Job 38:1-40:5 Reading the Passage

Put Your Confidence in the Lord – Job 38:1-40:5

38 Then Jehovah answered Job out of the tempest. He said, (2) Who is this who darkens deliberations with words that lack knowledge? (3) Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

(4) Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you have understanding. (5) Who marked off its dimensions? Tell me, if you know. Who stretched a measuring line across it? (6) On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—(7) while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God sang for joy? (8) Who knit the sea together behind doors; who brought it forth gushing from the womb; (9) when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in dark mist, (10) when I fixed limits for it and set its bolted doors, (11) and said, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves will break?”

(12) Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, (13) that it might take the earth by its edges, like a huge tablecloth, 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; 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 shadow of death? (18) Have you contemplated the underworld’s vast expanse? Tell me, if you know all this. (19) What is the way to the dwelling place 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; the number of your days is so large! (22) Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, (23) that I reserve for times of trouble, for the day of war and battle? (24) What is the way to the place from where the west wind is dispersed, or the place from where the east wind is scattered over the earth?

(25) Who cuts a channel for the down pouring rain and a path for the thunderstorm, (26) to water a land where no man lives, a desert without inhabitant, (27) to saturate a desolate wasteland, and make it sprout with grass? (28) Does the rain have a father? Who fathered the drops of dew? (29) From whose womb came the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens, (30) when the waters become hard as stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen?

(31) Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords that bind Orion? (32) Can you bring out the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with her cubs? (33) Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you establish their dominion over the earth? (34) Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cause a down pour of water to cover you? (35) Can you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, saying, “Here we are?” (36) Who imparted wisdom to the ibis? Who gave understanding to the rooster? (37) Who has the wisdom to measure the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens (38) when the dust fuses into lumps and the clods of earth stick together?

(39) Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of her whelps (40) when they crouch in their dens or lie in ambush in a thicket? (41) Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander around without food?

39 Do you know the time when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? (2) Do you count the months until they bear their young? Do you know the time they give birth? (3) They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. (4) Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.

(5) Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied his ropes? (6) I gave him the desert to be his home, the salt flats to be his habitat. (7) He scorns the commotion of the city; he does not hear the driver’s shout. (8) He ranges the hills as his pasture and searches for any green plant. (9) Will the wild ox be willing to serve you? Will he stay by your manger at night? (10) Can you hold him to the furrow with a harness? Will he plow the valleys for you? (11) Will you rely on him because of his great strength? Will you assign your heavy work to him? (12) Can you trust him to bring in your grain and gather it to your threshing floor?

(13) The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though her pinions lack feathers for flight. (14) She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, (15) unmindful that a foot may crush them, that a wild beast may trample them. (16) She treats her young harshly, as though they were not her own, not fearful that her labor may have been in vain, (17) for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a portion of understanding. (18) Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at the horse and rider.

(19) Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? (20) Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? (21) He paws in the valley, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. (22) He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. (23) The quiver rattles at his side, along with the glittering spear and lance. (24) In frenzied excitement he devours the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. (25) At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, “Aha!” From a distance he catches the scent of battle, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

(26) Does the hawk take flight because of your understanding and spread its wings toward the south? (27) Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high? (28) It dwells on a cliff and stays there all night; a rocky crag is its stronghold. (29) From there it spies its prey, its eye sees it from a distance. (30) Its young feast on blood, and where the slain are, there she is.

40 Furthermore, Jehovah inquired of Job: (2) Shall the one who raises frivolous objections contend with the Almighty? Let him who would instruct God now give an answer. (3) Then Job answered Jehovah by saying, (4) “I am insignificant, how can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. (5) I have spoken once, but I cannot answer—twice, but I will say nothing more.”

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.