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Job 38

The LORD Challenges Job

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

2 “Who is this who obscures My counsel

by words without knowledge? a 

3 Now brace yourself b like a man;

I will question you, and you shall inform Me. c 

4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Tell Me, if you have understanding.

5 Who fixed its measurements? Surely you know!

Or who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its foundations set,

or who laid its cornerstone, d 

7 while the morning stars sang together

and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8 Who enclosed the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

9 when I made the clouds its garment

and thick darkness its blanket,

10 when I fixed its boundaries

and set in place its bars and doors,

11 and I declared: ‘You may come this far, but no farther;

here your proud waves must stop’?

12 In your days, have you commanded the morning

or assigned the dawn its place,

13 that it might spread to the ends of the earth

and shake the wicked out of it?

14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;

its hills stand out like the folds of a garment.

15 Light is withheld from the wicked,

and their upraised arm is broken.

16 Have you journeyed to the vents of the sea

or walked in the trenches of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?

Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?

18 Have you surveyed the extent of the earth?

Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 Where is the way to the home of light?

Do you know where darkness resides,

20 so you can lead it back to its border?

Do you know the paths to its home?

21 Surely you know, for you were already born!

And the number of your days is great!

22 Have you entered the storehouses of snow

or observed the storehouses of hail,

23 which I hold in reserve for times of trouble,

for the day of war and battle?

24 In which direction is the lightning dispersed,

or the east wind scattered over the earth?

25 Who cuts a channel for the flood

or clears a path for the thunderbolt,

26 to bring rain on a barren land,

on a desert where no man lives,

27 to satisfy the parched wasteland

and make it sprout with tender grass?

28 Does the rain have a father?

Who has begotten the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb does the ice emerge?

Who gives birth to the frost from heaven,

30 when the waters become hard as stone

and the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades

or loosen the belt of Orion?

32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons e 

or lead out the Bear f and her cubs?

33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set their dominion over the earth?

34 Can you command the clouds

so that a flood of water covers you?

35 Can you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

36 Who has put wisdom in the heart g 

or given understanding to the mind?

37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Or who can tilt the water jars of the heavens

38 when the dust hardens into a mass

and the clods of earth stick together?

39 Can you hunt the prey for a lioness

or satisfy the hunger of young lions

40 when they crouch in their dens

and lie in wait in the thicket?

41 Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

as they wander about for lack of food?



2 a Cited in Job 42:3
3 b Hebrew gird up your loins
3 c Cited in Job 42:4
6 d Or who set its core in place
32 e Or bring forth Mazzaroth in its season
32 f Or Leo or Arcturus
36 g Or Who has given the ibis wisdom , that is, wisdom about the flooding of the Nile

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