Job 38-42 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Lord Answers Job
38 Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job.
2 Who are you to question my wisdom
with your ignorant, empty words?
3 Now stand up straight
and answer the questions I ask you.
4 Were you there when I made the world?
If you know so much, tell me about it.
5 Who decided how large it would be?
Who stretched the measuring line over it?
Do you know all the answers?
6 What holds up the pillars that support the earth?
Who laid the cornerstone of the world?
7 In the dawn of that day the stars sang together,
and the heavenly beings shouted for joy.
8 Who closed the gates to hold back the sea
when it burst from the womb of the earth?
9 It was I who covered the sea with clouds
and wrapped it in darkness.
10 I marked a boundary for the sea
and kept it behind bolted gates.
11 I told it, “So far and no farther!
Here your powerful waves must stop.”
12 Job, have you ever in all your life
commanded a day to dawn?
13 Have you ordered the dawn to seize the earth
and shake the wicked from their hiding places?
14 Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out
like the folds of a garment,
clear as the imprint of a seal on clay.
15 The light of day is too bright for the wicked
and restrains them from doing violence.
16 Have you been to the springs in the depths of the sea?
Have you walked on the floor of the ocean?
17 Has anyone ever shown you the gates
that guard the dark world of the dead?
18 Have you any idea how big the world is?
Answer me if you know.
19 Do you know where the light comes from
or what the source of darkness is?
20 Can you show them how far to go,
or send them back again?
21 I am sure you can, because you're so old
and were there when the world was made!
22 Have you ever visited the storerooms,
where I keep the snow and the hail?
23 I keep them ready for times of trouble,
for days of battle and war.
24 Have you been to the place where the sun comes up,
or the place from which the east wind blows?
25 Who dug a channel for the pouring rain
and cleared the way for the thunderstorm?
26 Who makes rain fall where no one lives?
27 Who waters the dry and thirsty land,
so that grass springs up?
28 Does either the rain or the dew have a father?
29 Who is the mother of the ice and the frost,
30 which turn the waters to stone
and freeze the face of the sea?
31 Can you tie the Pleiades together
or loosen the bonds that hold Orion?
32 Can you guide the stars season by season
and direct the Big and the Little Dipper?
33 Do you know the laws that govern the skies,
and can you make them apply to the earth?
34 Can you shout orders to the clouds
and make them drench you with rain?
35 And if you command the lightning to flash,
will it come to you and say, “At your service”?
36 Who tells the ibis when the Nile will flood,
or who tells the rooster that rain will fall?
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds
and tilt them over to pour out the rain,
38 rain that hardens the dust into lumps?
39 Do you find food for lions to eat,
and satisfy hungry young lions
40 when they hide in their caves,
or lie in wait in their dens?
41 Who is it that feeds the ravens
when they wander about hungry,
when their young cry to me for food?
39 Do you know when mountain goats are born?
Have you watched wild deer give birth?
2 Do you know how long they carry their young?
Do you know the time for their birth?
3 Do you know when they will crouch down
and bring their young into the world?
4 In the wilds their young grow strong;
they go away and don't come back.
5 Who gave the wild donkeys their freedom?
Who turned them loose and let them roam?
6 I gave them the desert to be their home,
and let them live on the salt plains.
7 They keep far away from the noisy cities,
and no one can tame them and make them work.
8 The mountains are the pastures where they feed,
where they search for anything green to eat.
9 Will a wild ox work for you?
Is he willing to spend the night in your stable?
10 Can you hold one with a rope and make him plow?
Or make him pull a harrow in your fields?
11 Can you rely on his great strength
and expect him to do your heavy work?
12 Do you expect him to bring in your harvest
and gather the grain from your threshing place?
13 How fast the wings of an ostrich beat!
But no ostrich can fly like a stork.
14 The ostrich leaves her eggs on the ground
for the heat in the soil to warm them.
15 She is unaware that a foot may crush them
or a wild animal break them.
16 She acts as if the eggs were not hers,
and is unconcerned that her efforts were wasted.
17 It was I who made her foolish
and did not give her wisdom.
18 But when she begins to run,
she can laugh at any horse and rider.
19 Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong
and gave them their flowing manes?
