40 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,

Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.

21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.

23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

Job: What Can I Say?

40 Then the Lord said to Job,

“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who disputes with God answer it.”

Then Job replied to the Lord and said,

“Behold, I am of little importance and contemptible; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.(A)

“I have spoken once, but I will not reply again—
Indeed, twice [I have answered], and I will add nothing further.”

God Questions Job

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying,

“Now [a]gird up your loins (prepare yourself) like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me.

“Will you really annul My judgment and set it aside as void?
Will you condemn Me [your God] that you may [appear to] be righteous and justified?

“Have you an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?

“Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity [since you question the Almighty],
And array yourself with honor and majesty.
“Pour out the overflowings of your wrath,
And look at everyone who is proud and make him low.
Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And [if you are so able] tread down the wicked where they stand.
“[Crush and] hide them in the dust together;
Shut them up in the hidden place [the house of death].
“[If you can do all this, Job, proving your divine power] then I [God] will also praise you and acknowledge
That your own right hand can save you.

God’s Power Shown in Creatures

“Behold now, [b]Behemoth, which I created as well as you;
He eats grass like an ox.
“See now, his strength is in his loins
And his power is in the muscles and sinews of his belly.
“He sways his tail like a cedar;
The tendons of his thighs are twisted and knit together [like a rope].
“His bones are tubes of bronze;
His [c]limbs are like bars of iron.

“He is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God;
[Only] He who made him can bring near His sword [to master him].
“Surely the mountains bring him food,
And all the wild animals play there.
“He lies down under the lotus plants,
In the hidden shelter of the reeds in the marsh.
“The lotus plants cover him with their shade;
The willows of the brook surround him.
“If a river rages and overflows, he does not tremble;
He is confident, though the Jordan [River] swells and rushes against his mouth.
“Can anyone capture him when he is on watch,
Or pierce his nose with barbs [to trap him]?


  1. Job 40:7 See note 38:3.
  2. Job 40:15 Or the hippopotamus. Although Behemoth cannot be identified with certainty, the biblical description seems most like the hippopotamus. In ancient times it may have been even more formidable than today. In Job’s day the hippopotamus was the largest known creature, was commonly found in the lower Nile River, and may also have existed in the Jordan.
  3. Job 40:18 Lit bones.

Insignificant Before God

40 Then Adonai answered Job, saying:

“Will the one who contends with Shaddai correct him?
    Let him who accuses God answer!”

Then Job answered Adonai. He said:

“Indeed, I am unworthy—what can I reply to You?
I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
    twice, but I will say no more.”

Then Adonai answered Job from the whirlwind:

“Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you will inform Me!

“Would you really annul My judgment?
    Would you condemn Me to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s
    and can you thunder with a voice like His?
10 Then adorn yourself in majesty and dignity;
    clothe yourself in splendor and honor.
11 Scatter the fury of your anger.
Look at every proud personand bring him low;
12 look at everyone who is proud and humble him;
tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Hide them together in the dust
    bind their faces in the hidden place.
14 Then I—even I will acknowledge to you,
    that your own right hand can save you!

Behemoth and Leviathan

15 “Look now at Behemoth, which I made along with you.
    He eats grass like an ox.
16 Now look at his strength in his loins,
    and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He stiffens his tail like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18 His bones are tubes of bronze;
    His limbs like rods of iron.
19 He is first among the ways of God,
    Let his Maker draw near with His sword!
20 For the mountains bring him food,
    and all the wild animals play there.
21 Under the lotus plants he lies down,
    in the secrecy of the reeds and marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal him in their shade;
    the willows of the brook surround him.
23 If the river rages, he is not alarmed.
He is secure, even though the Jordan surges against his mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by its eyes,
    or pierce his nose with hooks?

25 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a hook,[a]
    or tie down his tongue with a cord?
26 Can you put a reed rope in his nose
    or pierce his jaw with a hook?
27 Will he make many supplications to you,
    or speak softly to you?
28 Will he make a covenant with you,
    so you can take him as a slave forever?
29 Can you play with him like a bird,
    or put him on a leash for your girls?
30 Will traders barter for him?
    Will they divide him among the merchants?
31 Can you fill his hide with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
32 If you lay your hands on him—
    you will remember the battle and never do it again!


  1. Job 40:25 Traditional Christian text numbered as 41:1-34.