Job 3 Summary
Ideally, Job’s friends would open their mouths and encourage Job to trust God even when he doesn’t understand God’s ways in his life. But we’ll see that they’re incapable of that at this point.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 1-3
Job Curses The Day of His Birth
And so, Job opens his mouth first and speaks. But what he’s going to say isn’t going to help anyone trust God. Instead, Job is going to curse the day of his birth in chapter 3, verses 1-3…
KJV Job 3:1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his [i.e., birth…] day.
Job 3:2 And Job spake, and said,
Job 3:3 Let the day perish wherein I was born,
and the night [in which it was/which] said, There is a [man child/boy/man] conceived.
This is how terrible Job’s life had become. He would retroactively curse the day of his birth.
Now, catch the fact that Job doesn’t curse God. But he does curse his own miserable existence.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 4-5
Curse That Day
And Job goes into detail about this. He curses the daytime of his original birthday in verses 4 and 5…
Job 3:4 Let that day be darkness;
let not God [regard/care for] it [from above/on high],
neither let the light shine upon it.
Job 3:5 Let darkness and [the shadow of death/black gloom/the deepest shadow] [stain/claim] it;
let a cloud [dwell/settle] upon it;
let [the blackness of/whatever blackens] the day terrify it.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 6-9
Curse That Night
And then Job calls for a curse upon the nighttime hours of his original birthday in verses 6-9…
Job 3:6 As for that night, let darkness [seize upon/seize] it;
let it not [be joined unto/rejoice among/be included among] the days of the year,
let it not [come into/enter among] the number of the months.
Job 3:7 [Lo/Behold/Indeed], let that night be [solitary/barren],
let no [joyful voice/shout of joy] [come therein/enter it/penetrate it].
Job 3:8 Let them curse it that curse the day,
who are [ready/prepared] to [raise up their/rouse] [mourning/Leviathan].
Job 3:9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be [dark/darkened];
let it [look/wait] for [day…] light, but [have/find] none;
neither let it see the [dawning of the day/breaking dawn/first rays of dawn]:
Now, just a quick word about verse 8. The word translated in the KJV as “mourning” is the Hebrew word Leviathan – which is a fearsome sea creature that God is going to speak of later in this book.
Job is saying that he wishes someone could summon Leviathan to violently attack – if it were possible – the night of his birth.
Job 3 Summary of Verse 10
Reason for the Curses
Why all this cursing of Job’s birth date? He gives the answer in verse 10…
Job 3:10 Because [it/that day] shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb,
nor hid [sorrow/trouble] from mine eyes.
The day is to be cursed because it allowed Job to live. Suffering has a way of causing people to think in very strange ways.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 11-12
Why Did Job Live and Not Die?
Job questions why he lived through that day and why he didn’t die in verses 11 and 12…
Job 3:11 Why died I not [from the womb/at birth]?
why did I not [give up the ghost/expire] when I came out of the [belly/womb]?
Job 3:12 Why did the knees [prevent/receive/welcome] me?
or why the breasts that I should [suck/nurse]?
Job was born and received help and nourishment to continue living. But at this point he wishes that hadn’t happened to him.
Job 3 Summary of Verse 13
What Would Have Happened if Job Had Died
And so, he ponders what would have happened had he instead just died – verse 13…
Job 3:13 For now should I have lain [still/down] and been quiet,
I should have slept: then had I been at [rest/peace],
Job 3 Summary of Verses 14-16
The Company Job Would Have Had If He Had Died
Job even engages in rather macabre contemplation of the kind of company he would have now if he had died – verses 14-16…
Job 3:14 With kings and counsellors of the earth,
which [built/rebuilt] [desolate places/ruins/places now desolate] for themselves;
Job 3:15 Or with princes that had gold,
who filled their [houses/palaces] with silver:
Job 3:16 Or as [an hidden/a discarded/a buried] [untimely birth/miscarriage/stillborn infant] [I had not been/I would not be/Why wasn’t I];
as infants which never saw light.
And in all of these cases, the people Job mentions experienced vanity just like he’s now experiencing. Kings built palaces which are now ruins. Princes filled their houses with gold but it does them no good now. Miscarriages had a life ahead of them but it never came to fruition.
Job is not making light of these realities. He’s identifying with them as his life now resembles theirs in terms of the vanity and disappointment that he’s experiencing.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 17-19
The “Wonderful” Equilibrium Death Brings
Job in his tumultuous soul is going to move on now and even extol the “wonderful” equilibrium that death brings in verses 17-19…
Job 3:17 [There/In death] the wicked cease from [troubling/raging/turmoil];
and there the weary be at rest.
Job 3:18 There the prisoners [rest/are at ease/relax] together;
they hear not the voice of the [oppressor/taskmaster].
Job 3:19 The small and great are there;
and the servant is free from his master.
So, the wicked, the weary, prisoners, oppressors, small, great, servant, master – they’re all set at equilibrium at death, according to Job’s thinking.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 20-22
Why Does God Give Life to Those Who Don’t Want It?
Job then asks why God gives life – rather than the death that he’s been contemplating – to those who don’t want it in verses 20-22…
Job 3:20 Wherefore is light given to him [that is in misery/who suffers],
and life unto the bitter in soul;
Job 3:21 Which [long/wait] for death, but [it cometh not/there is none];
and [dig/search] for it more than for hid treasures;
Job 3:22 Which rejoice [exceedingly/greatly], and [are glad/exult],
when they can find the grave?
Job 3 Summary of Verse 23
Why Does God Give Life to Those Whose Life Is Confusing?
And Job laments that God gives life to those whose way is confusing – like his is – verse 23…
Job 3:23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid,
and whom God hath hedged in?
Job 3 Summary of Verse 24
Job Can’t/Won’t Eat
Job says in verse 24 that he won’t – and can’t – eat…
Job 3:24 For my [sighing/groaning] cometh [before I eat/at the sight of my food/in place of my food],
and my [roarings/cries/groanings] [are poured out/flow forth] like the waters.
Job 3 Summary of Verses 25-26
Job’s Fears Have Been Realized
And Job’s last bitter statement relates that all of his worst fears have been realized in verses 25 and 26…
Job 3:25 For the [i.e., very…] thing which I [greatly feared/dreaded] [is come upon/has happened to] me,
and that which I [was afraid of/dread] [is come unto/befalls] me.
Job 3:26 I [was/am] not [in safety/at ease],
neither [had/have] I [rest/quietness],
neither [was/am/can] I [quiet/rest];
[yet/but] trouble [came/comes/has come upon me].
Job’s life is obviously very miserable at this point. God’s ways are beyond his understanding. And this suffering man – like all sufferers – needs to be assisted and encouraged in trusting God.
And we’ll consider how Job’s first friend – Eliphaz – performs at this task next time.