20 Did you make them leap like locusts
and frighten people with their snorting?
21 They eagerly paw the ground in the valley;
they rush into battle with all their strength.
22 They do not know the meaning of fear,
and no sword can turn them back.
23 The weapons which their riders carry
rattle and flash in the sun.
24 Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead;
when the trumpet blows, they can't stand still.
25 At each blast of the trumpet they snort;
they can smell a battle before they get near,
and they hear the officers shouting commands.
26 Does a hawk learn from you how to fly
when it spreads its wings toward the south?
27 Does an eagle wait for your command
to build its nest high in the mountains?
28 It makes its home on the highest rocks
and makes the sharp peaks its fortress.
29 From there it watches near and far
for something to kill and eat.
30 Around dead bodies the eagles gather,
and the young eagles drink the blood.
40 1-2 Job, you challenged Almighty God;
will you give up now, or will you answer?
3-4 I spoke foolishly, Lord. What can I answer?
I will not try to say anything else.
5 I have already said more than I should.
6 Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job once again.
7 Now stand up straight
and answer my questions.
8 Are you trying to prove that I am unjust—
to put me in the wrong and yourself in the right?
9 Are you as strong as I am?
Can your voice thunder as loud as mine?
10 If so, stand up in your honor and pride;
clothe yourself with majesty and glory.
11 Look at those who are proud;
pour out your anger and humble them.
12 Yes, look at them and bring them down;
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the ground;
bind them in the world of the dead.
14 Then I will be the first to praise you
and admit that you won the victory yourself.
15 Look at the monster Behemoth;
I created him and I created you.
He eats grass like a cow,
16 but what strength there is in his body,
and what power there is in his muscles!
17 His tail stands up like a cedar,
and the muscles in his legs are strong.
18 His bones are as strong as bronze,
and his legs are like iron bars.
19 The most amazing of all my creatures!
Only his Creator can defeat him.
20 Grass to feed him grows
on the hills where wild beasts play.
21 He lies down under the thorn bushes,
and hides among the reeds in the swamp.
22 The thorn bushes and the willows by the stream
give him shelter in their shade.
23 He is not afraid of a rushing river;
he is calm when the Jordan dashes in his face.
24 Who can blind his eyes and capture him?
Or who can catch his snout in a trap?
41 Can you catch Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie his tongue down with a rope?
2 Can you put a rope through his snout
or put a hook through his jaws?
3 Will he beg you to let him go?
Will he plead with you for mercy?
4 Will he make an agreement with you
and promise to serve you forever?
5 Will you tie him like a pet bird,
like something to amuse your servant women?
6 Will fishermen bargain over him?
Will merchants cut him up to sell?
7 Can you fill his hide with fishing spears
or pierce his head with a harpoon?
8 Touch him once and you'll never try it again;
you'll never forget the fight!
9 Anyone who sees Leviathan
loses courage and falls to the ground.
10 When he is aroused, he is fierce;
no one would dare to stand before him.
11 Who can attack him and still be safe?
No one in all the world can do it.
12 Let me tell you about Leviathan's legs
and describe how great and strong he is.
13 No one can tear off his outer coat
or pierce the armor he wears.
14 Who can make him open his jaws,
ringed with those terrifying teeth?
15 His back is made of rows of shields,
fastened together and hard as stone.
16 Each one is joined so tight to the next,
not even a breath can come between.
17 They all are fastened so firmly together
that nothing can ever pull them apart.
18 Light flashes when he sneezes,
and his eyes glow like the rising sun.
19 Flames blaze from his mouth,
and streams of sparks fly out.
20 Smoke comes pouring out of his nose,
like smoke from weeds burning under a pot.
21 His breath starts fires burning;
flames leap out of his mouth.
22 His neck is so powerful
that all who meet him are terrified.
23 There is not a weak spot in his skin;
it is as hard and unyielding as iron.
24 His stony heart is without fear,
as unyielding and hard as a millstone.
25 When he rises up, even the strongest are frightened;
they are helpless with fear.
26 There is no sword that can wound him;
no spear or arrow or lance that can harm him.
27 For him iron is as flimsy as straw,
and bronze as soft as rotten wood.
