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The Lord Speaks to Job

38 The Lord responded to Job from the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this who keeps darkening my counsel
    without knowing what he’s talking about?
Stand up[a] like a man!
    I’ll ask you some questions,
        and you give me some answers!”

On the Natural World

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of my earth?
    Tell me,[b] since you’re so informed!
Who set its measurement? Am I to assume you know?
    Who stretched a boundary line over it?
On what were its bases set?
    Who laid its corner stone
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the divine beings[c] shouted joyfully?

“Who[d] enclosed the sea with limits[e]
    when it gushed out of the womb,
when I made clouds to be its clothes
    and thick darkness its swaddling blanket,
10 when I proscribed a boundary for it,
    set in place bars and doors for it;
11 and said, ‘You may come only this far and no more.
    Your majestic waves will stop here.’?

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning at any time during your life?[f]
    Do you know where the dawn lives,
13 where it seizes the edge of the earth
    and shakes the wicked out of it?
14 Like clay is molded by a signet ring,
    the earth’s hills and valleys[g] then stand out
        like the colors of a garment.
15 Then from the wicked their light is withheld
    and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you been to the source of the sea
    and walked about in the recesses of the deepest ocean?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Do you understand the breadth of the earth?
    Tell me, since you know it all!

19 “Where is the road to where the light lives?
    Or where does the darkness live?
20 Can you take it to its homeland,
    since you know the path to his house?
21 You should know! After all, you had been born back then,
    so the number of your days is great!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen where the hail is stored,
23 which I’ve reserved for the tribulation to come,
    for the day of battle and war?
24 Where is the lightning diffused
    or the east wind scattered around the earth?

25 “Who cuts canals for storm floods,
    and paths for the lightning and thunder,
26 to bring rain upon a land without inhabitants,
    a desert in which no human beings live,
27 to satisfy a desolate and devastated desert,
    causing it to sprout vegetation?

28 “Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathered the dew?
29 Whose womb brings forth the ice?
    Who gives birth to frost out of an empty[h] sky,
30 when water solidifies[i] like stone
    and the surface of the deepest sea freezes?

On the Heavens

31 “Can you bind the chains of Pleiades
    or loosen the cords of Orion?
32 Can you bring out constellations in their season?
    Can you guide the Bear with her cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you regulate their authority over the earth?

34 “Can you call out to the clouds,
    so that abundant water drenches you?
35 Can you command the lightning,
    so that it goes forth and calls to you, ‘Look at us!’[j]

36 “Who sets wisdom within you,
    or imbues your mind with understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to be able to count the clouds,
    or to empty[k] the water jars of heaven,
38 when dust dries into a mass
    and then breaks apart into clods?

On the Animal World

39 “Can you hunt prey for the lioness
    to satisfy young lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    and lie in ambush in their lairs?
41 Who prepares food for the raven,
    when its offspring cry out to God
        as they wander for lack of food?”


  1. Job 38:3 Lit. Gird up your loins
  2. Job 38:4 Or declare
  3. Job 38:7 Lit. sons of God
  4. Job 38:8 Lit. and he
  5. Job 38:8 Lit. doors
  6. Job 38:12 Lit. morning in your days
  7. Job 38:14 The Heb. lacks the earth’s hills and valleys
  8. Job 38:29 The Heb. lacks an empty
  9. Job 38:30 Or harden
  10. Job 38:35 Lit. Here we are
  11. Job 38:37 Lit. cause to rest, lie down

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