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“How mankind must struggle. A man’s life is long and hard, like that of a slave. How he longs for the day to end. How he grinds on to the end of the week and his wages. And so to me also have been allotted months of frustration, these long and weary nights. When I go to bed I think, ‘Oh, that it were morning,’ and then I toss till dawn.

“My skin is filled with worms and blackness. My flesh breaks open, full of pus. My life drags by—day after hopeless day. My life is but a breath, and nothing good is left. You see me now, but not for long. Soon you’ll look upon me dead. As a cloud disperses and vanishes, so those who die shall go away forever— 10 gone forever from their family and their home—never to be seen again. 11 Ah, let me express my anguish. Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul.

12 “O God, am I some monster that you never leave me alone? 13-14 Even when I try to forget my misery in sleep, you terrify with nightmares. 15 I would rather die of strangulation than go on and on like this. 16 I hate my life. Oh, leave me alone for these few remaining days. 17 What is mere man that you should spend your time persecuting him? 18 Must you be his inquisitor every morning and test him every moment of the day? 19 Why won’t you leave me alone—even long enough to spit?

20 “Has my sin harmed you, O God, watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your target, and made my life so heavy a burden to me? 21 Why not just pardon my sin and take it all away? For all too soon I’ll lie down in the dust and die, and when you look for me, I shall be gone.”

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