I will give myself up to complaint;
I will speak from the bitterness of my soul.
2I will say to God: Do not put me in the wrong!
Let me know why you oppose me.
3#These lines are a delicate mixture of sarcasm and prayer; Job “reminds” God, challenging the divine providence. Note the piteous tone of the final request in vv. 20–22. Is it a pleasure for you to oppress,
to spurn the work of your hands,
and shine on the plan of the wicked?
4Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as mortals see?
5Are your days like the days of a mortal,#Jb 36:26.
and are your years like a human lifetime,
6That you seek for guilt in me
and search after my sins,
7Even though you know that I am not wicked,#Jb 2:3, 9; Dt 32:39; Wis 16:15.
and that none can deliver me out of your hand?
8Your hands have formed me and fashioned me;
will you then turn and destroy me?
9Oh, remember that you fashioned me from clay!#Jb 4:19; 33:6; Gn 2:7; 3:19; Ps 146:4.
Will you then bring me down to dust again?
10Did you not pour me out like milk,
and thicken me like cheese?
11With skin and flesh you clothed me,
with bones and sinews knit me together.
12Life and love you granted me,
and your providence has preserved my spirit.
13Yet these things you have hidden in your heart;
I know they are your purpose:
14If I should sin, you would keep a watch on me,
and from my guilt you would not absolve me.
15If I should be wicked, alas for me!
even if righteous, I dare not hold up my head,
sated with shame, drenched in affliction!
16Should it lift up, you hunt me like a lion:
repeatedly you show your wondrous power against me,
17You renew your attack#Attack: or “witnesses,” continuing the metaphor of lawsuit used in these chapters. upon me
and multiply your harassment of me;
in waves your troops come against me.
18Why then did you bring me forth from the womb?#Jb 3:3, 11.
I should have died and no eye have seen me.
19I should be as though I had never lived;
I should have been taken from the womb to the grave.
20Are not my days few? Stop!
Let me alone, that I may recover a little
21Before I go whence I shall not return,#Jb 7:9–10; 16:22.
to the land of darkness and of gloom,
22The dark, disordered land
where darkness is the only light.