Job 3

Job's Lament

1 Afterward * Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
2 And Job said *,
3 "1Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, 'A boy is conceived.'
4 "May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, Nor light shine on it.
5 "Let 2darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 "As for that night, let darkness seize it; Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not come into the number of the months.
7 "Behold, let that night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it.
8 "Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to 3rouse Leviathan.
9 "Let the stars of its twilight be darkened; Let it wait for light but have none, And let it not see the breaking dawn;
10 Because it did not shut the opening of my mother's womb, Or hide trouble from my eyes.
11 "4Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?
12 "Why did the knees receive me, And why the breasts, that I should suck?
13 "For now I 5would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
14 With 6kings and with 7counselors of the earth, Who rebuilt 8ruins for themselves;
15 Or with 9princes 10who had gold, Who were filling their houses with silver.
16 "Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light.
17 "There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at 11rest.
18 "The prisoners are at ease together; They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19 "The small and the great are there, And the slave is free from his master.
20 "Why is 12light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul,
21 Who 13long for death, but there is none, And dig for it more than for 14hidden treasures,
22 Who rejoice greatly, And exult when they find the grave?
23 "Why is light given to a man 15whose way is hidden, And whom 16God has hedged in?
24 "For 17my groaning comes at the sight of my food, And 18my cries pour out like water.
25 "For 19what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread befalls me.
26 "I 20am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes."

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 20

  • 1. Jeremiah 20:14-18
  • 2. Jeremiah 13:16
  • 3. Job 41:1, 25
  • 4. Job 10:18, 19
  • 5. Job 3:13-19; Job 7:8-10, 21; Job 10:21, 22; Job 14:10-15, 20-22; Job 16:22; Job 17:13-16; Job 19:25-27; Job 21:13, 23-26; Job 24:19, 20; Job 26:5, 6; Job 34:22
  • 6. Job 12:18
  • 7. Job 12:17
  • 8. Job 15:28; Isaiah 58:12
  • 9. Job 12:21
  • 10. Job 27:16, 17
  • 11. Job 17:16
  • 12. Jeremiah 20:18
  • 13. Revelation 9:6
  • 14. Proverbs 2:4
  • 15. Job 19:6, 8, 12
  • 16. Job 19:8; Psalms 88:8; Lamentations 3:7
  • 17. Job 6:7; Job 33:20
  • 18. Job 30:16; Psalms 42:4
  • 19. Job 9:28; Job 30:15
  • 20. Job 7:13, 14

Footnotes 10

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