Job 3:6
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.
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(6) Let it not be joined.—Rather, let it not rejoice among, as one of the glorious procession of nights.

Job 3:6. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it — Constant and extraordinary darkness, without the least glimmering of light from the moon or stars; darkness to the highest degree possible. Thus, as Job had thrown out his resentment against the day in which he was both, so now the severity of his censure falls on his birth-right; and his style, we find, increases and grows stronger. Our translation, indeed, makes no difference in the expression of darkness; namely, “Let that day be darkness; as for that night, let darkness seize upon it.” But the Hebrew is very different: for חשׁךְ, choshec, is applied to the day, and אפל, ophel, to the night, which latter word signifies a much greater degree of darkness than the former. See Joel 2:2; in the Hebrew, where the latter word, אפלה, ophelah, means thick and terrible darkness. Let it not be joined unto the days of the year — Reckoned as one, or a part of one of them. Or rather, Let it not rejoice among the days, &c., for יחד, jechad, from חדה, chadah, lætari, to rejoice, may properly be so rendered. Joy here, and terror Job 3:5, are poetically and figuratively ascribed to the day or night, with respect to men who may either rejoice or be affrighted therein. Let it not rejoice, that is, let it be a sad, and, as it were, a funeral day. Let it not come into the number of the months — May every month be looked upon as perfect and complete without taking that night or day into the number.

3:1-10 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.As for "that night." Job, having cursed the day, proceeds to utter a malediction on the "night" also; see Job 3:3. This malediction extends to Job 3:9.

Let darkness seize upon it - Hebrew, Let it take it. Let deep and horrid darkness seize it as its own. Let no star arise upon it; let it be unbroken and uninterrupted gloom. The word "darkness," however, does not quite express the force of the original. The word used here אפל 'ôphel is poetic, and denotes darkness more intense than is denoted by the word which is usually rendered "darkness" השׁך chôshek. It is a darkness accompanied with clouds and with a tempest. Herder understands it as meaning, that darkness should seize upon that night and bear it away, so that it should not be joined to the months of the year. So the Chaldee. But the true sense is, that Job wished so deep darkness to possess it, that no star would rise upon it; no light whatever be seen. A night like this Seneca beautifully describes in Agamemnon, verses 465ff:

Nox prima coeltum sparserat stellis,

Cum subito luna conditur, stellae cadunt;

In astra pontus tollitur, et coelum petit.

Nec una nox est, densa tenebras obruit

Caligo, et Omni luce subducta, fretum

Coelumque miscet ...

Premunt tenebrae lumina, et dirae stygis

Inferna nox est.

Let it not be joined unto the days of the year - Margin, "rejoice among." So Good and Noyes render it. The word used here יחד yı̂chad, according to the present pointing, is the apocopated future of חדה chādâh, "to rejoice, to be glad." If the pointing were different יחד yâchad it would be the future of יחד yachad, to be one; to be united, or joined to. The Masoretic points are of no authority, and the interpretation which supposes that the word means here to exult or rejoice, is more poetical and beautiful. It is then a representation of the days of the year as rejoicing together, and a wish is expressed that "that" night might never be allowed to partake of the general joy while the months rolled around. In this interpretation Rosenmuller and Gesenius concur. Dodwell supposes that there is an allusion to a custom among the ancients, by which inauspicious days were stricken from the calendar, and their place supplied by intercalary days. But there is no evidence of the existence of snell a custom in the time of Job.

Let it not come etc - Let it never be reckoned among the days which go to make up the number of the months. Let there be always a blank there; let its place always be lacking.

6. seize upon it—as its prey, that is, utterly dissolve it.

joined unto the days of the year—rather, by poetic personification, "Let it not rejoice in the circle of days and nights and months, which form the circle of years."

Let darkness seize upon it, i. e. constant and extraordinary darkness, without the least glimmering of light from the moon or stars.

Joined unto the days of the year, i.e. reckoned as one, or a part of one, of them. The night is distinguished from the artificial day, but it is a part of the natural day, which consists of twenty-four hours. Or rather, let it not rejoice among the days, &c. Joy here, and terror, Job 3:5, are poetically and figuratively ascribed to the day or night with respect to men, who either rejoice or are affrighted in it. Let it be a sad, and as it were a funeral, day.

