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Job 39-40New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you observe the calving of the deer?
Can you number the months that they fulfill,
    and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
    and are delivered of their young?
Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
    they go forth, and do not return to them.

“Who has let the wild ass go free?
    Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
to which I have given the steppe for its home,
    the salt land for its dwelling place?
It scorns the tumult of the city;
    it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
    and it searches after every green thing.

“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?[a]

13 “The ostrich’s wings flap wildly,
    though its pinions lack plumage.[b]
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,[c]
    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[d] 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:

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?[e]
    Anyone who argues with God must respond.”

Job’s Response to God

Then Job answered the Lord:

“See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
    I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
    twice, but will proceed no further.”

God’s Challenge to Job

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:

“Gird up your loins like a man;
    I will question you, and you declare to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
    Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
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.[f]
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[g]
    or pierce its nose with a snare?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 39:12 Heb your grain and your threshing floor
  2. Job 39:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Job 39:18 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Job 39:21 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they dig
  5. Job 40:2 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. Job 40:13 Heb the hidden place
  7. Job 40:24 Cn: Heb in his eyes
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.

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