Job 3:12

Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?

Why did the knees prevent me?.... Not of the mother, as Jarchi, but of the midwife, who received him into her lap, and nourished and cherished him, washed him with water, salted, and swaddled him; or it may be of his father, with whom it was usual to take the child on his knees as soon as born, see Genesis 50:23; which custom obtained among the Greeks and Romans o; hence the goddess Levana p had her name, causing the father in this way to own his child; his concern is, that he did not fall to the ground as he came out of his mother's womb, and with that fall die; and that he was prevented from falling by the officious knees of the midwife; that he was not suffered to fall, and be left there, without having any of the usual things done to him for the comfort and preservation of life, which was sometimes the case, Ezekiel 16:4;

or why the breasts that I should suck? since a miscarrying womb was not given, and death did not seize him immediately upon birth, but all proper care was taken to prevent it, he asks, why was there milk in the breasts of his mother or nurse to suckle and nourish him? why were there not dry breasts, such as would afford no milk, that so he might have been starved? thus he wishes the kindest things in nature and Providence had been withheld from him.

o Homer. Iliad. 9. Vid. Barthii Animadv. ad Claudian. in Nupt. Honor. ver. 341. p Kipping. Antiqu. Roman. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 10.