Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1Hashem said in reply to Iyov.
אוַיַּעַן יְהֹוָה אֶת־אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃
2Shall one who should be disciplined complain against Shaddai? He who arraigns Hashem must respond.
בהֲרֹב עִם־שַׁדַּי יִסּוֹר מוֹכִיחַ אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲנֶנָּה׃
3Iyov said in reply to Hashem:
גוַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר׃
4See, I am of small worth; what can I answer You? I clap my hand to my mouth.
דהֵן קַלֹּתִי מָה אֲשִׁיבֶךָּ יָדִי שַׂמְתִּי לְמוֹ־פִי׃
5I have spoken once, and will not reply; Twice, and will do so no more.
האַחַת דִּבַּרְתִּי וְלֹא אֶעֱנֶה וּשְׁתַּיִם וְלֹא אוֹסִיף׃
6Then Hashem replied to Iyov out of the tempest and said:
ווַיַּעַן־יְהֹוָה אֶת־אִיּוֹב מנ סערה [מִן ] [סְעָרָה] וַיֹּאמַר׃
7Gird your loins like a man; I will ask, and you will inform Me.
זאֱזָר־נָא כְגֶבֶר חֲלָצֶיךָ אֶשְׁאָלְךָ וְהוֹדִיעֵנִי׃
8Would you impugn My justice? Would you condemn Me that you may be right?
ha-AF ta-FAYR mish-pa-TEE tar-shee-AY-nee l'-MA-an titz-DAK
חהַאַף תָּפֵר מִשְׁפָּטִי תַּרְשִׁיעֵנִי לְמַעַן תִּצְדָּק׃
40:8 Would you condemn Me that you may be right?
The Sages of the Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) try to determine the time period in which Iyov lived. Although some opinions have him living during the period of the Exodus from Egypt (see commentary to 2:7), another suggests that he was among the Babylonian exiles who returned to the Land of Israel after the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. The identification of Iyov with the generation that experienced the destruction of the Temple and exile from Eretz Yisrael is fitting. Throughout the book, Iyov struggles with the reality that he is suffering, though seemingly righteous. He challenges God’s justice, trying to make sense of the age-old question about why bad things happen to good people. Likewise, the Jews at the time of the exile also struggled to understand why they deserved to suffer as they did (see Ezekiel 18). Though the Jews sinned and Iyov did not, his personal suffering is seen as emblematic of the suffering of the Nation of Israel.
9Have you an arm like Hashem's? Can you thunder with a voice like His?
טוְאִם־זְרוֹעַ כָּאֵל לָךְ וּבְקוֹל כָּמֹהוּ תַרְעֵם׃
10Deck yourself now with grandeur and eminence; Clothe yourself in glory and majesty.
יעֲדֵה נָא גָאוֹן וָגֹבַהּ וְהוֹד וְהָדָר תִּלְבָּשׁ׃
11Scatter wide your raging anger; See every proud man and bring him low.
יאהָפֵץ עֶבְרוֹת אַפֶּךָ וּרְאֵה כָל־גֵּאֶה וְהַשְׁפִּילֵהוּ׃
12See every proud man and humble him, And bring them down where they stand.
יברְאֵה כָל־גֵּאֶה הַכְנִיעֵהוּ וַהֲדֹךְ רְשָׁעִים תַּחְתָּם׃
13Bury them all in the earth; Hide their faces in obscurity.
יגטָמְנֵם בֶּעָפָר יָחַד פְּנֵיהֶם חֲבֹשׁ בַּטָּמוּן׃
14Then even I would praise you For the triumph your right hand won you.
ידוְגַם־אֲנִי אוֹדֶךָּ כִּי־תוֹשִׁעַ לְךָ יְמִינֶךָ׃
15Take now behemoth, whom I made as I did you; He eats grass, like the cattle.
טוהִנֵּה־נָא בְהֵמוֹת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי עִמָּךְ חָצִיר כַּבָּקָר יֹאכֵל׃
16His strength is in his loins, His might in the muscles of his belly.
טזהִנֵּה־נָא כֹחוֹ בְמָתְנָיו וְאֹנוֹ בִּשְׁרִירֵי בִטְנוֹ׃
17He makes his tail stand up like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
יזיַחְפֹּץ זְנָבוֹ כְמוֹ־אָרֶז גִּידֵי פחדו [פַחֲדָיו] יְשֹׂרָגוּ׃
18His bones are like tubes of bronze, His limbs like iron rods.
יחעֲצָמָיו אֲפִיקֵי נְחוּשָׁה גְּרָמָיו כִּמְטִיל בַּרְזֶל׃
19He is the first of Hashem's works; Only his Maker can draw the sword against him.
יטהוּא רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכֵי־אֵל הָעֹשׂוֹ יַגֵּשׁ חַרְבּוֹ׃
20The mountains yield him produce, Where all the beasts of the field play.
ככִּי־בוּל הָרִים יִשְׂאוּ־לוֹ וְכָל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה יְשַׂחֲקוּ־שָׁם׃
21He lies down beneath the lotuses, In the cover of the swamp reeds.
כאתַּחַת־צֶאֱלִים יִשְׁכָּב בְּסֵתֶר קָנֶה וּבִצָּה׃
22The lotuses embower him with shade; The willows of the brook surround him.
כביְסֻכֻּהוּ צֶאֱלִים צִלֲלוֹ יְסֻבּוּהוּ עַרְבֵי־נָחַל׃
23He can restrain the river from its rushing; He is confident the stream will gush at his command.
כגהֵן יַעֲשֹׁק נָהָר לֹא יַחְפּוֹז יִבְטַח כִּי־יָגִיחַ יַרְדֵּן אֶל־פִּיהוּ׃
24Can he be taken by his eyes? Can his nose be pierced by hooks?
כדבְּעֵינָיו יִקָּחֶנּוּ בְּמוֹקְשִׁים יִנְקָב־אָף׃
25Can you draw out Leviathan by a fishhook? Can you press down his tongue by a rope?
כהתִּמְשֹׁךְ לִוְיָתָן בְּחַכָּה וּבְחֶבֶל תַּשְׁקִיעַ לְשֹׁנוֹ׃
26Can you put a ring through his nose, Or pierce his jaw with a barb?
כוהֲתָשִׂים אַגְמוֹן בְּאַפּוֹ וּבְחוֹחַ תִּקּוֹב לֶחֱיוֹ׃
27Will he plead with you at length? Will he speak soft words to you?
כזהֲיַרְבֶּה אֵלֶיךָ תַּחֲנוּנִים אִם־יְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ רַכּוֹת׃
28Will he make an agreement with you To be taken as your lifelong slave?
כחהֲיִכְרֹת בְּרִית עִמָּךְ תִּקָּחֶנּוּ לְעֶבֶד עוֹלָם׃
29Will you play with him like a bird, And tie him down for your girls?
כטהַתְשַׂחֶק־בּוֹ כַּצִּפּוֹר וְתִקְשְׁרֶנּוּ לְנַעֲרוֹתֶיךָ׃
30Shall traders traffic in him? Will he be divided up among merchants?
ליִכְרוּ עָלָיו חַבָּרִים יֶחֱצוּהוּ בֵּין כְּנַעֲנִים׃
31Can you fill his skin with darts Or his head with fish-spears?
לאהַתְמַלֵּא בְשֻׂכּוֹת עוֹרוֹ וּבְצִלְצַל דָּגִים רֹאשׁוֹ׃
32Lay a hand on him, And you will never think of battle again.
לבשִׂים־עָלָיו כַּפֶּךָ זְכֹר מִלְחָמָה אַל־תּוֹסַף׃