The Brevity of Life
1“Does not humanity have hard service on earth?
Are not their days also
like the days of a hired man?
2Like a servant longing for the evening shadow,
and like a hired man looking for his wages,
3thus I have been made to inherit
months of futility,
and nights of sorrow
have been appointed to me.
4If I lie down, I say, ‘When will I arise?’,
and the night stretches on
and I toss and turn restlessly
until the day dawns.
5My body is clothed with worms and dirty scabs;
my skin is broken and festering.
6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
and they come to an end without hope.
7Remember that my life is but a breath,
that my eyes will never again see happiness.
8The eye of him who sees me now will see me no more;
your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
9As a cloud is dispersed and then disappears,
so the one who goes down to the grave
does not come up again.
10He returns no more to his house,
nor does his place of residence know him any more.
Job Remonstrates with God
11“Therefore, I will not refrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I the sea, or the creature of the deep,
that you must put me under guard?
13If I say, “My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,”
14then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15so that I would prefer strangling,
and death more than life.
16I loathe it; I do not want to live forever;
leave me alone, for my days are a vapor!
Insignificance of Humans
17“What is mankind that you make so much of them,
and that you pay attention to them?
18And that you visit them every morning,
and try them every moment?
19Will you never look away from me,
will you not let me alone
long enough to swallow my spittle?
20If I have sinned – what have I done to you,
O watcher of men?
Why have you set me as your target?
Have I become a burden to you?
21And why do you not pardon my transgression,
and take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust,
and you will seek me diligently,
but I will be gone.”