38:4 “Where were you
when I laid the foundation 1 of the earth?
Tell me, 2 if you possess understanding!
or who stretched a measuring line across it?
or who laid its cornerstone –
1 tn The construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause, using the preposition and the subjective genitive suffix.
2 tn The verb is the imperative; it has no object “me” in the text.
3 tn The particle כּ (ki) is taken here for a conditional clause, “if you know” (see GKC 498 §159.dd). Others take it as “surely” with a biting irony.
4 tn For the interrogative serving as a genitive, see GKC 442 §136.b.
5 sn The world was conceived of as having bases and pillars, but these poetic descriptions should not be pressed too far (e.g., see Ps 24:2, which may be worded as much for its polemics against Canaanite mythology as anything).