Job’s Opening Speech

After this, Job began to speak and cursed the day he was born. He said:

May the day I was born perish,
and the night when they said,
“A boy is conceived.”(A)
If only that day had turned to darkness!
May God above not care about it,
or light shine on it.
May darkness and gloom(B) reclaim it,
and a cloud settle over it.
May an eclipse of the sun[a] terrify it.
If only darkness had taken that night away!
May it not appear[b] among the days of the year
or be listed in the calendar.[c]
Yes, may that night be barren;
may no joyful shout(C) be heard in it.
Let those who curse certain days
cast a spell(D) on it,
those who are skilled in rousing Leviathan.(E)
May its morning stars grow dark.
May it wait for daylight but have none;
may it not see the breaking[d] of dawn.
10 For that night did not shut
the doors of my mother’s womb,
and hide sorrow from my eyes.

11 Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?(F)
12 Why did the knees receive me,
and why were there breasts for me to nurse?(G)
13 Now I would certainly be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep.(H)
Then I would be at rest(I)
14 with the kings and counselors(J) of the earth,
who rebuilt ruined cities for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses(K) with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden like a miscarried child,(L)
like infants who never see daylight?
17 There the wicked(M) cease to make trouble,
and there the weary find rest.
18 The captives are completely at ease;(N)
they do not hear the voice of their oppressor.(O)
19 Both small and great are there,
and the slave is set free from his master.(P)

20 Why is light given to one burdened with grief,
and life to those whose existence is bitter,(Q)
21 who wait for death,(R) but it does not come,
and search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with much joy
and are glad when they reach the grave?(S)
23 Why is life given to a man whose path is hidden,(T)
whom God has hedged in?
24 I sigh when food(U) is put before me,[e]
and my groans pour out like water.(V)
25 For the thing I feared has overtaken me,
and what I dreaded has happened to me.(W)
26 I cannot relax or be still;
I have no rest,(X) for trouble comes.


  1. Job 3:5 Lit May a darkening of daylight
  2. Job 3:6 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads rejoice
  3. Job 3:6 Lit or enter the number of months
  4. Job 3:9 Lit the eyelids
  5. Job 3:24 Or My sighing serves as my food

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