Job 3 Study Notes


3:1-2 Job never contemplated suicide, but he wished that the day of his birth had been removed from the calendar.

3:3 The Hebrew word translated boy is usually used of an adult male (4:17), often with an indication of strength (Jr 41:16) or prominence (2Sm 23:1). Job’s power and position mattered little to him now.

3:4-7 In language reminiscent of Gn 1:2-5, Job wished that his day of birth could become “uncreated.”

3:8-10 As a great dragon gobbled up the sun in ancient Near Eastern mythology, so Job asked that the sun should never have brought light to his day of birth. Leviathan is known from ancient Ugaritic mythology as a sea monster, which the god Baal defeated. Leviathan appears in the OT symbolically in connection with those forces that oppose God (26:12-14; Ps 74:12-14; 104:26; Is 27:1). The mythological allusions in Job (5:7; 7:12; 9:13; 18:13; 38:12) do not indicate scriptural endorsement of pagan theology or mythic zoology but serve as literary allusions. The morning stars were Venus and Mercury.

3:11-12 The knees probably refer to those of his mother either in childbirth (Gn 30:3) or in taking up her child for nursing.

3:13-19 Asleep is used frequently as a metaphor for death in the Bible, especially of the righteous (Jn 11:11-15; 1Co 15:20). Job’s words should not be pressed to depict a common condition for all souls in the afterlife. Although the body may rest in the grave, the righteous have the sure hope of eternal life (Ps 16:9-11; 49:15; 73:25-26; Ac 2:25-28; 1Co 15:50-57; 2Co 5:1-8). The case of the wicked is far different (Ps 1:4-5; 49:14-15; Mt 8:12; 25:41,46).

3:20-22 Job asked why God kept him alive.

3:23-26 The protective hedge that God had placed around Job (1:10) now hemmed him in to suffering.