1. Is not human life on earth just conscript service? Do we not live a hireling's life?
2. Like a slave, sighing for the shade, or a hireling with no thought but for his wages,
3. I have months of futility assigned to me, nights of suffering to be my lot.
4. Lying in bed I wonder, 'When will it be day?' No sooner up than, 'When will evening come?' And crazy thoughts obsess me till twilight falls.
5. Vermin and loathsome scabs cover my body; my skin is cracked and oozes pus.
6. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle my days have passed, and vanished, leaving no hope behind.
7. Remember that my life is but a breath, and that my eyes will never again see joy.
8. The eye that once saw me will look on me no more, your eyes will turn my way, and I shall not be there.
9. A cloud dissolves and is gone, so no one who goes down to Sheol ever comes up again,
10. ever comes home again, and his house knows that person no more.
11. That is why I cannot keep quiet: in my anguish of spirit I shall speak, in my bitterness of soul I shall complain.
12. Am I the Sea, or some sea monster, that you should keep me under guard?
13. If I say, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will lighten my complaints,'
14. you then frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15. so that strangling would seem welcome in comparison, yes, death preferable to what I suffer.
16. I am wasting away, my life is not unending; leave me then, for my days are but a breath.
17. What are human beings that you should take them so seriously, subjecting them to your scrutiny,
18. that morning after morning you should examine them and at every instant test them?
19. Will you never take your eyes off me long enough for me to swallow my spittle?
20. Suppose I have sinned, what have I done to you, you tireless watcher of humanity? Why do you choose me as your target? Why should I be a burden to you?
21. Can you not tolerate my sin, not overlook my fault? For soon I shall be lying in the dust, you will look for me and I shall be no more.