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Job 38:4-6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

God’s questions to Job

“Where were you
when I laid the foundation[a] of the earth?
Tell me,[b] if you possess understanding.
Who set its measurements—if[c] you know—
or who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what[d] were its bases[e] set,
or who laid its cornerstone—


  1. Job 38:4 tn The construction is the infinitive construct in a temporal clause, using the preposition and the subjective genitive suffix.
  2. Job 38:4 tn The verb is the imperative; it has no object “me” in the text.
  3. Job 38:5 tn The particle כִּי (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. Job 38:6 tn For the interrogative serving as a genitive, see GKC 442 §136.b.
  5. Job 38:6 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).
New English Translation (NET)

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