Job Chapter Three
Read Job 3:1-10
v1-2. “AFTER THIS OPENED JOB HIS MOUTH, AND CURSED HIS DAY. AND JOB SPAKE, AND SAID.”
Job apparently remained quiet during the ordeal of receiving the messages concerning the loss of his wealth and family and even during the mourning described in the latter part of chapter two and the arrival of his friends. But that changes with the beginning of chapter three of this book.
v3. “LET THE DAY PERISH WHEREIN I WAS BORN, AND THE NIGHT in which IT WAS SAID, THERE IS A MAN CHILD CONCEIVED.”
Job literally curses the day that he was born. His troubles and problems are so great that he has reached the depth of despair. His state of mind is very similar to that of Jeremiah the prophet:
Jeremiah 15:10 “WOE IS ME, MY MOTHER, THAT THOU HAST BORNE ME A MAN OF STRIFE AND A MAN OF CONTENTION TO THE WHOLE EARTH! I HAVE NEITHER LENT ON USURY, NOR MEN HAVE LENT TO ME ON USURY; yet EVERY ONE OF THEM DOTH CURSE ME.”
Jeremiah 20:14 “CURSED be THE DAY WHEREIN I WAS BORN: LET NOT THE DAY WHEREIN MY MOTHER BARE ME BE BLESSED.”
v4. “LET THAT DAY BE DARKNESS; LET NOT GOD REGARD IT FROM ABOVE, NEITHER LET THE LIGHT SHINE UPON IT.”
Let the day I was born become darkness, let God not regard it that it might be considered a blessed day, but rather let darkness rule over it. We might say; take it out and bury it somewhere; we don’t even want to remember it.
v5. “LET DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH STAIN IT; LET A CLOUD DWELL UPON IT; LET THE BLACKNESS OF THE DAY TERRIFY IT.”
that the day of his birth would be shrouded in deep darkness, let it be known
as a day of death, cover it with clouds so black that people are
terrified. In Psalm 23 David speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow
of death; Job, in his own mind, is in the valley of the shadow of death. The kind of darkness or blackness to rule
this day that Job is requesting is like that Jeremiah describes will visit
Jeremiah 13:16 “GIVE GLORY TO THE LORD YOUR GOD, BEFORE HE CAUSE DARKNESS, AND BEFORE YOUR FEET STUMBLE UPON THE DARK MOUNTAINS, AND, WHILE YE LOOK FOR LIGHT, HE TURN IT INTO THE SHADOW OF DEATH, and MAKE it GROSS DARKNESS.”
v6. “AS for THAT NIGHT, LET DARKNESS SEIZE UPON IT; LET IT NOT BE JOINED UNTO THE DAYS OF THE YEAR, LET IT NOT COME INTO THE NUMBER OF THE MONTHS.
Let the night in which he was conceived not be joined to the days of the year, or the months of the year.
v7. “LO, LET THAT NIGHT BE SOLITARY, LET NO JOYFUL VOICE COME THEREIN.”
Let no joyful sound come from within this night of his conception or day of his birth.
v8. “LET THEM CURSE IT THAT CURSE THE DAY, WHO ARE READY TO RAISE UP THEIR MOURNING.”
Again we parallel the words of Job with those of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 9:17-18 “THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, CONSIDER YE, AND CALL FOR THE MOURNING WOMEN, THAT THEY MAY COME; AND SEND FOR CUNNING women, THAT THEY MAY COME: AND LET THEM MAKE HASTE, AND TAKE UP A WAILING FOR US, THAT OUR EYES MAY RUN DOWN WITH TEARS, AND OUR EYELIDS GUSH OUT WITH WATERS.”
He declares that God should make this day that he was born a day of mourning, call for the mourning women, call for the professional mourners, those who are cunning, good actors, and set up a wailing to honor his pain. Or as the wording in Job; send those who are ready to raise up their mourning.
v9. “LET THE STARS OF THE TWILIGHT THEREOF BE DARK; LET IT LOOK FOR LIGHT, BUT have NONE; NEITHER LET IT SEE THE DAWNING OF THE DAY:”
Don’t even let the light of the stars of twilight penetrate the shroud of darkness over this day; keep it from enjoying the dawn that follows. He literally wishes that the eyelids of this day had remained closed, that the day that he was born had never dawned.
v10. “BECAUSE IT SHUT NOT UP THE DOORS OF MY mother’s WOMB, NOR HID SORROW FROM MINE EYES.”
