Bible: Job 38-42

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

The Lord’s First Speech 1 

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

38:2Who is this 3  who darkens counsel 4 

with words without knowledge?

38:3 Get ready for a difficult task 5  like a man;

I will question you

and you will inform me!

God’s questions to Job

38:4Where were you

when I laid the foundation 6  of the earth?

Tell me, 7  if you possess understanding!

38:5 Who set its measurements – if 8  you know

or who stretched a measuring line across it?

38:6 On what 9  were its bases 10  set,

or who laid its cornerstone

38:7 when the morning stars 11  sang 12  in chorus, 13 

and all the sons of God 14  shouted for joy?

38:8Who shut up 15  the sea with doors

when it burst forth, 16  coming out of the womb,

38:9 when I made 17  the storm clouds its garment,

and thick darkness its swaddling band, 18 

38:10 when I prescribed 19  its limits,

and set 20  in place its bolts and doors,

38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come 21 

and no farther, 22 

here your proud waves will be confined? 23 

38:12 Have you ever in your life 24  commanded the morning,

or made the dawn know 25  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 features 28  are dyed 29  like a garment.

38:15 Then from the wicked the light is withheld,

and the arm raised in violence 30  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!

38:19In what direction 35  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 storehouse 38  of the snow,

or seen the armory 39  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 lightning 41  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 hard 46  like stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?

38:31 Can you tie the bands 47  of the Pleiades,

or release the cords of Orion?

38:32 Can you lead out

the constellations 48  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 over 52  the water jars of heaven,

38:38 when the dust hardens 53  into a mass,

and the clumps of earth stick together?

38:39Do you hunt prey for the lioness,

and satisfy the appetite 54  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 about 55  for lack of food?

39:1Are you acquainted with the way 56 

the mountain goats 57  give birth?

Do you watch as the wild deer give birth to their young?

39:2 Do you count the months they must fulfill,

and do you know the time they give birth? 58 

39:3 They crouch, they bear 59  their young,

they bring forth the offspring they have carried. 60 

39:4 Their young grow strong, and grow up in the open; 61 

they go off, and do not return to them.

39:5 Who let the wild donkey go free?

Who released the bonds of the donkey,

39:6 to whom I appointed the steppe for its home,

the salt wastes as its dwelling place?

39:7 It scorns the tumult in the town;

it does not hear the shouts of a driver. 62 

39:8 It ranges the hills as its pasture,

and searches after every green plant.

39:9 Is the wild ox willing to be your servant?

Will it spend the night at your feeding trough?

39:10 Can you bind the wild ox 63  to a furrow with its rope,

will it till the valleys, following after you?

39:11 Will you rely on it because its strength is great?

Will you commit 64  your labor to it?

39:12 Can you count on 65  it to bring in 66  your grain, 67 

and gather the grain 68  to your threshing floor? 69 

39:13 70 

The wings of the ostrich 71  flap with joy, 72 

but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork? 73 

39:14 For she leaves 74  her eggs on the ground,

and lets them be warmed on the soil.

39:15 She forgets that a foot might crush them,

or that a wild animal 75  might trample them.

39:16 She is harsh 76  with her young,

as if they were not hers;

she is unconcerned

about the uselessness of her labor.

39:17 For God deprived her of wisdom,

and did not impart understanding to her.

39:18 But as soon as she springs up, 77 

she laughs at the horse and its rider.

39:19Do you give the horse its strength?

Do you clothe its neck with a mane? 78 

39:20 Do you make it leap 79  like a locust?

Its proud neighing 80  is terrifying!

39:21 It 81  paws the ground in the valley, 82 

exulting mightily, 83 

it goes out to meet the weapons.

39:22 It laughs at fear and is not dismayed;

it does not shy away from the sword.

39:23 On it the quiver rattles;

the lance and javelin 84  flash.

39:24 In excitement and impatience it consumes the ground; 85 

it cannot stand still 86  when the trumpet is blown.

39:25 At the sound of the trumpet, it says, ‘Aha!’

And from a distance it catches the scent of battle,

the thunderous shouting of commanders,

and the battle cries.

39:26Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, 87 

and spreads its wings toward the south?

39:27 Is it at your command 88  that the eagle soars,

and builds its nest on high?

39:28 It lives on a rock and spends the night there,

on a rocky crag 89  and a fortress. 90 

39:29 From there it spots 91  its prey, 92 

its eyes gaze intently from a distance.

39:30 And its young ones devour the blood,

and where the dead carcasses 93  are,

there it is.”

Job’s Reply to God’s Challenge

40:1 Then the Lord answered Job:

40:2Will the one who contends 94  with the Almighty correct him? 95 

Let the person who accuses God give him an answer!

40:3 Then Job answered the Lord:

40:4Indeed, I am completely unworthy 96 how could I reply to you?

I put 97  my hand over my mouth to silence myself. 98 

40:5 I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;

twice, but I will say no more.” 99 

The Lord’s Second Speech 100 

40:6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

40:7Get ready for a difficult task 101  like a man.

I will question you and you will inform me!

40:8 Would you indeed annul 102  my justice?

Would you declare me guilty so that you might be right?

40:9 Do you have an arm as powerful as God’s, 103 

and can you thunder with a voice like his?

40:10 Adorn yourself, then, with majesty and excellency,

and clothe yourself with glory and honor!

40:11 Scatter abroad 104  the abundance 105  of your anger.

