The Lord Challenges Job
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
“Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’
“Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors.[b]
The light disturbs the wicked
and stops the arm that is raised in violence.
“Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
Do you realize the extent of the earth?
Tell me about it if you know!
“Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?
Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
and you are so very experienced!
“Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
(I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war.)
Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?
“Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?
“Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes.
“Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
Can you direct the constellations through the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?
“Can you shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
Can you make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?
“Can you stalk prey for a lioness
and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
as they lie in their dens
or crouch in the thicket?
Who provides food for the ravens
when their young cry out to God
and wander about in hunger?
The Lord’s Challenge Continues
“Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
Do you know how many months they carry their young?
Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
They crouch down to give birth to their young
and deliver their offspring.
Their young grow up in the open fields,
then leave home and never return.
“Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
Who untied its ropes?
I have placed it in the wilderness;
its home is the wasteland.
It hates the noise of the city
and has no driver to shout at it.
The mountains are its pastureland,
where it searches for every blade of grass.
“Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
Will it spend the night in your stall?
Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
Will it plow a field for you?
Given its strength, can you trust it?
Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
and deliver it to your threshing floor?
“The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
letting them be warmed in the dust.
She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
or a wild animal might destroy them.
She is harsh toward her young,
as if they were not her own.
She doesn’t care if they die.
For God has deprived her of wisdom.
He has given her no understanding.
But whenever she jumps up to run,
she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.
“Have you given the horse its strength
or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
when it charges out to battle.
It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
It does not run from the sword.
The arrows rattle against it,
and the spear and javelin flash.
It paws the ground fiercely
and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
It snorts at the sound of the horn.
It senses the battle in the distance.
It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.
“Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
and spread its wings toward the south?
Is it at your command that the eagle rises
to the heights to make its nest?
It lives on the cliffs,
making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
From there it hunts its prey,
keeping watch with piercing eyes.
Its young gulp down blood.
Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”
Then the Lord said to Job,
“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”