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Job Acknowledges the Brevity of Life

“Men have harsh servitude on earth, do they not?
    His days are like those of a hired laborer, are they not?[a]
I’m like a servant who longs for the shade,
    like a hired laborer who is looking for his wages.
Truly I’ve been allotted months of emptiness;
    nights of trouble have been appointed for me.

“When I lie down I ask,
    ‘When will I wake up?’
But the night continues
    and I keep tossing and turning until dawn.[b]
My skin[c] is covered with worms and clods of dirt;
    my skin becomes rough and then breaks out afresh.
My days pass as swiftly as a hand-loom;
    they come to their conclusion without hope.
Remember that my life is a breath;
    my eyes won’t go back to seeing good things.[d]
The eyes of the one who sees me won’t see me anymore;
    your eyes will look[e] for me
        but I won’t be around![f]
As a cloud fades away and vanishes,
    the one who descends to the afterlife[g] doesn’t return.[h]
10 He doesn’t return again to his house,
    and his place won’t recognize him anymore.”

Job Intends to Complain

11 “In addition, I won’t keep my opinion[i] to myself;
    I’ll speak from my distressed spirit;
        I’ll complain with my bitter soul.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
    that you keep watching me?
13 For I’ve said, ‘My bed will comfort me;
    my couch will ease my burdens[j] while I complain.’
14 But then you scared me with dreams;
    you terrified me with visions.
15 I would rather die by strangulation
    than continue living.[k]
16 I hate the thought of living forever!
    Leave me alone, because my days are pointless.”

Job Acknowledges Humankind’s Insignificance

17 “What is a human being, that you make so much of him;
    that you set your affections on him,
18 visit him every morning,
    and test him continually?
19 Why won’t you look away from me?
    Why don’t you leave me alone so I can swallow my saliva?
20 So what if I sin? What have I done against you,
    you observer of humankind?
Why have you made me your target?
    Why burden yourself with me?
21 Why haven’t you pardoned my transgression
    and taken away my iniquity?
Now I’m about to lie down in the dust.
    You will seek me diligently,
        but I won’t be around!”[l]


  1. Job 7:1 Or hireling
  2. Job 7:4 Or twilight
  3. Job 7:5 Or flesh
  4. Job 7:7 The Heb. lacks things
  5. Job 7:8 The Heb. lacks will look
  6. Job 7:8 The Heb. lacks around
  7. Job 7:9 Lit. Sheol; i.e. the dwelling place of the dead
  8. Job 7:9 Lit. doesn’t come back up
  9. Job 7:11 Lit. mouth
  10. Job 7:13 Or carry
  11. Job 7:15 Lit. my bones
  12. Job 7:21 The Heb. lacks around