Book of Job

by

Anonymous

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Book of Job: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Then, God himself addresses Job “out of the whirlwind.” He demands, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? / Gird up your loins like a man, / I will question you, and you shall declare to me.”
Job doesn’t get a chance to respond to Elihu’s speeches. That’s because God suddenly addresses Job directly for the first time. He does so in terrifying form, unseen yet heard through the awesome, dangerous force of the whirlwind. After all Job’s questions, God says it’s time for him to question Job. He dismisses Job’s speech as “without knowledge” and warns him that he’d better get ready.
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God continues to question Job. Where was Job, he asks, when God laid the earth’s foundations? Surely Job knows the earth’s measurements! Who shut the doors of the sea, telling it, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther”?
God’s onslaught of questions is laced with sarcasm, as he mocks Job that surely, he must understand how God made the world. God clearly implies that Job has no idea what he’s been talking about.
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God keeps interrogating Job, asking him if he has walked in the sea’s depths, seen the gates of death, or knows where light or darkness dwell. “Surely you know,” God mocks Job, “for […] the number of your days is great!” Who makes rain fall on the desert? Can Job “bind the chains of the Pleiades”? Who gives wisdom and understanding? Who provides prey to young lions?
God continues taunting Job with a relentless catalogue of the things Job cannot claim to understand—from the deepest ocean to the heavenly constellations. With these pointed questions, God makes the point that Job’s repeated attempts to defend himself have been foolish. They’ve been attempts to understand divine purposes unimaginably beyond his human limitations.
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The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
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