(1) After this opened Job his mouth.—There is a striking similarity between this chapter and Jeremiah 20:14-18, so much so that one must be borrowed from the other; the question is, which is the original? Is Jeremiah the germ of this? or is this the tree from which a branch has been hewn by Jeremiah? Our own conviction is that Job is the original, inasmuch as this chapter is indispensable to the development of the poem; but in Jeremiah the passage occurs casually as the record of a passing mood of despair. It is, moreover, apparently clear that Jeremiah is quoting Job as he might quote one of the Psalms or any other writing with which he was familiar. He was applying to daily life the well-known expression of a patriarchal experience, whereas in the other case the words of Job would be the ideal magnifying of a commonplace and realistic experience.
Blackness of the day—i.e., preternatural darkness, inopportune and unexpected darkness, like that of eclipses, &c.
These people are further described as being ready to arouse leviathan (Authorised Version, “raise up their mourning”), or the crocodile—persons as mad and desperate as that. Let the most hopeless and reckless of mankind select that day as the one which they would choose to curse. This seems to be Job’s meaning.