Job 3:5

5 May darkness and gloom[a] reclaim it, and a cloud settle over it. May an eclipse of the sun[b] terrify it.

Job 3:5 Meaning and Commentary

Job 3:5

Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it
Let there be such darkness on it as on persons when dying, or in the state of the dead; hence the sorest afflictions, and the state of man in unregeneracy, are compared unto it, ( Psalms 23:4 ) ( Isaiah 9:2 ) ; let there be nothing but foul weather, dirt, and darkness in it, which may make it very uncomfortable and undesirable; some render the word, "let darkness and [the] shadow of death redeem it" F26, challenge and claim it as their own, and let light have no share or property in it:

let a cloud dwell upon it;
as on Mount Sinai when the law was given; a thick dark cloud, even an assemblage of clouds, so thick and close together, that they seem but one cloud which cover the whole heavens, and obscure them, and hinder the light of the sun from shining on the earth; and this is wished to abide not for an hour or two, but to continue all the day:

let the blackness of the day terrify it;
let it be frightful to itself; or rather, let the blackness be such, or the darkness of it such gross darkness, like that as was felt by the Egyptians; that the inhabitants of the earth may be terrified with it, as Moses and the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, at the blackness, tempest, thunders, and lightnings, there seen and heard: as some understand this of black vapours exhaled by the sun, with which the heavens might be filled, so others of sultry weather and scorching heat, which is intolerable: others render the words, "let them terrify it as the bitternesses of the day" F1; either with bitter cursings on it, or through bitter calamities in it; or, "as those [who have] a bitter F2 day", as in the margin of our Bibles, and in others.


F26 (whlagy) "vindicassent", Junius & Tremellius; "vendicent", Cocceius; "vindicent", Schultens.
F1 (Mwy yryrmk) "tanquam amaritudines dici", Schmidt, Michaelis; "velut amarulenta diei", Schultens; so the Targum.
F2 "Velut amari diei", Mercerus; "tanquam amari diei", Montanus.

Job 3:5 In-Context

3 May the day I was born perish, and the night when they said, "A boy is conceived."
4 If only that day had turned to darkness! May God above not care about it, or light shine on it.
5 May darkness and gloom reclaim it, and a cloud settle over it. May an eclipse of the sun terrify it.
6 If only darkness had taken that night away! May it not appear among the days of the year or be listed in the calendar.
7 Yes, may that night be barren; may no joyful shout be heard in it.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Jb 10:21-22; 12:22; 28:3
  • [b]. Lit May a darkening of daylight
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