Job 3:20-22

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?

Job 3:20 in Other Translations

KJV
20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;
ESV
20 "Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,
NLT
20 “Oh, why give light to those in misery, and life to those who are bitter?
MSG
20 "Why does God bother giving light to the miserable, why bother keeping bitter people alive,
CSB
20 Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter,

Job 3:20-22 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 3

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 3:20-22 In-Context

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.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S 1 Samuel 1:10; Jeremiah 20:18; Ezekiel 27:30-31
  • 2. Revelation 9:6
  • 3. Psalms 119:127; Proverbs 2:4
  • 4. Job 7:16; Ecclesiastes 4:3; Jeremiah 8:3
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