1 “Is not the life of mortal man on earth like compulsory labor, And are not his days like those of a hired worker?
2 Like a slave, he longs for the shadow, And like a hired worker, he waits for his wages.
3 Thus I have been assigned months of futility And nights of misery have been counted out for me.
4 When I lie down I ask, ‘When will I get up?’ But as the night drags on, I toss restlessly until the dawning of the day.
5 My flesh is covered with maggots and clods of dirt; My skin is full of scabs and pus.
6 My days go by more quickly than a weaver’s shuttle, And they come to an end without hope.
7 Remember that my life is wind, That my eye will never again see happiness.
8 The eye that sees me now will see me no more; Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
9 Like a cloud that fades and vanishes, The one who goes down to the Grave does not come back up.
10 He will not return again to his house, And his place will acknowledge him no more.
11 Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in my bitter distress!
12 Am I the sea or a sea monster, That you should set a guard over me?
13 When I say, ‘My couch will comfort me; My bed will help ease my misery,’
14 Then you terrify me with dreams And frighten me with visions,
15 So that I would choose suffocation, Yes, death rather than this body of mine.
16 I loathe my life; I do not want to go on living. Leave me alone, for my days are like a breath.
17 What is mortal man that you should concern yourself with him And fix your attention on him?
18 Why do you inspect him every morning And test him every moment?
19 Will you not look away from me And leave me alone long enough to swallow my saliva?
20 If I have sinned, how could I harm you, the Observer of mankind? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression And excuse my error? For soon I will lie down in the dust, And you will look for me, but I will be gone.”