Job 3:20
New International Version
"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,

New Living Translation
"Oh, why give light to those in misery, and life to those who are bitter?

English Standard Version
“Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,

Berean Study Bible
Why is light given to the miserable, and life to the bitter of soul,

New American Standard Bible
"Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul,

King James Bible
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

Christian Standard Bible
Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter,

Contemporary English Version
Why does God let me live when life is miserable and so bitter?

Good News Translation
Why let people go on living in misery? Why give light to those in grief

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter,

International Standard Version
"Why does God give light to the sufferer or life to the bitter person:

NET Bible
"Why does God give light to one who is in misery, and life to those whose soul is bitter,

New Heart English Bible
"Why is light given to him who is in misery, life to the bitter in soul,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Why give light to one in misery and life to those who find it so bitter,

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherewith is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul--

New American Standard 1977
“Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

American King James Version
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul;

American Standard Version
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul;

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For why is light given to those who are in bitterness, and life to those souls which are in griefs?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to them that are in bitterness of soul?

Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore is light given to him that is in trouble, and life to those bitter of soul,

English Revised Version
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

Webster's Bible Translation
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul;

World English Bible
"Why is light given to him who is in misery, life to the bitter in soul,

Young's Literal Translation
Why giveth He to the miserable light, and life to the bitter soul?
Study Bible
Job Laments His Birth
19Both small and great are there, and the slave is freed from his master. 20Why is light given to the miserable, and life to the bitter of soul, 21who long for death that does not come, and search for it like hidden treasure,…
Cross References
Job 3:19
Both small and great are there, and the slave is freed from his master.

Proverbs 31:6
Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to the bitter in soul.

Jeremiah 20:18
Why did I come out of the womb to see only trouble and sorrow, and to end my days in shame?

Treasury of Scripture

Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul;

Wherefore.

Job 6:9
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

Job 7:15,16
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life…

Jeremiah 20:18
Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

light.

Job 3:16
Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

Job 33:28,30
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light…

the bitter.

Job 7:15,16
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life…

1 Samuel 1:10
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

2 Kings 4:27
And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.







Lexicon
Why
לָ֤מָּה (lām·māh)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

is light
א֑וֹר (’ō·wr)
Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 216: Illumination, luminary

given
יִתֵּ֣ן (yit·tên)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5414: To give, put, set

to the miserable,
לְעָמֵ֣ל (lə·‘ā·mêl)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6001: Toiling, a laborer, sorrowful

and life
וְ֝חַיִּ֗ים (wə·ḥay·yîm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life

to the bitter
לְמָ֣רֵי (lə·mā·rê)
Preposition-l | Adjective - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 4751: Bitter, bitterness, bitterly

of soul,
נָֽפֶשׁ׃ (nā·p̄eš)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion
(20) Wherefore is light given.--Comp. the connection between life and light in Psalm 36:9 and John 1:4.

Verse 20. - Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery? Why, Job asks, is the miserable man forced to continue on the earth and see the light to-day? Why is he not sent down at once to the darkness of the grave? Surely this would have been better. Man often speaks as if he were wiser than his Maker, and could have much improved the system of the universe, if he had had the arranging of it; but he scarcely means what he says commonly. Such talk is, however, foolish, as is all captious questioning concerning the ways of God. The proper answer to all such questioning is well given by Zophar in Job 11:7, 8, "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell (Sheol); what canst thou know?" And life unto the bitter in soul (see the comment on ver. 11, ad fin.). 3:20-26 Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Saviour.
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