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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


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


Job spoke out and said:


Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, "The child is a boy!"


May that day be darkness: let not God above call for it, nor light shine upon it!


May darkness and gloom claim it, clouds settle upon it, the blackness of night affright it!


May obscurity seize that day; let it not occur among the days of the year, nor enter into the count of the months!


May that night be barren; let no joyful outcry greet it!


1 Let them curse it who curse the sea, the appointed disturbers of Leviathan!


May the stars of its twilight be darkened; may it look for daylight, but have none, nor gaze on the eyes of the dawn,


Because it kept not shut the doors of the womb to shield my eyes from trouble!


Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?


2 Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light?


Wherefore did the knees receive me? or why did I suck at the breasts?


For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest


With kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins


Or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver.


3 There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest.


There the captives are at ease together, and hear not the voice of the slave driver.


Small and great are there the same, and the servant is free from his master.


Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit?


They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,


Rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave:


Men whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!


For sighing comes more readily to me than food, and my groans well forth like water.


For what I fear overtakes me, and what I shrink from comes upon me.


I have no peace nor ease; I have no rest, for trouble comes!



1 [8] Leviathan: in Job 40:25 the crocodile; here the reference is probably to a mythological sea monster symbolizing primeval chaos. Cf Job 9:13; 26:13; Psalm 74:13-14; 104:26; Isaiah 27:1.

2 [16] (16)This verse has been placed between Job 3:11-12 where it probably stood originally. There is reason to believe that here, as well as in several other places in Job, the original order of the poetic lines was accidentally disturbed in the early transmission of the text; so in Job 12-15; 19-21; 24-31; 34; 36; 38-42. The verse numbers given in such cases are always those of the current Hebrew text, though the arrangement may differ. The footnotes will advise the reader of the difficulties and provide him with further indications for following the progress of thought in the book.

3 [17] There: in death.

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