Chapter 3

1Now Job raised his voice and said,   אוַיַּ֥עַן אִיּ֗וֹב וַיֹּֽאמַר:
Now Job raised his voice: Heb. ויען, he cried out, for every expression of עניה in the Torah is only an expression of raising the voice, and the “father” of them all is (Deut. 27:14): “The Levites shall raise their voices (וענו) etc. with a loud voice.”  
2"Would the day in which I was to be born be lost, and the night when one said, 'A man has impregnated.'   ביֹ֣אבַד י֖וֹם אִוָּ֣לֶד בּ֑וֹ וְהַלַּ֥יְלָה אָ֜מַ֗ר הֹ֣רָה גָֽבֶר:
in which I was to be born: This is a future expression, that he was saying, “Would that the day in which I was destined to be born be lost, and then I would not have been born.”  
and the night: That too should have been lost.  
when one said: that the reporter, upon whom it was incumbent [to report] would say.  
“A man has impregnated.”: That my father impregnated my mother. Concerning a female, it is customary to say הרתה, she conceived, and concerning a male, it is customary to say, הורה, he impregnated the female.  
and the night when one said: This is one of the places where Scripture abbreviates its words because it is unnecessary to explain who [the subject] is, and the expression means, “the sayer said.” [Similar to this is (Amos. 6:12), “Will horses run on the rock, or will one plow with cattle?” He should have said, “Will a man plow with cattle?”] However, our Sages said, “The angel appointed over conception is named Laylah.”  
3May that day be dark; let God not seek it from above, and let no light shine upon it.   גהַיּ֥וֹם הַה֗וּא יְֽהִ֫י ח֥שֶׁךְ אַֽל־יִדְרְשֵׁ֣הוּ אֱל֣וֹהַּ מִמָּ֑עַל וְאַֽל־תּוֹפַ֖ע עָלָ֣יו נְהָרָֽה:
May that day be dark: constantly; every year, when that day arrives.  
let God not seek it from above: for good.  
and let no light shine upon it: Heb. נהרה,light, like צהר, which is translated נהור.  
4May darkness and the shadow of death defile it; let pitch darkness dwell upon it; let them frighten it like demons of the day.   דיִגְאָלֻ֡הוּ ח֣שֶׁךְ וְ֖צַלְמָוֶת תִּֽשְׁכָּן־עָלָ֣יו עֲנָנָ֑ה יְ֜בַֽעֲתֻ֗הוּ כִּמְרִ֥ירֵי יֽוֹם:
defile it: Heb. יגאלהו, like (Malachi 1:7), “defiled (מגאל) bread”; “How have we defiled You (גאלנוך) ?” an expression of contamination.  
the shadow of death: Heb. צלמות, the shadow of death, darkness that never lights up.  
like demons of the day: Heb. כמרירי, demons who rule at noon, like (Deut. 32:34), “Ketev Meriri,” who rules at noon; as it is stated (Ps. 91:6): “from Ketev, who rules at noontime.”  
5That night-may pitch darkness take it; it shall not rejoice among the days of the year; in the number of months it shall not come.   ההַלַּ֥יְלָה הַהוּא֘ יִקָּחֵ֪ה֫וּ אֹ֥פֶל אַל־יִ֖חַדְּ בִּימֵ֣י שָׁנָ֑ה בְּמִסְפַּ֥ר יְ֜רָחִ֗ים אַל־יָבֹֽא:
it shall not rejoice among the days: Heb. אל יחד, it shall not rejoice, as in (Exod. 18:9), “And Jethro rejoiced (וַיִחַד).” (Another explanation is: It shall not join. This does not appear in certain editions.)  
6Behold that night shall be lonely; no joyful singing shall come therein.   והִנֵּ֚ה הַלַּ֣יְלָה הַ֖הוּא יְהִ֣י גַלְמ֑וּד אַל־תָּב֖וֹא רְנָנָ֣ה בֽוֹ:
lonely: Alone and lacking any man or creature.  
7May those who curse the day, curse it-those destined to be childless in their union.   זיִקְּבֻ֥הוּ אֹֽרְרֵי־י֑וֹם הָֽ֜עֲתִידִ֗ים עֹרֵ֥ר לִוְיָתָֽן:
curse it: Heb. יקבהו, curse it, as in (Num. 22:17), “curse (קבה) for me.”  
those who curse the day: Those who curse their days, since they intend to pronounce a curse because of their anguish.  
those destined to be childless in their union: Heb. ערר לויתן, to be childless (ערירים) in their union; to join their mate in the union of man and wife, without children. And I saw in the Jerusalem Talmud (Moed Katan 1:5) that עֹרֵר means, to lament their mate when he dies, as in (Moed Katan 1:6): A person may not inspire lamentations (יערער) for his dead relative.  
