Job 38:5

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Job 38:5 Meaning and Commentary

Job 38:5

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest?
&c.] Did God or a creature? The Lord, no doubt. He laid them out in his divine mind, and laid them forth by his divine power; who does all things by weight and measure. He fixed the dimensions of the earth, how long, how thick, and how broad it should be; he settled the borders and boundaries of it. This Job might know that the Lord did; but he laid them, and what they are that are laid, he knew not. Mathematicians pretend to give us the circumference and diameter of the earth; but in their accounts are not agreed, but widely differ; which shows they are at no certainty about them F5; and Job and the men of his age might be still less knowing: though the words may be rendered, "for thou knowest" F6; surely such a knowing man as thou art must needs know this and so are a severe sarcasm upon him;

or who hath stretched the line upon it?
The measuring line being formed according to rule, with exact symmetry and proportion. This may be the same with the circle of the earth, and the compass set upon the face of the deep or terraqueous globe, ( Proverbs 8:27 ) ( Isaiah 40:22 ) . And with the same exactness and just proportion are the ways and works of Providence, which Job ought to have acquiesced in as being well and wisely done.


F5 The mathematicians in Aristotle's time reckoned the breadth of the earth a little less than forty myriads of furlongs, and the length of it seventy myriads. Aristot. de Mundo, c. 3. Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 108, 109. According to the moderns, the circumference of the earth is 25,031.5 of our statute miles, and its diameter 7967 such miles. See Chamber's Dictionary on the word "Earth".
F6 (yk) "quadoquidem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "quia", Michaelis; "nam", Schultens; so Broughton.

Job 38:5 In-Context

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The King James Version is in the public domain.