|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:11-19 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.
Verse 16. - Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. This is added as another way in which Job might have escaped his misery. Though conceived and brought to the birth, he might have been still-born, and so have known no suffering.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Or as an hidden untimely birth,.... Or "hid, as one born out of time", as Mr. Broughton reads it; the Septuagint use the same word as the apostle does, when he says the like of himself, 1 Corinthians 15:8; the word has the signification of "falling" (s), and designs an abortive, which is like to fruit that falls from the tree before it is ripe; and this may be said to be "hidden", either in the belly, as the Targum, or however from the sight of man, it being not come to any proper shape, and much less perfection; now Job suggests, that if he had not lain with kings, counsellors, and princes, yet at least he should have been as an abortion, and that would have been as well to him: then
I had not been; or should have been nothing, not reckoned anything; should not have been numbered among beings, but accounted as a nonentity, and should have had no subsistence or standing in the world at all:
as infants which never saw light; and if not like an untimely birth, which is not come to any perfection, yet should have been like infants, which, though their mothers have gone their full time with them, and they have all their limbs in perfection and proportion, yet are dead, or stillborn, their eyes have never been opened to see any light; meaning not the light of the law, as the Targum, but the light of the sun, or the light of the world, see Ecclesiastes 6:3; infants used to be buried in the wells or caves of the mummies (t).
(s) "sicut abortivus qui ex utero excidit, aut in terram cadit", Michaelis. (t) Vansleb, ut supra, (Relation of a Voyage to Egypt,) p. 90.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. untimely birth—(Ps 58:8); preferable to the life of the restless miser (Ec 6:3-5).
Job 3:16 Parallel Commentaries
Job 3:16 NIV
Job 3:16 NLT
Job 3:16 ESV
Job 3:16 NASB
Job 3:16 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible