New American Standard Bible
"Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
King James Bible
Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.
Darby Bible Translation
Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to rouse Leviathan;
World English Bible
Let them curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
Young's Literal Translation
Let the cursers of day mark it, Who are ready to wake up Leviathan.
Job 3:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Let them curse it who curse the day - This entire verse is exceedingly difficult, and many different expositions have been given of it. It seems evident that it refers to some well-known class of persons, who were accustomed to utter imprecations, and were supposed to have the power to render a day propitious or unpropitious - persons who had the power of divination or enchantment. A belief in such a power existed early in the world, and has prevailed in all savage and semi-barbarous nations, and even in nations considerably advanced in civilization. The origin of this was a desire to look into futurity; and in order to accomplish this, a league was supposed to be made with the spirits of the dead, who were acquainted with the events of the invisible world, and who could be prevailed on to impart their knowledge to favored mortals. It was supposed, also, that by such union there might be a power exerted which would appear to be miraculous.
Such persons also claimed to be the favorites of heaven, and to be endowed with control over the elements, and over the destiny of men; to have the power to bless and to curse, to render propitious or calamitous. Balsaam was believed to be endowed with this power, and hence, he was sent for by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Israelites; Numbers 22:5-6; see the notes at Isaiah 8:19. The practice of cursing the day, or cursing the sun, is said by Herodotus to have prevailed among a people of Africa, whom he calls the Atlantes, living in the vicinity of Mount Atlas. "Of all mankind," says he, "of whom we have any knowledge, the Atlantes alone have no distinction of names; the body of the people are termed Atlantes, but their individuals have no appropriate appellation. When the sun is at the highest they heap on it reproaches and execrations, because their country and themselves are parched by its rays; book iv. 184. The same account of them is found in Pliny, Nat. His. v. 8: Solem orientem occidentemque dira imprecatione contuentur, ut exitialem ipsis agrisque. See also Strabo, Lib. xvii. p. 780. Some have supposed, also, that there may be an allusion here to a custom which seems early to have prevailed of hiring people to mourn for the dead, and who probably in their official lamentation bewailed or cursed the day of their calamity; compare Jeremiah 9:17; 2 Chronicles 35:25. But the correct interpretation is doubtless that which refers it to pretended prophets, priests, or diviners - who were supposed to have power to render a day one of ill omen. Such a power Job wished exerted over that unhappy night when he was born. He desired that the curses of those who had power to render a day unpropitious or unlucky, should rest upon it.
Who are ready to raise up their mourning - This is not very intelligible, and it is evident that our translators were embarrassed by the passage. They seem to have supposed that there was an allusion here to the practice of employing professional mourners, and that the idea is, that Job wished that they might be employed to howl over the day as inauspicious, or as a day of ill omen. The margin is, as in the Hebrew, "a leviathan." The word rendered "ready" עתידים ‛âthı̂ydı̂ym, means properly ready, prepared; and then practiced or skillful. This is the idea here, that they were practiced or skillful in calling up the "leviathan;" see Schultens "in loc." The word rendered in the text "mourning," and in the margin "leviathan" לויתן lı̂vyâthân, in all other parts of the sacred Scriptures denotes an animal; see it explained in the notes at Isaiah 27:1, and more fully in the notes at Job 41:It usually denotes the crocodile, or some huge sea monster.
Here it is evidently used to represent the most fierce, powerful and frightful of all the animals known, and the allusion is to some power claimed by necromancers to call forth the most terrific monsters at their will from distant places, from the "vasty deep," from morasses and impenetrable forests. The general claim was, that they had control over all nature; that they could curse the day, and make it of ill omen, and that the most mighty and terrible of land or sea monsters were entirely under their control. If they had such a power, Job wished that they would exercise it to curse the night in which he was born. On what pretensions they founded this claim is unknown. The power, however, of taming serpents, is practiced in India at this day; and jugglers bear around with them the most deadly of the serpent race, having extracted their fangs, and creating among the credulous the belief that they have control over the most noxious animals. Probably some such art was claimed by the ancients. and to some such pretension Job alludes here.
LibraryThe Sorrowful Man's Question
"Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?"--Job 3:23. I AM VERY THANKFUL that so many of you are glad and happy. There is none too much joy in the world, and the more that any of us can create, the better. It should be a part of our happiness, and a man part of it, to try to make other people glad. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people," is a commission which many of us ought to feel is entrusted to us. If your own cup of joy is full, let it run over to others who …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 46: 1900
Whether it is Lawful to Curse an Irrational Creature?
Death Swallowed up in victory
Meditations for the Morning.
"Behold, let that night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it.
"Let the stars of its twilight be darkened; Let it wait for light but have none, And let it not see the breaking dawn;
"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?
"No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; Who then is he that can stand before Me?
"When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; Because of the crashing they are bewildered.
In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.
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