Job 3

1 Finally Job broke the silence and cursed the day on which he had been born. 1
2 O God, put a curse on the day I was born; 2 put a curse on the night when I was conceived!
4 Turn that day into darkness, God. Never again remember that day; never again let light shine on it.
5 Make it a day of gloom and thick darkness; cover it with clouds, and blot out the sun.
6 Blot that night out of the year, and never let it be counted again;
7 make it a barren, joyless night.
8 Tell the sorcerers to curse that day, those who know how to control Leviathan.
9 Keep the morning star from shining; give that night no hope of dawn.
10 Curse that night for letting me be born, for exposing me to trouble and grief.
11 I wish I had died in my mother's womb or died the moment I was born.
12 Why did my mother hold me on her knees? Why did she feed me at her breast?
13 If I had died then, I would be at rest now,
14 sleeping like the kings and rulers who rebuilt ancient palaces.
15 Then I would be sleeping like princes who filled their houses with gold and silver,
16 or sleeping like a stillborn child.
17 In the grave wicked people stop their evil, and tired workers find rest at last.
18 Even prisoners enjoy peace, free from shouts and harsh commands.
19 Everyone is there, the famous and the unknown, and slaves at last are free.
20 Why let people go on living in misery? Why give light to those in grief?
21 They wait for death, but it never comes; 3 they prefer a grave to any treasure.
22 They are not happy till they are dead and buried;
23 God keeps their future hidden and hems them in on every side.
24 Instead of eating, I mourn, and I can never stop groaning.
25 Everything I fear and dread comes true.
26 I have no peace, no rest, and my troubles never end.

Job 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

Job complains that he was born. (1-10) Job complaining. (11-19) He complains of his life. (20-26)

Verses 1-10 For seven days Job's friends sat by him in silence, without offering consolidation: at the same time Satan assaulted his mind to shake his confidence, and to fill him with hard thoughts of God. The permission seems to have extended to this, as well as to torturing the body. Job was an especial type of Christ, whose inward sufferings, both in the garden and on the cross, were the most dreadful; and arose in a great degree from the assaults of Satan in that hour of darkness. These inward trials show the reason of the change that took place in Job's conduct, from entire submission to the will of God, to the impatience which appears here, and in other parts of the book. The believer, who knows that a few drops of this bitter cup are more dreadful than the sharpest outward afflictions, while he is favoured with a sweet sense of the love and presence of God, will not be surprised to find that Job proved a man of like passions with others; but will rejoice that Satan was disappointed, and could not prove him a hypocrite; for though he cursed the day of his birth, he did not curse his God. Job doubtless was afterwards ashamed of these wishes, and we may suppose what must be his judgment of them now he is in everlasting happiness.

Verses 11-19 Job complained of those present at his birth, for their tender attention to him. No creature comes into the world so helpless as man. God's power and providence upheld our frail lives, and his pity and patience spared our forfeited lives. Natural affection is put into parents' hearts by God. To desire to die that we may be with Christ, that we may be free from sin, is the effect and evidence of grace; but to desire to die, only that we may be delivered from the troubles of this life, savours of corruption. It is our wisdom and duty to make the best of that which is, be it living or dying; and so to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord, as in both to be his, ( Romans 14:8 ) . Observe how Job describes the repose of the grave; There the wicked cease from troubling. When persecutors die, they can no longer persecute. There the weary are at rest: in the grave they rest from all their labours. And a rest from sin, temptation, conflict, sorrows, and labours, remains in the presence and enjoyment of God. There believers rest in Jesus, nay, as far as we trust in the Lord Jesus and obey him, we here find rest to our souls, though in the world we have tribulation.

Verses 20-26 Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Saviour.

Cross References 3

  • 1. 3.1-19Jeremiah 20.14-18.
  • 2. +23.3Ben Sira 23.14.
  • 3. 3.21Revelation 9.6.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. leviathan: [Some take this to be the crocodile, others a legendary monster. Magicians were thought to be able to make him cause eclipses of the sun.]

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have an account of Job's cursing the day of his birth, and the night of his conception; Job 3:1-3; first the day, to which he wishes the most extreme darkness, Job 3:4,5; then the night, to which he wishes the same and that it might be destitute of all joy, and be cursed by others as well as by himself, Job 3:6-9; The reasons follow, because it did not prevent his coming into the world, and because he died not on it, Job 3:10-12; which would, as he judged, have been an happiness to him; and this he illustrates by the still and quiet state of the dead, the company they are with, and their freedom from all trouble, oppression, and bondage, Job 3:13-19; but however, since it was otherwise with him, he desires his life might not be prolonged, and expostulates about the continuance of it, Job 3:20-23; and this by reason of his present troubles, which were many and great, and came upon him as he feared they would, and which had made him uneasy in his prosperity, Job 3:24-26.

Job 3 Commentaries