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Job 38-41Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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 total 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?
39 Do you know when mountain goats give birth?
Have you watched the deer in labor?
Can you count the months they are pregnant[n]
so you can know the time they give birth?
They crouch down to give birth to their young;
they deliver their newborn.[o]
Their offspring are healthy and grow up in the open field.
They leave and do not return.[p]

Who set the wild donkey free?
Who released the swift donkey from its harness?
I made the desert its home,
and the salty wasteland its dwelling.
It scoffs at the noise of the village
and never hears the shouts of a driver.
It roams the mountains for its pastureland,
searching for anything green.
Would the wild ox be willing to serve you?
Would it spend the night by your feeding trough?
10 Can you hold the wild ox to a furrow by its harness?
Will it plow the valleys behind you?
11 Can you depend on it because its strength is great?
Would you leave it to do your hard work?
12 Can you trust the wild ox to harvest your grain
and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
but are her feathers and plumage like the stork’s?[q]
14 She abandons her eggs on the ground
and lets them be warmed in the sand.
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them
or that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not her own,
with no fear that her labor may have been in vain.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom;
he has not endowed her with understanding.
18 When she proudly[r] spreads her wings,
she laughs at the horse and its rider.

19 Do you give strength to the horse?
Do you adorn his neck with a mane?[s]
20 Do you make him leap like a locust?
His proud snorting fills one with terror.
21 He paws[t] in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
he charges into battle.[u]
22 He laughs at fear, since he is afraid of nothing;
he does not run from the sword.
23 A quiver rattles at his side,
along with a flashing spear and a javelin.
24 He charges ahead[v] with trembling rage;
he cannot stand still at the trumpet’s sound.
25 When the trumpet blasts, he snorts defiantly.[w]
He smells the battle from a distance;
he hears the officers’ shouts and the battle cry.

26 Does the hawk take flight by your understanding
and spread its wings to the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and make its nest on high?
28 It lives on a cliff where it spends the night;
its stronghold is on a rocky crag.
29 From there it searches for prey;
its eyes penetrate the distance.
30 Its brood gulps down blood,
and where the slain are, it is there.

40 The Lord answered Job:

Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who argues with God give an answer.[x]

Then Job answered the Lord:

I am so insignificant. How can I answer you?
I place my hand over my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not reply;
twice, but now I can add nothing.

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

Get ready to answer me like a man;
When I question you, you will inform me.
Would you really challenge my justice?
Would you declare me guilty to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s?
Can you thunder with a voice like his?

10 Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
and clothe yourself with honor and glory.
11 Pour out your raging anger;
look on every proud person and humiliate him.
12 Look on every proud person and humble him;
trample the wicked where they stand.[y]
13 Hide them together in the dust;
imprison them in the grave.[z]
14 Then I will confess to you
that your own right hand can deliver you.

15 Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you.
He eats grass like cattle.
16 Look at the strength of his back[aa]
and the power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He stiffens his tail like a cedar tree;
the tendons of his thighs are woven firmly together.
18 His bones are bronze tubes;
his limbs are like iron rods.
19 He is the foremost of God’s works;
only his Maker can draw the sword against him.
20 The hills yield food for him,
while all sorts of wild animals play there.
21 He lies under the lotus plants,
hiding in the protection[ab] of marshy reeds.
22 Lotus plants cover him with their shade;
the willows by the brook surround him.
23 Though the river rages, Behemoth is unafraid;
he remains confident, even if the Jordan surges up to his mouth.
24 Can anyone capture him while he looks on,[ac]
or pierce his nose with snares?
41 Can you pull in Leviathan with a hook
or tie his tongue down with a rope?
Can you put a cord[ad] through his nose
or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he beg you for mercy
or speak softly to you?
Will he make a covenant with you
so that you can take him as a slave forever?
Can you play with him like a bird
or put him on a leash[ae] for your girls?
Will traders bargain for him
or divide him among the merchants?
Can you fill his hide with harpoons
or his head with fishing spears?
Lay a[af] hand on him.
You will remember the battle
and never repeat it!
Any hope of capturing him proves false.
Does a person not collapse at the very sight of him?
10 No one is ferocious enough to rouse Leviathan;
who then can stand against me?
11 Who confronted me, that I should repay him?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.

12 I cannot be silent about his limbs,
his power, and his graceful proportions.
13 Who can strip off his outer covering?
Who can penetrate his double layer of armor?[ag]
14 Who can open his jaws,[ah]
surrounded by those terrifying teeth?
15 His pride is in his rows of scales,
closely sealed together.
16 One scale is so close to another[ai]
that no air can pass between them.
17 They are joined to one another,
so closely connected[aj] they cannot be separated.
18 His snorting[ak] flashes with light,
while his eyes are like the rays[al] of dawn.
19 Flaming torches shoot from his mouth;
fiery sparks fly out!
20 Smoke billows from his nostrils
as from a boiling pot or burning reeds.
21 His breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames pour out of his mouth.
22 Strength resides in his neck,
and dismay dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh are joined together,
solid as metal[am] and immovable.
24 His heart is as hard as a rock,
as hard as a lower millstone!
25 When Leviathan rises, the mighty[an] are terrified;
they withdraw because of his thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches him will have no effect,
nor will a spear, dart, or arrow.
27 He regards iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.
28 No arrow can make him flee;
slingstones become like stubble to him.
29 A club is regarded as stubble,
and he laughs at the sound of a javelin.
30 His undersides are jagged potsherds,
spreading the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 He makes the depths seethe like a cauldron;
he makes the sea like an ointment jar.
32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;[ao]
one would think the deep had gray hair!
33 He has no equal on earth—
a creature devoid of fear!
34 He surveys everything that is haughty;
he is king over all the proud beasts.[ap]

Footnotes:

  1. 38:4 Lit know
  2. 38:9 Lit swaddling clothes
  3. 38:10 Lit I broke my statute on it
  4. 38:15 Lit Their light
  5. 38:21 Lit born; the number of your days is great
  6. 38:24 Or where lightning is distributed
  7. 38:26 Lit no man in it
  8. 38:30 Lit water hides itself as the stone
  9. 38:32 Or Mazzaroth; Hb obscure
  10. 38:32 Or lead Aldebaran
  11. 38:33 Or God’s
  12. 38:34 Lit lift up your voice to
  13. 38:36 Or the inner self; Ps 51:6
  14. 39:2 Lit months they fulfill
  15. 39:3 Or they send away their labor pains
  16. 39:4 Lit return to them
  17. 39:13 Hb obscure
  18. 39:18 Hb obscure
  19. 39:19 Hb obscure
  20. 39:21 LXX, Syr; MT reads They dig
  21. 39:21 Lit he goes out to meet the weaponry
  22. 39:24 Lit He swallows the ground
  23. 39:25 Lit he says, “Aha!”
  24. 40:2 Lit God respond to it
  25. 40:12 Lit wicked in their place
  26. 40:13 Lit together; bind their faces in the hidden place
  27. 40:16 Or waist
  28. 40:21 Lit plants, in the hiding place
  29. 40:24 Lit capture it in its eyes
  30. 41:2 Lit reed
  31. 41:5 Lit or bind him
  32. 41:8 Lit your
  33. 41:13 LXX; MT reads double bridle
  34. 41:14 Lit open the doors of his face
  35. 41:16 Lit One by one they approach
  36. 41:17 Lit another; they cling together and
  37. 41:18 Or sneezing
  38. 41:18 Lit eyelids
  39. 41:23 Lit together, hard on him
  40. 41:25 Or the divine beings
  41. 41:32 Lit a path
  42. 41:34 Lit the children of pride
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