King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 3

Job complains that he was born. (1-10) Job complaining. (11-19) He complains of his life. (20-26)

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Job complains that he was born

1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.

2 And Job spake, and said,

3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.

5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

6 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.

7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.

8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.

9 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:

10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

Job complaining

11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

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

13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,

14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves;

15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:

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

17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.

He complains of his life

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

21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;

22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?

23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?

24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.

25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Cursed his day. Job cursed the day of his birth, not by way of wishing evil to any thing of God’s creation; but only to express in a stronger manner his sense of human miseries in general, and of his own calamities in particular. Ch. — He has these only in view: though, in another light, it is better for a man to be born, and to undergo any misery, that he may obtain eternal rewards. H. — Some allowances must be made for extreme pain, and for the style of the Eastern (C.) poetry. H. — Jeremias, (xx. 14.) Habacuc, (i. 2.) the psalmist, and even our Saviour in his agony, made use of such strong expressions. Mat. xxvi. 39. and xxvii. 46. Some heretics accuse Job of impatience and blasphemy. The devil, therefore came off with victory; and the praises given to Job’s patience are false. He might offend by some degree of exaggeration. C. — But even that is by no means clear. Time past could not be recalled, nor receive any injury by the maledictions. H.

Ver. 7. Praise, by the appearance of the stars. C. xxxviii. 7. C.

Ver. 8. Day. The nations of Ethiopia, under the line, curse the sun as their greatest enemy. Strabo xvii. Pliny v. 8. — They also brave the fury of the leviathan or crocodile. C. xl. 27. and xli. 1. Ps. lxxiii. 14. The natives of Tentyra, upon the Nile, were supposed to be a terror to that monster, or they were very courageous in entangling and pursuing it. Seneca q. 4. 2. Pliny viii. 25. — Leviathan. Prot. “their mourning.” De Dieu rejects this interpretation, substituting “and thou, leviathan, rouse up,” &c. The fathers generally understand the devil to be thus designated. Sept. “he who is about to seize the great whale,” (H.) or fish, which they also explain of the conflict of Satan with Jesus Christ.” Origen, &c.

Ver. 10. Nor took. Sept. “for it would then have freed my eyes from labour.”

Ver. 11. In the. Heb. “from the womb,” (H.) or as soon as I was born. C. — He seems to have lost sight of original sin, (v. 1.) or there might be some method of having it remitted to children unborn, which we do not know. H.

Ver. 12. Knees, by my father or grandfather. Gen. xxx 3. Iliad ix. C.

Ver. 13. Sleep. So death is often styled.

Olli dura quies oculos et ferreus urget

Somnus: in æternam clauduntur lumina noctem. Æneid x.

Ver. 14. Consuls. Heb. “counsellors,” or any in great authority. Sept. “kings, the counsellors of the land, who rejoiced, boasting of their swords.” The same word, choraboth, (H.) means both swords and solitudes. D. — Those great ones had prepared their own tombs, which were usually in solitary places; (C.) or they had filled all with their extensive palaces; and removed the people to a distance. H.

Ver. 15. Houses, while alive; (C.) or their tombs were thus enriched with silver, (M.) as this practice was not uncommon, v. 22. Joseph. xiii. 15. — Marcian forbade it. S. Chrys. complains it subsisted in his time. Orat. Annæ. C.

Ver. 16. Light; dying in the womb. He expresses a desire that he had been thus prevented from feeling his present miseries and danger of sin. H.

Ver. 17. Tumult. In the grave they can no longer disturb the world. M. — In strength. Sept. “in body.” Both heroes and labourers then find rest, (C.) if they have lived virtuously. H.

Ver. 18. Bound in chains, like incorrigible slaves, (C.) or debtors. Cocceius. — These were formerly treated with great severity. Luke xii. 59. C.

Ver. 21. Not. The feel the same eagerness for death as those who seek for a treasure; (C.) and when death is at hand, they rejoice no less than those who discover a grave, in which they hope to find some riches, v. 15. 22.

Ver. 22. Grave, full of stores, or the place where they may repose. H.

Ver. 23. To. Why is life given to? &c. The uncertainty whether a man be worthy of love or hatred, (EcclI. ix. 1.) and whether he will persevere to the end, is what fills Job with distress; though we must trust that God will suffer none to be tempted above their strength. 1 Cor. x. 13. — He finds himself surrounded with precipices, and in the dark. C. — So God often tries this faithful servants. D.

Ver. 24. Sigh, through difficulty of swallowing, (Pineda) or sense of misery. H.

Ver. 25. Fear. In prosperity he feared the assaults of pride. Now he is in danger of yielding to impatience and despair. C.

Ver. 26. Dissembled my sufferings, making no complaint, not only during the seven days that his friends had been with him, but long before. Heb. and Sept. “I was not in safety, nor at rest; neither was I indolent: (H. in the administration of affairs. C.) yet trouble came.” H. — I have enjoyed no peace, since the wrath of the Lord has found me. C. — In such a situation, Job might well beg to be delivered, (H.) and to pray that those things which obstructed his repose in God might be removed; considering them not so much as the works of God, as the effects of sin. Pineda. W. — In this light he cursed his birth-day, and will no longer look upon it as a joyful and happy day. D.