II. FIRST CYCLE OF SPEECHES
1After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.#His day: that is, the day of his birth. 2Job spoke out and said:
3Perish the day on which I was born,#a. [3:3] Jer 20:14.
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”
4May that day be darkness:
may God#God: in Heb. ’Eloah, another name for the divinity, used frequently in Job. above not care for it,
may light not shine upon it!
5May darkness and gloom claim it,
clouds settle upon it,
blackness of day#Blackness of day: that is, an eclipse. affright it!
6May obscurity seize that night;
may it not be counted among the days of the year,
nor enter into the number of the months!
7May that night be barren;
let no joyful outcry greet it!
8Let them curse it who curse the Sea,
those skilled at disturbing Leviathan!#Leviathan: a mythological sea monster symbolizing primeval chaos. It is parallel to Sea, which was the opponent of Baal in the Ugaritic legends. Cf. 9:13; 26:13; 40:25–41:26; Ps 74:13–14; 104:26; Is 27:1.
9May the stars of its twilight be darkened;
may it look for daylight, but have none,
nor gaze on the eyes of the dawn,
10Because it did not keep shut the doors of the womb
to shield my eyes from trouble!
11Why did I not die at birth,#b. [3:11] Jb 10:18–19.
come forth from the womb and expire?
12Why did knees receive me,
or breasts nurse me?
13For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
14With kings and counselors of the earth
who rebuilt what were ruins
15Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.
16Or why was I not buried away like a stillborn child,
like babies that have never seen the light?
17There#There: in death. the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.
18The captives are at ease together,
and hear no overseer’s voice.
19Small and great are there;
the servant is free from the master.
20Why is light given to the toilers,
life to the bitter in spirit?
21They wait for death and it does not come;
they search for it more than for hidden treasures.
22They rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they find the grave:
23A man whose path is hidden from him,
one whom God has hemmed in!#Hemmed in: contrast the same verb as used in 1:10.
24For to me sighing comes more readily than food;
my groans well forth like water.
25For what I feared overtakes me;
what I dreaded comes upon me.
26I have no peace nor ease;
I have no rest, for trouble has come!