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Job Speaks about the Futility of Human Existence

“Isn’t a mortal’s stay on earth difficult
    like a hired hand’s daily work?
Like a slave, he longs for shade.
    Like a hired hand, he eagerly looks for his pay.
Likewise, I have been given months that are of no use,
    and I have inherited nights filled with misery.
        When I lie down, I ask,
            ‘When will I get up?’
                But the evening is long,
                    and I’m exhausted from tossing about until dawn.
My body is covered with maggots and scabs.
    My skin is crusted over with sores; then they ooze.
My days go swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.
    They are spent without hope.
Remember, my life is only a breath,
    and never again will my eyes see anything good.
The eye that watches over me will no longer see me.
    Your eye will look for me, but I’ll be gone.
As a cloud fades away and disappears,
    so a person goes into the grave and doesn’t come back again.
10 He doesn’t come back home again,
    and his household doesn’t recognize him anymore.
11 So I won’t keep my mouth shut,
    but I will speak from the distress that is in my spirit
        and complain about the bitterness in my soul.

Job Says to God: Leave Me Alone

12 “Am I the sea or a sea monster
    that you have set a guard over me?
13 When I say,
    ‘My couch may give me comfort.
    My bed may help me bear my pain,’
14 then you frighten me with dreams
    and terrify me with visions.
15 My throat would rather be choked.
    My body[a] would prefer death to these dreams.
16 I hate my life; I do not want to live forever.
    Leave me alone because my days are so brief.

17 “What is a mortal that you should make so much of him,
    that you should be concerned about him?
18 What is he that you should inspect him every morning
    and examine him every moment?
19 Why don’t you stop looking at me
    long enough to let me swallow my spit?[b]
20 If I sin, what can I possibly do to you
    since you insist on spying on people?
    Why do you make me your target?
    I’ve become a burden even to myself.
21 Why don’t you forgive my disobedience
    and take away my sin?
    Soon I’ll lie down in the dust.
    Then you will search for me, but I’ll be gone!”


  1. Job 7:15 Or “bones.”
  2. Job 7:19 English equivalent of this verse difficult.