Job 38

The Lord asks Job some questions

38:1In chapters 38 to 41, God speaks to Job. He asks Job questions. He knows that Job must answer ‘No.’ There are a lot of things that only God knows. Job does not know these things. There are a lot of things that only God can do. Job cannot do any of these things. God tells Job that only he is completely wise and powerful. He knows what is right and fair.

1 The Lord spoke to Job from the middle of the storm. This is what he said:

2 ‘Who do you think you are?

Why do you ask questions about my wisdom?

You speak many words,

but you do not understand anything.

3 Prepare yourself for a difficult job!

I will ask you some questions and you must answer them.

4 Were you with me when I made the world?

If you think you are so clever,

tell me all about it!

5 It was me who decided the size of the world.

You surely must know that!

I measured it as I made it.

6 Tell me how I fixed the foundations of the earth.

Who made it stay in its right place? I did!

7 At the dawn of that day, the stars sang together.

They sang for joy with all the angels.

8 When the sea poured out of the ground,

I decided where its borders should be.

I kept the water in its right place.

9 I caused the clouds to come over the sea.

I covered it with complete darkness.

10 I put a border around the sea.

I locked it in its place.

11 I said to the sea, “This is as far as you can come.

You may come no further.

Your powerful waves must stop there!”

12 But you, Job, did you ever command the morning to begin?

No! You have never in your whole life told the sun when it should rise.

13 You have not told the light of day to cover the earth.

You have not told it to chase away the wicked things that happen in the night.

14 When the light of day comes,

people see the land clearly.

Its shape and colours show like bright clothes.

15 The light of day is too bright for wicked people.

It destroys their power to do cruel things.

16 You have not gone to the springs

that fill the seas with water.

You have not walked on the bottom of the deep seas.

17 Nobody has showed you the gates of death.

People go through them to that very dark place.

18 You do not understand the great size of the earth.

If you know all about that, tell me!

19 You do not know where light comes from.

You do not know where darkness has its home.

20 Can you take them to the places where they belong?

Do you know the roads that go there?

21 Surely you must know all this,

because you have lived for so long!

It seems that you were already born

when I created these things!

38:21God is laughing at Job. Job thinks that he knows everything about God. But Job was not with God when God made the world. So Job cannot know about all the things that God has done.

22 Have you visited the place where I keep all the snow?

Or the place where I keep the hail?

23 I keep the snow and the hail ready to use.

I use them in times of trouble and wars.

24 You do not know where lightning comes from.

Or where the east wind starts

when it blows across the earth.

25 I make a path for the storms to travel along.

I tell the thunder and the strong rain which way to go.

26 I cause rain to fall in places where no person lives.

It makes even a desert become a wet place.

27 The rain falls on dry ground where nothing grows.

It causes grass to grow there again.

28 Do you know if the rain has a father?

Who is a father to the dew?

29 Who is a mother to the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost that makes the air so cold?

30 It causes the water to become as hard as stone.

The water of the sea also becomes ice.

31 You cannot make the stars of the Pleiades stay in their places.

You cannot change the shape of Orion.

32 You bring out the groups of stars

for people to see at different times of the year.

You cannot put the stars of the Great Bear and the Little Bear

in their right places in the sky.

38:32Pleiades, Orion, the Great Bear and the Little Bear are groups of stars.

33 You do not know the rules that the stars above obey.

You cannot make the earth obey those rules.

34 You cannot shout commands to the clouds.

You cannot tell them to pour down their rain,

so that a flood of water covers you.

35 You cannot send the lightning

to hit the place that you want it to go.

The lightning does not say to you,

“We are ready to go wherever you want.”

36 Who has given people wisdom,

so that they understand things with their minds?

37 Is anyone wise enough to count the clouds?

Can anyone cause the clouds to pour down rain from above?

38 The rain causes the dust of the dry ground to become hard.

The dry soil becomes pieces of mud.

39 When the lions become hungry,

can you find food for the young lions to eat?

40 You cannot do that for them

when they sit in their caves.

You cannot help them as they hide in the bushes,

ready to attack other animals.

41 You cannot find food for the ravens to eat.

You cannot help them when their babies cry to me

because they are weak and hungry.’