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The Lord Speaks: Who Is Able to Challenge Me?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.

“Who is this that belittles my advice
    with words that do not show any knowledge about it?
Brace yourself like a man!
    I will ask you, and you will teach me.

The Lord Speaks about Creation

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me if you have such insight.
Who determined its dimensions?
    Certainly, you know!
Who stretched a measuring line over it?
On what were its footings sunk?
Who laid its cornerstone
    when the morning stars sang together
        and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Who shut the sea behind gates
    when it burst through and came out of the womb,
    when I clothed it with clouds
        and wrapped it up in dark clouds,
10     when I set a limit for it
        and put up bars and gates,
11     when I said, ‘You may come this far but no farther.
        Here your proud waves will stop’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning
    or assigned a place for the dawn
13         so that it could grab the earth by its edges
            and shake wicked people out of it?
14 The earth changes like clay stamped by a seal,
    and parts of it stand out like folds in clothing.
15 Wicked people are deprived of their light,
    and an arm raised in victory is broken.
16 Have you gone to the springs in the sea
    or walked through the valleys of the ocean depths?
17 Have the gateways to death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gateways to total darkness?
18 Have you even considered how wide the earth is?
    Tell me, if you know all of this!

19 “What is the way to the place where light lives?
    Where is the home of darkness
20         so that you may lead it to its territory,
        so that you may know the path to its home?
21 You must know because you were born then
    and have lived such a long time!
22 Have you been to the warehouses where snow is stored
    or seen the warehouses for hail
23         that I have stored up for the time of trouble,
            for the day of battle and war?
24 Which is the way to the place where light is scattered
    and the east wind is spread across the earth?

25 “Who made a channel for the flooding rains
    and a path for the thunderstorms
26         to bring rain on a land where no one lives,
            on a desert where there are no humans,
27         to saturate the desolate wasteland
            in order to make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who gave birth to the dewdrops?
29 From whose womb came the ice,
    and who has given birth to the frost in the air?
30         The water hardens like a stone,
            and the surface of the ocean freezes over.

31 “Can you connect the chains of the constellation Pleiades
    or untie the ropes of Orion?
32 Can you bring out the constellations at the right time
    or guide Ursa Major with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the sky
    or make them rule the earth?
34 Can you call to the clouds
    and have a flood of water cover you?
35 Can you send lightning flashes so that they may go and say to you,
    ‘Here we are’?
36 Who put wisdom in the heart
    or gave understanding to the mind?[a]
37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds
    or pour out the water jars of heaven
38         when the dirt hardens into clumps
            and the soil clings together?

The Lioness

39 “Can you hunt prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of her cubs
40         as they crouch in their dens
            and lie ready to ambush from their lairs?

The Crow

41 “Who provides food for the crow
    when its young ones cry to God
        and wander around in need of food?


  1. Job 38:36 Hebrew meaning uncertain.

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