28 There is no arrow that can make him run;
rocks thrown at him are like bits of straw.
29 To him a club is a piece of straw,
and he laughs when men throw spears.
30 The scales on his belly are like jagged pieces of pottery;
they tear up the muddy ground like a threshing sledge.
31 He churns up the sea like boiling water
and makes it bubble like a pot of oil.
32 He leaves a shining path behind him
and turns the sea to white foam.
33 There is nothing on earth to compare with him;
he is a creature that has no fear.
34 He looks down on even the proudest animals;
he is king of all wild beasts.
42 Then Job answered the Lord.
2 I know, Lord, that you are all-powerful;
that you can do everything you want.
3 You ask how I dare question your wisdom
when I am so very ignorant.
I talked about things I did not understand,
about marvels too great for me to know.
4 You told me to listen while you spoke
and to try to answer your questions.
5 In the past I knew only what others had told me,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
6 So I am ashamed of all I have said
and repent in dust and ashes.
7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you did not speak the truth about me, the way my servant Job did. 8 Now take seven bulls and seven rams to Job and offer them as a sacrifice for yourselves. Job will pray for you, and I will answer his prayer and not disgrace you the way you deserve. You did not speak the truth about me as he did.”
9 Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did what the Lord had told them to do, and the Lord answered Job's prayer.
10 Then, after Job had prayed for his three friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had had before. 11 All Job's brothers and sisters and former friends came to visit him and feasted with him in his house. They expressed their sympathy and comforted him for all the troubles the Lord had brought on him. Each of them gave him some money and a gold ring.
12 The Lord blessed the last part of Job's life even more than he had blessed the first. Job owned fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, two thousand head of cattle, and one thousand donkeys. 13 He was the father of seven sons and three daughters. 14 He called the oldest daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the youngest Keren Happuch. 15 There were no other women in the whole world as beautiful as Job's daughters. Their father gave them a share of the inheritance along with their brothers.
16 Job lived a hundred and forty years after this, long enough to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 17 And then he died at a very great age.
Job 38-42 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Lord Answers Job
38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb?—
9 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 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 hoarfrost 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,
or given understanding to the mind?
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?
39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?
2 Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,
3 when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
4 Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
they go forth, and do not return to them.
5 “Who has let the wild ass go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
6 to which I have given the steppe for its home,
the salt land for its dwelling place?
7 It scorns the tumult of the city;
it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
8 It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
and it searches after every green thing.
9 “Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will it spend the night at your crib?
10 Can you tie it in the furrow with ropes,
or will it harrow the valleys after you?
11 Will you depend on it because its strength is great,
and will you hand over your labor to it?
12 Do you have faith in it that it will return,
and bring your grain to your threshing floor?
13 “The ostrich’s wings flap wildly,
though its pinions lack plumage.
14 For it leaves its eggs to the earth,
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them,
and that a wild animal may trample them.
16 It deals cruelly with its young, as if they were not its own;
though its labor should be in vain, yet it has no fear;
17 because God has made it forget wisdom,
and given it no share in understanding.
18 When it spreads its plumes aloft,
it laughs at the horse and its rider.
19 “Do you give the horse its might?
Do you clothe its neck with mane?
20 Do you make it leap like the locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrible.
21 It paws violently, exults mightily;
it goes out to meet the weapons.
22 It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
it does not turn back from the sword.
23 Upon it rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground;
it cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, it says ‘Aha!’
From a distance it smells the battle,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
and spreads its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes its nest on high?
28 It lives on the rock and makes its home
in the fastness of the rocky crag.
29 From there it spies the prey;
its eyes see it from far away.
30 Its young ones suck up blood;
and where the slain are, there it is.”
40 And the Lord said to Job:
2 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.”
Job’s Response to God
3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 “See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but will proceed no further.”
God’s Challenge to Job
6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
7 “Gird up your loins like a man;
I will question you, and you declare to me.
8 Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
9 Have you an arm like God,
and can you thunder with a voice like his?
10 “Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
12 Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Hide them all in the dust together;
bind their faces in the world below.
14 Then I will also acknowledge to you
that your own right hand can give you victory.
15 “Look at Behemoth,
which I made just as I made you;
it eats grass like an ox.
