1Then from the heart of the tempest Yahweh gave Job his answer. He said: 2Who is this, obscuring my intentions with his ignorant words? 3Brace yourself like a fighter; I am going to ask the questions, and you are to inform me! 4Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tel me, since you are so wel -informed! 5Who decided its dimensions, do you know? Or who stretched the measuring line across it? 6What supports its pil ars at their bases? Who laid its cornerstone 7to the joyful concert of the morning stars and unanimous acclaim of the sons of God? 8Who pent up the sea behind closed doors when it leapt tumultuous from the womb, 9when I wrapped it in a robe of mist and made black clouds its swaddling bands; 10when I cut out the place I had decreed for it and imposed gates and a bolt? 11'Come so far,' I said, 'and no further; here your proud waves must break!' 12Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post, 13to grasp the earth by its edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14She turns it as red as a clay seal, she tints it as though it were a dress, 15stealing the light from evil-doers and breaking the arm raised to strike. 16Have you been right down to the sources of the sea and walked about at the bottom of the Abyss? 17Have you been shown the gates of Death, have you seen the janitors of the Shadow dark as death? 18Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth? Tell me al about it if you have! 19Which is the way to the home of the Light, and where does darkness live? - 20You could then show them the way to their proper places, you could put them on the path homeagain! 21If you do know, you must have been born when they were, you must be very old by now! 22Have you visited the place where the snow is stored? Have you seen the stores of hail, 23which I keep for times of distress, for days of battle and war? 24From which direction does the lightning fork, where in the world does the east wind blow itself out? 25Who bores a channel for the downpour or clears the way for the rol ing thunder 26so that rain may fal on lands where no one lives, and the deserts void of human dwel ing, 27to meet the needs of the lonely wastes and make grass sprout on the thirsty ground? 28Has the rain a father? Who begets the dewdrops? 29What womb brings forth the ice, who gives birth to the frost of heaven, 30when the waters grow hard as stone and the surface of the deep congeals? 31Can you fasten the harness of the Pleiades, or untie Orion's bands? 32Can you guide the Crown season by season and show the Bear and its cubs which way to go? 33Have you grasped the celestial laws? Could you make their writ run on the earth? 34Can your voice carry as far as the clouds and make the pent-up waters do your bidding? 35Will lightning flashes come at your command and answer, 'Here we are'? 36Who endowed the ibis with wisdom and gave the cock his intel igence? 37Whose skil details every cloud and tilts the water-skins of heaven 38until the dust solidifies and the cracks in the ground close up? 39Do you go hunting prey for the lioness; do you satisfy the hunger of young lions 40where they crouch in their den, waiting eagerly in the bushes? 41Who makes provision for the raven when his little ones cry out to God craning their necks in search offood?
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