Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 169

Job 38–42

Bible text(s)

The LORD Answers Job

1Then out of the storm the LORD spoke to Job.


2Who are you to question my wisdom

with your ignorant, empty words?

3Now stand up straight

and answer the questions I ask you.

4Were you there when I made the world?

If you know so much, tell me about it.

5Who decided how large it would be?

Who stretched the measuring line over it?

Do you know all the answers?

6What holds up the pillars that support the earth?

Who laid the cornerstone of the world?

7In the dawn of that day the stars sang together,

and the heavenly beings shouted for joy.

8Who closed the gates to hold back the sea

when it burst from the womb of the earth?

9It was I who covered the sea with clouds

and wrapped it in darkness.

10I marked a boundary for the sea

and kept it behind bolted gates.

11I told it, “So far and no farther!

Here your powerful waves must stop.”

12Job, have you ever in all your life

commanded a day to dawn?

13Have you ordered the dawn to seize the earth

and shake the wicked from their hiding places?

14Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out

like the folds of a garment,

clear as the imprint of a seal on clay.

15The light of day is too bright for the wicked

and restrains them from deeds of violence.

16Have you been to the springs in the depths of the sea?

Have you walked on the floor of the ocean?

17Has anyone ever shown you the gates

that guard the dark world of the dead?

18Have you any idea how big the world is?

Answer me if you know.

19Do you know where the light comes from

or what the source of darkness is?

20Can you show them how far to go,

or send them back again?

21I am sure you can, because you're so old

and were there when the world was made!

22Have you ever visited the storerooms,

where I keep the snow and the hail?

23I keep them ready for times of trouble,

for days of battle and war.

24Have you been to the place where the sun comes up,

or the place from which the east wind blows?

25Who dug a channel for the pouring rain

and cleared the way for the thunderstorm?

26Who makes rain fall where no one lives?

27Who waters the dry and thirsty land,

so that grass springs up?

28Does either the rain or the dew have a father?

29Who is the mother of the ice and the frost,

30which turn the waters to stone

and freeze the face of the sea?

31Can you tie the Pleiades together

or loosen the bonds that hold Orion?

32Can you guide the stars season by season

and direct the Great and the Little Bear?

33Do you know the laws that govern the skies,

and can you make them apply to the earth?

34Can you shout orders to the clouds

and make them drench you with rain?

35And if you command the lightning to flash,

will it come to you and say, “At your service”?

36Who tells the ibis when the Nile will flood,

or who tells the cock that rain will fall?

37Who is wise enough to count the clouds

and tilt them over to pour out the rain,

38rain that hardens the dust into lumps?

39Do you find food for lions to eat,

and satisfy hungry young lions

40when they hide in their caves,

or lie in wait in their dens?

41Who is it that feeds the ravens

when they wander about hungry,

when their young cry to me for food?

1Do you know when mountain goats are born?

Have you watched wild deer give birth?

2Do you know how long they carry their young?

Do you know the time for their birth?

3Do you know when they will crouch down

and bring their young into the world?

4In the wilds their young grow strong;

they go away and don't come back.

5Who gave the wild donkeys their freedom?

Who turned them loose and let them roam?

6I gave them the desert to be their home,

and let them live on the salt plains.

7They keep far away from the noisy cities,

and no one can tame them and make them work.

8The mountains are the pastures where they feed,

where they search for anything green to eat.

9Will a wild ox work for you?

Is he willing to spend the night in your stable?

10Can you hold one with a rope and make him plough?

Or make him pull a harrow in your fields?

11Can you rely on his great strength

and expect him to do your heavy work?

12Do you expect him to bring in your harvest

and gather the grain from your threshing place?

13How fast the wings of an ostrich beat!

But no ostrich can fly like a stork.

14The ostrich leaves her eggs on the ground

for the heat in the soil to warm them.

15She is unaware that a foot may crush them

or a wild animal break them.

16She acts as if the eggs were not hers,

and is unconcerned that her efforts were wasted.

17It was I who made her foolish

and did not give her wisdom.

18But when she begins to run,

she can laugh at any horse and rider.

19Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong

and gave them their flowing manes?

20Did you make them leap like locusts

and frighten people with their snorting?

21They eagerly paw the ground in the valley;

they rush into battle with all their strength.

22They do not know the meaning of fear,

and no sword can turn them back.

23The weapons which their riders carry

rattle and flash in the sun.

24Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead;

when the trumpet blows, they can't stand still.

25At each blast of the trumpet they snort;

they can smell a battle before they get near,

and they hear the officers shouting commands.

26Does a hawk learn from you how to fly

when it spreads its wings towards the south?

27Does an eagle wait for your command

to build its nest high in the mountains?

28It makes its home on the highest rocks

and makes the sharp peaks its fortress.

29From there it watches near and far

for something to kill and eat.

30Around dead bodies the eagles gather,

and the young eagles drink the blood.

1-2Job, you challenged Almighty God;

will you give up now, or will you answer?


3-4I spoke foolishly, LORD. What can I answer?

I will not try to say anything else.

5I have already said more than I should.

6Then out of the storm the LORD spoke to Job once again.


