals cruelly with its young, as if they were not its own;
    though its labor should be in vain, yet it has no fear;
17 because God has made it forget wisdom,
    and given it no share in understanding.
18 When it spreads its plumes aloft,[g]
    it laughs at the horse and its rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its might?
    Do you clothe its neck with mane?
20 Do you make it leap like the locust?
    Its majestic snorting is terrible.
21 It paws[h] violently, exults mightily;
    it goes out to meet the weapons.
22 It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
    it does not turn back from the sword.
23 Upon it rattle the quiver,
    the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground;
    it cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, it says ‘Aha!’
    From a distance it smells the battle,
    the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26 “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
    and spreads its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
    and makes its nest on high?
28 It lives on the rock and makes its home
    in the fastness of the rocky crag.
29 From there it spies the prey;
    its eyes see it from far away.
30 Its young ones suck up blood;
    and where the slain are, there it is.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:7 Heb sons of God
  2. Job 38:14 Cn: Heb and they stand forth
  3. Job 38:36 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Job 38:36 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Job 39:12 Heb your grain and your threshing floor
  6. Job 39:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Job 39:18 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Job 39:21 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they dig
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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