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Job Curses the Day He Was Born


After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2Job said:


“Let the day perish in which I was born,

and the night that said,

‘A man-child is conceived.’


Let that day be darkness!

May God above not seek it,

or light shine on it.


Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.

Let clouds settle upon it;

let the blackness of the day terrify it.


That night—let thick darkness seize it!

let it not rejoice among the days of the year;

let it not come into the number of the months.


Yes, let that night be barren;

let no joyful cry be heard in it.


Let those curse it who curse the Sea,

those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.


Let the stars of its dawn be dark;

let it hope for light, but have none;

may it not see the eyelids of the morning—


because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,

and hide trouble from my eyes.



“Why did I not die at birth,

come forth from the womb and expire?


Why were there knees to receive me,

or breasts for me to suck?


Now I would be lying down and quiet;

I would be asleep; then I would be at rest


with kings and counselors of the earth

who rebuild ruins for themselves,


or with princes who have gold,

who fill their houses with silver.


Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,

like an infant that never sees the light?


There the wicked cease from troubling,

and there the weary are at rest.


There the prisoners are at ease together;

they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.


The small and the great are there,

and the slaves are free from their masters.



“Why is light given to one in misery,

and life to the bitter in soul,


who long for death, but it does not come,

and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;


who rejoice exceedingly,

and are glad when they find the grave?


Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,

whom God has fenced in?


For my sighing comes like my bread,

and my groanings are poured out like water.


Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,

and what I dread befalls me.


I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;

I have no rest; but trouble comes.”


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Verses 1–10

For seven days Job's friends sat by him in silence, without offering consolidation: at the same time Satan assaulted his mind to shake his confidence, and to fill him with hard thoughts of God. The permission seems to have extended to this, as well as to torturing the body. Job was an especial type of Christ, whose inward sufferings, both in the garden and on the cross, were the most dreadful; and arose in a great degree from the assaults of Satan in that hour of darkness. These inward trials show the reason of the change that took place in Job's conduct, from entire submission to the will of God, to the impatience which appears here, and in other parts of the book. The believer, who knows that a few drops of this bitter cup are more dreadful than the sharpest outward afflictions, while he is favoured with a sweet sense of the love and presence of God, will not be surprised to find that Job proved a man of like passions with others; but will rejoice that Satan was disappointed, and could not prove him a hypocrite; for though he cursed the day of his birth, he did not curse his God. Job doubtless was afterwards ashamed of these wishes, and we may suppose what must be his judgment of them now he is in everlasting happiness.

Verses 11–19

Job complained of those present at his birth, for their tender attention to him. No creature comes into the world so helpless as man. God's power and providence upheld our frail lives, and his pity and patience spared our forfeited lives. Natural affection is put into parents' hearts by God. To desire to die that we may be with Christ, that we may be free from sin, is the effect and evidence of grace; but to desire to die, only that we may be delivered from the troubles of this life, savours of corruption. It is our wisdom and duty to make the best of that which is, be it living or dying; and so to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord, as in both to be his, Ro 14:8. Observe how Job describes the repose of the grave; There the wicked cease from troubling. When persecutors die, they can no longer persecute. There the weary are at rest: in the grave they rest from all their labours. And a rest from sin, temptation, conflict, sorrows, and labours, remains in the presence and enjoyment of God. There believers rest in Jesus, nay, as far as we trust in the Lord Jesus and obey him, we here find rest to our souls, though in the world we have tribulation.

Verses 20–26

Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Saviour.