The Lord’s First Speech

38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
38:2 “Who is this who darkens counsel
with words without knowledge?
38:3 Get ready for a difficult task 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 foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding!
38:5 Who set its measurements – if you know –
or who stretched a measuring line across it?
38:6 On what were its bases set,
or who laid its cornerstone –
38:7 when the morning stars sang in chorus,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

38:8 “Who shut up the sea with doors
when it burst forth, coming out of the womb,
38:9 when I made the storm clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
38:10 when I prescribed its limits,
and set in place its bolts and doors,
38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come
and no farther,
here your proud waves will be confined’?

38:12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
or made the dawn know its place,
38:13 that it might seize the corners of the earth,
and shake the wicked out of it?
38:14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features are dyed like a garment.
38:15 Then from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm raised in violence is broken.
38:16 Have you gone to the springs that fill the sea,
or walked about in the recesses of the deep?
38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Have you seen the gates of deepest darkness?
38:18 Have you considered the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know it all!

38:19 “In what direction 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?
38:21 You know, for you were born before them;
and the number of your days is great!
38:22 Have you entered the storehouse of the snow,
or seen the armory of the hail,
38:23 which I reserve for the time of trouble,
for the day of war and battle?
38:24 In what direction is lightning 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,
a desert where there are no human beings,
38:27 to satisfy a devastated and desolate land,
and to cause it to sprout with vegetation?
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, who gives birth to it,
38:30 when the waters become hard like stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?
38:31 Can you tie the bands of the Pleiades,
or release the cords of Orion?
38:32 Can you lead out
the constellations in their seasons,
or guide the Bear with its cubs?
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?
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,
or has imparted understanding to the mind?
38:37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds,
and who can tip over the water jars of heaven,
38:38 when the dust hardens into a mass,
and the clumps of earth stick together?

38:39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness,
and satisfy the appetite 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 for lack of food?