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Job 38 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Lord answers from a whirlwind

38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

Who is this darkening counsel
    with words lacking knowledge?
Prepare yourself like a man;
    I will interrogate you, and you will respond to me.

The establishing of order

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?
    Tell me if you know.
Who set its measurements? Surely you know.
    Who stretched a measuring tape on it?
On what were its footings sunk;
    who laid its cornerstone,
    while the morning stars sang in unison
        and all the divine beings shouted?
Who enclosed the Sea[a] behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
    when I made the clouds its garment,
        the dense clouds its wrap,
10     when I imposed[b] my limit for it,
        put on a bar and doors
11     and said, “You may come this far, no farther;
        here your proud waves stop”?

12 In your lifetime have you commanded the morning,
        informed the dawn of its place
13     so it would take hold of earth by its edges
        and shake the wicked out of it?
14 Do you turn it over like clay for a seal,
        so it stands out like a colorful garment?
15 Light is withheld from the wicked,
    the uplifted arm broken.

The vast beyond

16 Have you gone to the sea’s sources,
    walked in the chamber of the deep?
17 Have death’s gates been revealed to you;
    can you see the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you surveyed earth’s expanses?
    Tell me if you know everything about it.
19 Where’s the road to the place where light dwells;
        darkness, where’s it located?
20     Can you take it to its territory;
        do you know the paths to its house?
21 You know, for you were born then;
    you have lived such a long time![c]
22 Have you gone to snow’s storehouses,
        seen the storehouses of hail
23     that I have reserved for a time of distress,
        for a day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where light is divided up;
        the east wind scattered over earth?

Meteorological facts

25 Who cut a channel for the downpours
        and a way for blasts of thunder
26     to bring water to uninhabited land,
        a desert with no human
27     to saturate dry wasteland
        and make grass sprout?
28 Has the rain a father
    who brought forth drops of dew?
29 From whose belly does ice come;
    who gave birth to heaven’s frost?
30 Water hardens like stone;
    the surface of the deep thickens.
31 Can you bind Pleiades’ chains
    or loosen the reins of Orion?
32 Can you guide the stars
at their proper times,
    lead the Bear with her cubs?
33 Do you know heaven’s laws,
    or can you impose its rule on earth?
34 Can you issue an order to the clouds
    so their abundant waters cover you?
35 Can you send lightning so that it goes
    and then says to you, “I’m here”?
36 Who put wisdom in remote places,
    or who gave understanding to a rooster?[d]
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds,
        and who can tilt heaven’s water containers
38     so that dust becomes mud
        and clods of dirt adhere?

Lion and raven

39 Can you hunt prey for the lion
    or fill the cravings of lion cubs?
40 They lie in their den,
    lie in ambush in their lair.
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry to God,
    move about without food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:8 Heb Yam, a sea god
  2. Job 38:10 Heb uncertain
  3. Job 38:21 Or the number of your days is many
  4. Job 38:36 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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?

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.
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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