3

Job’s First Speech

1At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth. 2He said:

3“Let the day of my birth be erased,

and the night I was conceived.

4Let that day be turned to darkness.

Let it be lost even to God on high,

and let no light shine on it.

5Let the darkness and utter gloom claim that day for its own.

Let a black cloud overshadow it,

and let the darkness terrify it.

6Let that night be blotted off the calendar,

never again to be counted among the days of the year,

never again to appear among the months.

7Let that night be childless.

Let it have no joy.

8Let those who are experts at cursing—

whose cursing could rouse Leviathan*3:8 The identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature. —

curse that day.

9Let its morning stars remain dark.

Let it hope for light, but in vain;

may it never see the morning light.

10Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb,

for letting me be born to see all this trouble.

11“Why wasn’t I born dead?

Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?

12Why was I laid on my mother’s lap?

Why did she nurse me at her breasts?

13Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace.

I would be asleep and at rest.

14I would rest with the world’s kings and prime ministers,

whose great buildings now lie in ruins.

15I would rest with princes, rich in gold,

whose palaces were filled with silver.

16Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child,

like a baby who never lives to see the light?

17For in death the wicked cause no trouble,

and the weary are at rest.

18Even captives are at ease in death,

with no guards to curse them.

19Rich and poor are both there,

and the slave is free from his master.

20“Oh, why give light to those in misery,

and life to those who are bitter?

21They long for death, and it won’t come.

They search for death more eagerly than for hidden treasure.

22They’re filled with joy when they finally die,

and rejoice when they find the grave.

23Why is life given to those with no future,

those God has surrounded with difficulties?

24I cannot eat for sighing;

my groans pour out like water.

25What I always feared has happened to me.

What I dreaded has come true.

26I have no peace, no quietness.

I have no rest; only trouble comes.”