“Don’t all human beings have to work hard on this earth? Aren’t their days like the days of hired workers? 2 I’ve been like a slave who longs for the evening shadows to come. I’ve been like a hired worker who is waiting to be paid. 3 I’ve been given several months that were useless to me. My nights have been filled with suffering. 4 When I lie down I think, ‘How long will it be before I can get up?’ The night drags on. I toss and turn until sunrise. 5 My body is covered with worms and sores. My skin is broken. It has boils all over it.
6 “My days pass by faster than a weaver can work. They come to an end. I don’t have any hope. 7 God, remember that my life is only a breath. I’ll never be happy again. 8 The eyes that see me now won’t see me anymore. You will look for me. But I’ll be gone. 9 When a cloud disappears, it’s gone forever. And anyone who goes down to the grave never returns. 10 He never comes home again. Even his own family doesn’t remember him.
11 “So I won’t keep quiet. When I’m suffering greatly, I’ll speak out. When my spirit is bitter, I’ll tell you how unhappy I am. 12 Am I the ocean? Am I the sea monster? If I’m not, why do you guard me so closely? 13 Sometimes I think my bed will comfort me. I think my couch will keep me from being unhappy. 14 But even then you send me dreams that frighten me. You send me visions that terrify me. 15 So I would rather choke to death. That would be better than living in this body of mine. 16 I hate my life. I don’t want to live forever. Leave me alone. My days don’t mean anything to me.
17 “What are human beings that you think so much of them? What are they that you pay so much attention to them? 18 You check up on them every morning. You test them every moment. 19 Won’t you ever look away from me? Won’t you leave me alone even for one second? 20 If I’ve really sinned, tell me what I’ve done to you. You see everything we do. Why do you shoot your arrows at me? Have I become a problem to you? 21 Why don’t you forgive the wrong things I’ve done? Why don’t you forgive me for my sins? I’ll soon lie down in the dust of my grave. You will search for me. But I’ll be gone.”
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