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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 38

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1 THEN the LORD answered Job out of the tempest:

2Who is this who darkens counsel with words devoid of knowledge? 3Brace yourself and stand up like a man; I shall put questions to you, and you must answer.

4Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me, if you know and understand. 5Who fixed its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line over it? 6On what do its supporting pillars rest? Who set its corner-stone in place, 7while the morning stars sang in chorus and the sons of God all shouted for joy?

8Who supported the sea at its birth a 38:8 Who … birth: prob. rdg; Heb. And he held back the sea with two doors. , when it burst in flood from the womb— 9when I wrapped it in a blanket of cloud and swaddled it in dense fog, 10when I established its bounds, set its barred doors in place, 11and said, ‘Thus far may you come but no farther; here your surging waves must halt’?

12In all your life have you ever called up the dawn or assigned the morning its place? 13Have you taught it to grasp the fringes of the earth and shake the Dog-star from the sky b 38:13 the Dog-star … sky: lit. the Dog-stars from it. ; 14to bring up the horizon in relief as clay under a seal, until all things stand out like the folds of a cloak, 15when the light of the Dog-star is dimmed and the stars of the Navigator's Line go out one by one?

16Have you gone down to the springs of the sea or walked in the unfathomable deep? 17Have the portals of death been revealed to you? Have you seen the door-keepers of the place of darkness? 18Have you comprehended the vast expanse of the world? Tell me all this, if you know.

19Which is the way to the home of light, and where does darkness dwell? 20Can you then take each to its appointed boundary and escort it on its homeward path? 21Doubtless you know, for you were already born. So long is the span of your life!

22Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the arsenal where hail is stored, 23which I have kept ready for the day of calamity, for war and for the hour of battle? 24By what paths is the heat spread abroad or the east wind dispersed world-wide? 25Who has cut channels for the downpour and cleared a path for the thunderbolt, 26for rain to fall on land devoid of people, on the uninhabited wilderness, 27clothing waste and derelict lands with green and making grass spring up on thirsty ground c 38:27 thirsty ground: prob. rdg; Heb. source. ?

28Does the rain have a father? Who sired the drops of dew? 29Whose womb gave birth to the ice, and who was the mother of the hoar-frost in the skies, 30which lays a stony cover over the waters and freezes the surface of the deep?

31Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades or loose Orion's belt? 32Can you bring out the signs of the zodiac in their season or guide Aldebaran and its satellite stars? 33Did you proclaim the rules that govern the heavens or determine the laws of nature on the earth? 34Can you command the clouds to envelop you in a deluge of rain?

35If you bid lightning speed on its way, will it say to you, ‘I am ready’? 36Who put wisdom in depths of darkness and veiled understanding in secrecy d 38:36 secrecy: prob. rdg; Heb. word unknown. ? 37Who is wise enough to marshal the rain-clouds and empty the cisterns e 38:37 empty the cisterns: lit. tilt the water-skins. of heaven, 38when the dusty soil sets in a dense mass, and the clods of earth stick fast together?

39Can you hunt prey for the lioness and satisfy the appetite of young lions, 40as they crouch in the lair or lie in wait in the covert? 41Who provides the raven with its quarry when its fledgelings cry aloud f 38:41 cry aloud: prob. rdg; Heb. adds to God. , croaking for lack of food?

Notes:

a 38:8 Who … birth: prob. rdg; Heb. And he held back the sea with two doors.

b 38:13 the Dog-star … sky: lit. the Dog-stars from it.

c 38:27 thirsty ground: prob. rdg; Heb. source.

d 38:36 secrecy: prob. rdg; Heb. word unknown.

e 38:37 empty the cisterns: lit. tilt the water-skins.

f 38:41 cry aloud: prob. rdg; Heb. adds to God.

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