Look at every proud man 106  and bring him low;

40:12 Look at every proud man and abase him;

crush the wicked on the spot! 107 

40:13 Hide them in the dust 108  together,

imprison 109  them 110  in the grave. 111 

40:14 Then I myself will acknowledge 112  to you

that your own right hand can save you. 113 

The Description of Behemoth 114 

40:15Look now at Behemoth, 115  which I made as 116  I made you;

it eats grass like the ox.

40:16 Look 117  at its strength in its loins,

and its power in the muscles of its belly.

40:17 It makes its tail stiff 118  like a cedar,

the sinews of its thighs are tightly wound.

40:18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,

its limbs like bars of iron.

40:19 It ranks first among the works of God, 119 

the One who made it

has furnished it with a sword. 120 

40:20 For the hills bring it food, 121 

where all the wild animals play.

40:21 Under the lotus trees it lies,

in the secrecy of the reeds and the marsh.

40:22 The lotus trees conceal it in their 122  shadow;

the poplars by the stream conceal it.

40:23 If the river rages, 123  it is not disturbed,

it is secure, 124  though the Jordan

should surge up to its mouth.

40:24 Can anyone catch it by its eyes, 125 

or pierce its nose with a snare? 126 

The Description of Leviathan

41:1 127  “Can you pull in 128  Leviathan with a hook,

and tie down 129  its tongue with a rope?

41:2 Can you put a cord through its nose,

or pierce its jaw with a hook?

41:3 Will it make numerous supplications to you, 130 

will it speak to you with tender words? 131 

41:4 Will it make a pact 132  with you,

so you could take it 133  as your slave for life?

41:5 Can you play 134  with it, like a bird,

or tie it on a leash 135  for your girls?

41:6 Will partners 136  bargain 137  for it?

Will they divide it up 138  among the merchants?

41:7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons

or its head with fishing spears?

41:8 If you lay your hand on it,

you will remember 139  the fight,

and you will never do it again!

41:9 140  See, his expectation is wrong, 141 

he is laid low even at the sight of it. 142 

41:10 Is it not fierce 143  when it is awakened?

Who is he, then, who can stand before it? 144 

41:11 (Who has confronted 145  me that I should repay? 146 

Everything under heaven belongs to me!) 147 

41:12 I will not keep silent about its limbs,

and the extent of its might,

and the grace of its arrangement. 148 

41:13 Who can uncover its outer covering? 149 

Who can penetrate to the inside of its armor? 150 

41:14 Who can open the doors of its mouth? 151 

Its teeth all around are fearsome.

41:15 Its back 152  has rows of shields,

shut up closely 153  together as with a seal;

41:16 each one is so close to the next 154 

that no air can come between them.

41:17 They lock tightly together, one to the next; 155 

they cling together and cannot be separated.

41:18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;

its eyes are like the red glow 156  of dawn.

41:19 Out of its mouth go flames, 157 

sparks of fire shoot forth!

41:20 Smoke streams from its nostrils

as from a boiling pot over burning 158  rushes.

41:21 Its breath sets coals ablaze

and a flame shoots from its mouth.

41:22 Strength lodges in its neck,

and despair 159  runs before it.

41:23 The folds 160  of its flesh are tightly joined;

they are firm on it, immovable. 161 

41:24 Its heart 162  is hard as rock,

hard as a lower millstone.

41:25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified,

at its thrashing about they withdraw. 163 

41:26 Whoever strikes it with a sword 164 

will have no effect, 165 

nor with the spear, arrow, or dart.

41:27 It regards iron as straw

and bronze as rotten wood.

41:28 Arrows 166  do not make it flee;

slingstones become like chaff to it.

41:29 A club is counted 167  as a piece of straw;

it laughs at the rattling of the lance.

41:30 Its underparts 168  are the sharp points of potsherds,

it leaves its mark in the mud

like a threshing sledge. 169 

41:31 It makes the deep boil like a cauldron

and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment, 170 

41:32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;

one would think the deep had a head of white hair.

41:33 The likes of it is not on earth,

a creature 171  without fear.

41:34 It looks on every haughty being;

it is king over all that are proud.” 172 

Job’s Confession

42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:

42:2I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted;

42:3 you asked, 173 

‘Who is this who darkens counsel

without knowledge?’

But 174  I have declared without understanding 175 

things too wonderful for me to know. 176 

42:4 You said, 177 

‘Pay attention, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you will answer me.’

42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye has seen you. 178 

42:6 Therefore I despise myself, 179 

and I repent in dust and ashes!

VII. The Epilogue (42:7-17)

42:7 After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he 180  said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up 181  against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, 182  as my servant Job has. 42:8 So now take 183  seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede 184  for you, and I will respect him, 185  so that I do not deal with you 186  according to your folly, 187  because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 188 

42:9 So they went, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and did just as the Lord had told them; and the Lord had respect for Job. 189 

42:10 So the Lord 190  restored what Job had lost 191  after he prayed for his friends, 192  and the Lord doubled 193  all that had belonged to Job. 42:11 So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined 194  with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver 195  and a gold ring. 196 

42:12 So the Lord blessed the second part of Job’s life more than the first. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 42:13 And he also had seven sons 197  and three daughters. 42:14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, 198  the second Keziah, 199  and the third Keren-Happuch. 200  42:15 Nowhere in all the land could women be found who were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance alongside their brothers.

42:16 After this Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 42:17 And so Job died, old and full of days.

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