4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
5 Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
6 “On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
9 When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?
12 “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
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 is changed like clay under the seal;
And they stand forth like a garment.
15 “From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea
Or 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 way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory
And that you may discern the paths to its 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,
Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress,
For the day of war and battle?
24 “Where is the way that the light is divided,
Or the east wind scattered on the earth?
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the flood,
Or a way for the thunderbolt,
26 To bring rain on a land without people,
On a desert without a man in it,
27 To satisfy the waste and desolate land
And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?
28 “Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 “From whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?
30 “Water becomes hard like stone,
And the surface of the deep is imprisoned.
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?
32 “Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?
33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
Or fix 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
Or given understanding to the mind?
37 “Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
Or tip 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 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 prepares for the raven its nourishment
When its young cry to God
And wander about without food?
1 “Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?
2 “Can you count the months they fulfill,
Or do you know the time they give birth?
3 “They kneel down, they bring forth their young,
They get rid of their labor pains.
4 “Their offspring become strong, they grow up in the open field;
They leave and do not return to them.
5 “Who sent out the wild donkey free?
And who loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
6 To whom I gave the wilderness for a home
And the salt land for his dwelling place?
7 “He scorns the tumult of the city,
The shoutings of the driver he does not hear.
8 “He explores the mountains for his pasture
And searches after every green thing.
9 “Will the wild ox consent to serve you,
Or will he spend the night at your manger?
10 “Can you bind the wild ox in a furrow with ropes,
Or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11 “Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him?
12 “Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?
13 “The ostriches’ wings flap joyously
With the pinion and plumage of love,
14 For she abandons her eggs to the earth
And warms them in the dust,
15 And she forgets that a foot may crush them,
Or that a wild beast may trample them.
16 “She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers;
Though her labor be in vain, she is unconcerned;
17 Because God has made her forget wisdom,
And has not given her a share of understanding.
18 “When she lifts herself on high,
She laughs at the horse and his rider.
19 “Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20 “Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrible.
21 “He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength;
He goes out to meet the weapons.
22 “He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
And he does not turn back from the sword.
23 “The quiver rattles against him,
The flashing spear and javelin.
24 “With shaking and rage he races over the ground,
And he does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet.
25 “As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’
And he scents the battle from afar,
And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
Stretching his wings toward the south?
27 “Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
And makes his nest on high?
28 “On the cliff he dwells and lodges,
Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place.
29 “From there he spies out food;
His eyes see it from afar.
30 “His young ones also suck up blood;
And where the slain are, there is he.”
1 Then the Lord said to Job, 2 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it.”