March 17 (Daily Scripture)

Twenty-Third Day of Great Lent

Job 38:2-40:5

Job 38:2-40:5
[2] “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
[3] Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
[4] “Where were you when I 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 sang together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
[8] “Or who shut in the sea with doors,
when it burst forth from the womb;
[9] when I made clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
[10] and prescribed bounds for it,
and set bars and doors,
[11] and said, `Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
[12] “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
[13] that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
[14] It is changed like clay under the seal,
and it is dyed like a garment.
[15] From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their 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 comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
[19] “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
[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 trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
[24] What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
[25] “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a way for the thunderbolt,
[26] to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man;
[27] to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground put forth grass?
[28] “Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
[29] From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?
[30] The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.
[31] “Can you bind the chains of the Plei’ades,
or loose the cords of Orion?
[32] Can you lead forth the Maz’zaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
[33] Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
[34] “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may 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 clouds,
or given understanding to the mists?
[37] Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
[38] when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods cleave fast 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,
or lie in wait in their covert?
[41] Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God,
and wander about for lack of food?

Chapter 39
[1] “Do you know when the mountain goats bring forth?
Do you observe the calving of the hinds?
[2] Can you number the months that they fulfil,
and do you know the time when they bring forth,
[3] when they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
[4] Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
they go forth, and do not return to them.
[5] “Who has let the wild ass go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
[6] to whom I have given the steppe for his home,
and the salt land for his dwelling place?
[7] He scorns the tumult of the city;
he hears not the shouts of the driver.
[8] He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
and he searches after every green thing.
[9] “Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will he spend the night at your crib?
[10] Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
or will he harrow the valleys after you?
[11] Will you depend on him because his strength is great,
and will you leave to him your labor?
[12] Do you have faith in him that he will return,
and bring your grain to your threshing floor?
[13] “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly;
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
[14] For she leaves her eggs to the earth,
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
[15] forgetting that a foot may crush them,
and that the wild beast may trample them.
[16] She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear;
[17] because God has made her forget wisdom,
and given her no share in understanding.
[18] When she rouses herself to flee,
she laughs at the horse and his rider.
[19] “Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with strength?
[20] Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrible.
[21] He paws in the valley, and exults in his strength;
he goes out to meet the weapons.
[22] He laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
he does not turn back from the sword.
[23] Upon him rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear and the javelin.
[24] With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
[25] When the trumpet sounds, he says `Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
[26] “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
and spreads 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 rock he dwells and makes his home
in the fastness of the rocky crag.
[29] Thence he spies out the prey;
his eyes behold it afar off.
[30] His young ones suck up blood;
and where the slain are, there is he.”

Chapter 40
[1] And the LORD said to Job:
[2] “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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