Jeremiah curses the day he was born (Jer 20:14-20:18)

“Cursed be the day

On which I was born!

The day

When my mother bore me,

Let it not be blessed!

Cursed be the man

Who brought the news to my father!

‘A child is born to you,

A son.’

This made him very glad.

Let that man be

Like the cities

That Yahweh overthrew without pity!

Let him hear a cry in the morning!

Let him hear an alarm at noon!

Because he did not kill me

In the womb.

Thus my mother would have been

My grave.

Her womb would be forever great.

Why did I come forth

From the womb?

To see toil?

To see sorrow?

Why do I spend my days in shame?”

It is an unusual idea to curse one’s own existence. The only comparable thought would have been in Job, chapter 3, where he cursed the day he was conceived and the day he was born. This is a lament about the personal problems in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. He wanted the day of his birth not to be a celebration or blessing, but a cursed day. He even wanted the man who told his father about the birth of his son to be cursed also. Jeremiah wanted that man to be like Yahweh’s destroyed cities. He wanted him to hear cries in the morning and at noon. They should have killed him in the womb so that his mother’s womb would have been his grave. This is an interesting thought for many anti-abortionists. Jeremiah wondered why he had come forth from the womb only to have a life of toils and sorrow, filled with shame. This is a very depressing idea, much like the poor depressed Job.

King Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 21:4-21:7)

“King Ahab went home resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him. He had said. ‘I will not give you my ancestral inheritance.’ He lay down on his bed. He turned away his face. He would not eat. But his wife Jezebel came to him, and said. ‘Why are you so depressed that you will not eat?’ He said to her. ‘Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him. ‘Give me your vineyard for money. Or else, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ But he answered. ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’ His wife Jezebel said to him. ‘Do you now govern Israel? Get up. Eat some food. Be cheerful. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.’”

Ahab was once again sullen and resentful. Naboth would give him his ancestral vineyard. The king was depressed. Interesting this depression is like most depressions. He turned away his face and would not talk to people. He lay down in his bed. He would not eat. Jezebel his wife wanted to know what was wrong. He then told her the story about how Naboth would not give him his vineyard, even though he had offered him money or another vineyard. She told him not to worry. She would take care of it. He should eat some food and be cheerful.  She told him he was the king of Israel, so that he should be happy. Let’s see how persuasive she can be.