Job's First Speech (Part 1)
After one week, Job finally breaks the silence between he and his three friends who have been mourning with him. "Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said: 'May the day perish on which I was born, and the night in which it was said, "A male child is conceived." May that day be darkness; may God above not seek it, nor the light shine upon it. May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; may a cloud settle on it; may the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, may darkness seize it; may it not rejoice among days of the year, may it not come into the number of the months. Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it! May those curse it who curse the day, those who are ready to arouse Leviathan. May the stars of its morning be dark; may it look for light, but have none, and not see the dawning of the day; because it did not shut up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hide sorrow from my eyes.'"

This beginning of Job's speech conveys his discouragement and sorrow as he has an outpouring of emotion. He wonders why he was even born. He speaks against the day of his birth and wishes it would be removed from the calendar. He desires that there had been no joyful shout announcing his birth.

Although Job 3:7 is difficult to interpret, here is a possible paraphrase that may shed some light upon it: "Let those who can handle a tough job like rousing a Leviathan be the ones to curse my birthday." We will have more to say about this awesome creature when we study Job 41.

Job continues in 3:11-19:

"Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; then I would have been at rest with kings and counselors of the earth, who built ruins for themselves, or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver; or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, like infants who never saw light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they do not hear the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master."

Job wishes that he had been born dead or that his mother had experienced a miscarriage. If so, at least he would have been "asleep" at this time (i.e., dead physically). Job's reference to sleep is certainly not talking about the spiritual afterlife but that his physical body would have been at rest with others who had gone on before (had he died as an infant and not been swallowed up in suffering). No matter what one's position in life (whether a king, counselor, prince, wicked man, prisoner, servant, etc.), at death the physical body rests. This is what Job longs for! He has known comfort and rich blessings, but he has neither at the present time. He is ready for his life to be over. He wants to die. It is hard to find fault with Job's perspective here. Who would want to live the life he was struggling through at that time? Yet it should be observed that Job has no intention of taking his own God-given life. He is miserable, and he will remain as such until God releases him from his fleshly shell.