2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? 3 Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5 Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? 6 What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone 7 as the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
8 “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, 9 and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? 10 For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. 11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’
12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? 13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? 14 As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors.[b] 15 The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence.
16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? 17 Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? 18 Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know!
19 “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? 20 Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? 21 But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? 23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) 24 Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind?
25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning? 26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? 27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground and make the tender grass spring up?
28 “Does the rain have a father? Who gives birth to the dew? 29 Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? 30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of the water freezes.
31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? 32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? 33 Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?
34 “Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? 35 Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct? 36 Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? 37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven 38 when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods?
39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites 40 as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket? 41 Who provides food for the ravens when their young cry out to God and wander about in hunger?
The Lord’s Challenge Continues
39 “Do you know when the wild goats give birth? Have you watched as deer are born in the wild? 2 Do you know how many months they carry their young? Are you aware of the time of their delivery? 3 They crouch down to give birth to their young and deliver their offspring. 4 Their young grow up in the open fields, then leave home and never return.
5 “Who gives the wild donkey its freedom? Who untied its ropes? 6 I have placed it in the wilderness; its home is the wasteland. 7 It hates the noise of the city and has no driver to shout at it. 8 The mountains are its pastureland, where it searches for every blade of grass.
9 “Will the wild ox consent to being tamed? Will it spend the night in your stall? 10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow? Will it plow a field for you? 11 Given its strength, can you trust it? Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work? 12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain and deliver it to your threshing floor?
13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly, but they are no match for the feathers of the stork. 14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. 15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them or a wild animal might destroy them. 16 She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She doesn’t care if they die. 17 For God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding. 18 But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.
19 “Have you given the horse its strength or clothed its neck with a flowing mane? 20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust? Its majestic snorting is terrifying! 21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength when it charges out to battle. 22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid. It does not run from the sword. 23 The arrows rattle against it, and the spear and javelin flash. 24 It paws the ground fiercely and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows. 25 It snorts at the sound of the horn. It senses the battle in the distance. It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.
26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south? 27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises to the heights to make its nest? 28 It lives on the cliffs, making its home on a distant, rocky crag. 29 From there it hunts its prey, keeping watch with piercing eyes. 30 Its young gulp down blood. Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”
40 Then the Lord said to Job,
2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”
Job Responds to the Lord
3 Then Job replied to the Lord,
4 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. 5 I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.”
The Lord Challenges Job Again
6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
7 “Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.
8 “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right? 9 Are you as strong as God? Can you thunder with a voice like his? 10 All right, put on your glory and splendor, your honor and majesty. 11 Give vent to your anger. Let it overflow against the proud. 12 Humiliate the proud with a glance; walk on the wicked where they stand. 13 Bury them in the dust. Imprison them in the world of the dead. 14 Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you.
15 “Take a look at Behemoth,[c] which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox. 16 See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly. 17 Its tail is as strong as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together. 18 Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron. 19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork, and only its Creator can threaten it. 20 The mountains offer it their best food, where all the wild animals play. 21 It lies under the lotus plants,[d] hidden by the reeds in the marsh. 22 The lotus plants give it shade among the willows beside the stream. 23 It is not disturbed by the raging river, not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it. 24 No one can catch it off guard or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.
The Lord’s Challenge Continues
41 [e]“Can you catch Leviathan[f] with a hook or put a noose around its jaw? 2 Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike? 3 Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity? 4 Will it agree to work for you, to be your slave for life? 5 Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with? 6 Will merchants try to buy it to sell it in their shops? 7 Will its hide be hurt by spears or its head by a harpoon? 8 If you lay a hand on it, you will certainly remember the battle that follows. You won’t try that again! 9 [g]No, it is useless to try to capture it. The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down. 10 And since no one dares to disturb it, who then can stand up to me? 11 Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine.
12 “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form. 13 Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?[h] 14 Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible! 15 The scales on its back are like[i] rows of shields tightly sealed together. 16 They are so close together that no air can get between them. 17 Each scale sticks tight to the next. They interlock and cannot be penetrated.
18 “When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn. 19 Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out. 20 Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes. 21 Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.
22 “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck strikes terror wherever it goes. 23 Its flesh is hard and firm and cannot be penetrated. 24 Its heart is hard as rock, hard as a millstone. 25 When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror. 26 No sword can stop it, no spear, dart, or javelin. 27 Iron is nothing but straw to that creature, and bronze is like rotten wood. 28 Arrows cannot make it flee. Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass. 29 Clubs are like a blade of grass, and it laughs at the swish of javelins. 30 Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass. It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud.
31 “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion. It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment. 32 The water glistens in its wake, making the sea look white. 33 Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. 34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts.”
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