Job 3:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it.

King James Bible
Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Darby Bible Translation
Let darkness and the shadow of death claim it; let clouds dwell upon it; let darkeners of the day terrify it.

World English Bible
Let darkness and the shadow of death claim it for their own. Let a cloud dwell on it. Let all that makes black the day terrify it.

Young's Literal Translation
Let darkness and death-shade redeem it, Let a cloud tabernacle upon it, Let them terrify it as the most bitter of days.

Job 3:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let darkness and the shadow of death - The Hebrew word צלמות tsalmâveth is exceedingly musical and poetical. It is derived from צל tsêl, "a shadow," and מות mâveth, "death;" and is used to denote the deepest darkness; see the notes at Isaiah 9:2. It occurs frequently in the sacred Scriptures; compare Job 10:21-22; Psalm 23:4; Job 12:22; Job 16:16; Job 24:17; Job 34:22; Job 38:17; Amos 5:8; Jeremiah 2:6. It is used to denote the abode of departed spirits, described by Job as "a land of darkness, as darkness itself; of the shadow of death without any order, and where the light is as darkness;" Job 10:21-22. The idea seems to have been, that "death" was a dark and gloomy object that obstructed all light, and threw a baleful shade afar, and that that melancholy shade was thrown afar over the regions of the dead. The sense here is, that Job wished the deepest conceivable darkness to rest upon it.

Stain it - Margin, or "challenge." Vulgate, "obscure it." Septuagint, "take or occupy it," Ἐκλάβοι Eklaboi, Dr. Good, "crush it." Noyes, "redeem it." Herder, "seize it." This variety of interpretation has arisen in part from the twofold signification of the word used here, גאל gā'al. The word means either to "redeem," or to "defile," "pollute," "stain." These senses are not very closely connected, and I know not how the one has grown out of the other, unless it be that redemption was accomplishcd with blood, and that the frequent sprinkling of blood on an altar rendered it defiled, or unclean. In one sense, blood thus sprinkled would purify, when it took away sin; in another, it would render an object unclean or polluted. Gesenius says, that the latter signification occurs only in the later Hebrew. If the word here means to "redeem," the sense is, that Job wished darknessto resume its dominion over the day, and rcdeem it to itself, and thus wholly to exclude the light.

If the word means to defile or pollute, the sense is, that he desired the death-shade to stain the day wholly black; to take out every ray of light, and to render it wholly obscure. Gesenius renders it in the former sense. The sense which Reiske and Dr. Good give to the word, "crush it," is not found in the Hebrew. The word means to defile, stain, or pollute, in the following places, namely,: it is rendered "pollute" and "polluted" in Malachi 1:7, Malachi 1:12; Zephaniah 3:1; Lamentations 4:14; Ezra 2:62; Nehemiah 7:64; "defile" or "defiled" in Isaiah 59:3; Daniel 1:8; Nehemiah 13:29; and "stain" in Isaiah 63:3. It seems to me that this is the sense here, and that the meaning has been well explained by Schultens, that Job wished that his birthday should be involved in a deep "stain," that it should be covered with clouds and storms, and made dark and dismal. This imprecation referred not only to the day on which he was born, but to each succeeding birthday. Instead of its being on its return a bright and cheerful day, he wished that it might be annually a day of tempests and of terrors; a day so marked that it wouId excite attention as especially gloomy and inauspicious. It was a day whose return conveyed no pleasure to his soul, and which he wished no one to observe with gratitude or joy.

Let a cloud dwell upon it - There is, as Dr. Good and others have remarked, much sublimity iu this expression. The Hebrew word rendered "a cloud" עננה ‛ănânâh occurs nowhere else in this form. It is the feminine form of the word ענן ‛ânân, "a cloud," and is used "collectively" to denote "clouds;" that is, clouds piled on clouds; clouds "condensed, impacted, heaped together" (Dr. Good), and hence, the gathered tempest, the clouds assembled deep and dark, and ready to burst forth in the fury of a storm. Theodotion renders it συννεφέα sunnefea, "assembled clouds;" and hence, "darkness," The Septuagint renders it γνόφος gnophos, "tempest," or "thick darkness." So Jerome, "caligo." The word rendered "dwell upon it" שׁכן shâkan, means properly to "settle down," and there to abide or dwell. Perhaps the original notion was that of fixing a tent, and so Schultens renders it, "tentorium figat super eo Nubes," "Let the cloud pitch its tent over it;" rendered by Dr. Good, "The gathered tempest pavilion over it!" "This is an image," says Schultens, "common among the Arabs." The sense is, that Job wished clouds piled on clouds to settle down on the day permanently, to make that day their abode, and to involve it in deep and eternal night.

