1‘I loathe my very life;
therefore I will give free rein to my complaint
and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
2I say to God: do not declare me guilty,
but tell me what charges you have against me.
3Does it please you to oppress me,
to spurn the work of your hands,
while you smile on the plans of the wicked?
4Do you have eyes of flesh?
Do you see as a mortal sees?
5Are your days like those of a mortal
or your years like those of a strong man,
6that you must search out my faults
and probe after my sin –
7though you know that I am not guilty
and that no-one can rescue me from your hand?
8‘Your hands shaped me and made me.
Will you now turn and destroy me?
9Remember that you moulded me like clay.
Will you now turn me to dust again?
10Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese,
11clothe me with skin and flesh
and knit me together with bones and sinews?
12You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your providence watched over my spirit.
13‘But this is what you concealed in your heart,
and I know that this was in your mind:
14if I sinned, you would be watching me
and would not let my offence go unpunished.
15If I am guilty – woe to me!
Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
and drowned in#10:15 Or and aware of my affliction.
16If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
and again display your awesome power against me.
17You bring new witnesses against me
and increase your anger towards me;
your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18‘Why then did you bring me out of the womb?
I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19If only I had never come into being,
or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20Are not my few days almost over?
Turn away from me so that I can have a moment’s joy
21before I go to the place of no return,
to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
22to the land of deepest night,
of utter darkness and disorder,
where even the light is like darkness.’