Job 38 – New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

  1. Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
  2. “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
  3. Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
  4. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
  5. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
  6. On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—
  7. while the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
  8. “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
  9. 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?


a. Job 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God
b. Job 38:31 Septuagint; Hebrew beauty
c. Job 38:32 Or the morning star in its season
d. Job 38:32 Or out Leo
e. Job 38:33 Or their
f. Job 38:36 That is, wisdom about the flooding of the Nile
g. Job 38:36 That is, understanding of when to crow; the meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.

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Job 38 – King James Version (KJV)

The LORD Answered Job

  1. Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
  2. Who is this that darkeneth counsel By words without knowledge?
  3. Gird up now thy loins like a man; For I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
  4. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.
  5. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it?
  6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof;
  7. When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
  8. Or who shut up the sea with doors, When it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
  9. 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.