He is cursing the day because it didn’t shut up his mother womb to keep him from being born nor did it hide sorrow from him.
To summarize these few verses - It is clear that Job was hurt, angry, and perplexed. His very soul cries out in protest to the torment that he’s enduring. Perhaps the increasing intensification of his pain, together with the long silence of his friends was simply more than he could bear. He just does not know why all of this has happened to him.
In addition the prevailing belief throughout the Old Testament is that misfortune, calamity or tragedy came as a result of personal sin. He’s being punished as though he was the chiefest of sinners but he knows that he isn’t. It’s enough to shake his faith, not in God but in the prevailing religious thought of that day.
drew parallels with Jeremiah in his anguish over his treatment by
Read Job 3:11-19
v11. “WHY DIED I NOT FROM THE WOMB? why DID I not GIVE UP THE GHOST WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE BELLY?”
Job goes from cursing the day that he was born to asking, why wasn’t I allowed to die, or be stillborn.
v12. “WHY DID THE KNEES PREVENT ME? OR WHY THE BREASTS THAT I SHOULD SUCK?”
His lament is; why was my life preserved so that after he was placed on his mother’s knees he was nourished with his mother’s milk? Why was I received with joy as a babe, and then allowed later to be made to suffer such sorrow?
v13. “FOR NOW SHOULD I HAVE LAIN STILL AND BEEN QUIET, I SHOULD HAVE SLEPT: THEN HAD I BEEN AT REST,”
Would it not have been better if I could have simply died so that I could be at rest? Why couldn’t I just sleep the sleep of death?
v14. “WITH KINGS AND COUNSELLORS OF THE EARTH, WHICH BUILT DESOLATE PLACES FOR THEMSELVES;”
Then he would have joined those kings and counselors that have built monuments for themselves in desolate places. What was the burial practice of that day for kings and important people? Do you think that Job could have been referring to the Egyptian practices of the Pharaohs building themselves elaborate tombs and monuments to have their peoples remember them?
v15. “OR WITH PRINCES THAT HAD GOLD, WHO FILLED THEIR HOUSES WITH SILVER:”
Again a reference to why couldn’t I just be among those princes who have already died. Had he died at birth then he would have much in common with those who were wealthy or famous that were dead.
v16. “OR AS AN HIDDEN UNTIMELY BIRTH I HAD NOT BEEN; AS INFANTS which NEVER SAW LIGHT.”
The infant that never see the sun or never sees light is a phrase used to describe being stillborn.
Psalms 58:8 “AS A SNAIL which MELTETH, let every one of them PASS AWAY: like THE UNTIMELY BIRTH OF A WOMAN, that THEY MAY NOT SEE THE SUN.”
Now he goes one step further and suggests that he should have been as an infant that never saw light or was miscarried.
v17. “THERE THE WICKED CEASE from TROUBLING; AND THERE THE WEARY BE AT REST.”
He says at least in that state he would be free from trouble, he would be at rest. He would not troubled by the destruction of his wealth and family and the torment he’s now enduring from his afflictions.
v18. “there THE PRISONERS REST TOGETHER; THEY HEAR NOT THE VOICE OF THE OPPRESSOR.
Job is desperately looking for an escape from his miseries. In death even the prisoners rest together he says. They don’t have to hear the voice of their oppressors or suffer their punishment.
v19. “THE SMALL AND GREAT ARE THERE; AND THE SERVANT is FREE FROM HIS MASTER.”
There the small and great are together and there are no longer servants and masters but that all men are equal in death.
Read Job 3:20-26
v20. “WHEREFORE IS LIGHT GIVEN TO HIM THAT IS IN MISERY, AND LIFE UNTO THE BITTER in SOUL;”
Why? Why is light, the light of life given to someone that is in such misery? Why should one be granted life when life has such a horrible quality? Why should a man be granted life when that life is all misery and bitterness? His cry is much the same as Jeremiah
Jeremiah 20:18 “WHEREFORE CAME I FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB TO SEE LABOUR AND SORROW, THAT MY DAYS SHOULD BE CONSUMED WITH SHAME?”
