Job 3:20
New International Version
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,

New Living Translation
“Oh, why give light to those in misery, and life to those who are bitter?

English Standard Version
“Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,

Berean Study Bible
Why is light given to the miserable, and life to the bitter of soul,

King James Bible
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

New King James Version
“Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul,

New American Standard Bible
“Why is light given to one burdened with grief, And life to the bitter of soul,

NASB 1995
“Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul,

NASB 1977
“Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul;

Amplified Bible
“Why is the light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter in soul,

Christian Standard Bible
Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter,

American Standard Version
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Why is light given to sufferers and life to the bitter of soul

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For why is light given to those who are in bitterness, and life to those souls which are in griefs?

Contemporary English Version
Why does God let me live when life is miserable and so bitter?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to them that are in bitterness of soul?

English Revised Version
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;

Good News Translation
Why let people go on living in misery? Why give light to those in grief

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Why give light to one in misery and life to those who find it so bitter,

International Standard Version
"Why does God give light to the sufferer or life to the bitter person:

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherewith is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul--

Literal Standard Version
Why does He give light to the miserable, and life to the bitter soul?

NET Bible
"Why does God give light to one who is in misery, and life to those whose soul is bitter,

New Heart English Bible
"Why is light given to him who is in misery, life to the bitter in soul,

World English Bible
"Why is light given to him who is in misery, life to the bitter in soul,

Young's Literal Translation
Why giveth He to the miserable light, and life to the bitter soul?

Additional Translations ...
Context
Job Laments His Birth
19Both small and great are there, and the slave is freed from his master. 20Why is light given to the miserable, and life to the bitter of soul, 21who long for death that does not come, and search for it like hidden treasure,…

Cross References
Job 3:19
Both small and great are there, and the slave is freed from his master.

Proverbs 31:6
Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to the bitter in soul.

Jeremiah 20:18
Why did I come out of the womb to see only trouble and sorrow, and to end my days in shame?


Treasury of Scripture

Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul;

Wherefore.

Job 6:9
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

Job 7:15,16
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life…

Jeremiah 20:18
Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

light.

Job 3:16
Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

Job 33:28,30
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light…

the bitter.

Job 7:15,16
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life…

1 Samuel 1:10
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

2 Kings 4:27
And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.









(20) Wherefore is light given.--Comp. the connection between life and light in Psalm 36:9 and John 1:4.

Verse 20. - Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery? Why, Job asks, is the miserable man forced to continue on the earth and see the light to-day? Why is he not sent down at once to the darkness of the grave? Surely this would have been better. Man often speaks as if he were wiser than his Maker, and could have much improved the system of the universe, if he had had the arranging of it; but he scarcely means what he says commonly. Such talk is, however, foolish, as is all captious questioning concerning the ways of God. The proper answer to all such questioning is well given by Zophar in Job 11:7, 8, "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell (Sheol); what canst thou know?" And life unto the bitter in soul (see the comment on ver. 11, ad fin.).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Why
לָ֤מָּה (lām·māh)
Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

is light
א֑וֹר (’ō·wr)
Noun - common singular
Strong's 216: Illumination, luminary

given
יִתֵּ֣ן (yit·tên)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5414: To give, put, set

to the miserable,
לְעָמֵ֣ל (lə·‘ā·mêl)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6001: Toiling, a laborer, sorrowful

and life
וְ֝חַיִּ֗ים (wə·ḥay·yîm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life

to the bitter
לְמָ֣רֵי (lə·mā·rê)
Preposition-l | Adjective - masculine plural construct
Strong's 4751: Bitter, bitterness, bitterly

of soul,
נָֽפֶשׁ׃ (nā·p̄eš)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion


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OT Poetry: Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who (Jb)
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