VI. The Divine Speeches (38:1-42:6)
The Lord’s First Speech1
38:1 Then the
38:2 “Who is this3 who darkens counsel4
with words without knowledge?
38:3 Get ready for a difficult task5 like a man;
I will question you
and you will inform me!
God’s questions to Job
38:4 “Where were you
when I laid the foundation6 of the earth?
Tell me,7 if you possess understanding!
38:5 Who set its measurements – if8 you know –
or who stretched a measuring line across it?
38:6 On what9 were its bases10 set,
or who laid its cornerstone –
38:7 when the morning stars11 sang12 in chorus,13
and all the sons of God14 shouted for joy?
38:8 “Who shut up15 the sea with doors
when it burst forth,16 coming out of the womb,
38:9 when I made17 the storm clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,18
38:10 when I prescribed19 its limits,
and set20 in place its bolts and doors,
38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come21
and no farther,22
here your proud waves will be confined’?23
38:12 Have you ever in your life24 commanded the morning,
or made the dawn know25 its place,
38:13 that it might seize the corners of the earth,26
and shake the wicked out of it?
38:14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;27
its features28 are dyed29 like a garment.
38:15 Then from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm raised in violence30 is broken.31
38:16 Have you gone to the springs that fill the sea,32
or walked about in the recesses of the deep?
38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?33
Have you seen the gates of deepest darkness?34
38:18 Have you considered the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know it all!
38:19 “In what direction35 does light reside,
and darkness, where is its place,
38:20 that you may take them to their borders
and perceive the pathways to their homes?36
38:21 You know, for you were born before them;37
and the number of your days is great!
38:22 Have you entered the storehouse38 of the snow,
or seen the armory39 of the hail,
38:23 which I reserve for the time of trouble,
for the day of war and battle?40
38:24 In what direction is lightning41 dispersed,
or the east winds scattered over the earth?
38:25 Who carves out a channel for the heavy rains,
and a path for the rumble of thunder,
38:26 to cause it to rain on an uninhabited land,42
a desert where there are no human beings,43
38:27 to satisfy a devastated and desolate land,
and to cause it to sprout with vegetation?44
38:28 Does the rain have a father,
or who has fathered the drops of the dew?
38:29 From whose womb does the ice emerge,
and the frost from the sky,45 who gives birth to it,
38:30 when the waters become hard46 like stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?
38:31 Can you tie the bands47 of the Pleiades,
or release the cords of Orion?
38:32 Can you lead out
the constellations48 in their seasons,
or guide the Bear with its cubs?49
38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens,
or can you set up their rule over the earth?
38:34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds
so that a flood of water covers you?50
38:35 Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go?
Will they say to you, ‘Here we are’?
38:36 Who has put wisdom in the heart,51
or has imparted understanding to the mind?
38:37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds,
and who can tip over52 the water jars of heaven,
38:38 when the dust hardens53 into a mass,
and the clumps of earth stick together?
38:39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness,
and satisfy the appetite54 of the lions,
38:40 when they crouch in their dens,
when they wait in ambush in the thicket?
38:41 Who prepares prey for the raven,
when its young cry out to God
and wander about55 for lack of food?