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Job 38:4-6

God’s questions to Job

38:4 “Where were you

when I laid the foundation 1  of the earth?

Tell me, 2  if you possess understanding!

38:5 Who set its measurements – if 3  you know –

or who stretched a measuring line across it?

38:6 On what 4  were its bases 5  set,

or who laid its cornerstone –

Job 38:28-29


38:28 Does the rain have a father,

or who has fathered the drops of the dew?

38:29 From whose womb does the ice emerge,

and the frost from the sky, 6  who gives birth to it,

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).

6 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

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