"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?1 Tell me, if you understand.2
Who marked off its dimensions?3 Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line4 across it?
On what were its footings set,5 or who laid its cornerstone6--
while the morning stars7 sang together8 and all the angels9 shouted for joy?10
"Who shut up the sea behind doors11 when it burst forth from the womb,12
when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,13
when I fixed limits for it14 and set its doors and bars in place,15
when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;16 here is where your proud waves halt'?17
"Have you ever given orders to the morning,18 or shown the dawn its place,19
that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked20 out of it?21
The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;22 its features stand out like those of a garment.
The wicked are denied their light,23 and their upraised arm is broken.24
"Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?25
Have the gates of death26 been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death ?27
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?28 Tell me, if you know all this.29
"What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?30
Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths31 to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born!32 You have lived so many years!
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow33 or seen the storehouses34 of the hail,35
which I reserve for times of trouble,36 for days of war and battle?37
What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,38 or the place where the east winds39 are scattered over the earth?40
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm,41
to water42 a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it,43
to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?44
Does the rain have a father?45 Who fathers the drops of dew?
From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens46
when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?47
"Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?48
Can you bring forth the constellations49 in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?50
Do you know the laws51 of the heavens?52 Can you set up [God's] dominion over the earth?
"Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?53
Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?54 Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?
Who endowed the heart with wisdom55 or gave understanding56 to the mind ?
Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars57 of the heavens58
when the dust becomes hard59 and the clods of earth stick together?60
"Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions61
when they crouch in their dens62 or lie in wait in a thicket?63
Who provides food64 for the raven65 when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?66
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)