Job 3:3

3 “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’

Job 3:3 in Other Translations

3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
3 "Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, 'A man is conceived.'
3 “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived.
3 "Obliterate the day I was born. Blank out the night I was conceived!
3 May the day I was born perish, and the night when they said, "A boy is conceived."

Job 3:3 Meaning and Commentary

Job 3:3

Let the day perish wherein I was born
Here begins Job's form of cursing his day, and which explains what is meant by it; and it may be understood either of the identical day of his birth, and then the sense is, that he wished that had never been, or, in other words, that he had never been born; and though these were impossible, and Job knew it, and therefore such wishes may seem to be in vain, yet Job had a design herein, which was to show the greatness of his afflictions, and the sense he had of them: or else of his birthday, as it returned year after year; and then his meaning is, let it not be kept and observed with any solemnity, with feasting and other expressions of joy, as the birthdays of great personages especially were, and his own very probably had been, since his children's were, ( Job 1:4 ) ; but now he desires it might not be so for the future, but be entirely disregarded; he would have it perish out of his own memory, and out of the memory of others, and even be struck out of the calendar, and not be reckoned with the days of the month and year, ( Job 3:6 ) ; both may be intended, both the very day on which he was born, and the yearly return of it:

and the night [in which] it was said, there is a man child conceived;
that is, let that night perish also; he wishes it had not been, or he had not been conceived, or for the future be never mentioned, but eternally forgotten: Job goes back to his conception, as being the spring of his sorrows; for this he knew as well as David, that he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin, see ( Job 14:4 ) ; but rather, since the particular night or time of conception is not ordinarily, easily, and exactly known by women themselves, and much less by men; and more especially it could not be told what sex it was, whether male or female that was conceived, and the tidings of it could not be brought by any; it seems better with Aben Ezra to render the word F23, "there is a man child brought forth", which used to be an occasion of joy, ( John 16:21 ) ; and so the word is used to bear or bring forth, ( 1 Chronicles 4:17 ) ; see ( Jeremiah 20:15 ) ; and, according to him, it was a doubt whether Job was born in the day or in the night; but be it which it will, if he was born in the day, he desires it might perish; and if in the night, he wishes the same to that; though the words may be rendered in a beautiful and elegant manner nearer the original, "and the night [which] said, a man child is conceived" F24; representing, by a prosopopoeia, the night as a person conscious of the conception, as an eyewitness of it, and exulting at it, as Schultens observes.


F23 (rbg hrh) "in lucem editus est vir", Mercerus; "creatus, progenitus", Drusius, so the Targum; "conceptus et natus est vir, vel mas", Michaelis; so Ben Melech.
F24 (rma hlylhw) "et nox quae dixit", Mercerus, Gussetius, Schultens.

Job 3:3 In-Context

1 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
2 He said:
3 “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
4 That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it.
5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 11,16; Job 10:18-19; Ecclesiastes 4:2; Ecclesiastes 6:3; Jeremiah 20:14-18; Matthew 26:24
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