Job 3:8

8 Let those curse it who curse the Sea, those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.

Job 3:8 Meaning and Commentary

Job 3:8

Let them curse it that curse the day
Their own day, either their birthday, or any day on which evil befalls them; and now such as are used to this, Job would have them, while they were cursing their own day, to throw some curses upon his; or that curse the daylight in general, as adulterers and murderers, who are said to rebel against the light, see ( Job 24:13 Job 24:17 ) ; and as some Ethiopians, who lived near Arabia, and so known to Job, who supposed there was no God, and used to curse the sun when it rose and set, as various writers relate F7, called by others F8 Atlantes; or it may design such persons who were hired at funerals, to mourn for the dead, and who, in their doleful ditties and dirges, used to curse the day on which the person was born whom they lamented; or it may be rather the day on which he died; hence it follows:

who are ready to raise up their mourning;
who were expert at the business, and who could raise up a howl, as the Irish now do, or make a lamentation for the dead when they pleased; such were the mourning women in ( Jeremiah 9:17 Jeremiah 9:18 ) ; and those that were skilful of lamentation, ( Amos 5:16 ) ; some render the words, "who are ready to raise up Leviathan" {i}, and interpret it either of the whale, which, when raised up by the fishermen, they are in danger of their vessels being overturned, and their lives lost, and then they curse the day that ever they entered into such service, and exposed themselves to such danger; or of fish in general, and of fishermen cursing and swearing when they are unsuccessful: some understand this of astrologers, magicians, and enchanters, raising spirits, and particularly the devil, who they think is meant by Leviathan; but it seems best with a little alteration from Gussetius, and Schultens after him, to render the words thus,

``let the cursers of the day fix a name upon it; let those that are ready "to anything, call it" the raiser up of Leviathan;''

that is, let such who either of themselves are used to curse days, or are employed by others to do it, brand this night with some mark of infamy; let them ascribe all dreadful calamities and dismal things unto it, as the source and spring of them; which may be signified by Leviathan, that being a creature most formidable and terrible, of which an account is given in the latter part of this book; but many Jewish writers F11 render it "mourning", as we do.


F7 Diodor. Sic. l. 3. p. 148. Strabo, Geograph. l. 17. P. 565.
F8 Herodot. Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 184. Mela de Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 8. Solin. Polyhistor, c. 44. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 8.
F9 (Ntywl) "Leviathanem", Schmidt, Michaelis. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "who hunt Leviathan."
F11 Vid. Aben Ezram & Gersom in loc. R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 1. 1. Aruch in voce (tywl) . So the word is used, T. Hieros. Moed Katon, fol. 80. 4.

Job 3:8 In-Context

6 That night—let thick darkness seize it! let it not rejoice among the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months.
7 Yes, let that night be barren; let no joyful cry be heard in it.
8 Let those curse it who curse the Sea, those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.
9 Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none; may it not see the eyelids of the morning—
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb, and hide trouble from my eyes.

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.