The Book of Job – The Lord’s Speech Part I


Chapter 38

God interposes and shews from the things he hath made, that man cannot comprehend his power and wisdom.

[1] Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

[1] “The Lord”: That is, an angel speaking in the name of the Lord.

[6] Upon what are its bases grounded? or who laid the corner stone thereof, [7] When the morning stars praised me together, and all the sons of God made a joyful melody? [8] Who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth as issuing out of the womb: [9] When I made a cloud the garment thereof, and wrapped it in a mist as in swaddling bands? [10] I set my bounds around it, and made it bars and doors:

[11] And I said: Hitherto thou shalt come, and shalt go no further, and here thou shalt break thy swelling waves. [12] Didst thou since thy birth command the morning, and shew the dawning of the day its place? [13] And didst thou hold the extremities of the earth shaking them, and hast thou shaken the ungodly out of it? [14] The seal shall be restored as clay, and shall stand as a garment: [15] From the wicked their light shall be taken away, and the high arm shall be broken.

[16] Hast thou entered into the depths of the sea, and walked in the lowest parts of the deep?[17] Have the gates of death been opened to thee, and hast thou seen the darksome doors?[18] Hast thou considered the breadth of the earth? tell me, if thou knowest all things? [19]Where is the way where light dwelleth, and where is the place of darkness: [20] That thou mayst bring every thing to its own bounds, and understand the paths of the house thereof.

[21] Didst thou know then that thou shouldst be born? and didst thou know the number of thy days? [22] Hast thou entered into the storehouses of the snow, or has thou beheld the treasures of the hail: [23] Which I have prepared for the time of the enemy, against the day of battle and war? [24] By what way is the light spread, and heat divided upon the earth? [25] Who gave a course to violent showers, or a way for noisy thunder:

[26] That it should rain on the earth without man in the wilderness, where no mortal dwelleth:[27] That it should fill the desert and desolate land, and should bring forth green grass? [28]Who is the father of rain? or who begot the drops of dew? [29] Out of whose womb came the ice; and the frost from heaven who hath gendered it? [30] The waters are hardened like a stone, and the surface of the deep is congealed.

[31] Shalt thou be able to join together the shining stars the Pleiades, or canst thou stop the turning about of Arcturus? [32] Canst thou bring forth the day star in its time, and make the evening star to rise upon the children of the earth? [33] Dost thou know the order of heaven, and canst thou set down the reason thereof on the earth? [34] Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that an abundance of waters may cover thee? [35] Canst thou send lightnings, and will they go, and will they return and say to thee: Here we are?

[31] “Pleiades”: Hebrew, Cimah. A cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus or the Bull. Arcturus, a bright star in the constellation Bootes. The Hebrew name Cesil, is variously interpreted; by some, Orion; by others, the Great Bear is understood.

[36] Who hath put wisdom in the heart of man? or who gave the cock understanding? [37] Who can declare the order of the heavens, or who can make the harmony of heaven to sleep? [38]When was the dust poured on the earth, and the clods fastened together? [39] Wilt thou take the prey for the lioness, and satisfy the appetite of her whelps, [40] When they couch in the dens and lie in wait in holes?

[36] “Understanding”: That instinct by which he distinguishes the times of crowing in the night.

[41] Who provideth food for the raven, when her young ones cry to God, wandering about, because they have no meat?


Chapter 39

The wonders of the power and providence of God in many of his creatures.

[1] Knowest thou the time when the wild goats bring forth among the rocks, or hast thou observed the hinds when they fawn? [2] Hast thou numbered the months of their conceiving, or knowest thou the time when they bring forth? [3] They bow themselves to bring forth young, and they cast them, and send forth roarings. [4] Their young are weaned and go to feed: they go forth, and return not to them. [5] Who hath sent out the wild ass free, and who hath loosed his bonds?

[6] To whom I have given a house in the wilderness, and his dwellings in the barren land. [7]He scorneth the multitude of the city, he heareth not the cry of the driver. [8] He looketh round about the mountains of his pasture, and seeketh for every green thing. [9] Shall the rhinoceros be willing to serve thee, or will he stay at thy crib? [10] Canst thou bind the rhinoceros with thy thong to plough, or will he break the clods of the valleys after thee?

[11] Wilt thou have confidence in his great strength, and leave thy labours to him? [12] Wilt thou trust him that he will render thee the seed, and gather it into thy barnfloor? [13] The wing of the ostrich is like the wings of the heron, and of the hawk. [14] When she leaveth her eggs on the earth, thou perhaps wilt warm them in the dust. [15] She forgetteth that the foot may tread upon them, or that the beasts of the field may break them.

[16] She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers, she hath laboured in vain, no fear constraining her. [17] For God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he given her understanding. [18] When time shall be, she setteth up her wings on high: she scorneth the horse and his rider. [19] Wilt thou give strength to the horse, or clothe his neck with neighing? [20] Wilt thou lift him up like the locusts? the glory of his nostrils is terror.

[21] He breaketh up the earth with his hoof, he pranceth boldly, he goeth forward to meet armed men. [22] He despiseth fear, he turneth not his back to the sword, [23] Above him shall the quiver rattle, the spear and shield shall glitter. [24] Chasing and raging he swalloweth the ground, neither doth he make account when the noise of the trumpet soundeth. [25] When he heareth the trumpet he saith: Ha, ha: he smelleth the battle afar off, the encouraging of the captains, and the shouting of the army.

[26] Doth the hawk wax feathered by thy wisdom, spreading her wings to the south? [27] Will the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest in high places? [28] She abideth among the rocks, and dwelleth among cragged flints, and stony hills, where there is no access. [29] From thence she looketh for the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. [30] Her young ones shall suck up blood: and wheresoever the carcass shall be, she is immediately there.

[31] And the Lord went on, and said to Job: [32] Shall he that contendeth with God be so easily silenced? surely he that reproveth God, ought to answer him. [33] Then Job answered the Lord, and said: [34] What can I answer, who hath spoken inconsiderately? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. [35] One thing I have spoken, which I wish I had not said: and another, to which I will add no more.

The Book of Job, Chapters 38-39, Douay Rheims Bible


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