8May the stars of its evening be darkened; it shall hope for light but have none, neither shall it see the rays of dawn.   חיֶחְשְׁכוּ֘ כּֽוֹכְבֵ֪י נִ֫שְׁפּ֥וֹ יְקַו־לְא֥וֹר וָאַ֑יִן וְאַל־יִ֜רְאֶ֗ה בְּעַפְעַפֵּי־שָֽׁחַר:
its evening: Heb. נשפו, the darkness of its night.  
the rays of: Heb. עפעפי, rays of, like (Jer. 9:17), “and our eyelids (or pupils) (ועפעפינו) gush water.”  
9For He did not shut the doors of my womb, neither did He hide trouble from my eyes.   טכִּ֚י לֹ֣א סָ֖גַר דַּלְתֵ֣י בִטְנִ֑י וַיַּסְתֵּ֥ר עָ֜מָ֗ל מֵעֵינָֽי:
For He did not shut: He Who was able to shut. This too is one of the verses that resemble “the night when one said” (verse 2).  
the doors of my womb: from which I emerged, for had He done so, He would have hidden trouble from my eyes.  
10Why did I not die from the womb? [Why did I not] emerge from the belly and perish?   ילָ֚מָּה לֹּ֣א מֵרֶ֣חֶם אָמ֑וּת מִבֶּ֖טֶן יָצָ֣אתִי וְאֶגְוָֽע:
Why did I not die from the womb?: why was I not ready to die immediately upon my emergence from the womb? He speaks in the future tense, as though he were standing now on the day of his emergence from the womb and saying,"Why will I not die now, and why did I not…  
emerge from the belly and perish?": Why was my death not imminent?  
11Why did knees receive me and why [were there] breasts that I should suck?   יאמַדּוּעַ קִדְּמ֣וּנִי בִרְכָּ֑יִם וּמַה־שָּׁ֜דַ֗יִם כִּ֣י אִינָֽק:
Why did knees receive me: Why did the knees of my mother receive me before my death?  
that I should suck: [Why] was it decreed upon me to suck them? As he is speaking on the day of his birth, he mentions those subsequent events in the future tense.  
12For now, I would be lying tranquilly; I would sleep, then it would be restful for me.   יבכִּֽי־עַ֖תָּה שָׁכַ֣בְתִּי וְאֶשְׁק֑וֹט יָ֜שַׁ֗נְתִּי אָ֚ז | יָנ֬וּחַֽ לִֽי:
I would be lying: Heb. ושכבתי, I would be lying in the grave.  
13With kings and counselors of the earth, who build ruins for themselves,   יגעִם־מְ֖לָכִים וְיֹ֣עֲצֵי אָ֑רֶץ הַבֹּנִ֖ים חֳרָב֣וֹת לָֽמוֹ:
who build ruins for themselves: It is customary for those who seek fame to rebuild ruined cities as a memorial for themselves, as in (Isa. 58: 12), “And those coming from you shall be called the repairer of the breaches.” That is to say, with princes and famous people. Or, would that I was unknown, and I would be like a stillborn. What Scripture states: I was not like a hidden stillborn, is because it continues with the language with which it started to speak, viz. in the interrogative, and it refers to “Why did knees receive me… or why was I not like a hidden stillborn child?”  
14Or with princes who have gold, who fill their houses with silver.   ידא֣וֹ עִם־שָׂ֖רִים זָהָ֣ב לָהֶ֑ם הַֽמְמַלְאִ֖ים בָּֽתֵּיהֶ֣ם כָּֽסֶף:
15Or [why] was I not like a hidden stillborn child, like infants who did not see the light?   טואוֹ כְנֶ֣פֶל טָ֖מוּן לֹ֣א אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה כְּ֜עֹֽלְלִ֗ים לֹא־רָ֥אוּ אֽוֹר:
like infants: Heb. כעוללים, infants. He calls them עוללים because they are all play and dirt, like (below 16:15), “And I sullied (ועללתי) with dust,” and like (Jud. 19:25), “and abused (ויתעללו) her the entire night.”  
