Old Testament

Job 38
The Lord's Challenge to Job
381Then the Lord responded to Job out of a violent storm. He said:
2Who is this who spreads darkness over my plans with his ignorant words?
3Get ready for action[] like a man!
Then I will ask you questions,
and you will inform me.
4Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you understand anything about it.
5Who determined its dimensions?
I am sure you know.
Who stretched out the surveying line over it?
6What supports its foundation?
Who set its cornerstone in place,
7when the morning stars sang loud songs together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?[]
8Who locked up the sea behind doors
when it burst out of the womb?
9When I clothed the sea with clouds,
when I wrapped it with thick darkness as its swaddling cloths,
10when I broke its power with my decree,
when I locked it up behind barred, double doors,
11I said, “You may come this far, but no farther.
Here is the barrier for your proud waves.”
12Have you ever in all your days given a command to the morning?
Have you ever set a time for the sun to rise,
13so it may grab the earth by its edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14The earth's shapes become visible, like designs impressed on clay,
and its decorations can be seen like those on a garment.
15Their light is withheld from the wicked,
and an uplifted arm is broken.
16Have you ever traveled to the sources of the sea
or walked around in the dark depths of the ocean?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?[]
18Do you comprehend the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19How can someone get to the dwelling of light?
Where is the place for darkness?
20Could you lead it to its property?
Do you know the way to its house?
21You must know that, since you were born before it,
and you have lived for so many days!
22Have you visited the warehouses where the snow is kept?
Have you seen the warehouses[] where the hail is stored?
23I have reserved them for troubled times,
for days of battle and war.
24What is the way to the place where the lightning divides,[]
where the east wind is scattered over the earth?
25Who has excavated a channel for the floodwaters
and a road for the rolling thunder?
26They bring rain to lands where no one lives,
to a wilderness without a person in it.
27The rain satisfies the wilderness and wasteland
and causes the dry ground to produce green plants.
28Does the rain have a father?
Who is the father of the drops of dew?
29Whose womb produces the ice?
Who gives birth to the heavy frost from the sky?
30The water is disguised as stone,
and the surface of the deep is trapped under ice.
31Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
or loosen the belt of Orion?
32Can you lead out the constellations at the right season
and guide the Bear with her cubs?[]
33Do you know the laws that govern the skies?
Can you establish God's rule on earth?
34Can you raise your voice to the clouds,
so that a flood of water submerges you?
35Can you unleash the lightning bolts,
so that they come and say to you, “Here we are”?
36Who has placed wisdom in the human heart
and given understanding to the mind?[]
37Who has the wisdom to count the clouds
and to empty the water jars of the sky,
38when the loose dust has been poured into molds to harden,
and the clods of dirt are cemented together?
39Can you hunt prey for a lioness?
Can you satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40when they crouch in their dens,
or they lie in wait in the thicket?
41Who prepares its provisions for the raven,
when its young are screaming to God,
while they thrash around in the nest waiting for food?


  • 38:3 Or hitch up your robes with a belt
  • 38:7 It is not certain whether the terms morning stars and sons of God refer to stars, angels, or both.
  • 38:17 The scribes of the Hebrew text consistently spell this word as shadow of death. Many recent translations alter the spelling to a very similar word that means deep darkness. The EHV in many cases retains the traditional reading.
  • 38:22 Or armories
  • 38:24 Or light is distributed
  • 38:32 The identification of these constellations is uncertain.
  • 38:36 The meanings of the words translated heart and mind are unknown. Some interpret them as names of birds, the ibis and rooster. Others interpret them as names of celestial phenomena, meteors or clouds.