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Job 38 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it?

“Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof,

when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth as if it had issued out of the womb;

when I made the cloud the garment thereof and thick darkness a swaddling band for it,

10 and broke up for it My decreed place, and set bars and doors,

11 and said, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed’?

12 “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days, and caused the dayspring to know his place,

13 that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14 It is turned as clay under the seal; and they stand out as a garment.

15 And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken.

16 “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the search of the depths?

17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all.

19 “Where is the way where light dwelleth? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

20 that thou shouldest take it to the boundary thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born, or because the number of thy days is great?

22 “Hast thou entered into the treasure house of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasure house of the hail,

23 which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder,

26 to cause it to rain on the earth where no man is, on the wilderness wherein there is no man;

27 to satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

28 “Hath the rain a father? Or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

29 Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath engendered it?

30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof over the earth?

34 “Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, ‘Here we are’?

36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts, or who hath given understanding to the heart?

37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can stay the bottles of heaven,

38 when the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

39 “Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion, or fill the appetite of the young lions,

40 when they crouch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

41 Who provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of meat?

Job 38 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God
  2. Job 38:31 Septuagint; Hebrew beauty
  3. Job 38:32 Or the morning star in its season
  4. Job 38:32 Or out Leo
  5. Job 38:33 Or their
  6. Job 38:36 That is, wisdom about the flooding of the Nile
  7. Job 38:36 That is, understanding of when to crow; the meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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