“Is not man forced to labor on earth?
And are not his days like the days of a hired man?
As a slave earnestly longs for the shade,
And as a hired man eagerly awaits his wages,
So am I allotted months of futility and suffering,
And [long] nights of trouble and misery are appointed to me.
When I lie down I say,
‘When shall I arise [and the night be gone]?’
But the night continues,
And I am continually tossing until the dawning of day.
My body is clothed with worms and a crust of dust;
My skin is hardened [and broken and loathsome], and [breaks out and] runs.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
“Remember that my life is but breath [a puff of wind, a sigh];
My eye will not see good again.
The eye of him who sees me [now] will see me no more;
Your eyes will be upon me, but I will not be.
As a cloud vanishes and is gone,
So he who goes down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) does not come up.
He will not return again to his house,
Nor will his place know about him anymore.
“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul [O Lord].
Am I the sea, or the sea monster,
That You set a guard over me?
When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
My couch will ease my complaint,’
Then You frighten me with dreams
And terrify me through visions,
So that I would choose suffocation,
Death rather than my pain.
I waste away and loathe my life; I will not live forever.
Let me alone, for my days are but a breath [futile and without substance].
What is man that You [should] magnify him [and think him important]?
And that You are concerned about him?
And that You examine him every morning
And try and test him every moment?
Will You never turn Your gaze away from me [it plagues me],
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
If I have sinned, what [harm] have I done to You,
O Watcher of mankind?
Why have You set me as a target for You,
So that I am a burden to myself?
Why then do You not pardon my transgression
And take away my sin and guilt?
For now I will lie down in the dust;
And You will seek me [diligently], but I will not be.”