16 Its strength is in its loins,
and its power in the muscles of its belly.
17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are knit together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like bars of iron.
19 “It is the first of the great acts of God—
only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
20 For the mountains yield food for it
where all the wild animals play.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
22 The lotus trees cover it for shade;
the willows of the wadi surround it.
23 Even if the river is turbulent, it is not frightened;
it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.
24 Can one take it with hooks
or pierce its nose with a snare?
41 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook,
or press down its tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in its nose,
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it make many supplications to you?
Will it speak soft words to you?
4 Will it make a covenant with you
to be taken as your servant forever?
5 Will you play with it as with a bird,
or will you put it on leash for your girls?
6 Will traders bargain over it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill its skin with harpoons,
or its head with fishing spears?
8 Lay hands on it;
think of the battle; you will not do it again!
9 Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed;
were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it?
10 No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
Who can stand before it?
11 Who can confront it and be safe?
—under the whole heaven, who?
12 “I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.
13 Who can strip off its outer garment?
Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?
14 Who can open the doors of its face?
There is terror all around its teeth.
15 Its back is made of shields in rows,
shut up closely as with a seal.
16 One is so near to another
that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another;
they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18 Its sneezes flash forth light,
and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 From its mouth go flaming torches;
sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 Its breath kindles coals,
and a flame comes out of its mouth.
22 In its neck abides strength,
and terror dances before it.
23 The folds of its flesh cling together;
it is firmly cast and immovable.
24 Its heart is as hard as stone,
as hard as the lower millstone.
25 When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 It counts iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make it flee;
slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.
29 Clubs are counted as chaff;
it laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30 Its underparts are like sharp potsherds;
it spreads itself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 It makes the deep boil like a pot;
it makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a shining wake behind it;
one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33 On earth it has no equal,
a creature without fear.
34 It surveys everything that is lofty;
it is king over all that are proud.”
Job Is Humbled and Satisfied
42 Then Job answered the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job’s Friends Are Humiliated
7 After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
Job’s Fortunes Are Restored Twofold
10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. 12 The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17 And Job died, old and full of days.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Job 38-42 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
38 Then Adonai answered Iyov out of the storm:
2 “Who is this, darkening my plans
with his ignorant words?
3 Stand up like a man, and brace yourself;
I will ask questions; and you, give the answers!
4 “Where were you when I founded the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
5 Do you know who determined its dimensions
or who stretched the measuring line across it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind closed doors
when it gushed forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its blanket
and dense fog its swaddling cloth,
10 when I made the breakers its boundary
set its gates and bars,
11 and said, ‘You may come this far, but no farther;
here your proud waves must stop’?
12 “Have you ever in your life called up the dawn
and made the morning know its place,
13 so that it could take hold of the edges of the earth
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 Then the earth is changed like clay under a seal,
until its colors are fixed like those of a garment.
15 But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm raised [to strike] is broken.
16 “Have you gone down to the springs of the sea
or explored the limits of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
the gates of death-like darkness?
18 Have you surveyed the full extent of the earth?
Say so, if you know it all!
19 “Which way leads to where light has its home?
and darkness, where does it dwell?
20 If you knew, you could take each to its place
and set it on its homeward path.
21 You know, of course, because you were born then;
by now you must be very old!
22 “Have you gone into the storehouses for snow
or seen the storehouses for hail,
23 which I save for times of trouble,
for days of battle and war?
24 “By what path is light dispersed,
or the east wind poured out on the land?
25 Who cut a channel for the downpours,
or a way for the lightning and thunder,
26 causing it to rain where no one is,
in a desert without anyone there,
27 drenching the waste and desolate [ground],
till the tender grass sprouts?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who is the father of dewdrops?
29 From whose womb does ice come?
Who gives birth to the frost of heaven,
30 when water becomes as hard as stone,
and the surface of the deep freezes solid?
31 “Can you tie up the cords of the Pleiades
or loosen the belt of Orion?
32 Can you lead out the constellations of the zodiac in their season
or guide the Great Bear and its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the sky?
Can you determine how they affect the earth?
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and make them cover you with a flood of rain?
