Search the CEB

  • Job 38

    The Lord answers from a whirlwind

    38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

    Who is this darkening counsel
        with words lacking knowledge?
    Prepare yourself like a man;
        I will interrogate you, and you will respond to me.

    The establishing of order

    Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?
        Tell me if you know.
    Who set its measurements? Surely you know.
        Who stretched a measuring tape on it?
    On what were its footings sunk;
        who laid its cornerstone,
        while the morning stars sang in unison
            and all the divine beings shouted?
    Who enclosed the Sea behind doors
        when it burst forth from the womb,
        when I made the clouds its garment,
            the dense clouds its wrap,
    10     when I imposed my limit for it,
            put on a bar and doors
    11     and said, “You may come this far, no farther;
            here your proud waves stop”?

    12 In your lifetime have you commanded the morning,
            informed the dawn of its place
    13     so it would take hold of earth by its edges
            and shake the wicked out of it?
    14 Do you turn it over like clay for a seal,
            so it stands out like a colorful garment?
    15 Light is withheld from the wicked,
        the uplifted arm broken.

    The vast beyond

    16 Have you gone to the sea’s sources,
        walked in the chamber of the deep?
    17 Have death’s gates been revealed to you;
        can you see the gates of deep darkness?
    18 Have you surveyed earth’s expanses?
        Tell me if you know everything about it.
    19 Where’s the road to the place where light dwells;
            darkness, where’s it located?
    20     Can you take it to its territory;
            do you know the paths to its house?
    21 You know, for you were born then;
        you have lived such a long time!
    22 Have you gone to snow’s storehouses,
            seen the storehouses of hail
    23     that I have reserved for a time of distress,
            for a day of battle and war?
    24 What is the way to the place where light is divided up;
            the east wind scattered over earth?

    Meteorological facts

    25 Who cut a channel for the downpours
            and a way for blasts of thunder
    26     to bring water to uninhabited land,
            a desert with no human
    27     to saturate dry wasteland
            and make grass sprout?
    28 Has the rain a father
        who brought forth drops of dew?
    29 From whose belly does ice come;
        who gave birth to heaven’s frost?
    30 Water hardens like stone;
        the surface of the deep thickens.
    31 Can you bind Pleiades’ chains
        or loosen the reins of Orion?
    32 Can you guide the stars
    at their proper times,
        lead the Bear with her cubs?
    33 Do you know heaven’s laws,
        or can you impose its rule on earth?
    34 Can you issue an order to the clouds
        so their abundant waters cover you?
    35 Can you send lightning so that it goes
        and then says to you, “I’m here”?
    36 Who put wisdom in remote places,
        or who gave understanding to a rooster?
    37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds,
            and who can tilt heaven’s water containers
    38     so that dust becomes mud
            and clods of dirt adhere?

    Lion and raven

    39 Can you hunt prey for the lion
        or fill the cravings of lion cubs?
    40 They lie in their den,
        lie in ambush in their lair.
    41 Who provides food for the raven
        when its young cry to God,
        move about without food?