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Job 38 American Standard Version (ASV)

38 Then Jehovah answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel
By words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man;
For I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Declare, [a]if thou hast understanding.
Who determined the measures thereof, [b]if thou knowest?
Or who stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon were the [c]foundations thereof [d]fastened?
Or who laid the corner-stone thereof,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut up the sea with doors,
When it brake forth, [e]as if it had issued out of the womb;
When I made clouds the garment thereof,
And thick darkness a swaddling-band for it,
10 And [f]marked out for it my bound,
And set bars and doors,
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;
And here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days began,
And caused the dayspring 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 is changed as clay under the seal;
And all things stand forth [g]as a garment:
15 And from the wicked their light is withholden,
And the high arm is broken.

16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?
Or hast thou walked in the [h]recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed unto thee?
Or hast thou seen the gates of the shadow of death?
18 Hast thou comprehended the earth in its breadth?
Declare, if thou knowest it all.

19 Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof,
And that thou shouldest discern the paths to the house thereof?
21 Doubtless, thou knowest, for thou wast then born,
And the number of thy days is great!
22 Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow,
Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble,
Against the day of battle and war?
24 [i]By what way is the light parted,
Or the east wind scattered upon the earth?

25 Who hath cleft a channel for the waterflood,
Or the way for the lightning of the thunder;
26 To cause it to rain on a land where no man is;
On the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
27 To satisfy the waste and desolate ground,
And to cause the [j]tender grass to spring forth?
28 Hath the rain a father?
Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29 Out of whose womb came the ice?
And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath [k]gendered it?
30 The waters [l]hide themselves and become like stone,
And the face of the deep [m]is frozen.

31 Canst thou bind the [n]cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the bands of Orion?
32 Canst thou lead forth [o]the Mazzaroth in their season?
Or canst thou guide the Bear with her [p]train?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens?
Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?

34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds,
That abundance of waters may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go,
And say unto thee, Here we are?
36 Who hath put wisdom in the [q]inward parts?
Or who hath given understanding to the [r]mind?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can [s]pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust runneth into a mass,
And the clods cleave fast together?

39 Canst thou hunt the prey for the lioness,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they couch in their dens,
And abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41 Who provideth for the raven his prey,
When his young ones cry unto God,
And wander for lack of food?


  1. Job 38:4 Hebrew if thou knowest understanding.
  2. Job 38:5 Or, seeing
  3. Job 38:6 Hebrew sockets.
  4. Job 38:6 Hebrew made to sink.
  5. Job 38:8 Or, and issued
  6. Job 38:10 Hebrew brake.
  7. Job 38:14 Or, as in a garment
  8. Job 38:16 Or, search
  9. Job 38:24 Or, Which is the way to the place where the light is etc.
  10. Job 38:27 Or, greensward
  11. Job 38:29 Or, given it birth
  12. Job 38:30 Or, are congealed like stone
  13. Job 38:30 Hebrew cohereth.
  14. Job 38:31 Or, chain Or, sweet influences
  15. Job 38:32 Or, the signs of the Zodiac
  16. Job 38:32 Hebrew sons.
  17. Job 38:36 Or, dark clouds
  18. Job 38:36 Or, meteor
  19. Job 38:37 Hebrew cause to lie down.

Job 38 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

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

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

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

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

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

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

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

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    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?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?

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


  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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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