- 1 Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling?
- He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages.
- So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me.
- If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?" then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
- My flesh is clothed with worms and scabs; my skin cracks and festers;
- My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope.
- Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.
- The eye that now sees me shall no more behold me; as you look at me, I shall be gone.
- As a cloud dissolves and vanishes, so he who goes down to the nether world shall come up no more.
- He shall not again return to his house; his place shall know him no more.
- My own utterance I will not restrain; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
- 2 3 Am I the sea, or a monster of the deep, that you place a watch over me? Why have you set me up as an object of attack; or why should I be a target for you?
- When I say, "My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint,"
- Then you affright me with dreams and with visions terrify me,
- So that I should prefer choking and death rather than my pains.
- I waste away: I cannot live forever; let me alone, for my days are but a breath.
- What is man, that you make much of him, or pay him any heed?
- You observe him with each new day and try him at every moment!
- How long will it be before you look away from me, and let me alone long enough to swallow my spittle?
- Though I have sinned, what can I do to you, O watcher of men?
- Why do you not pardon my offense, or take away my guilt? For soon I shall lie down in the dust; and should you seek me I shall then be gone.
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Footnotes1 Drudgery: taken by some to refer to military service; cf also Job 14:14.
2 An allusion in poetic imagery to primeval chaos as a monstrous ocean vanquished by God at the world's creation. 3 [12-21] Job now speaks, not to his friend, but to God.
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