After this opened Job his mouth
order to speak, and began to speak of his troubles and afflictions, and the sense he had of them; for though, this phrase may sometimes signify to speak aloud, clearly and distinctly, and with great freedom and boldness, yet here it seems to design no more than beginning to speak, or breaking silence after it had been long kept: be spake after his first trial and blessed the name of the Lord, and upon his second, and reproved his wife for her foolish speaking; but upon the visit of his three friends, and during the space of seven days, a profound silence was kept by him and them; and when he perceived that they chose not to speak to him, and perhaps his distemper also decreased, and his pain somewhat abated, he broke out into the following expressions:
and cursed his day:
he did not curse his God, as Satan said he would, and his wife advised him to: nor did he curse his fellow creatures, or his friends, as wicked men in passion are apt to do, nor did he curse himself, as profane persons often do, when any evil befalls them; but he cursed his day; not the day on which his troubles came upon him, for there were more than one, and they were still continued, but the day of his birth, as appears from ( Job 3:3 ) ; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions add here, "in which he was born"; and what is meant by cursing it may be learnt from his own words in the following verses, the substance of which is, that he wished either it had never been, or he had never been born; but since that was impossible, that it might be forgotten, and never observed or had in esteem, but be buried oblivion and obscurity, and be branded with a black mark, as an unhappy day, for ever: the word F19 signifies, he made light of it, and spoke slightly and contemptibly of it; he disesteemed it, yea, detested it, and could not bear to think of it, and desired that it might be disrespected by God and men; so that there is no need of such questions, whether it is in the power of man to curse? and whether it is lawful to curse the creature? and whether a day is capable of a curse? The frame of mind in which Job was when he uttered these words is differently represented; some of the Jewish writers will have it that he denied the providence of God, and thought that all things depended upon the stars, or planets which rule on the day a man is born, and therefore cursed his stars; whereas nothing is more evident than that Job ascribes all that befell him to the purpose and providence of God, ( Job 23:14 ) ; some say he was in the utmost despair, and had no hope of eternal life and salvation, but the contrary to this is clear from ( Job 13:15 Job 13:16 Job 13:18 ) ( 19:25-27 ) ; and many think he had lost all patience, for which he was so famous; but if he had, he would not have been so highly spoken of as he is in ( James 5:11 ) ; it is true indeed there may be a mixture of weakness with respect to the exercise of that grace at this time, and which may appear in some after expressions of his; yet were it not for these and the like, as we could not have such an idea of his sorrows and afflictions, and of that quick sense and perception he had of them, so neither of his exceeding great patience in enduring them as he did; and, besides, what impatience he was guilty of was not only graciously forgiven, but he through the grace of God was enabled to conquer; and patience had its perfect work in him, and he persevered therein to the end; though after all he is not to be excused of weakness and infirmity, since he is blamed not only by Elihu, but by the Lord himself; yea, Job himself owned his sin and folly, and repented of it, ( Job 40:4 Job 40:5 ) ( 42:6 ) .
F19 "Opponitur verbum" (llq) "verbo" (dbk) ; "significat se pronunciasse diem inglorium", Codurcus.