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The Lord Answers Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:(A)

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?(B)
Gird up your loins like a man;
    I will question you, and you shall declare to me.(C)

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.(D)
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(E)
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the heavenly beings[a] shouted for joy?(F)

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,(G)
when I made the clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,(H)
10 and prescribed bounds for it,
    and set bars and doors,(I)
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?(J)

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began
    and caused the dawn to know its place,(K)
13 so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
    and the wicked be shaken out of it?(L)
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.(M)

16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?(N)
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?(O)
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
    Declare, if you know all this.(P)

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?(Q)
21 Surely you know, for you were born then,
    and the number of your days is great!(R)

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
    or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,(S)
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
    for the day of battle and war?(T)
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed
    or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?(U)

25 “Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain
    and a way for the thunderbolt,(V)
26 to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
    on the desert, which is empty of human life,(W)
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
    and to make the ground put forth grass?(X)

28 “Has the rain a father,
    or who has fathered the drops of dew?(Y)
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
    and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?(Z)
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?(AA)
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?(AB)

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    so that a flood of waters may cover you?(AC)
35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?(AD)
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts[c]
    or given understanding to the mind?[d](AE)
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,(AF)
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in their covert?(AG)
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
    when its young ones cry to God
    and wander about for lack of food?(AH)


  1. 38.7 Heb sons of God
  2. 38.14 Cn: Heb and they stand forth
  3. 38.36 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 38.36 Meaning of Heb uncertain