Job 3:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?

New Living Translation
Why was I laid on my mother's lap? Why did she nurse me at her breasts?

English Standard Version
Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?

Berean Study Bible
Why were there knees to receive me, and breasts that I should be nursed?

New American Standard Bible
"Why did the knees receive me, And why the breasts, that I should suck?

King James Bible
Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?

Christian Standard Bible
Why did the knees receive me, and why were there breasts for me to nurse?

Contemporary English Version
Why was I accepted and allowed to nurse at my mother's breast?

Good News Translation
Why did my mother hold me on her knees? Why did she feed me at her breast?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why did the knees receive me, and why were there breasts for me to nurse?

International Standard Version
Why was there a lap to hold me, and why were there breasts to nurse me?

NET Bible
Why did the knees welcome me, and why were there two breasts that I might nurse at them?

New Heart English Bible
Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breast, that I should suck?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Why did knees welcome me? Why did breasts let me nurse?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Why did the knees receive me? And wherefore the breasts, that I should suck?

New American Standard 1977
“Why did the knees receive me, And why the breasts, that I should suck?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Why did the knees receive me? Of what use the breasts that I should suck?

King James 2000 Bible
Why did the knees receive me? or why the breasts that I should nurse?

American King James Version
Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?

American Standard Version
Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breast, that I should suck?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why received upon the knees? why suckled at the breasts ?

Darby Bible Translation
Why did the knees meet me? and wherefore the breasts, that I should suck?

English Revised Version
Why did the knees receive me? or why the breasts, that I should suck?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why did the knees receive me? or why the breasts that I should be nursed?

World English Bible
Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breast, that I should nurse?

Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore have knees been before me? And what are breasts, that I suck?
Study Bible
Job Laments His Birth
11Why did I not perish at birth; why did I not die as I came from the womb? 12Why were there knees to receive me, and breasts that I should be nursed? 13For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest…
Cross References
Genesis 30:3
Then she said, "Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will bear children for me, so that through her I too can build a family."

Job 3:11
Why did I not perish at birth; why did I not die as I came from the womb?

Job 3:13
For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest

Treasury of Scripture

Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?

the knees.

Genesis 30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in to her; and she shall …

Genesis 50:23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation…

Isaiah 66:12 For thus said the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a …

Ezekiel 16:4,5 And as for your nativity, in the day you were born your navel was …







(12) Prevent--i.e., "Why was I nursed with care instead of being allowed to fall to the ground and be killed?"

Verse 12. - Why did the knees prevent me? i.e. "Why did my mother take me on her knees and nurse me, instead of casting me on the ground, where I should have perished?" There seems to be an allusion to the practice of parents only bringing up a certain number of their children (see Rosenmuller, 'Scholia in Vit. Test.,' vol. 5. p. 101). Or why the breasts that I should suck? i.e. "Why were breasts offered to me, that I should suck them? How much better would it have been if I had been allowed to perish of inanition!" Why did the knees prevent me?.... Not of the mother, as Jarchi, but of the midwife, who received him into her lap, and nourished and cherished him, washed him with water, salted, and swaddled him; or it may be of his father, with whom it was usual to take the child on his knees as soon as born, see Genesis 50:23; which custom obtained among the Greeks and Romans (o); hence the goddess Levana (p) had her name, causing the father in this way to own his child; his concern is, that he did not fall to the ground as he came out of his mother's womb, and with that fall die; and that he was prevented from falling by the officious knees of the midwife; that he was not suffered to fall, and be left there, without having any of the usual things done to him for the comfort and preservation of life, which was sometimes the case, Ezekiel 16:4,

or why the breasts that I should suck? since a miscarrying womb was not given, and death did not seize him immediately upon birth, but all proper care was taken to prevent it, he asks, why was there milk in the breasts of his mother or nurse to suckle and nourish him? why were there not dry breasts, such as would afford no milk, that so he might have been starved? thus he wishes the kindest things in nature and Providence had been withheld from him.

(o) Homer. Iliad. 9. Vid. Barthii Animadv. ad Claudian. in Nupt. Honor. ver. 341. (p) Kipping. Antiqu. Roman. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 10. 12. Why did the knees prevent me?—Old English for "anticipate my wants." The reference is to the solemn recognition of a new-born child by the father, who used to place it on his knees as his own, whom he was bound to rear (Ge 30:3; 50:23; Isa 66:12).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.
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