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CHAPTER 38 Dec. 29 
God Himself Speaks about His Creation
Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind, 2Who is this who makes counsel dark by words without knowledge? 3Brace yourself like a man, for I will question you, then you answer Me! 4Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. 5Who determined its measures, if you know? Or who stretched the line on it? 6Whereupon were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth from the womb, 9when I made clouds its garment, and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10marked out for it My bound, set bars and doors, 11and said, ‘Here you may come, but no further. Here your proud waves shall be stayed?’. 12Have you commanded the morning in your days, and caused the dawn to know its place; 13that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and shake the wicked out of it? 14It is changed as clay under the seal, and stands forth as a garment. 15From the wicked, their light is withheld. The high arm is broken. 16Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the recesses of the deep? 17Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? 18Have you comprehended the earth in its breadth? Declare, if you know it all. 19What is the way to the dwelling of light? As for darkness, where is its place, 20that you should take it to its bound, that you should discern the paths to its house? 21Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! 22Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasures of the hail, 23which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? 24By what way is the lightning distributed, or the east wind scattered on the earth? 25Who has cut a channel for the flood water, or the path for the thunderstorm; 26to cause it to rain on a land where no man is; on the wilderness, in which there is no man; 27to satisfy the waste and desolate ground, to cause the tender grass to spring forth? 28Does the rain have a father? Or who fathers the drops of dew? 29Out of whose womb came the ice? The gray frost of the sky, who has given birth to it? 30The waters become hard like stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen. 31Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion? 32Can you lead forth the constellations in their season? Or can you guide the Bear with her cubs? 33Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you establish its dominion over the earth? 34Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover you? 35Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are?’. 36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who has given understanding to the mind? 37Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of the sky, 38when the dust runs into a mass, and the clods of earth stick together? 
God Speaks about the Animals
39Can you hunt the prey for the lioness, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40when they crouch in their dens, and lie in wait in the thicket? 41Who provides for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry to God, and wander for lack of food? 


38:7 See on 9:32.
All the sons of God shouted for joy- Note that all the Angels are obedient to God and on His side as it were. Angels don’t sin (Lk. 20:35,36 cp. Rom. 6:23). 
38:8-11 Who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth from the womb- The supposed sea gods of evil (see on 36:30,31) were under God’s control and limitation even if they existed, just as He specified and limited the power of ‘satan’ in the prologue. There are several allusions in Job to Babylonian legends concerning Marduk- indicating that the book may have been re-written in Babylon with allusion to these legends in order to deconstruct them. Thus the Enuma Elish 4.139,140 speaks of how Marduk limited the waters of Tiamat, and set up a bar and watchmen so that the waters wouldn't go further than he permitted. But this very language is applied to God here and in 7:12. One of the purposes of Job was to urge Judah that Yahweh was greater than Marduk, He and not Marduk was to be Israel's God. The sea was understood to be the abode of evil monsters. Yet Job stresses how God is in control of the raging sea. Just look out for all the references to the sea in Job. God artlessly claims to have created the sea. In the Canaanite pantheon, Baal was seen as well matched in conflict by Yam, the sea god. But it’s emphasized by God that He created the sea, shuts it up within bounds, brought it out from the womb. In Canaanite myth, Aquhat [another ‘Satan’ figure in their theology] could alone “count the months”- but the same phrase is used in 39:2 about how God alone has this power. As God ‘shut up’ Job (1:10 Heb.), so He could ‘shut up’ the sea, with all the evil associated with it in peoples’ minds at the time (38:8). For at creation, He had commanded the waters where to go and they obeyed just one word from Him. God is using poetry to reframe these pagan myths in the context of His omnipotence, to show that His awesome power means that there’s no room left for these supposed beings to exist. Often the Bible speaks of the power of God over raging seas- for the sea was so deeply associated with evil in the minds of Semitic peoples (e.g. Ps. 77:19; 93:4 and the fact that three of the Gospels emphasize how Jesus walked over raging sea- Mt. 8:23-27; Mk. 4:36-41; Lk. 8:22-25).
38:10 See on 26:10.
38:29 Out of whose womb- One of many places where God likens Himself to a woman.