The Lord Speaks

1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
  2“Who is this that obscures my plans
   with words without knowledge?
  3Brace 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.
  5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
   Who stretched a measuring line across it?
  6On what were its footings set,
   or who laid its cornerstone—
  7while the morning stars sang together
   and all the angels shouted for joy?

  8“Who shut up the sea behind doors
   when it burst forth from the womb,
  9when I made the clouds its garment
   and wrapped it in thick darkness,
  10when I fixed limits for it
   and set its doors and bars in place,
  11when 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,
  13that it might take the earth by the edges
   and shake the wicked out of it?
  14The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
   its features stand out like those of a garment.
  15The 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?
  17Have the gates of death been shown to you?
   Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
  18Have 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?
  20Can you take them to their places?
   Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
  21Surely 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,
  23which I reserve for times of trouble,
   for days of war and battle?
  24What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
   or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
  25Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
   and a path for the thunderstorm,
  26to water a land where no one lives,
   an uninhabited desert,
  27to satisfy a desolate wasteland
   and make it sprout with grass?
  28Does the rain have a father?
   Who fathers the drops of dew?
  29From whose womb comes the ice?
   Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
  30when the waters become hard as stone,
   when the surface of the deep is frozen?

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

  34“Can you raise your voice to the clouds
   and cover yourself with a flood of water?
  35Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
   Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
  36Who gives the ibis wisdom
   or gives the rooster understanding?
  37Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
   Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
  38when 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
  40when they crouch in their dens
   or lie in wait in a thicket?
  41Who provides food for the raven
   when its young cry out to God
   and wander about for lack of food?