Passage: Job 39, 40 (RSV)

Job 39

1"Do you know when the mountain goats bring forth? Do you observe the calving of the hinds?
2Can you number the months that they fulfil, and do you know the time when they bring forth,
3when they crouch, bring forth their offspring, and are delivered of their young?
4Their 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,
6to whom I have given the steppe for his home, and the salt land for his dwelling place?
7He scorns the tumult of the city; he hears not the shouts of the driver.
8He 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?
10Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes, or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11Will you depend on him because his strength is great, and will you leave to him your labor?
12Do 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?
14For she leaves her eggs to the earth, and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15forgetting that a foot may crush them, and that the wild beast may trample them.
16She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear;
17because God has made her forget wisdom, and given her no share in understanding.
18When 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?
20Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible.
21He paws in the valley, and exults in his strength; he goes out to meet the weapons.
22He laughs at fear, and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword.
23Upon him rattle the quiver, the flashing spear and the javelin.
24With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground; he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25When 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?
27Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
28On the rock he dwells and makes his home in the fastness of the rocky crag.
29Thence he spies out the prey; his eyes behold it afar off.
30His young ones suck up blood; and where the slain are, there is he."

Job 40

1And the LORD said to Job:
2"Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it."
3Then Job answered the LORD:
4"Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer thee? I lay my hand on my mouth.
5I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further."
6Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
7"Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you declare to me.
8Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
9Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?
10"Deck yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
11Pour forth the overflowings of your anger, and look on every one that is proud, and abase him.
12Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked where they stand.
13Hide them all in the dust together; bind their faces in the world below.
14Then will I also acknowledge to you, that your own right hand can give you victory.
15"Behold, Be'hemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox.
16Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.
19"He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!
20For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play.
21Under the lotus plants he lies, in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
22For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him.
23Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24Can one take him with hooks, or pierce his nose with a snare?

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