12 Who has measured out the waters[a] in the hollow of his hand, or carefully[b] measured the sky,[c] or carefully weighed[d] the soil of the earth, or weighed the mountains in a balance, or the hills on scales?[e]
Isaiah 40:12tn The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has מי ים (“waters of the sea”), a reading followed by NAB.
Isaiah 40:12tnHeb “with a span.” A “span” was the distance between the ends of the thumb and the little finger of the spread hand” (BDB 285 s.v. זֶרֶת).
Isaiah 40:12tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
Isaiah 40:12tnHeb “or weighed by a third part [of a measure].”
Isaiah 40:12sn The implied answer to the rhetorical questions of v. 12 is, “No one but the Lord.” The Lord, and no other, created the world. Like a merchant weighing out silver or commodities on a scale, the Lord established the various components of the physical universe in precise proportions.
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