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II. First Cycle of Speeches

Chapter 3

Job’s Complaint. After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.[a] Job spoke out and said:

Perish the day on which I was born,(A)
    the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”
May that day be darkness:
    may God[b] above not care for it,
    may light not shine upon it!
May darkness and gloom claim it,
    clouds settle upon it,
    blackness of day[c] affright it!
May obscurity seize that night;
    may it not be counted among the days of the year,
    nor enter into the number of the months!
May that night be barren;
    let no joyful outcry greet it!
Let them curse it who curse the Sea,
    those skilled at disturbing Leviathan![d]
May the stars of its twilight be darkened;
    may it look for daylight, but have none,
    nor gaze on the eyes of the dawn,
10 Because it did not keep shut the doors of the womb
    to shield my eyes from trouble!
11 Why did I not die at birth,(B)
    come forth from the womb and expire?
12 Why did knees receive me,
    or breasts nurse me?
13 For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
    had I slept, I should then have been at rest
14 With kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuilt what were ruins
15 Or with princes who had gold
    and filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not buried away like a stillborn child,
    like babies that have never seen the light?
17 There[e] the wicked cease from troubling,
    there the weary are at rest.
18 The captives are at ease together,
    and hear no overseer’s voice.
19 Small and great are there;
    the servant is free from the master.
20 Why is light given to the toilers,
    life to the bitter in spirit?
21 They wait for death and it does not come;
    they search for it more than for hidden treasures.
22 They rejoice in it exultingly,
    and are glad when they find the grave:
23 A man whose path is hidden from him,
    one whom God has hemmed in![f]
24 For to me sighing comes more readily than food;
    my groans well forth like water.
25 For what I feared overtakes me;
    what I dreaded comes upon me.
26 I have no peace nor ease;
    I have no rest, for trouble has come!


  1. 3:1 His day: that is, the day of his birth.
  2. 3:4 God: in Heb. ’Eloah, another name for the divinity, used frequently in Job.
  3. 3:5 Blackness of day: that is, an eclipse.
  4. 3:8 Leviathan: a mythological sea monster symbolizing primeval chaos. It is parallel to Sea, which was the opponent of Baal in the Ugaritic legends. Cf. 9:13; 26:13; 40:25–41:26; Ps 74:13–14; 104:26; Is 27:1.
  5. 3:17 There: in death.
  6. 3:23 Hemmed in: contrast the same verb as used in 1:10.