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Job: What Can I Say?

40 Then the Lord said to Job,


“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who disputes with God answer it.”

Then Job replied to the Lord and said,


“Behold, I am of little importance and contemptible; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.(A)

“I have spoken once, but I will not reply again—
Indeed, twice [I have answered], and I will add nothing further.”

God Questions Job

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying,


“Now [a]gird up your loins (prepare yourself) like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me.

“Will you really annul My judgment and set it aside as void?
Will you condemn Me [your God] that you may [appear to] be righteous and justified?

“Have you an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?

10 
“Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity [since you question the Almighty],
And array yourself with honor and majesty.
11 
“Pour out the overflowings of your wrath,
And look at everyone who is proud and make him low.
12 
Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And [if you are so able] tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 
“[Crush and] hide them in the dust together;
Shut them up in the hidden place [the house of death].
14 
“[If you can do all this, Job, proving your divine power] then I [God] will also praise you and acknowledge
That your own right hand can save you.

God’s Power Shown in Creatures

15 
“Behold now, [b]Behemoth, which I created as well as you;
He eats grass like an ox.
16 
“See now, his strength is in his loins
And his power is in the muscles and sinews of his belly.
17 
“He sways his tail like a cedar;
The tendons of his thighs are twisted and knit together [like a rope].
18 
“His bones are tubes of bronze;
His [c]limbs are like bars of iron.

19 
“He is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God;
[Only] He who made him can bring near His sword [to master him].
20 
“Surely the mountains bring him food,
And all the wild animals play there.
21 
“He lies down under the lotus plants,
In the hidden shelter of the reeds in the marsh.
22 
“The lotus plants cover him with their shade;
The willows of the brook surround him.
23 
“If a river rages and overflows, he does not tremble;
He is confident, though the Jordan [River] swells and rushes against his mouth.
24 
“Can anyone capture him when he is on watch,
Or pierce his nose with barbs [to trap him]?

Footnotes

  1. Job 40:7 See note 38:3.
  2. Job 40:15 Or the hippopotamus. Although Behemoth cannot be identified with certainty, the biblical description seems most like the hippopotamus. In ancient times it may have been even more formidable than today. In Job’s day the hippopotamus was the largest known creature, was commonly found in the lower Nile River, and may also have existed in the Jordan.
  3. Job 40:18 Lit bones.

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