The human condition
1Isn’t slavery everyone’s condition on earth,
our days like those of a hired worker?
2Like a slave we pant for a shadow,
await our task like a hired worker.
3So I have inherited months of emptiness;
nights of toil have been measured out for me.
4If I lie down and think—When will I get up?—
night drags on,#Heb uncertain and restless thoughts fill me until dawn.
5My flesh is covered with worms and crusted earth;
my skin hardens and oozes.
6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
they reach their end without hope.#Or thread
7Remember that my life is wind;
my eyes won’t see pleasure again.
8The eye that sees me now will no longer look on me;
your eyes will be on me, and I won’t exist.
9A cloud breaks apart and moves on—
like the one who descends to the grave#Heb Sheol and won’t rise,
10won’t return home again,
won’t be recognized in town anymore.
Job wants to be left alone
11But I won’t keep quiet;
I will speak in the adversity of my spirit,
groan in the bitterness of my life.
12Am I Sea#Heb Yam, a sea god or the Sea Monster#Heb Tannin, a sea dragon
that you place me under guard?
13If I say, "My couch will comfort me,"
my bed will diminish my murmuring.
14You scare me with dreams,
frighten me with visions.
15I would choose strangling
and death instead of my bones.
16I reject life;#Heb lacks life. I don’t want to live long;
leave me alone, for my days are empty.
A parody of Psalm 8
17What are human beings, that you exalt them,
that you take note of them,
18visit them each morning,
test them every moment?
19Why not look away from me;
let me alone until I swallow my spit?
20If I sinned, what did I do to you,
guardian of people?
Why have you made me your target
so that I’m a burden to myself?
21Why not forgive my sin,
overlook my iniquity?
Then I would lie down in the dust;
you would search hard for me,
and I would not exist.