35 Can you send lightning bolts on their way?
Will they say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 “Who put wisdom in people’s inner parts?
Who gave understanding to the mind?
37 Who, by wisdom, can number the clouds?
Who can tilt the water-skins of heaven,
38 so that the dust becomes a mass [of mud],
and its clods stick together?
39 “Can you hunt prey for a lioness
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in ambush in their lairs?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when his young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
39 “Do you know when mountain goats give birth?
Have you seen deer in labor?
2 Can you tell how many months they carry their young?
Do you know when they give birth,
3 when they crouch down and bring forth their young,
when they deliver their fawns?
4 Their young become strong, growing up in the open;
they leave and never return.
5 “Who lets the wild donkey roam freely?
Who sets the wild donkey loose from its shackles?
6 I made the ‘Aravah its home,
the salty desert its place to live.
7 It scorns the noise of the city
and hears no driver’s shouts.
8 It ranges over the hills for its pasture,
searching for anything green.
9 “Would a wild ox be willing to serve you?
Would it stay by your stall?
10 Could you tie a rope around its neck
and make it plow furrows for you?
11 Would you trust its great strength enough
to let it do your heavy work,
12 or rely on it to bring home your seed
and gather the grain from your threshing-floor?
13 “An ostrich’s wings beat wildly,
although its pinions lack plumage.
14 It leaves its eggs on the ground
and lets them be warmed by the sand,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them
or a wild animal trample on them.
16 It treats its chicks heartlessly,
as if they were not its own;
even if her labor is in vain,
it really doesn’t care;
17 because God has deprived it of wisdom
and given it no share in understanding.
18 When the time comes, it flaps its wings,
scorning both horse and rider.
19 “Did you give the horse its strength?
Did you clothe its neck with a mane?
20 Did you make him able to leap like a locust?
Its majestic snorting is frightening!
21 It paws with force and exults with vigor,
then charges into the battle;
22 mocking at fear, unafraid,
it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The [rider’s] quiver rattles over it,
[his] gleaming spear and javelin.
24 Frenzied and eager, it devours the ground,
scarcely believing the shofar has sounded.
25 At the sound of the shofar it whinnies;
as from afar it scents the battle,
the roar of the chiefs and the shouting.
26 “Is it your wisdom that sets the hawk soaring,
spreading its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle fly up when you say so,
to build its nest in the heights?
28 It lives and spends its nights on the cliffs;
a rocky crag is its fortress.
29 From there it spots its prey,
its eyes see it far off.
30 Its young ones suck up blood;
wherever the slain are, there it is.”
40 Continuing to address Iyov, Adonai said:
2 “Does the critic still want to dispute Shaddai?
Let him who wants to correct God give an answer!”
3 Then Iyov replied to Adonai:
4 “I am too ashamed; I have nothing to say.
I lay my hand over my mouth.
5 Yes, I spoke once, but I won’t answer more;
all right, twice, but I won’t go on.”
6 Adonai answered Iyov out of the storm:
7 “Stand up like a man, and brace yourself;
I will ask questions; and you, give the answers!
8 “Are you impugning my justice?
Putting me in the wrong to prove yourself right?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s?
Can you thunder with a voice like his?
10 Come on, deck yourself with majesty and dignity,
robe yourself in glory and splendor.
11 Let loose your furious anger,
look at all who are proud, and humble them.
12 Look at all who are proud, and bring them down;
tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them in the ground together,
bind their faces in the hidden world.
14 If you do this, then I will confess to you
that your own power can save you.
15 “Now consider Behemot, whom I made along with you.
He eats grass like an ox.
16 What strength he has in his loins!
What power in his stomach muscles!
17 He can make his tail as stiff as a cedar,
the muscles in his thighs are like cables,
18 his bones are like bronze pipes,
his limbs like iron bars.
19 “He ranks first among God’s works.
Only his maker can approach him with his sword.
20 The mountains produce food for him there,
where all the wild animals play.
21 He lies down under the thorny lotus bushes
and is hidden by the reeds in the swamp;
22 the lotus bushes cover him with their shade,
and the willows by the stream surround him.
23 If the river overflows, it doesn’t worry him;
he is confident even if the Yarden rushes by his mouth.
