Job 3

Job Speaks

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.
6 That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.
7 May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.
8 May those who curse days[a] curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
9 May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,
10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?
12 Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?
13 For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
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.
19 The small and the great are there, and the slaves are freed from their owners.
20 “Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,
21 to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23 Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
24 For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.
25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

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 39

  • 1. Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 20:14
  • 2. ver 11,16; Job 10:18-19; Ecclesiastes 4:2; Ecclesiastes 6:3; Jeremiah 20:14-18; Matthew 26:24
  • 3. Job 10:21,22; Job 34:22; Job 38:17; Psalms 23:4; Psalms 44:19; Psalms 88:12; Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 13:16
  • 4. Job 23:17; Job 30:26
  • 5. Psalms 20:5; Psalms 33:3; Psalms 65:13; Isaiah 26:19; Jeremiah 51:48
  • 6. Job 10:18; Jeremiah 20:14
  • 7. S Genesis 1:21; Job 41:1,8,10,25; Psalms 74:14; Psalms 104:26
  • 8. Job 41:18; Habakkuk 3:4
  • 9. S ver 3; Job 10:18
  • 10. S Genesis 48:12; Genesis 30:3; Isaiah 66:12
  • 11. Job 17:13; Job 30:23
  • 12. ver 17; Job 7:8-10,21; Job 10:22; Job 13:19; Job 14:10-12; Job 19:27; Job 21:13,23; Job 27:19; Psalms 139:11; Isaiah 8:22
  • 13. Job 9:24; Job 12:17; Isaiah 14:9; Ezekiel 32:28-32
  • 14. Job 15:28; Jeremiah 51:37; Nahum 3:7
  • 15. Job 12:21; Isaiah 45:1
  • 16. Job 15:29; Job 20:10; Job 27:17; Psalms 49:16-17; Proverbs 13:22; Proverbs 28:8; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Isaiah 2:7; Zephaniah 1:11
  • 17. Psalms 58:8; Ecclesiastes 4:3; Ecclesiastes 6:3
  • 18. S ver 3; Psalms 71:6
  • 19. ver 26; Job 30:26; Ecclesiastes 4:2; Isaiah 14:3
  • 20. S ver 13; Job 17:16
  • 21. Isaiah 51:14
  • 22. S Genesis 15:13
  • 23. Job 39:7
  • 24. Job 9:22; Job 17:16; Job 21:33; Job 24:24; Job 30:23; Ecclesiastes 12:5
  • 25. S 1 Samuel 1:10; Jeremiah 20:18; Ezekiel 27:30-31
  • 26. Revelation 9:6
  • 27. Psalms 119:127; Proverbs 2:4
  • 28. Job 7:16; Ecclesiastes 4:3; Jeremiah 8:3
  • 29. Proverbs 4:19; Isaiah 59:10; Jeremiah 13:16; Jeremiah 23:12
  • 30. Job 6:4; Job 16:13; Job 19:6,8,12; Psalms 88:8; Lamentations 2:4; Lamentations 3:7; Hosea 2:6
  • 31. Psalms 5:1; Psalms 38:9; Isaiah 35:10
  • 32. Job 6:7; Job 33:20; Psalms 107:18
  • 33. Psalms 22:1; Psalms 32:3; Psalms 38:8
  • 34. 1 Samuel 1:15; Job 30:16; Psalms 6:6; Psalms 22:14; Psalms 42:3,4; Psalms 80:5; Isaiah 53:12; Lamentations 2:12
  • 35. Job 7:9; Job 9:28; Job 30:15; Hosea 13:3
  • 36. S Genesis 42:36
  • 37. Isaiah 48:22; John 14:27
  • 38. Job 7:4,14; Psalms 6:6; Daniel 4:5; Matthew 11:28
  • 39. S ver 17; S Job 10:18; S Job 19:8

Footnotes 1

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

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