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CHAPTER 3 Dec. 3 
Job Wishes to Die
After this Job opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth. 2Job responded: 3Let the day perish in which I was born, the night in which it was said, ‘There is a boy conceived’. 4Let that day be darkness. Don’t let God from above seek for it, neither let the light shine on it. 5Let darkness and the shadow of death claim it for their own. Let a cloud dwell on it. Let all that makes black the day terrify it. 6As for that night, let thick darkness seize on it. Let it not rejoice among the days of the year. Let it not counted in the number of the months. 7Behold, let that night be barren. Let no joyful voice come therein. 8Let them curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up Leviathan. 9Let the stars of its twilight be dark. Let it look for light, but have none, neither let it see the eyelids of the morning, 10because it didn’t shut up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor did it hide trouble from my eyes. 11Why didn’t I die from the womb? Why didn’t I give up the spirit when my mother bore me? 12Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breast, that I should nurse? 13For now should I have lain down and been quiet. I should have slept, then I would have been at rest, 14with kings and counsellors of the earth, who built up waste places for themselves; 15or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver: 16or as a hidden untimely birth I had not been, as infants who never saw light. 17There the wicked cease from troubling. There the weary are at rest. 18There the prisoners are at ease together. They don’t hear the voice of the taskmaster. 19The small and the great are there. The servant is free from his master. 20Why is light given to him who is in misery, life to the bitter in soul, 21who long for death, but it doesn’t come; and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, 22who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? 23Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? 24For my sighing comes before I eat. My groanings are poured out like water. 25For the thing which I fear comes upon me, that of which I was afraid has happened to me. 26I was not at ease, neither was I quiet, neither had I rest; but trouble came. 


3:3 Job’s depressive lament and desire to die in this chapter is quoted and alluded to by Jeremiah when he too was in severe depression and struggling with suicidal tendencies (Jer. 15:10; 20:14). Depression happens to God’s people; one simple lesson from all this is that depression itself isn’t a sin. It’s how we respond to it which can become a moral issue. Jeremiah’s way of coping was to associate himself with the words of a depressed faithful believer like Job. Our familiarity with Bible characters will pay great dividends in our hard times, as we see that history- spiritual history, God’s patterns of working with men- is repeating; and the sense of existential loneliness, utter aloneness, which is part of the nexus of depression will to some extent be alleviated. Note too that Job’s suicidal tendencies here and bitterness that God wouldn’t take away his life are not criticized by God; He comments at the end that Job spoke what was right (42:7,8). Yet Job says many hard things about God as the story proceeds; but by grace, God imputed righteousness to him; or made allowance for the pressures upon Job. This isn’t to justify any kind of situational ethic- ‘I did it because the situation forced me to and I had no choice’. Rather does it simply show God’s compassionate, gracious appreciation of situational pressure; and we should bear the same in mind in our consideration of others’ words and behaviour under pressure.
3:23 There are many connections between Isaiah 40 and the book of Job are especially marked. Is. 40:14 = Job 21:22; 40:17 = 6:18; 40:22 = 9:8; 40:23 = 12:21; 40:24 = 14:8; 40:26 = 25:3; 40:31 = 29:20. The link between Is.40:27 and Job 3:23 is most significant: "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgement is passed over from my God?". These are the words of Job here. Thus Job is the prototype of the suffering servant and represents Israel. Israel in captivity in Babylon (which is the context of Isaiah 40) are being bid look to Job, whose family and home were also destroyed by the Chaldeans (1:17) because of their sin. As Job sat in grief and perplexity, so did Judah by the rivers of Babylon. The message of the book of Job to the faithful remnant in captivity was therefore that God had ultimately brought this calamity, and finally He would restore the fortunes of His people. We too in our exiles can see in Job the essence of our own pain, and thereby the sure, ultimate hope of restoration. See on 4:7; 5:14; 21:7; 30:26; 33:27.
3:26 Job complains that although he didn’t have a peaceful life anyway, now yet more trouble had come upon him. And yet the impression given by 1:14 is that the animals were quietly grazing and Job was at peace. The simple lesson is that those who appear to others to have a calm, quiet life often have issues going on