Let the blackness of the day terrify it - Margin, "Or, Let them terrify it as those who have a bitter day." There has been great variety in the interpretation of this passage. Dr. Good renders it, "The blasts of noontide terrify it." Noyes, "Let whatever darkens the day terrify it." Herder, "The blackness of misfortune terrify it." Jerome, Et involvatur amaritudine, "let it be involved in bitterness." The Septuagint, καταραθείη ἡ ἡμέρα katarathein hē hēmera, "let the day be cursed." This variety has arisen from the difficulty of determining the sense of the Hebrew word used here and rendered "blackness," כמרירים kı̂mrı̂yrı̂ym. If it is supposed to be derived from the word כמר kâmar, to be warm, to be hot, to burn, then it would mean the deadly heats of the day, the dry and sultry blasts which prevail so much in sandy deserts. Some writers suppose that there is a reference here to the poisonous wind Samum or Samiel, which sweeps over those deserts, and which is so much dreaded in the beat of summer. "Men as well as animals are often suffocated with this wind. For during a great heat, a current of air often comes which is still hotter; and when human beings and animals are so exhausted that they almost faint away with the heat, it seems that this little addition quite deprives them of breath. When a man is suffocated with this wind, or when, as they say, his heart is burst blood is said to flow from his nose and ears two hours after his death. The body is said to remain long warm, to swell, to turn blue and green, and if the arm or leg is taken hold of to raise it up, the limb is said to come off."

Burder's Oriental customs, No. 176. From the testimony of recent travelers, however, it would seem that the injurious effects of this wind have been greatly exaggerated. If this interpretation be the true one, then Job wished the day of his birth to be frightful and alarming, as when such a poisonous blast should sweep along all day, and render it a day of terror and dread. But this interpretation does not well suit the parallelism. Others, therefore, understand by the word, "obscurations," or whatever darkens the day. Such is the interpretation of Gesenius, Bochart, Noyes, and some others. According to this, the reference is to eclipses or fearful storms which cover the day in darkness. The noun here is not found elsewhere; but the "verb" כמר kâmar is used in the sense of being black and dark in Lain. v. 10: "Our skin was black like an oven, because of the terrible famine;" or perhaps more literally, "Our skin is scorched as with a furnace, from the burning heat of famine."

That which is burned becomes black, and hence, the word may mean that which is dark, obscure, and gloomy. This meaning suits the parallelism, and is a sense which the Hebrew will bear. Another interpretation regards the Hebrew letter כ (k) used as a prefix before the word כמרירים kı̂mrı̂yrı̂ym "bitterness," and then the sense is, "according to the bitterness of the day;" that is, the greatest calamities which can happen to a day. This sense is found in several of the ancient versions, and is adopted by Rosenmuller. To me it seems that the second interpretation proposed best suits the connection, and that the meaning is, that Job wished that everything which could render the day gloomy and obscure might rest upon it. The Chaldee adds here," Let it be as the bitterness of day - the grief with which Jeremiah was afflicted in being cut off from the house of the sanctuary, and Jonah in being cast into the sea of Tarshish."

Job 3:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Sorrowful Man's Question
"Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?"--Job 3:23. I AM VERY THANKFUL that so many of you are glad and happy. There is none too much joy in the world, and the more that any of us can create, the better. It should be a part of our happiness, and a man part of it, to try to make other people glad. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people," is a commission which many of us ought to feel is entrusted to us. If your own cup of joy is full, let it run over to others who
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 46: 1900

Whether it is Lawful to Curse an Irrational Creature?
Objection 1: It would seem that it is unlawful to curse an irrational creature. Cursing would seem to be lawful chiefly in its relation to punishment. Now irrational creatures are not competent subjects either of guilt or of punishment. Therefore it is unlawful to curse them. Objection 2: Further, in an irrational creature there is nothing but the nature which God made. But it is unlawful to curse this even in the devil, as stated above [2960](A[1]). Therefore it is nowise lawful to curse an irrational
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Death Swallowed up in victory
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory! D eath, simply considered, is no more than the cessation of life --that which was once living, lives no longer. But it has been the general, perhaps the universal custom of mankind, to personify it. Imagination gives death a formidable appearance, arms it with a dart, sting or scythe, and represents it as an active, inexorable and invincible reality. In this view death is a great devourer; with his iron tongue
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Meditations for the Morning.
1. Almighty God can, in the resurrection, as easily raise up thy body out of the grave, from the sleep of death, as he hath this morning wakened thee in thy bed, out of the sleep of nature. At the dawning of which resurrection day, Christ shall come to be glorified in his saints; and every one of the bodies of the thousands of his saints, being fashioned like unto his glorious body, shall shine as bright as the sun (2 Thess. i. 10; Jude, ver. 14; Phil. iii. 21; Luke ix. 31;) all the angels shining
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Job 3:4
"May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, Nor light shine on it.

Job 3:6
"As for that night, let darkness seize it; Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not come into the number of the months.

Psalm 44:19
Yet You have crushed us in a place of jackals And covered us with the shadow of death.

Jeremiah 13:16
Give glory to the LORD your God, Before He brings darkness And before your feet stumble On the dusky mountains, And while you are hoping for light He makes it into deep darkness, And turns it into gloom.

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