Chapter 12

  1. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man, for I will demand of you, and you answer me.
  2. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it? Upon what are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, and broke up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, and said, Hitherto shall you come, but no further, and here shall your proud waves be stopped?
  3. Have you commanded the morning since your days, and caused the daybreak to know his place? That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal and they stand as a garment. And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken.
  4. Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare, if you know it all.
  5. Where is the way where light dwells? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof, that you should take it to the bound thereof, and that you should know the paths to the house thereof? Do you know it because you were then born? Or because the number of your days is great?
  6. Have you entered into the treasuries of the snow? Or have you seen the treasuries of the hail which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted which scatters the east wind upon the earth? Who has divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder? To cause it to rain on the earth where no man is, on the wilderness wherein there is no man, to satisfy the desolate and waste ground and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who has begotten it? The waters are hidden as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
  7. Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loosen the bands of Orion? Can you bring forth Mazzaroth in his season, or can you guide Arcturus with his sons? Do you know the ordinances of heaven? Can you set the dominion thereof in the earth?
  8. Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover you? Can you send lightnings, that they may go and say unto you, Here we are? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who has given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? Or who can stop the bottles of heaven when the dust grows into hardness and the clods cleave fast together?
  9. Will you hunt the prey for the lion? Or fill the appetite of the young lions when they crouch in their dens and abide in the cover to lie in wait? Who provides for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of food?
  10. Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? Can you mark when the hinds do calve? Can you number the months they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they bring forth? They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. Their young ones are in good condition, they grow up with grain. They go forth and return not unto them.
  11. Who has sent out the wild ass free? Or who has loosened the bands of the wild ass, whose house I have made the wilderness and the barren land his dwellings? He scorns the multitude of the city, neither regards he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture and he searches after every green thing.
  12. Will the re’em be willing to serve you or abide by your crib? Can you bind the re’em with his band in the furrow? Or will he harrow the valleys after you? Will you trust him because his strength is great? Or will you leave your labor to him? Will you believe him that he will bring home your seed and gather it into your barn?
  13. Did you give the beautiful wings unto the peacocks, or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaves her eggs in the earth and warms them in dust, and forgets that the foot may crush them or that the wild beast may break them? She is hardened against her young ones as though they were not hers. Her labor is in vain without fear because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has he imparted to her understanding. When she lifts up herself on high, she scorns the horse and his rider.
  14. Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength. He goes on to meet the armed men. He mocks at fear and is not frightened, neither turns he back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swallows the ground with fierceness and rage, neither believes he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He says among the trumpets, Ha, ha — and he smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting.
  15. Does the hawk fly by your wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command and make her nest on high? She dwells and abides on the rock, upon the crag of the rock and the strong place. From there she seeks the prey and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood, and where the slain are, there is she.
  16. Moreover, the Lord answered Job and said, Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct? He that reproves God, let him answer it.
  17. Then Job answered the Lord and said, Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer. Yea, twice, but I will proceed no further.
  18. Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up your loins now like a man. I will demand of you, and declare unto me, will you also disannul my judgment? Will you condemn me, that you may be righteous? Do you have an arm like God, or can you thunder with a voice like him?
  19. Adorn yourself now with majesty and excellence, and array yourself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of your wrath, and behold everyone that is proud and abase him. Look on everyone that is proud and bring him low, and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto you that your own right hand can save you.
  20. Behold now behemoth, which I made with you. He eats grass as an ox. Behold now, his strength is in his loins and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass, his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God. He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food where all the beasts of the field play. He lies under the shady trees in the cover of the reed and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow, the willows of the brook encompass him about. Behold, he drinks up a river and hastens not, he trusts that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He takes it with his eyes, his nose pierces through snares.
  21. Can you draw out leviathan with a hook, or his tongue with a cord which you let down? Can you put a hook into his nose, or bore his jaw through with a thorn? Will he make many supplications unto you? Will he speak soft words unto you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him for a servant for ever? Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your maidens? Shall the companions make a banquet of him? Shall they part him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears? Lay your hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. Behold, the hope of him is in vain. Shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? None is so fierce that dare stir him up.
  22. Who then is able to stand before me? Who has preempted me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
  23. I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. Who can uncover the face of his garment? Or who can come to him with his double bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? His teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near to another that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be divided. By his sneezings a light does shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goes smoke, as out of a boiling pot or cauldron. His breath kindles coals and a flame goes out of his mouth. In his neck remains strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. The flakes of his flesh are joined together, they are firm in themselves, they cannot be moved. His heart is as firm as a stone, yea, as hard as a piece of the lower millstone.
  24. When he raises up himself, the mighty are afraid; by reason of breakings, they purify themselves. The sword of him that lays at him cannot hold — the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. He esteems iron as straw and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee. Sling stones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as stubble. He laughs at the shaking of a spear. Sharp stones are under him. He spreads sharp pointed things upon the mire. He makes the deep to boil like a pot, he makes the sea like a pot of ointment. He makes a path to shine after him, one would think the deep to be greying. Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholds all high things. He is a king over all the children of pride.
  25. Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that you can do everything and that no thought can be withheld from you. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I implore you, and I will speak. I will demand of you and you declare unto me. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Wherefore, I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.