William Kelly Major Works Commentary
After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.Job Chapter 3
I need not go into every word of the chapter, but it is all to this effect: "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness" (Job 3:3-4). And so he speaks in highly poetic language, and in language of deep emotion. That is the real character of poetry of the best kind; it is the language of deep feeling and emotion. And Job breaks out into that language - a kind of poetic prose which the Book carries out till very nearly the end. But the great point is the mourning over this terrible lot of his, that he was ever allowed to come into the world to bear such awful suffering. Where do you find that in Christ? "For this cause was I sent." The Lord accepts it; He felt, deeply felt; was troubled in spirit. He felt it, but also He accepted it. For this cause He had come. But not so Job. He could not understand - although his sufferings were not to be compared with those of Christ - why a holy God should allow such suffering. It was inexplicable to Job.
So we have in a very beautiful manner, to the end of the chapter, this idea in various points of view. You observe therefore that I am not going to enter into every phrase minutely in this Book; that would take me a very considerable time; but I am going to give what I think is a substantial view of the mind of God, as far as I have learnt it, to help my brethren who may not have fully weighed the lessons of God in it. And I shall take, therefore, each part of the remainder of the Book, 'the attack' I may call it, the insinuation, the blame of these friends of Job; their expostulation because of his grief, and their suspicion of something wrong at the bottom of it; and Job's answer. I shall take these throughout the rest of the Book until we come to a part where they are all silenced. Job has the last word; the friends are silenced and a new man enters the scene; and then after that Jehovah appears as the Arbiter of this great debate; and finally the grand winding up and solution of it all; Job vindicated after he owned his fault; Job acknowledging it fully, which his friends did not. They were not broken down as Job was; but they were sorry to be found altogether wrong; and there they were, biting their lips or their tongues through vexation; and they had to be prayed for, they had to be delivered at the intercession of Job; we shall see that at the close. But this may now suffice.
And Job spake, and said,
Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
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.
Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.
Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:
Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.
Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,
With kings and counsellers of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves;
Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:
Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.
There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.
There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.
The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;
Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;
Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?
Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?
For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.