Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a male child conceived.
All Commentaries on Job 3:3 Go To Job 3
Gregory The Dialogist
24. It seems as it were like day, when the good fortune of this world smiles upon us, but it is a day that ends in night, for temporal prosperity often leads to the darkness of affliction. This day of good fortune the Prophet had condemned, when he said, Neither have I desired man's day [‘diem hominis’ Vulg.], Thou knowest it. [Jer. 17, 16] And this night our Lord declared He was to suffer at the final close of His Incarnation, when he declared by the Psalmist as if in the past, My reins also instructed me in the night season. [Ps. 16, 7] But by ‘the day’ may be understood the pleasures of sin, and by ‘the night’ the inward blindness, whereby man suffers himself to be brought down to the ground in the commission of sin. And therefore he wishes the day may perish, that all the flattering arts which are seen in sin, by the strong hand of justice interposing, may be brought to nought. He wishes also that the ‘night may perish,’ that what the blinded mind executes even in yielding consent, she may put away by the castigation of penance.
25. But we must enquire why man is said to be born in ‘the day’ and conceived in ‘the night?’ Holy Scripture uses the title ‘man’ in three ways, viz, sometimes in respect of nature, sometimes of sin, sometimes of frailness. Now man is so called in respect of nature, as where it is written, Let Us make man after Our image and likeness. [Gen. 1, 26] He is called man in respect of sin, as where it is written, I have said, Ye are all gods, and all of you are children of the Most High: but ye shall die like men. [Ps. 82, 6. 7.] As though he had expressed it plainly, ‘ye shall perish like transgressors.’ And hence Paul saith, For whereas there is among you envying and strife and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? [1 Cor. 3, 3] As though he had said, ‘Ye that carry about minds at variance, do ye not still sin, in the spirit of faulty human nature?' He is called man, in relation to his weakness, as where it is written, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man. [Jer. 17, 5] As if he had said in plain words, ‘in weakness.’ Thus man is born in the day, but he is conceived in the night, in that he is never caught away by the delightfulness of sin, until he is first made weak by the voluntary darkness of his mind. For he first becomes blind in the understanding, and then he enslaves himself to damnable delight. Let it be said then, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night wherein it was said, There is a man child conceived: i.e. 'Let the delight perish, which has hurried man into sin, and the unguarded frailness of his mind, whereby he was blinded even to the very darkness of consenting to evil. For while man does not heedfully mark the allurements of pleasure, he is even carried headlong into the night of the foulest practices. We must watch then with minds alive, that when sin begins to caress, the mind may perceive to what ruin she is being dragged,