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Go to Bible: Job 3
|Job 3:1||- (top)|
|Job 3:2||- (top)|
“Let the day perish in which I was born.” Job is understandably emotional and expresses that he wishes he had never been born. Jeremiah said the same thing (Jer. 15:10).(top)
|Job 3:4||- (top)|
|Job 3:5||- (top)|
|Job 3:6||- (top)|
|Job 3:7||- (top)|
|Job 3:8||- (top)|
|Job 3:9||- (top)|
|Job 3:10||- (top)|
“Why did I not die from the womb?” Job was in great mental and physical pain after he lost his children, his workers, his wealth, and his health, and so he made a rhetorical question and asked why he did not die “from the womb,” that is, at birth.
“expire.” The Hebrew verb is gava (#01478 גָּוַע) and it refers to dying and is fundamentally synonymous with the verb “die” muth (#04191 מָוֹת) in the first stanza of the verse, although gava can infer a violent death (see commentary on Gen. 25:8, “breathed his last”).(top)
|Job 3:12||- (top)|
“For now I would have been lying down and been at peace.” The context shows us that Job is referring to lying down in death. The text could also be translated something like, “For now I would have already laid down and be at peace.” The Hebrew verb translated “at peace” is shaqat (#08252 שָׁקַט), and it means “to be at peace, tranquil, at rest, still, undisturbed.” Job says that if he had died at birth then now, instead of being in mental anguish and physical pain, he would be lying down in the ground, i.e., dead, and would have been at peace. It is important to note that Job sees himself as being dead in the ground if he had died at birth, not alive in heaven or “Hell.”
Job 3:13-19 is one of the many sections of Scripture that shows that when people die they are dead, lifeless. They are not in heaven or any other place. They are “in Sheol,” the state of being dead. Everyone who dies is dead and is awaiting a resurrection, at which time they will be made alive. Everyone who has died is dead in the grave and so they are together and at peace, sleeping, and at rest (Job 3:13), and there is no turmoil (Job 3:17); people are at ease (Job 3:18). Job has said in a number of places that he, and everyone else, will die and be dead (cp. Job 3:11-13; 7:7-10; 14:12; 19:25-26; 30:23).
Job gives us quite a list of the people who are at peace together, sleeping the sleep of death: “kings and counselors of the earth” (Job 3:14), “leaders who had gold” (Job 3:15), “infants who never saw light” (Job 3:16), “the wicked” and “the weary” (Job 3:17), “prisoners” (Job 3:18), “the small and the great” and “slaves” (Job 3:19). It is obvious from this extensive list that that at the resurrection and judgment, some people will receive everlasting life while others will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and be consumed. After all, Job’s list is inclusive of all people. Besides specific categories such as kings and slaves, the list mentions “the small and the great,” that is, everyone. Job is pointing out what is stated in other ways in other verses of Scripture: everyone dies and then is dead, lifeless, not alive in any form or place.
“I would be asleep.” The word “sleep” is used as a euphemism for death. Job is saying he would be dead and thus “at rest.” [For more on “sleep” being used for death, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead”].(top)
“rebuilt ruins for themselves.” The Hebrew text is difficult and may refer to how great men built up ruins for their glory, or it could possibly read something like “who built up desolate places for themselves,” possibly referring to how great men, like the Egyptian pharaohs, would build tombs and monuments to themselves in desolate places. Exactly what Job meant by his statement is unclear.(top)
|Job 3:15||- (top)|
“why was I not.” The question is distributed and carried forward from the start of Job’s talk in Job 3:11-12. Job is continuing his complaint and stating he wished he was never born.
“I would not have been.” Job is not making a theological statement about when human life begins. He is making the simple point that if he had been stillborn then he would not be living in the misery he was currently experiencing.
“buried.” The Hebrew word is “hidden,” but it refers to be hidden out of sight, which would ordinarily have been by burying the stillborn child.(top)
“turmoil.” The Hebrew noun translated “turmoil” is rogez (#07267 רֹגֶז), and it refers to agitation, nervousness, anger, excitement, raging, turmoil, etc. Translations in the English versions include “troubling, rage, raging, tumult, turmoil, bustle.” The wicked are in turmoil in life and they cause turmoil for others, and both of those meanings are included here in Job. But when the wicked die and are dead, they cease from their turmoil and agitation.
Job 3:17 is one of the verses that shows that when a person dies, they are dead, lifeless, and not alive in any form. If dead people went to “Hell” when they died, then their turmoil, agitation, and anger would not stop. When a person dies they are totally dead; lifeless. They are not in heaven or “Hell,” they are in the ground dead and will stay dead until Christ raises them at a resurrection. At that time they will be judged and either receive everlasting life or be thrown into the Lake of Fire. [For more on dead people being lifeless, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead”].(top)
|Job 3:18||- (top)|
|Job 3:19||- (top)|
“those who are bitter.” In the Hebrew text, in the first stanza the subject is singular, “him,” while in the second stanza the subject changes to plural, thus the REV translation “those” (cp. NET). It is possible that Job was first thinking of himself and his misery, but then spoke about all the other people who are in misery as well.(top)
“dig for it.” An idiom meaning to search for it. We see the same idiom in Proverbs 16:27 (see commentary on Prov. 16:27).(top)
“find the grave.” In this context Job is using “find the grave” idiomatically for “die.”(top)
|Job 3:23||- (top)|
|Job 3:24||- (top)|
“fear I feared.” The Hebrew text uses both the noun and verb for “fear,” thus the reading, “the fear I feared.” Job emphasized his point by using the noun and verb in conjunction. Most English versions say “the thing that I feared.” Young’s Literal Translation uses “fear” and reads, “a fear I feared” which better represents the text than “the thing I feared.” A different word for “fear” is at the end of the verse, so this is very typical Hebrew poetry: the same basic message is stated twice in the verse, the two stanzas say it in different ways.(top)
“turmoil.” In this context the Hebrew word describes an agitated state of mind, which no doubt had to do with the pain he was in and the pain of his circumstances. Also, likely added to that is wondering and not understanding why the things that happened to him happened. He knew he was righteous and innocent.(top)