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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 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 hoar-frost 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?

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

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job(A) out of the storm.(B) He said:

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

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

“Who shut up the sea behind doors(P)
    when it burst forth from the womb,(Q)
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,(R)
10 when I fixed limits for it(S)
    and set its doors and bars in place,(T)
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;(U)
    here is where your proud waves halt’?(V)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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