Job 3:16

16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?

Job 3:16 in Other Translations

16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.
16 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?
16 Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light?
16 Why wasn't I stillborn and buried with all the babies who never saw light,
16 Or [why] was I not hidden like a miscarried child, like infants who never see daylight?

Job 3:16 Meaning and Commentary

Job 3:16

Or as an hidden untimely birth
Or "hid, as one born out of time", as Mr. Broughton reads it; the Septuagint use the same word as the apostle does, when he says the like of himself, ( 1 Corinthians 15:8 ) ; the word has the signification of "falling" F19, and designs an abortive, which is like to fruit that falls from the tree before it is ripe; and this may be said to be "hidden", either in the belly, as the Targum, or however from the sight of man, it being not come to any proper shape, and much less perfection; now Job suggests, that if he had not lain with kings, counsellors, and princes, yet at least he should have been as an abortion, and that would have been as well to him: then

I had not been;
or should have been nothing, not reckoned anything; should not have been numbered among beings, but accounted as a nonentity, and should have had no subsistence or standing in the world at all:

as infants [which] never saw light;
and if not like an untimely birth, which is not come to any perfection, yet should have been like infants, which, though their mothers have gone their full time with them, and they have all their limbs in perfection and proportion, yet are dead, or stillborn, their eyes have never been opened to see any light; meaning not the light of the law, as the Targum, but the light of the sun, or the light of the world, see ( Ecclesiastes 6:3-5 ) ; infants used to be buried in the wells or caves of the mummies F20.


F19 (lpgk) "sicut abortivus qui ex utero excidit, aut in terram cadit", Michaelis.
F20 Vansleb, ut supra, (Relation of a Voyage to Egypt,) p. 90.

Job 3:16 In-Context

14 with kings and rulers of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15 with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.
18 Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 58:8; Ecclesiastes 4:3; Ecclesiastes 6:3
  • 2. S ver 3; Psalms 71:6
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.