Job 38:1-18

The Lord Answers Job

1 Then the Lord q answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

2 "Who is this that r darkens counsel by words s without knowledge?
3 t Dress for action 1 like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

4 "Where were you when I u laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements - surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars v sang together
and all w the sons of God x shouted for joy?

8 "Or who y shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and z thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed a limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your b proud waves be stayed'?

12 "Have you c commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of d the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be e shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their f light is withheld,
and g their uplifted arm is broken.

16 "Have you h entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have i the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of j deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

  1. Cross References
    Job 40:6
    Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
    Job 13:22
    Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
  2. Cross References
    Job 42:3
    Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
  3. Cross References
    Job 35:16
    Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies words without knowledge.
  4. Cross References
    1 Kings 18:46
    And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 104:5
    He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.
    Proverbs 30:4
    Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
    Isaiah 40:12 - 14
    Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
    Proverbs 8:24 - 29
    When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 19:1 - 4
    The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
  7. Cross References
    Job 1:6
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
  8. Cross References
    Luke 2:13 - 14
    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying.
  9. Cross References
    Genesis 1:9
    And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.
    Psalms 33:7
    He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
    Psalms 104:8 - 9
    The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
    Jeremiah 5:22
    Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
  10. Cross References
    Job 22:13
    But you say, 'What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness?
  11. Cross References
    Job 38:33
    Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
  12. Cross References
    Psalms 65:7
    Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
    Psalms 89:9
    You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
    Psalms 93:4
    Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!
  13. Cross References
    Psalms 65:8
    So that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
    Psalms 74:16
    Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
  14. Cross References
    Job 37:3
    Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
  15. Cross References
    Nehemiah 5:13
    I also shook out the fold of my garment and said, "So may God shake out every man from his house and from his labor who does not keep this promise. So may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said "Amen" and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised.
  16. Cross References
    Job 18:5
    Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine.
    Matthew 6:23
    But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
    Job 24:13 - 17
    There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.
  17. Cross References
    Psalms 10:15
    Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.
    Psalms 37:17
    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
    Ezekiel 30:21 - 22
    Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and behold, it has not been bound up, to heal it by binding it with a bandage, so that it may become strong to wield the sword.
  18. Cross References
    Psalms 77:19
    Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.
  19. Cross References
    Psalms 9:13
    Be gracious to me, O Lord! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death.
    Psalms 107:18
    They loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
    Isaiah 38:10
    I said, In the middle of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years.
    Matthew 16:18
    And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
  20. Cross References
    Job 3:5
    Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.