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Passage: Job 3

Job 3 – Job Curses the Day of His Birth

Summary

Breaking his image of acceptance and stoicism, Job bursts forth with a terrible lament.

Analysis

The patient Job of chapters 1-2 is the one that is most commonly remembered. Even people who know little about Job have heard the expression "the patience of Job" and have some idea that he was a man who had a lot of trouble but took it "like a man," without whining or complaining. But already in chapter 3 and throughout all the dialogues, another picture of Job emerges. He does not like what has happened to him and he is not hesitant to talk about it. Though the Bible has many such laments, they tend to be suppressed by some Christians in favor of the happier thanksgiving and praise psalms and prayers. For various reasons, the legitimacy of lament for true believers has been questioned.

In this chapter, Job wishes he had never been born. Since it is too late to prevent that, he wishes God would kill him and remove him from his painful existence. Like old, sick people who long for God to take them, he is more attracted to the idea of death than the continuation of the life he is now living.