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Job's Closing Speech: Job 38.1-42.6
The LORD Speaks
From out of a storm, the LORD said to Job:
Why do you talk so much when
you know so little?
Now get ready to face me!
Can you answer the questions I ask?
How did I lay the foundation for the
Were you there?
Doubtless you know who decided its length and
What supports the foundation? Who placed the cornerstone,
while morning stars sang, and angels rejoiced?
When the ocean was born, I set its boundaries
and wrapped it in
blankets of thickest fog.
Then I built a wall around it, locked the gates,
"Your powerful waves stop here! They can go no farther."
Did you ever tell the sun to rise?
And did it obey?
Did it take
hold of the earth and shake out the wicked
like dust from a rug?
Early dawn outlines the hills like stitches on clothing
or sketches on
But its light is too much for those who are evil,
power is broken.
Job, have you ever walked on the ocean floor?
Have you seen the gate
to the world of the dead?
And how large is the
earth? Tell me, if you know!
Where is the home of light, and where does darkness live?
Can you lead them home?
I'm certain you must
be able to, since you were already born
when I created everything.
Have you been to the places where I keep snow and hail,
until I use them to punish and conquer nations?
From where does lightning leap, or the east wind blow?
Who carves out a path for thunderstorms?
sends torrents of rain on empty deserts
where no one lives?
changes barren land
to meadows green with grass.
Who is the father of
the dew and of the rain?
Who gives birth to the sleet and the frost
that fall in winter,
when streams and lakes
freeze solid as a rock?
Can you arrange stars in groups
such as Orion and the Pleiades?
Do you control the stars or set in place the Big Dipper
and the Little
Do you know the laws that govern the heavens,
and can you
make them rule the earth?
Can you order the clouds to send a downpour,
or will lightning flash at your command?
you teach birds to know that rain or floods
are on their way?
count the clouds or pour out their water
dry, lumpy soil?
When lions are hungry, do you help them hunt?
Do you send an animal into their den?
when starving young ravens cry out to me for food,
do you satisfy their
The LORD Continues
When do mountain goats and deer give birth?
Have you been there when
their young are born?
How long are they pregnant before they deliver?
Soon their young grow strong and then leave
to be on their own.
Who set wild donkeys free?
I alone help them
survive in salty desert sand.
They stay far from crowded cities and refuse
to be tamed.
Instead, they roam the hills,
searching for pastureland.
Would a wild ox agree to live in your barn
and labor for you?
Could you force him to plow or to drag a heavy log
to smooth out the soil?
Can you depend on him to use his great strength
and do your heavy
Can you trust him to harvest your grain
or take it to your barn
from the threshing place?
An ostrich proudly flaps her wings,
but not because she loves her
She abandons her eggs
and lets the dusty ground keep them
And she doesn't seem to worry
that the feet of an animal could
crush them all.
She treats her eggs as though they were not her own,
unconcerned that her work might be for nothing.
I myself made her foolish
and without common sense.
But once she starts running,
she laughs at a
rider on the fastest horse.
Did you give horses their strength
and the flowing hair along their
Did you make them able to jump like grasshoppers
frighten people with their snorting?
Before horses are ridden into battle,
they paw at the ground, proud of
Laughing at fear, they rush toward the fighting,
while the weapons of their riders
rattle and flash in the sun.
to stand still, they gallop eagerly into battle
when trumpets blast.
Stirred by the distant smells and sounds of war,
they snort in reply to the
Did you teach hawks to fly south for the winter?
Did you train eagles
to build their nests on rocky cliffs,
can look down to spot their next meal?
Then their young gather to feast
wherever the victim lies.
The LORD Continues
I am the LORD All-Powerful,
but you have argued that I am wrong.
Now you must answer me.
Job said to the LORD:
Who am I to answer you?
I did speak once or twice, but never again.
Then out of the storm
the LORD said to Job:
Face me and answer
the questions I ask!
Are you trying to prove that you are innocent
accusing me of injustice?
Do you have a powerful arm and a thundering
that compare with mine?
If so, then surround yourself with
glory and majesty.
Show your furious anger!
Throw down and crush all
who are proud and evil.
Wrap them in grave clothes and bury them together
in the dusty soil.
Do this, and I will agree that you have won this
I created both you and the hippopotamus.
It eats only grass like an
but look at the mighty muscles in its body and
Its tail is like a cedar tree, and its thighs are thick.
The bones in its legs are like bronze or iron.
I made it more powerful than any other creature,
yet I am stronger
Undisturbed, it eats grass
while the other animals play
It rests in the shade of trees along the riverbank
among reeds in the swamp.
It remains calm and unafraid
Jordan River rushing and splashing in its face.
There is no way to capturea hippopotamus
not even by hooking its nose or blinding its eyes.
The LORD Continues
Can you catch a sea monster by using a fishhook?
Can you tie its mouth
shut with a rope?
Can it be led around by a ring in its nose
hook in its jaw?
Will it beg for mercy?
it surrender as a slave for life?
Can it be tied by the leg
pet bird for little girls?
Is it ever chopped up and its pieces bargained
in the fishmarket?
Can it be killed with harpoons or spears?
Wrestle it just oncethat will be the end.
Merely a glimpse of this monster makes all courage melt.
And if it is too
fierce for anyone to attack,
who would dare oppose me?
I am in
command of the world and in debt to no one.
What powerful legs, what a stout body
this monster possesses!
could strip off its armor
or bring it under control with a harness?
Who would try to open its jaws, full of fearsome teeth?
Its back is
covered with shield after shield,
firmly bound and
closer together than breath to breath.
When this monster sneezes, lightning flashes,
and its eyes glow like
Sparks and fiery flames explode from its mouth.
spews from its nose
like steam from a boiling pot,
while its blazing
scorches everything in sight.
Its neck is so tremendous that everyone trembles,
the weakest parts of
its body are harder than iron,
and its heart is
When this noisy monster appears, even the most powerful
and run in fear.
No sword or spear can harm it,
and weapons of bronze
or iron are as useless
as straw or rotten wood.
Rocks thrown from a
sling cause it no more harm
than husks of grain.
This monster fears
no arrows, it simply smiles at spears,
and striking it with a stick is
like slapping it with straw.
As it crawls through the mud, its sharp and spiny hide
And when it swims down deep,
the sea starts churning
like boiling oil,
and it leaves behind a trail of
shining white foam.
No other creature on earth is so fearless.
king of all proud creatures,
and it looks upon the others as nothing.
Job's Reply to the LORD
No one can oppose you, because you have the power
what you want.
You asked why I talk so much when I know so little.
have talked about things
that are far beyond my understanding.
told me to listen and answer your questions.
I heard about you from others;
now I have seen you with my own eyes.
That's why I hate myself and
sit here in dust and ashes
to show my sorrow.
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