3 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 [a]And Job said,
“Let the day on which I was born perish,
And the night which announced: ‘There is a man-child conceived.’
“May that day be darkness;
Let God above not care about it,
Nor light shine on it.
“Let darkness and gloom claim it for their own;
Let a cloud settle upon it;
Let all that blackens the day terrify it (the day that I was born).
“As for that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not be counted in the number of the months.
“Behold, let that night be barren [and empty];
Let no joyful voice enter it.
“Let those curse it [b]who curse the day,
Who are skilled in rousing up Leviathan.
“Let the stars of its early dawn be dark;
Let the morning wait in vain for the light,
Let it not see the eyelids of morning (the day’s dawning),
Because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
Nor hide trouble from my eyes.
“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
“Why did the knees receive me?
And why the breasts, that I would nurse?
“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest [in death],
With kings and counselors of the earth,
Who built up [now desolate] ruins for themselves;
Or with princes who had gold,
Who filled their houses with silver.
“Or like a miscarriage which is hidden and put away, I would not exist,
Like infants who never saw light.
“There [in death] the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
“There the prisoners rest together;
They do not hear the taskmaster’s voice.
“The small and the great are there,
And the servant is free from his master.(A)
“Why is the light given to him who is in misery,
And life to the bitter in soul,
Who wait for death, but it does not come,
And dig (search) for death more [diligently] than for hidden treasures,
Who rejoice exceedingly,
And rejoice when they find the grave?
“Why is the light of day given to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries [of despair] are poured out like water.
“For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me,
And that of which I am afraid has come upon me.
“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, and yet trouble still comes [upon me].”
- Job 3:2 The prose introduction ends at v 1 and the poetic heart of the book begins with v 2. One of the features of Hebrew poetry is the prevalence of pairs of statements in which the second statement either is parallel in thought to the first or contrasts with it. There is no rhyming or metrical correspondence.
- Job 3:8 Some ancient sorcerers claimed the ability to curse a day by calling up a terrifying, legendary creature, such as Leviathan, to devour the sun.