The human condition

Isn’t slavery everyone’s condition on earth,
our days like those of a hired worker?
Like a slave we pant for a shadow,
await our task like a hired worker.
So I have inherited months of emptiness;
nights of toil have been measured out for me.
If I lie down and think—When will I get up?—
night drags on,[a] and restless thoughts fill me until dawn.
My flesh is covered with worms and crusted earth;
my skin hardens and oozes.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
they reach their end without hope.[b]
Remember that my life is wind;
my eyes won’t see pleasure again.
The eye that sees me now will no longer look on me;
your eyes will be on me, and I won’t exist.
A cloud breaks apart and moves on—
like the one who descends to the grave[c] and won’t rise,
10 won’t return home again,
won’t be recognized in town anymore.

Job wants to be left alone

11 But I won’t keep quiet;
I will speak in the adversity of my spirit,
groan in the bitterness of my life.
12 Am I Sea[d] or the Sea Monster[e]
that you place me under guard?
13 If I say, “My couch will comfort me,”
my bed will diminish my murmuring.
14 You scare me with dreams,
frighten me with visions.
15 I would choose strangling
and death instead of my bones.
16 I reject life;[f] I don’t want to live long;
leave me alone, for my days are empty.

A parody of Psalm 8

17 What are human beings, that you exalt them,
that you take note of them,
18 visit them each morning,
test them every moment?
19 Why not look away from me;
let me alone until I swallow my spit?
20 If I sinned, what did I do to you,
guardian of people?
Why have you made me your target
so that I’m a burden to myself?
21 Why not forgive my sin,
overlook my iniquity?
Then I would lie down in the dust;
you would search hard for me,
and I would not exist.


  1. Job 7:4 Heb uncertain
  2. Job 7:6 Or thread
  3. Job 7:9 Heb Sheol
  4. Job 7:12 Heb Yam, a sea god
  5. Job 7:12 Heb Tannin, a sea dragon
  6. Job 7:16 Heb lacks life.