24 Can anyone catch him by his eyes
or pierce his nose with a hook?
25 (41:1) “And Livyatan! Can you catch him with a fishhook
or hold his tongue down with a rope?
26 (41:2) Can you put a ring in his nose
or pierce his jaw with a barb?
27 (41:3) Will he entreat you at length?
Will he speak with you softly?
28 (41:4) Will he agree with you
to be your slave forever?
29 (41:5) Will you play with him as you would with a bird
or keep him on a string to amuse your little girls?
30 (41:6) Will a group of fishermen turn him into a banquet?
Will they divide him among the merchants?
31 (41:7) Can you fill his skin with darts
or his head with fish-spears?
32 (41:8) If you lay your hand on him,
you won’t forget the fight, and you’ll never do it again!
41 (9) “Look, any hope [of capturing him] is futile —
one would fall prostrate at the very sight of him.
2 (10) No one is fierce enough to rouse him,
so who can stand up to me?
3 (11) Who has given me anything
and made me pay it back?
Everything belongs to me
under all of heaven.
4 (12) “I have more to say about his limbs,
his strong talk, and his matchless strength.
5 (13) Who can strip off his [scaly] garment?
Who can enter his jaws?
6 (14) Who can pry open the doors of his face,
so close to his terrible teeth?
7 (15) “His pride is his rows of scales,
tightly sealed together —
8 (16) one is so close to the next
that no air can come between them;
9 (17) they are stuck one to another,
interlocked and impervious.
10 (18) “When he sneezes, light flashes out;
his eyes are like the shimmer of dawn.
11 (19) From his mouth go fiery torches,
and sparks come flying out.
12 (20) His nostrils belch steam
like a caldron boiling on the fire.
13 (21) His breath sets coals ablaze;
flames pour from his mouth.
14 (22) “Strength resides in his neck,
and dismay dances ahead of him [as he goes].
15 (23) The layers of his flesh stick together;
they are firm on him, immovable.
16 (24) His heart is as hard as a stone,
yes, hard as a lower millstone.
17 (25) When he rears himself up, the gods are afraid,
beside themselves in despair.
18 (26) “If a sword touches him, it won’t stick;
neither will a spear, or a dart, or a lance.
19 (27) He regards iron as straw
and bronze as rotten wood.
20 (28) An arrow can’t make him flee;
for him, slingstones are so much chaff.
21 (29) Clubs count as hay,
and he laughs at a quivering javelin.
22 (30) His belly is as sharp as fragments of pottery,
so he moves across the mud like a threshing-sledge.
23 (31) “He makes the depths seethe like a pot,
he makes the sea [boil] like a perfume kettle.
24 (32) He leaves a shining wake behind him,
making the deep seem to have white hair.
25 (33) “On earth there is nothing like him,
a creature without fear.
26 (34) He looks straight at all high things.
He is king over all proud beasts.”
42 Then [at last,] Iyov gave Adonai this answer:
2 “I know that you can do everything,
that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 “[You asked,] ‘Who is this, hiding counsel,
without having knowledge?’
Yes, I spoke, without understanding,
of wonders far beyond me, which I didn’t know.
4 “Please listen, and I will speak.
[You said,] ‘I will ask questions; and you, give me answers’ —
5 I had heard about you with my ears,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I detest [myself]
and repent in dust and ashes.”
7 After Adonai had spoken these words to Iyov, Adonai said to Elifaz the Teimani, “My anger is blazing against you and your two friends, because, unlike my servant Iyov, you have not spoken rightly about me. 8 So now, get yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Iyov, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering. My servant Iyov will pray for you — because him I will accept — so that I won’t punish you as your boorishness deserves; because you have not spoken rightly about me, as my servant Iyov has.” 9 So Elifaz the Teimani, Bildad the Shuchi and Tzofar the Na‘amati went and did what Adonai had ordered them to do, and Adonai accepted Iyov[’s prayer].
10 When Iyov prayed for his friends, Adonai restored his fortunes; Adonai gave Iyov twice as much as he had had before. 11 Then all his brothers and sisters came to him, also all who had known him before, and they ate a meal with him in his house. They consoled and comforted him for all the evils Adonai had inflicted on him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 Adonai blessed Iyov’s later situation even more than his earlier one — he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 pairs of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first he named Y’mimah; the second, K’tzi‘ah; and the third, Keren-Hapukh. 15 Nowhere in the land could women be found as beautiful as Iyov’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritances along with their brothers.
