Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die.
She only comes on the scene to heighten for one moment the intensity of her husband's desolation and misery. "Renounce," she says, "God and die." "Leave the unprofitable service of this God, who has left thee to so undeserved a fate. Leave Him and quit life, a life that has nothing left worth living for." It seems hard indeed, hard above all to those who have known the blessings of an English and a Christian home, that such a sneer and such advice should come from such a quarter. It pains us, as with an unwelcome shock. Let me recall to you that when, some sixty years ago, the poet-painter William Blake drew some wonderfully powerful illustrations to the Book of Job, he, the English husband of a loyal and affectionate wife, refused to follow the course of the story in this terrible detail. All the rest he could portray, step by step; but here he stayed his hand, and those who can turn to his much-prized drawings will see Job's wife vindicated against the scorn of centuries, kneeling beside her husband, and sharing his patient misery. They will see her still by his side, through each and all of his future pangs and agonies, and restored with him to a common happiness in the closing scene. There was something in the record of Job's sufferings too keen and bitter, too remote, may we not thankfully say, from the experience of English and Christian married life, for that sensitive and gifted spirit, so often on the borderland where genius touches madness, to bear to reproduce. And it might well be so. "Curse God and die," she said. The depths of human misery seemed sounded. How many human souls might, in one way or another, have lent an ear to the suggestion. A Roman might have turned upon his unjust gods and died by his own hand, like Care, with words of defiance on his lips. Others might have sought the same fate in dull despair. Not so Job.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.