Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from my eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 3:10. Because it shut not up my mother’s womb — Because it did not confine me to the dark prison of the womb, but suffered me to escape from thence; nor hid sorrow from mine eyes — Because it did not keep me from entering into this miserable life, and seeing or experiencing those bitter sorrows under which I now groan.Because it shut not up, to wit, the night or the day; to which those things are ascribed which were done by others in them, as is frequent in poetical writings, such as this is. Or, he, i.e. God; whom in modesty and reverence he forbears to name. Yet he doth not curse God for his birth, as the devil presaged, but only wisheth that the day of his birth might have manifest characters of a curse impressed upon it. Shut not up the doors; that it might either never have conceived me, or at least never have brought me forth.
Mother’s; which word is here fitly supplied, both out of Job 1:21 31:18, where it is expressed; and by comparing other places where it is necessarily to be understood, though the womb only be mentioned, as Job 10:19 Psalm 58:3 Isaiah 48:8 Jeremiah 1:5.
Nor hid sorrow from mine eyes, because it did not keep me from entering into this miserable life, and seeing, i.e. feeling, or experiencing, (as that word is oft used,) those bitter sorrows under which I now groan. Genesis 20:17 1 Samuel 1:5; which Job here attributes to the night, purposely avoiding to make mention of the name of God, that he might not seem to complain of him, or directly point at him; or else the blame laid on that night is, that it did not so shut up the doors of his mother's womb, that he might not have come out from thence into the world, wishing that had been his grave, and his mother always big with him, as Jarchi, and which sense is favoured by Jeremiah 20:17; a wish cruel to his mother, as well as unnatural to himself:
nor hid sorrow from mine eyes; which it would have done, had it done that which is complained of it did not; had it he could not have perceived it experimentally, endured the sorrows and afflictions he did from the Chaldeans and Sabeans, from Satan, his wife, and friends; and had never known the trouble of loss of substance, children, and health, and felt those pains of body and anguish of mind he did; these are the reasons of his cursing the day of his birth, and the night of his conception.Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. the doors of my mother’s womb] to hinder conception or fruitfulness, Genesis 20:18; 1 Samuel 1:5. The crime of the night is deferred to the last, and the curse closes with the mention of it.Verse 10. - Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb; literally, of my womb; i.e. "of the womb which bare me." By a stretch of imagination, the night is supposed to have power to open or shut wombs, and is blamed for not having shut up the womb in which Job was conceived. Nor hid sorrow from mine eyes; i.e. "and did not so prevent all the sorrows that have befallen me."
And the night which said, A man-child is conceived!
4 Let that day become darkness;
Let not Eloah ask after it from above,
And let not the light shine on it.
5 May darkness and the shadow of death purchase it back;
Let a cloud lie upon it;
May that which obscures the day terrify it.
The curse is against the day of his birth and the night of his conception as recurring yearly, not against the actual first day (Schlottm.), to which the imprecations which follow are not pertinent. Job wishes his birth-day may become dies ater, swallowed up by darkness as into nothing. The elliptical relative clauses, Job 3:3 (Ges. 123, 3; cf. 127, 4, c), become clear from the translation. Transl. the night (לילה with parag. He is masc.) which said, not: in which they said; the night alone was witness of this beginning of the development of a man-child, and made report of it to the High One, to whom it is subordinate. Day emerges from the darkness as Eloah from above (as Job 31:2, Job 31:28), i.e., He who reigns over the changes here below, asks after it; interests Himself in His own (דּרשׁ). Job wishes his birth-day may not rejoice in this. The relations of this his birth-day are darkness and the shadow of death. These are to redeem it, as, according to the right of kinsmen, family property is redeemed when it has got into a stranger's hands. This is the meaning of גּאל (lxx ἐκλάβοι), not equals גּעל, inquinent (Targ.). עננה is collective, as נהרה, mass of cloud. Instead of כּמרירי (the Caph of which seems pointed as praepos), we must read with Ewald (157, a), Olshausen, (187, b), and others, כּמרירי, after the form חכליל, darkness, dark flashing (vid., on Psalm 10:8), שׁפריר, tapestry, unless we are willing to accept a form of noun without example elsewhere. The word signifies an obscuring, from כּמר, to glow with heat, because the greater the glow the deeper the blackness it leaves behind. All that ever obscures a day is to overtake and render terrible that day.
(Note: We may compare here, and further, on, Constance's outburst of despair in King John (3:1 and 3:4). Shakespeare, like Goethe, enriches himself from the book of Job.)
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