7Stand up straight now,

and answer my questions.

8Are you trying to prove that I am unjust —

to put me in the wrong and yourself in the right?

9Are you as strong as I am?

Can your voice thunder as loud as mine?

10If so, stand up in your honour and pride;

clothe yourself with majesty and glory.

11Look at those who are proud;

pour out your anger and humble them.

12Yes, look at them and bring them down;

crush the wicked where they stand.

13Bury them all in the ground;

bind them in the world of the dead.

14Then I will be the first to praise you

and admit that you won the victory yourself.

15Look at the monster Behemoth;

I created him and I created you.

He eats grass like a cow,

16but what strength there is in his body,

and what power there is in his muscles!

17His tail stands up like a cedar,

and the muscles in his legs are strong.

18His bones are as strong as bronze,

and his legs are like iron bars.

19The most amazing of all my creatures!

Only his Creator can defeat him.

20Grass to feed him grows

on the hills where wild beasts play.

21He lies down under the thorn bushes,

and hides among the reeds in the swamp.

22The thorn bushes and the willows by the stream

give him shelter in their shade.

23He is not afraid of a rushing river;

he is calm when the Jordan dashes in his face.

24Who can blind his eyes and capture him?

Or who can catch his snout in a trap?

1Can you catch Leviathan with a fish-hook

or tie his tongue down with a rope?

2Can you put a rope through his snout

or put a hook through his jaws?

3Will he beg you to let him go?

Will he plead with you for mercy?

4Will he make an agreement with you

and promise to serve you for ever?

5Will you tie him up like a pet bird,

like something to amuse your servant women?

6Will fishermen bargain over him?

Will merchants cut him up to sell?

7Can you fill his hide with fishing spears

or pierce his head with a harpoon?

8Touch him once and you'll never try it again;

you'll never forget the fight!

9Anyone who sees Leviathan

loses courage and falls to the ground.

10When he is aroused, he is fierce;

no one would dare to stand before him.

11Who can attack him and still be safe?

No one in all the world can do it.

12Let me tell you about Leviathan's legs

and describe how great and strong he is.

13No one can tear off his outer coat

or pierce the armour he wears.

14Who can make him open his jaws,

ringed with those terrifying teeth?

15His back is made of rows of shields,

fastened together and hard as stone.

16Each one is joined so tight to the next,

not even a breath can come between.

17They all are fastened so firmly together

that nothing can ever pull them apart.

18Light flashes when he sneezes,

and his eyes glow like the rising sun.

19Flames blaze from his mouth,

and streams of sparks fly out.

20Smoke comes pouring out of his nose,

like smoke from weeds burning under a pot.

21His breath starts fires burning;

flames leap out of his mouth.

22His neck is so powerful

that all who meet him are terrified.

23There is not a weak spot in his skin;

it is as hard and unyielding as iron.

24His stony heart is without fear,

as unyielding and hard as a millstone.

25When he rises up, even the strongest are frightened;

they are helpless with fear.

26There is no sword that can wound him;

no spear or arrow or lance that can harm him.

27For him iron is as flimsy as straw,

and bronze as soft as rotten wood.

28There is no arrow that can make him run;

rocks thrown at him are like bits of straw.

29To him a club is a piece of straw,

and he laughs when men throw spears.

30The scales on his belly are like jagged pieces of pottery;

they tear up the muddy ground like a threshing-sledge.

31He churns up the sea like boiling water

and makes it bubble like a pot of oil.

32He leaves a shining path behind him

and turns the sea to white foam.

33There is nothing on earth to compare with him;

he is a creature that has no fear.

34He looks down on even the proudest animals;

he is king of all wild beasts.

1Then Job answered the LORD.


2I know, LORD, that you are all-powerful;

that you can do everything you want.

3You ask how I dare question your wisdom

when I am so very ignorant.

I talked about things I did not understand,

about marvels too great for me to know.

4You told me to listen while you spoke

and to try to answer your questions.

5In the past I knew only what others had told me,

but now I have seen you with my own eyes.

6So I am ashamed of all I have said

and repent in dust and ashes.


7After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you did not speak the truth about me, as my servant Job did. 8Now take seven bulls and seven rams to Job and offer them as a sacrifice for yourselves. Job will pray for you, and I will answer his prayer and not disgrace you as you deserve. You did not speak the truth about me as he did.”

9Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did what the LORD had told them to do, and the LORD answered Job's prayer.

10Then, after Job had prayed for his three friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had had before. 11All Job's brothers and sisters and former friends came to visit him and feasted with him in his house. They expressed their sympathy and comforted him for all the troubles the LORD had brought on him. Each of them gave him some money and a gold ring.

12The LORD blessed the last part of Job's life even more than he had blessed the first. Job owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 2,000 head of cattle, and 1,000 donkeys. 13He was the father of seven sons and three daughters. 14He called the eldest daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the youngest Keren Happuch. 15There were no other women in the whole world as beautiful as Job's daughters. Their father gave them a share of the inheritance along with their brothers.

16Job lived 140 years after this, long enough to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 17And then he died at a very great age.

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