1#a. [7:1] Jb 14:14. Is not life on earth a drudgery,#Drudgery: taken by some to refer to military service; cf. also 14:14.
its days like those of a hireling?
2Like a slave who longs for the shade,
a hireling who waits for wages,
3So I have been assigned months of futility,
and troubled nights have been counted off for me.
4When I lie down I say, “When shall I arise?”
then the night drags on;
I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
5My flesh is clothed with worms and scabs;#b. [7:5] Jb 2:7–8.
my skin cracks and festers;
6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.
7Remember that my life is like the wind;#c. [7:7] Ps 144:4.
my eye will not see happiness again.
8The eye that now sees me shall no more behold me;
when your eye is on me, I shall be gone.
9As a cloud dissolves and vanishes,#d. [7:9–10] Jb 10:21; 14:10–12; 2 Sm 12:23; 14:14: Wis 2:1.
so whoever goes down to Sheol shall not come up.
10They shall not return home again;
their place shall know them no more.
11My own utterance I will not restrain;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12#Job now speaks not to his friends (who never speak to God), but to God. He does this frequently; cf. 9:28; 10:2–22; 13:20–28; 14:13–22. Am I the Sea, or the dragon,
that you place a watch over me?#An allusion to the personification of primeval chaos as a monstrous ocean vanquished by God; see note on 3:8.
13When I say, “My bed shall comfort me,
my couch shall ease my complaint,”
14Then you frighten me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15So that I should prefer strangulation
and death rather than my existence.#Existence: lit., bones; the Hebrew is unclear.
16I waste away: I will not live forever;#e. [7:16] Jb 14:1–2, 5.
let me alone, for my days are but a breath.
17#An ironic allusion to Ps 8:5. What are human beings, that you make much of them,
or pay them any heed?
18You observe them every morning#f. [7:18] Ps 17:3.
and try them at every moment!
19How long before you look away from me,
and let me alone till I swallow my spit?
20If I sin, what do I do to you,
O watcher of mortals?
Why have you made me your target?
Why should I be a burden for you?
21Why do you not pardon my offense,
or take away my guilt?
For soon I shall lie down in the dust;
and should you seek me I shall be gone.