16 After this, Iyov lived 140 years, long enough to see his sons and grandsons, four generations. 17 Then, old and full of days, Iyov died.
Job 38-42 The Message (MSG)
God Confronts Job
Have You Gotten to the Bottom of Things?
38 And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:
2-11 “Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you,
and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth?
Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
12-15 “And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’
told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanket
and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light,
brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
they’re caught in the very act!
16-18 “Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things,
explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?
Do you know the first thing about death?
Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries?
And do you have any idea how large this earth is?
Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.
19-21 “Do you know where Light comes from
and where Darkness lives
So you can take them by the hand
and lead them home when they get lost?
Why, of course you know that.
You’ve known them all your life,
grown up in the same neighborhood with them!
22-30 “Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, and charts
the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imagine
these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
31-33 “Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,
or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way,
or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations
and how they affect things on Earth?
34-35 “Can you get the attention of the clouds,
and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning bolts
and have them report to you for orders?
What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?
36-38 “Who do you think gave weather-wisdom to the ibis,
and storm-savvy to the rooster?
Does anyone know enough to number all the clouds
or tip over the rain barrels of heaven
When the earth is cracked and dry,
the ground baked hard as a brick?
39-41 “Can you teach the lioness to stalk her prey
and satisfy the appetite of her cubs
As they crouch in their den,
waiting hungrily in their cave?
And who sets out food for the ravens
when their young cry to God,
fluttering about because they have no food?”
39 1-4 “Do you know the month when mountain goats give birth?
Have you ever watched a doe bear her fawn?
Do you know how many months she is pregnant?
Do you know the season of her delivery,
when she crouches down and drops her offspring?
Her young ones flourish and are soon on their own;
they leave and don’t come back.
5-8 “Who do you think set the wild donkey free,
opened the corral gates and let him go?
I gave him the whole wilderness to roam in,
the rolling plains and wide-open places.
He laughs at his city cousins, who are harnessed and harried.
He’s oblivious to the cries of teamsters.
He grazes freely through the hills,
nibbling anything that’s green.
9-12 “Will the wild buffalo condescend to serve you,
volunteer to spend the night in your barn?
Can you imagine hitching your plow to a buffalo
and getting him to till your fields?
He’s hugely strong, yes, but could you trust him,
would you dare turn the job over to him?
You wouldn’t for a minute depend on him, would you,
to do what you said when you said it?
13-18 “The ostrich flaps her wings futilely—
all those beautiful feathers, but useless!
She lays her eggs on the hard ground,
leaves them there in the dirt, exposed to the weather,
Not caring that they might get stepped on and cracked
or trampled by some wild animal.
She’s negligent with her young, as if they weren’t even hers.
She cares nothing about anything.
She wasn’t created very smart, that’s for sure,
wasn’t given her share of good sense.
But when she runs, oh, how she runs,
laughing, leaving horse and rider in the dust.
19-25 “Are you the one who gave the horse his prowess
and adorned him with a shimmering mane?
Did you create him to prance proudly
and strike terror with his royal snorts?
He paws the ground fiercely, eager and spirited,
then charges into the fray.
He laughs at danger, fearless,
doesn’t shy away from the sword.
The banging and clanging
of quiver and lance don’t faze him.
He quivers with excitement, and at the trumpet blast
races off at a gallop.
At the sound of the trumpet he neighs mightily,
smelling the excitement of battle from a long way off,
catching the rolling thunder of the war cries.
26-30 “Was it through your know-how that the hawk learned to fly,
soaring effortlessly on thermal updrafts?
Did you command the eagle’s flight,
and teach her to build her nest in the heights,
Perfectly at home on the high cliff face,
invulnerable on pinnacle and crag?
From her perch she searches for prey,
spies it at a great distance.
Her young gorge themselves on carrion;
wherever there’s a roadkill, you’ll see her circling.”
40 1-2 God then confronted Job directly:
“Now what do you have to say for yourself?
Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press charges?”
Job Answers God
I’m Ready to Shut Up and Listen
3-5 Job answered:
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
God’s Second Set of Questions
I Want Straight Answers
6-7 God addressed Job next from the eye of the storm, and this is what he said:
“I have some more questions for you,
and I want straight answers.
8-14 “Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?
Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?
Do you have an arm like my arm?
Can you shout in thunder the way I can?
Go ahead, show your stuff.
Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do.
Unleash your outrage.
Target the arrogant and lay them flat.
Target the arrogant and bring them to their knees.
Stop the wicked in their tracks—make mincemeat of them!
Dig a mass grave and dump them in it—
faceless corpses in an unmarked grave.
I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you—
you can surely save yourself with no help from me!
15-24 “Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you.
Grazing on grass, docile as a cow—
Just look at the strength of his back,
the powerful muscles of his belly.
His tail sways like a cedar in the wind;
his huge legs are like beech trees.
His skeleton is made of steel,
every bone in his body hard as steel.
Most magnificent of all my creatures,
but I still lead him around like a lamb!
The grass-covered hills serve him meals,
while field mice frolic in his shadow.
He takes afternoon naps under shade trees,
cools himself in the reedy swamps,
Lazily cool in the leafy shadows
as the breeze moves through the willows.
And when the river rages he doesn’t budge,
stolid and unperturbed even when the Jordan goes wild.
But you’d never want him for a pet—
you’d never be able to housebreak him!”
I Run This Universe
41 1-11 “Or can you pull in the sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod
and stuff him in your creel?
Can you lasso him with a rope,
or snag him with an anchor?
Will he beg you over and over for mercy,
or flatter you with flowery speech?
Will he apply for a job with you
to run errands and serve you the rest of your life?
Will you play with him as if he were a pet goldfish?
Will you make him the mascot of the neighborhood children?
Will you put him on display in the market
and have shoppers haggle over the price?
Could you shoot him full of arrows like a pin cushion,
or drive harpoons into his huge head?
If you so much as lay a hand on him,
you won’t live to tell the story.
What hope would you have with such a creature?
Why, one look at him would do you in!
If you can’t hold your own against his glowering visage,
how, then, do you expect to stand up to me?
Who could confront me and get by with it?
I’m in charge of all this—I run this universe!
12-17 “But I’ve more to say about Leviathan, the sea beast,
his enormous bulk, his beautiful shape.
Who would even dream of piercing that tough skin
or putting those jaws into bit and bridle?
And who would dare knock at the door of his mouth
filled with row upon row of fierce teeth?
His pride is invincible;
nothing can make a dent in that pride.
Nothing can get through that proud skin—
impervious to weapons and weather,
The thickest and toughest of hides,
18-34 “He snorts and the world lights up with fire,
he blinks and the dawn breaks.
Comets pour out of his mouth,
fireworks arc and branch.
Smoke erupts from his nostrils
like steam from a boiling pot.
He blows and fires blaze;
flames of fire stream from his mouth.
All muscle he is—sheer and seamless muscle.
To meet him is to dance with death.
Sinewy and lithe,
there’s not a soft spot in his entire body—
As tough inside as out,
Even angels run for cover when he surfaces,
cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.
Javelins bounce harmlessly off his hide,
harpoons ricochet wildly.
Iron bars are so much straw to him,
bronze weapons beneath notice.
Arrows don’t even make him blink;
bullets make no more impression than raindrops.
A battle ax is nothing but a splinter of kindling;
he treats a brandished harpoon as a joke.
His belly is armor-plated, inexorable—
unstoppable as a barge.
He roils deep ocean the way you’d boil water,
he whips the sea like you’d whip an egg into batter.
With a luminous trail stretching out behind him,
you might think Ocean had grown a gray beard!
There’s nothing on this earth quite like him,
not an ounce of fear in that creature!
He surveys all the high and mighty—
king of the ocean, king of the deep!”
Job Worships God
I Babbled On About Things Far Beyond Me
42 1-6 Job answered God:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
God Restores Job
I Will Accept His Prayer
7-8 After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”
9 They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job’s prayer.
10-11 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
12-15 God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
16-17 Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.