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God’s questions to Job

38:4 “Where were you

when I laid the foundation5 of the earth?

Tell me,6 if you possess understanding!

38:5 Who set its measurements—if7 you know—

or who stretched a measuring line across it?

38:6 On what8 were its bases9 set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

38:7 when the morning stars10 sang11 in chorus,12

and all the sons of God13 shouted for joy?

38:“Who shut up14 the sea with doors

when it burst forth,15 coming out of the womb,

38:9 when I made16 the storm clouds its garment,

and thick darkness its swaddling band,17

38:10 when I prescribed18 its limits,

and set19 in place its bolts and doors,

38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come20

and no farther,21

here your proud waves will be confined’?22

38:12 Have you ever in your life23 commanded the morning,

or made the dawn know24 its place,

38:13 that it might seize the corners of the earth,25

and shake the wicked out of it?

38:14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;26

its features27 are dyed28 like a garment.

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

and the arm raised in violence29 is broken.30

38:16 Have you gone to the springs that fill the sea,31

or walked about in the recesses of the deep?

38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?32

Have you seen the gates of deepest darkness?33

38:18 Have you considered the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know it all!

38:19 “In what direction34 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?35

38:21 You know, for you were born before them;36

and the number of your days is great!

38:22 Have you entered the storehouse37 of the snow,

or seen the armory38 of the hail,

38:23 which I reserve for the time of trouble,

for the day of war and battle?39

38:24 In what direction is lightning40 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,41

a desert where there are no human beings,42

38:27 to satisfy a devastated and desolate land,

and to cause it to sprout with vegetation?43

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,44 who gives birth to it,

38:30 when the waters become hard45 like stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?

38:31 Can you tie the bands46 of the Pleiades,

or release the cords of Orion?

38:32 Can you lead out

the constellations47 in their seasons,

or guide the Bear with its cubs?48

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?49

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,50

or has imparted understanding to the mind?

38:37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds,

and who can tip over51 the water jars of heaven,

38:38 when the dust hardens52 into a mass,

and the clumps of earth stick together?

38:39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness,

and satisfy the appetite53 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 about54 for lack of food?

39:1 “Are you acquainted with the way1

the mountain goats2 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?3

39:3 They crouch, they bear4 their young,

they bring forth the offspring they have carried.5

39:4 Their young grow strong, and grow up in the open;6

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.7

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 ox8 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 commit9 your labor to it?

39:12 Can you count on10 it to bring in11 your grain,12

and gather the grain13 to your threshing floor?14

39:13 15 “The wings of the ostrich16 flap with joy,17

but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork?18

39:14 For she leaves19 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 animal20 might trample them.

39:16 She is harsh21 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,22

she laughs at the horse and its rider.

39:19 “Do you give the horse its strength?

Do you clothe its neck with a mane?23

39:20 Do you make it leap24 like a locust?

Its proud neighing25 is terrifying!

39:21 It26 paws the ground in the valley,27

exulting mightily,28

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 javelin29 flash.

39:24 In excitement and impatience it consumes the ground;30

it cannot stand still31 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.

39:26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,32

and spreads its wings toward the south?

39:27 Is it at your command33 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 crag34 and a fortress.35

39:29 From there it spots36 its prey,37

its eyes gaze intently from a distance.

39:30 And its young ones devour the blood,

and where the dead carcasses38 are,

there it is.”


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