Isn't mankind consigned to forced labor on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired hand?
Like a slave he longs for shade; like a hired man he waits for his pay.
So I have been made to inherit months of futility, and troubled nights have been assigned to me.
When I lie down I think: When will I get up? But the evening drags on endlessly, and I toss and turn until dawn.
My flesh is clothed with maggots and encrusted with dirt. My skin forms scabs and then oozes.
My days pass more swiftly than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope.
Remember that my life is [but] a breath. My eye will never again see anything good.
The eye of anyone who looks on me will no longer see me. Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
As a cloud fades away and vanishes, so the one who goes down to Sheol will never rise again.
He will never return to his house; his hometown will no longer remember him.
Therefore I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I the sea or a sea monster, that You keep me under guard?
When I say: My bed will comfort me, and my couch will ease my complaint,
then You frighten me with dreams, and terrify me with visions,
so that I prefer strangling, death rather than life in this body.
I give up! I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
What is man, that You think so highly of him and pay so much attention to him?
You inspect him every morning, and put him to the test every moment.
Will You ever look away from me, or leave me alone until I swallow my saliva?
[If] I have sinned, what have I done to You, Watcher of mankind? Why have You made me Your target, so that I have become a burden to You?
Why not forgive my sin and pardon my transgression? For soon I will lie down in the grave. You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.