1‘Do not mortals have hard service on earth?
Are not their days like those of hired labourers?
2Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,
or a hired labourer waiting to be paid,
3so I have been allotted months of futility,
and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
4When I lie down I think, “How long before I get up?”
The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.
5My body is clothed with worms and scabs,
my skin is broken and festering.
6‘My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
and they come to an end without hope.
7Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;
my eyes will never see happiness again.
8The eye that now sees me will see me no longer;
you will look for me, but I will be no more.
9As a cloud vanishes and is gone,
so one who goes down to the grave does not return.
10He will never come to his house again;
his place will know him no more.
11‘Therefore I will not keep silent;
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep,
that you put me under guard?
13When I think my bed will comfort me
and my couch will ease my complaint,
14even then you frighten me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15so that I prefer strangling and death,
rather than this body of mine.
16I despise my life; I would not live for ever.
Let me alone; my days have no meaning.
17‘What is mankind that you make so much of them,
that you give them so much attention,
18that you examine them every morning
and test them every moment?
19Will you never look away from me,
or let me alone even for an instant?
20If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
you who see everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?
Have I become a burden to you?#7:20 A few manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition and Septuagint; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text I have become a burden to myself.
21Why do you not pardon my offences
and forgive my sins?
For I shall soon lie down in the dust;
you will search for me, but I shall be no more.’