v21. “WHICH LONG FOR DEATH, BUT IT cometh NOT; AND DIG FOR IT MORE THAN FOR HID TREASURES;”
Job says he longs for death, but it doesn’t come. He would welcome death as a prospector or a treasurer hunter would who digs for treasures would welcome his good fortune if he were to find that which he seeks. We find a parallel in John’s description of the persecution that was to befall the church:
Revelation 9:5-6 “AND TO THEM IT WAS GIVEN THAT THEY SHOULD NOT KILL THEM, BUT THAT THEY SHOULD BE TORMENTED FIVE MONTHS: AND THEIR TORMENT was AS THE TORMENT OF A SCORPION, WHEN HE STRIKETH A MAN. AND IN THOSE DAYS SHALL MEN SEEK DEATH, AND SHALL NOT FIND IT; AND SHALL DESIRE TO DIE, AND DEATH SHALL FLEE FROM THEM.”
v22. “WHICH REJOICE EXCEEDINGLY, and ARE GLAD, WHEN THEY CAN FIND THE GRAVE?”
What a joy it would be just to lie down in the grave? Why can’t men die when they’re ready? Job knew that men could not necessarily die when they think that they are ready to die. We may have trouble understanding this concept but then neither have most of us ever suffered like Job is suffering at this time.
v23. “why is light given TO A MAN WHOSE WAY IS HID, AND WHOM GOD HATH HEDGED IN?”
Why is existence given to one whose way is hid, one who is forced to grope in darkness? Why has existence given to one who is surrounded with misery, who has been hedged in by God with these afflictions?
Has Job started to blame God now for his situation? Yes, he has. He now makes the same accusation against God that Satan did but for a very different reason. Satan claimed that men worshipped, reverenced and obeyed God because he had “MADE A HEDGE” of blessings surrounding him. Now Job has charged God with having hedged him in with suffering. His cry is again much the same as the Prophet Jeremiah:
Lamentations 3:5-7 “HE HATH BUILDED AGAINST ME, AND COMPASSED me WITH GALL AND TRAVAIL. HE HATH SET ME IN DARK PLACES, AS they that be DEAD OF OLD. HE HATH HEDGED ME ABOUT, THAT I CANNOT GET OUT: HE HATH MADE MY CHAIN HEAVY.”
v24. “FOR MY SIGHING COMETH BEFORE I EAT, AND MY ROARINGS ARE POURED OUT LIKE THE WATERS.”
Job cries that his sighing comes before his meal, suggesting that either this disease has destroyed his appetite for food or that his pain and suffering comes around as regular as mealtime. His roaring or groaning is poured out as freely as water.
v25. “FOR THE THING WHICH I GREATLY FEARED IS COME UPON ME, AND THAT WHICH I WAS AFRAID OF IS COME UNTO ME.”
He laments that the very thing he had feared most has now come upon him. He apparently had feared when these troubles started that there would be more to follow and that they would keep coming. Perhaps Satan has chosen the very thing that he knew would affect Job the most. Job’s worst fears have been realized because his trouble has indeed continued to mount. His suffering just gets worse and worse with no relief in sight.
v26. “I WAS NOT IN SAFETY, NEITHER HAD I REST, NEITHER WAS I QUIET; YET TROUBLE CAME.”
Job ends this lengthy complaint by lamenting that he is not in peace. He knows no rest, he is beset with trouble, pain and turmoil,
In summary, we learn a number of things from Job’s narrative in this chapter:
1.) Even good people who are strong can weaken and sin under major adversity:
I Corinthians 10:12 “WHEREFORE LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL.”
2.) We should never underestimate the pressures that can be brought against us, or others; by financial, domestic, physical or social losses. In order to combat these pressures we must:
Colossians 3:2 “SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH.”
3.) We can learn from the examples of weakness provided to us by scripture as well as learn from examples of strength. Job’s suffering, as well as the rest of the Old Testament was recorded for us to serve our needs:
Romans 15:4 “FOR WHATSOEVER THINGS WERE WRITTEN AFORETIME WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING, THAT WE THROUGH PATIENCE AND COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES MIGHT HAVE HOPE.”
We’re not necessarily to follow all of the Old Testament examples but learn from them:
I Corinthians 10:6 “NOW THESE THINGS WERE OUR EXAMPLES, TO THE INTENT WE SHOULD NOT LUST AFTER EVIL THINGS, AS THEY ALSO LUSTED.”
4.) We should understand that the words of Job, as are many others recorded for our benefit, not inspired. The recording of them for our learning is inspired but Job in his complaint about his suffering was not speaking through the inspiration of God. Also as we continue in the study of this book remember that his friends are not inspired either and the words they spoke though recorded by God’s inspiration were not generated by God’s inspiration.