Job 38

VI. The Divine Speeches (38:1-42:6)

The Lord’s First Speech1

38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:2

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?

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