16There the wicked cease from anger, and there the weary rest.   טזשָׁ֣ם רְ֖שָׁעִים חָ֣דְלוּ רֹ֑גֶז וְשָׁ֥ם יָ֜נ֗וּחוּ יְגִ֣יעֵי כֹֽחַ:
cease from anger: They restrain their anger, with which they were accustomed and wont to cause anger in the earth.  
and there… rest: Heb. ינוחו, and there rested. Something that occurs regularly is written in the future tense.  
17Together prisoners are tranquil; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.   יזיַחַד אֲסִירִ֣ים שַֽׁאֲנָנ֑וּ לֹ֥א שָֽׁ֜מְע֗וּ ק֣וֹל נֹגֵֽשׂ:
18Small and great are there, and a slave is free from his master.   יחקָטֹ֣ן וְ֖גָדוֹל שָׁ֣ם ה֑וּא וְ֜עֶ֗בֶד חָפְשִׁ֥י מֵֽאֲדֹנָֽיו:
Small and great are there: There it is obvious who is esteemed and who is humble, and since that greatness is perpetual greatness, and that humility is perpetual humility…  
19Why does He give the toiler light and life to those of bitter spirit?   יטלָ֚מָּה יִתֵּ֣ן לְעָמֵ֣ל א֑וֹר וְ֜חַיִּ֗ים לְמָ֣רֵי נָֽפֶשׁ:
Why does He give: (the giver, i.e., the Holy One, blessed be He.)  
the toiler light: He who grew up with toil and trouble-why did He give him perpetual light and not slay him at birth?  
20Who await death and it is not here, and they spy after it more than after hidden treasures.   כהַֽמְחַכִּ֣ים לַמָּ֣וֶת וְאֵינֶ֑נּוּ וַ֜יַּחְפְּרֻ֗הוּ מִמַּטְמוֹנִֽים:
Who await death: to those of bitter spirit, who long for and desire death and complain, saying, “it is not here.”  
and they spy after it: Heb. ויתפרהו, and they spy after it.  
more than after hidden treasures: More than people spy after hidden treasures.  
21Those who are happy over joyous occurrences, rejoice when they find a grave   כאהַשְּׂמֵחִ֥ים אֱלֵי־גִ֑יל יָ֜שִׂ֗ישׂוּ כִּ֣י יִמְצְאוּ־קָֽבֶר:
Those who are happy over joyous occurrences: and rejoice if they find a grave.  
over joyous occurrences: Because of the joy and the happiness of finding a grave.  
22for a man whose way is hidden, and God hedged him in.   כבלְגֶבֶר אֲשֶׁר־דַּרְכּ֣וֹ נִסְתָּ֑רָה וַיָּ֖סֶךְ אֱל֣וֹהַּ בַּֽעֲדֽוֹ:
for a man whose way is hidden: All the good deeds that he performed were hidden from the Great Recompenser, and He did not look at them.  
and God hedged him in: He made a wall in front of him to shut him up in a prison, as in (Hos. 2:8) “Behold I will close off your way.”  
23For before my meal comes my sigh, and my moans pour like water.   כגכִּֽי־לִפְנֵ֣י לַ֖חְמִי אַנְחָתִ֣י תָבֹ֑א וַיִּתְּכ֥וּ כַ֜מַּ֗יִם שַֽׁאֲגֹתָֽי:
comes: Heb. תבא, lit. shall come.  
pour: An expression of (Exod. 9:33) “pour (נתך) to the ground.” They run and descend like water. The word ויתכו may also be interpreted as an expression denoting abundance.  
24For the thing I feared has befallen me, and what I dreaded is coming upon me.   כדכִּ֚י פַ֣חַד פָּ֖חַדְתִּי וַיֶּֽאֱתָיֵ֑נִי וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר יָ֜גֹ֗רְתִּי יָ֣בֹא לִֽי:
the thing I feared: All my life, I stood in fear of this, as I said (1:5): “Now it would come about, when the cycle of the feasting would days be over, etc.” What I dreaded-Behold!  
25I was not at ease, neither was I quiet, and I did not rest, yet trouble came.   כהלֹ֚א שָׁלַ֨וְתִּי | וְלֹֽא־שָׁקַ֥טְתִּי וְֽלֹא־נַ֗חְתִּי וַיָּ֥בֹא רֹֽגֶז:
I was not at ease: from this worry, and behold, trouble has come.