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Job 38 King James Version (KJV)

38 Then the Lord 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 answer thou me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof 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, as if it had issued out of the womb?

When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

10 And brake up for it my decreed place, 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; and caused the dayspring to know his place;

13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

22 Hast thou entered into the treasures 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 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb 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 gendered it?

30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set 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 lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?

36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?

37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,

38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill 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 food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

Job 38 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Lord Speaks

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

Who is this who obscures My counsel
with ignorant words?
Get ready to answer Me like a man;
when I question you, you will inform Me.
Where were you when I established 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 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]
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 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;
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,
23 which I hold in reserve for times of trouble,
for the day of warfare and battle?
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?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathered the drops of dew?
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?

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?
33 Do you know the laws 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?
35 Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go?
Do they report to you: “Here we are”?

36 Who put wisdom 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
40 when they crouch in their dens
and lie in wait within their lairs?
41 Who provides the raven’s food
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

Footnotes:

  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

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?

Footnotes:

  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 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

38 And Jehovah answereth Job out of the whirlwind, and saith: --

Who [is] this -- darkening counsel, By words without knowledge?

Gird, I pray thee, as a man, thy loins, And I ask thee, and cause thou Me to know.

Where wast thou when I founded earth? Declare, if thou hast known understanding.

Who placed its measures -- if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched out upon it a line?

On what have its sockets been sunk? Or who hath cast its corner-stone?

In the singing together of stars of morning, And all sons of God shout for joy,

And He shutteth up with doors the sea, In its coming forth, from the womb it goeth out.

In My making a cloud its clothing, And thick darkness its swaddling band,

10 And I measure over it My statute, And place bar and doors,

11 And say, `Hitherto come thou, and add not, And a command is placed On the pride of thy billows.'

12 Hast thou commanded morning since thy days? Causest thou the dawn to know its place?

13 To take hold on the skirts of the earth, And the wicked are shaken out of it,

14 It turneth itself as clay of a seal And they station themselves as clothed.

15 And withheld from the wicked is their light, And the arm lifted up is broken.

16 Hast thou come in to springs of the sea? And in searching the deep Hast thou walked up and down?

17 Revealed to thee were the gates of death? And the gates of death-shade dost thou see?

18 Thou hast understanding, Even unto the broad places of earth! Declare -- if thou hast known it all.

19 Where [is] this -- the way light dwelleth? And darkness, where [is] this -- its place?

20 That thou dost take it unto its boundary, And that thou dost understand The paths of its house.

21 Thou hast known -- for then thou art born And the number of thy days [are] many!

22 Hast thou come in unto the treasure of snow? Yea, the treasures of hail dost thou see?

23 That I have kept back for a time of distress, For a day of conflict and battle.

24 Where [is] this, the way light is apportioned? It scattereth an east wind over the earth.

25 Who hath divided for the flood a conduit? And a way for the lightning of the voices?

26 To cause [it] to rain on a land -- no man, A wilderness -- no man in it.

27 To satisfy a desolate and waste place, And to cause to shoot up The produce of the tender grass?

28 Hath the rain a father? Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

29 From whose belly came forth the ice? And the hoar-frost of the heavens, Who hath begotten it?

30 As a stone waters are hidden, And the face of the deep is captured.

31 Dost thou bind sweet influences of Kimah? Or the attractions of Kesil dost thou open?

32 Dost thou bring out Mazzaroth in its season? And Aysh for her sons dost thou comfort?

33 Hast thou known the statutes of heaven? Or dost thou appoint Its dominion in the earth?

34 Dost thou lift up to the cloud thy voice, And abundance of water doth cover thee?

35 Dost thou send out lightnings, and they go And say unto thee, `Behold us?'

36 Who hath put in the inward parts wisdom? Or who hath given To the covered part understanding?

37 Who doth number the clouds by wisdom? And the bottles of the heavens, Who doth cause to lie down,

38 In the hardening of dust into hardness, And clods cleave together?

39 Dost thou hunt for a lion prey? And the desire of young lions fulfil?

40 When they bow down in dens -- Abide in a thicket for a covert?

41 Who doth prepare for a raven his provision, When his young ones cry unto God? They wander without food.

Job 38 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Lord Answers Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:

“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 sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors,
    when it burst forth from the womb;
when I made 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 stayed’?

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 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[a] like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
    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 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 cleft a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
    on the desert in which there is no man;
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 Plei′ades,
    or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Maz′zaroth 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,
    that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the clouds,[b]
    or given understanding to the mists?[c]
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
    Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
    and the clods cleave fast 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?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:14 Cn: Heb they stand forth
  2. Job 38:36 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  3. Job 38:36 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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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