1 The life of a man on the earth is a battle, and his days are like the days of a hired hand.
2 Just as a servant desires the shade, and just as the hired hand looks forward to the end of his work,
3 so also have I had empty months and have counted my burdensome nights.
4 If I lie down to sleep, I will say, “When will I rise?” And next I will hope for the evening and will be filled with sorrows even until darkness.
5 My flesh is clothed with particles of rottenness and filth; my skin is dried up and tightened.
6 My days have passed by more quickly than threads are cut by a weaver, and they have been consumed without any hope.
7 Remember that my life is wind, and my eye will not return to see good things.
8 Neither will the sight of man gaze upon me; your eyes are upon me, and I will not endure.
9 Just as a cloud is consumed and passes away, so he who descends to hell will not ascend.
10 He will not return again to his house, nor will his own place know him any longer.
11 And because of this, I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the affliction of my spirit. I will converse from the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I an ocean or a whale, that you have encircled me in a prison?
13 If I say, “My bed will comfort me, and I will find rest, speaking with myself on my blanket,”
14 then you will frighten me with dreams, and strike dread through visions,
15 so that, because of these things, my soul would choose hanging, and my bones, death.
16 I despair; by no means will I live any longer. Spare me, for my days are nothing.
17 What is man, that you should praise him? Or why do you place your heart near him?
18 You visit him at dawn, and you test him unexpectedly.
19 How long will you not spare me, nor release me to ingest my saliva?
20 I have sinned; what should I do for you, O keeper of men? Why have you set me against you, so that I have become burdensome even to myself?
21 Why do you not steal away my sin, and why do you not sweep away my iniquity? Behold, now I will sleep in the dust, and if you seek me in the morning, I will not remain.