People have a hard struggle on earth.
Their life is like that of a hired worker.
They are like a slave looking for cool shade
or a hired worker waiting for payday.
Month after frustrating month has gone by.
I have suffered night after night.
When I lie down, I think,
How long before it’s time to get up?’
The night drags on.
I toss and turn until the sun comes up.
My skin is covered with worms and scabs.
It is cracked and covered with sores.
My days pass by faster than a weaver’s shuttle,*
and my life will end without hope.
God, remember, my life is like a breath.
I will not get a second chance to enjoy it.
Those who see me now will never see me again.
You watch me for a while, but then I am gone.
Just as clouds that come and go,
people are put in the grave, never to rise again.
10 They don’t come back to their old homes.
The people there would not know them.
11 So I will not be quiet!
I will let my suffering spirit speak!
I will let my bitter soul complain!
12 Am I one of your enemies?
Is that why you put a guard over me?
13 My bed should bring me comfort.
My couch should give me rest and relief.
14 But when I lie down, you scare me with dreams;
you frighten me with visions.
15 So I would rather be choked to death
than to live like this.
16 I hate my lifeI give up.
I don’t want to live forever.
Leave me alone!
My life means nothing.
17 God, why are people so important to you?
Why do you even notice them?
18 Why do you visit them every morning
and test them at every moment?
19 You never look away from me
or leave me alone for a second.
20 You are always watching us!
If I sinned, would that hurt you?
Why have you made me your target?
Have I become a problem for you?
21 Why don’t you just pardon me for doing wrong?
Why don’t you just forgive me for my sins?
Soon I will die and be in my grave.
You will search for me, but I will be gone.”
* 7:6 weaver’s shuttle The tool a person who makes cloth uses to pass the thread between the other threads. 7:12 Literally, “Am I Yam or Tannin that you should appoint a guard to watch me?” In ancient Canaanite stories, Yam was the god of the sea, and Tannin was a sea monster.