Let it not come into the number of the months, i.e. to be one of those nights which go to the making up of the months.

As for that night,.... The night of conception; Job imprecated evils on the day he was born, now on the night he was conceived in, the returns of it:

let darkness seize upon it; let it not only he deprived of the light of the moon and stars, but let an horrible darkness seize upon it, that it may be an uncommon and a terrible one:

let it not be joined unto the days of the year; the solar year, and make one of them; or, "let it not be one among them" (c), let it come into no account, and when it is sought for, let it not appear, but be found wanting; "or let it not joy" or "rejoice among the days of the year" (d), as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and others interpret it, or be a joyful one, or anything joyful done or enjoyed in it:

let it not come into the number of the months; meaning not the intercalated months, as Sephorno, nor the feasts of the new moon, as others, but let it not serve to make up a month, which consists of so many days and nights, according to the course of the moon; the sense both of this and the former clause is, let it be struck out of the calendar.

(c) "non sit una inter dies", Pagninus; "ne adunatur in diebus", Montanus. (d) "Ne fuisset gavisa", Junius & Tremellius; "ne gaudeat", Vatablus, Beza, Mercerus, Piscator, Drusius, Broughton, Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens, Michaelis.

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.
6. let it not be joined unto] Rather, let it not rejoice among. Let it not enter the joyful troop of days, glad in its existence and its beauty. Another way of spelling the word gives the meaning, let it not be joined unto.

Verse 6. - As for that night. The night, that is, of Job's conception (see above, ver. 3). Let darkness seize upon it. The Revised Version has thick darkness but this is unnecessary. Let it not be joined unto the days of the year. According to the Massorites' pointing, we should translate, "Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;" and so the Revised Version. But many of the best critics prefer the pointing which is followed by the LXX. and by King James's translators. The succeeding clause strongly supports this interpretation. Let it not come into the number of the months (comp. ver. 3, and the comment on it). Job wishes the day of his birth and the night of his conception to be utterly blotted out from the calendar; but, aware that this is impossible, he subsides into a milder class of imprecations. Job 3:6 6 That night! let darkness seize upon it;

Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;

Let it not come into the number of the month.

7 Lo! let that night become barren;

Let no sound of gladness come to it.

8 Let those who curse the day curse it,

Who are skilled in stirring up leviathan.

9 Let the stars of its early twilight be darkened;

Let it long for light and there be none;

And let it not refresh itself with eyelids of the dawn.

Darkness is so to seize it, and so completely swallow it up, that it shall not be possible for it to pass into the light of day. It is not to become a day, to be reckoned as belonging to the days of the year and rejoice in the light thereof. יחדּ, for יחדּ, fut. Kal from חדה (Exodus 18:9), with Dagesh lene retained, and a helping Pathach (vid., Ges. 75, rem. 3, d); the reverse of the passage Genesis 49:6, where יחד, from יחד, uniat se, is found. It is to become barren, גּלמוּד, so that no human being shall ever be conceived and born, and greeted joyfully in it.

(Note: Fries understands רננה, song of the spheres (concentum coeli, Job 38:37, Vulg.); but this Hellenic conception is without support in holy Scripture.)

"Those who curse days" are magicians who know how to change days into dies infausti by their incantations. According to vulgar superstition, from which the imagery of Job 3:8 is borrowed, there was a special art of exciting the dragon, which is the enemy of sun and moon, against them both, so that, by its devouring them, total darkness prevails. The dragon is called in Hindu râhu; the Chinese, and also the natives of Algeria, even at the present day make a wild tumult with drums and copper vessels when an eclipse of the sun or moon occurs, until the dragon will release his prey.

(Note: On the dragon rhu, that swallows up sun and moon, vid., Pott, in the Hallische Lit. Zeitschr. 1849, No. 199; on the custom of the Chinese, Kuffer, Das chinesische Volk, S. 123. A similar custom among the natives of Algeria I have read of in a newspaper (1856). Moreover, the clouds which conceal the sky the Indians represent as a serpent. It is ahi, the cloud-serpent, which Indra chases away when he divides the clouds with his lightning. Vid., Westergaard in Weber's Indischer Zeitschr. 1855, S. 417.)


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