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Job 38 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord Reveals His Omnipotence to Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now [a]prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the [b]line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
10 When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
11 When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It takes on form like clay under a seal,
And stands out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the [c]upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been [d]revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory,
That you may know the paths to its home?
21 Do you know it, because you were born then,
Or because the number of your days is great?

22 “Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is light [e]diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?

25 “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone,
And the surface of the deep is frozen.[f]

31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,[g]
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out [h]Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide [i]the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in [j]the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?

39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
41 Who provides food for the raven,
When its young ones cry to God,
And wander about for lack of food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:3 Lit. gird up your loins like
  2. Job 38:5 measuring line
  3. Job 38:15 Lit. high
  4. Job 38:17 Lit. opened
  5. Job 38:24 Lit. divided
  6. Job 38:30 Lit. imprisoned
  7. Job 38:31 Or the Seven Stars
  8. Job 38:32 Lit. Constellations
  9. Job 38:32 Or Arcturus
  10. Job 38:36 Lit. the inward parts
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Job 38 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God Speaks Now to Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind and said,

“Who is this who darkens the divine plan
By words without knowledge?
Now [a]tighten the belt on your waist like a man,
And I shall ask you, and you inform Me!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you [b]have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the measuring line over it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When it went out from the womb, bursting forth;
When I made a cloud its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling bands,
10 And I [c]placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
11 And I said, ‘As far as this point you shall come, but no farther;
And here your proud waves shall stop’?

God’s Mighty Power

12 “Have you [d]ever in your life commanded the morning,
And made the dawn know its place,
13 So that it would take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked would be shaken off from it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal;
And they stand out like a garment.
15 Their light is withheld from the wicked,
And the uplifted arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea,
And walked [e]in the depth of the ocean?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
And have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you understood the [f]expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you would take it to its territory,
And discern the paths to its [g]home?
21 You know, for you were born then,
And the number of your days is great!
22 Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
And have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved for a time of distress,
For a day of war and battle?
24 Where is the way that the light is divided,
And the east wind scattered on the earth?

25 “Who has split open a channel for the flood,
And a way for the thunderbolt,
26 To bring rain on a land without [h]people,
On a desert without a person in it,
27 To satisfy the waste and desolate land,
And to make the [i]seeds of grass to sprout?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Or who has fathered the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?
30 Water [j]becomes hard like stone,
And the surface of the deep is imprisoned.

31 “Can you tie up the chains of the Pleiades,
Or untie the cords of Orion?
32 Can you bring out a [k]constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her [l]satellites?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
Or do you establish their rule over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds,
So that an abundance of water will cover you?
35 Can you send flashes of lightning, so that they may go
And say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the innermost being,
Or given understanding to the [m]mind?
37 Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
And pour out the water jars of the heavens,
38 When the dust hardens into a mass
And the clods stick together?

39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lioness,
Or satisfy the appetite of young lions,
40 When they crouch in their hiding places,
And lie in wait in their lair?
41 Who prepares [n]feed for the raven
When its young cry to God,
And wander about without food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:3 I.e., as if for battle
  2. Job 38:4 Lit know understanding
  3. Job 38:10 Lit broke My decree on it
  4. Job 38:12 Lit from your days commanded
  5. Job 38:16 Or in search of the deep
  6. Job 38:18 Or width
  7. Job 38:20 Lit house
  8. Job 38:26 Lit man
  9. Job 38:27 Or growth
  10. Job 38:30 Lit hides itself like
  11. Job 38:32 Heb Mazzaroth
  12. Job 38:32 Lit sons
  13. Job 38:36 Or rooster
  14. Job 38:41 Lit its feed
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Job 38 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God Speaks Now to Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,


“Who is this that darkens counsel [questioning my authority and wisdom]
By words without knowledge?

“Now [a]gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know and have understanding.

“Who determined the measurements [of the earth], if you know?
Or who stretched the [measuring] line on it?

“On what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,

When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God (angels) shouted for joy?


“Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When it burst forth and went out of the womb;

When I made the clouds its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 
And marked for it My [appointed] boundary
And set bars and doors [defining the shorelines],
11 
And said, ‘This far you shall come, but no farther;
And here your proud waves shall stop’?

God’s Mighty Power

12 
Since your days began, have you ever commanded the morning,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 
So that light may take hold of the corners of the earth
And shake the wickedness out of it?
14 
“The earth is changed like clay into which a seal is pressed;
And the things [of the earth] stand out like a [multi-colored] garment.
15 
“Their light is withheld from the wicked,
And the uplifted arm is broken.

16 
“Have you entered and explored the springs of the sea
Or [have you] walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 
“Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 
“Where is the [b]way where light dwells?
And as for darkness, where is its place,
20 
That you may take it to its territory
And that you may know the paths to its house?
21 
“You [must] know, since you were born then,
And [c]because you are so extremely old!
22 
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 
Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 
“Where is the way that the light is distributed,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?

25 
“Who has prepared a channel for the torrents of rain and for the flood,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 
To bring rain on the uninhabited land,
And on the desert where no man lives,
27 
To satisfy the barren and desolate ground
And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?
28 
“Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 
“Out of whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?
30 
“Water becomes like stone [and hides itself],
And the surface of the deep is frozen and imprisoned.

31 
“Can you bind the chains of [the cluster of stars called] Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of [the constellation] Orion?
32 
“Can you lead forth a [d]constellation in its season,
And guide [the stars of] the Bear with her [e]sons?
33 
“Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
Or [can you] establish their rule over the earth?

34 
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
So that an abundance of water will cover you?
35 
“Can you send forth lightnings that they may go
And say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 
“Who has put wisdom in the innermost being [of man, or in the layers of clouds]
Or given understanding to the mind [of man, or to the heavenly display]?
37 
“Who can count the clouds by [earthly] wisdom,
Or pour out the water jars of the heavens,
38 
When the dust hardens into a mass
And the clods stick together [because of the heat]?

39 
“Can you [Job] hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions
40 
When they crouch in their dens
And lie in wait in their lair?
41 
“Who provides prey for the raven
When its young cry to God
And wander about without food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:3 A phrase often found in the Bible that is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or it may be a call to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips). Gird up your mind or gird up your heart are examples of variants of this phrase and call for mental or spiritual preparation for a coming challenge.
  2. Job 38:19 Light travels on a path or “way” through empty space at 299,792,458 meters per second (approximately 186,282 miles per second).
  3. Job 38:21 Lit the number of your days is great.
  4. Job 38:32 Heb Mazzaroth.
  5. Job 38:32 Or satellites.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Job 38 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?

Footnotes:

  1. Job 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God
  2. Job 38:31 Septuagint; Hebrew beauty
  3. Job 38:32 Or the morning star in its season
  4. Job 38:32 Or out Leo
  5. Job 38:33 Or their
  6. Job 38:36 That is, wisdom about the flooding of the Nile
  7. Job 38:36 That is, understanding of when to crow; the meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Job 38 King James Version (KJV)

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;

13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?

36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?

37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,

38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,

40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

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