Job 3:3

3 “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was 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 At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth.
2 He said:
3 “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived.
4 Let that day be turned to darkness. Let it be lost even to God on high, and let no light shine on it.
5 Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own. Let a black cloud overshadow it, and let the darkness terrify it.